Seven of Nine, one of the Star Trek franchise’s most popular characters, has come back after nearly 20 years away from the screen. Once again played by Jeri Ryan, she appeared at the tail end of episode four of Star Trek: Picard. But her backstory for the past two decades has been revealed further in episode five, titled “Stardust City Rag.” And just like Jean-Luc Picard, the former Borg drone is definitely not the same person she was when last we saw her.
It’s fair to say the Seven of Nine has become a sort of futuristic version of Uma Thurman’s Bride character from Kill Bill. But how did Seven go from the overly blunt ex-Borg to a badass warrior bent on revenge? Turns out, a lot has happened to her since Voyager finally reached Earth.
Spoilers ahead for episode five of Star Trek: Picard!
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Before we get into how Seven has changed and why, we need a brief primer on who she was. Seven of Nine was introduced in the fourth season of Star Trek: Voyager in 1997, and remained a main character on the series throughout the rest of its run. She was discovered by the crew of Voyager in the Delta Quadrant, where her full Borg designation was revealed as “Seven of Nine, Tertiary Adjunct of Unimatrix 01.” She was freed from the Borg collective, of which she had been a part since she was a six-year-old child.
It was revealed that Seven was actually human, and not an unknown species assimilated by the Borg. In fact, she was one of the first human beings ever assimilated into the hive mind. Once detached from the collective, she began to explore her humanity under the guidance of Captain Janeway (Kate Mulgrew). In time, she even embraced her original human name: Annika Hansen.
Towards the later seasons of Voyager, Seven cared for a group of children who were assimilated by the Borg and later freed from the hive. She became like a mother to them, and helped them with their transition towards individuality. Although the Borg children were eventually returned to their original respective races, one of them, a male name Icheb, stayed aboard Voyager with Seven. Towards the end of that series’ run, she dated Commander Chakotay, and there were even hints from a future version of Janeway that the two would eventually get married.
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However, as we discover in Picard, Seven’s life was a lot less blissful that predicted. With the collapse of the Romulan Neutral Zone following the destruction of their home planet, much of the quadrant has fallen into lawlessness. One organization protecting the defenseless was a vigilante group called the Fenris Rangers. Seven of Nine joined these Rangers, and become one of their most infamous and deadly agents.
Sometime during the years between Voyager and Picard, Seven fell under the sway of a woman called Bjayzl. It’s heavily implied the two had a romantic relationship, one which Bjayzl used to her advantage. Bjayzl actually sold Borg implants to the highest bidder on the black market. To Bjayzl, Seven was the ultimate prize, as Seven still had many Borg parts that Bjayzl hoped to extract. But Seven got away from Bjayzl upon discovering the truth. However, Seven had already revealed the location of her ex-Borg surrogate child, Icheb. Bjayzl learned he was a Starfleet officer and where he could be located, and used this knowledge to capture him and remove his Borg implants, very slowly and painfully.
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Seven was eventually able to find and free Icheb, but the damage done to his body was too much. He begged her to kill him and put him out of his misery, which she did. But Seven was now driven by vengeance, and wanted to find the woman responsible for the torture and murder of the man who was like a son to her. Thus began a search for Bjayzl.
When she encountered Admiral Picard on board La Sirena, she traveled with him to the planet Freecloud. There, she offered to help Picard in a ruse to extract a valuable prisoner being held by Bjayzl. She offered to give herself over to Bjayzl in exchange for said prisoner, but of course, it’s all a ploy. Seven meant to finally kill the woman who betrayed her and murdered her child.
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Now ready to take her revenge on the woman who murdered Icheb, Picard talked Seven down from giving in to hatred and feelings of vengeance. Jean-Luc, ever the thoughtful 24th century man of peace, told her that getting payback won’t solve anything or take away her pain. She seemingly agreed with him. But not long after beaming back to Picard’s current ship, she grabbed two phasers and returned to the planet guns blazing and vaporized Bjayzl. Like the Bride in Kill Bill, she ultimately did get her “bloody satisfaction” on the one who irrevocably hurt her. Afterwards, she seemingly returned to her service with the Rangers. But she did give Picard a way to contact her once again should he need her special services, so I doubt this is the last we’ll see of the fan favorite ex-Borg.
This revenge-driven Seven is different from any version we’ve seen of the character before on Voyager. She’s far more in touch with her human feelings, even if those feelings are mostly negative ones. But there is still a glimmer of hope within her. After all, why bother coming to the aid of so many helpless throughout the galaxy if she had not learned to feel compassion as well?
This is why I ultimately see her more as a Kill Bill figure than a regular vigilante. Everything she does is motivated by her instincts as a mother whose child was stolen from her, similar to Uma Thurman’s Bride in Kill Bill. One thing’s for certain: both deadly ladies prove that it’s clearly best to never cross the lioness if you’ve taken one of her cubs.
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