Star Trek: 10 Times Captain Picard Was The Worst
Jean-Luc Picard is widely regarded as the greatest Star Trek captain ever. Even James T. Kirk had to give it up! Picard is a noble, honorable, and, most of all, moral man who will do the right thing, even if the consequences might be costly.
Like all human beings, however, Picard is flawed. In his early days, he was loud-mouthed, opinionated, and rash. These character traits would be tempered as he aged, but they also left a stain on his overall track record. Here are 10 times Captain Picard was at his worst.
10 He Was A Womanizer
Picard's early Starfleet days revolved around a frivolous pursuit of various pleasures, most notably women. He had a notorious track record for pursuing one night stands, a fact he would later be ashamed of when he realized just how foolish and empty his habits were.
While this behavior didn't do him any favors, it did prevent him from becoming romantic with his close friend Marta Batanides. When Q gave Picard the opportunity to re-live his life again and fix aspects of his past he regretted, he took the opportunity to get romantic with Marta, only for it to end disastrously.
9 He Was Aggressive
Picard wasn't always as tempered and diplomatic as he was in his later days as Captain of the Enterprise. His early days were full of pompous bravado and a need to prove himself to those who would taunt him.
This meant refusing to back down from a fight. While this characteristic would serve him well in intricate, heated exchanges with belligerent Romulans, it did him no favors when he took on a pair of Naussicans, only to get stabbed through the chest, requiring a heart replacement.
8 He Attempted To Change His Past
As mentioned before, Picard did try to change his past after dying on the operating table on board the Enterprise. Following his death, Q intervened and offered him the opportunity to live out his early days, to fix certain things he found were mistakes. While most of us would jump at the opportunity, few things could be more selfish.
Picard soon realized that changing the mistakes of youth would have drastic repercussions later in life. He found himself an unfulfilled low-grade Starfleet officer devoid of passion, ambition or imagination. Rather than live out this bleak existence, he begged Q to be allowed to die, instead.
7 His Quest For Revenge
Picard's assimilation by the Borg shortly before the battle of Wolf 359 would permanently change his character, right down to his elder years. Once an inspired, adventurous man, Picard suffered a wound that would never heal.
After the destruction of the Borg cube and his return to humanity, Picard's rage began to build. His hatred of the Borg would grow by leaps and bounds, threatening the lives of his crew during the second Borg attack on Earth. Only a heated exchange with Lily Sloane was enough to convince him to abandon his "Captain Ahab" ways and give up revenge.
6 He Was Arrogant
Picard was an excellent Captain by every standard, and his studies of history and philosophy made him a fine intellectual with a strong sense of morality, duty, and ethics. However, it also made him arrogant, which would come back to haunt him on several occasions.
His arrogance hit a peak when Q asked to join the Enterprise crew, claiming they needed him to deal with the terrors that awaited them in the deeper reaches of space. Picard dismissed Q's words, claiming they were ready for whatever was out there. Q took the opportunity to prove Picard wrong by flinging the Enterprise into the unknown reaches of space, right in the path of a Borg cube. Picard soon realized that he was outclassed and outgunned by this superior foe, forcing him to acknowledge his own arrogance and humble himself before Q.
5 He Ruined Boothby's Prized Tree
One of Picard's many flings seemed to have left quite an impression on him. During his Starfleet days, he became involved with a mystery romance known only as "A.F.," whose initials he decided he would carve into an elm tree on the grounds of Starfleet Academy.
This angered the groundskeeper Boothby, who had little patience for Picard's brash, undisciplined ways. Boothby would later prove to be instrumental to Picard graduating from Starfleet Academy, something which he never forgot.
4 He Stood Up His Date
Several factors contributed to Picard never settling down, one of which was fear of commitment. This was demonstrated in 2342, when Picard was due to meet a young woman named Jenice at the Café des Artistes in Paris, France.
He pulled out at the last moment, standing her up. He would forever regret his decision, as his relationship with Jenice was very meaningful. She would later go on to marry Dr. Paul Manheim, an expert in theoretical time and gravity.
3 He Broke The Prime Directive Multiple Times
For all his steadfast support of the Prime Directive, Picard felt he had to violate it several times throughout his career. While the circumstances were arguable, it was hypocritical of him to pick and choose which events he would meddle in, and which he would leave alone.
For instance, he largely avoided breaking the prime directive when he learned that one race was selling narcotics to another under the guise of a life-saving medicine. However, he saw fit to boldly snub the laws of another culture that would have executed Wesley Crusher for a seemingly harmless mistake. Whatever the rationale, Picard's allegiance to the Prime Directive was far from perfect.
2 He Hated Kids
It was no secret to anyone that Picard disliked children. News of it got around the Enterprise faster than anyone would have suspected, despite his desire to appear courteous to them. He felt uncomfortable in their presence and found them difficult to relate to. Even older children like Wesley Crusher were not immune.
In fact, he was not above telling Wesley to "shut up," in frustration, an act that shocked the bridge crew. Picard would later have a change of heart regarding children, especially after being stuck with several of them in a damaged turbo-lift after a quantum filament struck the Enterprise, causing terrible damage to the ship.
1 His War Captain From An Alternate Timeline
Picard was at his absolute worst during a freak moment when the Enterprise C emerged from a rift in the space/time continuum, drastically altering future events. In this timeline, the Federation was at war with the Klingon Empire, turning the Enterprise D into a warship, rather than a vessel of peaceful exploration.
The Picard of this timeline was every bit as intelligent and resourceful as his counterpart, but years of grueling war made him cold and analytical. His steel-fisted control of the Enterprise introduced a level of tension already high thanks to the war, which caused him to clash openly with Commander Riker and certain members of his crew. He was far removed from the man he once was, but at least he had the rationale to do the right thing, sacrificing his ship to restore the correct timeline and set things back to the way they were.