Star Trek: Picard Episode 1: "Remembrance" Recap With Spoilers

Star Trek: Picard premieres today with the episode “Remembrance.” Directed by Hanelle Culpepper and written by Michael Chabon, Alex Kurtzman, Kirsten Beyer, the episode sets the tone and the pace for the first season of the highly-anticipated series, with some unexpected revelations. Patrick Stewart returns as his beloved Star Trek: The Next Generation character Jean-Luc Picard, and is joined by cast members Isa Briones as Dahj, Harry Treadaway as Narek, and Alison Pill as Dr. Agnes Jurati. We’re here to talk about this first episode, so be warned that the rest of the article contains major SPOILERS for the episode’s plot. You have been warned.

The episode opens with Picard having a dream. He’s back on the Enterprise-D sitting in Ten Forward, drinking tea and playing poker with Data (Brent Spiner). He wakes and we see that Picard has retired to his family’s vineyard and is now tended to by Romulans, Laris (Orla Brady) and Zhaban (Jamie McShane). Their open presence on Earth is a marker of how much things have changed since Star Trek: Nemesis.

Through an interview with a journalist, we learn more from Picard about what has transpired over the past two decades: the Federation’s plans to rescue the Romulans from the supernova that destroyed their homeworld were scrapped after synthetic lifeforms destroyed the shipyards on Mars and set the entire planet on fire. Picard resigned from Starfleet in protest. The development of synthetic lifeforms has been illegal ever since.

We’re also introduced to Dahj and her boyfriend enjoying some downtime in her home in Boston. She shares the good news that she’s been accepted to the Daystrom Institute, but their celebration is interrupted an attack by Romulan covert agents. They kill the boyfriend and try to capture Dahj, but something activates in her and she fights back, defeating her assailants with skills that she didn’t know she had.

Something inside of Dahj tells her to find Jean-Luc Picard. She arrives in France, and Picard takes her in. Neither of them understands their connection, but another dream gives Picard a clue. Dahj looks remarkably like the girl Data painted into a painting that he called “Daughter.”

By the time Picard wakes up, Dahj has already taken off. Dahj calls her mother and her mother – without knowing that Dahj already contact Picard – tells Dahj to find Picard gain. Using more skills she shouldn’t have, Dahj tracks down Picard at the Starfleet Museum, where they are attacked by more Romulans. This time, the Romulans kill Dahj.

At this point, Picard has come to the realization that Dahj is a synthetic life form. He travels to the Daystrom Institute to find out more information. He meets with Dr. Jurati and finds that the Federation’s AI research department is a “ghost town.” Jurati tells Picard that a flesh-and-blood android like Dahj was just a dream even before Data died, but when Picard shows her a curious necklace Dahj wore, she’s reminded of the work of Bruce Maddox. Maddox believed he could replicate Data’s technology from even a small piece, but the result would be not one but two new androids. Picard realizes that Dahj is dead, but her sister is still out there somewhere.

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The episodes ends with the introduction of Dahj’s sister, Dr. Soji Asha. She’s working on a Romulan reclamation project. She’s approached by a Romulan named Narek. The camera goes wide and we learn that this project is located on a derelict Borg cube.

Notes and observations:

  • If you want to know more about Bruce Maddox, revisit the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “The Measure of a Man.” It may also be worth revisiting the episode “The Offspring,” as well as films Star Trek: Nemesis and 2009’s Star Trek.
  • Are the dream sequences in this episode the extent of Brent Spiner’s involvement in the series? We’ll have to wait and see.
  • Picard’s archive at the Starfleet museum is full of Easter eggs, including models of his past ships and the banner from when he celebrated Captain Picard Day on the Enterprise.

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