"Maps and Legends" is the second episode of the series, “Picard”, marked CBS and Amazon Prime, set in the Star Trek Universe.
Last week we had published in this article, the analysis of the first episode of the series. Have you got to read it?
After a week has passed since the release of the second episode, I feel cautiously safe in saying that I can talk about the new episode "Maps and Legends" without fear of doing spoiler but, in any case, consider that in this article there will be information about the episode and references to past series.
No Earl Gray, today we celebrate, with excellent portions of replicated proteins, the First Contact Day. The episode "Maps and Legends " opens with an overview of the planet Mars, and more precisely of the Federal shipyards of Utopia Planitia.
The Day of First Contact and the Synthetic Revolt
It's a big party, it's the First Contact Day and the year is 2385, a few years before the Romulan supernova explosion. The construction sites are at full capacity and we can immediately see a workforce made up of synthetic beings, F8 class androids. These androids, for physical conformation, face, eyes, but above all for the total absence of a sense of humor, are androids of "Soong type", which are named after the creator of Data, Lore e B-4.
What can we see in this scene? Definitely a reference to the episode "The Measure of a Man”And the dialogue between guinan (Whoopie Goldberg) and the captain Picard. During the discussion, Guinan warned the captain that if the possibility had been given to create androids to the Federation, thanks to the studies of Bruce Maddox, a race of slaves would surely be born. The forecast was correct. Not feeling any kind of emotion these androids, with the identifying F-8 mark on their foreheads, are an excellent workforce that can be engaged anywhere.
The scene shows us the exterior of Mars, a very different planet from the one we had known during the episode "Demons"Of the series Enterprise and we see in plain sight "McCall" class shuttles. This kind of shuttles had already been used in the film "The Nemesis " and it was the prototype of the Captain's spear.
But back to the androids and their revolt. The following scene sees one of the insiders making a joke to the android F-8 but he, while not understanding the joke, smiles to his interlocutor and this is a clear reference to Data in the pilot episode of the series "Star Trek: The Next Generation" by title "Meeting at Far Point". In the episode Data does not include a line from the first officer of the Enterprise-D ... if this is not a quote!
Before the actual revolt, we see the laboratory technicians having lunch and, while they are "preparing" the meal, one of the workers talks about “Amino of Una” matrices. To better understand the joke, the viewer would have to see the so-called "Short Trek" of the short episodes of Star Trek released from 2018 to today, in which a few minutes were shared small additional notions about the saga. A he is in fact the first officer of the Enterprise under the command of Christopher Pike in the Star Trek: Discovery series. That it was she who made the rations more appetizing? There is even talk of space pineapples!
We now come to the dramatic moment: the revolt of the machines. The android's eyes are framed and, as far as we can imagine, it is reprogrammed from the outside; once the new directive is launched, the synthetic directs the orbital defense platforms against construction sites… and the apocalypse begins. A nice summary of what happens is possible to "live" through the eyes of two girls in the last episode "Short Trek: Children of Mars".
Tal Shiar, Romulan drunk and old "enemies"
After the theme song, the scene focuses on Jean-Luc Picard and his two servants. We know from the last episode that they are not ordinary people but members, declared heretics, of the Tal Shiar. Here we have the first revelation of the episode. According to Laris, what happened to one of Data's "daughters" is because of an old "legend" of Tal Shiar, the Zhat Vash. There are no easter eggs here. These Zhat Vash are new to me, but honestly for now the explanations referring to them do not convince me ...
But despite everything, in the explanations we can find some more or less flashy easter eggs: the first is that we talk about a hangover caused by Romulan beer. Romulan beer, for the uninitiated, is an alcoholic drink so strong that it even makes a Kilingon. During the various eras, it has always been forbidden in the worlds of the Federation, but on time, captains and admirals managed to retrieve a bottle or two to toast with friends and subordinates. The one time the embargo on Romulan beer was lifted, it was during the war against the Dominion (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine), during the Federal-Klingon-Romulan alliance.
The second quote concerns "The Gorn Hegemony". This breed of lizards is very famous for taking part in several episodes of the series, the first during "Star Trek: The Original Series "in the episode" Arena ", in which a Gorn was faced with bare hands by Captain Kirk, and then in an episode of "Enterprise" called "In a Dark Mirror".
Maps and Legends gives us confirmation of a disease that we knew
After a brief parenthesis on the Borg Cube, which we will discuss in more detail shortly, we see Jean-Luc Picard talking to his former crewmate of the Stargazer, Dr. Benayoun.
We know little about the captain's old companions during his time on the Stargazer, except that Weasley Crusher's father died during his command.
Here the doctor starts talking to Picard about a possible problem related to the parietal lobe of his brain. Who followed the series where we met the captain, in the last episode we saw an elderly Picard with a disease called "Irumodic Syndrome".
The symptoms are the following:
- Progressive loss of memory, clarity and autonomy
- violent mood swings
- sudden and violent outbursts of anger
The doctor just makes a couple of jokes about the fact that it seems that Jean-Luc is affected, it was enough to see the outburst during the first episode when facing the interview.
After this parenthesis with the old friend Picard he heads for the Starfleet headquarters accompanied by the classic music associated with the fleet.
Looking up, after entering the building, we see the holograms of the past Enterprise, starting from the note NCC-1701, remodeled according to the canon of Star Trek: Discovery, and the best known Enterprise-D. Immediately afterwards, if you point your ears well, and listen to the dialogue in the original language, you can hear a meeting with Admiral Gurney: this is the name of the character played by Patrick Stewart in the 1984 film "Dune, " directed by David Lynch. How much fun will they have?
But let's get to the next scene of “Maps and Legends”. The action moves to the check-in counter, the lieutenant in charge of directing the "visitors" asks Picard to spell his name, as if he had not actually been recognized, and immediately afterwards gives him a visitor tag. If you look carefully at the plate you can see the Starfleet emblem folded to the side.
The next interview is not the most pleasant. Picard meets and clashes with an admiral, to be exact with Clancy Kirsten who, in addition to knowing him very well, rejects all his requests. Why did I claim that you know him? The actress played, in one of the first episodes of the series, one of the two navigators of the Entreprise-D and the name of the ensign of that episode, found in the credits, was Clancy Kirsten. I would say he has come a long way!
Also pay attention to the admiral's communicator: in all past series, when the future of the Fleet was shown, the communicator had that exact shape, even if the uniforms were very different.
One sentence struck me deeply during the exchange between Picard and the admiral.
The admiral claims that fourteen species had threatened exit from the Federation if it continued its efforts to aid the Romulan Star Empire. Uit warns us of what we are going to see in Star Trek: Discovery that was anticipated to us in trailer?
After the denied request the action moves to Romulan space.
Of Borg Cubes, Artifacts and other Assimilations
The scene opens with Soji, La sister of Dahj, who helps a Dr. Trill prepare for the first day inside the Borg Artifact. What is the Artifact? It is a cube disconnected from the Borg Collective as a result of damage or malfunctions. From a sign inside the facility, we see that there has been no assimilation on this ship for about sixteen years, a period of time compatible with the Borg invasion we talked about in this one. article.
From the way of relating to other races it is understandable to say that the Artifact is in the hands of Romulan Free State, one of the two forces that originated from the destruction of the planet Romulus. In fact, we find Trill and Andoriani working and studying the now deactivated cube and its old inhabitants.
It is during the following interlude in the Cube, in which we see Soji making a prayer for a Borg Drone whose species is not recognized, that we can see that the attitude of these Romulans is very different from what they are known for!
Search for allies: Asimov
In the interlude to the events that take place on the Artifact, we see Jean-Luc in search of allies. Zhaban advises Picard to call Reiker, Worf and Geordi back. Here we have the first certainty that Geordi LaForge did not die, years earlier, in the Utopia Planitia shipyards, since he had been assigned there, after the final mission of the Enterprise-E, to develop new warp ships. Picard, for fear of bringing his ex-crewmates to certain death, refuses to call them and decides to turn to others.
The scene shifts to Dr. Jurati, who we got to know in the previous episode. We see her reading a book, Asimov's hardcover copy of "The Complete Robot", a complete work on androids. Jean-Luc here amuses himself by saying that he has never appreciated science fiction, and this is because perhaps he lives in the universe always hoped for by Isaac Asimov, who was a great friend of Gene Roddenberry. Again we are faced with a wide selection of teas and the doctor chooses an Earl Gray making the captain very happy.
The ending of the episode approaches and Picard contacts an old "friend". Not before having made yet another reference to a past event. This time we bother the film "Generations”And the sentence "Time is the fire in which we all burn". The captain in fact, before contacting Rafi, is again in front of a clock and moreover with a crackling fire in the fireplace, just to remember the event that brought him back to Chateaux-Picard.
Romulans in Starfleet?
Before the last act of the episode Maps and Legends, we see a conversation between Admiral Clancy and Commodore Oh. The rank of commodore has never been awarded, at least officially, to any character in the Star Trek universe and this is the first time we see one in the flesh and it is, at least in appearance, a Vulcan. On his table a representation of the Kir'Shara where the teachings of Surak are listed, the one who first taught logic to the Vulcans.
We have some qualms about Commodore Oh being a Vulcan. I think that, as often happens in the higher ranks of Starfleet, things are never very clear. This commodore appears to be in league with the Romulans belonging to the Zhat Vash and that these have infiltrated into several levels, even going so far as to change the sex of their agents, as well as the connotations as we can understand by observing Lieutenant Rizzo. we'll see
A well-known stone appears in Maps and Legends
I wondered when they would insert the Vasquez Rocks. Anyone who knows the franchise well knows that this stone is literally omnipresent in Star Trek. From the Original Series, in which he appears four times, on various different planets of course, to Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Voyager, and then to move on to films and also to Enterprise, we finally make it canonical as his presence on Earth.
This is where Rafi musician decided to retire after the experience as Jean-Luc's first officer during the events narrated in the comic Countdown. Years later we see her full of resentment, like many others, towards Picard and the only way he has to capture his attention is to exploit his alcohol-related weakness. Rafi is in fact a "broken" woman, like many other Starfleet officers, and has found in alcohol a means to move forward. Not very nice of Picard to leverage a weakness, is it?
A chat between brothers
The episode ends with a chat between Narek and Lieutenant Rizzo. The two know each other and from the dialogue we understand how complicated and difficult working for Zhat Vash is. Each step can be the last, and no price is high enough to accomplish the goal.
Conclusions and thoughts scattered over Maps and Legends
Maps and Legends he put a lot of meat on the fire.
Why does the episode seem so accelerated, so many ask?
Perhaps, who is facing this series has not noticed that we do not follow the canonical twenty or more episodes to which we were accustomed. The narrative must necessarily be different, especially since there are no longer the classic self-conclusive episodes and fillers of the old series, the story has its own specific direction.
Honestly, time has flown by watching this episode and I hope to fully enjoy the next one as much as I enjoyed these first two.
As always, I invite you to report any forgotten easter eggs or other quotes and I am waiting for you in a week with the explanation of episode three!
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