Star Trek’s Changelings Are Becoming Borg?

We have a theory that Jack Crusher inherited his father's connection to the Borg, and that the Changelings are hunting him to use his his genetic code to recreate a new version of The Great Link.

By Michileen Martin | Published

star trek borg changelings
Vadic (Amanda Plummer) rallying her troops in “Bounty” – Star Trek: Picard S3 E6

We’re officially over halfway through the final season of Star Trek: Picard, and today’s episode, “Bounty,” offers the clues that I believe point toward the Changelings’ ultimate goal of cannibalizing Jack Crusher’s (Ed Speleer) inherited latent connection to the Borg. The biggest clues come both at the very beginning and close to the end of “Bounty.” Amanda Plummer’s Vadic delivers a passionate monologue in the opening scene that points toward their goal, and the reveal of what the Changelings stole from Daystrom Station at the end of the episode likewise leans toward a Borg connection.

First, to what Star Trek: Picard‘s chief Changeling Vadic (not counting her mysterious superior) says that hints toward the Borg:

“But there will be rest. There will be a day of lifeless bodies burning in space. Oh, there will be silence again. Unity again. Peace again. But first… we will have vengeance.”

-Vadic in “Bounty

In this season’s third episode, we learn that these Changelings are not working at the behest of the Dominion, but splintered off from the Great Link because they were against the peace forged with the Federation at the end of the Dominion War. Vadic’s words, filled with yearning about “unity again,” suggest this splintered group of Changelings may have been away from the Great Link for so long that they may no longer be able to link with one another. This could explain why they’ve evolved to become partly solid — that may be the only way they can survive.

star trek changeling borg
Jean-Luc Picard’s corpse revealed as the object stolen from Daystrom Station in “Bounty” – Star Trek: Picard S3 E6

Second, we know from the beginning of this season of Star Trek: Picard, the Changelings have been hunting Jack Crusher, we know now they stole Picard’s human corpse, and the most obvious thing those two could have in common is a connection with the Borg. In TNG and in Star Trek: First Contact it was clear that even with all his Borg implants removed, Picard (Patrick Stewart) retained some link with the Borg. Picard’s human body died at the end of Picard‘s first season, and his consciousness was uploaded into a new synthetic one, severing it from its connection to the Borg.

Third, there’s Jack’s repeated hallucinations and mental breaks. Beverly (Gates McFadden) explains them away by diagnosing Jack as having inherited the illness that killed Jean-Luc, but that can’t be the whole story. Sure, Irumodic Syndrome could explain his hallucinations, but since when did that illness make people inexplicably turn into Jason Bourne and kill a pair of deadly Changelings without breaking a sweat as he does in “Imposters?”

star trek changeling borg
Jack Crusher’s hallucination of Seven of Nine (Jeri Ryan) in “Seventeen Seconds” – Star Trek: Picard S3 E3

For the most part, Jack’s hallucinations have taken the form of red, vein-like structures forming in the walls around him or seemingly prophetic dreams. But in “Seventeen Seconds,” it’s Jeri Ryan’s Seven of Nine — a former Borg drone — who appears to be speaking directly to him, and it’s the only time we see another character take shape as the source of the voices calling for Jack.

I think we are going to learn that in Star Trek: Picard, the Changelings believe they can create their own version of the Great Link, and it has something to do with the interaction of whatever Borg is left both in Picard’s corpse and in Jack Crusher. After all, the Borg, like the Changelings, interact through one all-encompassing collective.

If I’m correct, then you might rightly ask why Star Trek hasn’t shown the Changelings hunting Seven or any of the ex-Borgs we see on the Artifact in Season 1. My guess is that we will learn that Jack Crusher is unique as the only biological offspring of an ex-Borg; not only of an ex-Borg but from the man who was — in the words of Todd Stashwick’s Liam Shaw — “the only Borg so deadly, they gave him a goddamn name.”

We should find out in the next month whether or not I’m even close to the target. In the meantime, the first six episodes of Star Trek: Picard‘s final season are streaming on Paramount+.

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