Star Trek Keeps Making Q's Plot

Star Trek Keeps Making Q's Plot

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The latest developments in Star Trek: Picard season 2 have only made Q’s plot more confusing. Over the course of Picard season 2, it has come to light that Q (John De Lancie) is dying and hopes to redeem his life with a single act, but this single act is becoming harder and harder to define as season 2 builds towards its finale. As ever, Q’s obsession with Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) has been at the center of his plotting during season 2 - leading to rife speculation regarding what Q's endgame actually is. In Star Trek: Picard season 2, episode 2, “Penance,” it is revealed that Q has created a horrifying alternate future that perverts everything that Starfleet and Picard stand for. It’s presented as a warning to Jean-Luc against his “insistence on changing in all ways but the one that matters.” Q initially stepped in to stop the devastating destruction being wrought by the Stargazer’s encounter with a new type of Borg, suggesting that Picard’s fear of the Borg was what his nemesis wanted him to confront. However, as the multiple plot threads of Picard season 2 have unraveled, the actual Q plot itself is becoming more elusive.

Picard and the crew track the change in the timeline back to 2024 and Picard’s ancestor Renée, it becomes more likely that Q is instead hoping that Jean-Luc will confront the psychological scars of his family history. This is emphasized by Renée’s similarities with Picard’s mother, and again when Laris and Jean-Luc emerge from the latter’s sub-conscience in season 2, episode 7 “Monsters.” Laris ponders if “All of that was part of Q's plan? That you experience that? That you relive those memories?” If that is the case, and Q wants Picard to finally come to terms with what happened to his mother, there remains the question as to how Agnes, the Borg Queen, and Adam Soong fit in. These other plotlines could be unintended consequences of Q’s meddling but often feel like disparate plot threads that only serve to muddy what Q’s intentions actually are. Q is notable for his absence in Picard season 2, episode 9 “Hide and Seek,”and, given his lack of powers in 2024, he would, of course, have been unable to click himself over to Chateau Picard. The problem with this is that “Hide and Seek” appears to resolve at least two of the potential reasons for Q’s meddling – the Borg and Picard’s trauma. The fact he’s not around to gloat suggests that the true meaning of his lesson for Jean-Luc is yet to reveal itself.

The only plot thread left dangling by the end of “Hide and Seek” is the whereabouts and intentions of Data’s ancestor, Adam Soong (Brent Spiner). Both Q and the Borg Queen have recruited Soong in their attempts to manipulate the timeline for their own ends. As a result, Soong now knows that Renée Picard’s Europa mission will see him die an irrelevant scientist. He is, therefore, hell-bent on ensuring that the Europa mission fails so that he can be the savior of Earth in Q’s alternate timeline. Rather than Q or the Borg Queen, Soong is now the villain to be defeated in Star Trek: Picard’s season 2 finale.
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