WARNING: While it should be obvious by the title, here’s an extra caution that the following article contains major SPOILERS for Star Trek: Picard, episode 3: “Assimilation.”
Star Trek has never been the kind of franchise along the lines of Game of Thrones or The Walking Dead to abruptly and brutally eliminate its popular heroes. But that doesn’t mean Trek creators have been unwilling to take out the occasional regular character. Denise Crosby’s Tasha Yar famously failed to survive the first season of Star Trek: The Next Generation, Terry Farrell’s Jadzia Dax is murdered just shy of the last season of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, and the first season of Star Trek: Picard sees the final death of Data (Brent Spiner). Now, just three episodes into the second season, Picard has killed off the Romulan warrior Elnor, played by Evan Evagora.
In episode 2, “Penance,” Jean-Luc Picard and his allies find themselves in an unfamiliar version of their world, not unlike the infamous Mirror Universe. Instead of the tolerant United Federation of Planets, Earth is ruled by a xenophobic Confederacy. Most of the show’s heroes wake up in coveted positions of power in the Confederacy, while Elnor — as a Romulan — is a rebel. Eventually, the heroes of Star Trek: Picard plan to head to 2024 to fix the timeline, but before they can escape the First Magistrate (Jon Jon Briones) and some of his men board their ship and fatally wound Elnor. In the episode that premiered this week, “Assimilation,” Elnor dies from his wounds. Raffi (Michelle Hurd) struggles to keep him alive in sick bay, but too much power is drained from the ship by the Borg Queen (Annie Wersching).
According to Newsweek, Evan Evagora was unsettled reading the script for his death episode. “I freaked out and sat there in silence for a really, really long time,” Evagora recalled, presumably assuming he was out of Star Trek: Picard for good. However, the actor is already dropping big hints that his return is nigh. He said that he spoke with producers after reading the script, and that the conversation left him, “feeling a lot less stressed and a lot more reassured.” He added what the showrunners had to say provided “a very big surprise”
Trek has never been shy about using time travel, and Star Trek: Picard is certainly proving no exception. Not long after Elnor’s death, the traumatized Raffi insists fixing the timeline will bring Elnor back from the dead, in spite of Dr. Jurati (Alison Pill) saying she’s not sure that’s the case. Meanwhile, with the involvement of Q (John de Lancie), literally anything is possible, but his presence isn’t an automatic resurrection pill. After all, the Borg wouldn’t have learned about the Federation if it weren’t for Q’s meddling in TNG, yet the entity has never seen fit to undo all the death and destruction that followed.
There are still seven episodes left in Star Trek: Picard season 2, so that’s seven more chances to see the return of Elnor. The story will presumably keep hopping back and forth through time, since we know Jonathan Frakes and Brent Spiner are both making guest appearances as their 24th century characters eventually. Episode 4 premieres next Thursday, March 24.