Except for a couple of notable weaknesses, the Star Trek: Picard series finale proves to be one of the best conclusions in the franchise's long history.
THE STAR TREK: PICARD SERIES FINALE REVIEW SCORE
The Star Trek: Picard series finale, “The Last Generation,” thankfully proves to be an explosive, emotional, funny, and nearly pitch-perfect ending to the revival. Fittingly — particularly considering The Mandalorian Season 3 finale premiered yesterday — it borrows from Star Wars in all the best ways, while remaining absolutely Trek. I have a couple of complaints that I’d say rank higher than “minor quibble,” but not enough to ruin what’s undoubtedly one of the best series finales in the history of franchise.
The Star Trek: Picard finale gives fans an exciting final conflict fought on multiple fronts, feeling just like Star Wars classics like Return of the Jedi and The Phantom Menace. Seven and Raffi seize control of the Titan and wage a losing battle against the assimilated fleet as it assaults Space Dock: the last barrier between it and Earth.
Meanwhile Picard, Riker, and Worf board the Borg Cube. Picard fights to free his son from the control of the Borg Queen while Riker and Worf search for a way to send the Enterprise-D the location of the Borg beacon that is controlling the assimilated Starfleet crew. Aboard the D, Geordi, Beverly, Troi, and Data fight to destroy the beacon itself.
Speaking of the Enterprise-D, the creators put the ship through a gauntlet that marks another homage to Star Wars in the Star Trek: Picard finale — the Rebels’ race through the Death Star in 1983’s Return of the Jedi. All the fans who have been cheering on the return of Star Trek: The Next Generation‘s flagship will no doubt be thrilled to see what more contemporary visual effects do with it. If sequences like this were possible back in 1994, the Trek producers likely wouldn’t have bothered replacing it with the Enterprise-E.
Along with the explosions and impressive effects, the Star Trek: Picard finale offers plenty of opportunities for tears to be shed. Picard’s final confrontation with the assimilated Jack Crusher, a shocking recording presented to Seven of Nine, and a perfect tip of the hat to the TNG series finale — “All Good Things” — are sure to make any invested fans’ eyes nice and sweaty.
“The Last Generation” also hints at more to come, hopefully in showrunner Terry Matalas’ dream project Star Trek: Legacy. I won’t reveal more, but suffice to say toward the end of the finale Matalas borrows heavily from another Disney property: the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
The Star Trek: Picard finale delivers just enough fan service, including two surprise cameos: one appearance from a Trek actor who already showed up earlier in the season and another from one of the three surviving members of the Star Trek: The Original Series lead cast.
Perhaps it’s a matter of nothing more than personal taste, but one of the only places in which I found the Star Trek: Picard finale lacking was in Alice Krige’s physical appearance as the Borg Queen. Compared to when she originated the character in 1996’s Star Trek: First Contact, she is utterly buried under makeup in “The Last Generation.” Without her distinct voice or the credits, you would have no idea who it was under all that stuff.
The look succeeds in making her scarier and it makes sense narratively — since she’s been starving and fighting to regain her strength for decades — but I was looking forward to seeing Krige in the role again and disappointed to not see her in the role again.
My only other beef is with the absence of Orla Brady as the titular hero’s love interest Laris in the Star Trek: Picard finale. Last week I wrote about how Laris is Picard‘s most wasted character, I stand by that, but that isn’t even why her absence bothers me. Instead, what bothers me is that without her appearing in the episode, we’re left with a bit of confusion.
The finale’s last scenes take place a year after the events of the third season, and while we never see Picard with Laris, we do see him with Beverly Crusher. There’s no indication that they’re back together as a couple, but without Laris around, there’s nothing to say they aren’t together either. It wouldn’t feel genuine for that romance to re-emerge, but we don’t get a solid answer either way.
Regardless of my only two problems with the Star Trek: Picard series finale, I can’t imagine a better wrapping up of this imperfect series. Hopefully Terry Matalas will get his chance to bring us the spinoff Star Trek: Legacy. Until then, you can watch all of Picard from start to finish on Paramount+.