Star Trek: Picard‘s “Farewell” in Review
Star Trek: Picard reaches the end of the second season rollercoaster ride with episode ten, “Farewell”. With a few loose ends still to tie up, exactly how do you conclude this thrill ride? A nice button-up that leaves you wanting more. That, and more, is exactly what you get with “Farewell”. With Akiva Goldsman and Christopher Monfette scripting this episode – both wrote the season premiere “The Star Gazer” – and newcomer Michael Weaver directing it, we’re in for forty-six minutes of saving the future that the former crew of La Sirena is familiar with.
The team puzzles over the prophecy declared by the Jurati Queen in episode nine – “To succeed, there must be two Renées: one who lives, and one who dies.” Tallinn immediately thinks that she must be the one to die. Seven, Rios, and Raffi will infiltrate Soong’s home, believing he must be there to disrupt the Europa launch, while Tallinn plans to help Renée get on that flight. Picard, unwilling to let Tallinn sacrifice herself, jumps into her transporter just as she beams to Mission Control.
The camera zooms from Europa down to the rocket that’s scheduled to launch from Earth. Something I thought was odd but did not detract from my overall viewing of the episode was the location of the rocket’s launch pad. Normally, United States launches are either conducted in a desert – such as the Blue Origin space launches – or in either Houston, Texas or Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
At Mission Control, Picard talks with Tallinn, demanding that she rethink her plans. Tallinn understands yet is stern with Picard, adamant that he’s not responsible for her fate (nor those of other fatalities, including his mother).
Seven, Raffi, and Rios discover that they have been tricked by Soong to come to his house and personally stop him from launching drones that will attack the launch pad and rocket. They’re fooled by Soong’s computer, which has been programmed so that only his voice would be heard ordering the drones for launch. He isn’t actually there! With less than five minutes before the drones launch, the three must do something to disarm or disrupt the drones – without tripping any sort of booby traps that rig them to explode. Otherwise, the Europa Mission will end in disaster.
Tallinn infiltrates the area where the Europa crew is waiting to get into their spacesuits. She swipes a fellow crew member’s flight suit, then meets Renée. Tallinn privately relates how she has been keeping a protective and careful eye on the young astronaut. The conversation and how it emotionally resonates for Renée helps her realize that she is in grave danger. The scene is wonderfully acted by Orla Brady, who turns in a magnificent performance as Tallinn in this scene. For me, viewing this was very touching and emotional. Please give that woman an Emmy for Best Guest Actress in a Television Series!
Meanwhile, Raffi’s attempts to keep the drones in place backfire. They are released in a staggered launch. While Renée encounters Soong, Rios eventually manages to get the drones under manual control.
Meanwhile, Renée realizes that Soong has poisoned her with a fatal neurotoxin. He leaves her gleefully. Just after Rios manages to terminate all the airborne drones, Picard encounters Renée, only to discover that she’s actually Tallinn in disguise. She has sacrificed herself for Renée and the mission. Her death scene is particularly touching. I loved it!
With Renée safely launched to Europa and Soong’s flying drones destroyed, the timeline is restored. The end, right? Not even close!
Kore hacks into Soong’s computer and deletes all the files on her and her siblings. Soong, only momentarily defeated, is prompted to review a confidential funding report folder labeled “Project Khan”. This was a nice tie-in to his forthcoming descendant Arik Soong, from the Star Trek: Enterprise trilogy “Borderland”, “Cold Station 12”, and “The Augments”.
At an address she receives from an anonymous source, Kore is greeted by a Traveler in the form of Wesley Crusher (Wil Wheaton). Wes explains that he and his fellow Travelers appoint Supervisors to monitor the timeline – tying the Travelers to the organization that Gary Seven was aligned with in TOS: “Assignment: Earth”. This was a nice touch that came as a great surprise.
Back at the chatêau, Raffi and Seven reconcile their differences, Seven lays a kiss on Raffi, and Picard is reunited with Q, who confirms he’s dying. He also finally gives Picard the reason why he did all of this – before his imminent death, he wanted to unshackle Picard from the hurt of his past. Q also decides to send everyone home, but not before Raffi gives him a stern look of hatred for the death of Elnor. Not everyone is going back to the future, though – Rios decides to stay behind. Promising a surprise for those going back, Q snaps his fingers.
And just like that, we’re returned to the moments before the Stargazer’s destruction. This time, Picard cancels its self-destruct. The Borg envoy reveals herself to be Borgati after all. She tells the crew that a nearby phenomenon threatens to destroy the entire sector. She needs the fleet’s combined shield harmonics to prevent the annihilation. With Elnor back as the “surprise” Q promised them, they confront an outburst of energy from the phenomenon.
Thanks to their combined resources, the disaster is averted. The team concludes that what they have witnessed is the birth of a highly unusual and mysterious transwarp conduit. In the face of this phenomenon, Borgati asks that the Federation allow the Borg to be a “guardian at the gates.”
The remaining La Sirena crewmembers celebrate on Earth, at the 10 Forward bar. Guinan tells Picard that Rios, Teresa, and Ricardo proceeded to do plenty of good work in the past. At Picard’s suggestion, he and his allies toast to family – while the Star Trek: First Contact main title theme swells. I thought this was a nice touch, and it made me a little emotional.
Back at Chatêau Picard, Jean-Luc finds Laris packing her bags. He implies that he wants them to give their relationship a second chance. This ties a hanging thread that had been left over from the season premiere. We are left anxiously waiting to see what will come next.
“Farewell” did not crash and burn for me. What a season finale! This episode worked much better than last season’s wrap-up. This time, all the loose threads were tied up nicely, and some fan theories were confirmed. Elnor’s return was a nice touch too. Bring on Season 3’s TNG reunion!
Wes Huntington has been a Star Trek fan since he was born, thanks to his parents (both of whom are still very much alive and are big Trek fans themselves). He lives in the Minneapolis, Minnesota area, with his wife and cat. He is also a co-host of the Twin Cities Trekkies podcast, which launched in February 2021 and talks about all things Star Trek. You can find Twin Cities Trekkies via Facebook, Instagram, or anchor.fm/twincitiestrekkies.