Every single character on ‘Star Trek: Picard’ is having a midlife crisis
Every single character on Star Trek: Picard is having a midlife crisis.
Everyone. Every single one. And the poster boy for this hot mess of dysfunction is none other than esteemed Starfleet captain of old, Jean Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart).
These are grown adults with the skill and expertise to fly galaxy-class starships across time and space, but they are behaving like your dad’s old high school friend going through a particularly rough divorce. They are wearing a lot of leather jackets, smoking, swearing, drinking bourbon straight, and obsessively trying to get the band back together.
Even the chairs for this version of Star Trek are what you would find in the man cave of the broken individual who would refer to anything as a “man cave.” The straight-backed chairs of old that Will Riker (Jonathan Frakes) used to pull a Riker maneuver over have been replaced by cushy La-Z-Boys in black leather.
We hate it.
Obviously, to diagnose the issue properly, we went to WebMD to find the proper signs of a midlife crisis.
In no particular order, they include a change in eating habits; a change in sleeping habits/fatigue; feelings of pessimism or hopelessness, restlessness, anxiety or irritability; feelings of guilt, helplessness or worthlessness; a loss of interest in activities once enjoyed, including sex and hobbies; and physical aches or pains such as headaches or gastrointestinal upset that don’t respond to treatment.
Change in sleeping habits/fatigue
We should have known that Jean Luc was in the midst of a personal crisis when he allowed a subordinate to call him “JL” without forcibly shoving them out the airlock, but the first indication that this was a man in crisis was evident from Picard’s pilot.
JL had been experiencing vivid dreams about Data (Brent Spiner) in the time leading up to the pilot episode for Picard, and the dreams started to carry over into his day-t0-day life on Chateau Picard.
As it turns out, the dreams turned out to be the leadup to the introduction of Data’s daughter Dahj (Isa Briones), but we choose to believe that this was instead JL’s subconscious he faces down the barrel of midlife angst, rather than the macguffin driving the plot forward.
Feelings of pessimism or hopelessness
This just describes the entire character of Cristóbal Rios (Santiago Cabrera).
This is a man who gets to wear the most amazing Star Trek costume outside of Star Trek: The Original Series in the fifth episode, “Stardust City Rag,” but he still mopes around his spaceship like an intergalactic Eeyore.
Also, for a man with such seeming disdain for so many things in life, why would he have a hologram program specifically designed to look like him? Was this pre-built into the ship, or did he decide on holograms cosplaying himself with different accents when he set up the communication system?
Feelings of guilt, helplessness, or worthlessness
Raffi Musiker (Michelle Hurd) also appears as a conflicted character: when we are introduced to Raffi in “Maps and Legends,” it seems like she has the perfect life. She has a trailer that looks like the envy of every Instagram influencer with a Wayfarer, peace and quiet, and the episode opens with esteemed Starfleet Admiral JL Picard hand-delivering her wine from his vineyard!
Yet it turns out Raffi is wallowing in misery after getting fired from Starfleet following JL’s resignation 14 years prior to the events of Picard. In addition to getting fired for her superior officer’s mistake, it turns out Raffi has an estranged son and a complicated backstory that involves being the only one supporting conspiracy theories.
This is the one character we actually feel empathy for. You enjoy that black leather jacket and wine, Raffi. You deserve it.
A loss of interest in activities that were once enjoyed
Seven of Nine (Jeri Ryan) has only made an appearance in “Stardust City Rag,” but we’re hoping she is a returning character on Picard, just because we would love to see more of the activities she once enjoyed. Namely: vigilante justice.
Seven appeared willing to give up the activities she once took relish in, including roaming the galaxy as a ranger and avenging her fallen comrades, but thank goodness it doesn’t seem like the lesson after her prior conversation with JL.
At the end of the episode, Seven beams into a nightclub/hive of scum and villainy to face off against an entire planet of flashily-dressed assassins. The baddest Borg in all the land clearly has no sense of self-preservation, and, like Raffi, this is a midlife crisis we can get behind.