The ragtag crew mentality becomes more defined with the introduction of Seven Of Nine into the mix after she just happens to be above Freecloud helping defend Picard’s guerrilla ship. The progression of the character is an interesting one as seen in the opening minutes which include a very specific hark back to “Voyager” and the memories and heartache that lived there. While the reality of what happened to her since her return from the Delta Quadrant is unknown, it does throw an interesting diametric into the proceedings. It becomes how much clearer the darker path that the Trek Universe has gone down. It is almost disconcerting in a way since the notion of peace and harmony to a point that was key to Gene Roddenberry has been taken over by a darker version. It is a sign of the times but the question becomes, in all fairness, if it is inherently Star Trek if the Federation from these points has fallen this far in this timeline. Now granted this might just be this timeline which is an easy excuse in terms of storytelling of course.
Seven, like others on the crew, has secrets to bear including a crew member with a bigger one than most. The more bright spot in this episode is more some of the old jabbing between crew members, again more specifically here between Picard and Seven. Seven has evolved but Ryan plays it somewhere between. A seasoned viewer might be looking for those former tells which seem to be gone. The story of Seven’s ascent to humanity or descent if you will is an interesting one which is defined in the crucial moments of this episode. The psychology is sound but the reference as to the big essentials of “why” is missing. With this and other aspects the tone on this episode, although the most dynamic so far is a little off.
By Tim Wassberg
The progression of a mission is related in the basis of where a trail leads. At this point in the Picard build of its series, the idea becomes one of mythology and the idea of what is being unfurled in terms of a focus. After forming the texture of a would-be conspiracy and keying Picard out of a self-imposed exile, the pieces seem to start fitting. The texture though leaves a slight hole in how Picard’s pride intensifies his removal. It also speaks as to why we don’t see more of The Next Generation crew. It is based in the essence of hubris. The people he does recruit either are in age of him or see a certain texture of his fans. The McGuffin that is swirling in the background within “The End Is The Beginning” points to something deeper and sinister which remains to be seen. It all leaps back in a sense to what Data might be planning from beyond. The essence of this also gives rise to a possibility of Lore is some way though that is never mentioned. The leaving of Earth is inevitable but in staying outside the lines, it becomes a guerrilla mission which we have not seen Picard undertake before. For a character known for regulations and yet an awareness of breaking the line, the path of resistance seems clear. Yet there is mystery, The series hasn’t reached its tipping point of intrigue yet. It is still finding that identity but in Episode 3, it is not quite clear yet what the true path is.
By Tim Wassberg