Bad Boys for Life
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As it effectively mines the rich dynamics of its intrepid crew, "Absolute Candor" casts an insightful light onto past events of Picard's story.
At last, this show is no longer just a talky chamber drama with characters doing little more than speaking to each other while sitting in chairs of various comfort levels.
Fortunately, none of it feels like wheel-spinning, and the moments of downtime allow some fun dynamics to begin developing among the rest of the cast.
There's a level of presumptive idealism running through this version of the character which is simultaneously infuriating and endearing, but it infantalizes him in a way that I'm not sure I completely accept.
I did find the scenes on Vashti fairly compelling, because I appreciate exploring new terrain and Patrick Stewart fencing with a child makes for an enjoyable visual.
Despite polished production values, lush locations and snippets of subterfuge 'Absolute Candor' is still just expensive filler.
Four episodes in and you're probably starting to notice a pattern. Only every other episode of Star Trek: Picard seems to actually move the plot along.
Absolute Candor is, for my money, the first properly disappointing episode that finds Picard treading water and lacking any discernible direction.
Delivering consistently entertaining episodes, Star Trek: Picard is a near-perfect expansion of this universe, and I for one can't wait to see what happens next.
The holograms remain fun, but the writers are straying dangerously close to turning them into a joke; when we start seeing the emergency stand-up comedian, we'll know they're jumping the shark.
The whole episode is both a literal and figurative detour.
What elevates "Absolute Candor" above prior outings from Star Trek: Picard, though, is not just that airborne excitement or cameo-caked sabre-rattling. It's the way the episode makes Elnor more than just another new face.
Say it with me: "Romulan warrior nuns." It just trips off the tongue, doesn't it? A welcome touch of self-indulgent sci-fi nonsense for episode 4, following the heavier content of the first three episodes.