Episode 4 of Star Trek: Picard, “Absolute Candor,” continues to offer up more insight into what happened to Jean-Luc 14 years ago when he resigned from Starfleet. Leaving his position as admiral had a lot of lasting effects, not just on his life and Raffi’s position, but on Romulan refugees as well. As with past episodes, “Absolute Candor” continues to call back elements of Picard’s life and the Federation’s history, while also introducing some new characters to the show.
We’ve dug through all of Episode 4 to pull out all its Easter eggs and references to Star Trek history, The Next Generation, and other series. Here’s everything you might have missed in “Absolute Candor.”
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1. The Three Musketeers
Classic literature is a big part of Jean-Luc Picard’s life throughout The Next Generation, with a big emphasis on his love of Shakespeare. In Episode 4, Picard gives a young Elnor a copy of “The Three Musketeers” by Alexandre Dumas, a classic book by an author from France (like Picard himself) that’s all about fencing–something we know Picard has extensive experience in.
While it’s a bit more tenuous a connection, we also saw a version of Picard as one of the Musketeers, along with Data and Geordi La Forge, in the holodeck fantasy program created by Lt. Reg Barclay in the Season 3 episode “Hollow Pursuits.”
2. Not Overly Fond Of Children
Picard’s relationship with Elnor shows how he’s changed over the years since his time on the Enterprise. In The Next Generation, Picard was often awkward around kids, and not really the biggest fan of small children. That changed over time as he captained the Enterprise, a huge ship with a lot of civilians and children living on it. Picard developed a relationship with Wesley Crusher after making him an acting ensign on the ship. At one point, Picard was trapped in a turbolift with a number of young science fair winners and had to rally them to get themselves out; at another point, Picard, Keiko O’Brien, Ensign Ro Laren, and Guinan were all transformed into kids for an episode. It seems Picard has changed his opinion on kids as he’s aged, thanks to the things he’s experienced over the years.
3. Fencing With Elnor
At a few points during his career on the Enterprise, we saw Picard engage in one of his hobbies: fencing. In “I, Borg,” the episode in which the Enterprise discovers Hugh, he even fences with Guinan. When he visits Elnor on Vashti, Picard spends some time teaching him to fence as well–a skill that seems to have come in handy for Elnor, as he grew up and became a sword-wielding Qowat Milat.
4. A Fan Of Klingon Opera
As they’re headed to Vashti, Agnes has a conversation about how bored she is with Rios, when she mentions that the only entertainment he has aboard (“holos,” the Star Trek equivalent of movies and TV shows) is Klingon opera. The Klingons are well-known for their dramatic and moving operas (although not everyone enjoys the culture’s approach to music), and the Enterprise tactical officer, Lt. Worf, was famously a fan.
5. A Romulan Bird Of Prey
Vashti is located in something of a lawless sector of space, it seems, thanks to the power vacuum created by the loss of the Romulan Empire. As the crew discusses, warlords have taken over control of the area, with one of them patrolling it in an old Romulan Bird of Prey. The ship shows up toward the end of the episode, where we see it in action. It’s an older model, the type that was in service during the years of Star Trek: The Original Series, when Captain James Kirk and his Enterprise sometimes came up against the Romulans.
6. The Fenris Rangers
According to Picard, Vashti’s sector used to be protected by a group called the Fenris Rangers. We don’t know much about them yet, but the group has been mentioned in interviews with Jeri Ryan, who plays Seven of Nine. We know that Seven has been a member of the Rangers in the years since the end of Star Trek: Voyager. Since Seven makes an appearance at the end of the episode, it might be that the Rangers haven’t completely given up their presence in the area.
7. Picard’s Jacket
In the later seasons of The Next Generation, Picard took to wearing a modified version of his Starfleet uniform. At the time, the modification was a result of Patrick Stewart asking for a more comfortable uniform, and he would also appear in the jacket in episodes where he’d wind up outside, such as after beaming down to the planet featured in the episode “Darmok.” The jacket we see Picard wearing when he visits Vashti is extremely close to his old captain’s jacket, except it’s all black–a nod, perhaps, to how his life has changed since he left Starfleet.
8. Shades Of Data
Narek tells Soji about an “ancient Borg ritual” he wants her to join him in, to which, Soji responds that the Borg have no rituals. As the pair head to the ventilation tunnel, you can catch Soji responding to Narek triggering her curiosity with a slight twitch of her head to the side. It’s a move extremely reminiscent of Data, who used to twitch slightly when his curiosity was piqued as well. Star Trek: Picard has suggested that something of Data might survive in Soji, but this is the first visual clue to that effect that we’ve seen.
9. Remembering Spot
When Picard tries to recruit Elnor to join his cause, he brings up Data to explain what’s happening. Elnor has heard about Data before, years earlier, it seems. In remembering him, Elnor mentions Spot, the orange cat Data kept while he served aboard the Enterprise.
10. More Emergency Holograms
While the Enterprise-E and Voyager both had Emergency Medical Holograms, it seems ship designers saw a good idea and kept it going over the years since Star Trek: Voyager and Star Trek: First Contact. Rios has a bunch of emergency holograms–one for medicine, one for navigation, one for hospitality for some reason, and one for tactical situations. The last one is even capable of helping him fight space battles.
11. Seven Of Nine
The last moment of Episode 4 sees another major Star Trek character’s appearance: Seven of Nine. Seven is a former Borg drone who was freed by the Voyager crew and, over time, managed to regain her humanity. We don’t know much about what she’s been doing since she left Voyager (although as mentioned, Jeri Ryan has said in interviews Seven was part of the Fenris Rangers), but the connection with the Borg that both she and Picard share seems like it’ll definitely be relevant in the future. Add in Hugh, and we’ve now got three former Borg drones from two Trek series hanging around in the story. It seems like the Borg will soon be even more important to the story.