As the trailer for Star Trek: Picard Season 2 tells us, there will be some time travel shenanigans when we next see our beloved former captain. It will likely happen courtesy of the omnipotent Q (John de Lancie). And it could pave the way for Jean-Luc (Patrick Stewart) to finally defeat the Borg Queen (Alice Krige, Susannah Thompson, Annie Wersching) in the most poetic way.
Let’s go back to ‘Star Trek: First Contact’
As Trekkies recall, in Star Trek: First Contact, the Borg travel back in time to sabotage Zephram Cochrane’s (James Cromwell, Glenn Corbett) first warp speed flight. It would be poetic, therefore, for Picard to use her own tricks against her and defeat her through time travel.
He could also potentially go back far enough to stop her before he’s assimilated and becomes Locutus. Imagine how differently his life could have played out if he hadn’t suffered that trauma. For that matter, he could stop the Queen before she even becomes the leader of the Borg at all.
Q’s involvement is icing on the cake
Q’s involvement is icing in that it’s absolutely necessary to help something really good reach its highest potential and become great. If Q is the one who takes Picard back in time, as seems likely, that would provide another form of poetic symmetry. It is, of course, Q who first puts Picard’s crew in the way of the Borg in the Star Trek: The Next Generation Season 2 episode ‘Q Who.’
And in the series premiere of that show, ‘Encounter at Far Point,’ Q has decided to put humanity on trial. He casts himself in the role of judge, determining whether the species deserves to exist. From his perspective, the entire series is a continuation of that trial. Q watches the decisions Picard and the crew make along the way, all the while compiling evidence for and against the existence of humanity.
Has Q reached a judgement?
In the Next Generation series finale, ‘All Good Things,’ Q returns. He essentially says that, for the moment, it looks like humanity probably deserves to remain in existence. But he also tells Picard, “The trial never ends.”
Perhaps if Q decides to throw his hat into the ring and actually help Picard save humanity from the Borg Queen, it will mean Q has, at last, made a final judgment. Maybe he will decide once and for all that humanity has indeed proven itself worthy of a place in the universe.
On the other hand, that kind of happy ending might be a little too saccharine for a mischievous character like Q. Perhaps his appearance will prove to be yet another opportunity for him to reaffirm the sentiment that the trial is forever ongoing. And that, in itself, would offer a kind of symmetry and a thematic bookend to a story that has been decades in the making.
Bringing it back to Seven
Seven (Jeri Ryan) has some close encounters with the Borg Queen, as well, in the Voyager two-parters ‘Dark Frontier’ and ‘Unimatrix Zero.’ In the former, the Queen almost succeeds in separating her from the Voyager crew and bringing her back to the Borg. So Seven has a complicated history not just with the Borg at large, but also with the Queen personally.
So if Seven were to be involved in traveling back in time and taking the Queen down, it would certainly be a satisfying full-circle moment for her.
There’s clearly something going on for Seven in terms of her relationship with the Borg. In the trailer, she wakes to find her ocular implant missing. It’s possible that history has been changed and she was never assimilated. But then why would she expect the implant to be there? We’ll have to wait and see.
Ultimately, however the season plays out, involving both Q and the Borg Queen feels necessary. They’ve both had critical roles to play in Jean-Luc’s life. And if the series wants to finally provide him with some much-needed closure, bringing back these characters is the way to do it.
Star Trek: Picard Season 2 is set to premiere on Paramount+ in 2022.