Picard plays dress-up — and puts on an outrageous accent — and we get some nasty reunions involving Seven of Nine, Raffi Musiker, and Dr. Jurati, plus some actual forward movement on the plot! It’s a Christmas miracle! I have a great deal to say about Star Trek: Picard‘s “Stardust City Rag.”
While “Stardust City Rag” is a fine title, it could just as easily be called “Seven of Nine is Back and She’s Pissed!” In the two decades since Voyager came home, Seven has joined the Fenris Rangers, helping keep law and order in a lawless and chaotic area of space. She has tremendous bitterness toward the Federation, and a particular animus toward Bjayzl, which is the real reason why she helps Picard.
We get the first hint of that in the opening flashback from fourteen years earlier, where we see Icheb—the former Borg drone who served on Voyager during its final two seasons—being tortured and killed, his Borg implants being violently removed. When Seven shoots him in the end, it’s a mercy killing to end his suffering.
There are two nice touches in this scene: Icheb was an officer on the U.S.S. Coleman, having completed the Starfleet training he began on Voyager, and the person removing his implants can’t find his cortical node, which Icheb donated to Seven in the Voyager episode “Imperfection.”