‘Star Trek: Picard’ Episode 9 Brought Back One of My Favorite Characters
So much happens in episode 9 of Star Trek: Picard, “Vox.” Picard and the others discover that the Borg have infiltrated Starfleet, inserting genetic code into the transporters that allows them to instantly assimilate any crew members under the age of 25. Even worse, Starfleet’s own Fleet Formation mode, which allows it to remotely control every ship in its armada, allows the Borg to take command of the entire fleet at once. The Federation is doomed!
However, the original crew of Star Trek: The Next Generation, being a bunch of oldsters immune to the Borg’s code, are able to escape. They head to Geordi’s Fleet Museum, where he’s been rebuilding a ship that predates Fleet Formation mode. It’s a ship that everyone is intimately familiar with: the Enterprise-D, Starfleet’s flagship vessel from Star Trek: The Next Generation.
Damn you, Paramount—you know how to play me like a fiddle. The moment at which the Enterprise is unveiled is supposed to be a brain-melting nostalgia trip. The sight of her lights flickering on and the sound of her engines powering up are supposed to make me cry messy millennial tears. And it worked!
I watched so much TNG as a kid that the Enterprise-D triggers the same emotional reaction as photos of my childhood home. Is that an embarrassing thing to admit? Judging from the number of trekkies losing their shit on social media, I’m going to say no. I just love that old ship so much. Thanks, in part, to its computer voice, played by Majel Barrett (who also played Deanna Troi’s mom, Lwaxana!), the Enterprise-D feels like just as much of a character as all the members of its crew. I feel like I worked that bridge, strolled those corridors, and risked countless grisly deaths to LARP in those holodecks.
Plus, you can’t deny the emotional impact the Enterprise has on Picard and the rest of the characters. For them, it’s been 20 years since they were forced to crash the saucer section into a planet in Star Trek: Generations. Season 3 of Picard brought them all back together again, after decades of living their own separate lives, so it’s fitting that their reunion should culminate aboard their old ship. And Picard’s declaration of “Engage!” at the end? With the Enterprise jumping into warp, just like old times? Well played, Paramount.
Picard’s love of the Enterprise is palpable, and it was shared by every TNG fan watching “Vox.” No matter how many Star Trek shows they make, no matter how many times they recast Kirk or bring Data back from the dead, the Enterprise-D will always have a course laid in straight to my heart.
(featured image: Paramount+)
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