Not enough happens to fill the runtime, and the reveals are all very predictable. Raffi’s side quest continues to be a drag which, as of yet, remains unconnected to the main plot
This recap contains spoilers for Star Trek Picard season 3 episode 2. Titled Disengage, Star Trek Picard season 3 episode 2 begins with a small flashback from before Doctor Crusher and her son got into the mess that led them running for their lives.
Aboard their ship, the two are attempting to deliver medical supplies to a planet suffering from a disease that, “is fatal at a rate of one life per minute,” (is that how diseases work in the 25th Century?).
Before they’re able to deliver the goods, a Fenris Ranger vessel appears to block them from doing their good deed, and tells them that they’re in violation of around 27 regulations. That’s not something that will stop the young Crusher though, and he engages in a spot of light bribery to help smooth things over. But it appears to be a ruse, and unbeknownst to the young Crusher, the Fenris Rangers are just keeping tabs on his whereabouts, which leads to…
The present day, in which the two Crushers, and Riker and Picard are aboard the Eleos with a huge and very intimidating ship staring them down. Their worrying predicament leaves them hoping that the USS Titan, from which they only recently escaped on pretty bad terms, will swoop in to help them.
Naturally, Seven of Nine and Captain Shaw have a bicker about what to do especially as, Shaw says, the Titan is an exploratory vessel not capable of going toe to toe with the cruiser that’s circling the Eleos.
That’s when Riker says about the young Crusher what we’ve all been thinking, “there’s something familiar about him.” I mean, it’s fairly obvious from the framing of all this, surely, that Jack Crusher is Picard’s son. It’d be a well-worn cliché and a fairly lazy storytelling choice (not to mention one seen before in Star Trek movies), but let’s see.
Star Trek Picard season 3 episode 2 recap – back with Raffi
While we’re left pondering all that, Raffi is still lamenting that she wasn’t able to stop the destruction of the Starfleet recruitment centre which has resulted in 117 deaths. Starfleet wants to shut down the investigation, though, but Raffi is determined to follow up on her own sources and contacts, and she’s now on the hunt for a Ferengi called Sneed with apparent links to what’s going on.
She contacts her ex-partner, who has links to Sneed, but he gives her an ultimatum: she can have the information to get to Sneed, or she can put back in touch with their son. But not both. Of course, she makes the selfless choice and chooses the information about Sneed. Like with Raffi’s plot in the prior episode, it all hinges on contrivances and conveniences, and poor Michelle Hurd really is given some of the clunkiest, leaden dialogue.
Star Trek Picard season 3 episode 2 recap – enter Vadic
Back in space, the enormous spiky ship is still just floating there, threateningly. The small group aboard the Eleos establish that this means they’re after the young Crusher to capture him, rather than to kill him. A new mystery!
Just as things start to turn south, Shaw’s Titan warps in to help. It positions itself between the Eleos and the aggressor ship, and manages to beam Picard, Riker, and the Crushers onto it where they’re much safer. Not totally safe, though, as the spiky ship (I’m hoping we get a name for it, sooner rather than later) has a much more impressive armament than the Titan.
And, then they’re hailed by the captain of the enemy ship: Vadic. She’s got a creepy voice and a bad haircut, so we definitely know she’s a baddie. She tells Picard that she wants Jack Crusher for the bounty that’s on his head.
Shaw says he won’t negotiate with bounty hunters, and in response Vadic tells them they have one hour to consider her demands. To make that decision easier for them, she gives a display of her ship’s powers and uses some kind of enhanced tractor beam to throw the abandoned Eleos at them.
Visually, it’s a pretty impressive display of force, and I’m never going to say no to seeing one Star Trek starship smash into another. But, just in case you weren’t watching, Picard asks “What did she just do?” and ensign LaForge says “She threw a ship at us, sir!” We know! We were watching! Anyway, it focuses their minds on the situation at hand.
Picard and Riker try to probe Jack Crusher for information on why Vadic would want him, but they don’t get anywhere. Crusher’s sketchy past comes back to haunt him, though, and Liam Shaw figures out that he has indeed done plenty to warrant a bounty, and sends him to the brig while relieving Seven from command, and giving Riker and Picard a dressing down. Facing them all down, Shaw is actually moderately impressive in holding his own.
Picard visits Jack Crusher (who Riker believes is Picard’s son) to see what’s going on, where he establishes that the young man made his bounty while stealing medical supplies, and other various morally grey deeds. They have an argument, and it’s now beyond doubt that Picard is the young man’s father.
Star Trek Picard season 3 episode 2 recap – returns and goodbyes
Meanwhile, we’re back on M’Talas Prime with Raffi, and she’s found Sneed. She’s trying to get information out of him about the stolen tech that destroyed the recruitment centre. But he won’t give her anything: he thinks she’s from Starfleet. He figures her out, and threatens to end her life there and then. Enter Worf. He swings in with his Bat’leth, slicing through Sneed’s guards, as well as Sneed himself: AKA, he decapitates him. Good timing.
On the Titan, Captain Shaw is adamant that he’s going to hand Jack Crusher over despite Riker and Picard’s protestations. Not helping his case, Jack breaks out of the brig and knocks out a Starfleet officer along the way. You’re not doing yourself any favours, Jack. Vadic gives the Titan another video call, and informs them that her ship is called the Shrike. She gives a short but fun monologue, explaining the various ways in which she could kill them.
It turns out that Jack has escaped from the brig to make Shaw’s decision easier: he’s trying to transport himself to the Shrike to save the Titan which is only in such danger because of him. But Beverly comes onto the bridge and gives Picard a look that says a thousand unsaid words. It tells us that Jack Crusher is Picard’s son, and the admiral makes up his mind. Effectively taking command of the Titan, he tells Shaw that enough is enough, and that Jack isn’t going anywhere.
The Titan unleashes a flurry of torpedoes at The Shrike, and rather than handing Jack Crusher over, it escapes into a nearby nebula while Vadic gleefully begins her pursuit.
Star Trek Picard season 3 episode 2 recap – the verdict
After a moderately strong start last week, Disengage is an episode where very little happens. Jack Crusher is revealed to be Picard’s son, but really we knew that from the moment he first looked at his father. Other than that, what’s happened here is that the Titan has come to the rescue and we’ve got a better look at our villain. It’s really not an episode’s worth of plot, and it’s all a bit thin. I’m left wondering if this should all just have been a movie instead.
Away from the Titan and the Shrike, we have the subplot with Raffi. Presumably this is meant to add a bit of variety to what’s going on, but it’s by far the least interesting aspect of all this. The stakes are ill-defined, and the connections between characters (and the timings with when they arrive) are far too convenient. Hopefully, next week gets things back on track.
For more on Picard, check out our Star Trek Picard season 3 episode 1 recap, as well as our guide to Rachel Garrett and the Red Lady. Or, take a look at our ranking of the Star Trek captains and our choices for the best Star Trek characters, as well as our Star Trek Picard season 3 review.