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Series / Star Trek: Picard

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The end is only the beginning.

"What was it that you lost faith in, Admiral? You've never spoken about your departure from Starfleet. Didn't you, in fact, resign your commission in protest? Tell us, Admiral. Why did you really quit Starfleet?"

Star Trek: Picard is a TV series set in the Star Trek universe. Patrick Stewart reprises his role of Jean-Luc Picard from Star Trek: The Next Generation. Similar to Star Trek: Discovery, each season tells a self-contained story.

The series premiered on January 23, 2020 on what is now known as Paramount+, and its first season consists of 10 episodes. Shortly before its debut, CBS was confident enough in it to greenlight a second season. Outside of the US, Canada premiered it same-day on the CTV Sci-Fi channel and on the French sci-fi network Z, as well as on the Crave streaming service, while Amazon made it available next-day to over 200 countries via country-specific Prime Video services as well as over the Prime Video Global service.

It won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Prosthetic Makeup for a Series, Limited Series, Movie or Special.

Star Trek: Picard contains examples of:

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    Tropes A to C 
  • Absurdly Sharp Blade: Elnor's tan qalanq (a sword used by the Qowat Milat) can slice a person's head off with a single stroke, and it's a very Clean Cut.
  • Actionized Sequel: Star Trek: The Next Generation was never particularly big on action sequences, and the ones it did have were very much the product of a 1990's television budget. Picard features much flashier, more modern action scenes that look more in line with the new J.J. Abrams Star Trek films.
    • Contrast Data, who almost never got involved in physical altercations despite his massive Super Strength, with his "daughter" Dahj, a Lightning Bruiser who mops the floor with squads of commandos in a way that would make Khan proud.
    • There's also Elnor, a Romulan martial arts expert who appears in seven episodes in Season 1, and he fights hand-to-hand against at least sixteen adversaries across five episodes note . Because he has both Super Reflexes and Super Strength (plus there's an overt East Asian influence on the character), his Wuxia-inspired Fantastic Fighting Style is more superhero-like than Worf's note .
    • Although Narek's Fight Scene from the Season 1 finale ended up on the cutting room floor, this featurette of the invokedDeleted Scene nonetheless proves that the showrunners were aiming for more varied and elaborate forms of combat (in this case, the Romulan version of Capoeira) than on TNG.
  • Actor Allusion: Wesley's recruitment speech, especially the part about safety not being guaranteed, echoes strongly one at the end of John Scalzi's Kaiju Preservation Society, which his actor narrates the audiobook for.
  • Adaptational Sympathy: despite being the bogeyman of the TNG era — and, for that matter, being the most powerful empire in the Milky Way — the Borg are treated sympathetically by the show, which leans away from their Determinator Implacable Man villainy and into the pathos of the Unwilling Roboticization.
  • Advertised Extra: Picard's pitbull Number One is front-and-center in the marketing of the show, appearing on the poster, and received a fair amount of publicity, but only appears in the series premiere. note 
  • Aesop Amnesia: One of Season 1's big aesops was that Borg drones are ultimately victims, and that it was possible to reverse the assimilation process and return drones to some semblance of their former lives. Not to mention, Picard himself and Seven of Nine prove that assimilated beings can be redeemed. However, in Season Two, the entire crew seems to forget about this and start casually killing assimilated humans, justifying that they aren't human anymore anyways.
  • After the End: In addition to qualifying in a metafictional sense — being the first continuation of the "Prime" timeline since the 2387 Earth-Shattering Kaboom, referred to solely in flashbacks, which kicked off the events of the 2009 pre-boot — it also takes place in 2399, after the aforementioned Earth-Shattering Kaboom left the Romulan species without a homeworld.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Subverted. In the series' present day, "synths," including sapient androids like Data and his technological "daughters" Dahj and Soji, are banned in the Federation due to rogue synths destroying Utopia Planitia Fleet Yards and most of Mars with them in 2385. The synths in question are shown in "Maps and Legends", and they're presented as non-sapient industrial tools. Sure enough, they turn out to have been sabotaged by the Zhat Vash in the hopes that the Federation would react by banning them, and the actual sapient synths created by Bruce Maddox and Altan Soong are no more (or less) inclined to evil than organics.
  • Alien Arts Are Appreciated:
    • Jurati listens to Kasseelian opera during her lunch break before Commodore Oh approaches her.
    • The Romulan orphan Elnor is delighted when Admiral Picard brings him a copy of The Three Musketeers and teaches him how to fence.
    • Sutra, a sentient android, is passionate about Vulcan culture. She has read Surak's texts, she plays the ka'athyra beautifully, and she somehow taught herself the ability to perform a Mind Meld.
    • Seven of Nine and Raffi play the Vulcan game kal-toh.
  • Alien Blood: Romulans, just like the Vulcans, bleed green due to their copper-based blood.
  • Alien Sky:
    • In the wide shot of North Station on Vashti, there are two suns in the sky.
    • Two red moons orbit around Coppelius.
    • Nepenthe has at least three moons.
    • Aia's sky is orange, and there is a shot of two of its eight suns.
  • Aliens Speaking English: Most of the Romulans featured on the show can speak English. It also goes the other way, as several humans (like Picard and Soji) can speak Romulan. Conversations frequently go back and forth between the two languages.
  • All There in the Manual:
    • The comic book Star Trek Picard Countdown explores the Federation's effort to evacuate the Romulans and is most important for showing the circumstances in which Picard met Laris and Zhaban.
    • The Tie-In Novel elaborates the motives for the worlds threatening to secede from the Federation. They were newer members and colonies outraged the resources to develop their worlds to Federation standards were instead being directed to adding longstanding enemies. Synth labor mollified them as it could improve their own planets afterwards, but the Utopia Planitia attack and subsequent Ban on A.I. drove the last nail into that coffin.
  • All There in the Script: There are several characters whose names are never spoken onscreen, but they're listed in the end credits or the closed captioning.
    • In "Remembrance", Caler is Dahj's Xahean boyfriend and Richter is the reporter who interviews Picard.
    • In "Broken Pieces", Tarent is the Romulan Centurion.
    • In the "Et in Arcadia Ego" two-parter, Codex and Rune are the male androids who drag Narek to his cell and who guard the entrance to Coppelius Station.
    • In "Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2", Oh's real name is Nedar.
  • Always Identical Twins: Dahj and Soji are completely identical. Justified as they're also biological androids, and thus created that way artificially. Even their positronic brains started off identical due to the nature of the fractal neuronic cloning process.
  • Amazon Brigade: The Qowat Milat is a very ancient order of Romulan warrior nuns who are so exceptionally skilled in combat that even the Tal Shiar fears them.
  • Ancient Conspiracy: The Zhat Vash is a secret society which predates the Tal Shiar that has been pulling the strings behind the scenes for most of Romulan history.
  • And the Adventure Continues: Season 1 ends with La Sirena's crew of newly revived Picard, Rios, Raffi, Elnor and Jurati eagerly setting a course into the unknown, accompanied by Seven of Nine and, now that synths are no longer illegal, Soji on her first adventure that doesn't solely revolve around fighting for her life.
  • And This Is for...:
    • In "Stardust City Rag", the last thing Seven of Nine says to Bjayzl is that she's killing her for Icheb.
      Seven: He was a son to me, Jay. This is for him.
    • In "Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2", as Seven kicks Narissa to her death, she declares:
      Seven: This... is for Hugh!
  • And Starring: The opening credits for season 1 has "With Santiago Cabrera And Harry Treadaway." Episodes featuring special guest stars from the old series (with the exception of Marina Sirtis) will get a special mention right after the main cast.
  • Anti-Villain: The Zhat Vash is even more immoral, deceitful and ruthless than the Tal Shiar, but its mission is to prevent Ganmadan ("the Day of Annihilation"), which is the destruction of all life in the galaxy. Those who serve this shady organization believe that sentient androids will be the root cause of this mass extinction, so their operatives will do anything (including sacrificing their own lives) to eliminate all Artificial Intelligence that they deem to be dangerous.
  • Apocalypse How: Mars and the Utopia Planitia Shipyards, where the beloved starships Enterprise-D, Defiant, and Voyager were built, were destroyed by rogue synthetics in the series' backstory. While the attack itself was established in "Children of Mars", it's not until Picard that we learn that the planet was bombarded so heavily that its atmosphere is still burning more than a decade later.
  • Archaic Weapon for an Advanced Age: As we have previously seen with Nero and his men, the Romulans have retained an ancient tradition of using swords in a duel, and it's not unusual to see a Romulan carry a sword in public, such as North Station on Vashti. A tan qalanq, which is an Absurdly Sharp Blade, is the main weapon of the Qowat Milat.
  • Arch-Enemy: The Qowat Milat has been the thorn in the sides of the Tal Shiar and the Zhat Vash for so long that it's traditional for a Zhat Vash and a Qowat Milat to engage in a one-on-one, unarmed duel, as Narissa and Elnor do in "Nepenthe." In "Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2", Elnor is willing to kill an unarmed Narek simply because of the latter's affiliation with the Zhat Vash.
    • Season 2 sees Q and the Borg queen return to antagonize Picard.
  • Arc Welding: The show knits together the multiple continuities and eras of the franchise to form its premise. The Romulan Supernova which served as the Inciting Incident for the Kelvin timeline also saw Picard leading a humanitarian evacuation effort, trying to save as many Romulans as possible. The synth attack on Mars, depicted in Short Treks' "Children of Mars", occurred during the chaos of that effort, resulting in the destruction of the Utopia Planitia Shipyards, Starfleet abandoning their evacuation effort, and the Federation banning the development of artificial lifeforms. Picard resigns from Starfleet in protest, resulting in his Call to Agriculture. And finally, Data's attempted resurrection at the end of Nemesis did not succeed and B-4 was disassembled, going a long way towards explaining why Starfleet felt the only possible answer to artificial life was to outlaw it. Even The Reveal at the end of the pilot — that the Romulans have occupied a Borg cube — is a Continuity Nod: in VOY: Timeless, Chakotay mentioned that the Borg temporal transmitter was salvaged from a Borg cube in the Beta Quadrant, which invokedWord of God has confirmed is the Artifact.
  • Armor-Piercing Question:
    • In "Remembrance", a reporter at one point presses Picard with this. See the page quote.
    • In "Broken Pieces":
      • When Raffi challenges Picard on how well he really knows Soji, he's unable to respond.
        Raffi: What is Soji really like? Hmm? Do you know? Does she?
        (Picard is silent)
        Raffi: Yeah, that's what I thought.
      • Soji demands to know if Jurati considers her to be a real person. We don't get to see Jurati's answer.
    • In "Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1", a captive Narek complains about how he's being treated because he's thirsty and has no access to water. Saga inquires, "How do Romulans treat their prisoners?" He scoffs, "Let's change the subject."
  • Armor-Piercing Response: Picard has an equally trenchant response to the inquiry about his retirement, which kicks off a "The Reason You Suck" Speech:
    "Because it was no longer Starfleet!"
  • Artificial Humans: The subject of androids is brought up often, as Picard left Starfleet after the organization banned synthetic life. Dahj and Soji are biological androids created from the remains of Data's positronic brain.
  • Artistic License – Biology: The firstborn child of Troi and Riker was infected by a silicon-based virus. The prospect of a silicon-based virus being able to do anything to a carbon-based lifeform is highly dubious. Viruses reproduce by hijacking host cells to produce more copies of the virus. In order to produce more copies of a silicon-based virus the host cell would obviously need to have silicon in it, which human cells do not. Star Trek: Enterprise made the same mistake in "Observer Effect".
  • Artistic License – Space: The pilot episode retcons that the 2387 supernova that destroyed Romulus was of the Romulan sun itself, rather than a distant star as the film had implied (and confirmed in the tie-in comic Star Trek: Countdown). While this addresses the scale problem in the former concept, it introduces the new problem that a star big enough to turn into a Type II supernova would be unlikely to ever have any Earthlike planets around it: larger stars have shorter lifespans and produce more radiation, and the star would expand and incinerate any planets formerly orbiting in their habitable zone millions of years before going nova. That said, though, this situation isn't exactly unprecedented in the Star Trek universe.
  • Artistic Title: The title sequence is a montage of computer-generated graphics which mixes tangible elements from the series (such as Picard's vineyard and the Artifact) with more abstract images (such as the self-replicating regular dodecahedrons which float across the screen). Combined with the beautiful music, it's a visual poem of the show's underlying themes and its eponymous character.
  • As You Know:
    • Jurati's detailed info dump exposition in "The Impossible Box" about how the Borg assimilated Picard. To Picard.
    • In "Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2", Narissa reminds her brother that "Our parents died for this, Narek. Many more gave their lives."
  • Ate His Gun:
    • F8 terminates himself with a laser welder.
    • One of the Zhat Vash shoots herself with a disruptor after experiencing the Admonition.
    • Rios' former captain, Alonzo Vandermeer, shot himself after carrying out Starfleet's orders to assassinate two people. Rios is still haunted by the sight of the aftermath.
  • Attack Pattern Alpha: Commodore Oh orders her fleet to enact Planetary Sterilization Pattern 5 on the android homeworld of Coppelius in the Season 1 finale.
  • Audible Sharpness: You'll always know when Elnor is brandishing his tan qalanq because of the high-pitched, katana-like "shwing" sound effect. It also serves as a reminder of how ludicrously sharp his sword is. His scabbard is wooden, so it shouldn't generate that metallic noise when he unsheathes and sheathes his blade, but Rule of Cool and The Coconut Effect are in play.
  • Bad "Bad Acting": While Rios's 'facer façade to get past Mr. Vup in "Stardust City Rag" is pretty passable, Picard's over the top beret and eye-patch sporting French Jerk act is (hilariously) awful. (Sir Patrick previously stated in an appearance on Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me that this was the real-life reason Picard had an English accent.)
    Picard: I thought I looked (with Maurice Chevalier Accent) appropriately sinisterrr.
    Raffi: No comment.
  • Balkanize Me: This threat was the primary reason why the Romulan relief effort failed. Starfleet abandoned the evacuation of the Romulan population from their doomed homeworld because many species within The Federation were not happy about being forced to provide aid to their once mortal arch-foe and threatened to secede. The Admiralty cut their losses and recalled the Fleet after the Mars incident gave them ample justification.
  • Ban on A.I.: Starfleet has banned all research into synthetic life after the Mars incident, which seems to refer to androids specifically. Starfleet does still employ sapient holograms, as seen in the holographic Index curator for the Quantum Archives. Rios' starship includes an EMH, an ENH (Emergency Navigational Hologram), an EHH (Emergency Hospitality Hologram), an ETH (Emergency Tactical Hologram) and an EEH (Emergency Engineering Hologram), so presumably holograms were exempt from the ban as long as they were kept under certain constraints.
  • Beast of the Apocalypse: In Romulan mythology, Ganmadan is a great pale hell-beast whose name means "the Day of Annihilation."
  • Beauty Equals Goodness: There are two Romulan men who are part of the main cast, so Elnor, the most gorgeous between the two of them, is the most heroic and the most sympathetic. It should be noted that his actor, Evan Evagora, is a former model. That said, Harry Treadaway is hardly difficult on the eyes himself.
  • Better the Devil You Know: Hugh informs Picard in "The Impossible Box" that any Borg who is liberated at the Romulan Reclamation Site are prisoners of the Romulan Free State. Although neither of them are happy that the former drones have essentially traded one villainous overseer for another, both Hugh and Picard consider assimilation to be a Fate Worse than Death, so letting the xBs regain their individuality, even if it means they have little to no personal freedom under the new Romulan government, is still better than the alternative. Between the Borg and the Romulans, the latter are the Lesser of Two Evils — at least it's possible to negotiate with the Romulans, especially now that they no longer have a homeworld. Hugh even puts aside his terror of being on a Borg Cube to be the Executive Director of the Borg Reclamation Project so that he can offer support to the patients during their recovery.
    Hugh: The outcomes are far from ideal.
    Picard: What you're doing is good, Hugh. There's no need for it to be perfect. After all these years, you're showing what the Borg are underneath. They're victims. Not monsters.
    Hugh: Still, we remain the most hated people in the galaxy. Just as helpless and enslaved as before. (whispering to Picard) Only now, our Queen is a Romulan.
  • Big Bad: The first season had Commodore Oh a.k.a. General Nedar, the apparent leader of the Zhat Vash/Tal Shiar, the mastermind of the Mars synth attack and the engineer of the Federation's ideal-betraying slide into xenophobia.
  • Big Brother Is Watching: As Narek explains to Soji in "The Impossible Box", the Tal Shiar routinely monitors all incoming and outgoing transmissions on any Romulan facility, including the Romulan Reclamation Site. The movements of everyone on the Artifact are also tracked (e.g. Narissa's underling kept tabs on Elnor's position when he attempted to evade capture in "Broken Pieces"), social interactions are observed (e.g. Narissa is aware that Soji is Hugh's protégé in "Nepenthe"), and the Zhal Makh meditation chamber is under surveillance.
  • Big Damn Heroes:
    • In "Absolute Candor", Elnor and his tan qalanq arrive just in time to rescue Picard from Tenqem. The thug loses his head when he ignores Elnor's warning to back down.
    • In "The Impossible Box", Elnor and his sword show up in time to save Picard, Soji and Hugh from Romulan soldiers. Unlike the last time, however, Picard doesn't scold Elnor for killing their enemies, and he even thanks him for it.
    • In "Broken Pieces", Seven of Nine appears in the nick of time to rescue Elnor from the Romulans who are about to overpower him.
    • In the Season 1 finale "Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2", Captain Riker arrives in command of a vast Starfleet armada just in time to prevent the Romulans from destroying Picard's ship and wipe out the synths on Coppelius.
  • Bilingual Bonus:
    • In Farsi, qowat milat means "power of the people," which is an apt name for a sect of Romulan warrior nuns who defy the Tal Shiar.
    • The translation of the Latin episode name "Et in Arcadia Ego" is "Even in Arcadia, there am I." The phrase is generally regarded as a memento mori, the "I" in question being Death (represented in this case by the Romulan fleet), and Arcadia meaning some utopian land like the synth compound on Coppelius.
  • Binary Suns:
    • The planet Vashti is located in a binary star system, and both suns shine down on North Station.
    • There's an octonary star system where eight stars are arranged in seven distinct orbits: four pairs of stars orbit each other, two pairs of those orbit each other in a larger radius, and those two pairs orbit each other in the largest radius. There's a habitable planet named Aia in the center of the main orbit. It was artificially constructed so that any spacefaring civilization would notice it and investigate, since the odds of such a system forming naturally would be infinitesimal.
  • Black Dude Dies First: Dahj's boyfriend, a Xahean with dark skin, is the first character to die in the series.
  • The Blank: Soji's father appears in her memories this way, which is a clue that they were faked.
  • Blatant Lies:
    • In "Maps and Legends", Laris is an ex-Tal Shiar agent, so she would know perfectly well that her device is not permitted within the Federation.
      Picard: Romulan methods of forensic molecular reconstruction are illegal in the Federation.
      Laris: Really, I had no idea.
    • In "The Impossible Box":
      • When Jurati explains to Picard that Maddox died because his heart couldn't handle the injuries he had sustained on Freecloud, it's a fabrication because she had murdered him.
      • After Narek sighs in frustration during their Walk and Talk, Soji asks him, "What's wrong?", and his false reply is, "Nothing." She doesn't buy it and follows up with, "Narek, what is it?"
    • In "Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1", Narek claims that he was afraid that Soji would kill him, which is why he attempted to murder her in the Zhal Makh meditation chamber, but this is a big fat lie because she hadn't activated yet, so she presented no danger to him at the time. Soji, now a Living Lie-Detector, tells him to shut up.
    • In "Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2", after Seven of Nine forces Narissa to discard her disruptor, the latter claims she's unarmed. Seven sees right through her fib and removes Narissa's concealed knives
  • Bloodier and Gorier: Picard is significantly more violent than TNG.
    • The reclamation surgery that is performed on a Borg drone is quite graphic with its Facial Horror, as the flesh beneath the patient's ocular processing core is exposed.
    • The scene where Icheb is mutilated for his Borg implants is disturbing to the level of Torture Porn.
    • Bjayzl briefly becomes Ludicrous Gibs when she's shot by a phaser rifle.
    • There's a slow-motion sequence of green arterial spray gushing out from a Romulan with a Slashed Throat courtesy of Elnor's sword.
    • A Zhat Vash initiate gruesomely claws at her own face in close-up, breaking through the skin.
  • Blue-and-Orange Morality: What the Tal Shiar views as honourable behaviour is very different from ours.
    Rios: They are treacherous, violent, ruthless and subtle. Their concept of honour is rooted in their skill at deceit.
  • Blue Is Heroic: Elnor's Qowat Milat robe is navy blue to serve as a visual cue that unlike most Romulans in this franchise, he's one of the good guys.
  • Book Ends:
    • "Blue Skies" is heard during the opening Picard/Data Dream Sequence in the pilot. It plays again in the Season 1 finale when Picard terminates the simulation housing Data's consciousness and allows him to die.
    • At the beginning and the end of "Stardust City Rag", a blond woman (Seven of Nine and Jurati, respectively) is crying when she kills a man she loves (Icheb and Maddox, respectively) who is lying helplessly on an operating table.
  • Boring, but Practical:
    • In "Absolute Candor", Raffi describes Vashti's planetary defense system as primitive, but effective.
    • In "Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1", La Sirena is totally without power, so without Sickbay's fancy Holographic Terminal, Jurati is unable to scan an unconscious Picard until she finds an old-school medical tricorder.
  • Borrowed Biometric Bypass: In the Season 1 finale, Jurati extracts Saga's remaining intact eye from the dead android's head to open the iris-locked door to where Picard is being held by the androids on Coppelius. We get a nice long look at the eye including the span or so of bloody optic nerve dangling from it.
  • Borrowed Catchphrase: Jurati gets to say Picard's iconic "Make it so" to the man himself in the Season 1 finale, promptly followed by Picard replying with his other iconic order.
    Picard: Engage.
  • Both Sides Have a Point: Picard resigned from Starfleet in disgust and protest when the Fleet used the synth attack on Mars as an excuse to abandon the evacuation of Romulus, costing millions of lives. Admiral Clancy counters with the fact that fourteen worlds had threatened to secede from the Federation if the rescue went ahead, and Starfleet was trying to save the Federation from self-imploding. This wouldn't have impacted only those worlds either, since the Federation has galactic responsibilities and treaty obligations that protect thousands of non-member worlds.
  • Breather Episode: "Nepenthe" is lighter on the action aspect compared to the rest of the series, constraining the action to the B-plot and C-plot set on the Artifact and La Sirena, respectively. The A-plot involves mostly Riker and Troi catching up with Picard, Soji coming to terms with the fact that she's an android, and Picard trying to earn the trust of Soji.
  • Broken Aesop:
    • The supposed anti-discrimination message conveyed via Fantastic Racism against the synths doesn't quite work when the synths turn out to be the first season's — and quite possibly the franchise'sGreater-Scope Villain. All it takes to doom galactic civilization is for one of them to find the Admonition and construct a beacon that will summon the Higher Synthetics, which from what we see isn't at all hard to do. On top of that, according to the Higher Synthetics themselves, synths and organics will inevitably destroy each other in endless Robot Wars, as has happened many times before in this galaxy and others. While this doesn't justify the bigotry toward individual synths like Soji, it still presents them as a group capable of causing disproportionate chaos and death at a moment's notice, making the Federation and the Romulans' wariness of them somewhat justified.
    • Picard rails against the Federation's xenophobic attitude toward the Romulans, saying that they abandoned the rescue effort out of misguided racism and cowardice. However, as Season 1 progresses, we learn that it was indeed Romulan agents (specifically Commodore Oh, a high-ranking Zhat Vash mole in Starfleet) who hacked the synth workers on Mars and triggered the attack on Utopia Planitia in order to shift Federation opinion and policy against synthetics. Meaning, Romulans committed a major terrorist attack against the Federation to turn them against an unrelated third party, unflinchingly condemning not only 90,000 Federation citizens, but untold millions of their own people to death in the process. While the Zhat Vash are depicted as a fanatical splinter group of the Tal Shiar, Admiral Clancy and the other hard-liners are nonetheless Right for the Wrong Reasons.
  • Broken Faceplate: When Picard and Dahj are attacked on the roof near Starfleet Archives, Dahj flips one of the attackers end-over-end, smashing the visor of his helmet as it contacts the ground in a demonstration of how strong she is.
  • Broken Pedestal: Picard quit Starfleet out of disgust after its lackluster response to the imminent Romulan supernova cost hundreds of millions of lives. His sudden disappearance in turn led to many Romulans that had held Picard in high regard growing to resent him instead when chaos and anarchy spread after his departure.
  • Brutal Honesty:
    • The Qowat Milat warrior nuns follow the Way of Absolute Candor. It forbids not just lying, but even holding back, and so they bluntly tell other people precisely what their feelings are about them.
    • In "Absolute Candor", Zani doesn't sugarcoat her words, not even to a little kid who's desperate for affection.
      Young Elnor: (to Picard) Why don't you like children?
      Zani: Because they're demanding, distracting, and interfere with duty and pleasure alike.
      (Picard gestures that he agrees with Zani)
      Young Elnor: My feelings are hurt.
    • In "The Impossible Box":
      • Jurati doesn't appreciate Elnor pointing out what she's feeling.
        Elnor: [Picard] can't see that you're also... haunted by something you'd like to forget.
        (Jurati glares at him)
        Elnor: Was I in-butting?
        Jurati: That time, yes. (leaves the room)
      • Narek discloses Soji's true nature to her rather cruelly.
        Narek: Because you're not real. You never were.
  • The Bus Came Back:
    • Besides the man himself, who had been absent from the Trek franchise since Star Trek: Nemesis, Season 1 brings back Seven of Nine, Riker, Troi, and Data, all of whom had been absent since the end of their series and the finale of Star Trek: Enterprise respectively.
    • Picard's mother makes a reappearance in Season 2 for the first time since the first season of TNG. Said season also brings back Q after the end of TNG, Guinan after her appearance in Star Trek: Generations, The Bus Punk (complete with a Call-Back to his prior encounter), and Wesley Crusher himself.
    • Season 3 will bring back Dr. Crusher, Worf, and Geordi, who haven't been seen since Nemesis, along with Data's evil twin brother Lore and the holographic version of Moriarity, neither of whom have been seen since their last episodes on TNG.
  • Call-Back:
    • The series premiere, "Remembrance", kicks off with a Dream Sequence with Picard and Data sitting in Ten-Forward aboard the Enterprise-D. This dream also has "Blue Skies" playing in the background, a song which featured significantly in the last TNG movie. A second dream has Picard encountering Data in his vineyard painting a picture of Dahj and Soji while both wear TNG-era uniforms.
    • Dahj is accepted to the Daystrom Institute, the advanced technologies facility named after Richard Daystrom, from TOS, and the workplace of Bruce Maddox, who attempted to have Data disassembled in TNG's "The Measure of a Man." Maddox is later revealed to be the creator of Dahj and Soji.
    • The destruction of Romulus, which is featured in the title sequence, was first seen in Star Trek (2009).
    • Dahj inquires about Picard's sense of self:
      Dahj: Have you ever been a stranger to yourself?
      Picard: Many, many times.note 
    • In a dream, Data offers Picard his paintbrush:
      Data: Would you like to finish [the painting], Captain?
      Picard: I don't know how.note 
    • Dahj can type and process information at hyper speed, just like Data.
    • The prototype android B-4, from Nemesis, is seen disassembled in a drawer in the Daystrom Institute.
    • Picard comments that Data "always wanted a daughter," a reference to Lal, Data's short-lived android child, who chose the form of a human female. Data's painting "Daughter", depicting Dahj and/or Soji is dated to c. 2369, three years after her death. The ghostly figure in it bears a strong resemblence to Lal.
    • The synths on Mars in the flashback to the attack in "Maps and Legends" have yellow eyes and no sense of humour, just like Data but exaggerated. They also bear more than a passing resemblance to Bruce Maddox (sans hair), who likely had a hand in creating them.
      • The particular synth the flashback focuses on, F8, also follows a similar naming pattern to his predecessors Data, Lore, and B-4, with a name that can be pronounced as "Fate," just as B-4 can be pronounced "Before."
    • Laris and Zhaban are former members of the Tal Shiar, the Romulan equivalent to the KGB.
    • The doctor from the Stargazer reveals that Picard may develop something akin to the Irumodic Syndrome he was shown to have in the anti-time future of "All Good Things". That abnormality would eventually kill him in "Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2."
    • Narek says that when a Borg cube disconnects from the Collective, the Collective effectively cauterizes it, shutting it out from the rest of the hive mind. This was previously demonstrated in the Voyager episode "Collective", wherein the Borg deliberately severed an infected Cube from the Collective when the Borg children tried to reestablish contact. This is also presumed, although never actually confirmed, to be the reason why the Collective survived Hugh's "individuality infection" in "I, Borg" and "Descent". The use of present tense further suggests that the Collective survived Janeway's neurolytic pathogen from the finale of Star Trek: Voyager.
    • Agnes Jurati notes that Maddox and Data were friends "after a fashion," a reference to the episode "Data's Day", in which Data, two years after Maddox essentially tried to have him dissected, addressed his personal log entries to him.
    • Hugh's name is said by Soji when they're both interacting with Ramdha in "The End Is the Beginning", so he has kept the name. In "The Impossible Box", he refers to his gaining a name in the TNG episode "I, Borg".
    • "Absolute Candor" features a space battle with a Romulan vessel that is a faithful near-clone of the one encountered in the TOS episode "Balance of Terror".
    • Bjayzl refers to Seven of Nine as Annika, her human name. Which might explain why she doesn't use it any more.
    • Maddox claims to have completed the work of Noonian Soong, Data's creator.
    • Soji is a painter, just like Data.
    • Borg cubes contain a queencell where a drone can be upgraded to a Borg Queen and brought online when needed. This explains the retcon from Star Trek: First Contact about how there was a Borg Queen on the cube that assimilated Picard into Locutus in "The Best of Both Worlds" when all other Queens have appeared only in the Delta Quadrant in or close to the Borg Unicomplex.
    • Picard and Soji escape the Artifact using an assimilated Sikarian spacial trajector, first seen in the Voyager episode, "Prime Factors".
    • Riker and Troi's daughter is named Kestra, after Deanna's older sister, who died when Deanna was still a baby. Ironically, she would also lose an older sibling (named Thaddeus after Riker's ancestor mentioned in the Voyager episode "Death Wish").
    • Seven of Nine uses Borg tech to unite the xBs into a benign Collective, similar to the Cooperative formed in the Voyager episode "Unity". Her issues surrounding doing so reflect the events of "Survival Instinct."
    • La Sirena travels to the android homeworld through a Borg transwarp conduit, used in both TNG and Voyager.
    • Narek describes a legend that may predate the time "when our ancestors first arrived on Vulcan," echoing a common theme in both TOS and TNG that Vulcans were not native to their world, but were seeded there hundreds of thousands of years ago, possibly by Sargon's people. (It also references the less-obscure fact that Romulans are Vulcans who split from that race over ideological differences.)
    • Picard performs a mega version of the Picard maneuver first described in "The Battle," creating hundreds of duplicates of his ship instead of just one.
    • Riker cites the Treaty of Algeron as precident for the Federation's claim to Coppelius: the treaty signed between the Federation and the Romulans in 2311 after the still-mysterious Tomed incident that also forbade the Federation from developing cloaking technology.
    • Q tells Picard that "The trial never ends", the last thing he told him on TNG.
    • Upon revealing that his mother committed suicide, Picard mentions that he used to imagine her as an old woman, offering him tea. This refers back to a fantasy he experienced in the early TNG episode "Where No One Has Gone Before".
  • Calling the Old Man Out:
    • Elnor is bitterly disappointed that he's only seeing Picard, whom he regards as a surrogate father, for the first time in fourteen years because Picard needs something from him, and lets him know this in no uncertain terms.
      Picard: Will you come with me? Will you bind your sword to my quest?
      Elnor: (angrily) Now that you have use for me? Now that I have value to you? You left me on my own, old man.
      Picard: I never meant to—
      Elnor: I see no reason not to do the same. (leaves in a huff)
    • Raffi became severely depressed after she was let go from Starfleet, and she got lost in her "crackpot, tin hat" theories about the synth attack on Mars and her substance abuse, which resulted in her being estranged from her son Gabriel Hwang and her husband. When she attempts to reconcile with Gabriel on Freecloud, he's still so resentful over how his mother had treated him and his father that he only allows Raffi a short moment to meet his Romulan wife Pel, who is pregnant with their daughter, before leaving his mother behind.
      Gabriel: (furiously) Tell me what was worth ignoring me and Dad until we hardly recognized you. Why you abandoned us for some crackpot, tin hat conspiracy—
      Raffi: (Suddenly Shouting) It wasn't crackpot! That attack was not what it seemed! Baby, there is a conspiracy, and it's bigger than anybody knew, there were lives at stake—
      Gabriel: Our lives, Mom. Our lives mattered, too, just not to you. I don't think you understand just how much it sucked to be your kid.
  • The Cameo: Lea Thompson has a brief cameo as Dr. Diane Werner in 2.5 "Fly Me To The Moon". She also directed 2.3 "Assimilated".
  • Canon Immigrant: Season two is adopting four starship classes from Star Trek Online into canon: the Gagarin-class,note  Reliant-class,note  Sutherland-class,note  and Ross-class.note . A later episode shows a toy/model of an NX-01 Refit.note  Season 3 will introduce another STO ship, the U.S.S. Enterprise-F of the Odyssey Class.
  • Canon Marches On: The series premiere, "Remembrance", makes it clear that the events of the Countdown tie-in comics leading up to the 2009 film definitively did not occur, at least as not as they were depicted. For one thing, Picard retired from Starfleet straight to tending his vineyard in France without serving as an ambassador in the interim, while Data was never resurrected in B-4's body (which instead lies disassembled in the Daystrom Institute). The same goes for the Star Trek Novel Verse books that involved Data's purported return to life. The post-supernova timeline in Star Trek Online is also ignored, aside from Season 3 introducing it's biggest element, the U.S.S. Enterprise-F herself.
    • However, as Star Trek canonically has numerous parallel universes, all of them may still be canonical after a fashion. Just not in the Prime timeline we have been following.
    • In "The Star Gazer", Q expressly acknowledges that he last "parted ways" with Picard back in "All Good Things", overriding past expanded universe stories in which he had "drop[ped] by to say hello from time to time".
  • Casino Episode: Most of the action in "Stardust City Rag" is set in Bjayzl's casino, and the planet Freecloud itself is Space Las Vegas.
  • The Cavalry: Seconds before the huge Romulan armada can start their glassing of the android homeworld in "Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2", an equally huge Starfleet armada warps in to block their line of fire, with none other than Will Riker himself captaining the fleet's flagship. A tense standoff ensues that ultimately ends with the Romulans retreating.
  • Celebrity Paradox: Of a sort. The episode opens with Bing Crosby's "Blue Skies." Bing Crosby is the grandfather of Tasha Yar's actress, Denise Crosby.
  • Character Aged with the Actor:
    • The series premiered seventeen years in real life after Patrick Stewart last played Picard in Nemesis, so Jean-Luc Picard is also correspondingly older at the start of the series, with promotional material indicating that he is 94 years old. That said, it's not out of the realm of reasonable, as 24th-century medical technology in-universe frequently has humans living well beyond 100 or even 130 years of age.
    • Data is set to return, a good fifteen years after Brent Spiner insisted that he be heard but not seen because unlike him, Data doesn't age.
    • Jonathan Del Arco was in his mid-20s when he first played Hugh in TNG, and he was 53 years old during principal photography for Season 1 of Picard.
    • The character Seven of Nine is reprised by actress Jeri Ryan, who was 51 years old during the filming of Season 1.
    • In "Nepenthe", we also see William Riker and Deanna Troi reprised by Jonathan Frakes and Marina Sirtis, respectively.
    • The teaser trailer to season 2 shows the immortal Q aged, due to John de Lancie being in his 70s by this point. Of course, Q isn't really human to begin with, having teased he could appear as a woman before. Presumably, his aged-up appearance is to make Picard feel like he's simply meeting an old friend. In the episode proper, he briefly appears with CGI de-aging before "catching up" to Picard's age with a Badass Fingersnap.
    • Guinan also appears older in the show's present, having aged along with Whoopi Goldberg. Since TNG had already established that Guinan had looked the same for at least 500 years at the time it was set, it's explained that El-Aurians can choose to age if they want to, and she does so to make her human customers more comfortable. However, the younger version of Guinan who appears on 21st-century Earth is played by Ito Aghayere.
  • Character Title: Yep, named after Jean-Luc Picard.
  • Civilization Destroyer:
    • In "The Impossible Box", Picard invokes this when he furiously disputes Jurati's suggestion that the Romulan-controlled Borg on the Artifact may be different.
      Picard: (outraged) Change? The Borg? They coolly assimilate entire civilizations, entire systems! In a matter of hours! They don't change! They metastasize.
    • In "Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1", Sutra learns from her mind-meld with Jurati that there are extragalactic synths who can be summoned to eradicate all biological life in the Milky Way. In the next episode, there are robotic tentacles emerging from an interdimensional portal, but Soji breaks the beacon's console before they fully enter our space.
    • In "Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2", General Nedar's dialogue reveals that the Romulans have at least five different settings for planet-wide sterilization, and they very nearly obliterate the androids (and presumably all plant and animal life as well) on Coppelius.
  • Classified Information:
    • In "The End Is the Beginning":
      • Hugh is the Executive Director of the Borg Reclamation Project, yet he's not permitted to view Ramdha's Romulan dossier even though she's his patient in the Disordered Ward.
      • Hugh is astonished that Soji somehow knows that the imperial scout ship Shaenor with its 26 Romulan passengers was the last vessel assimilated by the Artifact because no one outside the Tal Shiar has access to that information.
    • In "Absolute Candor":
      • Soji lampshades that the records on the Borg databases are classified.
      • Narek informs Soji that Romulan passenger lists aren't made public, unlike Terran ones.
    • In "Broken Pieces", Enoch explains to Raffi that the octonary star system doesn't appear on modern Romulan star charts, but it was present in their ancient star maps. The general public has been led to believe that it's apocryphal, but it's actually a Zhat Vash cover-up to keep the location of the "Conclave of Eight" a secret.
  • Cliffhanger: "The Impossible Box" ends with Elnor's and Hugh's back facing the camera, and they're armed with a tan qalanq and a disruptor, respectively. They hear the voices of approaching Romulan guards while the door to the queencell closes behind them, which blocks the audience's view. The scene cuts to black, and the final line of dialogue is:
    Elnor: Please my friends, choose to live.
    • Every episode in Season 2 ends in a minor cliffhanger that is immediately resolved in the next one.
  • Complexity Addiction: Most of the plot is driven by the Romulan obsession with secrecy and subterfuge. If the Romulans had simply shown others what they'd discovered, they wouldn't have needed a secret conspiracy carrying out immoral acts for the greater good.
  • Conlang: The Romulan language for this series was created by linguist Trent Pehrson, and he discusses the process in this Facebook post:
    "I was given instruction on what preexisting fragments were to be considered as canon. I incorporated all of those. Essentially, those really only yielded limited phonotactic information, some vague lexical items, and a hand-full of possible grammatical morphemes. There was also some Vulcan canon, which was useful, in a historical linguistic sense, to further flesh out phonotactics, and to derive another small set of lexical items. Native Romulan orthography fragments, used in prior canon production, were aesthetically pleasing, but were clearly just a thinly disguised version of the Roman alphabet. So, I used only the visual aesthetic from that, and created a system fitting to the actual phonotactics and phonemic inventory of the Romulan language. ST:Picard, E2 recently featured a decent sampling in a scene. The rest (the majority of the language) I had to construct."
    • In-universe, Thaddeus Troi-Riker made over three hundred languages for his imaginary homeworld, including one for butterflies. Deanna and Kestra converse in one of them.
  • Contemplation Location: Picard introduces the Zhal Makh meditation chamber, a sealed room with a winding path painted on the wooden floor, and around it are lanterns. The participant is expected to walk barefoot along the path which represents the "journey into the center of the mind's most intimate space, where deepest truths are hidden."
  • Continuity Nod: The list is so long that it has its own page.
  • Continuity Snarl: Inevitable, given the sheer size of the Trek universe, but still somewhat surprising, given the amount of Continuity Porn offered by the show.
    • Laris says that Romulus has no cyberneticists; however, in the TNG episode "The Defector", Admiral Jerok tells Data that there are a number of Romulan cyberneticists who would love to study him. Could be justified with the Hand Wave that Jarok was demonstrably openly hostile and snarky, and the "cyberneticists" who wanted to "study" him were actually "AI kill squads" who wanted to "disassemble with extreme prejudice." Jerok even semi-confirmed this when Data expresses that he didn't like the prospect, to which the Admiral responds "Nor should you." invokedWord of God says that "Romulan cyberneticist" is a phrase roughly equivalent to "Nazi doctor."
    • Contrary to Hugh's claim that the disordered Romulans on the Artifact cube were the first Romulans ever assimilated, a de-assimilated Romulan Borg was a major character in the Voyager episode "Unity". He does, at least, say that he's not completely sure, and since that Romulan was still a part of the "Cooperative", an ad-hoc Collective that was more democratically-minded, that may have staved off any disordering.
      • It's later established that the disordering had nothing to do with their assimilation/deassimination, but rather they had been driven insane by viewing the Admonition.
    • The third episode makes several references to money; Rios describes himself as "expensive," and Raffi seems jealous of Picard's chateau while she lives in a hovel. Granted, Trek economics have always been hazy, but the Federation is meant to be a Post-Scarcity Economy; there should be no need for Raffi to live in a hovel, unless she wants to. (Later episodes strongly imply, given her paranoia and conspiratorial mindset, that she did in fact want to.) Also, she's on Earth, the capital of the Federation and one phone call could get her access to just about anything she desired, physically speaking. No matter how off the beaten path she lives, it's somewhere that billions of people would die to be.
    • Oh is shown wearing sunglasses, something Vulcans shouldn't need since they have inner eyelids to protect them from sun glare. While it's later revealed that she's half-Romulan, and therefore might not have the inner eyelids, invokedWord of God suggests that she may have been trying to deliberately invoke The Men in Black.
    • Sutra, an older model of synthetic human closer to Data's design, somehow learned how to perform a Vulcan mind meld, a practice which in all previous instances requires at least one of the participants to be a telepath. This implies that at least some forms of telepathy can be learned with sufficient mental discipline, which goes back to The Original Series, but has never been mentioned again. While it is possible she could have altered her hardware to replicate telepathy, it is implied there was a non-trivial learning component.
  • Contrived Coincidence:
    • In "Maps and Legends", we see a notice in the converted Borg cube that it has gone 5843 days without an assimilation. 5843 days is exactly 16 years.note 
    • In "Nepenthe", Elnor experiences a Heroic BSoD and nestles into a Troubled Fetal Position in the exact place where Hugh hid the Fenris Rangers SOS tag that Seven of Nine gave to him sometime in the past, inside a giant Borg Cube.
    • It just so happens that the major event of Rios' past directly ties with the mission Picard hired him for. Neither Picard, nor Rios, nor Raffi knew of this. It's awfully convenient that the pilot Raffi picked is one of the few people in the Federation to have (knowingly) met one of Maddox's creations and witnessed the forces inside Starfleet fully committed to their destruction.
  • Converse with the Unconscious:
    • In "Maps and Legends", while the "Nameless" patient is still under anesthesia, Soji whispers to him in an alien language, "You're free now, my friend."
    • In "Broken Pieces", Narissa talks to a comatose Ramdha. She's hoping that the sound of her voice will awake her aunt so that the latter can join the Romulan fleet. Otherwise, Narissa will have to leave Ramdha behind on the Artifact.
  • Cool Sword: The tan qalanq (the iconic weapon of the Qowat Milat) is a straight, single-edged Absurdly Sharp Blade which happens to be evocative of some East Asian swords. Both the hilt and scabbard are wooden, so the tan qalanq's understated beauty mirrors the sisterhood's graceful Fantastic Fighting Style. When it's brandished by a Qowat Milat, this Romulan sword is as elegant as it is deadly, as a lone warrior nun can vanquish multiple foes armed with energy weapons and behead a person with one smooth stroke.
  • Cool Ship:
    • Season 1 introduces La Sirena. Though she's a little beat up, she's very much like the Millennium Falcon of Trek in that she may not look like much, but she can handle herself to compete with even Starfleet's finest and has a crew of holograms handling her systems.
    • Season 2 introduces a new version of the U.S.S. Stargazer, a successor to Picard's old ship he commanded before the Enterprise. Not only is she a beautiful 25th century update to the old Constellation class, but she's as advanced as they come, inside and out.
    • Season 3 brings us not one, but two ships who stand above cool. The first is the U.S.S. Titan-A, a successor to Riker's old Titan, in a modern update to the old Constitution Class that brings the design that started the Enterprise lineage in real-life into the 25th Century. Not to be outdone, but a familiar face from Star Trek Online joins the fray as the Enterprise-F makes the jump to canon.
  • Cosmic Horror Reveal: Behind Trek's Standard Sci Fi Setting lurks an alliance of Mechanical Abominations ready to exterminate all organic life if they don't play nice with synths.
  • Covert Group: The existence of the Zhat Vash is kept secret not just from the general public, but the Tal Shiar as well. Zhaban, who was once a member of the Romulan Secret Police, dismisses the ancient cabal as just a myth to frighten new recruits. However, Picard later discovers with Laris' help that the Zhat Vash is indeed real, and this shadowy group is The Unfettered to an even greater degree than the Tal Shiar.
  • Cultural Rebel: The Qowat Milat nuns and Elnor follow the doctrine of the Way of Absolute Candor, which runs entirely counter to everything that the secretive Romulans hold dear.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle:
    • In "Remembrance", after Dahj activates, it takes a dozen seconds for her to kill three Romulan assassins.
    • In "Absolute Candor", Elnor dispatches three Romulan thugs who attack Picard in two seconds flat, knocking out two of them and decapitating Tenqem.
    • In "Stardust City Rag", Seven of Nine guns down Bjayzl and her entire security detail at the casino.
    • In "The Impossible Box", Elnor cuts down three Romulan guards with his tan qalanq so quickly that they don't have a chance to pull the trigger on their disruptors.
    • In "Nepenthe", from the moment Elnor performs a flip through the air, he slices through four of Narissa's minions in about ten seconds.
    • In "Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2", 218 Romulan warbirds face off against twenty or so Coppelian Orchids. After the onslaught is over, Jurati reports to Picard that 200 Romulan vessels remain. (It should be pointed out that this means 18 of the 20 Orchids at least achieved a Taking You with Me, which is a decent success rate if an inefficient tactic.)
  • Cyanide Pill: Zhat Vash agents carry a tab of acid in their mouths they can crunch down on if they're captured or compromised. This acid is strong enough to reduce them to ash in under a minute. Furthermore, the delivery method allows the agent to spit some at their captor or any target of opportunity, potentially taking someone with them unless the victim has a means of clearing or discarding the affected area quickly. Dahj falls victim to this (coupled with an overloading disruptor), and Zhaban narrowly avoids the same fate by quickly taking off his vest before the acid melts through it.
  • Cybernetics Eat Your Soul:
    • Discussed in "Stardust City Rag" when Seven of Nine asks Picard if he got his humanity back after being liberated from the Borg.
      Seven: After they brought you back from your time in the Collective... do you honestly feel that you regained your humanity?
      Picard: Yes.
      Seven: All of it?
      Picard: ...No. But we're both working on it. Aren't we?
      Seven: Every damn day of my life.
    • Lampshaded in "Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2" by Rios when he's concerned about the potential side effects of using Saga's omnitool to repair his ship.
      Rios: Honestly, I'm a little afraid of it. Like, if I use it too much, it's gonna eat my soul.

    Tropes D to F 
  • Darker and Edgier: Picard soundly beats out Deep Space Nine as the darkest portrayal of the Star Trek universe to date. As of 2399, The Federation has become more insular and cynical following an attack on Mars fourteen years prior, a botched evacuation of the Romulan homeworlds have turned the former Romulan Neutral Zone into a Balkanized Wretched Hive overrun with pirates and warlords, and former-Borg are being hunted down and vivisected so their implants can be sold on the black market. It's still Crapsack Only by Comparison — from what we see, the Federation itself still appears to be a great place to live — but the show really demonstrates how much the Star Trek universe relies on the Federation to keep it clean.
  • Dark Is Not Evil:
    • The Qowat Milat nuns wear a black robe and a black headdress, and they're friends and allies of Picard.
    • Hugh's executive director uniform is black, and he's among the nicest and most empathetic people working at the Artifact.
    • Picard's ensemble is often black and/or dark grey, and he's the Hero Protagonist of the series.
  • David Versus Goliath:
    • In "Absolute Candor", La Sirena versus Kar Kantar's Bird-of-Prey, with a surprise assist from Seven of Nine; the heroes in their small vessels manage to disable the warlord's larger ship.
    • In "Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1", the Coppelian Orchids are dwarfed by the Borg Cube, but three of them are able to neutralize the Artifact and drag it down to the planet surface.
  • Dead Guy Junior:
    • Riker and Troi name their son Thaddeus after Riker's Civil War ancestor Colonel Thaddius Riker (the same one whose life was saved by a Q), and their daughter Kestra after Troi's older sister, who drowned as a child.
    • The synth cat Spot II is named after Spot, Data's orange tabby.
  • Death Means Humanity: The android Data is "alive" in a simulation. Understanding that human life is precious because it is finite, he asks Picard to shut down the simulation keeping his mind alive, so that, however briefly, he may exist as a being with a finite lifespan. Picard does so and Data passes away in seconds, granting fulfilling his wish.
  • Deconstruction: Of The Federation and Starfleet’s imperialism and military status, known about from day one. As well as assimilating cultures into their own, they don’t always help, as shown by withdrawing from saving the Romulans, thanks to others threatening to pull out.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: Laris notes the redundancy of the word "secret" in describing the Tal Shiar as the "Romulan Secret Police", because Romulan culture is all about secrecy.
  • Designated Girl Fight: Considering the small number of Action Girls among the cast with the Super Strength to rival a Romulan's, plus the fact that Soji despises violence and probably doesn't even know Narissa exists, it shouldn't come as a surprise that Seven of Nine is the one to face off against Narissa in a one-on-one combat in "Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2." Elnor, a Romulan man, nearly killed Narissa with her own knife in "Nepenthe", but she was saved by a Teleportation Rescue, so her survival allowed for this trope to occur.
  • Destroyer Deity: In Romulan mythology, the female twin khalagu ("demons") that bring about Ganmadan ("the Day of Annihilation") are Seb-Natan ("the Foreteller") and Seb-Cheneb ("the Destroyer").
  • Died in Your Arms Tonight:
    • In "Stardust City Rag", Icheb dies in Seven of Nine's arms, whom he loves like a mother.
    • In "Nepenthe", Hugh passes away in Elnor's arms, and to mirror the above example, he's another ex-Borg drone who bites the dust in the company of someone he loves; Jonathan Del Arco had portrayed Hugh as being in love with Elnor.
    • In "Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2", Picard succumbs to his neurodegenerative disorder while he's being held by Raffi, his friend and former second-in-command.
  • Dies Wide Open:
    • In "Remembrance", Dahj cries over the corpse of her boyfriend, whose eyes are "staring" at nothing, which is how she knows that he's dead.
    • In "Absolute Candor", Tenqem still appears be glaring at Picard when his head falls off.
    • In "Stardust City Rag", Bruce Maddox dies while looking at the camera.
    • In "Nepenthe", Elnor (and the audience) can see the precise moment when Hugh passes away by the latter's lifeless eyes, which remain open.
    • In "Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1", Altan Soong laments while he cradles Saga's body, whose murder by Eye Scream is evident because while her right optical processor is visibly intact, her left one has been irreversibly damaged by her own hummingbird brooch.
      Altan: Perfect golden eye. What did [Narek] do to your beautiful eye?
  • Disapproving Look:
    • In "The Impossible Box", Picard is visibly displeased when Raffi takes a hit from her pipe.
    • In "Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2", Elnor glares at Narek throughout the latter's campfire story because he doesn't trust a Zhat Vash agent whose sister had murdered Hugh.
  • Disney Villain Death: Narissa is killed by Seven kicking her off a high ledge within the Borg cube.
  • Distant Sequel: Picard takes place in 2399, twenty years after Star Trek: Nemesis.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?:
    • In "Maps and Legends", the circumstances of the failed Romulan evacuation are fleshed out, including the fact that several species threatened to leave the Federation if they helped them. This episode was released on the day that the UK left the EU, one of the reasons being xenophobia.
    • In the flashback of "Absolute Candor", Picard's clothing is very similar to a Panama suit, which gives the scene an uncomfortable colonial subtext (Picard is French and lives in a beautiful chateau in La Barre, and France was once a colonial power), with him as the Federation equivalent of a privileged White Savior, and the Romulan refugees (especially the young Elnor) represent the underprivileged people of color that he helps. Although Romulans have a variety of skin tones, the three characters Picard interacts with the most on Vashti are Elnor, Zani and Tenqem, who are all portrayed by actors of color. Moreover, the Romulans as a species were inspired by the Chinese Communists, so in general, it can be said that they possess vaguely Asian attributes. (A more explicit example is Elnor, who is a martial arts expert equipped with an Asian-style sword, and along with his Warrior Monk robe and Samurai Ponytail, he looks like he belongs in the Wuxia genre. note ) The refugees who live at North Station revere Picard as their savior, while Elnor Hero Worships him and is eager to learn about Terran literature and fencing from him. By the end of the episode, Elnor chooses to leave his own people to serve as a bodyguard to Picard, and he becomes the Token Non-Human among the crew.
    • In "Stardust City Rag":
      • The harvesting of Icheb's Borg parts is analogous to an Organ Theft.
      • "Freecloud keeps your secrets" sounds a lot like "Whatever happens in Vegas stays in Vegas."
      • Picard describing how the Borg "entered" and "defiled" Seven of Nine as a child continues to drive home the "assimilation as rape" metaphor.
    • In "Broken Pieces", the Zhat Vash gathering around the Admonition brings to mind a witches coven, or a cult initiation ritual.
  • Doppelgänger Spin:
    • In "Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1", Narek rigs his cloak to project a false image of his ship having taken damage, along with a faint life signature to convince La Sirena that he's seriously wounded.
    • In "Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2", Picard and Jurati create fake sensor duplicates of La Sirena to distract the Romulan fleet and to buy time before the Starfleet squadron arrives.
  • Double Standard: Although the franchise has established that it's perfectly acceptable for Romulan women to do anything their male counterparts can do, Picard reveals that a Romulan man who has what is regarded to be a feminine occupation is subjected to Gendered Insults. Elnor, who was raised by the all-female Qowat Milat sect and follows their traditions, is taunted by the townspeople as a "sisterboy."
  • Dress-Up Episode: As part of their undercover op on Freecloud, Picard, Rios and Elnor wear costumes that are very different from their normal attire in "Stardust City Rag."
  • Duel to the Death: Tenqem challenges Picard to a Sword Fight with the intent of killing him, and it's a long-standing tradition for a Zhat Vash and a Qowat Milat to fight each other to the death in unarmed combat.
  • Dysfunction Junction: Pretty much everybody in the main cast gets a Dark and Troubled Past, thanks to the Rule of Drama.
    • Jean-Luc Picard himself is still haunted by the synth attack on Mars, the loss of Data in Nemesis, and his acrimonious split from Starfleet over their refusal to help the Romulans in the face of their impending supernova. And as the dialogue with Seven in Stardust City Rag implies, he still hasn't really gotten over the short time he was Locutus of Borg.
    • Dahj had to deal with a party of Zhat Vash assassins abruptly murdering her boyfriend and trying to abduct her, only for everything she knew about her own identity to get called into question. Correspondingly, her sister Soji is going to have to deal with the same revelation that she is an android, not to mention her twin sister's brutal death on Earth.
    • Dr. Agnes Jurati had her life's work (and that of Dr. Bruce Maddox) in cybernetics left in ruins by the Federation's abrupt and near-total ban on the practical research and creation of all synthetic lifeforms after the Mars attack. She also has to deal with the psychological trauma of having been forcibly mind-melded to see whatever horrors the Admonition shows its viewers, and later with the guilt of having murdered Bruce in reaction to it.
    • Narek got assigned to the Romulan Reclamation Site in the wake of the death of his brother, and has to deal with his sister, a Zhat Vash operative, being a Big Sister Bully.
    • Raffi Musiker's obsession with investigating the synth attack on Mars alienated her from her family, to the point that her son wants nothing to do with her even a decade and a half later. Then she was canned from Starfleet at the same time as Picard, and fell into smoking snakeleaf, abuse of which led to addiction and paranoia.
    • Cristóbal Rios is hinted to have a shady past, and is still dealing with the trauma of losing his commanding officer and vessel, whereupon he was also discharged from Starfleet.
    • Elnor is an outcast among his fellow Romulans. The townspeople hurl Gendered Insults at him, and while the Qowat Milat nuns do love him and have trained him in their ways, he's constantly reminded that he can't join their order because he's a man. Picard, whom he idolized, is the closest thing he has to a father figure, but he then abandoned Elnor for fourteen years.
    • Seven of Nine has spent the last thirteen years with the Fenris Rangers, a Vigilante Militia struggling to keep the peace in the former Romulan Neutral Zone, and she's become bitter and disillusioned with Starfleet. Worse, she formed a "close personal relationship" with a woman named Bjayzl, who then betrayed her and had her surrogate son Icheb vivisected for his Borg implants.
  • Eiffel Tower Effect:
    • Whenever a scene takes place in San Francisco, it's usually preceded by a shot of the Golden Gate Bridge.
    • There's a glimpse of the Eiffel Tower before it switches to Dahj hiding in a Parisian alleyway.
  • Eldritch Starship: The androids on Coppelius remotely control giant flowers called Orchids which attach themselves to enemy vessels and drain them of power, then let them fall out of orbit and crash to the planet's surface.
  • Electronic Eyes:
    • In "Maps and Legends", the rims of F8's irises and pupils suddenly glow when he turns rogue.
    • In "The Impossible Box", we get a brief glimpse of what the world looks like through Hugh's eyes, and his field of vision is peppered with green Borg symbols.
    • In "Broken Pieces", Seven of Nine's eyes light up with green Borg graphics when she becomes the Artifact's Queen, while the holograms' eyes light up white when they search their memories (the computer's databanks).
    • In "Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2", Saga's memories are stored in her optical processors, but because her eye is damaged, some of the data has been corrupted.
  • Elegant Weapon for a More Civilized Age: On the cusp of the 25th century, it's far easier to simply push a button or pull the trigger on an energy weapon than it is to learn how to swing a sword properly, but the Qowat Milat warrior nuns continue to use the tan qalanq (an Absurdly Sharp Blade that, at least in the present-day, seems to be unique to the sisterhood) as their primary weapon. It's partly because they want to preserve the customs and lifestyle of a bygone era when Romulans were a Proud Warrior Race, and it's also because a Qowat Milat who has fully mastered the order's Fantastic Fighting Style is more lethal in combat than a small group of assailants equipped with disruptors.
  • Equal-Opportunity Evil:
    • As we have seen previously in the franchise, the Romulans have achieved a high level of gender equality a long time ago, and this is maintained even after they lose their homeworld. Their women continue to work alongside the men in all sorts of occupations (e.g. at the Romulan Reclamation Site, the head surgeon is a Romulan woman and there are Romulan females on the security team). However, Picard introduces a Double Standard where Romulan men who are judged to be effeminate are made fun of.
    • Bjayzl is a sociopathic black market dealer, but her employees are quite diverse. She has a reptilian Beta Annari as her Number Two, her two personal bodyguards are women, her casino's pianist is a dwarf, and we get a brief shot of her purple-skinned bouncer who's from an unidentified alien species.
  • Evil Brit: Sibling Zhat Vash operatives Narek and Narissa have a British accent when they speak in English, and it's an indicator to the audience that they're the villains.
  • Evil Counterpart: The Zhat Vash to the Qowat Milat, although considering the former is introduced first, it might be more appropriate to call the latter an inversion of the trope.
    • Both organizations have a focus on female leadership, with the Zhat Vash having more of a witches coven styling to the Qowat Milat's nuns design.
    • Both have a male member who qualifies as a Pretty Boy, but the Zhat Vash's is a Honey Trap whereas the Qowat Milat's is a Master Swordsman.
    • The Zhat Vash is an Ancient Conspiracy hidden within the Tal Shiar that is committed to infiltrating and deceiving its enemies, while the Qowat Milat practices Brutal Honesty as part of its publicly known creed.
    • The Qowat Milat fights for lost causes that are generally altruistic, whereas the Zhat Vash is The Unfettered in pursuit of its goal.
  • Evil Wears Black: Narek and Narissa (when she's not posing as a Starfleet officer) are always dressed in black, and they're Zhat Vash operatives. Their organization's death squads have an all-black uniform, including opaque black helmets. The traditional hooded robe of the female leaders is black.
  • The Extremist Was Right:
    • Turns out that the Zhat Vash are completely correct in their fear of an unstoppable extragalactical force that will destroy all organics so that synthetics can rule. What leaves them squarely in villain territory is their utter refusal to even consider peaceful solutions to the problem.
    • At the end of the series, Picard has fulfilled Lore's plan from "The Descent"- a former Borg who becomes completely artificial.
  • Eye Cam:
    • In "Remembrance", Laris is out of focus and Zhaban is outright blurry to Picard when he awakens while recovering from a head injury.
    • In "The Impossible Box", Soji's eyes flicker open when she wakes up from her Forced Sleep, and the framed photograph of herself with Dahj appears hazy.
    • In "Broken Pieces", we see Picard from Jurati's blurred perspective as her eyes flutter open when she rouses from a coma.
    • In "Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1", when Picard regains consciousness after passing out, he slowly opens his eyes and we get a glimpse of Jurati from his unfocused point of view.
    • In "Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2", after the synth Picard is activated, the first images his new artificial eyes process are a hazy-looking Soji and Jurati.
  • Eye Scream:
    • In "Stardust City Rag", Icheb's ocular implant is forcibly ripped out without an anesthetic by a surgeon.
    • In "Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1", Saga is stabbed in the eye with her hummingbird brooch. Jurati pulls out Saga's remaining good eye in the following episode.
  • Faction Motto:
    • The Qowat Milat motto is Sem n'hak kon ("Now is the only moment" note ), which is printed repeatedly along the customary belt worn by the sisterhood and Elnor.
    • The motto of the planet Freecloud is "Freecloud keeps your secrets."
  • Family Theme Naming:
    • Siblings Narek and Narissa share "Nar" in their names.
    • Arcana, Sutra, Saga, Codex and Rune note  continue the trend of Soong-type androids having Punny Names on the theme of knowledge, such as Data and Lore. invokedWord of God says that the androids created by Altan Soong and Bruce Maddox, such as Dahj and Soji, have flower names, while those created by the other synths are named in honour of their progenitor, Data.
  • Fanservice:
    • Soji and Narek are seen in their underwear after having sex.
    • A mild example is the deep V-neck on Elnor's Qowat Milat uniform, which is unusual because the nuns don't expose that much skin. Evan Evagora was a model before he became an actor, so this costuming choice was intentionally done to exploit his sex appeal. In the "Et in Arcadia Ego" two-parter, Elnor's shoulders and arms are bare.
    • Sutra's outfit reveals part of her midriff, waist, and back.
  • Fanservice Extra: In the "Et in Arcadia Ego" two-parter, some of the well-toned male androids are shirtless, and some of the attractive female androids wear fairly revealing outfits.
  • Fantastic Drug: Raffi grows and smokes something called snakeleaf, a side effect of which is heightened paranoia.
  • Fantastic Fighting Style:
  • Fantastic Flora:
    • The filaments or styles note  of the orchids in Dahj's apartment move on their own.
    • Raffi grows a flowering plant called snakeleaf. When smoked, it induces paranoia.
  • Fantastic Racism:
    • Because a bunch of rogue synthetics destroyed the base on Mars, they have been banned within the Federation. Also, in the flashback of "Maps and Legends", most of the human characters treat their synth counterparts with little to no respect.
    • Admiral Clancy reminds Picard that fourteen species had threatened to secede from the Federation if the Romulan rescue mission went ahead as planned.
    • The Zhat Vash, a Romulan cabal, is said to be motivated by a fierce hatred for synthetic life forms, and it's responsible for the attack and murder of Dahj.
    • The group that suffers from the most discrimination in the Milky Way galaxy are ex-Borg drones.
      Hugh: There's no more despised people in the galaxy than the xBs. People either see us as property to be exploited, or as a hazard to be warehoused. Our hosts, the Romulans, have a more expansive vision. They see us as both.
    • Xenophobia is still present among Romulans. Some Romulan-owned businesses on Vashti feature "Romulans Only" signs, and the planet is the hotbed for the Romulan Rebirth movement. The Zhal Makh, a form of Romulan meditation, is taboo to non-Romulans. The Romulan pejorative for humans is "round-ears" and the Romulan slur for xBs is "half-meat."
  • Finale Credits: The end credits for the Season 1 finale features a blue nebula instead of a plain black background. The music is arranged differently with a faster tempo and a more upbeat tone, with the over-all effect being that the crew of La Sirena is warping to a glorious new adventure.
  • Five-Man Band: In Season 1, La Sirena's crew consists of five members, and they all fulfill the standard roles.
  • Flower Motifs: The Coppelian synths embrace a floral theme. Dahj was named after a yellow-and-pink orchid (Orchidaceae Dahj oncidium), Beautiful Flower is the male Ambassador who encountered the USS ibn Majid, and the ship-disabling vessels which look exactly like giant flowers are called Orchids. The staff weapons held by Codex and Rune vaguely resemble long floral stems, and the tips are styled like petals that haven't bloomed yet.
  • Funny Background Event:
    • In "Stardust City Rag", when Picard speaks with a Maurice Chevalier Accent for the first time, Elnor, who's standing behind him, has a "What the heck is my father figure doing?" expression.
    • In "The Impossible Box", as Picard and Hugh race through the Artifact to find Soji, one of the ex-Borg they run past spots Picard and very confusedly asks, "...Locutus?"
    • In "Nepenthe," teenage Kestra plays on her "phone" at dinner while the adults are stumped over the location of Soji's homeworld. She's holding her 24th century smartphone under the table like a kid trying not to get caught... until she blurts out the location of the Soji's planet, having contacted a friend on the device and simply asked.

    Tropes G to L 
  • Gendered Insult: Elnor is derided by the locals as a "sisterboy" because he was brought up by the Qowat Milat nuns. It's basically the Romulan equivalent of calling a man a "sissy," and it reflects their society's Double Standard on gender roles.
  • Good Parents: Despite Troi's willingness to help Picard in any way she can, she admits that she fears for what could happen to her daughter Kestra, her last surviving child.
    Troi: I'm not as brave as I used to be, Jean-Luc.
    Picard: Then you're getting wiser.
  • Go Mad from the Revelation: Whatever it is that the Zhat Vash are hiding, it is said that knowledge of it could drive people insane. This seems to include Dr. Jurati, who kills Bruce Maddox in "Stardust City Rag" because of the knowledge revealed to her a couple of episodes earlier by Commodore Oh.
    • It's eventually revealed that the Romulans had discovered an artifact at least 200,000 years old that contained a message meant for synthetic minds, not organic.. The Zhat Vash leaders are exposed to it as part of their initiation, and the misinterpreted message and visions are so traumatic they drive some of them insane and others to immediately commit suicide. It was, in fact, exposure to those visions that caused the Borg to sever the Reclamation Site cube from the rest of the Collective when a Zhat Vash operative was among a group of assimilated Romulans.
  • Gratuitous French:
    • In "Remembrance":
      • Picard talks to his pet dog in French, who is carrying a small dead animal in his mouth.
        Picard: Je sais que tu penses ramener ça à la maison, mais c'est hors du question! Ne fais pas semblant de ne pas parler français. On s'est pratiqué. (I know you're thinking of bringing that in the house, but it's out of the question! Don't pretend you don't speak French. We practiced.)
      • Zhaban thinks Picard is being overly dramatic when the latter says, "Bien, à la guillotine, alors" (Well, to the guillotine, then) before his interview with the Federation News Network reporter.
    • In "The End Is the Beginning":
      • Zhaban lists the contents of a bag of food which includes Madame Arnaud's terrine d'oie (goose terrine).
      • Rios warns Picard, "It's about to get real hot chez vous (at your home)." An odd choice for the Hispanic Rios, unless he was playing on Picard's Frenchiness.
    • In "Stardust City Rag", Picard goes all-in on his French Jerk persona:
      Hammy Picard: When the Borg entered her, she was just a jeune fille (young girl).
    • In "Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2", Picard utters a mistimed "Adieu" (Farewell) after Riker ends their transmission.
  • Gratuitous Spanish:
    • In "Absolute Candor", Rios yells, "¡Chasumadre!" when engaged in a firefight with Kar Kantar. He then banters in Spanish with Emmet.
    • In "Nepenthe", Rios calls Elnor "Hermano" (Brother) note , and later bids him "Adios" (Goodbye).
    • In "Broken Pieces", Rios sings the Spanish children's song "Arroz con leche (Rice with milk)" to regain control of his ship after Soji hacks it. He later makes it clear to her that "Sirena's my goddamn ship, hija (daughter)."
    • In "Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1":
      • Rios curses in Spanish twice during his Space Battle with Narek: "¡Puta madre! (Motherfucker!)" and "¡Malparido! (Bastard!)"
      • There are two Spanish words in this exchange between Jurati and Rios:
        Jurati: Am I inolvidable (unforgettable)?
        Rios: Absolutamente (Absolutely).
    • In "Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2":
      • Rios whispers, "Ay caramba (interjection which denotes surprise)" when he marvels at the effectiveness of Saga's omnitool as it repairs his ship's intermix reactor.
      • While waiting for Soji to get out of the way so that he can launch the modified drone, Rios mutters to himself, "Move, mijanote , move."
  • Grey-and-Gray Morality: The show's primary conflict ultimately boils down to this. The Romulans seek to prevent the complete annihilation of all organic life in the galaxy by committing genocide on synthetics first. Opposing them, the androids have basically the same motivation, only with the sides reversed. Both parties have enough sympathetic characters to (barely) keep the matter from sliding into Evil Versus Evil. And the heroes are stuck between them trying to find a solution that doesn't involve one species getting wiped out by the other.
  • Guns Akimbo:
    • In "Stardust City Rag", Elnor grabs two phaser pistols and points them at Bjayzl's female bodyguards, and later, Seven of Nine shoots Bjayzl and her goons with a pair of phaser rifles.
    • In "Broken Pieces", Narissa exterminates the xBs by shooting them with two disruptors.
  • Guns Are Worthless: Energy weapons are useless against the Qowat Milat because those who have undergone the order's training can dodge multiple projectiles, as Elnor does in "Nepenthe" when he confronts Narissa and her minions. With his Super Reflexes and his tan qalanq, he can turn any firefight into a Never Bring a Gun to a Knife Fight situation, and his rivals end up as bloodied corpses before they even lay a scratch on him. In Season 1, the only time Elnor is vulnerable is in "Broken Pieces", when the Romulan soldiers have finally learned that this trope applies to him, so they ditch their disruptors and engage in hand-to-hand combat after they temporarily blind him with a flashbang grenade, which disorientates Elnor to the point where his speed advantage is negated.
  • Guns vs. Swords: A Romulan who threatens Elnor in "Absolute Candor" is confident that a tan qalanq is no match for a disruptor, but Elnor proves him wrong in "The Impossible Box" and "Nepenthe" because a lone Qowat Milat can easily carve up several adversaries equipped with energy weapons with just a sword.
  • Had to Be Sharp: The Qowat Milat nuns, with their ethos of Absolute Candor, had to become highly proficient at deadly martial arts to stand a chance of survival, as the sisterhood is a Cultural Rebel in a civilization where "secret" in Secret Police is seen as entirely redundant.
  • Hand Wave: Whoopi Goldberg reprises the role of Guinan, an El-Aurian who ages much slower than humans. Since Goldberg has aged visibly since the last time she played the character two decades ago, when Picard meets with her she mentions that she can control her aging and chooses to keep up with the humans around her. In the same episode, Q also appears, first as his age from The Next Generation, then offers to "catch up" to Picard's age and morphs into John de Lancie's current likeness.
  • Happy Ending Override:
    • The ending of Nemesis implied that Data managed to survive his death by uploading his mind to B4. Picard's series premiere confirms that he tried this, but it didn't work because B4's positronic brain wasn't advanced enough to contain Data's mind. Nearly everything Data uploaded was lost and B4 is now kept disassembled in a drawer. He did, at least, get two "daughters" made based on his mind.
    • Seven of Nine didn't get her happily ever after with Chakotay, which may or may not have something to do with his fate in Star Trek: Prodigy. It's implied it may have been her Last Het Romance.
    • Icheb, who was rescued from the Borg and traveled to the Alpha Quandrant as effectively Seven of Nine's adoptive son, is brutally murdered by criminals so they can harvest his Borg components to sell on the black market.
  • Heroes Love Dogs: Early in the series premiere, Picard is woken from a dream by his pet pitbull, whom he addresses as "Number One."
  • Hollywood Provincialism: The plot of Season 2 requires Picard and his crew to travel back in time in order to prevent a Bad Future. And out of the infinite potential times they could go to, their first destination is Los Angeles in the year 2024.
  • Holographic Terminal: Rios pilots La Sirena with a holographic helm. When Picard has to fly the ship, he struggles to figure out how to work the controls.
  • Homeworld Evacuation: Preparations to attempt this for Romulus due to the looming supernova have begun, but something set off all the android workforce at the Utopia Planitia Fleet Yards where the evacuation ships were being assembled en masse, causing horrific amounts of death and destruction that Mars is still burning in the time frame of the series. The Federation abandoned the effort in light of some Realpolitik going on amongst its members.
  • Homoerotic Subtext: Although invokedWord of God has denied that Hugh is gay, his actor Jonathan Del Arco (invokedWord of Saint Paul) nonetheless continued to incorporate his experience as a gay man into his character (as he has done so since Hugh's debut in TNG's "I, Borg"), so for Picard, Del Arco chose to depict Hugh as being in love with Elnor. In "Nepenthe", the two men are strangers, yet they form an immediate rapport, and they have No Sense of Personal Space with each other. Del Arco promotes Hugh and Elnor as a couple, calling his co-star Evan Evagora as "my Elnor" with three rainbow emojis, which represent the LGBTQ flag.
    "I was like, 'This is Hugh's last moment and I'm going to make some personal choices, and so I'll make them personal choices about how I want them to be,'" says Del Arco. "And I think there were a lot of things about Elnor that for me resonated as a gay man." There certainly is a spark between the two characters in that moment. And while reps for CBS say that Hugh has not been identified as gay, Del Arco took his own experience as a gay man into consideration when playing that scene. "You know, I think he loved him," he says. "I think in essence he might've been in love with him in the time that he was there. I think that the hope was really someone loves him. Someone who was idealistic. I think he saw a lot of himself in Elnor. Hugh used to have that sense of innocence, of righteousness. And all those things were hopeful to him, because he hadn't been in a space of hope for all this time."
  • Hot as Hell: In Romulan mythology, Seb-Cheneb and Seb-Natan are twin khalagu ("demons") who will instigate Ganmadan ("the Day of Annihilation"), and they're depicted in the pixmit card set as attractive, long-haired, leggy Vulcanoid women with dresses that display a bit of their cleavage.
  • Humans Are Bastards: Played with. The flashback of what happened at the Utopia Planitia Shipyards on that fateful day of 2385 in "Maps and Legends" shows the humans treating their synth counterparts as nothing more than slaves and calling them derogatory names like "plastic people." However it also rightfully shows that some humans are actually afraid of what they can do. It is also made clear that the androids have no noticeable personality, despite some characters trying to interact with them as coworkers, and fall squarely into the Uncanny Valley. And even then at least one character protests when another starts being openly hostile.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Jurati thinks the Way of Absolute Candor sounds annoying, mere minutes after she bothers Rios with her incessant rambling about the vast emptiness of outer space, the activities she has done to kill time, and paper books.
  • Identical Grandson: The series carries on the tradition of every male Soong (both Alton in season 1 and Adam in season 2) and Soong-type android resembling Brent Spiner, and adds the new twist of most of the female Soong and Soong-type androids resembling Isa Briones (the androids Dahj, Soji, and Sutra in season 1, and Kore Soong in Season 2). The odd one out is, of course, Lal, by virtue of having been depicted before Briones was born.
  • Idiot Ball: The 3rd episode of Season 2 where Rios doesn't 1) Take the communicator and 2) Leave immediately after being helped to heal when the medical clinic he's recovering in gets an immigration raid. Not only does he lose the communicator when he could have easily taken it back from the child who picked it up off the floor, he then gets arrested "trying to help" which lasts all of 5 seconds before he gets arrested & taken away.
  • Imagination-Based Superpower: The androids have somehow developed palm-sized handheld tools capable of performing just about any task the user pictures in their mind. Rios uses one to repair unrepairable damage to his ship in a flash, and Jurati later helps out Picard in the space battle against the Romulan armada by projecting hundreds of imaginary but entirely real-looking duplicates of their ship. Meanwhile, the androids planetside are implied to rely on the same tech to construct their beacon. It's basically replicator technology cranked up to eleven, with so many potential applications that it borders on a Story-Breaker Power.
  • Impairment Shot:
    • In "Stardust City Rag", Bjayzl appears hazy to Maddox after he drinks the drugged tranya.
    • In "Nepenthe", Jurati's vision becomes blurry and she sees doubles of Emil as the neurotoxin begins to take effect.
  • Informed Attractiveness: In Season 1, a few characters spontaneously remark on Narek's attractiveness to remind Soji (and the audience) that he's an irresistible Honey Trap.
    • In "Maps and Legends", a female Trill scientist (in her only appearance) spots Narek and is immediately intrigued:
      Dr. Naáshala Kunamadéstifee: Who is that?
      Soji: That's Narek. He's new here, too.
      Kunamadéstifee: I didn't know Romulans could be so hot.
      Soji: Me either.
    • In "The Impossible Box", Hugh is unsurprised that Soji is in danger and suspects that Narek is involved:
      Hugh: And something about the dashing young Romulan spy who showed up two weeks ago, pretending not to be asking questions about her.
  • Instant Death Stab:
    • In "Remembrance", Dahj's boyfriend immediately drops dead after he's knifed in the chest.
    • In "Absolute Candor", Tenqem dies as soon as Elnor's tan qalanq goes through his neck; green blood oozes from the wound before the ruffian's head slides off.
    • In "The Impossible Box", the lives of three Romulan soldiers come to an abrupt end the moment they meet Elnor's blade, which includes at least two slit throats and flying arterial spray.
    • In "Nepenthe":
      • Three of Narissa's lackeys are instantly slain after Elnor strikes them down with his sword.
      • It's averted with the fourth mook because he's still alive (although he's not able to move) after Elnor lacerates his face, and we hear the man groan as Elnor shoves him to the floor.
      • It's also averted with Hugh, who becomes the Almost Dead Guy after Narissa's knife pierces his jugular vein.
    • In "Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2", the footage that Altan Soong manages to retrieve from Saga's optical processors shows that her systems shut down right after Sutra stabs her left eye. Saga's right eye is still intact, but the fact that it doesn't record anything further proves that she's dead.
  • In Spite of a Nail: The vesion of 2024 that they visit in season 2 is almost indistinguishable from the audience's present (it even has Rick and Morty and United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement); this in spite of the fact that the Eugenics Wars have already taken place, there's a crewed mission to Europa in the offing, and many details from the fictional history of the Star Trek universe, from Sanctuary Districts to Jackson Roykirk's NOMAD space probe, have been been referenced.
  • "It" Is Dehumanizing:
    • In "Maps and Legends":
      • Commodore Oh refers to Dahj as an "it."
        Oh: Your team destroyed the thing before it could be interrogated.
      • Lieutenant Rizzo uses "it(s)" twice for Soji:
        Rizzo: Has the machine given up the location of its fellow abominations? Really, has it told you anything at all?
    • In "The Impossible Box", Narissa corrects herself from calling Soji "she," replacing this with "it" to show her contempt.
      Narissa: You are in love with her. With it. A program, a machine.
  • It's The Only Way To Be Sure: The Romulan Warbird armada, upon arriving at the android homeworld, needs only a few seconds to confirm that all the androids are located in one small village directly below them. Oh orders the entire planet glassed anyway.
  • Just a Machine:
    • Rios treats the Emergency Holograms on his ship as nothing more than programs.
      Rios: He's just an EMH.
      Emil: (annoyed) Just.
    • Narissa contemptuously refers to Soji as merely being a machine when chiding Narek over his affections for her. This is presumably the general Zhat Vash opinion on synthetics.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: Elnor's tan qalanq looks distinctly East Asian in design, especially when compared to the European-style swords being carried by the other Romulans on Vashti.
  • Killed Off for Real: The first season killed off quite a few characters, including Dahj Asha, Icheb, Dr. Bruce Maddox, Hugh, and Data (or at least his consciousness).
  • Killer Rabbit: A bunnicorn looks like a cute bunny rabbit with a small horn on its forehead like a unicorn, but it carries venom sacs. Anyone who ingests its toxin will vomit black bile and die.
  • Kill the Ones You Love:
    • In "Stardust City Rag":
      • At Icheb's urging, Seven of Nine performs a Mercy Kill on her surrogate son, who's dying in agony after being mutilated by a black market surgeon for his Borg components.
      • As a Zhat Vash mole, Jurati deactivates the hematic micro-repair unit that was stabilizing Maddox's cardiovascular function, which causes him to die. He was her boyfriend before the Federation's synth ban.
    • In "The Impossible Box", Narek follows his orders to terminate Soji despite developing romantic feelings for her.
  • Kirk's Rock: This makes a brief appearance when Picard visits Raffi Musiker at her home. It's subverted in that, for the first time, the Vasquez Rocks are actually showing up in-universe (that is, the scene is not only filmed, but actually set at the real-life Vasquez Rocks in California), making it both a Mythology Gag and an inanimate Celebrity Paradox.
  • Large Ham: The normally calm and dignified Picard leaves no scenery unchewed while posing as a flamboyant slaver of sorts in "Stardust City Rag", complete with adopting an eye patch and an over-the-top French accent for his persona.
  • The Last Dance: With Picard suffering from old age and a terminal brain condition, it is made clear early on that he and at least a few others are fully aware that his mission to save Soji from the Zhat Vash will be his last hurrah. Picard, never enticed by the idea of going gentle into that night, has no problem whatsoever with this prospect. His brain condition really does end up killing him in the Season One finale, but luckily for him and the audience he died close enough to a suitable empty android shell to perform Brain Uploading into a healthy, visually indistinguishable synth body.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall:
    • While staring at Narek, Soji's Trill friend tells her, "I didn't know Romulans could be so hot," to which Soji replies, "Me neither." It is indeed unexpected for longtime Trek fans (especially those of the female variety) to see a Romulan male character be depicted as attractive in-universe, and two episodes later, another hot Romulan man is introduced, and Elnor is arguably even prettier than Narek.
    • Picard left Starfleet out of disgust over how they abandoned the Romulans to obliteration, saying that "I was standing up for the Federation for what it represents! For what it should STILL represent!", seems to mirror the feelings of fans that thought the Star Trek franchise had strayed too far from Gene Roddenberry's vision or disliked the Darker and Edgier direction that Star Trek and the sci-fi genre as a whole have taken in recent years.
    • Criticism of the Federation being assimilistic and not living up to its own ideas has been a criticism from day one, and TNG was the main series where it was shilled as perfect. Picard’s anger and resignation from Starfleet come off like he’s realising that it’s not.
    • Q namedrops "Yesterday's Enterprise" and "In a Mirror, Darkly", both episodes of Star Trek that share a similar plotline involving a look at alternate versions of the Federation. Q's dying can be seen as symbolic of how a wacky character whose episodes end with everything being back to normal has no place in the Discovery era where the franchise has gotten Darker and Edgier and features season-long story arcs instead of self-contained episodes.
  • Leitmotif: Picard features a more sinister, revamped version of the Romulan theme from the TOS episode "Balance of Terror."
  • Let's Split Up, Gang!: In "Nepenthe", the heroes have been split into three groups: Picard and Soji use the Sikarian spatial trajector to travel to Nepenthe, Elnor and Hugh stay behind on the Artifact to ensure that the Romulans can't follow Picard and Soji, and Rios, Raffi and Jurati are on La Sirena with instructions to rendez-vous with Picard and Soji at Nepenthe, which is a few days away at maximum warp. Later on defied in "Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2", even when it would arguably make sense, because they want to avoid splitting the party.
  • Lingerie Scene: In "Maps and Legends", Soji and Narek are in bed together in their underwear. We get to see Soji in her Black Bra and Panties as she gets up and gets dressed. Narek has roughly the masculine equivalent (although he exposes less skin than Soji) with a black tank top and boxer shorts.
  • Living is More Than Surviving:
    • Picard invokes this in the series premiere when he realizes that his retirement has been a meaningless existence.
      Picard: I haven't been living. I've been waiting to die.
    • Zani and Picard discuss Elnor's future (or more precisely, his lack of one) in "Absolute Candor." Living among the Qowat Milat nuns has isolated him from mainstream Romulan society, and although he did receive the full training of their order, men are forbidden from joining. The sisterhood is already stretched thin trying to keep the peace on Vashti, so Zani encourages Picard to ask Elnor to be his qalankhkai.
      Picard: And you would send [Elnor] away? He might find himself in serious danger. He might die.
      Zani: He will. Before that comes to pass, it would gladden my heart to see him live.
    • The galaxy-wide Fantastic Racism against the xBs is so harsh that Elnor wonders aloud to Seven of Nine in "Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2" if their bleak existence is worth living.
      Elnor: Would the xBs be better off dead? Everyone hates them, they have no home. They don't belong anywhere.
      Seven: Am I better off dead? I'm an xB, I have no home, I don't belong anywhere. Why don't I just put a phaser to my head and get it over with?
  • Lucky Charms Title: As seen in the page image, the title replaces the "A" in Picard's name with a Starfleet arrowhead symbol.

    Tropes M to O 
  • Man Hug:
    • In "The Impossible Box", when Hugh and Picard meet on the Artifact, they warmly embrace each other.
    • In "Nepenthe", Picard and Riker share one; the latter even exclaims, "Oh, man!" as he does it.
    • In "Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1", Elnor runs to Picard and hugs him, happy and relieved that his father figure is still alive.
    • In the second season finale, "Farewell", Picard and Q share an emotional man hug as they say goodbye to each other.
  • Matriarchy: There are at least two Romulan institutions which are female-dominated.
    • The Qowat Milat is an all-female sect. On rare occasions, the warrior nuns may teach a man their ways (such as Elnor), but even after he completes the training, he can never be higher than The Apprentice in terms of his official position within the order.
    • Although the Zhat Vash accepts men into its ranks (such as Narek), the cabal is run by women, and only women are allowed contact with the Admonition. When Oh speaks to the female initiates, she informs them that their foremothers were the first ones to visit the octonary star system, which indicates that the precursor of the Zhat Vash was also matriarchal.
  • Mirroring Factions:
    • In "The Impossible Box", Hugh doesn't see much of a distinction between the Borg Queen and the Romulans in terms of how the (ex-)drones are treated.
      Hugh: Still, we remain the most hated people in the galaxy. Just as helpless and enslaved as before. Only now, our Queen is a Romulan.
    • In "Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1", Sutra equates the Federation's ban on synthetic lifeforms with the Romulan policy to hunt them down to extinction.
      Sutra: Are you and your Federation any different from the Romulans? Banning synthetics was just a way of exterminating us in advance.
  • Misery Poker: Rios and Seven of Nine engage in a brief game of it while sharing a drink after Picard's temporary death. Seven declares herself the winner without Rios objecting.
  • Motifs: There are recurring themes throughout the series.
    • There are individuals and organizations who help those who have no one else to help them:
      • Picard is among the very few people in the Alpha and Beta Quadrants who wanted to save Romulan lives when the Romulan star was about to explode.
      • Elnor and the Qowat Milat may choose to bind their swords to a lost cause.
      • Seven of Nine and the Fenris Rangers are vigilantes in the lawless regions of the former Romulan Neutral Zone.
      • At the Romulan Reclamation Site, Hugh assists ex-Borg drones, the most hated people in the galaxy, with their rehabilitation.
    • Parents and their children are separated in various forms:
      • Data, who died in Star Trek: Nemesis, has two posthumous android "daughters" in Dahj and Soji.
      • A young Elnor has lost his biological parents, and although he finds a father figure in Picard, the latter abandons him for fourteen years. However, they are the lucky ones because they do resume their Family of Choice relationship when Picard returns to Vashti.
      • Seven of Nine is torn apart from her surrogate son Icheb when he dies.
      • Raffi is estranged from her son Gabriel Hwang, who refuses to forgive her for neglecting him.
      • Troi and Riker lose their son Thaddeus to a silicon-based virus.
      • Narissa and Narek were taken in by their aunt Ramdha after their parents died, and as of "Absolute Candor", Ramdha is in a coma.
      • Altan Soong is extremely upset when he sees Saga's dead body; he considers all of his android creations to be his children.
  • Multi-Part Episode: The Season 1 finale "Et in Arcadia Ego" was divided into two episodes.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • The series's theme begins with a cue from Batai's flute tune in "The Inner Light", arguably the most popular Picard-centric episode of TNG ever.
    • The first episode's soundtrack begins with Bing Crosby singing "Blue Skies", which was sung by Data at Riker and Troi's wedding in Star Trek: Nemesis.
    • Dahj insists she's from Seattle, like fellow programmed amnesiac Tyler in Discovery.
    • The music playing at the end of "Remembrance", as the Romulan refugees are seen living in a damaged Borg cube, is a re-arrangement of the Romulan theme from the TOS episode "Balance of Terror".
    • In "The End is the Beginning", Picard goes to visit Raffi Musiker at her house at the foot of the Vasquez Rocks, complete with on-screen text identifying them. This marks the first time the location has been portrayed as its future self, rather than the backdrop of many a barren alien planet since first showing up back in Star Trek: The Original Series.
    • A motif from Jerry Goldsmith's The Next Generation themenote  plays at the end of the Picard theme, when Picard enters his personal archive, and when Picard launches his plan in "Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2."
    • The theme to Voyager plays as Seven transports from the La Sirena.
    • The classic Trek fanfare, heard at the start of both the TOS and TNG themes, as well as the end of the theme to Discovery, is heard both at the end of "Nepenthe", when Riker's fleet arrives, and during the introduction of the new Stargazer.
    • The Emergency Engineering Hologram speaks with a Scottish accent. Or, more accurately, he speaks with James Doohan's impression of a Scottish accent.
    • For the third and fourth time (or sixth and seventh, if you count Data, Lore and B-4), Brent Spiner plays different members of the Soong family, Altan Soong and Adam Soong, after Noonian Soong (in TNG) and Arik Soong (in Enterprise).
    • Sutra says, "Fascinating" after performing the Vulcan mind meld and hearing the synthetics' message. "Fascinating" was Spock's most famous catchphrase, a nod to Sutra's interest in Vulcan culture. Data's variant was usually "Intriguing...", although he did employ "Fascinating" on a few occasions, most notably when his mind "melded" with the Borg Collective in "The Best of Both Worlds."
    • Guinan's bar in Los Angeles is located at 10 Forward Avenue, a reference to her role as bartender in the Enterprise-D's Ten Forward lounge.
    • Jerry Goldsmith's TNG theme plays as Picard enters the Stargazer's bridge.
    • Q name-drops the titles of Star Trek episodes dealing with dystopian alternate universes, "Yesterday's Enterprise" and "In A Mirror Darkly." Sheesh, you'd think he was Beckett Mariner.
    • The passcode to the Borg Queen's cell is "M 5 10", a reference to the M5 rogue computer from the original series.
    • Jurati's subconscious triggers her to find instances of the number 15, just like Data and the number 3 in the TNG episode "Cause and Effect".
    • The "punk on a bus" scene from Star Trek IV is replayed, with the same actor, no less.
    • The Borg theme from First Contact plays as the Queen considers Seven's request for help.
    • Rios says, "I'm from Chile, I only work in outer space", paraphrasing Kirk from "Star Trek IV".
    • Picard describes his father as "relentless", the same word Q used to describe the Borg.
    • The Borg Queen cites "hope and fear" as words that appear in all languages. "Hope And Fear" was the name of a Borg-centric episode of Voyager.
  • Mythopoeia: Romulan mythology is explored for the first time since Vorta Vor in Star Trek V: The Final Frontier. In Season 1, we're introduced to the Romulan (and possibly proto-Vulcan) The End of the World as We Know It story that Rios compares to Ragnarök or Judgment Day. Narek provides the most detailed account of the tale. note 
    "A story of the end of everything. Some say it dates back from long before our ancestors first arrived on Vulcan. The story of Ganmadan ("the Day of Annihilation") begins with two sisters, twin khalagu ("demons") who come at the end of time to open the way and unleash the ch'khalagu ("very bad demons"). One sister is called Seb-Natan, the Foreteller. She plays a drum made from the skin of children. She strikes it with a chain of skulls so hard and so long that her heart bursts from the effort. The other sister is called Seb-Cheneb ("the Destroyer"). She carries the horn from a great pale hell-beast called Ganmadan. When she blows a blast on the horn, it will unleash all the ch'khalagu who have been waiting since the beginning of time. The sky will crack, and through the crack in the sky, the ch'khalagu will come ravening. You know about the Thousand Days of Pain. The streets will be slick with entrails of half-devoured corpses. The worlds will burn. And the ch'khalagu will feast and nurse their brats on blood, and pick their teeth with bones."
  • National Stereotypes: In-Universe, we have a Romulan version when Laris claims that those who are from the Northern part of Romulus are stubborn when the Zhat Vash commando refuses to answer Picard's questions.
    Zhaban: This is pointless.
    Laris: Yes, because he's a stubborn Northerner, like you.
  • Neck Snap:
    • In "Maps and Legends", it's done Offhand Backhand by F8 to a coworker while the former hacks into a LCARS panel.
    • In "Broken Pieces", a Romulan Centurion has his neck snapped by a group of xBs who are under Seven of Nine's control.
  • Never Bring a Gun to a Knife Fight: As Elnor demonstrates in "The Impossible Box", a single Qowat Milat can efficiently cut down several opponents armed with disruptors with only a tan qalanq, a type of Romulan sword favoured by the sisterhood. Elnor, a rare male disciple of the order, moves and reacts more swiftly than his foes (which includes his fellow Romulans, who are equal to him in terms of physical strength), so they're dead before they can fire their energy weapons. In "Nepenthe", he deftly avoids multiple projectiles thanks to his Super Reflexes, and he can throw a knife at Narissa faster than she can pull the trigger of her handgun. No wonder the Tal Shiar has failed to eradicate the warrior nuns (who are explicitly stated to be the enemies of the Romulan Secret Police), and is even scared of the Qowat Milat.
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot:
    • When the other crew members explain to Jurati that the Qowat Milat is an order of Romulan warrior nuns, she exclaims, "That's a real thing?! How bizarre."
    • After Raffi informs Rios what she knows about Seven of Nine, he describes the latter as "the ex-Borg Fenris Ranger from the Delta Quadrant."
    • Narissa is confused as to why Narek wants to use molecular solvent grenades against "flowers" (the Coppelian vessels are specifically called Orchids, but he doesn't seem to know that), and he clarifies that his intended targets are "Ship-killing flowers that fly."
  • The Nose Knows:
    • Narissa, a Romulan, is able to detect Soji's scent on Narek, and after she bends down to sniff his neck, she observes that the combination of Narek's and Soji's scents is carnal.
    • Mr. Vup, a Beta Annari, has an extremely heightened sense of smell (thanks to 1253 genes devoted to this ability) that allows him to detect the physical cues for lying, among other, more useless facts like the person's last meal or who the person most recently had sex with (assuming they're not the same thing).
  • Nothing Is the Same Anymore: In addition to the already-established Romulan supernova and its effects on the Empire, there's also the destruction of the Utopia Planitia shipyards and the Martian colonies, as well as the ban on the research and construction of synthetic life forms.
  • No Time to Explain:
    • In "The Impossible Box", when Hugh asks Picard to elaborate on what Soji really is, the latter insists that there's no time because it's urgent that they locate her first.
    • In "Broken Pieces", Seven of Nine's priority is to gain control of the Artifact, so she quickly puts an end to Elnor's Constantly Curious questions about the queencell.
      Seven: I can explain or I can steal this Cube.
  • Obligatory Earpiece Touch:
    • In "Absolute Candor", Picard keeps his finger on his earpiece in the flashback while Raffi notifies him about the synth attack on Mars.
    • In "The Impossible Box", Narek taps his earpiece twice as he warns the Romulan Reclamation Site's head of security that Employee badge 74983 stroke 2 is extremely dangerous after Soji escapes from the Zhal Makh meditation chamber.
    • In "Nepenthe", Narissa presses a button to activate her earpiece just before she asks Narek if he's ready to depart from the Artifact.
    • In "Broken Pieces", Narissa turns on her earpiece when she demands an update from her subordinate about the whereabouts of "the freak" (i.e. Elnor).
  • Obstructive Bureaucrat: The Romulan Star Empire is no more, but its successor, the Romulan Free State, is still a bureaucratic nightmare.
    Trill: My residency was supposed to start six months ago, but the Romulan Free State revoked it when I was halfway here. I have no idea why, or why they finally reinstated it.
    Soji: Well, that sounds about right.
  • Oddball in the Series: Picard is the only series in the franchise that mostly takes place in the Beta Quadrant, and all the main heroic characters are civilians (i.e. none of them are active Starfleet officers).
  • Old Hero, New Pals: Just like in TNG, Jean-Luc Picard is once again the Hero Protagonist, but the other series regulars are new to the franchise.
  • Once More, with Clarity!: When the Zhat Vash's Admonition vision is shown the first time, it's an incoherent jumble of split-second impressions that makes no obvious sense beyond imparting a sense of impending doom. The second time it is reviewed in "Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1", the intended recipient — synthetic life — can make much more sense of it, putting the images in context and adding an off-screen narration about the real meaning. Interestingly, the part the Zhat Vash are acting on the whole time remains unchanged by this, as although they failed to grasp the finer details, they still managed to understand the larger implications.
  • On the Next: On CBS All Access, at the end of an episode (except for "Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2", the Season 1 finale), there's a short preview for the next one. It's averted for the CTV Sci-Fi channel, though, which doesn't include it.
  • Orange/Blue Contrast:
    • In "Maps and Legends", the glowing blue graphics on the LCARS screens juxtapose the dark orange walls of the Utopia Planitia Shipyards.
    • In "Broken Pieces", the chamber where Elnor's Fight Scene takes place has Unnaturally Blue Lighting, but the hallway leading to it has orange illumination. Depending on where the actors are standing, they may be bathed in both blue and orange light.
    • In "Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2", the sapphire blue wings of the synth butterfly that Picard admires gradually become bright orange; it expands from the center, spreading outward towards the tips before receding and returning the wings to their original blue shade.
  • Organ Theft: Icheb, Seven of Nine's surrogate son, is harvested for his Borg components without an anesthetic. He begs his mother figure to end his suffering, so she grants him his wish.
  • Our Demons Are Different: In Romulan mythology, there are at least two different types of demonic creatures; the twin sisters Seb-Cheneb and Seb-Natan are khalagu ("demons"), and the former can summon ch'khalagu ("very bad demons") who will ferociously devour all living beings.
  • Overcrank:
    • In "Remembrance":
      • The scene briefly slows down right after Dahj's head is covered, which signals that she's activating.
      • As part of Narek's Obviously Evil introduction, he walks menacingly in slow-motion towards the camera.
    • In "Stardust City Rag", after Maddox lets go of his glass, the shot of it falling and then shattering when it hits the table is done slowly to visually convey that he's drugged, and one of the side effects is that his perception of time has noticeably changed.
    • In "The Impossible Box", Elnor attacks two out of three Romulan soldiers in slow-motion so that the audience can see in detail the arterial spray squirting from their necks and how brutal it is to die by his tan qalanq.
    • In "Broken Pieces", when Elnor is hit by a flashbang grenade, his reaction is played out slowly to emphasize how much it destabilizes him, and to make it easier for viewers to notice that he drops the Fenris Rangers SOS token.

    Tropes P to S 
  • Pardon My Klingon: Picard introduces the Romulan cuss words qezhtihn, qazh and qezh.
  • Patrick Stewart Speech: It's lampshaded by Rios when he meets Picard for the first time in "The End Is the Beginning":
    Rios: Raffi warned me you were a speech maker.
  • Perfect Solution Fallacy:
    • In "Absolute Candor", Picard is called out on this by Zani, having chosen to retire from Starfleet in protest and do nothing afterwards rather than listen to Raffi's suggestion that they find another way, however imperfect, to continue the relocation of Romulans without Starfleet's support.
      Zani: Because you could not save everyone, you chose to save no one.
      Picard: (nods) Yes. I allowed the perfect to become the enemy of the good.
    • Soundly defied in "The Impossible Box" when Picard sees the work being done at the Borg Reclamation Project. He commends Hugh for doing an imperfect job the best way he can.
      Hugh: The outcomes are far from ideal.
      Picard: What you're doing is good, Hugh. There's no need for it to be perfect.
  • Planet of Hats:
    • Given the show's focus on the Romulans, their hat for duplicity and secrecy comes up a lot.
      • Discussed when Laris tells Picard that calling the Tal Shiar the "Romulan secret police" is redundant, as the word "secret" can accompany just about any aspect of Romulan society. She and Zhaban then explain how the Zhat Vash is secretive even by Romulan standards.
        Zhaban: "Zhat Vash" is a term sometimes used to refer to the dead — the only reliable keepers of secrets.
        Picard: Ominous.
        Laris: No, fitting, because that's the sole purpose of the Zhat Vash — to keep a secret so profound and terrible, just learning it can break a person's mind.
      • Defied, on the other hand, by the Qowat Milat, whose belief in "absolute candor" makes them the least secretive Romulans ever. Elnor, for example, may well be the galaxy's worst liar.
      • Also defied by the aforementioned Zhaban and Laris; despite having been Tal Shiar, they've clearly left the scheming and plotting behind.
        Laris: Nehn vrelev zohzuus. (We are not like them anymore.)
      • Romulans perpetuate lies about the true effectiveness of some of their technology to trick aliens into not using it.
        Picard: [Romulan forensic molecular reconstruction methods] are also unreliable, and the results are dubious at best.
        Laris: Ah yeah, that's exactly what we wanted you to think.
      • Narek trolls Soji in what is the most humorous exchange about Romulan secrecy in the franchise.
        Soji: Can I ask you a question?
        Narek: Sure, just don't expect an answer.
        Soji: Are we allowed to be sleeping together, or is that a secret?
        Narek: Very much the latter.
        Soji: Is everything Romulans do a secret?
        Narek: Ooh, I'm not at liberty to divulge that.
        Soji: Is your name actually Narek?
        Narek: It's one of them.
        Soji: So is there anything you can tell me about yourself?
        Narek: Yes. I'm a very private person.
      • Hugh is surprised that Soji has read Ramdha's Romulan dossier because he doesn't have access to it even though he's the Executive Director of the Borg Reclamation Project.
        Soji: Usually I find that if I ask people for help, they're happy to give it.
        Hugh: That has not been my experience, in particular with Romulans.
      • In Ramdha's pixmit card set, there's an image of a shaipouin, which is a false door.
        Soji: Traditional Romulan houses always have a false front door that's never used. You have to go around the back.
      • When Soji suspects that Narek may be working for the Tal Shiar, she asks him:
        Soji: Are you Tal Shiar?
        Narek: No.
        Soji: If you were Tal Shiar, would you also answer "No"?
        Narek: Yes.
      • Narek mentions to Soji that:
        Narek: Terran passenger lists are a matter of public record, which is shocking for a Romulan sensibility.
      • Rios describes the Tal Shiar to Mr. Vup as:
        Rios: They are treacherous, violent, ruthless and subtle. Their concept of honour is rooted in their skill at deceit.
      • Withholding the truth is such an ingrained behavior that Romulans naturally assume that everyone else must be doing the same thing.
        Soji: Romulans love secrets. You think everyone's hiding something.
        Narek: Everyone is hiding something. Whether they know it or not.
      • Romulans use different names depending on who they're with.
        Soji: Romulans have a name for outsiders, and a name for family, but your true name, you save for the one you give your heart to.
      • Riker brings up the all-too-familiar subterfuge of the Tal Shiar when he threatens General Nedar ("Commodore Oh"):
        Riker: And nothing would make me happier than you giving me an excuse to kick your treacherous Tal Shiar ass.
      • While this is less overt than their love for secrets, Picard also continues the theme that Romulan culture doesn't tolerate any form of weakness, and the most extreme example of this was revealed in the TNG episode "The Enemy", where Bochra informs Geordi that Romulan babies with birth defects are killed because they are a waste of resources.
        Narek: You find vulnerability and brokenness beautiful?
        Soji: Is that strange? To find beauty in imperfection?
        Narek: It's certainly not very Romulan.
    • Freecloud is Space Las Vegas, a den of hedonism which provides numerous forms of entertainment, including casinos and luxury hotels. Its motto, "Freecloud keeps your secrets," is similar to "Whatever happens in Vegas stays in Vegas."
  • Playing Gertrude: A minor case where Peyton List is two years younger than Harry Treadaway, but her character Narissa is the older sister of his character Narek.
  • Poisoned Drink Drop: In "Stardust City Rag", While hiding out on Freecloud, Bjayzl offers Dr. Bruce Maddox a drink of Tranya. As Dr. Maddox drinks, he explains he's on the run from the Tal Shiar and is now in debt to her. Bjayzl says that changes everything. Maddox then drops and breaks his glass and falls over, paralyzed, as Bjayzl admits that dealing with the Tal Shiar is a pain in the ass.
  • Police Are Useless:
    • Since the collapse of the Romulan Star Empire, the great powers have retreated from the former Neutral Zone, transforming it into a lawless border region "policed" by the Fenris Rangers, overstretched vigilantes who seek to establish some form of order.
    • Even on Earth, supposedly the safest and most secure planet in the Federation, Romulan agents are able to operate with impunity; committing a murder and attempted kidnapping in Boston, another attack in San Francisco at the Starfleet Archives (ending with a large explosion on the roof, within spitting distance of Starfleet HQ) with no apparent investigation by Starfleet or civilian authorities. And that's just in the first episode. Later, Zhat Vash commandos attempt to assassinate Picard in his home in France, again with no apparent action by law enforcement. However, some of this can be explained by the head of Starfleet Security being a Romulan mole.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: Since the Romulan population was decimated after Romulus was destroyed, the infamously xenophobic species, whose survivors are governed (sometimes loosely) by the newly-formed Romulan Free State, has to make some small concessions in terms of cooperating with other aliens. At the Romulan Reclamation Site, there are scientists of various backgrounds who are working there, including Federation citizens (e.g. Trills, Andorians, etc.), whom the now-defunct Romulan Star Empire has long viewed as the enemy. Hugh, an ex-Borg drone who's either human or a Human Alien with Federation citizenship, is the Executive Director of the Borg Reclamation Project, which is independent of the Romulan Free State by treaty.
  • Precision F-Strike:
    • In "Maps and Legends":
      • A mild examplenote  when Laris realizes the Zhat Vash have technobabbled away the forensic evidence from their first attack on Dahj and murder of her boyfriend:
        Laris: Cheeky feckers...
      • Later, when Admiral Clancy is digesting Picard's request to be reinstated, she drops an F-bomb with real feeling behind it:
        Clancy: The sheer fucking hubris...
    • In "Absolute Candor", Rios says, "I hate that fucking hospitality hologram."
    • In "Nepenthe", Jurati blurts out one when she's undergoing a fit of anxiety:
      Jurati: Picard can look after himself and somebody else can find that fucking synth!
    • In "Broken Pieces":
      • Clancy is at it again, quite justifiably, when Picard is berating her at length for potentially denying a request for support that she's already approved, but can't say because he won't let her get a word in edgewise.
        Clancy: Admiral Picard, with all due respect — and at long last — shut the fuck up.
      • After Vandermeer Ate His Gun in remorse after carrying out a black flag directive, Rios was forced to pretend that he didn't know why his captain committed suicide when he submitted his official report.
        Rios: I told all of Starfleet that Captain Vandermeer killed himself for no fucking reason.
      • Jurati apologizes to the crew.
        Jurati: I'm sorry I had to fucking ruin it.
    • In "Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2":
      • Narissa asks Narek if he fucked any synths at Coppelius Station.
      • While talking to Seven of Nine, Rios berates himself for letting "a self-righteous, hard-ass, old starship captain" into his heart, and then having to watch him die.
        Rios: I said I would never do it again, and then I fucking did it again.
  • Pretty Butterflies:
    • At the Qowat Milat monastery, there are always butterflies fluttering in the air, and their presence accentuates the pleasantly serene and sylvan charm of the nuns' Arboreal Abode.
    • The late Thaddeus Troi-Riker adored butterflies because they inspired him to create a Conlang for them called Pahlplah which consists solely of wing beats.
    • Altan Soong in his own words "really missed butterflies," so he designed synthetic versions so that he can admire their beauty as they fly around Coppelius Station. Jurati and Picard marvel at the prettiness of a synth butterfly.
    • A virtual butterfly appears in Data's simulated house, and it's a symbol of mortality.
  • Previously on…: With the exception of the series premiere, all the episodes include a recap.
  • Projected Man:
    • Index, a hologram with the appearance of a human woman, is the user-friendly directory at Starfleet Archives.
    • La Sirena has at least five emergency holograms (Medical, Navigational, Hospitality, Tactical and Engineering). They all look like Cristóbal Rios, the ship's owner, because he selected the self-scan option, but they all dress, talk and act differently.
  • The Prophecy: Kind of. In Romulan mythology note , Ganmadan ("the Day of Annihilation") is caused by Seb-Cheneb ("the Destroyer"), who is the surviving twin sister of Seb-Natan ("the Foreteller"). In the tale, shackled demons break free from their chains and answer Seb-Cheneb's call, which then leads to the destruction of all life in the galaxy. The Zhat Vash firmly believes that this is doomed to occur, and its main goal is to prevent this apocalypse from happening. Its interpretation of the myth is that the "sisters" are a pair of twin Artificial Humans in female form, so the most effective solution would be to eliminate all artificial life.
    • However, when Narek is specifically asked if he believes this gruesome story is a prophecy, he denies it. He clarifies that it's history... and history always repeats itself.
  • Proportional Aging: Picard notes in "Absolute Candor" that, unlike him, Zani hasn't aged at all since they last met fourteen years ago. Romulans are a cousin race of Vulcans, so they have a longer life span than humans, and hence they age more slowly.
  • Protagonist Title: The series is named after its Hero Protagonist, Picard.
  • The Quincy Punk: In a Shout-Out to Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, the time-traveling Raffi and Seven encounter a stereotypical Quincy Punk playing his stereo annoyingly loud on a Californian bus. The trope and reference are then subverted; they ask him to turn the music down, and he apologises and does so.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: Picard's new crew is an eclectic bunch. Agnes Jurati is a scientist without a cause, who is tagging along in hopes of finding her mentor/ex-boyfriend. (Or at least we're made to believe that...) Raffi Musiker is an alcoholic ex-intelligence officer who has a grudge against Picard. Cristóbal Rios is a scruffy mercenary whose old ship was Unpersoned by Starfleet under mysterious circumstances. Elnor is a Romulan Warrior Monk from an all-female organization with no inner filter, who'll behead someone without blinking. Seven of Nine is a liberated Borg drone who now spends her days as a vigilante on the frontier. They're being led by a Retired Badass admiral who is on a personal mission to find and protect his friend's daughter.
  • Rage Quit: Picard was so outraged by Starfleet using the synths' attack on Mars to justify not helping the Romulans that he resigned his commission in protest.
  • Ray Gun: Some of the Zhat Vash commandos are equipped with doubled-barreled disruptor pistols which are new to the franchise.
  • Rearrange the Song: The opening theme has been rearranged for the second season and retains the same basic melody but has added new elements that clearly convey that something dark and intense is going on.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech:
    • Picard gives a scathing one to Starfleet, and implicitly the Federation as a whole. Live on the air, no less!
      "We withdrew! The galaxy was mourning, burying its dead, and Starfleet had slunk from its duties! The decision to call off the rescue and to abandon those people we had sworn to save was not just dishonorable, it was downright criminal! And I was not prepared to stand by and be a spectator. And you, my dear, you have no idea what Dunkirk is, right? You're a stranger to history. You're a stranger to war. You just wave your hand and it all goes away. Well, it's not so easy for those who died, and it was not so easy for those who were left behind."
    • Picard then is on the receiving end of one from Admiral Clancy when mere days later he shows up and quite arrogantly demands a ship and crew from Starfleet.
      "This is no longer your house, Jean-Luc, so do what you're good at: go home. Request denied."
  • Red and Black and Evil All Over: Whatever the biocidal beings the Zhat Vash fear so much are, when the androids summon them in the Season 1 finale, they look like giant black robotic Combat Tentacles as they emerge from a portal that glows a malevolent red.
  • Red and Black Totalitarianism: In the time distortion of Earth that Q generates, The Confederation Of Earth adopts a red and black color scheme, with the military wearing all black uniforms.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Laris and Zhaban have this dynamic going on, especially when Picard tells them of his plans to go on one more mission. Laris angrily scolds him before walking out in a huff, while Zhaban calmly suggests that he reassemble his old crew.
  • Reliably Unreliable Guns: Romulan handguns seem to be of pretty low quality. When Narissa goes Guns Akimbo on the Artifact's xBs in "Broken Pieces", one of her disruptor pistols fires about a dozen shots before it malfunctions, spitting sparks and smoke. Since it wasn't her own, she returns it to the Romulan guard she borrowed it from and sardonically tells him that he'll need a new gun.
  • Retired Badass: Picard qualifies, of course. Also the charming middle-aged Romulan couple who are Picard's companions and housekeepers are actually former operatives of the Tal Shiar, and turn out to be quite capable of holding their own against a Zhat Vash assassination team.
  • Reveal Shot: At the end of "Remembrance", the camera pulls out to reveal that the ship being salvaged in the Romulan Reclamation Zone is a Borg cube that dwarfs all the other ships gathered around it.
  • Ridiculously Human Robot: Dr. Maddox makes up for his attempt to take ownership of Data by improving on Dr. Soong's work to the point of creating androids with an organic body, making them completely indistinguishable from humans. He even designed two after a painting Data made of his long-hoped-for daughter, fulfilling that dream.
  • Robot Girl: Soji and Dahj Asha, as well as Sutra, Arcana, Saga, and other synthetics created by Soong and Maddox. Soji and Dahj, notably, are "synthetic" only in their brains, and have organic bodies.
  • Robot War: The synthetics at the Federation's Utopia Planitia Shipyards on Mars rebelled, killing the humans there and destroying its facilities, for (initially) unknown reasons. "Broken Pieces" reveals that it was a Zhat Vash False Flag Operation aimed at discrediting the reputation of synthetics. Because of this, the Federation has shut down all synthetics and banned research on them/creating more.
  • Ruder and Cruder: This show fires off the profanities like photon torpedoes. Season 1 contains no less than eight Precision F Strikes (nine if you also count the Irish "feckers") — more than the entire rest of the franchise, combined.
  • Sarcasm Mode:
    • In "Maps and Legends", Laris is infuriated by Picard acting as if the galaxy revolves around him.
      Picard: I don't fully understand all of it, but I know that it's important, and not only to me.
      Laris: No, of course, if it's important to Jean-Luc Picard, it must be important to the whole galaxy.
    • In "Absolute Candor", Raffi always speaks her mind, so Picard finds it redundant when she says she's going to be honest with him.
      Raffi: Look, I-I'm gonna be straight with you.
      Picard: Oh, well, that would make a refreshing change.
    • In "The Impossible Box", Rios doesn't have much faith in Picard's ability slip past the massive security at the Romulan Reclamation Site and not get killed in the process.
      Rios: In a few hours, we'll be crossing out of the old neutral zone and into Romulan space... which puts us in breach of galactic treaty. But I'm fine with that because I know that you have a plan for how to access a restricted Romulan research facility on a Borg Cube crawling with Tal Shiar, without authorization. Also, without dying.
    • In "Nepenthe", Kestra is annoyed that her mother would question whether she had prepared the bunnicorn meat properly.
      Troi: Did you cut out the venom sacs?
      Kestra: Nope, I left them in so that we can spew black bile and die.
    • In "Broken Pieces", a suspicious Raffi "cheerfully" greets Soji after the latter beams aboard La Sirena.
      Raffi: Soji, I'm sorry, but your new best friend Jean-Luc already brought us one adorable little homicidal double agent.
  • Scannable Man: A flashback from "Maps and Legends" shows that Starfleet's synths were poor imitations of Data, with their designation printed on the front and back of their heads.
  • Scavenger World: Since the destruction of Romulus, the former Neutral Zone has devolved to this; a haven for pirates and outlaws who ruthlessly harvest former Borg for components.
  • Scenery Porn:
    • In "Remembrance":
      • The episode begins with shots of various nebulae, and they're stunning.
      • The forested hills that are beyond Picard's vineyard (they can be seen behind his outdoor dining table) are picturesque.
    • In "The End Is the Beginning", Jurati has a magnificent view of the Okinawan sea shore while eating lunch just outside of the Daystrom Institute.
    • In "Absolute Candor", we get a glimpse of the woodland next to North Station, and it's a glorious sight in an otherwise desert environment. The humongous tree where the Qowat Milat nuns reside adds an almost mythical feel to the area. There's also a lovely waterfall on the right side of the screen.
    • In "Nepenthe":
      • The Okinawan sea shore is filmed from a different angle than in "The End Is the Beginning", and the wide shot of the blue-green waves crashing upon the rocky cliff is gorgeous.
      • Nepenthe is a beautiful world with pristine forests, lakes and mountains, and we're treated to more than one sweeping vista of it.
  • Schrödinger's Canon:
    • Picard collapses the wavefunction of Star Trek Online, showing a rather different take on the status of Starfleet, the Federation, and the assorted galactic powers. Most notably, artificial intelligence is banned in the Federation as of the start of Picard, while in STO, androids and sentient holograms are important fixtures in many ways.
    • The series also delves deeper into Romulan culture and history than any other previously. Much of this is incompatible with Diane Duane's Rihannsu novels, although some of it still carries over. Swords (specifically, S'hariens) were important in the Rihannsu novels, and Picard introduces a Romulan sect which emphasizes extreme competency in swordplay. Most interestingly, each of the Romulan characters' actions are consistent with the dictates of mnhei'sahe, from Picard's Romulan housekeepers to the Zhat Vash. Family, in terms of noble House, is also very important to Duane's Rihannsu, and is reflected in the familial loyalty of Narek and Narissa as well as Laris and Zhaban's loyalty to Picard (Laris and Zhaban, together, function not unlike a hru'hfe, head of household servants, to Picard). Duane also credits Romulans with an extreme importance on the concept of names, giving Romulan characters a grand total of four names, the fourth being one "by which only those closer than kin may know you." When Soji asks Narek if that's really his name, he replies, "It's one of them." A Romulan surgeon also refers to a former Borg drone of an unknown species as "The Nameless"; in the Rihannsu novels, a thing with no name (because its name has been stripped away, it has forsaken its name, or has not been named yet) is tremendously unlucky at best, an abomination at worst.
  • Sci-Fi Writers Have No Sense of Scale:
    • Jurati says that there are over three billion stars in our galaxy. The actual number is closer to three hundred billion, off by a factor of 100.
    • In a flashback Picard's mother says that the light from the stars you can see in the sky took billions of years to reach us. Individual stars that can be seen with the naked eye are generally less than a thousand light years away. Even our entire Milky Way galaxy is less than 200,000 light years across. A scale of billions of light years approaches the size of the entire universe to the extent we can detect it. Admittedly, at the time she was suffering from severe mental illness.
  • Series Goal: Find Bruce Maddox, and (possibly with his help) find and rescue Soji. Later, prevent the Zhat Vash from destroying the synths, and prevent the synths from destroying organic life.
  • Sexposition: In the second episode, Soji and Narek recap the Borg and Romulans while snuggling in bed together.
  • Shattered World: The remains of Romulus can be seen in the title sequence.
  • Shirtless Scene: Rios is shirtless in his very first scene because the EMH has to remove a large piece of shrapnel which is embedded in his shoulder. He's also bare-chested when practicing soccer moves in "The Impossible Box."
  • Shout-Out:
    • The tie-in comic shows Picard using an Odyssey-class starship from Star Trek Online as his flagship during the Romulan aid effort (albeit more than two decades earlier than the ship was introduced in-game).
    • The episode title "Maps and Legends" is named after Michael Chabon's collection of sixteen essays. He defends genre literature in some of them (which includes Science Fiction), and we learn in this episode that Jurati is a fan of sci-fi author Isaac Asimov.
    • Showrunner Michael Chabon purposely gave Elnor (a Space Elf who is the "Traditional Elves in Space" variant) an Elvish name as a nod to The Lord of the Rings. "Elnor" is Sindarin for "Star-Run," which is a close approximation of "Star-Trek."
    • The planet Vashti shares its name with the Persian queen from the Book of Esther who disobeyed her drunk husband's command to "show her beauty" (i.e. appear naked) in front of him and his male guests at a banquet. Feminists interpret Vashti's defiance to be heroic because she stands up for herself despite knowing she'll be punished for going against her culture's patriarchal and misogynist values, which parallels the all-female Qowat Milat sect's refusal to bow down to the oppression of the Tal Shiar, who strictly enforces conformity in Romulan society and eliminates any Cultural Rebel.
    • The planet where the androids are based is called Coppelius. invokedWord of God confirms that it's named for the antagonist in the short story The Sandman (1816), written by E.T.A. Hoffman in 1816 (the source, although much-altered, of the ballet Coppélia), which had as a theme the creation of automata — as well as a motif of plucking out of eyes.
    • The second season opening titles feature an Einstein-Rosen bridge.
    • Picard is shown listening to "Time Is On My Side", referencing the season's focus on time travel.
    • The anomaly is emitting Hawking radiation, the particle radiation emitted by black holes.
    • The equation Seven uses to check her cognitive abilities is Euler's Identity.
  • Sickbed Slaying:
    • Seven of Nine euthanizes Icheb at his request, who's slowly dying from being mutilated for his Borg implants on an operating table.
    • Jurati murders Maddox in his bio-bed by shutting off the support systems that are keeping him alive.
  • Sickly Green Glow:
    • Romulan and Borg technology glow green. The Romulans are the Big Bad in Season 1, and the Borg are one of the major villains in the franchise (although the xBs themselves aren't evil). The Romulan Free State is in possession of a derelict Borg Cube, so all of the Holographic Terminals on the Artifact emit green light regardless if the console or device is Romulan or Borg.
    • The Admonition, which has a pale green glow, is dangerous because almost everyone who touches it goes insane, and most will be Driven to Suicide.
  • Sigil Spam: The stylized mermaid emblem of La Sirena can be seen at the top of the bridge chairs, in the shape of the communicators, the image on the coffee mugs, the logos on the cargo crates, etc.
  • Single-Biome Planet: Because Vashti is part of a binary star system, it's hotter and drier than Earth, and when viewed from space, the planet surface is mostly desert except for small pockets of water and vegetation.
  • Sinister Surveillance: There's no such thing as privacy at the Romulan Reclamation Site; the Tal Shiar is always watching. The sole section that isn't being monitored is the queencell, but that's because the Romulans don't know about it, as the chamber can only be accessed by a (former) Borg drone.
  • Snakes Are Sinister: Narek pilots a Snakehead, a Romulan scout ship, which reinforces the theme of Romulan culture identifying itself with predatory animals (the most famous being the raptor) to reflect its history of violence and conquest. The curved "wings" of his vessel are somewhat reminiscent of the hood of a cobra. In a Space Battle with La Sirena, Narek proves to be a formidable adversary, and Rios would later nickname him "snakehead" to express his disdain for the Zhat Vash spy, which is appropriate because Narek did try to murder Soji with a poisonous gas (his "venom," so to speak).
  • Space Battle:
    • In "Absolute Candor", La Sirena and Seven of Nine's ship trade phaser fire with Kar Kantar's antique Romulan Bird-of-Prey while attempting to avoid Vashti's planetary defense system.
    • In "Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1", Narek's Snakehead fighter attacks La Sirena when they both reach Coppelius. Just before the Artifact can join in their firefight, all three vessels are incapacitated by the Orchids.
    • In "Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2", the Romulan armada unleashes a barrage of disruptor fire against the ship-disabling Orchids while they're in orbit around Coppelius.
  • Space Fighter: Picard introduces the Romulan Snakehead fighter, a single-pilot scout ship that packs a lot of firepower for its small size.
  • Special Guest: The following actors received the "Special Guest Star" billing in the main titles:
    • Jeri Ryan ("Absolute Candor", "Stardust City Rag", "Broken Pieces", "Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1 & 2")
    • Brent Spiner ("Remembrance", "Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1 & 2")
    • Jonathan Frakes ("Nepenthe", "Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2")
  • Spoiler Opening: Certain actors are listed in the credits, no matter how little screentime they have or only appear in the last couple of minutes as a surprise. This can spoil certain twists, such as Seven of Nine's first appearance.
  • Strange Salute: When a Qowat Milat greets others or swears an oath, she places her palms together in front of her heart and then opens them to whomever she's talking to.
  • Stunned Silence:
    • In "Absolute Candor", when Elnor sees Picard again for the first time in fourteen years, he's so shocked that he freezes in his tracks and gapes, unable to speak. Later, Picard reacts the same way when Elnor lops off Tenqem's head with his sword.
    • In "The Impossible Box", Picard, Soji and Hugh are dead quiet for a few moments after Elnor saves them from three Romulan soldiers, whom he butchers with his sword, which causes his victims to unleash a fair amount of arterial spray.
    • In "Nepenthe", as Hugh is dying in his arms, Elnor is speechless.
    • In "Broken Pieces", Rios is so stunned when Soji beams aboard La Sirena that he doesn't even hear Picard's voice.
    • In "Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1", Picard is incapable of a response when an xB addresses him as "Locutus," a name that he sorely dreads.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome:
    • Despite advanced medical technology capable of allowing humans to live up to a century and a half, Picard is still a 94-year-old man and has trouble keeping up with Dahj as they're fleeing up a long flight of stairs. When their attackers catch up, he has to sit the battle out because he's too exhausted to do anything.
    • The fact of the matter is that B4 was an incomplete prototype to Lore and Data. Trying to run Data's far more advanced neural net on B4's brain only ended up damaging them both. In a present-day analogy, a CD player would have no way of handling the information on a Blu-Ray disc.
    • Picard goes to Starfleet Command and asks to be reinstated and provided with a ship and crew for a rescue mission, only two days after delivering a fairly bitter and vitriolic speech on live television in which he declared that Starfleet had acted in a dishonorable and criminal manner by abandoning the Romulans. This is also fourteen years after he resigned from Starfleet in protest of the same decision. He also brings no credible evidence to justify going on the mission in question. Naturally, Admiral Kirsten Clancy calls out Picard for his "sheer fucking hubris" and turns down his request.
    • It also emerges that part of the reason Starfleet abandoned evacuating Romulus is because at least fourteen worlds threatened to leave the Federation if aid was provided. The Federation was founded to stand united against the Romulan Star Empire in the first place, and it's been locked in a Space Cold War with the Romulans for several generations; even after Romulus helped fight against the Dominion, there's obviously still an ocean of bad blood on either side.
    • It has been fourteen years since Picard left Starfleet, and probably even longer since the last time he actually piloted a ship. So when he eagerly takes La Sirena's helm in "Broken Pieces", he sheepishly returns command to Rios after a few seconds upon realizing that he has no idea how to work all those new holographic interfaces. Two episodes later, when he actually has to pilot La Sirena himself, he's visibly struggling to maintain an even flight pattern, which is made worse by his accelerating Irumodic Syndrome.
    • Showing up at a person's place of work and asking a bunch of questions about said person will cause people to notice, as shown when Hugh correctly identifies Narek as a spy after the latter arrives at the Artifact searching for Soji. Even if you were the best spy in the galaxy, having no apparent job, no known affiliations, and unlimited access to the entire facility makes you conspicuous.
    • The Europa Gala security almost immediately notices the team talking to themselves and correctly assumes they up to something.

    Tropes T to Z 
  • Tagline: "The true final frontier is time." (Season 2)
  • Taking You with Me: In "Remembrance", one of the Romulan assassins does this when he realizes that he can't escape alive, killing both himself and Dahj using an acid which rapidly dissolves the pair.
  • Talk Show: In-Universe, the Romulans have a talk show called Yrrh Mnrrh, and Professor Ramdha was once a guest on it. Soji watches the episode on her computer.
  • Technobabble: Executive producer Akiva Goldsman freely admits in this featurette that "fractal neuronic cloning" is a complete fabrication.
  • Technology Marches On: In-universe. Rios' vessel, a commercial starship, has features which are quite advanced compared to Picard's Enterprise. Most of the interface is done through Holographic Terminals, with the pilot's chair having an eye-tracking HUD. There are also several holographic crew members, compared to just the Emergency Medical Hologram of Voyager. The increased use of synthetics was also a great change, until their eventual outlaw.
  • Teleportation Rescue:
    • In "Absolute Candor":
      • Shortly after Elnor decapitates Tenqem and threatens the remaining Romulans with death if they try to harm Picard, a goon starts to unholster his disruptor and points out that Elnor can't dodge that. The goon never gets to test that theory, as Picard urgently orders a pending beam-up to happen immediately.
      • Raffi transports Seven of Nine to La Sirena just before the latter's ship explodes when it hits Vashti's security net.
    • In "Nepenthe", Narissa beams away a split second before she would've been hit by her own knife that Elnor throws back at her.
    • In "Broken Pieces", Narissa teleports to safety before she's mauled to death by the xBs.
  • Teleport Interdiction:
    • The ability to use the transporter to beam down to (or to beam up from) Vashti is extremely limited. Picard has to receive clearance from Central Station before he can teleport to the planet, which is protected by an impenetrable shield. The transporter signal can only pass through the Deadly Force Field when there's an open spot in the network, which occurs every 30 minutes, and the gap only lasts for a minute each time.
    • Bjayzl's casino has a shield which prevents the La Sirena crew from beaming in or out from orbit. Seven of Nine is given a transport enhancer that allows them to bypass the shield once they get her inside.
    • Coppelius Station has transport inhibitors that prevent beaming, so Rios, Raffi, Narek, and Elnor have to find another way to sneak in the modified drone which contains Narek's molecular solvent grenades into the colony.
  • Theme Naming: A mild case, at least when it comes to planets newly depicted in the series: Vergessen is German for "to forget," and Nepenthe in Greek mythology is a drug of forgetfulness.
  • Thrown Out the Airlock:
    • Discussed in "Nepenthe" when Rios suspects that Raffi is a Tal Shiar mole.
      Rios: Raffi, I have one more thought about finding this guy. But I don't think you're gonna like it very much.
      Raffi: Why? Does it involve shooting me out of an airlock?
      Rios: I really hope not.
    • In "Broken Pieces", the Romulans vent the Artifact's compartments containing the unprocessed Borg before Seven of Nine can turn them to her side.
  • Timey-Wimey Ball: Because in the evil future of the Confederation, that Picard never travelled to the 19th century, he never met Guinan at that point in her life. Except in 2024, that evil future hasn't happened yet, which means it may still be corrected. In which case he will have gone into the past. So Guinan will have known him.
  • Title, Please!: Unlike TNG, Picard lacks an Episode Title Card.
  • Towering Flower: The synths of Coppelius defend their planet with Organic Technology that they've named "Orchids." These flowers are the size of a starship, can propel themselves through space, and can disable a ship's power systems on contact.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: The previews already revealed several returning characters.
  • Trojan Prisoner:
    • In "Stardust City Rag", Seven of Nine offers herself as payment for Maddox, for secretly personal reasons, but rationalizing that her Borg components would be a fair trade. Raffi hides a small transport enhancer on her person which will blend in with her implants and rigs the cuffs to come off whenever Seven wants, allowing her to get the drop on Bjayzl.
    • In "Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2", Narek volunteers to pretend to be the captive of Rios, Raffi and Elnor so that they can turn him in for Saga's murder. It's a ruse so that they can enter Coppelius Station and get close enough to the beacon in order to destroy it.
  • Trying Not to Cry:
    • In "Stardust City Rag", Seven of Nine's eyes become wet and redden slightly when she explains to Picard the very painful reason why she wants to enact revenge on Bjayzl.
    • In "Nepenthe", Deanna Troi struggles to hold back tears while taking to Picard about her late son.
    • In "Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1":
      • Raffi is misty-eyed when she learns that Picard is dying.
      • Elnor tries not to cry after he and Picard, whom he loves like a father, share what is likely to be their final farewell.
      • Seven of Nine is so moved by the exchange between Picard and Elnor that she becomes teary-eyed, as she understands that they're a Family of Choice.
  • Unfolding Plan Montage:
    • In "Stardust City Rag", as the heroes plan to enter Bjayzl's casino on Freecloud, the scene jumps back and forth between them preparing and then executing their undercover op.
    • In "Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2", the scene switches between Narek, Rios, Raffi and Elnor discussing how they will gain access to Coppelius Station and being inspected by the android guards at the entrance.
  • Ungovernable Galaxy: After Romulus was obliterated when its primary star blew up, the Romulan Star Empire ceased to exist, and without assistance from the Federation, the Neutral Zone collapsed. The Romulan Free State emerged from the ashes, but this new government is nowhere near as powerful as its predecessor, which left large areas of the region lawless.
  • Unnaturally Blue Lighting:
    • In "Remembrance", there's blue lighting in the Parisian alleyway where Dahj contacts her "mother."
    • In "Absolute Candor", the lounge where Narek and Soji enjoy Romulan ale is lit with an extremely vivid blue illumination, to the point where everything and everyone in the room appear blue-tinged.
    • In "Nepenthe", the latter part of Narissa's interrogation of Hugh and the scene where Elnor and Hugh are forced to confront Narissa and her lackeys are saturated in blue light.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: The fourteen worlds that threatened to secede from the Federation got their wish of having the rescue mission for Romulus abandoned, but by doing so, not only did this result in Picard resigning from Starfleet, but also Nero's Start of Darkness that led to him unintentionally creating the Kelvin timeline.
  • Villain Has a Point:
    • A retroactive example. Starfleet has apparently been infiltrated up to a very high level by a bigoted, genocidal hate group that is composed of Romulan infiltrators, just like the fanatical McCarthy-esque admiral from "The Drumhead" warned of, showing that she wasn't quite as crazy as it might have seemed two decades ago, even though her solution to the problem was way beyond the pale of acceptability in a democratic society.
    • Another retroactive one: The series premiere revealed that Nero really wasn't being blinded by grief in blaming the Federation for what happened to the Romulans; the Federation really did leave the Romulans to die. (He does loop back around to Omnicidal Maniac when you consider that he's trying to destroy Vulcan, the homeworld of Spock, one of the very few to defy Starfleet's disinterest, but what can you do.)
    • Throughout he series, the Zhat Vash are depicted as villains for their fear and bigotry against synths. However, "Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1" completely justifies their fears when Sutra reveals that the Admonition that the Zhat Vash discovered was a message left by a powerful synthetic race saying that if they discover any synthetics in danger, they will completely exterminate all organic life in the galaxy. Not only that, but Sutra and Altan Soong are actively building a beacon to summon the advanced synthetic race for that exact purpose.
  • Warrior Monk: The Qowat Milat is an order of Romulan warrior nuns, reputed to be among the best single-combat fighters in the galaxy, whom even the infamous Tal Shiar fears.
  • We Help the Helpless:
    • The Qowat Milat, the Warrior Monk order of Romulan women, only agree to bind their swords to hopeless causes.
    • Seven of Nine explains the mission of the Fenris Rangers, a Vigilante Militia that formed to maintain order after the Romulan Neutral Zone collapsed and the Federation pulled back, to be "helping people who have no one else to help them."
    • As the Executive Director of the Borg Reclamation Project, Hugh supervises the recuperation of ex-Borg drones who have recently undergone the reclamation procedure. The xBs are the most loathed people in the galaxy, so virtually no one is willing to make the effort to understand that they're victims who need help. Hugh was once part of the Collective, so he knows all too well what it's like to be in their place, and he tries his best to care for those who have no else to care for them.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: The Zhat Vash are revealed to be on their anti-synth crusade as a result of their knowledge of a civilization killed hundreds of millennia before because of their development of artificial life and the fear that this could happen to current civilizations. (Even worse, that fear is absolutely justified: the Admonition is actually an invitation for Milky Way synths to begin a Robot War, an invitation sent by extragalactic robots who will come in and help.) However, the Romulan obsession with secrecy means they've never told anyone about it, and so they engage in mass murder, false flag operations, covert infiltration, and other morally reprehensible acts to prevent synth development when simply showing the Admonition to other species would likely have had the same effect. Even worse, their efforts only lead to a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy, as the Mars incident they engineered was the final and most direct catalyst, especially by giving Altan Soong and Sutra the means to discredit Picard's assurances that he can bring the Federation in to help the synths, which allows Sutra to inflame and escalate the situation.
  • We Named the Monkey "Jack": Picard's dog is named Number One, the term he (and other captains) use for their First Officers.
  • Wham Shot:
    • At the end of "Remembrance", the camera zooms out of the Romulan Reclamation Site to reveal that it's actually a Borg cube that the Romulans are converting to their own use.
    • "Absolute Candor" ends with an emergency beam-out of a pilot to La Sirena: Seven of Nine.
    • At the end of "Stardust City Rag", Jurati kills Bruce Maddox, revealing she's The Mole in Picard's crew.
    • In "Broken Pieces":
      • When Rios opens a box and looks at a drawing, the paper is translucent enough to show a figure that looks exactly like Soji.
      • The final shot of the episode is a cloaked ship following La Sirena into the transwarp conduit — Narek has reacquired it despite Jurati's viridium tracker being neutralized.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: After the climactic showdown of Season 1 is resolved, Narek and Sutra quietly disappear from the plot without any mention of their ultimate fate. note  As for Ramdha and the surviving xBs on the Artifact, Michael Chabon clarifies that there was a Deleted Scene of them joining the synth colony.
  • Will Not Tell a Lie: The Qowat Milat warrior nuns believe in what's called the Way of Absolute Candor, which forbids lying, and thus Elnor (who has been raised by them) is really bad at it later, as demonstrated when the crew prep for an undercover op.
    Elnor: I don't know how to not be Elnor.
    Picard: Then be Elnor.
    Seven: An Elnor who never talks.
  • Wire Fu: Whenever Elnor does a flip in the air, Evan Evagora's stunt double is assisted by wirework. The character is super-agile, so the wires are necessary to portray his Fantastic Fighting Style. This is a slow-motion video of a stunt rehearsal from "Absolute Candor."
  • With My Hands Tied:
    • In "Remembrance", Faceless Goons teleport into Dahj's apartment, murder her boyfriend and shove a sack over her head so she can be hauled off for interrogation. She proceeds to kill every one of them despite being unable to see.
    • In "Broken Pieces", Elnor has a clever method to free his bound hands and disarm an assailant. When a female guard attempts to stab him with his own sword, he moves in such a way that not only does she end up slicing the zip ties which were keeping him restrained, but he also knocks the tan qalanq out of her grasp so she can't attack him with it again. He then proceeds to strike her and another soldier until they become unconscious.
  • Wretched Hive: Picard establishes that the Romulan Neutral Zone collapsed after the destruction of Romulus. Without any official form of law enforcement, the whole region has devolved into anarchy and is crawling with warlords and criminals.
  • You Are Number 6: Being an Obstructive Bureaucrat, the Romulan Free State assigns numerical designations to every employee and patient at the Romulan Reclamation Site, such as Patient 8923 stroke 3 (the "Nameless" Borg drone who undergoes the reclamation procedure) and Employee badge 74983 stroke 2 (Dr. Soji Asha).
  • Your Approval Fills Me with Shame: Agnes feels a pang of dread when The Borg Queen is impressed with her.
  • You're Insane!:
    • In "Maps and Legends", when Laris learns of Picard's plans to get Back in the Saddle, she wonders if he has dementia.
      Laris: What?! Have you gone mad? Is it dementia?
      Picard: I beg your pardon?
      Laris: Sorry, but you're not a stupid man, so when I hear you say such a stupid idea, I have to ask for other explanations.
    • In "Absolute Candor", Raffi questions Picard's sanity after she finds out that he ordered Rios to change course for Vashti.
      Raffi: You wanna go to Vashti?! Are you out of your goddamn mind?! [...] That you even suggest it makes me seriously question your mental state.
    • In "Nepenthe", it's lampshaded by Rios, who believes Elnor is out of his mind for staying on the Artifact, which is crawling with Tal Shiar (the Arch-Enemy of the Qowat Milat), instead of transporting back to La Sirena.
      Rios: Everyone here thinks you're crazy.

"The past is written. But the future is left for us to write."


Video Example(s):


"Dunkirk, not the pyramids"

"Remembrance". A reporter compares the Federation's effort to evacuate the Romulan core worlds against the 2387 supernova to the construction of the pyramids of Giza. Admiral (retired) Jean-Luc Picard disputes that comparison, calling the pyramids monuments to the vanity of kings, and instead points to the summer 1940 evacuation of Dunkirk.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / FantasyConflictCounterpart

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