Are You A Spider, Matt?

Avenue 5Marveling at the ever-present cloud of colorfully-ornamented human waste, Frank Kelly is certain he sees some of the waste configure itself briefly into the face of Pope John Paul II, and he even manages to convince others that they can see it too. Clark and Judd are a little bit uneasy with the notion that the passengers have declared that a miracle has taken place, but for the moment it seems to bring peace to the unruly crowd…with the exception of rich, litigious passenger Harrison Ames, whose threats to sue Judd over the trip’s nonstop problems have become the bane of Judd’s existence. Even a free round of VR golf does little to put Ames in a better mood. Judd’s solution: Clark should invite Ames to dine at the captain’s table, charming him into not suing. But just before dinner, Clark himself is server with divorce papers from Earth, robbing him of his usual charm. On Earth, Rav Mulcair finds herself on the receiving end of a very public backlash, and makes plans to sneak aboard a resupply shuttle leaving soon to rendezvous with Avenue 5, while at the same time, Billie talks Clark into an improvised plan to shed weight and push the ship forward, shaving significant time off the return journey.

Download this episode via Amazonteleplay by Charlie Cooper & Daisy Cooper
story by Armando Iannucci & Charlie Cooper & Daisy Cooper
directed by Becky Martin
music by Adem Ilhan

Avenue 5Cast: Hugh Laurie (Captain Ryan Clark), Josh Gad (Herman Judd), Zach Woods (Matt Spencer), Rebecca Front (Karen Kelly), Suzy Nakamura (Iris Kimura), Lenora Crichlow (Billie McEvoy), Nikki Amuka-Bird (Rav Mulcair), Ethan Phillips (Spike Martin), Andy Buckley (Frank Kelly), Jessica St. Clair (Mia), Kyle Bornheimer (Doug), Paterson Joseph (Harrison Ames), Himesh Patel (Jordan Hatwal), Vaughn Joseph (John), Priyanga Burford (Lori Hernandez), Cori Hundt (Hazel), Syrus Lowe (Passenger), Debbie Chazen (Passenger), Steve Brody (Mike), Alex Harvey Brown (Wade), John Finnemore (Shuttle Pilot), Joyce Springer (Annabette), Eric Sigmundsson (Rusty), Cory Peterson (Sandy)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Nepenthe

Star Trek: Picard2399: Picard and Soji escape to the planet Nepenthe – not the planet where Soji was constructed, but rather a planet where Picard knows he can find refuge in the home of Will Riker and Deanna Troi, how former Enterprise shipmates. He introduces them – and their daughter Kestra – to Soji, who is still unsure she can trust anyone in her life. On the Artifact, where Elnor stayed behind to cover Picard’s escape, the young Romulan now turns his sword to the task of defending Hugh from the Romulans. Whatever benefits the Romulans brought to the former Borg, Hugh now knows it wasn’t out of altruism, and plans to take the Borg cube away from the Romulans – an ambition that costs him his life, leaving Elnor alone with only one chance to ask for help. On Nepenthe, Picard has to gain Soji’s trust and try to elicit from her the same clues to her place of origin that the Romulans already have.

Download this episode via Amazonwritten by Samantha Humphrey & Michael Chabon
directed by Doug Aarniokosky
music by Jeff Russo

Star Trek: PicardCast: Patrick Stewart (Jean-Luc Picard), Alison Pill (Dr. Agnes Jurati), Isa Briones (Dr. Soji Asha), Evan Evagora (Elnor), Michelle Hurd (Rafi Musiker), Santiago Cabrera (Captain Cristobal Rios), Harry Treadaway (Narek), Jonathan Frakes (Will Riker), Marina Sirtis (Deanna Troi), Jonathan Del Arco (Hugh), Peyton List (Narissa), Tamlyn Tomita (Commodore Oh), Lulu Wilson (Kestra Riker), Kay Bess (La Sirena Computer)

Star Trek: PicardNotes: Will Riker’s home defense system is in place due to recent problems with Kzinti, a cat-like race created by Larry Niven and “imported” into the Star Trek universe in Niven’s sole animated Star Trek episode The Slaver Weapon (1973). Kestra Riker is named after Deanna’s sister, who died when Deanna was a baby (Dark Page, 1993). Deanna apparently never rose higher in rank than commander, a rank she achieved during her tour of duty on the Enterprise (Thine Own Self, 1994). Kestra’s older brother, Thaddeus, was born around 2381, but died young due to a disease whose known cure would have to have been cultured in a synth’s positronic matrix, meaning that Thad died as a result of the synth ban; Riker and his family moved to Nepenthe, a planet with natural healing qualities, in the hope of restoring him to health. Thad was named after an ancestor of Riker’s who fought in the American Civil War (Death Wish, 1996).

LogBook entry by Earl Green

This Is Physically Hurting Me

Avenue 5With Ames continuing to hound Judd, and with Judd’s knowledge that a supply shuttle is en route, the insanely rich owner of Avenue 5 starts making plans to be aboard that shuttle when it returns to Earth, even as passengers line up to ditch personal belongings to help lighten the ship for its accelerated return journey. Billie continues coaching Clark on how to manually dock the ship in a space-borne hanger for evacuation, but the fact that Clark isn’t a real spaceship captain now becomes glaringly obvious and important. Judd hears a rumor that Clark is on drugs and fires him in public, immediately regretting his mistake and backpedaling, but it’s too late – Clark quits. One of the passengers begins spreading the idea that the ship’s journey is a reality show with special effects, and that they’re all still on Earth. Astronaut Spike Martin, placed in command by Judd, announces his discovery that the bridge crew is staffed with actors, lending credence to the reality show theory. As the idea spreads among the rest of the passengers, some of them decide to take a chance and step out of an airlock, including Ames. Into this critical moment of crisis steps Matt, who, in every way imaginable, does not help at all…with fatal consequences.

Download this episode via Amazonteleplay by Georgia Pritchett & Will Smith
story by Armando Iannucci & Georgia Pritchett & Will Smith
directed by David Schneider
music by Adem Ilhan

Avenue 5Cast: Hugh Laurie (Captain Ryan Clark), Josh Gad (Herman Judd), Zach Woods (Matt Spencer), Rebecca Front (Karen Kelly), Suzy Nakamura (Iris Kimura), Lenora Crichlow (Billie McEvoy), Nikki Amuka-Bird (Rav Mulcair), Ethan Phillips (Spike Martin), Andy Buckley (Frank Kelly), Jessica St. Clair (Mia), Kyle Bornheimer (Doug), Neil Casey (Cyrus), Paterson Joseph (Harrison Ames), Julie Dray (Nadia), Adam Pålsson (Bridge Crew), Daisy May Cooper (Sarah – bridge crew), Ankur Bahl (Steward), Eugenia Caruso (Verity), John Finnemore (Shuttle Pilot), Rae Lim (Passenger), Joseph Balderrama (Tim), Sacharissa Claxton (Jaz), Rachel Handshaw (Teri), Maarten Dannenberg (Sean), Brigid Leahy (Ella), Kelly Coughlin (Jaden), Denis Khoroshko (Cam), Debbie Chazen (Passenger), Mark Heenehan (Passenger), Steve Brody (Mike), Elizabeth Moynihan (Passenger), Eben Young (Passenger)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Broken Pieces

Star Trek: Picard2384: Ramdha and her niece, Narissa, are present at a ceremony held for a select few members of the secretive Romulan organization known as the Zhat Vash. On a distant planet, they tap into an ancient device known only as the Admonition, which gives all of them the same vision – a vision of synthetic life destroying organic life and laying waste to the universe. Some of the Romulans are driven mad by this vision; Ramdha and Narissa vow to prevent it from ever happening, no matter the cost.

2399: Agnes Jurati’s sins have been revealed: not only was she the means through which the Romulans were tracking La Sirena, but she murdered Bruce Maddox. At the sight of Soji, Captain Rios withdraws to his quarters, leaving his holograms to run the ship. Rafi tries to get him to reveal what is bothering him, only to find that his story – of his former life as a Starfleet officer, serving under a captain who killed himself under mysterious circumstances – connects to information that Jurati, Soji, and Picard have. The scope of the Romulans’ plan is finally apparent. Acting upon an urge to prevent the events seen in the Admonition, and learning of the cybernetic experiments of Noonian Soong, the Romulans infiltrated Starfleet, and engineered the synthetic life forms’ attack on Mars. The resulting synth ban drove Bruce Maddox underground, and led him to create an entire race of synths on another planet – the world Soji sees in her dreams. The Romulans are prepared to commit genocide to prevent synths from gaining a place alongside organic life…and only Picard and the others aboard La Sirena stand in their way.

Download this episode via Amazonwritten by Michael Chabon
directed by Maja Vrvilo
music by Jeff Russo

Star Trek: PicardCast: Patrick Stewart (Jean-Luc Picard), Alison Pill (Dr. Agnes Jurati), Isa Briones (Dr. Soji Asha), Evan Evagora (Elnor), Michelle Hurd (Rafi Musiker), Santiago Cabrera (Captain Cristobal Rios), Harry Treadaway (Narek), Jeri Ryan (Seven of Nine), Peyton List (Narissa), Tamlyn Tomita (Commodore Oh), Rebecca Wisocky (Ramdha), Ann Magnuson (Admiral Clancy), Derek Webster (Romulan Centurion), Jane Hae Kim (Tal Shiar Female #1), Kendra Munger (Tal Shiar Female #2)

Star Trek: PicardNotes: Derek Webster, whose Romulan character has a very brief scene with Narissa, is a Star Trek veteran: one of his first TV roles was as Lt. Sanders in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode Gambit Part I (1993). Other genre appearances include Stargate, seaQuest 2032, M.A.N.T.I.S., Independence Day, and he was a regular in the first season of the late ’90s Glen A. Larson superhero series Nightman.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Et In Arcadia Ego – Part 1

Star Trek: Picard2399: Using the knowledge of Borg transwarp conduits that Soji gained while working aboard the Artifact, La Sirena reaches Soji’s home planet in mere minutes, while the Romulan fleet going there to destroy the planet lags about a day behind at mere warp speeds. Narek, following in a Romulan fighter, tries to take down La Sirena, but the crews of both ships are caught off guard by the arrival of a Borg cube: the Artifact is now fully functional again thanks to Seven of Nine. All three ships are immediately attacked by bio-organic automated defense systems around the planet and forced to land. The Borg ship suffers severe damage as a result, but both Elnor and Seven survive. Picard and the others from La Sirena walk to the home settlement of the synths, finding a lone human there: Alton Soong, son of Data’s creator, Noonian Soong, and former secret collaborator of Bruce Maddox. It is Soong who created Dahj and Soji, and has created an entire community of other synthetic twins, one of which has learned how to mind meld, and does so with Jurati. But this reveals that the Admonition is an offer of help from a union of synthetics beyond the Federation’s home galaxy – an offer of help that also means the eradication of organic life. Worse yet, knowing that a fleet of over 200 Romulan ships draws near, the synths decide to accept that offer and send out a distress signal.

Download this episode via Amazonteleplay by Michael Chabon & Ayelet Waldman
story by Michael Chabon & Ayelet Waldman & Akiva Goldsman
directed by Akiva Goldsman
music by Jeff Russo

Star Trek: PicardCast: Patrick Stewart (Jean-Luc Picard), Alison Pill (Dr. Agnes Jurati), Isa Briones (Dr. Soji Asha), Evan Evagora (Elnor), Michelle Hurd (Rafi Musiker), Santiago Cabrera (Captain Cristobal Rios), Harry Treadaway (Narek), Jeri Ryan (Seven of Nine), Brent Spiner (Alton Inigo Soong), Peyton List (Narissa), Brian DeRozan (Romulan Officer), Matt Perfetuo (Rune), Mike Perfetuo (Codex), Jade Ramsey (Arcana), Nikita Ramsey (Saga), Zachary James Rukavina (XB/Nameless), and Spot II

Star Trek: PicardNotes: The episode’s namesake is a 1638 painting by Nicolas Poussin, now held in the Louvre, and is generally understood to mean that even in a utopia or other ideal place, death still exists. The clothes worn by some of the synthetic life forms created by Soong and Maddox are strongly reminiscent of fashions from 1960s Star Trek, including the barely-there outfits worn by such past synthetic life forms as Rayna (Requiem For Methuselah, 1969) and Andrea (What Are Little Girls Made Of?, 1966), suggesting a connection between those androids and the work of the Soong family (and suggesting that classic series costume designer William Ware Theiss Star Trek: Picardcasts a vast shadow across the entire franchise). It is worth noting, in light of the Romulans’ aversion to artificial life (and their apparent contact with sympathetic members of Starfleet), that every developer of artificial life in Star Trek lore, from Dr. Roger Korby to Flint to Noonian Soong, has worked on their creations in seclusion. Alluded to in previous episodes but never named, Picard’s terminal brain-related ailment may be the irumodic syndrome detected by Dr. Crusher in All Good Things… (1994).

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Et In Arcadia Ego – Part 2

Star Trek: Picard2399: The synthetics have taken Picard prisoner as they build a beacon that will summon a league of powerful synthetics from beyond the galaxy. Agnes Jurati has been granted amnesty by Alton Soong and his creations, but is aware that Soong is trying to manipulate her. Narek slips into the Borg cube to retrieve grenades so he can ground the synths’ small defensive fleet, but is followed by Elnor. Narek surrenders himself to Raffi and Rios, offering to help them return to the synths’ settlement and destroy the beacon…but Elnor doesn’t trust his fellow Romulan to live up to his word. While they put that plan in motion, Jurati helps Picard escape, and they make their way back to La Sirena and take off, while Picard desperately tries to think of a plan to stall the Romulan fleet in the hope – but with absolutely no certainty – that Starfleet is on its way to protect the synths and fend of the Romulans. Even if Starfleet does arrive, whatever emerges from the portal generated by the beacon may be more powerful than both fleets…and Picard’s condition is worsening, limiting his ability to play a key role in preventing an all-out war.

Download this episode via Amazonteleplay by Michael Chabon
story by Michael Chabon & Akiva Goldsman
directed by Akiva Goldsman
music by Jeff Russo
Blue Skies performed by Isa Briones

Star Trek: PicardCast: Patrick Stewart (Jean-Luc Picard), Alison Pill (Dr. Agnes Jurati), Isa Briones (Dr. Soji Asha), Evan Evagora (Elnor), Michelle Hurd (Rafi Musiker), Santiago Cabrera (Captain Cristobal Rios), Harry Treadaway (Narek), Jonathan Frakes (Will Riker), Jeri Ryan (Seven of Nine), Brent Spiner (Alton Inigo Soong), Peyton List (Narissa), Tamlyn Tomita (Commodore Oh), Kay Bess (La Sirena Computer), Brian DeRozan (Romulan Officer), Matt Perfetuo (Rune), Mike Perfetuo (Codex), Jade Ramsey (Arcana), Nikita Ramsey (Saga)

LogBook entry by Earl Green