4. "Monsters" - Star Trek: Picard (season 2, episode 7)
"Monsters" is often seen as a space oddity, but not in the good, David Bowie kind of way. Our beloved franchise is known for its interstellar adventures and philosophical quandaries, but then there's "Monsters," which plays out more like an introspective therapy session than a cosmic voyage.
The episode takes a deep dive into the mind of our beloved Jean-Luc Picard, where he confronts his childhood traumas. Now, a bit of psychological exploration isn't inherently bad, but when it feels like a psych 101 lecture rather than an engaging story, viewers might start wishing for a wormhole to escape through.
The episode's attempt to link Picard's past with his present struggles is pretty ambitious but ends up feeling like a forced puzzle where the pieces don't quite fit. Fans tuned in for phasers, diplomatic tensions, and maybe a Borg reference here or there, but instead, we got an episode that seemed to forget its sci-fi roots, choosing to linger inside Picard's psyche.
This inward journey, while potentially rich in character development, lacked the external conflict and pacing that makes Star Trek, well, Star Trek. It's like expecting an exciting and fun rollercoaster ride but ending up on a slow-moving carousel instead. The absence of the series' traditional action and exploration elements left many of us feeling like they'd we'd beamed to the wrong show.