Star Trek: Picard Season 1 Episode 6 Recap and Review: The Impossible Box
A spoiler-filled recap and review of The Impossible Box, Star Trek: Picard S1E6, starring Patrick Stewart
(Spoilers ahead for Star Trek: Picard S1E6 and the franchise prior to it)
The Impossible Box, Star Trek: Picard S1E6, is the longest episode of the show yet and thankfully, it's mostly meat with hardly any fluff. Even the Soji/Narek portions, which have so far been the weakest link, are good here. This week's episode of Star Trek: Picard is also the first one since the premiere to begin without a flashback sequence to the Mars Attack. It gets right down to business, so let's do the same.
Star Trek: Picard S1E6 starts with an eerie dream that Soji has about walking in on her father working on something in his lab. Before she can find out what it is, she wakes up with a start. It's a dream she has often had before, she tells Narek (with whom she has seemingly patched up since their little tiff in Star Trek: Picard S1E4). Narek realises the dream is a device of her "unconscious" to reconcile her programming which tells her she is 'real' with the inescapable signs that she is a synth. So he gently nudges her to question her own reality by asking her if she often falls asleep when talking to her mother and telling her that her calls are always logged as being exactly 70 seconds long. Soji, who we've previously seen fall asleep whilst talking to her mom (mom AI, as we know), decides to test this. But, she is unable to keep from passing out when she reaches that 70-second mark. When she wakes up again, she tests the age of all her possessions and finds out they are all exactly 37 months old. Even her chain with the dual links — identical to the one Dahj had — is no older. A scared and confused Soji reaches out to Narek, who tells her can help her find out the truth.
Meanwhile, Picard and the crew of La Sirena are on the way to the Artifact to find Soji. Picard has PTSD flashbacks of his assimilation with the Borg. When he is looking up information on the Romulan reclamation project aboard the Borg cube, he comes across a holo image of himself as Locutus of Borg, and we get a beautiful shot of Picard's face superimposed on that of the holo image and the Admiral touching the spot where his eye implant used to be. After his research, Picard decides that the best way to get access to the Artifact is to get diplomatic credentials from Starfleet for him to meet Hugh, who is director of the reclamation project. He gets Raffi — who is drinking herself to oblivion after her failed attempt to reconcile with her son — to call in a favour with an old friend on Starfleet. She does so, but only Picard is given permission, which visibly disappoints Jurati.
After killing Maddox, Jurati has seemingly convinced everyone that his death was from the injuries he sustained. Elnor senses that she is hiding something but she shuts him down when he tries to talk to her about it. We also get an awkward scene between Jurati and Rios, with the two starting a sexual relationship. Guess if it isn't Narek and Soji, then it has to be this. Hopefully, we get some pay off for this needless diversion. Rios is the one who notices that Jurati seems disappointed that she can't get on the Artifact. But she lies and says she is relieved.
Picard beams down to the Borg cube and his flashbacks get more intense. Hugh meets him and helps Picard overcome this a bit. He also shows the Admiral the work that they're doing as part of the reclamation project. Picard is impressed and tells him, though not perfect, it's important work and that they're showing what the Borg are underneath — not monsters, but victims. This is a big change in Picard's own outlook, given just earlier in the episode he likens the Borg to a cancer. Hugh hopes that Picard will support the cause of the xBs, who are as the former puts it, have only moved from the rule of a Borg queen to a Romulan one.
Hugh and Picard then go in search of Soji, who has been taken to a Romulan meditation centre by Narek. There, he slowly helps her uncover details from her dream, and Soji sees that what her father was working on in the dream, is herself as a doll. She also reveals that her home planet (and thus, that of the other synths) is one which has two red moons and a lot of electrical storms. Narek's sister, who has been listening in, goes off to look for this planet, while he tells Soji she isn't real and leaves her locked in the meditation chamber with a toy that opens up releasing deadly radiation. Soji gets activated and punches her way out of the floor.
She runs right into Picard and Hugh, and Picard shows her Dahj's chain and asks her to trust him. Hugh helps them escape by taking them to a hidden chamber that Picard recognises as the queen's cell though he's never been in one. In there, Hugh starts up something called a 'spatial trajector' that can transport them many light years away. Picard and Soji step through after telling the La Sirena crew to meet them at Nepenthe. Elnor arrives just in time to fight off Romulan guards and help them escape, despite Picard having told him to stay on the ship. Whether he lives or dies remains to be seen.
The next episode of Star Trek: Picard is called Nepenthe, so the story will likely pick up there. Here's hoping the remaining 4 episodes keep up the pace of this one.
(Star Trek: Picard Season 1 is currently streaming in India on Amazon Prime Video on a weekly episodic basis)