Previously on “Star Trek: Picard,” the audience learned from Commander Data that changelings infiltrated the Daystrom Facility to steal something more valuable than the portal weapon, which was utilized to reduce the Starfleet Recruitment Center to ashes. In reality, the changelings stole the human remains of Admiral Jean-Luc Picard. Also, William Ryker is captured by Vedic following his heroic stand, which makes it possible for Raffi and Worf to escape. Now Vedic plans to exploit Will’s vulnerabilities and weaknesses to get to Jean-Luc Picard and his son Jack Crusher.
Desperate Times Desperate Measures
On Titan, Seven is desperately trying to figure out Will’s location and learns from Captain Tuvok, who’s now replaced by a changeling, that Vedic has big plans for Will, and there’s nothing Picard and others can do to stop their plans. The group is fearful that the changes are trying to use Picard or Jack’s DNA to replicate some sort of evil doppelganger, which is much more formidable and devoid of any moral or ethical principles. Jean-Luc Picard’s evil doppelganger will be more cunning and devious than anyone, employing all of his wits and military expertise to outwit and outmaneuver his foes without fearing consequences. He could be heartless, engaging in sinister tactics to get what he wants no matter who gets hurt in the process. To sum it up, an evil Jean-Luc Picard can be defined as one of the most powerful, intelligent, and sinister beings in the galaxy.
Meanwhile, Raffi, alongside his new partner Worf, is going through Starfleet security at Exo-port to figure out Will’s location before it’s too late, but they’re met with a dead end, as there’s no mention of Will being in custody. On the other hand, the group is also running out of places to hide and, likewise, time to expose the conspiracy. Beverly suggests that the solution to their changeling problems might not be strategic but biological; however, she’s concerned about crossing the line, as targeting a species based on biology alone is considered genocide, the same as the virus used against the changelings in the Dominion War.
Picard orders Beverly to find out more about the changeling’s biology so they have a fighting chance.
The Brother’s Dilemma
With only hours left for the big event, the group rushes to Commander Data to salvage whatever information they can. Unfortunately, extracting any information would be tricky, as now Data houses the personalities of both himself and his brother Lore. Lore was another sentient AI who was deactivated and archived into Data’s memory core. Now Lore is soon to consume all aspects of Commander Data, erasing him. In fragments, Data begs Picard to help him break free from Lore’s grasp. Unfortunately, it is very challenging, given the sophisticated partition placed by Altan Soong. One tiny error will mean the end of Commander Data again! Titan also receives a compromised prefix code, which matches the frequency of Vedic’s Shrike, implying that Will is under Vedic’s control. The compromised code is a code that a captain or any high-ranking officer can give in a time of distress and imminent abduction.
Meanwhile, at Shrike, Vedic has a hard time bending Will’s loyalty to her advantage. Vedic learns from subspace transmission that Titan’s last battle with a Starfleet vessel has left its warp core disabled, which has also limited their movement. Vedic leads a boarding party to retrieve Jack Crusher and complete her master’s will. However, everything was a trap to capture Vedic and gain the upper hand over the changelings. However, Jack and Sydney also trapped themselves while evading Vedic’s men.
Why Did Vedic Hate Starfleet? What Is Project Proteus?
Unfortunately, Titan has a much bigger issue to deal with, as Lore, Data’s brother, takes command of the ship’s controls and traps Geordi so he can’t separate him from his brother. Lore is the exact opposite of Data and loves chaos and destruction, unlike his brother, who used to strive for knowledge. Geordi tries to call out Data, motivating him to fight Lore’s control; however, Lore is convinced of Data’s weakness and knows that no matter how hard he tries, he’ll never be able to break out of his control. Lore, like the changelings, wishes to survive, and his brother’s existence is a lingering threat to his plans. Lore also lowers the shields, holding Vedic and her men back so they can escape. Fortunately, Data manages to overcome Lore’s control before all hell can break loose. Vedic severely wounds Captain Shaw and manages to take control of the ship, announcing it as her own. The episode concludes with Vedic addressing her big prize, Jack Crusher, and offering him a chance to learn what he truly is.
Vedic deeply hated the Starfleet, blaming them for the genocide of the people. In the past, Starfleet used a specialised virus that nearly annihilated the changelings’ species. In the annals of history, it’s mentioned that Starfleet delivered a cure, but in reality, the decision was voted otherwise. However, one of the changelings managed to steal the cure, which also surprisingly bestowed them with the ability to mimic human blood and retain its form. Vedic also revealed that the Starfleet had been carrying out sinister experiments on the changelings under the guise of Project Proteus to use them as spies. Picard is completely oblivious to the fact that Starfleet harbors a secret desire to weaponize the changelings and, in the process, has created a perfect monster. After escaping from the lab, Vedic began enlisting anyone who harboured hatred against Starfleet. Vedic also chooses to wear the face of her tormentor to remind her of the pain and torment her species suffered. The Starfleet evolved the changelings into a species that is adept at taking anyone’s identity, mimicking their behavior, and also passing every single test that is put in place to differentiate humans from other species. And this is how Vedic’s men were able to infiltrate the Titan’s crew and Starfleet.