Dave Blass, the Star Trek: Picard production designer, has been tweeting hints about the season and behind the scenes shots and information since before season two premiered (seriously, he’s a quality follow).
Today, he sent out this cryptic tweet, presumably regarding tomorrow’s new episode.
The tweet sent people scrambling for the Enterprise season two episode list to try and figure out which episode could be relevant to the current Picard storyline. There were several guesses, but we narrowed it down to three likely candidates.
Before we jump in, “Regeneration” (ENT S02E23) seems enticing, since it’s about the Borg, but remember that Picard and his crew are in 2024, and Star Trek: First Contact brings the Borg to Earth in 2063.
So with that, let’s jump in.
The most likely
The episode “Future Tense” (ENT S02E16) is the consensus pick. It teases at Enterprise‘s temporal cold war storyline, but bothered some reviewers and fans as not advancing any stories. In the episode, the crew finds what we are led to believe is a damaged time ship with a dead human pilot.
Dr. Phlox determines the man has Vulcan, Terellian, and Rigellian ancestry, along with nucleotides he had never seen. The pod, the crew finds out, comes from the 30th century (about 100 years before the current season of Star Trek: Discovery, so likely pre-Burn).
That timing also places it about a hundred years after the Temporal Integrity Commission officers the Voyager crew met in “Future’s End, Pts. 1 & 2,” and “Relativity” (VOY S03E08&09, S05E23). If you’re following along with the show cameos, you know that the actor who played Lt. Ducane in “Relativity” also plays Agent Wells, who arrested Picard and Guinan “Monsters” (PIC S02E07).
If this episode is the one Blass is referencing, it may have something to do with tomorrow’s episode, or it could be a longer tease about the storyline itself. It’s unlikely we’ll find out that Ducane was the pilot of the doomed time ship the Enterprise crew found, but it could be an overall time period reference.
But it’s not a lock for the reference…
The runner up
“Future Tense” isn’t the only episode that takes on time travel in Enterprise season two. The season premiere, “Shockwave, Pt. II” (ENT S02E01), finds Captain Archer in the 30th century with crewman Daniels, a 30th century Federation temporal agent.
The pair find out that Daniels’ attempt to protect the timeline by removing Archer from the 22nd century has the effect of destroying the future, and stopping the preventing of the Federation. How this episode would tie in to season two of Picard is less clear, but Archer and Daniels’ stranding in the future could tease to Picard and crew’s potential stranding in the past (since only Dr. Agnes Jurati knows that the Borg Queen’s consciousness survived her physical death). It could also signal that Ducane himself is stranded in the past, and trying to uphold the Temporal Prime Directive in any way he can.
But you have to consider…
The unlikely one
While “Carbon Creek” (S02E02) doesn’t necessarily have to do with time travel, it does establish that Vulcans (specifically, Sub-Commander T’Pol’s great-grandmother and her crew) first arrived on Earth in 1957, 106 years before First Contact Day in 2063.
Maybe there’s a piece of technology they left behind that Picard and crew can find and use. Maybe Mestral, the Vulcan who chose to stay behind rather than return with the rest of the crew, could still be alive and be in a position to help Picard and the others. Or Jack, the son of the Vulcans’ landlady during their stay in Pennsylvania, could have learned more about warp-capable civilizations than he let on, and could be of similar help. We just can’t say for sure.
But don’t count out…
The dark horse
While the episodes we mentioned already have to do with time travel or interaction with Earth, “The Communicator” (ENT S02E08) really caught our eye.
Capt. Archer and Lt. Reed go back to a pre-warp planet after a survey mission when Reed’s communicator goes missing. The two are captured and interrogated about their equipment and intentions on a world teetering on the brink of war.
While Wells (Ducane?) seems to know more about Picard’s technology than the society in “The Communicator,” the Picard promotional images look very reminiscent of the interrogation from this episode (though, to be fair, it looks like an interrogation scene from Law & Order, too).
And don’t bother reading any more, because…
It’s definitely not this one
While it’s highly unlikely, we would be remiss if we didn’t mention “Vanishing Point” (ENT S02E10). The episode feels similar to TNG‘s “The Next Phase” (TNG S05E24), which involves a transporter accident making crew members disappear.
In the episode, Ensign Sato begins fading away, Marty McFly-style, after beaming back from a mission (transporters aren’t the reliable equipment they come to be in the 23rd century and beyond).
At the end of the episode, we find out it was all a hallucination, with Sato being in the transport buffer for eight seconds due to storms on the planet’s surface. So could that be it? Could Picard be stuck in a transporter hallucination? Or will the transporter play a role in tricking the Borg Queen somehow? Or maybe it will be used to separate her from Jurati. We really don’t know.
So which episode do you think it was? If you’re Dave Blass and reading this far, feel free to spill in our DMs, we won’t tell.