“Broken Pieces” is the eighth episode of the TV show “Star Trek: Picard” and follows “Nepenthe“. It’s available in the USA on the CBS All Access streaming platform and in many other countries on Amazon Prime Video.
Note. This article contains some spoilers about “Broken Pieces”.
On the Borg cube, Elnor (Evan Evagora) needs help to avoid Narissa (Peyton List). Dr. Agnes Jurati (Alison Pill) faces the consequences of her actions. Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) and Soji (Isa Briones) arrive on the starship La Sirena, and Captain Rios (Santiago Cabrera) has an unexpected reaction.
Zhat Vash’s mission had been clear for some time but the deep motives that led to the iron will to wipe out any synthetic life form are now clear, well beyond the mental images offered by Commodore Oh (Tamlyn Tomita). I found it interesting that this revelation is also used to give Narissa a much greater depth through her relationship with Ramdha (Rebecca Wisocky).
The episode brings together the pieces of the story and this includes in various ways the pieces of the life of various characters as well. For Soji it’s about finding her true identity, for Agnes Jurati it’s about facing the consequences of her actions, for Rios it’s about making sense of past events.
The fact that Rios turns out to be a key in the plot about synthetics shows that the universe is raelly small. The coincidence that led him to get involved in that adventure can be a bit forced but it’s a fairly common narrative device. In his case the pieces exist in a literal sense, represented by the various holograms. Raffi Musiker (Michelle Hurd) puts them together to try to understand Rios’ story. There are funny moments, which in the show honestly don’t always have an optimal timing, but I must say that the holographic engineer who speaks with a Scottish accent really made me laugh. Scotty would be proud of it!
There have often been links in the show with “Star Trek: The Next Generation” and this is true again in “Broken Pieces”. Agnes Jurati has to judge if Soji is a person like Bruce Maddox did in his time with Data. In the ending, Jean-Luc Picard proposes the optimism that has always marked the spirit of Star Trek in contrast to Zhat Vash’s secrets and fear. In a show sometimes criticized for not being optimistic enough – but then what about “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine”? – it was a moment I really liked.
“Broken Pieces” is not perfect. The pieces of the story have been put together in a meeting that has become basically an infodump. At this point it didn’t seem to me that the pieces of information discovered by the various characters were so difficult to put together. It would have taken me a lot less even if I was watching the episode as soon as it’s available in Italy, at midnight, but evidently a part of the audience need detailed explanations.
All of this almost overshadowed the return of 7 of 9 (Jeri Ryan). Is the subplot set on the Borg cube finished or has it something more to offer? “Broken Pieces” has prepared the way for the last two episodes of the season, hoping that they have a better balance in the use of time.