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This Star Trek: Picard article contains spoilers.
As Picard season 3 heads toward its conclusion, Star Trek fans are simply not prepared for how hard these episodes go in the nostalgia department. More than any other science fiction franchise, Star Trek’s history is so rich and varied, that it’s always possible to do something new with old material. For this reason, Picard’s penultimate episode, “Vox,” is still pretty shocking, even if you predicted some of these twists.
The easter eggs and callbacks here are there for the fan service, of course. But these are also storytelling moments, payoffs that are decades in the making. Here are all the biggest and most and best references and easter eggs in “Vox,” the next-to-last episode of Picard ever.
The Crimson Arboretum on Raritan IV
As Jack and Deanna try to get that red door opened, Jack remembers visiting the “crimson arboretum” on Raritan IV. We actually saw Raritan IV at the start of Picard season 2, and it appeared to be populated by Deltans. Raritan itself is a real city in New Jersey, and in SyFy’s 12 Monkeys — produced by Picard showrunner Terry Matalas — it was the site of Project Splinter, a time machine. On top of that, the crimson arboretum is probably a reference to the “red forest,” a time-altering concept from 12 Monkeys.
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We Are the Borg
Turns out behind the red door is a giant Borg cube. Jack has dormant genetic Borg DNA and that’s what’s been causing trouble all this time. Later in the episode, Data and Geordi figure out that Jean-Luc had similar Borg DNA, too, which is why the Changelings stole his human body. Their plan was to harvest that genetic code.
The Borg references in this episode are numerous. Early in the episode, we actually hear dialogue from the TNG episode “The Best of Both Worlds.” Also, the revelations about Picard’s ability to “hear” the Borg even after he was assimilated references the opening of First Contact, when Picard told Troi he could “hear” the Borg when they tried to attack Earth at the start of that movie.
Deanna Troi’s “Gifts”
This is a small one, but when Jean-Luc and Beverly question what Troi saw in Jack’s mind, she says “My gifts aren’t perfect, but I have never mistaken Borg.” This may go without saying, but Deanna Troi is not a full telepath like other Betazoids, she’s mostly an empath. Trek canon has played fast-and-loose with her ability to speak exclusively inside of other people’s minds, but there’s always been a limitation, which is why Deanna doesn’t have straight-up mind-reading skills. This small line of dialogue actually helps with some of these decades-long canon inconsistencies. Troi can speak to Riker and her mom via what seems like telepathy directly in their minds, but she can’t always get thought patterns 100 percent correct. Her gifts aren’t perfect!
Which Borg again?
Beverly says, “No one has seen from or heard from the Borg in over a decade.” For those who watched Picard season 2 this might be a bit confusing. But, as Shaw pointed out in episode 4 of this season, the Jurati-led Borg were from an alternate timeline and had nothing to do with the Borg in the Prime Universe. Over a decade means that the last time the “regular” Borg appeared would have been sometime before 2391. This would be roughly around the time the Borg Cube known as the “artifact” went offline before the events of Picard season 1.
Picard and the Borg Queen
Jean-Luc tells Jack, he “came close to killing everyone I knew, everyone I loved,” referencing the events of “The Best of Both Worlds.” He also references the Borg Queen, saying that Jack can’t know “what she can make you do.” This foreshadows the arrival of the true Borg Queen, as played by Alice Krige, later in this episode!
Voice of Alice Krige
As the credits reveal, the Borg Queen is once again played by the voice of Alice Krige. She first played the character in First Contact, and later, in the Voyager finale. Krige also voiced the Borg Queen in Lower Decks Season 2.
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The Changeling-Borg Alliance
In two scenes full of a lot of new information, Data, Geordi, and Worf lay out what’s been going on all this time. The Borg and the rogue Changelings made a pact to destroy the Federation. Vadic discovered the genetic Borg code in Picard’s body when she broke out of Daystrom Station. The Borg, as still controlled by the Borg Queen, accepted the Changelings’ help for reasons that will likely become clearer in the finale. The Borg introduced Picard’s genetic code into all the Starfleet transporters, which embedded the Borg juice into anybody who uses the transporter.
The Borg were unable to put this code in the transporters on their own, because, as we were told in season 2, the Prime Universe Borg were hobbled by Janeway’s actions in the finale of Voyager.
A Huge Amount of Starship Easter Eggs
Throughout the episode, we see countless Starfleet ships and many of those names are easter eggs and references. Here’s a list of the biggest ones:
- USS Okuda: This references Michael and Denise Okuda, longtime designers and artists who have worked on the Star Trek franchise since The Next Generation.
- USS Sutherland: This was the name of the ship Data took command of in the TNG episode “Redemption.”
- USS Drexler: This references Doug Drexler, a longtime and influential Star Trek artist.
- USS Akira: The Akira-class starship was first glimpsed in First Contact and is named after the anime sci-fi classic Akira.
- USS Luna: Riker’s Titan from Lower Decks was a Luna-class ship, and we do see at least a few Luna-class ships in fleet formation.
- USS Excelsior: Obviously, a reference to the Excelsior from the classic Trek films, although a new Excelsior was introduced in the Picard season 2 premiere.
- USS Ross: Likely a reference to Admiral Ross from Deep Space Nine.
- USS Reliant: The ship Khan stole in The Wrath of Khan. But another Reliant was the first ship Picard served in deep space, which was established in Picard season 1 and TNG.
- USS Castillo: This references Richard Castillo, the first officer of the USS Enterprise-C, from the TNG episode “Yesterday’s Enterprise.”
- USS Zheng-He: An Inquiry-class ship we saw in the finale of Picard season 1. This was Riker’s ship at that time, and it’s named for an ancient Chinese naval explorer. All the Inquiry-class ships are named for ancient explorers or scientists
- USS Ibn al-Haytham: Named for an Arab astronomer who was born in the year 956. Likely another Inquiry-class ship.
- USS Harlan: Probably named for Harlan Ellison, the science fiction writer who penned The Original Series classic “City on the Edge of Forever.”
- USS Forrest: This references Admiral Forrest from Star Trek: Enterprise.
- USS Hikaru Sulu: Obviously a reference to Sulu from TOS and all the classic films.
- USS Intrepid: We’ve actually seen this new Intrepid earlier this season. This was the ship that tried to trap the Titan in episode 5.
- USS Cochrane: Named for Zefram Cochrane, the inventor of the warp drive, introduced in the TOS episode “Metamorphosis” and made famous by the film First Contact.
The USS Enterprise-F
Since the first episode, we’ve known that the Enterprise-F has been scheduled for decommissioning. In the game Star Trek Online, the Enterprise-F is an Odyssey-class ship, and it appears here much as it does in that game.
Admiral Shelby (Elizabeth Dennehy)
Elizabeth Dennehy reprises her role as Shelby, who first appeared in “The Best of Both Worlds.” At the time, she was Starfleet’s leading Borg expert, which is why Picard cracks wise about “the irony of her endorsing something so Borg-like.”
The Anniversary of the NX-01
We learn here that Frontier Day celebrates the voyage of the Enterprise NX-01 from the series Enterprise. We hear cues from the Dennis McCarthy score from that series as Shelby explains the voyages of the NX-01 “would lead to…the birth of what we know as Starfleet.” To be clear, Starfleet existed in Enterprise. But the Federation did not. This is a small distinction, but the Federation version of Starfleet and the Enterprise version of Starfleet are a bit different. Basically, Frontier Day draws a line at the NX-01 as the end of the old Starfleet and the beginning of the new. The first version of Starfleet clearly existed before 2151, but now, it appears Starfleet thinks of those days as different from the Starfleet we know. This makes a decent amount of sense. Everything in Enterprise indicates that Starfleet wasn’t doing much boldly going before the NX-01.
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Shaw Gives Seven Command
After Shaw is tragically blasted by the newly assimilated Titan crew, he gives command to Seven, and poignantly calls her “Seven of Nine,” instead of Commander Hansen. Shaw had previously refused to call Seven by her name, and instead, had used her pre-assimilation name.
The Fleet Museum and Docking Bay 12
When Geordi takes the crew back to the Fleet Museum, we finally get to see what’s inside Docking Bay 12. Back in episode 6, “The Bounty,” Geordi’s daughter Alandra, suggested they try to use something in Docking Bay 12. Now we know what it is.
The biggest plot point in this episode of Picard is the return of the Enterprise-D. When Picard questions how the half-destroyed ship can even be here, Geordi says, “Thanks to the good old Prime Directive, the saucer was retrieved from Veridian III so as to not influence the system. I’ve been restoring it bit-by-bit over the last 20 years, the engines and nacelles come from the USS Syracuse.”
This quick bit of dialogue tells you everything: The saucer section, which crashed on Veridian III in Generations, was retrieved, and Geordi rebuilt the rest of the ship by salvaging other ships!
What Happened to the Enterprise-E?
Geordi quips that “we obviously can’t use the Enterprise-,” and everybody gives Worf the stink eye. He replies, “That was not my fault.” This references the fact that at some point after Nemesis, Worf was the captain of the Enterprise-E. We don’t know what happened to it, but clearly, it’s in no shape to get restored! We wrote way more about Worf and the Enterprise-E here.
The Enterprise-D Bridge and Majel Barrett
When the crew boards the Enterprise, the easter eggs mostly speak for themselves. The style of the bridge is exactly as it was on TNG, emulating the look of the ship from the series rather than from Generations. We see the classic dedication plaque, and Jean-Luc even makes a joke about the carpet. (A lot of contemporary Trek bridges don’t have carpet.)
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When Picard takes command of the ship, we hear the voice of Majel Barrett, the late wife of Gene Roddenberry, who played the voice of the computer throughout TOS and TNG. This is the first time we’ve heard her voice in a new Star Trek show or movie since 2009 when she was the voice of the computer in the first J.J. Abrams reboot.
The computer recognizes Picard as “Captain” not as “Admiral,” and Jean-Luc says that he accepts the “field demotion.” Data’s been calling him “captain” since episode 6. Riker called him “captain” in episode 1, and now, everyone’s calling him “captain.” Clearly, Captain Picard is back, and as Riker says, “We are the crew of the USS Enterprise.”
As the Enterprise-D makes its way out of Spacedock, we can see the NX-01 parked behind her in the Fleet Museum. And just before the ship goes to warp, the ship looks just as it does in Picard’s famous painting in his ready room. The Next Generation has returned and fans are not ready for this finale.
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Tags: Star TrekStar Trek: Picard
Ryan Britt is a longtime contributor to Den of Geek! He is also the author of three non-fiction books: the Star Trek pop history book PHASERS…
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Alice Krige plays The Borg Queen in Season 3 of "Star Trek: Picard."Is the Enterprise D in Picard Season 3? ›
That moment of truth finally came at the end of “Vox” — the 9th and penultimate episode of Season 3 — when the reunited bridge crew took their stations on the Enterprise-D, which turns out to be the only Federation starship capable of resisting assimilation by the powerful Borg.When did 7 of 9 meet Picard? ›
In 2399, Seven encounters Jean-Luc Picard and the crew of La Sirena en route to the planet Freecloud.How much time passed between Picard Season 1 and 2? ›
|Year||Stardates||Enterprise, Strange New Worlds, The Original Series, The Next Generation, Picard, original timeline films, major events|
|2399||76000–76999||Picard season 1 (2020)|
|2401||Picard season 2 (2022) [main timeline]|
|Species||Human (2305–2399), Synthetic Human (since 2399)|
|Family||Maurice Picard (father) Yvette Gessard (mother) Robert Picard (brother) Jack Crusher (son)|
|Relatives||Marie Picard (sister-in-law) René Picard (nephew) Adele (aunt)|
Annie Wersching, who played Borg Queen on 'Star Trek: Picard,' dies at 45. Jan. 30, 2023 Updated Mon., Jan.Who is the Captain of Enterprise F from Picard? ›
As we saw in Picard episode 9, “Vox,” the person in charge of the Enterprise-F was Admiral Elizabeth Shelby, played once again by Elizabeth Dennehy.Will Janeway appear in Picard Season 3? ›
Of course, being killed and replaced by a Changeling is not a fitting end to the story of Kathryn Janeway, and Kate Mulgrew is not known to appear in Star Trek: Picard season 3.Did Picard fly the Enterprise? ›
An accomplished diplomat and tactician, Picard managed to surpass a 22-year career as first officer and later captain of the U.S.S. Stargazer with an even more impressive record as captain of the fleet's former flagship U.S.S. Enterprise.Did Seven of Nine married Chakotay? ›
By the time of the series finale, "Endgame", The Doctor had managed to remove the implant, allowing Seven to pursue a relationship with Chakotay. The alternative future seen at the start of the episode showed that Seven and Chakotay were eventually married, but she died while Voyager was still travelling home.
Did Picard ever meet Janeway? The only time we've seen them interact was via viewscreen, but it's safe to assume by their causal chat, they've met previously.Why did Picard hug Q? ›
When Picard asked Q why he did this, he simply says “because I care about you.” When the two adversaries part ways, Jean-Luc actually gave Q a hug. Maybe, in the end, that's all he ever needed: a good hug from his “Mon Capitaine.”Why did Q change the timeline in Picard? ›
Executive producer Akiva Goldsman explains that they decided to use an alternate timeline instead of the Mirror Universe because they wanted a problem that Picard and the rest could solve. The Mirror Universe is what it is, it can't be fixed in the same way this alternate timeline can.How much did Patrick Stewart get paid for next generation? ›
It is not known how much Stewart was paid for the initial seasons of Star Trek: The Next Generation, but it is known he was earning around $45,000 per episode by 1992. By the series's end, he was making $100,000 per episode.What happened to Wesley Crusher? ›
Crusher apparently eventually returned to Starfleet and, by 2379, may have become a full-fledged officer, holding the rank of lieutenant junior grade. (Star Trek Nemesis) If so, he eventually resumed his travels by 2401, though he no longer used the name Wesley Crusher. (PIC: "Farewell").Who is Captain Picard's son? ›
In Star Trek: Picard, the Starfleet legend discovers he has an adult son he never knew of — Jack Crusher.What species are humans to the Borg? ›
Species 5618 - Human - Alpha Quadrant
Humans are considered by the Borg to be a highly resistant species.
Designating the wearer's career is the main function of a Starfleet uniform. In TOS (The Original Series) gold was reserved for command, red was for engineering and security, leaving science and medical officers with blue.Who is the female Borg in first contact? ›
The Borg are an alien group that appear as recurring antagonists in the Star Trek fictional universe. The Borg are cybernetic organisms (cyborgs) linked in a hive mind called "the Collective".
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Not the Enterprise-E, but…
Picard season 3 is set two decades later with most of the action set on board the USS Titan-A, and fans would like to know if the Enterprise will show up as well. Alas, it appears not to be. On Sunday, showrunner Terry Matalas confirmed that Enterprise-E will not be part of season 3.
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The producers of Star Trek took the SS part to mean “Spaceship” and then amended it with a U to stand for the United Federation of Planets, so USS means “United Spaceship.” It appears another motivation for using the acronym may have been to appease patriotic network executives.Does Janeway become a Borg? ›
The Pocket TNG novel Resistance showed the creation of another Queen, who was destroyed by the crew of the Enterprise-E. Subsequently, in the Pocket TNG novel Before Dishonor, Admiral Janeway was assimilated by the Borg and became a Queen who was eventually defeated by Seven of Nine.What happened to Tom Paris after Voyager? ›
After returning to the Alpha Quadrant, Paris remained in Starfleet and was promoted to full lieutenant.
Kate Mulgrew has returned in the animated series Star Trek: Prodigy, including playing Admiral Janeway, who will feature prominently in the upcoming second half of season one which debuts on October 27.What does NCC mean in Star Trek? ›
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Picard and Data meet Spock on the planet Romulus. Spock is initially uncooperative when Picard questions him as to the details of his mission.Did Picard and Kirk meet? ›
Kirk Meets Picard ('Star Trek: Generations,' 1994)
The two Enterprise captains team up to save the day from Tolian Soran (Malcolm McDowell), with Kirk (William Shatner) ultimately dying in one of the most controversial and debated moments in Star Trek history.
They didn't even really get along. But they broke the mold of female mentorship together by trusting in each other's skills and talents, and using that strength to break new ground.Was the doctor in love with Seven? ›
Through their social lessons, they both discover elements of her that were previously buried. While Seven explores her identity, the Doctor eventually falls in love with her, adding a new level of complication to their relationship.Who married Chakotay? ›
|Children:||Shannon Sekaya Janeway (in an alternate universe)|
|Other relatives:||Ce Acatl (ancestor) A 20th century ancestor A grandfather A cousin|
Only one Queen exists at any given time; when she is destroyed, a new Queen takes her place. In Star Trek: Voyager, it's revealed that the Borg Queen isn't a singular entity, but the name given to any that serves as its host, possessing all previous Queen's collective consciousness.Who is the female admiral in Picard? ›
Star Trek: Picard (TV Series 2020–2023) - Ann Magnuson as Admiral Kirsten Clancy - IMDb.Why is Robert not in Picard? ›
The Missing Brother
The last time we saw Robert (ro-BARE) Picard, who was played by the late Jeremy Kemp, he was still at Château Picard. Along with his son, Rene Picard, both tragically died in a house fire prior to the events of Star Trek: Picard.
Borgati's “off-shoot” The final two episodes of Star Trek: Picard season two saw Agnes Jurati become a Borg Queen.What was the last thing Q said to Picard? ›
Picard relays the orders to each Enterprise. Each ship suffers catastrophic damage, with Q telling the future Picard that "all good things must come to an end" just before the future Enterprise explodes.Do the Borg join the Federation? ›
The new Borg Queen created a Collective that would not forcefully assimilate people and would embrace the distinctiveness and individuality of its members. When they join with StarfleetOpens in new tab to stop a destructive spatial anomaly, they formally request membership in the Federation.Who plays the new Borg Queen in Picard? ›
Wersching was diagnosed in 2020, she continued her acting work, playing the Borg Queen on the second season of “Picard,” a “Star Trek” spinoff on Paramount+, as well as the serial killer Rosalind Dyer on the ABC crime series “The Rookie.”
The final two episodes of Star Trek: Picard season two saw Agnes Jurati become a Borg Queen.Who is the queen of the Borg Picard? ›
The talented actress passed away on Sunday after a two-year illness.Why isn t Alice Krige the Borg Queen in Picard? ›
While we do not know for certain, but without Paramount directly telling us, the prevailing theory is that Krige was unable to travel to L.A. due to COVID restrictions when casting for season two began. Since Annie Wersching lives in L.A., the role was simply recast.What is Borg Species 125? ›
Species 125 - Delta Quadrant
This is the species from which the Borg Queen herself originates, the species possessed an over-sized cranial region exhibiting telepathy and extraordinary mental processing capacity.
In Picard Season 1, Seven of Nine (Jeri Ryan) briefly becomes a Borg Queen. The once-assimilated daughter of Magnus and Erin Hansen, who collected the earliest Federation data on the Borg, must attach herself to the device inside the Queen's liar and say, "We are the Borg," to save Borg and xBs on the Artifact.Did the Romulans create the Borg? ›
It's possible that the big secret of Star Trek: Picard is that the Romulans are actually responsible for the creation of the Borg Collective. We learn in “Maps and Legends” about the Zhat Vash, a secret cabal within the already super secretive Romulan Tal Shiar.Did Jurati really sing? ›
The Queen causes the lights to go out and Jurati begins to sing. No, really: sing. She belts out “Shadows of the Night” by Pat Benatar and the band joins in, as if this was all just part of the set list. (Alison Pill has an amazing voice!)Was the Borg Queen human? ›
Role and personality
In accordance with the Borg pursuit of perfection, a blending of the organic and synthetic, very little of her original humanoid form remained. Her face and upper torso were organic while the rest of her body, including her skull and spinal cord, were synthetic.
During their mission to assimilate Earth, the Borg decided that a human voice was necessary to facilitate their introduction into human society. Captain Picard was chosen to be that voice. And that voice was dubbed Locutus of Borg.What powers does the Borg Queen have? ›
The Queen had her own chambers within the Borg Unicomplex from which she could oversee and control the Borg via command interface. Whether she had her own ship or not is unknown, but she used different Borg vessels to travel, such as a Borg cube, sphere, or diamond.
Annie Wersching played the Borg Queen in Star Trek: Picard season 2, and she assimilated Dr. Agnes Jurati (Allison Pill) so that Jurati is now the physical basis of the Borg Queen.Is there only 1 Borg Queen? ›
Only one Queen exists at any given time; when she is destroyed, a new Queen takes her place. In Star Trek: Voyager, it's revealed that the Borg Queen isn't a singular entity, but the name given to any that serves as its host, possessing all previous Queen's collective consciousness.How many times did Picard become Borg? ›
Officially, Jean-Luc Picard was assimilated by the Borg for only six days in Star Trek, constituting one single two-part episode bridging seasons 3 and 4 of The Next Generation.