Discovery S4, E11 – “Rosetta” & Picard S2, E1 – “The Star Gazer”

The Discovery goes on an away mission in search for some insights to the 10-C while Book and Tarka play hide and seek aboard the ship. Over on Picard, we reboot or ignore everything that upset fans about Season One while delivering an intriguing episode.

It been almost 30 years since two live action Star Trek series were running at the same time. We cover both episodes in the double-sized episode. Enjoy.

Star Trek: Age of Discovery is a fan podcast for the Star Trek Universe shows including Paramount + shows STAR TREK: DISCOVERY, STAR TREK: PICARD, STAR TREK: SHORT TREKS, STAR TREK: LOWER DECKS, STAR TREK: PRODIGY and STAR TREK: STRANGE NEW WORLDS.

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How to watch Star Trek: Discovery

Star Trek: Discovery is available exclusively in the USA on Paramount +. It airs in Canada on CTV Sci-Fi Channel and streams on CraveTV. Paramount + launch on Sky in the U.K., Ireland, Italy, Germany, Switzerland and Austria sometime in 2022.

How to watch Star Trek: Picard

Star Trek: Picard is available exclusively in the USA on  Paramount +. It airs in Canada on Space and streams on CraveTV. It is available on Amazon Prime everywhere else in the world.

How to watch Star Trek: Strange New Worlds

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds is available exclusively in the USA on Paramount +. It airs in Canada on Space and streams on CraveTV. Currently, it isn’t available anywhere else in the world.

How to watch Star Trek: Lower Decks

Star Trek: Lower Decks is available exclusively in the USA on Paramount +. It airs in Canada on Space and streams on CraveTV. Currently, it isn’t available anywhere else in the world.

How to watch Star Trek: Prodigy

Star Trek: Prodigy is available exclusively in the USA on Nickelodeon after a premier run on Paramount +. It airs in Canada on Space and streams on CraveTV. Currently, it isn’t available anywhere else in the world.

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4 thoughts on “Discovery S4, E11 – “Rosetta” & Picard S2, E1 – “The Star Gazer”

  1. I must regretfully admit that I have quite a few problems with this review, specifically as it pertains to the Picard episode.

    First of all, the nature of Picard’s android body was mentioned last season, when Soong and Jurati said that they had given Picard just about the same lifespan in his new artificial body that he would have expected with a healthy natural body. (To which Picard quipped in response: “I wouldn’t have minded ten more years, or maybe twenty.”)

    Secondly, it could not have been explained more clearly that Jurati has been cleared of responsibility for the murder of Maddox on account of her having been under the influence of a Vulcan mind meld. We may presume that there was a trial at which Jurati was acquitted, a result which is precisely the one that we would expect from a just and civilised court system. A person cannot be punished for an act that she did not take of her own volition; to impose such a punishment would be utterly immoral. The one who is responsible for Maddox’s murder is Oh, not Jurati.

    What’s more, Picard’s reinstatement at Starfleet is entirely believable, given his central role in convincing Soji to deactivate the beacon, a move which averted a disaster that would have made the Mars attack look like small potatoes. Indeed, even before that happened, the show demonstrated that Picard was not completely cut off from Starfleet, as Commander-in-Chief Clancy (who is definitely not Picard’s friend) agreed to send a fleet to Coppelius.

    Let us note that Rios’s trauma, like Jurati’s, was also connected to Oh’s treachery. Oh had given Vandermeer the order to kill Jana and Beautiful Flower. Obeying this order of Oh’s made Vandermeer so distraught that he ultimately killed himself as well, doing so right in front of Rios; this, in turn, unsettled Rios to such a degree that he had to leave Starfleet soon after. The revelation of Oh’s deception, combined with the end of the synth ban, rightfully led to the rehabilitation of Rios, as well as that of Jurati and Picard.

    Finally, I was unpleasantly taken aback by your casual dismissal of the Picard audio episode “No Man’s Land”. You seemed to state that you ignored that episode because it is the story of Raffi’s and Seven’s relationship. This episode certainly does deal with their attempt to start something of a relationship. And it does much more. It further sketches the world that Seven lives in, showing us the responsibility — and the stress — that Seven has taken upon herself as a vigilante defender of the vulnerable. In addition, the episode brings us several interesting characters who are of the calibre of compelling one-off characters from previous versions of episodic Star Trek. (In particular, there is a character who evokes comparisons with the wonderful character played by Joel Grey in a Voyager episode.)

    On a related note, I sincerely hope that you have read the book “The Last Best Hope”, which sets the stage for the series by detailing the events around the naming of Picard as director of the Romulan rescue/relocation effort, and by depicting Picard’s growing rift with Starfleet brass — especially with then-Captain now-Admiral Clancy — as Starfleet in conjunction with the Federation’s political leaders made the unconscionable decision to suspend the rescue operation.

    The “Last Best Hope” book also provides essential character information for Raffi, showing us how she and Picard became so close. This explains the tremendous anger at Picard that Raffi displayed at the beginning of the series, as well as her level of familiarity with Picard that allows her to address him as “JL”. Fully understanding the Raffi character is not possible without reading that book. But if you didn’t listen to the audio episode, then I fear that you probably didn’t read the book.

    This podcast does an excellent job reviewing and breaking down episodes of Discovery, Prodigy, and Lower Decks. I have learnt plenty from listening to those valuable analyses. But if the podcast is going to purport to review the Picard series as well, then I think that its hosts have an obligation to not just ignore essential parts of the story.

    I realise that everyone likes different things; while Picard is my favourite of the current batch of Star Trek series, it might not appeal to you. This appears to be the case, as evidenced first by the uncharacteristically sloppy analysis of the series’s plot points (for example: the overlooking of elements that were shown in previous episodes, such as the explanation of Picard retaining his normal mortality in his android body), and also by poor reasoning (the characterisation of Jurati’s acquittal as morally questionable when it is in fact morally exemplary). I am sorry to say that a lack of commitment to the Picard series is evidenced also by something as trivial as a constant mispronunciation of the name of one of the main characters, as Jurati is repeatedly referred to as “Gerardi”.

    There is certainly nothing wrong with not liking any particular Star Trek series. (I hate Deep Space Nine, and could go on and on about why.) But if part of the mission of this podcast is to review the episodes of Picard, then there is no justification for skipping “No Man’s Land”, which is an episode of that series (nor for skipping “Last Best Hope”, if indeed you did skip that book).

    I assume that I speak for a great many listeners when I say that listening to podcasts greatly enhances the enjoyment of all the Star Trek series. And, of course, there are now quite a lot of podcasts covering the multiple series, as we find ourselves in a period of unprecedented abundance, during what is undoubtedly the best time ever to be a Star Trek fan. So I must suggest respectfully (and please know that I mean “respectfully” in all sincerity, and definitely not as passive-aggressive snark) that a half-baked review of a series that the podcast’s hosts do not care about is not really a good use of listeners’ time.

    If the hosts of this podcast are not willing to engage fully with the Picard series, then perhaps the podcast would be better off sticking to its strengths (namely: the thorough and highly enjoyable reviews of Discovery, Prodigy, and Lower Decks), and leaving Picard for others to analyse.

    Regarding your review of the Discovery episode, it was typically excellent. I particularly appreciated the critique you made about Zora somehow failing to see Book and Tarka on the ship’s cameras (even if the intruders’ bio-signs were masked), and also the critique about Reno’s inexplicable capture by Tarka, when she would more believably have immediately summoned security or have just beamed herself to safety. (I will add that she also could have imprisoned Tarka where he stood — or crouched — by trapping him in a force field.) So those scenes were not well written.

    Still, I am enjoying this season of Discovery, which I will call the series’s best. And I am looking forward to the story’s resolution over the next two episodes, and also to your high-quality analysis that will surely make those episodes more memorable and more enjoyable.

    1. Ferdinand,

      First, Addell and I want to thank you for the very thoughtful and indepth response you had to our recent episode. We appreciate the attention you gave to your reaction to the podcast. I would like to respond to your comments.

      Firstly, Addell and I enjoyed “The Star Gazer.” It was very engaging. But it was very obvious the showrunner and writers were addressing many of the criticisms made about Season One. Also, we thought there was some unsatisfying aspects that we would have preferred be handled better.

      Regarding Picard as a synthetic being, we know that the show explained the nature of his life being extended in the golem that was intended for Soong. However, our issue is that how much we are supposed to believed has changed since the last episode. Basically, within 18 months the Federation and Starfleet went from fearing the existence of ANY artificial intelligence – as was the case during Season One – to appointing a synthetic Picard as Chancellor of Starfleet Academy. Even if they were willing to lift the ban on synths, we found the embracing of one in such a sensitive administrative position a giant leap in credulity that was hard to swallow. Also, the relationship with Laris considering Picard’s synthetic status. You and I live in a world where skin color is a barrier to love and happiness for some. It’s difficult to believe that Laris, a Romulan, coming from a people who believe that synthetic lifeforms are a threat to all living beings, would be open to falling in love with one. In fact, it would be more interested if she was conflicted about her feelings towards him BECAUSE of his synthetic nature. Another bit of information impacting how we reacted to this issue are the comments of Akiva Goldsman. In an interview done prior to the show’s premiere this year, he said they weren’t going to mention the status of Picard as a syntheic being. So, that leaves us to believe he would like fans to forget that even happened. Addell and I don’t understand how a show that built so much drama on the threat of synthetic life last season would let the subject be so easily dismissed.

      As for Dr. Jurati, Addell and I understand that she was turned by Oh when she mind melded with the Doctor. But Jurati was fully aware of what she was doing when she killed Maddox. In today’s world, if someone is proven to be under the influence of another when they commit a crime, that fact is taken into consideration during sentencing. What we responded to was the flippant way in which they addressed the killing. Jurati is given a monolgue to do a convenient expostion drop. She could have been put under some form of probation. Instead, she’s seen sauntering around in a bar, inebriated and making smart comments. I thought that was less than sufficient considering we are living in a world where the death of innocent people goes unpunished all too often. I expect more from Star Trek.

      I hope you continue to listen to our podcast. We enjoy exchanges like this with listeners. Fans of Star Trek have to stick together. But I suspect we may have differences of opinion on things in the future. We are more than willing to agree to disagree. If so, I hope we can have a conversation like this one.

      P.S. – You HATE Deep Space Nine??? Really??? Why??

      1. I thank you for your reply to my comment. And I am pleased to know that you like the Picard series!

        I, too, read the Goldsman comment about the plan not to address Picard’s having a synth body this season. However, Goldsman must not have meant it, because Q mentions Picard’s synth body during episode 2: at the seven-minute mark, Q calls Picard’s attention to the skull of Gul Dukat that is on display in Picard’s house, and he remarks that Dukat is “the reason you have that nifty synthetic body”.

        Anyway, I have no trouble believing that Starfleet would accept Picard and his artificial body as fully reinstated immediately after the synth ban was lifted. After all, Data had long been a respected member of Starfleet — Admiral Satie notwithstanding. Let us note that, in the comic book that preceded the first J.J. Abrams film, Data even became captain of the Enterprise, after his consciousness was successfully restored to B-4’s body. Of course, that story element never made it to canon, as we learn in Picard season 1 that the attempt to put Data’s consciousness into B-4’s body was not successful. Still, after the confirmation that the synth attack on Mars had been orchestrated by Oh, society would return to the status quo ante, in which the presence of androids is uncontroversial.

        The point about Laris is interesting. But we already know that Laris and Zhabon have left the Tal Shiar, and that they do not subscribe to many of the typical Romulan ways of thinking. For instance, Laris helps Picard investigate the murder of Daj’s boyfriend — and figures out that it had to have been done by Romulans — even after she knows that Daj is an android. Also, she and Zhabon defend Picard against the Romulan would-be assassin who invaded the house. So we can conclude that Laris values her affection for Picard above Romulan tradition/superstition. And there is no way she shares the Romulan contempt for androids; Laris knows Picard well enough that she must be aware of his profound emotions regarding Data.

        On Jurati, I do not accept the assertion that she was in control of herself when she killed Maddox. Not only had she undergone a mind meld from Oh, but she had also been subjected to the Admonition, which was enough to drive several Romulans mad. For me this does not merely mitigate Jurati’s culpability, it absolves her. As a real-world analogue, we can imagine someone who is under a post-hypnotic suggestion, and who is also suffering from delusions caused by post-traumatic stress disorder. I hope that we wouldn’t insist on punishing such a person for actions that she took, actions that are the responsibility of whoever both implanted the post-hypnotic suggestion and caused the trauma. So in my opinion Jurati should not be on probation, as probation is a sentence after a conviction; Jurati was evidently acquitted, and so is entitled to live her life as would any other free person (and even to get drunk on occasion if she so chooses). As you said, perhaps we will agree to disagree on Jurati’s guilt. But what we agree on is that the killing of an innocent person should not go unpunished. If Starfleet can capture Oh, then Oh will surely be tried not only for treason but also for Maddox’s murder.

        As to why I hate Deep Space Nine, hoo boy. My dislike for that show is a result mainly of my lifelong relationship with Star Trek.

        Star Trek allows me to glimpse a world in which leaders are worthy of respect, society is just, and the people who are defending that society are doing something worthwhile and honourable. These are luxuries which I as a citizen of the United States do not have in real life. And so I grew to cherish Star Trek, particularly The Next Generation, which made a point of emphasising the vast gulf between Federation society and American society. Indeed, in the very first episode of The Next Generation, when Q, inaugurating his role of the judge of humanity, appeared wearing a 21st century American military uniform, Picard retorted angrily that “we were savages when we wore costumes like that”. How right he was.

        Starfleet can have any number of individuals who behave very poorly; but we were always sure that the institution is worthwhile and upstanding. And we knew that daily life in Federation society is generally pleasant, in stark contrast to real life, which (particularly in the United States) is characterised by shocking inequality and by widespread poverty and suffering. (Side note: I always felt that, in The Next Generation’s universe, the representation of 20th/21st-century America was meant to be provided by the Ferengi, a vulgar and self-centred people who understand only commerce, and who see everything as transactional.)

        So when Deep Space Nine depicted Starfleet as not necessarily any better than any other faction, this offended me. That sort of depiction undercut what I love most about Star Trek, namely, the aforementioned connection to a world in which the powers that be are actually good. (By the way, this is why I am not happy about the making of a Section 31 show. I do not want a show that celebrates the evil side of Starfleet. There should be no Section 31 show simply because there should be no Section 31.)

        Deep Space Nine also broke an important rule of Star Trek: that there is no such thing as the supernatural. Up until that show, every phenomenon that was taken for supernatural by a given culture was in fact a natural physical phenomenon or else the result of advanced technology. This was an exceedingly important philosophical point, and was a bedrock feature of the Star Trek universe. Deep Space Nine trashed this beautiful aspect of Star Trek by giving us the supernatural beings the Prophets, and by making Sisko those beings’ Emissary.

        Those are the in-universe reasons that Deep Space Nine disgusts me. There are also real-world reasons.

        First, Deep Space Nine ruined the tone of Star Trek by making it “gritty”. Fortunately this did not spill over into Voyager, which maintained the proper Star Trek tone. Voyager certainly had the occasional gritty turns, such as during the epic two-part episodes “Year of Hell” and “Equinox”, the latter being in my view the greatest installment in the history of Star Trek, episode or movie. But for most of the Voyager series the look and feel was in keeping with Star Trek tradition, as opposed to Deep Space Nine, which laid waste to that beloved tradition. This not only led to my dislike of Deep Space Nine, it also caused Voyager to become my all-time favourite Star Trek series (even though I know that The Next Generation was of overall higher quality and that Voyager had more than its share of clunker episodes).

        Second, Deep Space Nine ruined storytelling in Star Trek by ushering in serialisation at the expense of normal episodes. Both of these malignant real-world effects cast their shadows over subsequent shows, as Enterprise pivoted mid-run to a serialised format, and also took an ugly turn thematically. When Discovery premiered it continued both of these unfortunate trends; for this reason, I did not like Discovery during its first two seasons.

        I am very pleased that Discovery ultimately freed itself from the scourge of grittiness that has been wrought by Deep Space Nine; but, alas, serialisation has become completely normalised. I now like Discovery, I love Picard, and I am enchanted by Prodigy; but all of these excellent shows would be better if they were episodic rather than seralised. I am thankful that Lower Decks has found the right balance: it tells self-contained stories, while advancing certain season-long storylines. (Another show which does likewise is The Orville, whose third season I am eagerly awaiting.) I have read that Strange New Worlds will be expressly episodic; so I am looking forward to that.

        That is my explanation of why I hate Deep Space Nine. I am sorry to have gone on so long. But please remember: you asked for it!

        Keep up the good work, and I will keep listening.

      2. Ferdinand,

        Only 18 months have passed between the events at the end Season One of Picard and the events in The Star Gazer. That’s not enough time for deep-set fears and suspicions about synths to be erased. I’m not saying it couldn’t happen. I’m saying it wouldn’t occur in 18 months.

        Jurati should have been held for trial or in some fashion forced to face the ramifications of her actions. It just undermines the importance of life.

        I figured your distaste for DS9 had something to do with the tone or a reference to stories showing Starfleet’s flaws or the Prophets. I love it because of those things. I have always thought Roddenberry’s utopia was unrealistic and ill-defined. We live in a world where children are killed in a bombing that targeted a Children’s Hospital. I find it difficult to imagine a world where money is abandoned. I prefer DS9 because those people look familiar.

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