Star Trek: Picard Season 1 Episode 6 Review: The Impossible Box

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To muddle my cultural references, Star Trek: Picard Season 1 Episode 6 is the "The Empire Strikes Back" moment of the season.

It brings our opposing factors into direct conflict.

It reveals game-changing information.

Young Soji - Star Trek: Picard Season 1 Episode 6

It is incredibly exciting and action-packed -- with daring escapes, frantic chases, and deep-rooted fears coming to the surface.

And just like Empire, it leaves us with SO MANY QUESTIONS.

Please, my friends. Choose to live.


To paraphrase Star Trek: Picard Season 1 Episode 3, let's begin at the end.

As Elnor and Hugh face down basically every Romulan on the ship in order to shield Picard and Soji's escape, it has become a trademark move of the show to leave major characters in hopeless situations.

Leaving Seven to shoot her way out of Stardust City on Star Trek: Picard Season1 Episode 5 was shocking and innovative.

Locked and Loaded - Star Trek: Picard Season 1 Episode 5

To leave both Hugh and Elnor in basically the same situation seems a bit lazy and wasteful.

Not that I believe any of them are dead. Not a chance.

After all, Star Trek: Picard Season 1 Episode 4 was entirely devoted to getting Elnor to join the mission.

Picard: Elnor, I told you to stay on the ship.
Elnor: Yes. I didn't listen.
Picard: Thank you.

And it would be so underwhelming for him to have completed his years of Qowat Milat training and leave Vashti for the first time since he was orphaned only to die -- what -- a WEEK later?

His absolute candor is also the only jolt of artless humor on a ship full of people haunted by their past and/or hiding secrets.

Rio and Elnor - Star Trek: Picard Season 1 Episode 6

The core of this narrative, the event we've been waiting for, is Soji's activation. 

As much as the Narissa-Narek relationship just irritates me, I found myself identifying a little with Narissa as Narek insisted on psychoanalyzing and niggling on every aspect of Soji's behavior.

Nefarious Narek - Star Trek: Picard Season 1 Episode 6

Fair fact, he accomplished exactly what he said he would.

I just could've done without all the mushy, kissy-face.

It wasn't even very original, forget convincing, kissy-face.

Sharing Secrets - Star Trek: Picard Season 1 Episode 6

The scene under the covers was so blatantly ripped from The Good Wife's playbook that I actually felt pretty indignant. 

Especially since Narek ain't no Will Gardner.

Also, it's a little annoying that Hugh knew something was up with Narek and never thought to mention it to Soji.

Hugh: I take it she's in serious danger.
Picard: What... Why would you ask that?
Hugh: A hunch. Something about her. Something about you coming this far to this place. And something about the dashing, young Romulan spy who showed up two weeks ago pretending not to be asking questions about her.

The Zhal Makh ritual seems a legit method of accessing lucid dreaming. It's pretty clear that it was also a trust exercise for Soji to allow Narek to guide through the process.

His plan to cement that trust wasn't limited to kissy-face either. I'd posit that the offensive guard at the chamber door was a plant, probably there to make sure no one was using it when Narek wanted it for Soji.

I feel like the secret name bit was probably a lie too. He knew Narissa was monitoring the room so unless he's in the habit of sharing his intimate moniker with his sister... oh, geez, I can't even.

A Final Embrace - Star Trek: Picard Season 1 Episode 6

Seems a bit of an oversight for a seasoned agent like Narek to forget the floor of the chamber was wooden but it made for a dramatic and effective escape for the activated Soji.

Encountering Hugh and Picard was truly a deer-in-the-headlights moment.

Who else was waiting for Picard to deliver the "Come with me if you want to live" line? Seriously.

Locutus Memories - Star Trek: Picard Season 1 Episode 6

Picard's flashback seizure upon stepping onto a Borg cube again was an intense representation of what PTSD could look like.

Even more impressive was the visual effects as he walked through the cube corridors. Also, that superimposition of his Locutus visage over his current face gave me absolute chills.

Hugh: I didn't believe it until now. Welcome to the Borg Reclamation Project. I don't know what you're doing here but I'll help you in any way I can.
Picard: Well, I'll take a friendly face.

His reunion with Hugh stood out for a multitude of reasons, not the least which was the fact Hugh is the first "old friend" who has greeted Picard with any sort of warmth.

Admiral Clancy swore at him. Raffi pulled a weapon. Seven demanded compensation.

Zani was pleased he was alive but she's pretty aloof by nature.

Hugh embraced him and offered unconditional support. That was nice.

Face to Hugh - Star Trek: Picard Season 1 Episode 6

Regarding Rios and Jurati, someone else can analyze all the weirdness that entails.

I'm not done processing it and I'm not sure I ever will be.

Dr. Jurati: Why do you like it out here?
Rios: In space?
Dr. Jurati: It's cold and empty and it wants to kill you.

There's a lot of Freudian slippage in everything Jurati says these days.

And I'm pretty sure Rios would benefit from a bit of her superpower.

Friends - Star Trek: Picard Season 1 Episode 6

I'd appreciate a run-down on how Raffi and Rios connected. It feels like there's a lot of history and affection there despite the fact he didn't know about her son.

And I'm still dying to know why all his holograms look like him and why no one except Elnor thinks this is odd.

Rios Laying in a Course - Star Trek: Picard Season 1 Episode 6

Raffi retains her title as most bad-ass and useful character for yet another week.

Despite being heavily inebriated from self-medicating her heartbreak, she sucks it up and delivers an ovation-worthy performance to secure Picard's credentials.

Raffi through a Screen - Star Trek: Picard Season 1 Episode 6

That being said, it doesn't seem probable that she has a lot of friends like that she can afford to burn bridges with.

So while it was a win in the mission column, it was just an additional tragedy to pile onto a woman who believes she'll never be allowed to meet her granddaughter.

I don't want to end up on the wrong side of a disruptor cannon, Emmy... I'm still planning on drinking myself to death


In recovery mode, Raffi is poised to solve it all.

The woman has a brain that doesn't stop (which is probably why she uses as many recreational drugs as she does) and the riddle of Soji's survival could be the linchpin on the entire mystery of the synth attack and ban.

Raffi in Recovery - Star Trek: Picard Season 1 Episode 6

As you watch Star Trek: Picard online, note the elegant devices they've used to create space and increase tension.

By trajecting Picard and Soji forty million lightyears away, they've placed them safely out of Jurati's reach for the moment.

Agnes Jurati - Star Trek: Picard Season 1 Episode 6

Seven and Elnor and Hugh are off-stage (much like Han Solo while in carbonite).

Meanwhile, Rios and his EMH have time to have a chat and Raffi's alert now and has a puzzle to solve.

Things are definitely shaping up for a canonball run to the finale.

Dr. Jurati: Why do you like it out here?
Rios: In space?
Dr. Jurati: It's cold and empty and it wants to kill you.

What do you predict will be the next twist?

Does Dr. Jurati survive this mission or will she sacrifice herself in a change of heart at the last moment?

How does Soji's dream "home" planet mesh with Maddox's claim that his lab had been destroyed down the very molecular basis?

And if it had been destroyed, wouldn't Narissa and Narek know that already?

What are your best, craziest, most desperate theories on how this will all play out? Share them in the comments below!

And we sure would appreciate a follow of our new Twitter account as we work to rebuild our audience!


The Impossible Box Review

Editor Rating: 5.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 5.0 / 5.0 (15 Votes)

Diana Keng is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.

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Star Trek: Picard Season 1 Episode 6 Quotes

Soji: Romulans love secrets. You think everyone is hiding something.
Narek: Everyone IS hiding something. Whether they know it or not.

Narek: I want to know every little thing about you.
Soji: Even though you think I'm an imposter.
Narek: I never said that. I do think you're full of secrets.