Picard sets foot on a Borg Cube voluntarily for the first time and it goes a lot better than he fears. Narek pokes Soji with a stick and it goes both better and worse than he fears. Musiker helps Picard, and it goes better for the mission but worse for her. My take on “The Impossible Box,” the latest episode of Star Trek: Picard.
Picard is only able to board the Cube thanks to the awesomeness of his erstwhile aide. Michelle Hurd turns in another brilliant performance, as Musiker is asked to convince Captain Emily Bosch, an old friend of hers, to grant Picard diplomatic access to the Artifact. The expert manner in which Musiker gets the access—even though it means burning the friendship with Bosch—is contrasted perfectly with how she falls apart as soon as she’s done, ignoring the applause of the rest of the gang. That applause is deserved, mind you, as Musiker’s manipulation of Bosch is brilliant, thanks in part to her easy charm, and also due to her use of Picard’s dual reputations as a great captain (Musiker jokes that his face is probably still on the brochures) and as a self-righteous pain in the ass.
Musiker is spectacularly broken, and Rios—her old friend, and Cabrera and Hurd play that friendship with nary a false note—is the only one who seems to even notice. We find out that her neglect of her son extends beyond her direct relationship with him: in all the years she’s known Rios, this is the first she’s told him that she even has a son, much less a daughter-in-law she’d never met before and an impending granddaughter she will likely never ever meet. Hurd absolutely nails the disconnect between Musiker’s completely together professionalism with her trash fire of a personal life. As Rios says, “Nobody gets it all right, Raff.” Truer words, man…