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‘Star Trek: Picard’ Season 3 Episode 8 Recap: Surrender Isn’t an Option

Apr 6, 2023


The eigth episode of Star Trek: Picard Season 3 opens with Vadic (Amanda Plummer) lording over the U.S.S. Titan, in the wake of Jean-Luc Picard’s (Patrick Stewart) failed plan to capture her in “Dominion.” While the crew has been through a considerable amount of bad situations ever since Picard and William Riker (Jonathan Frakes) came aboard, on the surface this one looks like it may be insurmountable. Especially as Vadic toys with them like a cat with her prey, taking away their eyes, ears, and the very road ahead of them, in an attempt to root out Jack Crusher (Ed Speleers). However, Vadic and the deadly Changelings aren’t their only threat either, though Geordi La Forge (LeVar Burton) is quick to unplug Data-Lore (Brent Spiner) to mitigate any future tampering the android may attempt.
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In the sick bay, Beverly (Gates McFadden) and Picard attempt to access the security system, but Vadic has already effectively locked everyone out of the Titan. Recognizing that he is at a unique vantage point, Jack uses his newfound ability to enter the mind of an engineering officer out in the corridors. While Sidney (Ashlei Sharpe Chestnut) may not be able to see his glowing red eyes, Jack does overhear her thinking “what is he doing?” Jack puppets the officer down the corridor, looking upon the bloodshed left behind by the Changelings, but the episode is cut short by the officer getting killed—which seems like quite the shock to Jack’s system too. Beverly and Picard look on in concern, blissfully unaware of just how different their son is. Over the intercom, Vadic reveals that she intends to execute someone on the bridge unless Jack gives himself up in a timely fashion.

Back on the bridge, Seven (Jeri Ryan) and Shaw (Todd Stashwick) are still failing to meet eye-to-eye about how to handle the situation, with Seven insisting that she wouldn’t change a single decision that she made that led them to this scenario because she doesn’t believe in “trading lives.” When Shaw, once again, makes a point of calling her Hansen, Seven is quick to correct him. Their lives may be hanging in the balance, but she’s still determined to make him respect her. When Jack fails to make an appearance on the bridge, Vedic announces that he has ten minutes to arrive, or she’s going to start killing crew members at ten-minute intervals. To Jack’s credit, this threat does make him attempt to leave sick bay, but Beverly won’t let him go, especially not when Picard is confident that even if he did turn himself over, Vadic would just destroy the ship anyway.

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RELATED: ‘Picard’ Season 3 Showrunner Terry Matalas Breaks Down Episode 7, Romance Potential, and Vadic’s Backstory

Since the start of the life-or-death situation, Jack’s been teetering on the edge. He’s desperate to sacrifice himself for the people risking their lives for him, but no one will let him take the easy way out. Compounded by the fact that there is something very wrong with him—which seems to be growing more apparent by the minute—he finally breaks down in front of both of his parents. With tears streaming down his cheeks, he points out that he’s always been a talker because it distracts him from feeling different. Before he even gets the words out, Beverly and Picard both agree to listen to whatever it is he has to say, though she does scan him to ensure he isn’t having hallucinations when he starts talking about being able to see through other people’s eyes. Initially, they don’t believe him, but Sidney jumps in to admit that she has experience with his ability, since he had taken over her body to save her life.

Jack explains that he thinks he might be able to take back control of the Titan by taking over the body of one of the officers on the bridge, and Picard explains that with the right override code, they might be able to get through to retake the ship. With one minute left on Vadic’s countdown, Jack jumps into the body of Lt. Mura (Joseph Lee). Unfortunately, Vadic swiftly thwarts their plan, cancelling the override code, and speculating that Jack has taken over the lieutenant’s body. Understandably, Jack is shocked that Vadic is even aware of what he is able to do—and his shock is just about as palpable as Seven and Shaw’s as they look on at the scene unfolding.

With her patience running thin, Vadic makes good on her promise to execute someone. After Jack’s attempt to play hero, Lt. Mura becomes one of the two potential victims, alongside a teary-eyed Ensign Esmar (Jin Maley). But after a show of making Mura talk about his son, Vadic executes Lt. T’Veen (Stephanie Czajkowski) without hesitation, forcing Seven to relay across the intercom who has been killed. Now that she has proven that she isn’t bluffing, Vadic once again taunts Jack that she will continue killing crewmembers until he turns himself over.

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Since the Changelings took Riker hostage in Episode 6, fans have been waiting for the long-awaited reunion between him and his wife Deanna Troi (Marina Sirtis). The wait finally came to an end in “Surrender,” on board the Shrike where Deanna is tending to Riker’s wounds. He may be older than he once was, but he can still take a punch. It’s sweet to see the two of them banter with each other, just like old times on The Next Generation, but it’s even sweeter to see Deanna tease him about only knowing to call her “Imzadi,” the Betazoid phrase for “beloved.” The conversation shifts quickly to the issues that still exist within their relationship, with Riker reflecting on the way he felt as he stared down death in the Nebula. He tries to brush off some of it with his classic charm, which Deanna notes the Changelings that came to their home also possessed. Though, she does point out that even though she can’t read Changelings the way she can others, she could still tell that the Changeling!Riker wasn’t him.

Later on, when hope begins to wane that they won’t be rescued from the Shrike, Deanna accuses Riker of giving up, just like he gave up when Thad died. He counters that accusation by calling out the way Deanna tried to use her abilities to dull his pain, effectively removing the last connection he had with Thad. They manage to bridge their issues with each other when Deanna admits that she hates where they’re living and desperately wants to return to city living. Swept up in the grief of losing their son, it becomes apparent that they both had misconceptions about each other, because Riker also hates living on Nepenthe. Their reconciliation is interrupted by the arrival of Worf (Michael Dorn), who has come to rescue them! Worf’s reunion with Deanna is hilarious, as he lays it on thick and reflects on how she inspired his personal growth and change to pacificism—much to Riker’s chagrin. The trio head back to where Raffi (Michelle Hurd) is examining Picard’s body, and she reveals that the Changelings didn’t need Picard’s entire body, they just needed one part of it. Of course, it was the part of his brain that was infected by the Iruomodic Syndrome. Which creates a whole host of new theories about why they wanted that and Jack.

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Back on the Titan, Sidney points out that in order to crack into the system, they would need more time than is humanly possible for anyone to accomplish—especially with such a short window of time to do it. This prompts Picard to think of the one non-human individual who could compute the code they need that quickly. Picard, Beverly, Jack, and Sidney make their way to engineering where Geordi and Alandra (Mica Burton) are. After a quick confirmation that neither party are Changelings, which includes Picard calling Geordi’s taste in wine “pedestrian,” they get to work on a plan to free Data from Lore’s clutches. Picard suggests lowering the partition between the two personas, but Geordi is quick to caution that doing so may cause Lore to replace Data, thus permanently deleting everything that makes Data who he is. In order to make this work, Geordi explains that he needs time, which Jack is more than willing to buy them.

As Geordi begins to lower the partition, “Surrender” heads inside of Data’s mind, where Lore is taunting him about how, once the partition is fully lowered, he’ll get rid of him once and for all. Instead of fighting, like Geordi implored him to do, Data is instead going through all of his old memories, even though Lore is mocking him for being sentimental. Lore’s chip on his shoulder becomes more and more apparent as he mocks Data for showing off all of his memories. The main source of pain seems to lie within the fact that he believes he was abandoned, while Data was showered in all the friendship the galaxy could offer.

Data begins passing off a handful of memories to Lore, including memories of Tasha Yar (Denise Crosby) and playing poker with the rest of the crew of the Enterprise, before lighting upon one final memory of his beloved cat Spot. Spot, he explains, taught him how to love and is the last part of him that he has to give. As Lore takes Spot, Data begins to vanish, and—back in engineering—Geordi reports the tragic news that it looks like Data is losing. However, this was far from surrender, this was Lore’s way around the protocol that doesn’t allow him to harm anyone. Instead of deleting Lore, like he was trying to do to Data, Data instead recognized that memories held value to Lore and, with each memory he handed over, he was making Lore more and more like himself. In the end, just as Soong planned, Data and Lore become one.

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Jack’s plan for buying them time comes in the form of a plan that could only come from the son of Jean-Luc Picard. He heads up to the bridge and presents himself to Vadic—with a catch. He has a detonator in his hand and, if Vadic doesn’t release the bridge crew, Jack intends to blow himself up to ensure Vadic can never win. With a glib remark he tells her there’s no point in resisting, he means business. It’s a bluff that Vadic falls hook, line, and sinker for. Instead of going with the rest of the crew to safety, Seven hangs back on the bridge, which Vadic notes as a “fitting” decision. In an attempt to keep Vadic focused on him, Jack starts prodding at her about his gifts and what she wants with them. In turn, Vadic speaks to Jack’s loneliness and claims that his “calling” to help people with his mother may actually just be guilt. Guilt for what? She goes on to ask him if he’s “heard them” after years of silence, and she even brings up the red door. Vadic’s taunting comments prompt more unanswered questions, unfortunately.

Data comes back online just in time to save the day. As he switches the comms back on, Riker makes contact with the Titan—revealing that they’re on their way back from the Shrike. Data informs Vadic that he has taken back control, snarking about “monologuing protoplasms,” and turning things over to Jack to pull off the rest of his plan. Jack grabs Seven and pulls her into a force field created by the metallic ball he was pretending was a detonator. Data opens the evacuation hatch, sending Vadic careening into the icy clutches of space where she shatters into a million little pieces. With Vadic defeated, Shaw lets Seven make the call to blow up the Shrike—taking out at least one part of the Changeling threat.

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Once Deanna comes aboard the Titan, she is struck by a feeling that there is an “all-consuming darkness” on the ship, which is quite clearly a reflection of whatever is happening to Jack. That assumption is later confirmed when The Next Generation crew—all together at last—convene in the ready room to discuss the dire situation they find themselves in. Before this somber note, there is a lot to smile about, as Geordi and Data have a sweet reunion in engineering, complete with this new version of Data being able to say contractions and make jokes, and Deanna and Beverly reunite, like barely any time has passed. There’s even a hilarious bit where Worf discusses all the heads that he has cleaved from necks over the years which he thought about sending to the crew.

After the emotions of the reunion settle, Data points out that they haven’t brought up a certain aspect of the conversation and Deanna explains that she thinks whatever the Changelings have planned for Frontier Day is directly tied to Jack. Picard notes that whatever is wrong with Jack has been growing stronger, seemingly linking it to the quickly approaching event. Deanna goes on to say that the darkness isn’t in him, so to speak, but rather around him, though there is some sort of ancient voice inside him that isn’t his own. Neither of which sounds like a good thing. As the episode draws to a close, Deanna says she wants to meet Jack.

Jack is rather apprehensive about letting Deanna inside his mind, but she does get through to him. She asks him about the ominous red door—the talking door—and Jack admits that he has no desire to open it because he’s terrified of what might lie on the other side of it. Deanna urges him that it’s time to open the door. Together they go inside the creepy, darkened corridor with the intention of opening that door. But whatever lies on the other side won’t be revealed until next week.

With only two episodes left, the focus now shifts to whatever is about to unfold during Frontier Day and how it’s all linked to Jack. Based on the context clues that have been dropped throughout the past few episodes, it would seem that there’s something about the nature of his conception that may be influencing everything—and maybe, collectively, it’s bigger than just the Irumodic Syndrome.

Rating: A

The first eight episodes of the final season of Star Trek: Picard are streaming now on Paramount+.

Disclaimer: This story is auto-aggregated by a computer program and has not been created or edited by filmibee.
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