Star Trek: Picard brought back several fan-favorite characters from the Star Trek: The Next Generation era, including Sir Patrick Stewart as Captain Jean-Luc Picard. Now it's killed one of them off. Thursday's new episode of Star Trek: Picard, titled "Nepenthe," brought with it the reunion of some of the best-loved members of the Star Trek: The Next Generation crew. But it also saw the adventures of one beloved character come to an end. This is one that may leave longtime Star Trek: The Next Generation fan reeling for a minute. SPOILERS for Star Trek: Picard episode seven, "Nepenthe" follow.
In last week's episode of Star Trek: Picard, Picard arrived at the Artifact and had a heartfelt reunion with the director of the Borg Reclamation Project, Hugh. Star Trek: The Next Generation fans would remember Hugh from the episodes "I, Borg" and "Descent." Hugh helped Picard reach Soji and escape. Hugh and Elnor, Picard's Romulan protector, stayed behind to make sure the Tal Shiar couldn't follow.
In "Nepenthe," Hugh and Elnor are on the run, playing cat and mouse with Narissa and her Zhat Vash forces. Elnor pins Narissa with his sword, but she manages to whip small throwing blade at Hugh. It lands in the ex-Borg's neck. After Narissa flees, Elnor cradles Hugh in his arms as he bleeds out.
Hugh dies because he got caught up in Picard's mission. Based on what Jonathan Del Arco told ComicBook.com ahead of the show's premiere, that's a sacrifice he would have made willingly if given the choice.
"It's known that the Enterprise was my family because I was essentially born as an individual on the Enterprise, so you have all these sort of sibling figures and parental – obviously Picard's the parental figure to Hugh," Del Arco said. "And Hugh's relationship with the Federation has been an ongoing thing since we left him in that colony where he had separated from the Borg. So he has had a working relationship with a lot of the people from that world. Having said that, the reunion happens after not having seen him for a very long time, since we last saw 'Descent, Part 2,' so it was a really great moment for us to reconnect."
Through his work with the Borg Reclamation Project, Hugh brought the process of restoring individuality to Borg drones -- a process that began with his naming in "I, Borg" -- to a new level, revealing a different side of the Borg. "Let's just say that since we got our hands on the Borg… you could say that 20 years ago we changed the Borg, in a way, because we became individuals," Del Arco said. "That sense of individuality that was introduced has had an effect throughout Borg-dom, the Borg kingdom as it were. There are elements of the Borg that I assume remain intact, as we knew them, as a threat. Our own version of that, where we're at, is a very different social, economic even, standing in the universe."
New episodes of Star Trek: Picard stream Thursdays on CBS All Access.