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Star Trek Picard season 3 episode 10 recap – the big goodbye

Check out our final Star Trek Picard season 3 review with our detailed Star Trek Picard season 3 episode 10 recap, as we prepare to say goodbye to the TNG cast.

Star Trek Picard season 3 finale recap - Deanna Troi

Our Verdict

For all its fixation on the past, Star Trek Picard season 3 was never able to reconcile with its own recent history. Still, what it presents audiences with is fun, and it leaves beloved characters in a good place. That’s enough to make up for most missteps.

Well, here we are. With today’s Star Trek Picard season episode 10 release date, we’re at the grand finale of Star Trek Picard season 3. And not just that, but the series as a whole. It’s been quite the journey, for good and bad.

Last week’s episode revealed the Borg had been pulling the strings the entire season, and Jack Crusher was imbued with Borg DNA thanks to an inheritance gift from Locutus. He escaped the USS Titan and joined up with the Borg Queen, which thoroughly ruined Frontier Day for all, including Admiral Shelby and Captain Shaw. Picard’s original Enterprise-D crew returned to their old ship in an attempt to save the day, and that takes us to the finale. Spoilers ahead, obviously.

Star Trek Picard season 3 episode 10 opens with the Enterprise-D warping back into Earth’s solar system, where the newly assimilated fleet is assailing Space Dock and Earth. Data detects a significant Borg signal – that one which has assimilated every Starfleet officer under the age of 25 – coming from Jupiter, and the crew find an impossibly large Borg transwarp conduit and cube residing amid the planet’s gases. Half-hidden and dwarfing the Enterprise-D, this presents a stunning visual.

Star Trek Picard season 3 finale recap - Enterprise D at Jupiter

Star Trek Picard recap – rescuing Jack

Deanna senses Jack within the cube (which is only partially operational and using its resources to boost Jack’s assimilation signal), and the only answer is to sever his connection with the Borg and to destroy the signal-boosting tech which is allowing the Borg to control the fleet. The crew don’t want to even consider the option of destroying the cube with Jack still inside – except, humorously, for Worf – so there’s just one way forward: into the cube.

Beverly concocts a way to determine Jack’s location within the cube from the Enterprise-D (showing off her science-acumen and proving that she would have made for a wonderful chief science officer too), so Picard, Riker, and Worf arrange themselves into an away team with the admiral going to find his son and the two captains going to find the whereabouts of the signal-booster. In a nice nod to TNG season 1, Picard assigns command to Geordi as Deanna aches with pain at being separated from Riker once again.

Star Trek Picard season 3 finale recap - Geordi

Now aboard the Borg cube, the trio find it deathly still. Drones are rotting in their alcoves. It’s silent, but for the flickering crackles of ancient energy. They split up as Picard heads to his son, while Riker and Worf delve deeper into the cube to find the signal booster.

Picard finds Jack, now ‘Vox’, and assimilated in much the same way he had been as Locutus of Borg. And, watching over Picard’s son is the Borg Queen. Voiced by Alice Krige and surviving only through leaching the life force of the decaying Borg drones, she’s reminiscent of Emperor Palpatine’s living corpse in The Rise of Skywalker: her melted face only seen in its whole when harsh green light splashes over it. Now, she has Locutus and Vox, the speaker and the voice, in her grasp.

In a barnstorming bit of exposition, she declares that she sought Jack after hearing his voice – louder than any she’d heard before – while she was starving and decaying on the edge of space. She tells Picard that Locutus is no longer needed and that this new Borg will rely on evolution rather than assimilation. Finally referencing Vadic (remember her?), the Borg Queen reveals she teamed up with the Changeling to take down the Federation in pursuit of a mutual desire for revenge.

Elsewhere on the cube, Worf and Riker find the signal-boosting tech’s schematics and transfer it to the Enterprise-D before being temporarily waylaid by Drones, who Worf slices through with his still-sharp melee skill. The crew aboard the ship locate it within the cube itself, which means they’ll have to fly the ship inside the cube to destroy it. This seems an impossible task, but thankfully, Data is at the helm, and he has new-found gut instincts.

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Star Trek Picard recap – The USS Titan comes in clutch

Meanwhile, on the USS Titan Seven and a group of survivors are attempting to re-take the ship and with help from Raffi’s improvised weaponry, they make it to the bridge. There’s a great – and situationally funny – moment in here where Seven realises one of her team is the Titan’s cook, who now has to take the helm.

They see the Enterprise-D arrive on their scanners, engaging with the Borg cube. Their mission becomes to buy it time and to distract the fleet as it assaults Earth. The USS Titan engages its cloaking device (from episode 6, remember?) and does a flyby on the fleet, flicking between cloaked and un-cloaked while it attacks them. But before too long, the assimilated crew take out the cloaking drive. They are, as Seven says, dead in the water.

But, just as the synchronised fleet is locking all its weapons on the Titan, the Enterprise-D finds the beacon transmitting Jack’s signal and prepares to blow it up. But there’s a hitch: when they destroy the beacon, the entire cube will enter a cascade of destruction, which could kill everyone on board and the Enterprise-D’s transporters aren’t working.

Star Trek Picard season 3 finale recap - Picard and Riker

Star Trek Picard recap – resolutions

Then, a lot happens at once. Picard shoves a Borg cable into his neck and reconnects with the collective. This allows him to speak to Jack, and he convinces his son to leave the Borg and rejoin his true family. At the same time, the Enterprise-D destroys the beacon, and the cube begins to collapse. Deanna telepathically connects with Riker and uses this tether to pilot the Enterprise-D to the position of the four men aboard the cube and scoop them back up into safe arms.

And then: kaboom. The Enterprise-D and its crew escape to safety as the cube explodes, killing the Borg Queen (again). The destruction of the signal booster and Jack’s disconnection immediately reverses the assimilation, and the fleet is no longer under Borg command. It’s over. The attack has ended, the TNG crew is safe, Jack’s free, and the Borg are defeated. It might have taken a while to get here, but now that the end has arrived, it’s over in an instant.

Star Trek Picard season 3 finale recap - Jean-Luc

Star Trek Picard recap – must come to an end

What follows is a Return of the King-style post-script. Now in a new era of recovery, Starfleet promotes Beverly to the rank of Admiral, and she’s made – once again – the head of Starfleet Medical. Seven has a brief reunion with Tuvok (the real one, this time) and is promoted to the rank of Captain, and we get our final glimpse of Captain Shaw in a recording where he recommended her for the promotion. Data is attending therapy sessions with Troi to adapt to his emotions. Worf and Raffi meet again, recognising each other’s battle for peace – both internal and external.

Star Trek Picard season 3 finale recap - Worf

A year later, the Enterprise-D is put back into storage. Soon after, Beverly and Picard take their son, now an ensign after being fast-tracked into Starfleet service, to his first posting: the Enterprise-G. But instead of being a new class of ship, it’s a familiar face. The USS Titan has been renamed and now carries forward the Enterprise’s legacy with Captain Seven of Nine in command and Raffi as its first officer. It neatly sets up what is sure to be a spin-off series with Star Trek: Legacy.

Finally, as the credits roll, we watch The Next Generation cast of Star Trek characters having a jovial game of poker. It was the perfect ending in ‘All Good Things…’ and a serviceable one here, too. And that’s it. Star Trek Picard is done…

Almost. In a tiny post-credit sting, Q returns to tell Jack Crusher that not only is he still alive, but he’s now watching Jack just as intently as he watched his father before him. And now we really are done.

Star Trek Picard season 3 finale recap - Bridge Crew

Star Trek Picard recap – the verdict

There’s so much to unpack. But let’s keep this as brief as possible. Starting with the good, what the finale does best is create a workable, purposeful ending for the TNG characters. Now that he has his emotions, Data’s new journey is focussed on how to adapt to them. Riker and Troi are reconciled and happy. Beverly is back working in Starfleet Medical. Worf and Geordi are both continuing along their successful tracks, now reconnected with their old crew.

And what about Picard? This is ostensibly his show, after all. He has learned to embrace his past, his name, and his son. This discovery gives him a new lease on life, and renewed purpose. As an endpoint for his character it’s perfectly effective.

His arch-nemesis, the Borg Queen, was still undeniably fantastic. Her design is wonderfully twisted, and with Alice Krige’s voice performance she has a terrifying presence. I also enjoyed the deep cuts. Geordi in the captain’s chair is a great call back; the young lady from Venus, Crusher returning to Starfleet Medical, and Anton Chekov.

Star Trek Picard season 3 finale recap - Riker

Then, there’s the not-so-good. Most superficially, I have to admit personal disappointment at the lack of Admiral Janeway. Why lay the trail of breadcrumbs without leading to the payoff? This is the one nugget of nostalgia that I actually wanted, and given the Borg plot (and Seven’s journey), one that would have made sense within the mechanics of the story. I was also disappointed to see Sidney La Forge so sidelined in the final act, and especially here.

More importantly, it’s clear in my experience with the show that Star Trek Picard season 3 worked more effectively when it told a smaller story. Picard discovering he had a son and rescuing him from the clutches of evil. The battle between the Titan and the Shrike. Geordi’s conflict with Lore and his desperation to save Data.

Each of these little set-pieces were dramatic and thrilling: much more so, in fact, than an incomprehensibly large space battle with millions of phasers and torpedoes and explosions. Perhaps if it was more inventive, it would feel different, but it just ends with another explosion. Big boom.

Star Trek Picard season 3 finale recap - Data

There are also many, many unanswered questions. Who was the angry face that Vadic was communicating with? Was it the Borg Queen? If so, what did she have over Vadic, which the Changeling found so terrifying? How did they get in touch? Are Picard and Beverly now platonically co-parenting or romantically co-parenting? Did Jean-Luc completely forget about Laris? Did he ever revisit her? Have we all forgotten that Seven and Raffi were in a relationship?

The last of these raises the finale’s biggest flaw. This season is genuinely determined to entirely undo every single piece of plot progression from seasons 1 and 2. On the one hand, I thought the first two seasons were almost irredeemably bad, so I feel like I shouldn’t mind. On the other hand, it does seem awfully ungracious. There’s something to be said for leaving things as they are, even if they’re not perfect. But whether it’s the Jurati-Borg, Q’s death, or Seven and Raffi’s romance, Star Trek Picard season 3 really, really wants you to forget the two seasons which preceded it.

So it’s wildly messy and very schlocky but – and here’s the big but – taken on its own terms Star Trek Picard season 3 episode 10 is a fun, dramatic, mostly satisfying conclusion, albeit one that perhaps leaves too many unanswered questions.

For more on Star Trek, check out our guide to the potential Star Trek Legacy release date, as well as the Star Trek Strange New Worlds season 2 release date and learn the five changes we think it needs to make to stay great.