'Star Trek: Picard' season 3 episode 6 beams in Trek cameos aplenty

The legendary captured Klingon Bird of Prey, which Dr McCoy named HMS Bounty in 'The Voyage Home'
The legendary captured Klingon Bird of Prey, which Dr McCoy named HMS Bounty in 'The Voyage Home' (Image credit: Paramount Plus)

Warning: Spoilers ahead for "Star Trek: Picard" Season 3, episode 6

If, upon seeing the title of this week's episode of "Star Trek: Picard" on Paramount Plus, called "The Bounty," your first thought — given the sheer number of throwbacks we've seen so far — runs immediately to "Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home," then you'd be absolutely 100 percent correct. In an episode that's positively jam-packed with Easter eggs, throwbacks and cameo appearances, even the captured Klingon Bird of Prey that crashed landed in San Francisco bay at the end of the fourth-made and second-best Star Trek movie makes an appearance. 

During their third month of exile on Vulcan in that Star Trek film, following the events surrounding the Genesis project, Doctor McCoy with a fine sense of historical irony paints "HMS Bounty" along the hull of that oh-so-gorgeous Klingon scout class vessel. McCoy is making reference to the mutiny on the Royal Navy vessel HMS Bounty that took place in the South Pacific Ocean in April 1789. And like those mutineers of two hundred years ago, Kirk et al have a hard choice to make too.

With last week's surprise entrance and then equally-as-surprising exit of Ro Laren, the guest stars are coming and going like "Happy Days." Perhaps an opening disclaimer declaring that this week's episode of "Star Trek: Picard" is filmed in front of a live studio audience is required. If you're behind on Picard Season 3, you can catch up with our Star Trek streaming guide for all your Trek needs. 

An obvious plot parallel is the relationship between Geordi and his daughter and Jean-Luc and Jack (Image credit: Paramount Plus)

Anyone playing "Picard" bingo during this third and final season is going to score plenty of points with this week's episode. And while it's fun, sometimes, too much of a good thing spoils the novelty. Yes indeed, Jason Bourne Jack Crusher's (Ed Speleers) favorite ship of the fleet is the NCC-1701-A with "those perfectly clean retro lines" and while absolutely correct in his assessment, this whole scene when added to everything else, begins to become too much. 

Take the eagerly-awaited return of holodeck Professor Moriarty, played deliciously once again Daniel Davis. We all knew he was coming, it was teased in the ... er, teasers. But the return of that particular character's cameo was well written, very much aiming for the less is more approach and hitting a bullseye in the process. You may recall he appeared in TNG episodes "Elementary, Dear Data" (S02, E02) and "Ship in a Bottle" (S06, E12).

And it turns out that Data has more lives than Spot the cat. Quite how much of his personality is Data, or B4 or Lore, remains to be seen, but it's always interesting to see how Brent Spiner is somehow shoehorned into each and every season. So now the gang's all here, just as we pass the midway point of the season. 

The return of holodeck Professor Moriarty wasn't drawn out, it was very much a case of less is more (Image credit: Paramount Plus)

You do have to ask yourself a few questions though, like why didn't Starfleet ever adopt cloaking technology used on the Bird of Prey? Well, the short version is that the Treaty of Algeron signed in 2311 regarded relations with the Romulan Star Empire and reinforced the barrier that is the Romulan Neutral Zone, however it also had the side effect of banning any Federation research into cloaking technology. It has also been said that Gene Roddenberry insisted that the good guys wouldn't sneak around, hiding inside of neutron radiation surges. 

The standard isn't has high as the earlier episodes, but this is still fun to watch and worth looking forward to. There's still very much a danger this could all go the way of giant space orchids, but we owe it to ourselves to give it a chance. In other interesting news, Executive Producer Akiva Goldsman spoke at the MIT Media Lab this week and said that the "Strange New Worlds" season 2 premiere will be announced shortly and confirmed that Season 3 was about to begin filming.

"Star Trek: Picard" and every episode of every "Star Trek" show currently streams exclusively on Paramount Plus in the US. Internationally, the shows are available on Paramount Plus in Australia, Latin America, the UK and South Korea, as well as on Pluto TV in Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Switzerland on the Pluto TV Sci-Fi channel. They also stream exclusively on Paramount Plus in Italy, France, Germany, Switzerland and Austria. In Canada, they air on Bell Media's CTV Sci-Fi Channel and stream on Crave.

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Scott Snowden

When Scott's application to the NASA astronaut training program was turned down, he was naturally upset...as any 6-year-old boy would be. He chose instead to write as much as he possibly could about science, technology and space exploration. He graduated from The University of Coventry and received his training on Fleet Street in London. He still hopes to be the first journalist in space.