Episode 26: Sneaking In (PIC 3×06 The Bounty)
Rob: Hello and welcome
back to Subspace Radio.
I am Rob and with me as always is Kevin.
Kevin: It's me, Kevin!
Rob: And we are here to talk
about Star Trek, to get together
with a dear, trusted friend and
talk about our feelings about it.
Kevin: There were definitely some feelings
in this week's episode of Star Trek.
Rob: So many feelings,
so many Easter eggs.
I hope Lower Decks are taking
notes about how many Easter eggs
you can drop in a single episode.
We're talking about episode six of
season three of Picard: The Bounty.
Kevin: The Bounty, and I was kicking
myself at the end going, I can't
believe I did not look twice at
that title and realize that we were
going to be revisiting Star Trek IV.
Rob: We are.
Kevin: In this week's episode
of Star Trek Picard we have the
promised infiltration of Daystrom
Station that we picked last episode.
And they well and truly
fulfilled that promise.
And while that little team, that black
ops team is infiltrating that station
Picard and the rest of the crew of
the Titan are pulled away and visit
the Fleet Museum, led up by Commodore
Geordi Laforge and his other daughter.
Rob: Played by his real daughter.
Kevin: Played by his real life daughter.
And we spend a little bit of a little
bit of fan service time flicking
through the collection of the Starfleet
Rob: Look, it's a it's a
nostalgia war on two fronts.
Cuz not only are we given the feels
at the Starfleet Museum, but we're
given these little tantalizing
hints on Daystrom Station as well.
So it's just, we are bombarded
with all these Easter
Kevin: There's nostalgia on, in
both the A story and the B story.
Both of them end up in
a very nostalgic place.
So the Titan is on the run.
They've been given a little bit of
time by the sacrifice of Ro, and they
have escaped and they're being hunted
down, pursued by Starfleet, which has
been infiltrated by the Changelings.
Kevin: And we meet up with Worf and Raffi,
they all come together and the waiting for
them to show up is another excuse to have
some deep and meaningful conversations.
And we get to learn about Picard
having passed along, apparently, his
Irumodic Syndrome to his son Jack.
And the, the effect
that's having on everyone.
Rob: And yes, we, it was making
those connections strong there, but
also making us wait for that moment
of, finally, Worf being in the same
space as some of his original crew.
And, gosh, do they lay it on
thick and fast and beautifully.
We hear the wonderful Klingon
music played as he beams on over.
Kevin: It's laying it on a little
thick, this episode, I, have to say.
On, on first viewing, every
single one of them delighted me.
On second viewing, I'm like, come on,
you can write some original music,
Rob: I I think I did count
about 87 music cues in this
It's every time the camera cut to
another character, it switched to their
Rob: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Or, Or ship or whatever it is.
They just hit it.
I particularly loved the
just that reconnection.
You know he is not a hugger.
I like this.
And he goes, I'm practicing pacifism now.
Great moment from Michael Dorn.
Michael Dorn's been given all the
zingers, this, this episode, this season.
Kevin: Sour Mead.
Rob: Sour mead line,
Kevin: quite tart, sir.
Rob: Quite tart, sir.
And then the line about
pacifism and Riker goes, really?
He goes, I just said that.
Just a look of, I said it.
Rob: and later on there is
the, is there a reset button?
Kevin: Yeah, they, they are
writing Worf exactly right.
And it's working every time.
Rob: It's a great joy to, and this
is what we've been hanging out for,
this is what we've been waiting for.
And done on a, on good terms to see,
see these characters back and connect
Kevin: Beverly Crusher seems to be
the hug committee, this episode.
She, her job on the ship is to
hug people as they arrive in the
Rob: she's outta Starfleet now,
so she's been given the right to
actually, share emotions and hug.
Kevin: I noticed like Geordi comes on
and he makes that very tongue in cheek
speech where he is like, I was trying
to decide whether to be super formal
or to give everyone an overdue hug.
And he goes for the hug,
but only Bev gets the hug.
Everyone else gets an implied
Rob: Tell you what, though.
Oh, LeVar Burton.
Is there anyone more in
line for a sainthood?
Kevin: They're letting him
use his eyes fully this time.
Rob: They are very blue,
obviously, but oh God, he's good.
Oh my heavens.
Oh, LeVar Burton, please
just stop being incredible.
No, never stop being incredible.
Kevin: Uh, I feel like on the
one hand I agree with you,
but this left me wanting more.
I thought Geordi's storyline and, his
concern for his family, trying to talk
his daughter out of putting herself in
harm's way and being upset at Picard
for putting his family in peril.
Like all of that stuff just barely
landed for lack of time for me.
Like it moved so quickly.
Geordi's arc felt underserved.
I feel like maybe they felt they, they
shot about twice as much material and
cut it back to the bear essentials here,
which on the one hand is a shame, but
I guess I'd rather be left wanting more
than feeling like we were wallowing.
And it's also a case of this is, this was
always gonna be the trouble when you're
bringing back like nine cast members.
And no matter how many hours of television
you're streaming time you have, it's gonna
be tricky to find that balance of everyone
getting enough time and or cramming
in too much in a short amount of time.
And especially cuz we took quite a while.
We started with just Picard and Riker
and seven, and there was that episode
two, which was just laying groundwork
and kind of treading water a bit.
So now we're at the sticky end.
We are where we're
looking at things going.
We've only got three eps to go.
Kevin: I counted Troi got all
of two words in this episode.
So of, of all of our cast, I feel
like they have all now been given
a chance to shine except for Troi.
So she is going to have to play a
pretty pivotal role in the last couple
of episodes of this season in order
to to feel like she got her due.
Let's go straight to I
think the, oh God, yeah.
I think the first one was the little
hints of Easter eggs on Daystrom Station.
So we got the Genesis device.
We got Kirk is there for
Kevin: Kirk's body.
We got the genetically modified Tribble.
That looks very
Kevin: is almost an
Animated Series reference.
Rob: and a little bit horrifying.
As in completely horrifying.
And we've got a, I've watched the episode
twice and the linguistic grammatical like
vocabulary gymnastics that everybody is
going through to explain the fact that
they have got an aged up Brent Spiner
playing Data, I'm there going, oh my gosh,
they are doing so many loop de loops to
I feel like it's all gonna be
worth it because like they would
not be going to all this trouble
unless there was a big payoff.
And my understanding here is the big
payoff is they put Brent Spiner back in
a position of playing a character like
Data in a way where his uh, just like
the rest of the cast, his present real
world age is explained in the story.
And we can get back to
enjoying having Data on.
Adventures with us.
That presupposes that this crew, these
characters are gonna continue on past this
story, but I feel like they are making
a investment in that possible future
here by doing this very heavy lifting
from a plot perspective to justify, oh,
Altan Soong, good scientist, is dead.
By the way, died off screen.
And one of his dying thoughts was, it
would've been selfish of me to put myself
in my, in the cybernetic body I built.
That would be bad
science and bad humanity.
That the line he says is evolution
is not preservation or conservation.
It is addition.
And so adding all of these, different
family members Soong into one body that
that can carry the line forward, that is
a much more noble pursuit, a much more
scientific achievement than selfishly
prolonging his own life would've been.
And I'm thinking, gosh, that
is unbelievably unselfish.
Gosh, I would not blame Altan for grabbing
that that last body and running with it.
Rob: Look, yeah.
It's a lot of heavy, a
lot of heavy lifting.
I, and we've been talking about the
heavy lifting of justification of
just a British accent this season.
So to justify the fact that,
yeah, Brent Spiner is old.
We can't do this without him, and also
we need to keep him interested, so let's
give him split personalities because Brent
Spiner's the quality of actor who couldn't
just wanna play the one character.
He goes, oh, you've gotta give
something challenging to do.
Kevin: But it's like I always say, Rob,
if the story is worth it if what we
get from the characters is worth it,
I will suspend disbelief all day long.
And getting to see Brent Spiner in
a moment shift from Data to Lore to
B-4 to Soong, and each one of them
landed, like each one of them, I went
you are instantly in that character.
You didn't even have to
tell me who that was.
It was instantly recognizable.
I, I was like, okay, cool.
Rob: He's just, sitting on a couch.
He's just sitting there,
just whipping in and out.
Doing it on multiple
takes, on different angles.
Oh, there's no denying the
masterclass of a performance it is.
I'm just, that air of cynicalism
is with me no matter where I go.
But to have that joy of seeing Picard, but
especially LeVar Burton, acting his socks
off when he sees, and even Riker as well.
Frakes did a great job as well when they
see their old friend in this new form.
And just the smile on LeVar
Burton's face of going Data
Kevin: And Picard as well.
I'm glad they are
acknowledging it out loud.
The very first thing is we've
seen this guy die twice, now.
And A, that's weird.
We should say that out loud.
But also what does that
do to us emotionally?
Do we wanna go through this again?
Is it worth it?
And it's not exactly the
person that they know.
It's, it's a mixture of other presence.
And so that's an emotional
state for them as well.
Kevin: Once we got into that room
with Brent Spinner and we had the
reveal, it was good from then on.
The stuff leading up
to it, I had questions.
The idea that Data has been plugged
into the matrix to be the security
system of Daystrom Station,
questionable, even as a premise.
I'm pretty sure by the way in that
scene when they first beam in and Worf
is casually like swapping the chips
while the rest of the team is like
writhing in pain on the ground, which
was enjoyable to watch, just cool Worf.
But when he plugs in the chip and the
system resets, it's a woman's voice
that the the computer's speaking with.
But when it glitches, one of
the glitches I'm pretty sure is
Brent Spinner saying Thank you.
And so it's just a hint.
But then we get the crow, which
for fans, for like big TNG fans, it
was like, ooh, is that Data's crow?
There's no other prominent crow
in all of Star Trek history.
So I was immediately thinking
Data, but I don't know why
Riker would be thinking Data.
Like we got to watch all of
Data's dreams, but the rest of
the crew of the Enterprise didn't.
So unless Riker watches a lot of
Star Trek: The Next Generation, which
we know he does watch a bit of Star
Trek Enterprise on the holodeck, so
who knows maybe he's been reviewing
his own historical tapes as well.
But it did seem like just they, they were
breaking the fourth wall a little bit
there with Riker, recognizing the crow.
And then we have Moriarty.
And at this point I kind of went,
look, I am enjoying this because
it's silly, but it is very silly.
When they were setting up the station,
they said that this security system
was quote, breathtakingly lethal.
Kevin: And what we saw of breathtakingly
lethal was a holographic crow, a
Moriarty with a old fashioned pistol.
Rob: Fires live bullets.
Kevin: Missing every shot.
And not a whole lot else.
There was nothing very
breathtaking about the lethality
of the security system for me.
If anything, it was, it was
Rob: Fair enough too.
Yeah, it was very much just
a spannering nostalgia hits.
Kevin: And so much of this felt
like it was there to confuse
the fans in the trailers.
Like we saw in the trailers that
Moriarty would be a part of the season.
We saw in the trailers that Lore
would be a part of the season.
And those things had been set up as
having a presence in the season and
their presence in a trailer, I think,
oversold them so that we were expecting
coming into this season that somehow
Lore and Moriarty, and who knows who
else got together and formed a band of
villains and were coming against our crew.
That's like what we were expecting.
And Moriarty, it turns out, was just a
Rob: Just a cameo, beautiful little cameo.
And a great work from Mr.
Great to have you back.
Anytime to see him on screen is a joy.
Kevin: And Lore, Lore seems likely
to play a bigger part in the rest
of this season to me, because
he does survive this episode.
But I feel like Moriarty's appearance
in the trailer was almost more powerful
than his presence in this episode.
Rob: very much.
Kevin: And when you're putting
things in your episodes in order
to create a good trailer, I feel
like you're a little off track.
Rob: Okay, so we then flip
back to the Fleet Museum,
Kevin: I just gotta say, sorry.
Before we flip back to the
Fleet Museum, one more thing.
That flashback to Encounter at Farpoint,
when Riker is recognizing the notes and
then they give us just enough of the tune
to think is that Pop goes the Weasel?
Where have I heard Pop
Goes The Weasel before?
And they cut to Young Riker
stumbling on the Rock.
Ah, my heart exploded.
My TNG loving heart exploded.
Encounter at Farpoint, not
the best episode of Star Trek.
It's pretty clunky as a two hour
bloated introduction to this crew.
But that moment in the Holodeck where
Riker meets Pinocchio, is is pure.
It is pure.
I will leave it at that.
It is a pure moment and that
they like without warning,
threw us back into that moment.
Every fan of TNG instantly recognized it.
That, that was good.
That was probably the high point of the
Rob: Oh, and the cut to, very young
Brent Spinner just looking and
admiring the whistle of from over 30
years ago and just saying, Marvelous.
Kevin: My partner was very annoyed that
Riker completing the melody with his
whistle was out of tune that, that they
had so, so leaned on the fact that he had
perfect pitch in recognizing all of the
notes that he could not whistle in tune
with what had been established was, that
was a bit a heart of a heartbreaker, but,
Rob: And that's a part of
drama, Kevin, isn't it?
The heartbreak that, you know, you
know, and you recognize all of it,
but when you have to do it yourself,
you're just offkey just by a little.
Kevin: So the other big dose of
nostalgia was the Fleet Museum.
And while Picard and Geordi were
sitting together at the conference
table swapping fatherly advice, we had
Jack and Seven on the bridge of the
Titan casually flicking through the
historical archives and spotting ships.
What did you think of that,
Rob: Oh, of course.
First one up we hear music sting.
So of course we hear music sting
again of that sweet Deep Space
Nine Tune as the Defiant's there.
The New Joisey.
I just I don't, I, I can't say New
Jersey, I have to say New Joisey.
I'm not, so that must be a classic series.
Kevin: That is pure Terry Matalas.
Terry Matalas grew up in New
Jersey and the registry number
of that ship is his birth year.
So that is not a reference
Rob: that's not a reference to anything.
That's just for
Kevin: That is just a
reference to Terry Matalas!
You know, they do that in Star Trek
a lot where they'll give you like two
familiar references and then a weird
one from Planet Zenar VII, you know,
that was the New Jersey this episode.
They had to throw one in that we
didn't recognize in order to make the
university seem a little bit bigger,
because otherwise this Fleet Museum is
really just a collection of the ships we
have seen in the audience, and it makes
the universe feel quite a bit smaller.
Rob: I mean, but you know, the characters
that we have been associated with are
always there in those big key moments.
That's what Lower Decks is for,
to be there going the California
class or doing the, the odd,
the shit kicker jobs as it were.
Kevin: I did want them to at least
try to justify the New Jersey.
Oh, the New Jersey that fought that battle
or that was there on that fateful day.
They just said, oh, it's the New Jersey.
Rob: That's really good ship.
Uh, it was great to, finding out
Jack has a love for the for, for the
retro design, the classic streamline
I'm not sure I bought it, but
I guess someone had to be.
Like, I am glad that they justified
giving us a long, slow look at
that Enterprise A from the movies,
because that is my favorite ship.
I too am a Constitution class
man, at the end of the day.
And I'm not sure I buy Jack being.
In fact Seven, Seven is surprised
that someone who didn't grow up in
Starfleet would know all of these ships.
So at least they talked about
it, but I, I guess the, The
ends justify the means here for
Rob: It is an odd choice of, so
it did seem a bit like, okay,
we've got this list of cast.
Who will fit in here with Seven?
Kevin: It could have been almost
Like, I'm there going, would
it been better to be Sidney?
Because, Sidney does have a relationship
with Seven and she's a pilot.
And there hasn't been, oh, there's
been a little bit of moments of trying
to build up some sort of connection
between Jack and Seven, but not so much.
Um, and we get to see
a ship from my movie.
We get to see the Bird of Prey,
as Worf describes later, with
superior Klingon technology.
Kevin: In the ring just behind
it, another Klingon ship.
And I believe if my research is
right, that is meant to be the
ship on which Chancellor Gorkon is
assassinated at the start of Star Trek
Rob: Well, There you go.
Kevin: I'm not sure how Starfleet managed
to hold onto all of these alien ships.
There's a Romulan bird of uh,
in, in one of the rings as well.
And I'm like, wow.
Not only are they like possessing
these these foreign assets, but
they're letting it all hang out
there by putting them on display.
It's like the British Museum
where they are showcasing
artworks from their conquests.
Rob: Up there going oh God, are
you gonna really make a colonial?
Yes, it is a col It's more of a colonial.
Kevin: A little bit.
And the moment that made me swell
up when they kick into Voyager.
And then you hear Jerry Goldsmith's
incredible score, just sting a little.
Kevin: Star Trek IV really got
me that the soundtrack of the
whale movie is so distinct.
It is pure Star Trek, but the
melody is completely unfamiliar, so
Kevin: like, oh my God.
Instantly back in that film.
It was so
And Voyager did it too for sure.
What I like, we've seen glimpses this
season of Seven being a ship nerd.
She's been like working on models in
her quarters, and it's never commented
on, but each time I've thought that
is a strange hobby for Seven of Nine.
And she's got gold ships on her shelf
and I'm like, I've got some ships on
my shelf too, but I did not think you
were that kind of fan, Seven of Nine.
But the fact that she of all the people
is now sitting on the bridge, like
flicking through the fleet library it
like a nice little character detail.
Rob: in um, in incredible
writing an incredible performance
from Jeri Ryan as, as well.
If, If you haven't already picked up
from the months and months of podcasting
we've been doing, I'm a bit of a fan.
Beautiful lines like, Voyager,
she earned her name further
out than any other ship has.
You go, oh my God.
And he goes, this is where I was reborn.
And you go, oh my God!
Kevin: So much in so little lines.
Rob: Beautiful poetic words
in such a conversational way.
Kevin: I love how non-cynical
Seven is becoming.
They're letting her, they're letting
her feel, they're letting her
acknowledge the feelings she's having.
She does not question it when Jack
says, oh, we're all just looking
for a family or a place to belong.
She goes, yep, that's it.
Rob: And that line of this was my family.
And you just go, that's ama because
especially, Seven's connection with
The Doctor and Janeway, those type of
and Naomi Wildman were, were family
connections, familial connections, which
she was, she lost because of her real
family being killed and assimilated.
And then her assimilated family.
So she's had this family
connection with her the whole time.
And it was very powerful.
Kevin: The Bounty gives us the
cloaking device, which I noted two
non-engineers managed to integrate
with the ship systems remarkably
well, remarkably quickly, off screen,
Rob: well enough, though.
So that's a good, yeah.
Enough to get it started.
Kevin: The effect when it first activates
and we see the cloaking effect from
inside the bridge, like Seven runs over
to the workstation and the entire panel
behind her kind of cloaks and uncloaks.
I thought that was amazing.
Rob: well done.
And yes, there was a little bit of
that play of, I'm not putting my
family at risk, this is my family.
This, that, that whole talk about family
was a massive part of this episode.
And then, the kids have stuffed up again.
So therefore, the old men
have to come and sort it out.
And LaForge giving the, yeah, Geordi
giving the whole old man vibe.
Looking at Jack going, Hey,
stay away from my daughter.
What are you doing, slick?
And Sidney giving the whole,
Daad, what are you doing here?
Kevin: I have to say I was disappointed
because as soon as I recognized that
the episode was titled after the Bounty,
and famously that Klingon ship was
commandeered by a Star Trek crew in Star
Trek IV, I thought they're doing it again.
We have established that current Starfleet
ships are all connected to each other,
they're all trackable, so the Titan
cannot do what we need it to do here
Rob: on the bounty.
Kevin: Get on the Bounty!
Go on that bridge.
I think the only reason they
didn't do that is pro probably
they ran out of set money and they
could not rebuild that Klingon
Rob: I was just about to say, it's
a shame that the original interior
of the Klingon Bird of Prey was
actually an early 21st century bar.
Oh, look at this interior.
It's the same frigging bar we've been
Kevin: Yeah, that's right.
Hang a few knives on the
Rob: a few batleths on there.
A spinny chair, it'll be great.
Kevin: It would've almost been worth it.
Just the thought of them and everything
else that happens in that episode would've
worked perfectly with them flying into
Daystrom station, surfing over the
surface of it, and beaming out the crew,
the the team just in the nick of time
from that aging Klingon, Bird of Prey.
It would've been great.
I'm so sad they didn't go there.
Rob: The reality of the real world
coming in onto limiting you as a show.
There's only so few, so many
sets they've been using.
Kevin: They do go back to that bar again.
There is once again, a, a need for a
stick stiff drink, half an excuse for
a stiff drink, and they're back on that
Rob: You can drink anywhere.
You do not need to just go to that
specific holodeck to drink alcohol
I'm really mad at my dad, so
I'm gonna go drink in his bar.
Rob: So yes.
Will has made, is it the
ultimate and supreme sacrifice?
He sacrificed himself so
the others could get away.
And now he's been taken by Vadic.
Rob: Who had a typical, had a very
cliched villain moment where um,
she ordered the death of one of
her crew who was insubordinate.
Kevin: Yeah, it was good
to see a bit more of her.
I am still enjoying her performance, but
I think the writing has gotten a bit thin.
Rob: She was very generic this week.
I'm hoping we get a
bit more time with her.
If we have more time with the character,
then we can get outta that cliched
Kevin: It was just very content poor.
Like the, all the stuff she was
saying was just, I'm a villain.
I'm a villain, I'm a villain.
And it did not advance the plot.
It didn't enrich the situation or, raise
the stakes really in any way other than
let's just reestablish how evil I am.
I will order the, shooting
of my own crew member.
I also noticed at the end when she appears
in front of Riker, and then kills the
two Starfleet officers, that tells me
that they were real Starfleet officers.
So she was posing as one member
of a three person security crew.
And then when she reveals
herself, she kills the other two.
The other two, they, when she
shoots them, they dissipate in that
same sort of drifting red dust.
That now I'm a little confused, cuz
I think we established at the start
of the season that the dust that is
left over from shooting people is
a sign that they were Changelings.
Like that is when Riker and Picard
come on board, Crusher's ship at
the start of the season, they go,
oh, have you ever seen dust left
over from a phaser shot like this?
And they'll say, Nope,
never seen that before.
It seemed to me the only explanation was
that is a sign that they are Changelings.
But now they're using that same
visual effect for people who are not
Changelings, so I'm a little confused.
Does everyone have dust now?
Or is the dust just, is that red
trailing effect just standard phaser
now and the dust is a separate
It is definitely a a glitch within
the continuity of stuff that there
hasn't really clarified that cuz
it has become that case of, its the
default effect for anybody but being
wiped out by yeah, a lethal phaser.
Kevin: Well, It's just like a set, right?
They gotta reuse the CG effects
Rob: They've gotta use this.
And there we go.
Reality seeping into our
fantasy sci-fi world, dammit.
They need the big Star
Wars bucks, apparently.
We had Riker dropped the S bomb.
He dropped a bit of a
"shit" while being beaten up
He did say, he said, How much of
that goo shit did they pour into you?
And I am not sure what he meant by that.
Rob: I have no idea either.
Kevin: It seems to imply.
I feel like maybe they may have
shuffled the story around a bit
here and that Riker's line there
is left over from a time where we
knew more about Vadic's crew by now.
At this stage, there's
all still behind masks.
Vadic said something to one
of her bridge crew as well of
that they were half something.
I didn't really catch it, but I
get the sense that they're, at
one point they had revealed more
about her crew now than they have.
And I hope they eventually fill
us in because it would be weird.
It's weird enough that Riker
is commenting on this person's
biology and we don't understand
what he knows or how he knows it.
I hope we at least know it by the end of
this season cuz those baddies have been
wearing those masks for a long time now.
I, I better be hiding something good.
Rob: Are they mandalorians?
They can't take their mask off.
This is the way.
But yes, and of course it all
led up to the tragic, horrifying
reveal that they've got Troi, or
Kevin: or something that looks
Rob: something that looks like Troi.
You can't tell with the Changelings.
Kevin: I think it's gotta be Troi
because they just they went out
of their way to, to show Riker.
By the way, we're Changelings,
in case you forgot, there's a
lot of Changeling going on here.
These Changelings are
gonna get you to talk.
Uh, And the reason is we've got Troi.
Rob: And yeah.
And Vadk took a lot of time earlier
on to say, we need to find every,
oh, and what can I just say?
Amanda Plummer's pronunciations
of Jean-Luc Picard?
Kevin: Oh yeah.
She's insisting on
Rob: The Picard doesn't, not the hard D.
To focus on her saying, okay,
we'll find out every single person
that they could, he could turn to.
We'll find them and seek them out.
So yeah, that so much laying of the
groundwork, it's gotta be the real Troi.
Plus, we've only got three episodes to
Kevin: Yeah, exactly.
She's gotta, we gotta get her into it.
So I'm glad she's there, even though
all she had to say was, Oh, Will.
Rob: But re-watching it the second
time, there was a lot in there.
You know, it hit the nostalgia things for
me, but the, Worf finally arriving on the
bridge, finally Geordi getting back there.
I, there was a lot of stuff in
there for me to really like, oh
our God, we forgot to mention.
Finally we get to see Shaw show some
respect for someone in a higher place.
And of course, it's another engineer.
Kevin: Yeah, for sure.
He also, he gives like a nod of
respect to the use of the word burgle.
Kevin: Excellent use of
the word burgle, sir.
I thought, I thought that is weird.
Like, I don't know.
Yeah, it is weird.
It was very, it was a very strange tone
Kevin: But, but Shaw was okay with it.
I like the word burgle.
I'm going, alright.
Let's let, is there some
sort of deep connection here?
If you can find that out,
Kevin, I'll be really
I did not catch it.
Um, Seven and Raffi's reunion also
uh, like there were a couple of
moments and this, and it was very,
It was there,
Kevin: They weren't gonna
tell us what was going on.
I think it's just gonna be left unsaid.
And somehow at the end of this season,
they're gonna be, yay, everything's fine.
Let's get back together.
And we're gonna be expected to
feel good about it even though we
don't, we still don't understand
what's going on with those two.
Rob: Uh, they haven't earned anything.
It's, no, it's a nothing relationship.
Seven can do so much better.
Kevin: Even, even Jack understands her
But yeah, I just, I love Shaw being
very it's actually an honor and they're
all looking at going, what the hell?
And how j.
Kevin: a weird day.
Rob: I'm there going, this is so cool.
So the big thing that that
we pulled out of this episode
was this infiltration mission.
This, going behind enemy lines or like
going into Daystrom Station and the ship
they depend on has to leave and they're
on their own, sneaking into someplace.
And I thought let's revisit a couple of
examples of that happening in the past.
It happens surprisingly
infrequently, I think.
I've pushed the boundaries of what the
definition of this means just to fit
within my type of justification of it.
Kevin: I was thinking back
and these missions are a
little bit Mission Impossible.
And it is it is interesting to
me that Mission Impossible was
the other successful Paramount
franchise that came out of the 1960s.
In fact when Star Trek was canceled,
Leonard Nimoy went and became a regular
cast member on Mission Impossible.
Rob: believe he was, he became
the, like the master of disguise.
He was the one who was always the
lead guy who could put the mask on
and change into a different person.
Kevin: That's right.
He was like the Ethan Hunt
for a while, effectively.
And it was, I don't know if it's
because Star Trek would become too
Mission Impossible if we did too many
of these kind of like spy missions.
Maybe they don't want Star Trek to be
about spycraft, but knowing there's
a, a potential Section 31 TV series
coming down the lines, I do wonder what
would a spycraft Star Trek series be?
Because most of the time when
they do this stuff it's an episode
that gets my attention anyway.
for me, I'm always, I've got a love
hate relationship when it comes to
Section 31 and I'm there going, they
give it way too much importance.
So they're going, oh,
they know everything.
They're connected everywhere.
They know all that type of stuff.
Kevin: It's that tension of if Starfleet
is meant to be a force for good and
they keep endowing it as having this
shadowy subsection that everyone knows
about, and does evil things, then
how good can Starfleet be anyway?
Like there is an inherent conflict in
that, in that setup that the closer
you get to it, the less believable it
Rob: And this is where we get into the a
little bit of the fractionizing of that
whole perception of the utopian world of
where we are at the moment in society.
There is a hopeful future where we
will go beyond these petty things
of discrimination and violence and
poverty and disease and find this
pure world of, what we uh, deserve
to work towards and strive for that.
Kevin: It's almost as if that Vulcan
gangster was right, that utopia cannot
exist without a bit of organized crime.
Rob: Yes, when they start to
bring in that fact of the balance
of this and what sacrifices
have to be made underneath, it's
Kevin: it much less powerful
and inspiring as a vision of
Rob: There is that.
And that's a whole it's happening
within the world of yeah.
I'll jump across to another
franchise in Star Wars at the moment.
They're focusing in the Mandalorian
on the New Republic five years
after Return of the Jedi.
And so how the New Republic is just
caught up in the same bureaucracy
and diplomatic machinations that
making it not too dissimilar to
the Empire they just overthrew.
And that's a powerful comment, as they do
in Star Trek, on modern society and how
we, from one warfare to the next victory,
history is written by the victors, but
is there any real sense of good or bad?
Or is it all gray?
And that's fascinating sci-fi stuff.
But when you come to the world of
Star Trek and Star Wars, which is
that very clear black and white of
what is good and what is bad, how
much gray is welcome within this black
and white world that doesn't dilute
it away from what it originally was.
Kevin: Yeah, I think the promise
of Star Trek though is that
you don't need to balance.
That, like good can be self sustaining.
That if you look after everyone then
we can all end up on the same side.
Rob: It's very beautifully said, Kevin.
Kevin: But anyway, infiltration missions,
I did find a couple, and I'm happy for
you to bend the rules however you want.
Uh, at the end of the day, we're
here to have fun talking about
some old episodes of Star Trek.
Rob: I was afraid that halfway
through I'd get a Excuse me, Rob,
that's not actually what we set
Kevin: Not at all.
That would be not Yes And of me.
That would be very Section 31 of
Rob: Hence I love doing
podcast with an improviser.
Kevin: I'll go first.
The first one I picked out was from the
Next Generation, and it is season six,
episode 10, Chain Of Command, Part I.
Kevin: Chain Of Command, Part II
is the one that gets all the glory.
That is Picard captured by the
Cardassians, being interrogated.
There are four lights.
We get to hear the Cardassian talk about
how Cardassian culture has evolved from
artists to military industrial complex.
Chain Of Command, Part II is definitely
the high point, but Chain Of Command,
Part I is the infiltration mission
that leads up to Picard's capture.
Rob: And that's full black ops.
Kevin: Yeah, it's full black ops.
They are literally dressed
in black, head to toe.
It is Worf, Crusher and Picard.
They go on a mission together and
they are all wearing basically
scuba diving suits with backpacks.
And they spend much of this
episode training on the holodeck,
in preparation for the mission.
They're in caverns.
They're trying to beat their best time.
They're complaining about sore muscles.
Crusher is in Ten Forward
at one point saying, Sore
doesn't even start to cover it.
And Troi looks worried, and
Crusher says, I know, I wish I
could talk about it, but I can't.
So they're like sworn to secrecy about the
mission, even in their training process.
And then they head off on the shuttle.
They make a stop to find
out where they're going.
They sweet talk a Ferengi into giving
them the information they need before
they head to Celtris III the supposed
Cardassian weapons research lab.
It was interesting to me that they
don't get their briefing from Picard
until they are on board the shuttle.
So it's secrecy around the
mission is enjoyable to watch.
They spend all this time training
their butts off for a mission they
don't even know what it is yet.
And then once they're on the shuttle,
Picard goes, okay, you're probably
wondering where we're going, what
we're doing, and why you were chosen.
And they're like, Crusher, you're
here because there's a chance there's
biological weapons at play and we
need you to identify and disarm
any things that we come across.
I'm in this, Picard because the
subspace carrier waves they're
using is something that I was an
expert in earlier in my career.
And Worf, your presence on
this mission is obvious.
They actually say that, but
yeah it's very, procedural.
Like there is.
The scenes, once they're on the mission,
it's like there is the, scanning for
where to go scene, and then there's
the rapeling down a rock wall scene.
There's the phasering a hole
in a blocked cavern scene.
And there's the climbing
through a lava tube scene.
All of it is just very kind of like
professionals doing a professional job.
They've got each other's backs, but
there's not a whole lot of character
revealed through those scenes.
Rob: It's very much I was watching
it when we did the previous one
with a celebration of David Warner.
I was struck at how unlike any
other Star Trek: Next Generation
episode, it was before.
Where it's normally it's that episode
of this new anomaly or this new species,
something comes along and it has to
be solved or a character development
of cultures and stuff like that.
Kevin: A moral dilemma to overcome.
But in this it's very much like we
gotta get to there and shoot the thing
and get out and there's no talking
Rob: It feels very Dirty Dozen.
It feels very Rogue One.
It feels very much a case of that
World War II type of, Where Eagles
Dare or Guns of Navarone going.
All right, chaps, we've
got this thing to do.
We need to walk it out.
We can't tell you the information
until, cause Jerry might find out.
So we'll just pip pip, get your
training done and keep it to
yourself until we go on the mission.
Kevin: I think that's what part of
what I like about these episodes is
that they are a big change of pace.
They're a deviation from the format in a
way that so often in Star Trek, there's
a sense that no matter how bad things
get, there's a great big ship around you
and unless the shield percentage gets
to zero, you're not actually in trouble.
Whereas when these things, when you're
out on your own and there's a point where
a lava tube collapses on top of Beverly
Crusher and the rocks pour down on her
and you think, wow, she's getting hurt.
Kevin: So Yeah, Chain Of Command.
Don't skip the first part, I guess.
The other big thing that's going on
in this is like Riker dealing with
a new captain in Captain Jellico.
And it's really good.
Just the, it is again a professional
procedural, that nothing that that
Captain Jellico is ordering is actually
unreasonable, but Geordi and Riker
both arc up and go, this is arbitrary
change, and the guy's like on a
power trip, and we don't wanna adapt.
And no one is right, except
maybe Jellico's right?
Cuz ultimately he's the boss.
He gets Troi to wear a regulation
uniform and she looks way better
in that regulation uniform.
I don't know why she doesn't
wear that all the time.
Rob: I miss the tunics of Farpoint.
It's really good.
The, yeah, the sense of we're gonna
see a workplace drama here in this
first episode of Chain Of Command.
I I really recommend it.
Rob: Oh it's great.
I'm so glad to have watched it for the
first time with our previous episodes to
go back to celebrate David Warner and to
find that first part and going Warner's
nowhere in sight but it's, yeah it's
such a step away from what the usual
Next Gen episodes that I had seen before.
Kevin: What's your first one?
Rob: I'm stretching it a little.
But I am going to, to my
default, Deep Space Nine.
We're going season five,
episode 15, By Inferno's Light.
Now this is right in the heart of
the early days of the Dominion War.
It's been going for about a year or so.
And I wanted to focus on what you're
talking about, like when you are cut off.
How do our characters survive
when they don't have that security
blanket of a ship, or especially Deep
Space Nine an entire space station.
And so this is at the
heart of Dominion War.
We've got the Cardassians are
building up their strength, the
Dominion are making their way in.
There's an uneasy alliance at the
moment between the Klingons and
the Federation, and we have some
of our heroes cut off, and they
are in a Dominion internment camp.
So you've got Martok.
Oh, we love Martok.
We've got Worf.
We've got Bashir and we've got Garak.
We love Garak.
And Changeling Bashir is
back on Deep Space Nine.
So there's A plot and a B plot.
The A plot is focused on our heroes in
the internment camp trying to survive.
And their mission is to shut off the
shields, get through to a specific areas
so they could be transported back up
onto their Runabout, which is still up
circling the internment camp planet that
Kevin: I really love this episode
for that reason, just how different
that time in the internment camp is.
It's an unusual configuration of
characters in an unusual situation,
and we spend a lot of time
Rob: It's, it really where
Deep Space Nine really shines
at just how bleak things are.
Like the Cardassians are winning
and we see how brutal it is there.
Like Worf is forced to fight every
single day up against Jem'Hadar.
It's just for the pleasure of his captors.
We've got Changeling Bashir mixing
things up and trying to deceive things.
This horrible plan of trying to create
a supernova to not only wipe out all
of Bajor and Deep Space Nine, but also
take down as much of the Federation's
fleet as possible, cause it's uh, you
know, summoning them to this location
where there's gonna be a big battle,
and that battle's never gonna happen.
They're gonna be wiped out.
It's all this darkness.
And plus on top all that, you've
gone from a supernova darkness to the
deceit of someone in our ranks not
being who they are, to the brutality
of an internment camp, and then the
darkness of someone having to overcome
their own fear and they have to battle
it so as to get out and survive.
And it's an incredible performance.
Garak is in, in one of the
greatest performances of
Garak ever in that episode.
It's just insane of how everything
works together and how brutal they are.
So many deaths, like the Jem'Hadar killing
prisoners and going, I'll kill another one
unless you tell me what this is used for.
Then a Breen comes in and kills, come to
the Jem'Hadar, then the Breen's killed.
And, all, crew members and prisoners
are killed, left right, and center,
and Jem'Hadar doesn't kill Worf,
and so he's gonna be killed as well.
But just as they're teleported away,
Worf survives, but the Jem'Hadar
who saved his life, he gets killed.
Rob: Then right at the end, Sisko
and Gul Dukat have a debate.
And at this point, Gul Dukat's
daughter is on Deep Space Nine.
And Sisko says, your daughter
would've been killed as well.
And he goes, she's not
my daughter anymore.
She made a choice.
And you go,
Rob: my gosh.
Kevin: There are a lot of, like
in this war arc, there are a lot
of kind of hitting the low point.
But for me, every time I think of how
bad things got during the Dominion
War, I think of our characters
stuck in that prison, cuz that's
when it felt most hopeless to me.
And it's true that, that Martok
builds up his respect again for Worf
and how he put himself on the line.
And there's that new align, cuz
there's issues with Gowron on the
outside and Martok comes and goes
Nup, I'm completely a hundred percent.
I've seen what Worf has done.
He has got nothing but honor.
And the fight that Garak had to do
for his soul, for his mind to keep on
doing this and how successful he was to
push himself beyond reason and sanity.
It's that whole thing of when
you lose, like we talked about,
all that security blanket.
The security blanket is gone.
Everywhere that we thought was safe
isn't, and the people we thought we
could trust, and there's a flippant
line at the end when Miles doesn't
realize that Bashir was a Changeling.
He goes, oh, I should have realized
he doesn't annoy me as much as you do.
Um, Oh, O'Brien.
So yes, that's what I focus on.
Cause the mission is there
to get out of the camp.
It's not an, it's not a
premeditated infiltration, but
they definitely behind enemy
Rob: And each have their role, each
have their role to help each other out,
and how they get through this desperate
situation of when the safety blanket
of the Federation or your ship is
gone and all you've got is each other.
Kevin: I think the fact that the Dominion
War is such a big deviation from form
in Star Trek history means that a lot
of these behind enemy lines missions
will naturally occur during wartime.
And my next pick is also
a Dominion War story.
This is Deep Space Nine, season
six, episode 16, Change of Heart.
Kevin: This is during that lovely period
that you love so much, Rob, after Worf
and Jadzia are married and we get to
see stories about a happily married
couple in the Star Trek universe.
And in this one, Worf and Dax are
assigned because everyone else is off
on mission, they're the last two people
left available, they're sent off on
a Runabout to go behind enemy lines
and meet with a Cardassian spy who is
working as an informant for Starfleet.
His Vorta suspects him and he wants to
be extracted from where he's working.
He has a bunch of intelligence about the
presence of the Founders in the Alpha
and Beta quadrants to share in return
and its Worf and Jadzia's job to land on
a planet, hike through a jungle and pick
this guy up, but it does not go to plan.
Jadzia gets shot by a Jem'Hadar
early in the mission and is bleeding
profusely and Worf ultimately is faced
with the tough choice of, do I save
my wife, or do I complete the mission.
And the title gives it
away Change of Heart.
This is where Worf, for the first time,
puts his loved ones ahead of the mission.
He tries to complete the mission
and leave Jadzia behind, and he
can't bring himself to do it.
He turns back and carries her to safety.
Um, Terry Ferrell's work in
this episode is extraordinary.
It, on paper, it sounds a bit cliché and
a bit soap opera, but the pain on her face
and the way she tries to make it okay for
Worf to leave her behind is heartbreaking.
I've seen this episode many times now
and I watched it again today and it
still brought me to tears, even though
I knew every beat that was coming.
When she wakes up in sickbay at
the end of it and is heartbroken.
She wants to apologize to
Worf for what she made him do.
She feels like she should have been
stronger, she should have walked further.
And he says, no, nothing to apologize for.
You're my wife.
You come first.
There's also a great scene between Worf
and Sisko where Sisko says, it's my job
to tell you you made the wrong call and
a reprimand is going on your record,
and you'll probably never have a command
of your own because of this, Worf.
But as a husband who lost a
wife, I'm glad you didn't leave
her behind in that jungle.
I love it.
Rob: a great one.
Kevin: It is a perfect blend of that
sort of behind enemy lines procedural,
characters like operating without a net
in real peril in a way that feels unusual.
But it is character building.
It is heartfelt.
It brings you to tears in
the darkest moments of that.
This, for me is the best infiltration
mission behind enemy lines
story we've had in Star Trek.
Rob: Well said.
It's a beautiful episode.
And yeah, what Farrell and Dorn had with
their chemistry is just incredible stuff.
And yeah, there's just, done on just
a sound stage with, rehashed sets
and outdoor facades that they have
Kevin: same patch of jungle
from a different angle.
Rob: Again and again and again and again.
And that's just where, the craft of
acting comes in and how you can make any
space believable if you're good enough.
Kevin: I feel bad for missing it when
we were revisiting Worf's greatest
moments, cuz this is a real good
Rob: Oh it's a good thing.
We've been able to bring it here now.
It's a great episode.
Kevin: You got a number two,
Rob: I do, I this is a different type
of infiltration in a different way.
After we talked about Tacking Into The
Wind a couple of weeks ago, we're going
onto the very next episode of that, season
seven uh, 23, which is Extreme Measures,
where Bashir has to go on a mission
inside the mind of of Sloan to, to get
the cure, who's from Section 31 obviously,
to get the cure for the disease that has
Kevin: Great link to this
week's episode of Picard.
They, in the conference room, they
talk about how Starfleet developed
that virus and then delivered the cure.
And it was all thanks to O'Brien and
Bashir extracting that secret from
the mind of Section 31 operative here.
Rob: out of the safety of their reality
and into the reality of someone's mind.
Kevin: I don't Remember any of the
details of what they found in there.
Uh, this sounds like a weird one
Rob: It's a weird, it's the
great William Sadler is there
as Sloan, a brilliant actor.
You may remember him as the Grim
Reaper from the Bill and Ted's
Bogus Journey, and most recently,
Bill and Ted's Face the Music.
Great actor, wonderful
actor playing Sloan.
Kevin: A very different character.
Rob: Very different character to,
to the bass playing Grim Reaper.
They Melvined me.
But you see those different
incarnations of Sloan's mind.
So you've got the one that feels guilty
and wants to apologize to his mother
and father for betraying staff lead,
and now wants to give the cure away.
But then that Sloan is executed
by the 31 version of Sloan.
And you know, what is reality?
What can they believe?
Time is running out.
If they don't get out soon, Sloan
will be brain dead and therefore
they will be dead inside his mind.
They're trying to find this cure
not only for the greater good of the
Dominion War, but also we've got that,
that danger of Odo is there dying.
And he's sent off Kira who has to go
and train the Cardassians cuz they're
liberating against the Dominion.
Which is a, a, a great thing.
Only in Star Trek Deep Space Nine,
would you have a freedom fighter who
was going up against the Cardassians
at the end of their seven year arc,
has to now go to the Cardassians and
train them to liberate Cardassia.
I find that hilarious.
But yes, inside the mind of Sloan, and I'm
sure we could cover this in, you know, how
science within the mind is explored within
Star Trek and all that internal stuff.
I've, we've had moments of that, like in
Lower Decks with with, certain characters
before they become hybrids and all
that type of stuff, like with Ruthford.
But yes, this is the, all the safety
net is taken away and the mission is
O'Brien and Bashir working together
and working to the heart of this
character to find out what they need.
Kevin: Is there a dilemma here?
Like Is there a sense that O'Brien and
Bashir are ultimately crossing a line?
Like I'm seeing the title Extreme
Measures, and I'm wondering are all,
are they at the end of the day doing
something regrettable here or something
that feels like well, this is the cost
It is that case of, extreme measures
within the extremeness of war.
It's never a moral dilemma of
going, we are going inside the mind.
They're going, this is dangerous.
So it's all about the danger of
going inside someone's mind who is
dying and will be brain dead soon.
And we need this and the only way
we'll get this information is this way.
Kevin: That's right.
It's so morbid, like
visiting a dying mind.
Rob: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
And so it's and losing all that
that safety and security and it
could be, you need to find this
cuz if there is no hope after this.
And Bashir and O'Brien have that
quite humorous relationship back and
forth, tete-a-tete type of thing.
But to have them in this situation
and how they pull each other out of,
how they justify it to each other
is a good moral balance to have.
Kevin: Yeah, it's a good one.
We're definitely revisiting this like
final chapter and that's what it's
called on Memory Alpha, by the way.
The last nine episodes of Deep Space
Nine are called The Final Chapter.
It's considered an arc.
And it feels like we are mining that
period of Star Trek history pretty
deeply this season on Star Trek Picard.
So it's no wonder if
we're being brought back.
Rob: There's so much changing law as
reestablished and confirmed within
these final arc within the Deep Space
Nine Dominion War period, and so
much that us as Deep Space Nine fans
have been longing for for so long.
I think I've talked about
before, going, this is crucial.
This is universally crucial stuff,
and no one's talking about it.
And now, decades later, they're finally
not reinventing the past of Star Trek.
They're finally going into the
future of this future world.
Kevin: were the last questions
we asked that we didn't
And finally they're being, yeah.
What does this mean of going like they've
got this unstoppable creature, let's
wipe them out with genocide and a virus.
And then Picard saying, almost
offhandedly go, oh yeah.
And by the way, we have
we found a cure as well.
So we're not completely the bad guys.
The moral line being drawn.
It's great to have that
finally be explored, whether
it be, 20, 25, 30 years later.
Kevin: That those questions are
still worth answering after all
this time speaks to the strength
of that original storytelling.
Rob: it shows, there are more
stories that can be told.
And through other characters more
than just the ones that we have been
mining for the last three seasons.
But yeah, so that was, that was my other
one bit of a divergent away from that.
But the mission within someone's
mind and the danger dangerous stakes
that, that raises really tickled my
interest to explore with this world of
black op operations for this episode.
Kevin: going on that unplanned
mission with you, Rob.
Rob: I, I love the fact that you
brought in a Deep Space Nine episode.
Rob: three this week.
Don't put it past me.
I know some Deep Space
Rob: Oh, look, I do not mean,
and to imply that, I shortchange
you in any way, shape, or form.
Um, So yes, we are back next
week with episode seven.
And we're in pretty dire situation.
We've just found out that they
have got the body of Jean-Luc.
Kevin: We've definitely
got a ticking clock now.
Less than 48 hours to Frontier Day.
There's no more time for
deep and Meaningfuls in the
bar is all I'm saying, Rob.
Rob: Look, it's not a bold prediction,
but I think we will see that bar at
least three, at least three more times.
The final moment.
Everyone together again, having one last
drink, maybe tipping their hat to someone
who's moved on in that frigging bar.
All right let's see if we're right.
Talk to you next week, Rob.
Rob: See you around the galaxy.
Kevin: Ah, you did it to me.