Star Trek: Picard season three has thus far been a love letter to fans of the franchise, particularly (although not only) for fans of The Next Generation. But showrunner Terry Matalas has sprinkled in references to many past episodes of the franchise. Here are the classic TNG episodes, as well as Deep Space Nine and Voyager, which you’ll love to watch if you are enjoying this third and final season of Picard.
“Bloodlines,” Star Trek: The Next Generation, Season 7, Episode 22 (1994)
Much of the drama in Picard season three revolves around Jean-Luc discovering that he has an adult son he never knew about. But what if we told you a very similar event already happened to Jean-Luc? In the TNG episode “Bloodlines,” Picard discovers he’s the father of a young man named Jason Vigo, supposedly the product of a brief love affair decades prior. Picard then reflects on the life as a father he never had. Sound familiar? Of course, things aren’t quite what they seem with Jason, but you’ll have to watch the episode to discover why. We’ll give you a hint; the Ferengi are involved. You know that’s never a good sign.
“Encounter at Farpoint,” Star Trek: The Next Generation, Season 1, Episode 1 (1987)
The pilot episode of TNG is famously….not so great. Yes, it introduced Q into Trek lore, but it also had the Enterprise-D crew discover a unique lifeform. At Farpoint station, Picard and his new crew found out the planet’s residents built the station on the back of a powerful, gigantic creature that was born and lived in space. Looking kind of like a giant jellyfish, thanks to the Enterprise’s intervention, they reunited it with its mate. On Picard, when the Titan was trapped in the nebula in “No Win Scenario,” they discovered it was like a womb that gave birth to similar creatures. Picard was quick to remember the very similar lifeform encountered over three decades prior.
“The Adversary,” Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Season 3, Episode 26 (1995)
In Picard season three’s third episode, we learned that the “Big Bad” of the season is the Dominion. In particular, the Dominion’s Founders, the shapeshifting Changelings. We saw how they had agents on Federation starships like the Titan, sabotaging from within. The first time we saw the Changelings do something similar was in the DS9 third season finale “The Adversary.” In that episode, Changelings disguised as Starfleet sabotaged the Defiant. This episode began a long storyline about Changeling infiltrators on DS9, and was a clear influence on Picard season three.
“Ensign Ro,” Star Trek: The Next Generation, Season 5, Episode 3 (1991)
Abrasive Starfleet officer Ro Laren (Michelle Forbes) made a welcome return to the Star Trek franchise in episode five of Picard, “Imposter.” Her past with Picard informed much of that highly dramatic episode. But in her first appearance, in this fifth season TNG episode, we saw how that relationship first came to be. “Ensign Ro” not only introduced the character of Ro Laren, but also the entire Bajoran race, not to mention their tangled and brutal history with the Cardassians. Definitely a highlight of TNG’s seven-season run.
“Attached,” Star Trek: The Next Generation, Season 7, Episode 8 (1993)
Jean-Luc Picard and Dr. Beverly Crusher had a romantic flirtation throughout the entirety of TNG. But they mostly kept things professional. But as we learned in Picard season three, they got serious enough to have a child together at some point. The truth of their feelings for each other came to light in the TNG episode “Attached.” In this episode, hostile aliens forced Picard and Beverly into a psychic link. Beverly discovered that Jean-Luc was in love with her, which led her to confess her own feelings for him. Young Jack Crusher might never have happened if not for this episode.
“The Gift,” Star Trek: Voyager, Season 4, Episode 2 (1997)
Seven of Nine entered the Picard story in season one. She was a very different character than when we last saw her on Voyager. But as episode three of Picard showed us, she has an incredible fondness for her time on that ship. She even has a model of Voyager in her quarters, suggesting she views her time on the old ship fondly. Voyager’s season four episode “The Gift” shows how a newly freed Seven struggled with her newfound humanity. And how Captain Janeway helped her. This episode began her journey toward humanity, a journey that would lead her to become the Titan’s First Officer.
“The Best of Both Worlds,” Star Trek: The Next Generation, Season 3, Episode 26 (1990)
Perhaps the most beloved chapter in all of TNG, and certainly the one with the most long-lasting impact. This two-part episode saw the Borg Collective capture Captain Picard and turn him into one of them. He was now Locutus of Borg. The Collective used the information in his brain to stage an attack on the Federation, in system Wolf 359. The Borg attacked Starfleet, and decimated them. We only saw the aftermath of this battle on TNG, but the pilot episode of DS9 showed Locutus devastating Starfleet in a flashback. In Picard season three, we learned that the Captain Shaw, harbors great resentment towards Picard as a survivor of Wolf 359, when he was a young engineer who barely survived. It’s the one part of Picard’s past he seemingly can never run from.