“No Win Scenario” is the fourth episode of the third season of the TV show “Star Trek: Picard” and follows “Seventeen Seconds“. It’s available in various countries on the Paramount+ streaming platform and in many other countries on Amazon Prime Video.
Note. This article contains some spoilers about “No Win Scenario”.
The situation for the USS Titan looks hopeless with its systems nearing depletion. William Riker (Jonathan Frakes) finds himself in a seemingly impossible situation while 7 of 9 (Jeri Ryan) tries to locate an intruder on the ship.
“No Win Scenario” is basically Trek pornography. You can get around it with labels but in the end, it’s an episode focused only on the subplot concerning the USS Titan full of situations created to titillate the old fans for the events and interactions between the characters.
A plot already seen many times in the Star Trek saga was enormously lengthened by dividing it into various episodes to insert flashbacks and interactions between characters that often lead to open confrontations. This also allows Captain Liam Shaw (Todd Stashwick) to have some moment, which on the holodeck reminds of an old confrontation between Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) and Benjamin Sisko.
The moments of introspection and the many references to the past are important parts of the episode that intertwine with the present of the protagonists, who find themselves in a situation in which, at least apparently, there’s no winning scenario. I was expecting some reference to the Kobayashi Maru test but perhaps there was a desire to focus the connections on certain themes and remind the protagonists what is really important when all hope seems lost.
Overall, “No Win Scenario” is an episode devoted to total fanservice, hence my Trek pornography label. Despite the extensive use of situations already seen, which have sometimes become quite tired cliches, in my opinion, it works. Jonathan Frakes’ direction probably stressed the many elements of the fanservice contributing to a well-constructed product. The ending offers some indication of the next developments, which seem to bring something new. I sincerely hope that now the story can go on because eating too many cakes causes indigestion but once in a while it’s really satisfying!