Star Trek Guide

Star Trek: Lower Decks Throws Shade at Picard - TWICE

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Star Trek: Lower Decks Season 1, Episode 8, "Veritas," now streaming on CBS All Access.

Captain Jean-Luc Picard led the U.S.S. Enterprise-D for seven seasons of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Over that time, the character proved himself one of Starfleet's finest and bravest of officers. Picard fought for his crew and the Federation's ideal at every turn, from his weekly adventures on television to the big screen. Eventually, the character retired, but, like any good captain, he couldn't stay away forever.

In Star Trek: Picard, fans found a much older Picard now enjoying his retirement on Earth at his family's vineyard. It was a logical progression for the character, given that the quiet family business had been established in The Next Generation's fourth season. While he spent most of his days making wine, Picard would eventually be called back to travel the stars once more. But it's this very retirement plan that ends up becoming the subject of ridicule in Star Trek: Lower Decks' latest episode.

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At the start of "Veritas," Boimler, Mariner, Rutherford and Tendi find themselves on trial on the planet K'Tuevon Prime. Each of them has to give a testimony over the events of the last few days, explaining the actions of Captain Freeman and the rest of the U.S.S. Cerritos' Command crew. What follows is a series of flashbacks that show each of the characters involved in the Cerritos' latest mission.

The only problem is none of them know all of the details, which makes their testimonies filled with holes. The first to get questioned is Mariner, who explains that while she was working in the lower decks of the Cerritos, she and the other Ensigns missed crucial information because Rutherford messed with their "red alert" speakers.

Mariner and Boimler rush to the helm, and they aren't willing to admit to the Captain and the Command crew they have no idea what is going on. Mariner says that she doesn't know what she would do if she were transferred back to Earth. She explains that, back there, there isn't much to do except making wine. This is, of course, is a subtle jab at Picard's retirement, as seen in the first few episodes of Star Trek: Picard.

Then, at the end of the episode, Q returns to challenge Mariner and the other Ensigns to a duel. Mariner dismisses the all-powerful being, telling him to go find Picard instead. But Q says, rather disappointingly, that Picard is no fun because all he does is quote Shakespeare and make wine.

This implies that Q may have visited Picard before the events of the latter's title series. This second joke at Picard's winemaking-focused retirement pokes fun at the 2020 television series, and it reiterates that a quiet retirement was never going to suit Jean-Luc Picard -- not for long, anyway.

Star Trek: Lower Decks stars Tawny Newsome as Ensign Beckett Mariner, Eugene Cordero as Ensign Rutherford, Jack Quaid as Ensign Brad Boimler, Noël Wells as Ensign Tendi, Dawnn Lewis as Captain Carol Freeman, Jerry O'Connell as Commander Jack Ransom, Gillian Vigman as Doctor T'Ana and Fred Tatasciore as Lieutenant Shaxs. The show premiered on CBS All Access on Aug. 6.

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