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Renewed optimism for ‘Picard’ with ‘The Next Generation’

"The Next Generation" is an intriguing title, because it cuts to the very heart of the matter. This is an episode singularly devoted to refocusing our attention on the idea that this final season of Star Trek: Picard will be about the Next Generation characters. It does this when these characters would be more accurately described with a title like "The Previous Generation" or maybe even "The Old Guard." If there’s an actual next generation to be established in this final season of Picard, that’s not yet apparent (unless the man accompanying Beverly Crusher offers a clue).

No, the title is about looking back rather than forward, and in doing so, this episode provides reason for optimism — at least as much, if not more so, than "The Star Gazer" did at the beginning of last season. Naturally, no one can blame us for being cautious, even suspicious, after season two burned us badly by trapping its characters, and us, for eight episodes in an uninspired and plodding 21st-century time-travel plot, immediately after teasing us with what seemed to be the absorbing atmosphere of the early 25th century. But now we have a storyline that promises — for real this time! — to be just that.

Read the full review…

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