Star Trek: Picard Episode 5 - 11 Trek History Easter Eggs And References
The first season of Star Trek: Picard is halfway over with Episode 5, "Stardust City Rag," and the series continues to look back into the depths of Trek history to give a new look at major events and important characters. After Seven of Nine's appearance in Episode 4, "Absolute Candor," Star Trek: Picard is now reaching into the history of Star Trek: Voyager. There's a lot of Trek to pull ideas and stories from, and Picard continues to demonstrate that it remembers everything.
We've dug through Episode 5 to uncover all the references and Easter eggs the show has hidden, and there are a couple of serious deep cuts. Here's a rundown of all the callbacks, references, Easter eggs and history hidden in the latest episode of Star Trek: Picard.
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1. Oh No, Icheb!
Episode 5 opens with an unfortunate situation for a former Borg drone. When Seven of Nine shows up to attempt a rescue, we learn the identity of the person on the operating table: Icheb. He played a major role in Seven's life back during Star Trek: Voyager. In that series, the Voyager crew discovered a group of Borg children who had been cut off from the Collective and rescued them. Seven became their de facto leader and teacher, and while most of the kids eventually found permanent homes, Icheb stuck around on Voyager and returned to the Alpha Quadrant.
Seven and Icheb got very close during their time together, with Seven coming to consider Icheb as a son. During Episode 5, the scientist harvesting Icheb's Borg parts mentions his missing cortical node--a component he donated, at great risk to himself, to save Seven's life on Voyager. Their close connection means that what happens to Icheb on Star Trek: Picard hits Seven harder than maybe any other thing we've seen her character experience.
2. We've Finally Found Bruce Maddox
Bruce Maddox has been an important figure in Star Trek: Picard so far, but up until now, the character has been missing. The cyberneticist appeared way back in The Next Generation episode "Measure of a Man," where he argued in a Starfleet court that Data was Starfleet property, while Picard fought to have Data considered a person. Picard was successful in the case, but Maddox wound up striking up a friendship with Data while also studying him. We know that Maddox is responsible for creating Data's daughters, Dahj and Soji, but not much else is known about how he created the two new androids.
Maddox has been in hiding for quite a while at this point, and now we know why: he's being hunted by the Romulan Tal Shiar. That raises a question of how the Tal Shiar found out about the androids and Maddox in the first place--something we'll likely find out before too much longer.
3. Try Some Tranya
When Bjayzl has her meeting with Maddox, she offers him a particular orange drink: Tranya. That particular beverage is a callback to Star Trek: The Original Series, which Captain Kirk and his crew tried when they encountered an alien government called the First Federation. Kirk tried the drink in "The Corbonite Maneuver," where Balok, played by Clint Howard, insisted on everyone trying it.
When Picard asks Seven of Nine if she wants a drink, she responds with, "Bourbon, straight up." On Star Trek: Voyager, we learned that Seven was initially a lightweight; she got drunk on a single champagne flute of synthehol, because as a Borg, she never developed the enzyme to digest it. Apparently, hard living and additional time away from the collective have given Seven a stronger constitution.
5. Mr. Quark Vouches For Rios
Thanks to Raffi, Rios has a pretty decent pedigree when he heads to Stardust City to pose as a 'Facer. During the discussion of the deal Rios hopes to make to trade Seven of Nine for Bruce Maddox, Mr. Vup mentions that his references include a Mr. Quark of Ferenginar. Quark was a major character on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine--he owned a bar on the station and was usually involved in whatever seedy enterprises took place there.
6. The Breen
The made-up deal Rios helped Quark strike was, apparently, with an alien race called the Breen. We've seen the Breen show up in a number of Star Trek series, but we don't know very much about them. They're a reclusive and warlike race that have faced off against the Federation a few times, and in Deep Space Nine, they allied with the Dominion against the Federation in an attempt to take over the Alpha Quadrant.
7. Seven's Borg Implants
Harvesting the cybernetic implants of former Borg drones is apparently big business in the Star Trek universe these days--so much so that criminals are willing to abduct Starfleet officers like Icheb in order to get them. Seven is such a price for Bjayzl because she has still has a large majority of her implants, despite many being removed by the Voyager crew after she was freed from the Collective. Picard notes that this is because Seven was assimilated by the Borg as a child. Her parents were researchers who studied the Borg before they were eventually captured and assimilated, and Seven spent most of her life as a member of the Collective.
8. The Collapse Of The Neutral Zone
Back when the Romulan Star Empire was a major force in the galaxy, the region between its territory and the Federation was designated as the Neutral Zone, and both governments stayed out of that space and weren't allowed to colonize there. Seven says that the Neutral Zone "collapsed" after the destruction of Romulus, suggesting that the area became a lawless region thanks to the power vacuum created by the absence of the Romulans and the Federation. The need to help the people who lived there gave rise to the Fenris Rangers, the vigilante group that Seven has been a part of for the last 14 years.
When Bjayzl reveals her past relationship with Seven, she repeatedly refers to her as "Annika." That's a reference to Seven's human name: before she was assimilated by the Borg, Seven was Annika Hansen. Seven spent her time on Voyager, and apparently the years since, trying to reclaim some of her humanity, but she obviously still doesn't go by her original name--although it seems she might have for a time, before the loss of Icheb.
10. Picard's Humanity
Clearly, returning to life after being assimilated by the Borg is no easy feat. Seven has struggled with trying to find her humanity again since she escaped the Collective, and that's something she shares with Picard, as we find in Episode 5. Picard was assimilated during The Next Generation before being saved by the crew of the Enterprise, but that experience has haunted him ever since. Picard's personal struggle with what happened to him was the subject of several episodes of The Next Generation, with Picard even briefly considering resigning from Starfleet because of the trauma. It also was central to the story of Star Trek: First Contact, in which Picard dealt with a whole lot of anger and pain as he fought off the Borg capture of the Enterprise-E and the Borg Queen's invasion of Earth.
11. Maddox, Jurati, and Soong's Breakthroughs
After Maddox is rescued from Bjayzl, he has a conversation with Agnes about Dahj and Soji, the two human-like androids he managed to create. Only one other person has been able to create sentient androids before: Noonien Soong, the man who created Data. Maddox used his studies of Soong's work and Data himself to create Dahj and Soji, and he credits Agnes with essential contribution to the breakthrough that helped him create the androids. Apparently, Agnes is not as excited about being a part of cybernetic history.