Discovery Reveals Its Biggest Picard Connection Yet

The latest episode of Star Trek: Discovery explores the life and times of Jean-Luc Picard, with an in depth look at how his experiences from his youth helped shape him into the Starfleet captain we know today.

Discovery has revealed its biggest Picard connection yet. The new episode of Star Trek: Section 31 will air on CBS All Access on April 30th, 2019.

Discovery Reveals Its Biggest Picard Connection Yet



“Anomaly,” the second episode of Star Trek: Discovery’s fourth season, premieres on Paramount+ today (and will be available internationally on Friday). It provides the strongest link between Star Trek: Discovery and Star Trek: Picard to date. SPOILERS for the newest episode of Star Trek: Discovery, “Anomaly,” follow. This isn’t the first time Discovery has taken a page from Picard’s book. The Romulan diaspora was resolved in the previous season of Discovery, and Michael Burnham’s mother is now a member of the Qowat Milat. However, “Anomaly” has an even stronger link, mentioning Jean-Luc Picard by name (last name, at least). It all comes down to how Picard’s first season finale dealt with Jean-fatal Luc’s sickness and how it ties into Gray Tal’s incorporeal status. 

Gray is a Trill, a former host of the Tal symbiont, and is in a relationship with Adira, as fans of Star Trek: Discovery will recall. In a last-ditch attempt to preserve Gray’s life, Adira accepted the symbiont and became the first human to successfully link with a Trill symbiont for a prolonged length of time. Adira thought Gray had dead, but she started seeing him when no one else could. Until Adira was brought onboard the destroyed Kelpien research vessel that was the core of the Burn, they questioned whether it was the symbiont projecting a prior existence. The ship holo-projected new appearances onto each member of the away team, including Gray, confirming that he is still alive as a separate entity. Gray’s doctor, Dr. Hugh Culber, vowed to discover a means for others to view him. 

Jean-Luc Picard was on the verge of death in the late 24th century. Dr. Alton Inigo Soong, the son of the scientist who developed Data, worked to give him a fresh lease of life. Alton Soong built a synthetic body capable of harboring a human mind based on his father’s work. He intended to grab the corpse and keep it for himself. Instead, Soong decided to transfer Picard’s mind since the former Starfleet commander was on the approach of death and had saved the galaxy from extinction. Despite its mechanical origin, Picard’s body did not provide him any extra-human skills, merely the opportunity to live out the amount of years he would have lived if not for his fatal brain condition.

Dr. Culber finds Alton Soong’s work while seeking for answers to Gray’s problem 800 years later, in the 32nd century. “After Dr. Soong first used it on a Starfleet admiral, Picard was his name,” Culber says Adira, “the method was tried a number of times” (and, through Adira, the still spectral Gray). Despite the fact that it’s a significant namedrop for Star Trek aficionados, Culber actor Wilson Cruz says it as though he’s having trouble remembering it. Since the USS Discovery went into the distant future from 100 years before Picard’s distinguished Starfleet career, it makes sense.

In addition, this scene resolves a lingering issue from the Star Trek: Picard ending. Is Soong’s development of a method for transferring human consciousness into synthetic bodies implying that humans have become fundamentally eternal as a result of the process? While efforts were made after Picard, “the success rate was so low that, finally, people simply stopped trying,” according to Culber, Discovery takes the chance to address this problem. Picard seemed to have struck gold with Soong’s first effort. Gray’s survival of a prior transference of consciousness speaks well for his chances of success, which is the sole reason Culber is attempting it with him. Despite this, Culber continues to get aid from a Trill guardian.

What are your thoughts on the Star Trek: Discovery and Star Trek: Picard crossover? Please let us know in the comments section. On Thursdays, new episodes of Star Trek: Discovery air on Paramount+. 

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Discovery’s latest episode “Picard” was full of many references to the Star Trek franchise. This is Discovery’s biggest Picard connection yet. Reference: picard.

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