Star Trek Picard 1.6: “The Impossible Box” |(W) Nick Zayas (D) Maja Vrvilo
The episode opens with Soji dreaming about her home, a recurring dream, it draws the attention of Narek as he believes that her subconscious programming is trying to tell her something. He begins sowing doubt in her mind, causing her to question how much of her past is real. Could she have suffered from implanted memories? She scans all of her belongings, including childhood mementos and discovers that nothing is older than 3 years. Narek offers to take her to a meditation chamber, normally reserved for Romulans, where she can try to recall more of her dream. Narek believes the dream will tell him where Soji is from, and where the others Synths are located.
On La Sirena, Raffi reaches out to an old Starfleet contact to get Picard a temporary diplomatic mission to the Borg cube. He arrives, alone, and is inundated with PTSD from his time assimilated decades prior. He is then reunited with Hugh who explains to him what the reclamation project is about – rehabilitating the former Borg. Picard is amazed at how far some have come, and what good work Hugh is doing for these, the victims of the Borg. It is quite the cathartic moment for him. There is no time to lose though, and he is on a mission – to find Soji.
Soji goes through her meditative session and recalls enough information for Narek to find her home. He then locks her in the chamber and releases some sort of radiation/poison to kill Soji. This causes her to “activate” and she PUNCHES her way through the floor of the metal chamber and escapes. Hugh and Picard race to find her and they do. There is no time to lose as Romulan security is after her. Hugh leads them to the Queen’s Chamber, where there is an emergency long range transporter. Romulans appear, but so does Elnor. Picard asked him to stay behind on the ship, but the young Romulan knew there would be trouble and beamed down to save him. After killing the Romulans, Hugh and Elnor remain on the cube to fight off the additional guards and buy Picard time as he and Soji transport to another planet and escape immediate danger.
Stewart was amazing this week. This episode dived head first into Picard’s trauma, even decades later, over his assimilation. He has a full blown panic attack on arriving at the cube. He unease among the rescued Borg, being called Locutus, was all well done. It was incredible to see him come around and accept the Borg as victims, not monsters. Very emotional.
Soji turns a big corner this week. She doesn’t completely understand what she is, but this was her big moment. Everything came to a head for her this week.
Narek is finally revealed as a villain. He obviously has mixed emotions for Soji, but was ready to kill her in cold blood.
How cool was this reunion? Hugh meeting the man who saved him decades earlier. Picard basking in the joy of what Hugh has accomplished. Warm fuzzies all around.
Elnor is a badass.
Jurati’s killing of Maddox remains covered up this week, but I assume it is only a matter of time before things are revealed. I’d assume it will happen once Picard and Soji return to Sirena.
Rios and Raffi had some good scenes this week, as Raffi tries to bounce back from her son’s rejection while sliding back into substance abuse. As she drinks and smokes in front of Picard, I love the pain Stewart emoted at his friend’s pain, while never scolding her for her weakness.
This show gets better every week. This eventful episode was the strongest yet. I am looking forward to the pay off, as Soji learns the truth and Picard seeks asylum with an old friend…