Season 3 of “Picard” seemed to be creating a world where nostalgia didn’t exist and no one felt especially sentimental about the past. Instead, it was about moving on, finding adventure, and, as it would turn out, relitigating the things that once made Picard happy. In particular, Picard’s relationship with Dr. Crusher (Gates McFadden) was enormously strained. The NextGen team may get together eventually, but they won’t necessarily like each other.
My earlier conceits about the recurring “Picard” theme stem from my knowledge of the classic writing structure of “Star Trek: The Next Generation.” In many episodes, the show would open cold with a vignette or scenario unrelated to the main plot. However, that cold open would connect thematically to the main ultimate goal of the episode. If, for example, the episode was about the movement of time, the opening conversation would be about how time seems to move differently when you’re bored.
If “Picard” spent so much time establishing that it was about shedding legacy and lack of sentimentality about the past, then surely that would be the final theme of the season overall. Apparently “Star Trek” had reached a refreshing “let the past die” moment.
But this time it turned out to be the opposite.