"The absolute truth" is the fourth episode of the series, "Picard", marked CBS and Amazon Prime, set in the Star Trek universe.
We are now in the fourth week of programming and, like every time, I leave you the links to previous episodes so that you can refresh your memory on what happened.
Brief introductory guide, Episode One, Episode Two, Episode Three.
In this episode, as in the previous ones, there are numerous references to the past of Jean-Luc Picard and to the series that saw him protagonist almost thirty years ago. In addition to these I will speak, before closing my analysis of "The absolute truth", of a theory that is keeping me awake at night. No, come on, it's not actually the theory that keeps me awake, but it's insomnia.
Let's jump right into this episode! There is a lot to deal with.
A classic flashback to the past
As in any episode, which we have seen so far, a flashback opens the initial sequence.
Picard is visiting the colony of fourteen years before the events of the series Vashti, in the Beta Quadrant, home to a relocation point for displaced Romulans. Already in the name of the colony, Vashti, we have a clear aspect of this planet. The name, in fact, derives from that of a Persian queen who had opposed the exploitation of her beauty by her husband king. Why do I say it is a clear aspect of this planet? Because at the "command" we find a sort of cult of warrior nuns called Qowat Milat. The Qowat Milat are opposed to everything that was the Romulan Star Empire, with its secrets, its duplicity and, for this reason, they have chosen the path of absolute candor, which leads to absolute truth to show what the heart really is. wants.
After teleportation it is possible to observe a Picard, obviously younger, without the Starfleet uniform, but dressed in white in a very similar way to that of René Belloq, French archaeologist present in Indiana Jones. A reminder of your love for archeology?
Other references to the past can be identified in the Romulan greeting that Picard addresses to the sisters: "Jolan Tru". This is a typical expression that can be translated as "find peace" or "may your day be full of peace". The first time we heard this phrase is during the two-part episode, "Unification", of the "Star Trek: The Next Generation" series, and later reprized in the "Fragile Alliance" episode of the "Star Trek: Enterprise" series. ".
Finally we have Alexandre Dumas with "the Three Musketeers". Fencing, for Picard, but also for other Star Trek characters has always been important. In the episodes "Remembering Paris" and "I, Borg" of "Star Trek: The Next Generation" Jean-Luc finds himself fencing with William Reiker, Lieutenant Dean and even Guinan. Let's also not forget that Hikaru Sulu of the USS Enterprise NCC-1701 is a master swordsman!
Let's go back, for a second, to the book Picard gives to Elnor. Just as fencing was important, “the Three Musketeers” are also a reference to an episode of the series “Star Trek: The Next Generation”. In "Illusion or Reality" Lieutenant Barcley (Murdoch for A-Team friends), in one of his holographic programs, confronts the three musketeers who have the features of Data, Geordi and Commander Reiker. One possible, perhaps unwanted, quote is that Captain Rios, whom we will discuss in depth shortly, played Aramis in the Musketeers television series created by the BBC.
The absolute truth would also serve on "La Sirena"
After the classic flashback, now a fixed stop in the series, the action moves to the transport ship of Cristobal Rios. Doctor Jurati wanders around the ship bored and, in her wandering, comes to disturb the captain intent on reading a book: "Of the tragic feeling of life". The doctor asks Rios why there are only Klingon operas on board the ship and, for the umpteenth time, we see the captain avoid giving a direct answer. His attitude starts to give me a little to think, have a little more patience and you can read my opinion on the subject. Regarding the Klingon works instead, this is a sort of recurring joke in Star Trek. Through the series, in fact, everyone came into contact with this kind of music, but only Worf and Jadzia Dax really appreciated them.
The conversation is interrupted by Raffi who, shouting, bursts onto the bridge, asking the reason for the change of course towards the planet Vashti and, realizing that there is Picard's hand behind it, in his own way swears that even his senses of fault travel to warp.
Indeed, from how he has behaved up to now, Jean-Luc does not seem to be that positive person we remembered, quite the contrary. He is a man moved only by his own hybris, exactly as he was accused by the admiral in the second episode, he almost expects everything to be due to him and never seems to want to apologize to anyone about anything. We'll see if it's just my impression ...
Continuing in the episode we see another emergency hologram, this time dedicated to hospitality. The crew members move into the holodeck room where Jean-Luc improvises a small reunion and invites everyone to enter in the same stentorian manner he always used in all episodes of the old series:
Return to Vashti
After the informal chat, Jean-Luc and the others set off on the bridge. As smooth as entry into the system may seem, the planet is protected by a dense network of killer drones and to get to the surface the members of the ship are forced to give a "bribe".
The situation on the surface still appears to be in the degraded state of fourteen years earlier. The arrival of Jean-Luc certainly does not go unnoticed e the population observes it as if it were a sort of "Ghost of Christmas Past". Even the conversation with the Qowat Milats is not the most cordial, despite everything. They too reproach Picard who, since perfection, that is, saving them all, was not possible, then he avoided acting, thus not saving anyone. He is therefore, in all respects, guilty of not having done enough.
After the meeting with the young man
Elrond, er I meant Elnor, and consequent clash with the boy, the action moves on the Borg Artifact, but not before having retraced the memories of Jean-Luc, now fossilized on the death of Data and on that of one of the two daughters of the android. The funniest memory, linked to the character of Data, is undoubtedly the mention of Spot, the red cat that appears in ten episodes of "Star Trek: The Next Generation" and in the two films "Generations" and "The Nemesis" .
Narek wants the absolute truth
Soji enjoys watching a Romulan reality show. I never expected to see such a show in their schedule, but we know it, "Infinite possibilities in infinite combinations", so here we have some healthy intergalactic junk television. I was hoping it was limited to Rick & Morty, but it obviously isn't.
Soji confronts Narek for the first time. The synthetic girl, during an appointment with the Romulan, puts the cards on the table and asks why she is interested in her. Obviously neither of them manages to extract vital information from the other, but during this exchange it is possible to find at least three easter eggs.
The first is very obvious: Romulan beer. The bottle they drink from is literally identical to the one that Dr. McCoy gives to Captain Kirk in the movie “Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan". When I say identical, I mean exactly identical! The second quote is the name of the ship in which Soji says he boarded: the "Ellison". This is a clear reference to the writer of the penultimate episode of the first season of the classic series, translated somewhat improperly "Kill for love" ("The City on the Edge of Forever").
The last quote is linked to a movement of Soji's head as Narek tells the story that even the Borg have their own rituals. And nothing, with that simple gesture, perhaps from a script, Soji shows all his being Data!
The Vashti affair: in orbit and on the ground
The episode "The Absolute Truth" continues again in this borderland. Jean-Luc clashes with hatred, racism and violence, three aspects that he himself, and the Federation, have contributed to spreading. The situation degenerates into violence when a former Romulan senator accuses Picard of all the broken promises, and accuses him of having caused that sort of "diaspora" of the Romulan people, in order to better control it. It is from these words that we understand why the “Romulan People's Rebirth Movement” was born.
During the senator's speech we hear, for the first time, of transport ships built for the movement of the population: "Wallenberg class". Anyone who knows a bit of WWII history may have recognized the surname of the Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg, who managed to save thousands of Hungarian Jews by fleeing them from Budapest. In addition to the name of the type of transport, we also learn about the ship: "Nightingale". This is also an important name, Florence Nightningale was the founder of modern nursing.
As good as the premises are, the clash leads to the death of the ex-senator at the hands of Elnor. Before the teleportation of the two on the ship, there is time for other quotes related to Harrison Ford. A Romulan asks the young monk how he plans to deal with a disruptor with only a sword. Star Wars, Indiana Jones, the quotes are wasted ...
O Captain! My Captain (Rios)
It's time for "The Absolute Truth" about Captain Rios. That's not true, I was joking, but I wanted to open this part of the article with my theory, which will almost certainly prove to be wrong. In my opinion Captain Rios is a hologram, just like his assistants on the ship!
During these two episodes we were able to observe a large number of holograms on the ship, all with the face of Rios. There is the emergency holographic doctor, the emergency shipboard advisor, the emergency hospitality attendant, and an emergency tactical hologram. In my opinion there is also the emergency captain, but let's get to the facts that can prove my theory.
Let's start with this episode: why doesn't the ship have inertial dampers? A ship has never been seen, with passengers on board that undergoes movement during combat maneuvers. This may seem a bit tight, right?
Let's move on to the second doubt: why Rios never disputes the orders of an "Admiral"? He never asked for an explanation when Picard wanted to go to Vashti, he never took offense when Jean-Luc gave orders, surpassing his authority and indeed, he seemed willing to receive them.
Why is Captain Rios so obsessed with the book "Of the tragic feeling of life"? I believe the captain is looking for meaning after his previous captain's death on the USS Ibn Majid, a heavy transport (among other things Ibn Majid was a famous Arab cartographer and navigator). That the hologram is trying to get a sense of what has happened and that its computerized mind has fragmented into many different types of different emergency holographic characters?
For now all unanswered questions, it would be nice, but who knows if the truth could really be this.
Ah you may not know, but all holograms speak with a different accent in English. Santiago Cabrera must have felt inspired to play this character.
A welcome return in "The absolute truth"
The Picard series has convinced many actors who had sworn and perjured never to play any character in the Star Trek universe again, iin primis Patrick Stewart and in secundis Jeri Rayan, yet here they are. The finale of the episode of "The absolute truth" takes place after the "space fist fight" between the Romulan War Hawk, a remnant of the episode "The invisible spacecraft" of which the ship takes shape and form, under the command of Kar Kantar and the ship of Captain Rios, which among other things for the red and white colors recalls Van Halen's Fender Stratocaster.
"The Siren" and an unidentified ship linked to the "Guardians of Fenris", a group of "space rangers" whose mission is to patrol that portion of space following the loss of control by the United Federation of Planets. The captain of "La Sirena", before the allied ship is destroyed, manages to transport the pilot on board. The jingle from the television series “Star Trek: Voyager” echoes the scene and we see Seven of Nine being teleported to the bridge and passing out from her injuries.
Conclusions and thoughts on "The absolute truth"
The episode, shot by the one and true Number One, Jonathan Frakes, received numerous criticisms on the internet, especially from fans, who expected something more from the episode. The return of Seven of Nine as the latest member of this dysfunctional crew will be an interesting addition. Certain themes such as the self-awareness of the human being and the awareness of death, themes always dear to the characters who have been assimilated by the community, can thus be treated.
I look forward to episode five with the hope of having even more information about the series and what it is trying to tell us. For now, therefore, I continue to suspend my opinion on what we have seen so far.