“Star Trek: Picard” Season 3 is finally here and boy, is it a trip down memory lane.
This season, touted as the “final voyage,” reunites Jean-Luc Picard with the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise.
Their adventures were chronicled in “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” which ran for seven seasons from 1987 to 1994. The last time the cast shared the screen was in the 2002 feature film “Star Trek: Nemesis.”
The newest season of “Picard” picks up some 20+ years later, with Picard (Patrick Stewart) assembling his old crew to save one of their own.
Each week, we’ll break down the easter eggs and “Trek” reference from the latest episode. Of course, spoilers ahead, so proceed with caution.
“Star Trek: Picard” Season 3, Episode 1 Easter Eggs
Warning: spoilers ahead.
- The very title of this episode, “The Next Generation,” is an homage to the show that introduced us to the U.S.S. Enterprise D, its captain Jean-Luc Picard and the crew.
- The episode opens on the Eleos, an aide vessel captained by Beverly Crusher (Gates McFadden), the former chief medical officer of the Enterprise. The camera pans through her personal items, including theater masks (Crusher formed a theater troupe on board the Enterprise and taught acting), orchids (her favorite flowers which she was seen tending in one episode) and a storage locker belonging to Lt. Jack Crusher (her first husband who was killed while serving under Picard). There’s also a glass filled with a blue liquor — unmistakably Romulan ale.
- Beverly is replaying Picard’s log during an encounter with the Borg, in which the Enterprise hid in a nebula. Beverly is hiding the Eleos near a nebula.
- The next scene features Picard at his family winery in France. In the distance, you can hear a dog barking, likely his pet pitbull “Number One.” He is looking at a painting of the Enterprise-D. His companion, Laris, says “The first love is always the sweetest.” Picard replies “Well, she wasn’t the first, but she was definitely my favorite.” Picard’s first command was the U.S.S. Stargazer, the same ship Jack Crusher served on.
- Picard tells an assistant to give the painting to Geordi, the first mention of Geordi La Forge (LeVar Burton), the Enterprise’s chief engineer and now head of Starfleet’s fleet museum.
- Picard looks at more memorabilia at his desk, which include a Bajoran award. He picks up a Ressikan flute, a memento of the time he lived the life of a man named Kamin on the dead planet Kataan. The story of Kamin is told in the Season 5 episode of “The Next Generation” titled “The Inner Light.”
- That evening, Picard receives an encoded message from Beverly Crusher. He’s alerted by the trill from his old Enterprise communications badge. It’s located in a box along with his red and black command uniform from the Enterprise.
- Picard meets up with his old friend/former first officer Will Riker (Jonathan Frakes) at a bar. The bartender offers up miniatures of the Enterprise-D, which she calls “fat ones.” This is an inside joke for Trek fans; the Enterprise-D saucer was unusually oblong and large; later models were more streamlined.
- Riker reveals he is spending time apart from his wife Deanna Troi (Marina Sirtis), the former Enterprise counselor, and their daughter Kestra. Kestra is also the name of Deanna’s deceased sister, whose death was explored in the Season 7 episode of “The Next Generation” titled “Dark Page.”
- Picard shares the codeword “hellbird” with Riker. Riker explains that it was a term used when Picard was “incapacitated.” He’s referring to when Picard was assimilated by the Borg in the Season 3 finale of “The Next Generation” titled “The Best of Both Worlds.” The Borg gained all of Picard’s memories, so the crew had to devise a new system.
- To track down Crusher, Riker and Picard go aboard the U.S.S. Titan, Riker’s command after leaving the Enterprise. The ship has undergone a “Neo-Constitution refit.” The Constitution class is one of the most popular in Trek lore; the original Enterprise itself was a Constitution-class starship.
- The first officer aboard the Titan is none other than Seven of Nine (Jeri Ryan), another human who was assimilated by the Borg and rescued in the “Star Trek: Voyager” episode “Scorpion.” Seven became Picard’s ally during Season 1 of “Picard” where they helped root out Romulan spies.
- Seven introduces herself as Annika Hansen. Her commanding officer, Captain Liam Shaw (Todd Stashwick) has instructed Seven to use her human name rather than her Borg designation.
- Seven was given a field commission by Picard, but officially joined Starfleet upon the advice of Picard and Admiral Janeway (Kate Mulgrew). Janeway was the captain of the U.S.S. Voyager that rescued Seven.
- Seven invites Picard and Riker to the bridge, where they meet a smiling helmsman, ensign Sidney La Forge (Ashlei Sharpe Chestnut). Sidney is Geordi’s eldest daughter. Riker embarrasses her by bringing up her nickname from Starfleet Academy — “Crash” La Forge — after she crashed a shuttle … twice.
- A quick pan around the Titan bridge reveals a Bajoran tactical officer, a Haiilian communications officer (with little hair) and a Vulcan science officer (with no hair). Bald crewmen (or crewwomen in this case) have had a special place in “Trek” lore, dating back to Lt. Ilia (Persis Khambatta) from “Star Trek: The Motion Picture.” Other bald crewmembers include Lt. Airiam (Hannah Cheesman) from “Star Trek: Discovery,” Captain Sisko (Avery Brooks) from “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” and, of course, Picard.
- Showrunner Terry Matalas identified the Vulcan science officer as Lt. T’Veen. The actor who plays T’Veen, Stephanie Czajkowski, is a cancer survivor who kept her head shaved or short.
- As the Titan leaves spacedock, Seven tells the crew to set speed to “maximum warp.” Picard asks if she should give Engineering a heads-up before doing so, but Seven tells Picard there’s no need; it’s all automated now. During “The Next Generation,” Picard would often have to inform La Forge that he was going to push the limits of the Enterprises’ engines, despite the chief engineer’s concerns.
- Captain Shaw is not impressed by Picard or Riker, choosing to not greet them upon arrival and starting dinner before they arrive. Actor Todd Stashwick is not new to the “Trek” universe; he played Torak in the Season 4 episode of “Star Trek: Enterprise” titled “Kir’Shara.”
- Shaw tells Riker he had to purge the “bebop” files when he took command of Titan. Riker is a jazz lover and was shown to play the trombone in several episodes of “The Next Generation.” Shaw says he prefers “structure.” The music playing he’s playing in the background is a piano concerto by Chopin — classical music for a by-the-books captain.
- The “steak” Shaw is eating is blue — and we don’t mean undercooked. We don’t know the significance behind that but we wanted to point it out!
- In a secondary storyline, Raffi Musiker (Michelle Hurd) is working undercover to discover what happened to experimental weapons stolen from the Daystrom Institute. An informant gives her the clue “Red Lady” which she discovers is a red statue of Captain Rachel Garrett that will be dedicated at a Starfleet recruiting center. Garrett was the captain of the U.S.S. Enterprise C, whose fate was explored in the Season 3 “The Next Generation” episode titled “Yesterday’s Enterprise.”
- Riker and Picard make their way aboard the Eleos. While exploring the ship, Riker calls Picard “Captain” and then apologizes, saying “old habits.” Picard later refers to Riker as “Number One” — the way they referred to each other during their Enterprise days.
- Riker is ambushed by an assailant (Ed Speleers) but manages to get the upper hand. When asked by Picard what his relationship is to Crusher, he responds “her son.” So far, the only son Crusher is known to have is Wesley Crusher (Wil Wheaton), who lived and served aboard the Enterprise-D.
- The credits are filled with easter eggs themselves that will be revealed as the season progresses. The only one that is applicable right now is that display of the Shrike, the giant warship hunting the Eleos.
“Star Trek: Picard” Season 3, Episode 2 Easter Eggs
- We finally get the full name of Ed Speleers character — Jack Crusher. He’s named after his stepfather, Jack R. Crusher. We do a deep dive into the younger Crusher here.
- Among the Eleos’ supplies is a bottle of blue Romulan ale, one of the galaxy’s most inebriating liquors. In Episode 1, Beverly has a glass next to her bed.
- The Shrike opens fire on the Eleos, destroying the shuttle Picard and Riker flew over on. The debris reveals the shuttle’s name — Saavik. Saavik was a Vulcan officer who served aboard the Enterprise-A. She was played by the late Kirstie Alley and later by Robin Curtis.
- The Titan comes to the Eleos’ rescue and attempts to transport Picard, Riker and the Crushers aboard. However, the signal is blocked due to transport inhibitors Picard setup around the bridge. Realizing what he’s done, Picard takes out a phaser and destroys the inhibitors with surprising speed and accuracy, much to Jack’s astonishment. This is a subtle reminder that Picard is in a synthetic body with potentially better reflexes.
- Back on M’Talas Prime, Raffi meets up with her ex-husband, Jae Hwang (Randy Goodwin). Viewers previously met their son, Gabe (Mason Gooding), back in Season 1. In the Season 3 opener, Raffi gets emotional while looking at a photo of their granddaughter.
- Picard, Riker and Jack make their way to the Titan bridge, where they’re scolded by Capt. Shaw. At one point, Ensign Esmar (Jin Maley), the communication officer, calls out “Captain!” Shaw, Riker (who once commanded the Titan) and Picard all respond in unison, “What?”
- Capt. Vadic (Amanda Plummer) has dossiers on all the officers. She hints that Shaw has psychological problems. She also somehow knows that Picard is not human, saying “Admiral Jean-Luc Picard, in the synthetic flesh.”
- Jack Crusher has many aliases, among which is “James Cole.” James Cole is a character from “12 Monkeys,” the show that “Picard” showrunner Terry Matalas previously produced.
- While deep undercover, Raffi meets the Ferengi broker Sneed. Sneed is played by Aaron Stanford, who played James Cole on “12 Monkeys.” Of course, he’s barely unrecognizable under all those prosthetics.
- Sneed tries to break Raffi using the synthetic narcotic Splinter, which is administered via the eye. Given Raffi’s history of substance abuse, she is able to partially withstand its effects. Splinter is name of the technology used in “12 Monkeys.”
- Todd Stashwick, who plays Captain Shaw, ALSO appeared on “12 Monkeys.”
- Raffi’s handler is revealed to be non-other than Worf (Michael Dorn). Worf rescues Raffi by slicing and dicing his way through Sneed’s goons. The Romulan thug has green blood while Sneed’s Ferengi blood is yellow.
- Jack is about to turn himself over to Vadic when Beverly appears on the bridge of the Titan. She has a wordless exchange but it’s enough for Picard to confirm that Jack indeed is his son.
“Star Trek Picard” Season 3, Episode 3 Easter Eggs
- The episode opens with the Shrike hot on the Titan’s tail. Shaw orders the Titan to delve deeper into the nebula in an attempt to shake the Shrike. It’s an evasion maneuver seen in many Trek shows and films, notably “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.”
- After the opening credits, a graphic appears that reads “Before.” The scene opens with a digitally de-aged Picard and Riker. They’re older than they were on the Enterprise but younger than the present. They’re celebrating the birth of Riker’s son Thaddeus, who was born on the Titan after Riker became captain. That would date this celebration about three years after the events of “Star Trek: Nemesis” and 20 years before the events of “Picard” Season 3.
- Picard and Riker’s celebration is interrupted when Troi, Riker’s wife and Thaddeus’ mom, messages them with a fussy baby in hand. Riker apologizes and calls her imzadi, which is the Betazoid word for “beloved.”
- Back in the present, Seven of Nine is confined to her quarters for insubordination. There’s a model of the U.S.S. Voyager — the ship that rescued her — on her desk. Ensign La Forge visits her and commends her for helping Picard and Riker, which is something her dad would’ve done. Seven thanks La Forge and tells her to rest, to which La Forge answers, “Yes, Commander Seven” instead of “Yes, Commander Hansen” as a sign of friendship.
- Picard and Beverly finally have a face-to-face conversation about Jack. Picard got Beverly pregnant while on shore leave two months before she left the Enterprise. She never told him because she was afraid his enemies will target their son.
- At one point, Beverly tried to tell Picard about Jack but “two Reman assassins had intercepted the ship in the Donatra sector.” Donatra was the name of the commander of the Romulan warship Valdore seen in “Star Trek: Nemesis” played by Dina Meyer.
- After Raffi regains consciousness, she meets her rescuer/handler. He identifies himself as “Worf, son of Mogh. House of Martok. Son of Sergey. House of Rozhenko, bane to the Duras family, slayer of Gowron.” These are nods to Worf’s complicated lineage. His Klingon father was Mogh, but he was adopted as a boy by Sergey and Helena Rozhenko. Worf eventually aligned himself with House Martok, whose sworn enemies were the Duras family and notably the Duras sisters, who were killed in a battle against the Enterprise in “Star Trek Generations.” In the Season 7, Episode 22 of “Deep Space Nine,” Worf kills Chancellor Gowron for undermining Martok during the Dominion War.
- Jack and Seven discover the Shrike is tracking the Titan via its verterium emissions. Gas leaks are another “Trek” trope. It’s how the Enterprise and Excelsior were able to track General Chang’s cloaked Klingon ship in “Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.”
- Jack knocks out the guard stationed outside Seven’s quarters, to which she responds, “You’re insane.” Remember this for later.
- Jack is attacked by the saboteur, who is revealed to be a Changeling, a species of shapeshifters that waged war against the Federation 25 years prior (the aforementioned Dominion War).
- While exposed to toxic verterium gas, Jack has visions of a woman (in the form of Seven of Nine) who beckons to him “find me!” Is he actually insane?
- Meanwhile, Raffi and Worf interrogate Titus Rikka, a criminal played by Thomas Dekker. As a child actor, Dekker appeared as Picard’s imaginary son in “Star Trek Generations.” He also played a holographic child on “Star Trek: Voyager.”
- Rikka is sweating and shaking profusely, which Raffi thinks are drug withdrawals. However, Worf recognizes them as something else. Rikka is also a Changeling who is losing the ability to hold his solid form.
- Worf asks Rikka how long he has been separated from the Great Link. The Link is the collective of Changelings in their liquid forms introduced in “Deep Space Nine.” The Link makes decisions for all Changelings.
- Worf tells Raffi about a schism in the Link and a rogue faction of Changelings that were not able to accept defeat from the Dominion War. It seems they have now infiltrated numerous parts of the Federation. Worf learned about the schism from “a close friend within the Link, a man of honor.” While Worf doesn’t name this friend, he’s referring to Odo (played by the late Rene Auberjonois), the Changeling constable on Deep Space Nine.
- Back on the Titan, Picard tells Riker to stop running and fight, despite the “instinct to be fearful of loss.” Picard is referring to the death of Riker’s son Thaddeus at a young age. Riker tells Picard he’s out of line.
- The Shrike uses the portal weapon to literally turn the Titan’s weapons on itself. The Titan is struck by its own torpedoes. The disabled ship gets pulled deeper into the nebula where it’ll be crushed by a gravity well.
“Star Trek Picard” Season 3, Episode 4 Easter Eggs
- The episode opens on Frontier Day five years prior. Picard is trying to enjoy his lunch at a pub when several Starfleet cadets gingerly approach him and ask him out the Hirogen. The Hirogen were alien hunters native to the Delta Quadrant (think Predators).
- The cadets ask Picard if he sought advice from Admiral Janeway. Janeway and the Voyager crew were the first Starfleet personnel to encounter the brutal race while stranded in the Delta Quadrant.
- With the Titan trapped in the nebula and its systems failing, Riker has a heart-to-heart with his former captain. Riker reveals he lost hope when his son Thaddeus died, and his wife Troi, as an empath, also felt his grief. Riker reveals he went on the mission to get away from Troi. He urges Picard to talk to Jack in the few hours they have left.
- Picard takes Jack to the holodeck where they enter a replica of Ten Forward – the Enterprise bar and later a brick-and-mortar bar.
- Picard offers Jack some Chateau Picard from his own winery. Jack politely turns him down and says he prefers whiskey.
- In order to trap the Changeling saboteur, Shaw tells Seven to find its “pot.” Seven assumes he is NOT referring to cannabis, demonstrating that marijuana is still around in the 25th Century.
- Shaw shows Seven an example of a Changeling “pot.” In the bottom corner of the display is a photo of Odo (Rene Auberjonois).
- Back on the Shrike, Vadic cuts off her hand, which dissolves into a Changeling face. The face instructs her to pursue “the asset,” which we assume is Jack.
- The show jumps back to Frontier Day five years ago. Picard regales the cadets with the story of the Tamarian alien he had to work with despite being unable to understand each other. The events he describes took place in the Season 5 Episode 2 of “The Next Generation” called “Darmok.”
- Another cadet references Jack R. Crusher, Beverly’s first husband. Picard later tells his son about the time he and Jack R. Crusher blindly navigated a micrometeoroid shower in a damaged shuttle together until they got home.
- Shaw interrupts Picard’s tale and reveals he was at The Battle of Wolf 359. The battle is infamous in Trek lore and is depicted in the first episode of “Deep Space Nine.” The Borg, having assimilated Picard, used his knowledge to massacre a fleet of 40 vessels. Among them was the U.S.S. Constance, on which Shaw served.
- Shaw was only a handful of survivors from Wolf 359 (11,000 people died in that single battle). He is still suffering from PTSD decades later.
- Beverly discovers the bio-electrical pulses are actually contractions and the nebula is a life form giving birth. Jack proposes the Titan ride the pulse waves out of the nebula.
- Beverly tells Riker that they’ve encountered species that thrive in space, in which Picard replies, “Farpoint!” Farpoint was the very first mission shown in the series premiere of “The Next Generation,” in which a station was actually an alien life form.
- Riker thinks the plan is too risky, but Beverly invokes Troi’s name, making him change his mind.
- Shaw and Seven work in tandem to open the warp nacelles in order to ride the wave. When La Forge appears and offers to help, Seven is able to deduce that La Forge is the Changeling after she calls her “Commander Hansen” instead of “Commander Seven.”
- With Picard and Jack’s help, the Titan frees itself from the nebula, which gives birth to space babies. Beverly quotes the Enterprise mission, “to seek out new life,” which they have done.
- It’s revealed that Jack was in the bar five years ago listening to his father’s story. Jack asks if Picard had a life outside Starfleet, to which Picard replies, “Starfleet has been the only family I have ever needed,” which crushes Jack.
- Riker reaches out to Troi and apologizes for his behavior.
- Back in his quarters, Jack experiences visions and is once again told by a female voice to “find me.”
“Star Trek: Picard” is currently streaming on Paramount+