Star Trek Guide

Star Trek: Picard - Jean-Luc May Have Chosen a Successor

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Season 1, Episode 9-10 of Star Trek: Picard, “Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1-2,” now streaming on CBS All Access.

One of the recurring themes of Star Trek: Picard has been that Picard is pretty old. Since the start of the series, the abnormality in his brain's parietal lobe put a ticking clock on the Star Trek: The Next Generation captain's life. And after he saved an alien world in the first season finale for the CBS All Access series, that defect finally became fatal.

Although Picard was effectively reborn in an artificial body by the end of the episode, he had heart-to-heart conversations with some of his La Sirena shipmates. While those goodbyes turn out to be somewhat premature, Picard still seems to indicate who he sees as the most direct inheritor to his galaxy-saving mission: Seven of Nine.

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Seven of Nine (born Annika Hansen) is a familiar face to fans, having first appeared as one of Star Trek: Voyager's most beloved characters. In Picard, Jeri Ryan reprised her role as the female ex-Borg, and she's gotten to kick some serious butt since she's returned. From saving Picard and his crew from a Romulan Bird of Prey to offering herself as bait for a dangerous plan to rescue Bruce Maddox and taking down the Romulan villain Narissa, it's clear Annika has become a force to be reckoned with.

But with that force comes a darker side, too. After she first appears on Picard as a Fenris Ranger, Jean-Luc has to stop her from taking revenge on an old friend of hers, Bjayzl, who betrayed her and murdered her adoptive son Icheb, another ex-Borg, for his mechanical parts. After this, Seven and Picard have a heart-to-heart conversation on whether either of them had regained their humanity since they were assimilated by the Borg Collective.

Despite that stirring conversation, Annika goes back down to the planet they had escaped from and takes her revenge anyways, killing Bjayzl. Before doing so, she reveals her motives for lying to Picard, claiming that she wanted him to continue to have hope in an otherwise hopeless situation. While Annika is clearly on good terms with Picard, it doesn't seem like she shares his philosophy.

When Seven tells Picard to "keep saving the galaxy" in the penultimate episode of the series, he replies by telling her that that is her responsibility now, effectively passing the torch onto the Voyager star. While Picard's subsequent rebirth makes that statement far less ominous, it's still a clear indication that he sees her as the inheritor to the ideals that Starfleet and the United Federation of Planets once stood for.

While the season finale ends with Seven seemingly finding her place aboard the La Sirena, it could be interesting to see Annika taking a leadership role throughout the rest of the series. Viewers already got a sneak peek of that when Annika temporarily become the Borg Queen earlier in the season, and it wouldn't be surprising if she became a core part of Picard's brain-trust or even his new Number One as the show continues.

Even though Star Trek: Picard is very much about Jean-Luc Picard, the show, which has already been renewed for a second season, is also about grappling with the legacy of Star Trek as a whole. As one of Star Trek's most popular stars, Seven would be the perfect character to carry on the next generation of this crew's voyagers, and it seems like Picard himself thinks so too.

Star Trek: Picard stars Patrick Stewart, Alison Pill, Michelle Hurd, Evan Evagora, Isa Briones, Santiago Cabrera and Harry Treadaway. The first season is available on CBS All Access.