(written from a Production point of view)
Picard and Soji transport to the planet Nepenthe, home to some old and trusted friends. As the rest of La Sirena's crew attempt to join them, Picard helps Soji make sense of her recently unlocked memories. Meanwhile, Hugh and Elnor are left on the Borg cube and must face an angered Narissa.
Outside the Daystrom Institute in Okinawa on Earth, Dr. Agnes Jurati is listening to Kasseelian opera on her earbuds and eating sushi when she is approached by Commodore Oh of Starfleet Security. The Vulcan commodore, who is oddly wearing what appears to be sunglasses, asks about her two recent meetings with Jean-Luc Picard, starting with the first at the institute in which Picard mentioned his belief he interacted with an synthetic lifeform, before discussing the whereabouts of Bruce Maddox and his work in fractal neuronic cloning. Following that meeting, Jurati transferred more than three hundred gigabytes of data on Maddox's work to a PADD, presumably for Picard's use. Oh then asks what she discussed with Picard at the second meeting, at his home in La Barre. Jurati jokingly remarks that they discussed the works of Isaac Asimov, but eventually admits she expressed to him how sorry she was that she had been unable to meet Dahj Asha. Oh explains that Starfleet needed her help: Picard notified Starfleet that he is planning to travel off-world to find Maddox and Soji Asha, and Oh asks Jurati to accompany him.
To better explain the consequences of allowing synthetics to exist, Oh performs a mind meld, showing Jurati apocalyptic imagery. Oh then gives Jurati a form of edible tracking device, and tells her that a "terrible sacrifice" must be made.
Three weeks later, La Sirena is caught in the Artifact's tractor beam, as Cristóbal Rios and Raffaela Musiker urgently try to hack the systems to break free so they can follow Picard and Soji Asha to Nepenthe, days away at maximum warp. Jurati suggests they simply ask the Romulans to let them go: they're after Soji, not them.
Aboard the Artifact, a group of xBs are lined up before the Romulan guards while Narissa holds Hugh at gunpoint, demanding to know where he is hiding Picard and Soji. When he remains silent, the guards kill one of the xBs. Narissa tries again: she knows Hugh, Picard, and Soji went into Subsector 11 of the old cube, but only Hugh returned. Hugh will only say they're gone, not where. Narissa expresses boredom, and orders the guards in Romulan to kill the xBs. As Hugh watches in horror, the guards mow them down. As Hugh tearfully mourns the loss, Narissa expresses her hatred for the "vile" cube and the xBs, before saying that their former Borg status was not what killed them, but rather Hugh letting Picard and Soji escape, ruining years of work by "patient operatives" across hundreds of star systems, and possibly dooming a trillion people across half the galaxy; only Hugh's Federation citizenship and the treaty creating the Borg Reclamation Project kept her from killing him as well. She communicates with Narek, who is taking a ship out of the cube to follow La Sirena, before she has them released from the tractor beam. Musiker recognizes it's a trick, but Rios is confident: they'll have to catch him first.
Jurati asks about Elnor, who is still aboard the Artifact. Elnor steps out of the shadows of the cube, finding Hugh amidst the dead xBs, when he is contacted by Rios through his La Sirena comm pin. Angered at seeing the murdered xBs, Elnor chooses to remain behind with Hugh, determined not to allow it to happen again. Rios remarks to him that everyone on the ship thinks he was crazy, but admits (as Jurati speaks up) they think him brave, as well. La Sirena goes to warp, with Narek's ship right in hot pursuit behind them.
Picard and Soji emerge from the spatial trajector on Nepenthe, where they are immediately held at bow and arrow-point by a young girl dressed in native attire; Picard remarks that she may want to aim at his head, as his heart is solid duritanium, to which the girl adjusts her aim accordingly. Soji looks worried, as Picard said it was a safe place. Picard smiles knowingly before he asks the girl, "Are we safe here, Kestra?" Kestra lowers her bow as Picard asks if her parents are about.
As they walk just ahead of Picard, Kestra asks Soji if he is her father or grandfather, to which Soji replies that she doesn't know him at all, only that he said he was a friend of her father. Kestra opines that Soji doesn't believe Picard, and Soji admits she doesn't believe anyone. Soji then asks about Kestra's compass, which Kestra says was a gift from Captain Rupert Crandall, a friend who lived near Infinity Lake and who was "even older than Picard"; she later says the compass is broken. Kestra asks if Soji believes her, and when asked if she'd lied, Kestra admits she's only wearing a costume for a game she played with her brother Thaddeus, but that the arrows were real, though she wouldn't shoot anyone with them because she's a pacifist. When asked about Soji's father, Picard remarks that Kestra has probably heard of Data, leading Kestra to realize Soji is an android. Soji is upset by this, remarking about how everything about her life, her dreams, even her sister and her parents, were all fake. Picard reassures her that Dahj was indeed real, but that she had been killed by the Romulans. Soji, though tearful at this, continues to believe it was all a "mind game".
Upon arriving at a two-story, well-kept log cabin style house in a clearing in the woods, Soji asks Picard about the occupants, whom he calls "old friends", while Kestra calls for her parents. Deanna Troi steps out onto the porch to trim the plants, looking up first at hearing Kestra, then with joy to see Picard walking up. As she hugs him, she instantly recognizes he's in trouble and asks how bad. "Bad enough," Picard admits. It is then as Troi empathically reads him further that a look of deep sorrow crosses her face: Picard knows she has discovered his terminal condition, and assures her that "he's fine" (with it) as she sadly pulls him into another hug. He introduces Troi to Soji. Kestra then calls for her father, Will Riker, who is working in the kitchen while the house computer plays jazz; at first, he tells her to stop yelling, then looks up in shock when she tells him Picard is there. Pausing the music, he opens a window to see his family speaking with Soji before Picard greets him from his living room. As he joyfully reunites with his old captain, Riker can also see that Picard needs a place to hide out, and orders the house's shields raised and initiates full perimeter scans to maximum – a precaution due to trouble with the Kzinti. Picard also suggests anti-cloaking scans. Riker reminds Picard that he had warned him during the supernova crisis that he would be "ass-deep in Romulans" for the rest of his life, and also Newton's fourth law of thermodynamics: "No good deed goes unpunished". Troi enters, saying Kestra was showing Soji to the shower, and states that while Soji seems Human with a full emotional range and showing all the signs of being traumatized, Troi couldn't sense any emotions from her at all. Picard admits he's "in over his head", that he had left Earth with a plan, a ship, even a crew, and now he had "half a plan" at best, with Soji still in danger. Riker suggests he needs a new plan, to which Troi adds it could start with a nap, offering their son's room to let Picard sleep in while Riker continues to prepare dinner – wood-fired pizza with tomato and basil from their garden. Kestra then comes in, handing Riker a skinned and cleaned bunnicorn carcass; Troi asks that Kestra cut out the animal's venom sacs, to which Kestra jokes that she didn't so they can all "spew black bile and die," before heading back out with a towel for Soji. Riker adds non-venomous bunnicorn sausage to the list of pizza toppings. The couple make it clear that however long Picard needs to stay, he is welcome.
Soji uses the outdoor shower while Kestra asks her questions: can Soji play the violin (no), does she like Sherlock Holmes (she guesses so), or have super speed and strength (yes) – all things Kestra knew Data could do. Leading Soji to the bunk bed in her room so she can rest, she finds it "weird" that Soji has blood, saliva, and mucus, things Data did not have. Kestra explains that her parents served with Data on the Enterprise until he was killed, and that Picard had been the captain – "the greatest Starfleet captain ever", as her father puts it. Soji wonders how Data could be her father, as she had only been created three years before, and then wonders why he would make an android with Human bodily fluids. Kestra remembers that Data wanted to be more Human; he was gifted with incredible strength and intelligence, but he wanted to have dreams, tell jokes, and learn how to ballroom dance. In retrospect, it makes sense to her that Data might do so. She asks if Soji was like that; Soji, tearing up, admits that until Kestra said "android" on the way to the house, she was still clinging to the idea that she was Human. Kestra apologizes, but tells her she thinks she's "amazing," partly because of how Human she seems… and partly because, since Soji is only three, Kestra gently teases that she gets to be "the boss."
Grasping the doorknob, Troi takes a breath to steel herself before opening the door and entering Thaddeus's room. Picard mentions a language Kestra was speaking, which Troi says is Viveen, spoken by the "Wild Girls of the Woods". He remembers when he met Thad for the first time – he was no more than five years old, and speaking an invented language. Troi reminds him that had actually been the second time, as she shows him a picture of the first, of a smiling Picard in his admiral's uniform holding Thad as a happy baby. Running her finger wistfully beside infant Thad's face, Troi notes that his eighteenth birthday would have been the previous week; she and Riker are doing all right and though Kestra still mourns for him, each day that passes she aches a little less and comes to terms with the loss a little more. Rather than focus on the negative, Troi reiterates how wonderul it is to see Picard again and that she's grateful that he came. He clarifies that he didn't just come to them for refuge, but she interrupts that she knows: she leaves it unsaid that Picard wanted to see them one more time before his condition kills him. Picard promises that as soon as he had a plan, he and Soji would leave. Troi re-emphasizes that he was welcome to stay as long as he needed, but also expressed her worry if something were to happen to Kestra, admitting she was "not as brave" as she once was, which Picard tells her that he believes it to be a sign of wisdom.
Aboard La Sirena, Rios and Musiker detect Narek's ship tailing them; Rios thinks the ship to be a Romulan "snakehead", fast and well armed. Rios brings La Sirena to a full stop, hoping that the tail will overshoot them, before setting an alternate course. Jurati speaks up and asks if they actually want to go to Nepenthe, and Musiker reminds her it wasn't an outing: They were going to rescue Picard and the "synth chick". Jurati abruptly stands and prepares to leave, at which point Musiker reminds her of when she came aboard the first time, excited to go into space and meet a real, live, synthetic lifeform, but the closer they got to that, the less Jurati wanted to be there. Jurati angrily demands to be taken home to Earth, that Picard could handle himself, and someone else could handle the "fucking synth", asking why it had to be she who found Soji. Rios tells her that he has a paying client, and that she was just along for the ride, before leaving her in the hands of "Auntie Raffi", who had anything she needed; Jurati hopefully asks if it was cake.
Back on Nepenthe, Riker checks the wood-burning oven in his backyard as Picard comes out; Picard admits he's worried about Rios, that he didn't make it. Riker asks if Picard could tell him what he'd gotten himself into, Picard demurs, saying he didn't want to involve Riker or his family in his mission, that coming there was a "desperate impulse" he regretted. Riker, with a waver in his voice, remarks that how great it would be if the ignorance of danger was all it took to keep it away from the people they loved, referring to his son, before mentioning the regenerative powers of the soil on Nepenthe, which makes the plants like the Antarean basil leaves he's using for the pizza to grow like weeds, and adds that as Picard knows, was the impetus for them to relocate there. Just then, Kestra and Soji come out, conversing in Viveen: Soji memorized it in two minutes from Thaddeus' dictionary, which is three hundred pages long. Soji's head appears to be moving in a very "android" way as she examines the new sights in front of her, similar to Data, which Riker immediately notices before he introduces himself to her. Picard explains they had served together aboard the Enterprise to which Soji repeats what Kestra told her about her father calling Picard "the greatest captain ever". Riker jokingly attributes it to drinking, before sending Kestra to tell her mother to bring more tomatoes. After they leave, Riker begins to lay out what he thinks is going on. Picard is worried about cloaking, which meant Romulan involvement; he was overly worried for their safety, which meant the Tal Shiar; they were after Soji, not Picard; and from the very familiar tilting of the head (plus the dictionary memorization and the fact that Troi felt nothing from her), Soji is an android descended from Data. He comments only half-jokingly on the "classic Picard arrogance", how he made the decisions about who was in the loop and out of the loop, but while that would work as a starship captain, Riker reminds him he is more or less dealing with a teenager, and that he's not prepared for it. As Riker places the pizza in the oven to bake, Picard admits he's probably not. Riker smiles at that: a baby step towards humility of his situation.
In the garden, Troi asks if Soji has ever seen real tomatoes before; Soji admits she's never had anything that wasn't from a replicator. Troi offers her one of the freshly-picked ripened tomatoes, and Soji is taken aback at how "real" it tastes, how much better it is. Seeing Soji could use some counsel, Troi tells Kestra to take the tomatoes to her father and set the table, conversing in another language. Troi explains that it was Harpanthi, spoken by the "Mind Witches of the Southern Ice", another invention of Thaddeus. Troi explains he created eleven languages – twelve counting Pahlplah, the language of butterflies, which had only wingbeats rather than words; Soji rather likes the sound of that. Thaddeus had been born and raised aboard starships, and was fascinated by the idea of having a homeworld like Betazed and Earth – so he created his own, Ardani, simply meaning "home". When Thad became sick, they moved to Nepenthe, which became the homeworld he wanted. Troi explains he had contracted mendaxic neurosclerosis, a very rare condition caused by a silicon-based virus which could theoretically be easily cured by culturing infected cells in an active positronic matrix, but when Thad contracted the disease, there were no active matrices, and none allowed to be created because of the synth ban. Troi concludes that 'real' isn't always better. Kestra has told her mother about Soji, how "new" she is; Soji admits she's only guessing on her age, and that she only knows the Romulans seem to want to find out where she was created. She talks about Narek, how he got her to believe he cared for her, that perhaps he even loved her. Soji then says she can't trust Troi or Kestra, and especially not Picard, wondering if it was all some kind of trick just like with Narek. Picard walks up and "admits", with dry humor, that it was all an elaborate plot, and that she was right not to trust any of them. Soji angrily shoves him aside and storms off.
Picard takes it as "encouraging" that she didn't break him in half. Troi bluntly tells Picard, even if it's unprofessional of her, that he had it coming and didn't take Soji's feelings into consideration: while he thought the idea of it all being a simulation was preposterous, Soji had no reason to believe that anything was real, not even herself; her ability to trust was a flaw in her programming. Kestra then calls from the oven, which is producing black smoke. As Riker runs to the oven, Troi admonishes Picard that he needs to be himself – compassionate, patient, curious. Picard adds "useful" to that list. Troi asks Picard to let them help, even to pretend the dinner table was his ready room on the Enterprise. Riker then calls out to "cancel red alert"; it was only a burnt tomato. Troi and Picard walk over to join Riker and Kestra for dinner.
Aboard the Artifact, Hugh and Elnor head back to the cube's queencell. Hugh admits he had been afraid of using its power, but now, angered by the murder of the xBs and his belief that he had failed them, he intends to "take this cube away" from the Romulans forever – which, Narissa remarks as she enters, sounded not only like a treaty violation, but open insurrection… of which she was grateful, as that meant she is now authorized to kill Hugh now. Elnor draws his blade and tells Narissa and her guards in Romulan to "choose to live"; in response, Narissa opens fire with her disruptor. Elnor easily dispatches the guards with his sword. Narissa holsters her disruptor, saying that this was not the way the Zhat Vash fought the Qowat Milat. Elnor sheathes his sword, and engages Narissa in hand-to-hand combat. Narissa pulls one dagger from her belt, brandishing it at Elnor, while she hurls another into Hugh's neck. Elnor rushes to Hugh's side, before angrily pulling the knife from his neck and hurling it at Narissa, who escapes via a transporter. With his dying breaths, Hugh tells Elnor he needs an xB to activate the queencell, before thanking him for letting him be a "hopeful fool" again for one brief moment.
Back on La Sirena, Musiker offers Jurati another slice of red velvet cake and a glass of chocolate milk; Jurati thanks her for being kind to her, considering her a good person. Musiker admits she's more like "the wreckage of a good person", a "temporary good person" in case of emergencies. Jurati begins to break down crying, and Musiker realizes it's about Maddox. Before they can speak further, Rios tells them their "little shadow" has returned. Just then, Jurati begins vomiting, at first what looks to Rios like blood, but which Musiker explains is red velvet. Wincing at the mess as she helps Jurati, she calls for cleanup from Mister Hospitality.
On Nepenthe, as Riker serves dinner, Picard remains unable to contact Rios, and wonders if he needs another ship. Riker and Troi suggest the spaceport at Infinity Lake, if he's willing to wait; they had weekly services, but independent contractors were rare. Kestra suggests Captain Crandall and his ship, the Inside Straight, which she admits is somewhat broken – just like Crandall, Riker adds. Even if Picard were to get another ship, Riker wonders where he would go with it. Soji says they would go "home", explaining how Narek used Zhal Makh to find the planet she was created on. Picard explains that when Dahj first came to him, she had just been activated by the Romulans' first attempt on her life. Like Soji, she found she had incredible defensive capabilities. He asks her to listen to the timbre of his voice, feel the fluctuations of his heart rate, and to note the dilation of his pupils… asking her to trust him. Kestra asks if she believes him; Soji admits Picard believes he's telling the truth, but that doesn't mean anything. Picard explains she was created from the remnants of Data, who had given his life to save his, and that was part of the reason he wanted to help her find her home. But mainly, Picard admits that when Dahj found him, he was simply wasting his days at home, not truly living his life; now he had a mission, and no one, not even Soji, could stop him from carrying it out. Soji finally reveals that what she had seen through the skylight during the Zhal Makh, the planet with the electrical storms and two red moons. Riker speculates that this was where Maddox went to restart his research on synthetic life during the ban. Kestra tells Soji she has a homeworld. Soji agrees that she does indeed have her own Ardani, and tells Picard she wants to go there. Riker points out the Romulans have a head start, and Troi believes given what the Romulans did to Dahj and attempted to do to Soji, the planet was in terrible danger. Riker suggests that Picard reach out to Starfleet but first Picard has to know where they're going. Kestra, having been fiddling with a comm device under the table after Soji's description, reveals she asked Captain Crandall: They're looking for a planet in the Ghulion system in the Vayt sector, which didn't have a name, only a number.
Rios takes Jurati to La Sirena's sickbay, while Jurati insists she is fine, that she simply ate too much cake. Rios explains he took her aside because the "shadow" keeps tailing them, and he thinks Musiker is being tracked by the Romulans. He points out how suspicious she was acting en route to Freecloud, doing a "goodbye forever" routine… and then came back, no explanation. Jurati knows she is the one being tracked, not Musiker, but Rios isn't buying it: Jurati's been on the ship since they left Earth, so the Romulans could not have put a tracker on her. Just then, Musiker calls Rios back to the bridge: the "shadow" is back. After Rios leaves, Jurati replicates a dose of noranium hydride, which the computer warns could have neurotoxic effects depending on the species. She hesitates only for a moment before she puts the hypospray to her neck, then collapses to the deck. Emil activates to find her on the floor, foaming at the mouth. Tailing La Sirena aboard his scout ship, Narek curses as he suddenly loses the signal: the noranium hydride has canceled out Jurati's tracker. Emil calls Rios to sickbay, as Jurati is now in a coma.
Aboard the Artifact, Elnor observes a comm chip, similar to the one Seven of Nine had given to Picard on La Sirena, hanging from a console used by Hugh. He uses it to send out an emergency signal to the Fenris Rangers. Clasping the comm chip in his hands, he hunkers down to wait.
On Nepenthe, with mugs in their hands Riker leads Picard to a small lookout over a large, picturesque pond. Picard tells Riker that La Sirena only came into comms range late the previous evening. When asked by Riker about the crew and what they are like, Picard refers to them as "decidedly motley", and that there had been nothing but drama since they left Earth. Picard asks Riker if he had ever thought of going back to Starfleet; Riker is on active reserve, but admits he would need a good reason. He believes that Picard shouldn't have retired in the first place, but also says he'd done his fair share of saving planets, and no one would fault him for staying home and letting somebody else do it. Picard gratefully thanks Riker for many things, but foremost for not talking him out of his mission. Riker assures his former commanding officer that that has always been a losing proposition. Back in the house, Kestra draws a picture of Soji while she sleeps, and both express that they would miss the other after Soji leaves. Kestra admits she doesn't understand it all but knows something bad happened to Soji, just as something bad had happened to her. Her parents helped her through it, but while Soji may not have parents, she does have Picard. Soji isn't so sure, but Kestra says they could be there for one another if they wanted. Soji says that she'll think about it.
Picard embraces his old friends as he and Soji prepare to leave before Kestra runs out and hands Soji the broken compass, saying she only had to pretend it worked. She then warmly hugs her, which Soji returns after a moment. Picard then taps the comm pin on his chest, calling for two to beam up.
"I blame you for this!"
"Me?! How is this my fault?!"
"'Chris, baby, he's an old man. How far is he gonna get?' Now Picard's en route to a planet that's days away at maximum warp– don't ask me how– and I'm tractor-locked onto a Borg cube full of Romulans!"
- - Cristóbal Rios and Raffi Musiker
"Everybody here thinks you're crazy."
"… and brave. Adios, kid."
- - Rios and Agnes Jurati, to Elnor, on his decision to remain on the Artifact
"You might want to point that thing at my head. My heart is solid duritanium."
- - Picard, to Kestra
"You're in trouble. How bad?"
- - Troi and Picard's first words to each other
"Oh, you need a place to hide out? Shields up! Perimeter scans to max! We've had a little trouble around here with the Kzinti."
"Best to run anti-cloaking scans too."
- - Riker and Picard
"You cut out the venom sacs?"
"Nope, I left them all in so we can all spew black bile and die."
- - Troi and Kestra
"It seems weird to make an android with mucus and saliva, but I guess Data would do it like that."
- - Kestra
"We're not going to stay. I'm not going to put all of you in danger. The minute I get the next move sorted, Soji and I will be gone."
"Don't be silly. You heard Will. Stay as long as you like. It's just that, if something were to happen to Kestra-"
"Of course. Deanna, I understand."
"I'm not as brave as I used to be, Jean-Luc."
"Then you're getting wiser."
- - Picard and Troi
"I got a paying client, Agnes. You just came along for the ride."
"And now, you come along for a ride with Auntie Raffi. She's gonna hook you up with whatever you need. Okay?"
"Is it cake?"
"You bet it's cake."
- - Rios, Musiker, and Jurati
"What have you gotten yourself into, Jean-Luc? Can you tell me?"
"No. I never wanted you to get involved in any of this, Will. Coming here was a desperate impulse. I regret it already."
"Copy that. I'll stick to making pizza. I'm just thinking how great it would be if ignorance of danger was all it took to keep it away from the people we love."
"That's not what I was saying."
- - Riker and Picard
"Commander Riker and I served together on the USS Enterprise."
"And you were the greatest captain ever, I heard."
"The greatest captain ever? Where'd you get that nonsense?"
"From me?! I must have been drinking at the time."
- - Picard, Soji, Riker, and Kestra
"Classic Picard arrogance. You get to make the decisions about who gets to take chances, and who doesn't, and who's in the loop and who's out of the loop, and naturally, it always ends up with you."
"That's fine on the bridge of your starship, Captain, but now you're dealing with a teenager, more or less. That can be an extremely humbling experience."
- - Riker and Picard
"This isn't something a ship's counselor is supposed to say, but you had it coming."
- - Troi, to Picard, after Soji angrily shoves him aside
"How's this for a lost cause? I was that much of a… hopeful fool again, for a minute. Thanks… for that."
- - Hugh's last words
"Need some more milk?"
"That's probably overdoing it."
"No such thing on Planet Raffi."
- - Musiker and Jurati
"What is the nature of your– Oh, bloody hell!"
- - Emil, seeing Jurati in a seizure
"Captain Rios, would you please come to sickbay?"
"Is it Agnes? Is she still having stomach trouble?"
"At the moment, I'm more concerned with the fact that she's in a coma."
- - Emil and Rios
"I never thought you had any business retiring in the first place."
"And you were right."
- - Riker and Picard
- 20 February 2020: Title publicly revealed  
- Isa Briones revealed on her Instagram that LeVar Burton and Michael Dorn visited the set during the filming of this episode.
- The title of this episode is a reference to Greek mythology. Nepenthe is a fictional medication that makes sorrows disappear. The substance is referenced in Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven," where it is a "kind" concoction which would cause the writer to lose the memory of his lost love.
- This is the only episode of Star Trek: Picard that displays the episode title onscreen after the opening credits. Although every episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation featured episode titles after the main title sequence, the newer series generally don't display the episode title. It occurs here only because of the establishing shot of the planet Nepenthe.
Cast and characters
- Despite appearing in the episode, Harry Treadaway (Narek) is not listed in the opening credits. Although he appears in multiple scenes, he only speaks a few words at the beginning and near the end of the episode.
- With this episode, Jonathan Frakes (William T. Riker) became the only performer to appear in five different live-action Star Trek series, and he and Marina Sirtis (Deanna Troi) became the only performers to play the same character in four different live-action Star Trek series.
- This episode introduces the children of Riker and Troi.
- Kestra Troi-Riker is named after Deanna Troi's older sister Kestra Troi, whose death was detailed in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Dark Page".
- Thaddeus Troi-Riker is named after William T. Riker's ancestor Thaddius Riker, who was mentioned in the Star Trek: Voyager episode "Death Wish".
- This episode marks the death of Hugh, making him the second ex-Borg from a previous Star Trek series to die in Star Trek: Picard, after Icheb whose death opened "Stardust City Rag".
- A shot of Hugh looking around a corner at Elnor and Narissa fighting already has the knife Narissa will throw shortly to kill Hugh in his neck, in an apparent missed VFX shot.
- Two VFX shots from the Star Trek: Discovery episode "If Memory Serves" were recycled and modified to portray the Admonition seen during the mind meld between Commodore Oh and Doctor Agnes Jurati.
Music and sound
- When Soji opens up about Narek, a reorchestration of the theme from the Star Trek: The Original Series episode "Balance of Terror" is heard.
- This episode reveals that three weeks have passed between this episode and "The End is the Beginning". This appears to contradict the previous episode, in which Hugh claimed that Narek had arrived on the Artifact (in "Remembrance") two weeks prior — suggesting either a continuity error, or that the scenes set on the Artifact in the early episodes of Picard do not take place at the same time as the scenes set on Earth.
- It is revealed in a flashback that Commodore Oh had performed a Vulcan mind meld on Agnes Jurati. It is also revealed that she had provided Agnes with a tracker.
- Jurati mentions the gormagander, which was first featured on the Star Trek: Discovery episode "Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad".
- In the flashback set during "The End is the Beginning", Jurati listens to Kasseelian opera, a genre of music first heard in the same Star Trek: Discovery episode that introduced the gormagander.
- The scenario Jurati describes is a reference to the Star Wars film The Empire Strikes Back, in which the Millennium Falcon crew hides inside an asteroid cave, only to discover it is actually the mouth of an exogorth. (citation needed • edit)
- Picard mentions that his heart is solid duritanium. He had received an artificial heart in 2327, after he was stabbed by a Nausicaan during a brawl in a bar. He also had at least one replacement in 2365, after putting it off for far too long. (TNG: "Samaritan Snare", "Tapestry")
- This is the first live-action episode to mention the Kzinti. They first appeared in the Star Trek: The Animated Series episode "The Slaver Weapon". Writer Michael Chabon contacted Larry Niven, who created the Kzinti in his short stories and novels, to make sure that he approved of the reference. 
- While telling Soji about Commander Data, Kestra references several episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation:
- Data's ability to play the violin ("Sarek", "In Theory", "Inheritance")
- Data's dreaming subroutine ("Birthright, Part I", "Phantasms")
- Data's desire to understand and master the art of comedy ("The Outrageous Okona")
- Data learning how to dance ("Data's Day")
- Data's love of Sherlock Holmes ("Lonely Among Us", "Elementary, Dear Data", "Data's Day", "Ship in a Bottle")
- Troi demonstrates her aptitude to several of Thad's invented languages, referencing her own childhood linguistic talents. ("Dark Page")
- Riker informs Soji that he has known Picard for thirty-five years. Indeed, the two first met in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Encounter at Farpoint", set in 2364.
- Kestra mentions that Captain Crandall has allegedly been to Tyken's Rift, which was mentioned in TNG: "Night Terrors" as being similar to or identical to the phenomena encountered in that episode.
Links and references
- Patrick Stewart as Jean-Luc Picard
- Alison Pill as Agnes Jurati
- Isa Briones as Soji Asha
- Evan Evagora as Elnor
- Michelle Hurd as Raffaela Musiker
Special guest star
- Marina Sirtis as Deanna Troi
- Jonathan Del Arco as Hugh
- Peyton List as Narissa
- Tamlyn Tomita as Oh
- Derek Webster as Tarent
- Lulu Wilson as Kestra Troi-Riker
- Bryant Burnett as a Romulan guard
- Ernesto Chaverri as an xB
- K DaCosta as a Romulan guard
- Guy Fernandez, Jr. as a Hirogen xB
- Harry Treadaway as Narek
- Keisha Tucker as an xB
- Peter Wallack as a Romulan guard
- Unknown performers as
2364; 2381; 2385; 2395; 2396; ache; active reserve; agent; Alaska; Andes, The; android; Angriest Girl in the Alpha Quadrant, The; anti-cloaking scans; archery; Artifact; Asha, Dahj; Asimov, Isaac; Atlas of Fantasy, An; Bagrow; ballroom dance; ban; basil (Antarean basil); beaming; bed (bunk bed); Betazed; Betazoid (book); Betazoid (species); Bewlay Island; bile; black; blood; blue; body language; Borg; Borg cube; Borg hull drone; Borg machine language; bow and arrow; brother; bunnicorn; butterflies; Byzantine; cake (red velvet cake); captain; captain (title); Cartographia; cell; centurion; cheese; cheese grater; chef; Church of John Coltrane Tabernacle Choir; cigar; cloak (clothing); cloaks (effect); coat; coma; comet; comm pin; commander; commodore; compass; cooking; costume; counselor; Crandall, Rupert; Crunge, The; dagger; Data; Daystrom Institute; Daystrom Institute floating city; death; deflector shield; dinosaur; Director of Starfleet Security; disruptor pistol; DNA; doctor; drawing; dream; duritanium; Early Jazz; Earth; Earth Then and Now; electrical storm; Emergency Medical Hologram (EMH); emotion; empathy; Enterprise-D, USS; Enterprise-E, USS; face paint; father (dad); Fenris Rangers beacon; Fenris SOS; fiction; fire; forest; France; Freecloud; fucking; game; garden; Ghulion system; gigabyte; glommer; gormagander; head; headphones; heart (artificial heart); heart rate; Hex Wrench; HIchmey nga'chuq; Hirogen; History of Cartography; Holmes, Sherlock; homeworld; hood; horgl; Hortas, The; hospitality emergency; house (Troi-Riker house); Human; hunting; hybrid; hypospray; imzadi; infection; Infinity Lake Spaceport; Inside Straight; jazz; Jazz/Anti-Jazz Reactor, The; joke; Kalman Nebula and his Maximum Warp Klezmorim; Kasseelian opera; Klingonese; Kzinti; La Barre; lake (Infinity Lake); language (words); La Sirena; laws of thermodynamics; Leppo and the Jooves; lighter; lightning; lying; Lunchmeat Island; Maddox, Bruce; magic; map; meat; mendaxic neurosclerosis (MN); milk (chocolate milk); mind game; mind meld; Mind Witches of the Southern Ice; Mistah Kurtz; mom (mum); moon; mucus; murder; music; music festival; name; nap; Nepenthe; Nepenthe's moons; Newton, Isaac; nonsense; noranium hydride; number; Okinawa; operative; Orbital Control; oven; pacifist; Pahlplah; paper book; parent; Pearce; people; perimeter scans; Personal Access Display Device (PADD); photograph; pier; pizza; planet; Plastic Btls; positronic matrix; Post; poster; pupil; qalankhkai; Qo'noS; Qowat Milat; queencell; raccoon; ready room; red; red alert; Remedios the Beauty; replicator; Riolozhikaik; Romulan; Romulan drone; Romulan language; Romulan starship; Romulan workbee; Romulus; saliva (spit); sausage (bunnicorn sausage); scanner; seahorse; seal; shower; sibling; Silverstein; simulation; sister; Skelton; Sleep Engines; smoking; snakehead (Narek's snakehead); soil; Spanish language; Stardust City; Starfleet; Starfleet insignia; Starfleet uniform (2390s); Starfleet uniform (mid 2380s); starship; stuffed animal; sublimation; Subsector 11; subterfuge; subthruster; sunglasses; sushi; synth; synthetic homeworld; synthetic homeworld's moons; Tal Shiar; tan qalanq; teenager; tomato; towel; toy; toy car; tracking device; tractor beam; traffic control system; trajector effect; trophy; Tyken's Rift; Vayt sector; venom sacs; violin; virus (silicon-based virus); voice; vomiting; Vulcan; wedding ring; weeds; Where the Sidewalk Ends; Wild Girl of the Woods; window; wine; wingbeats; wood; xB; years; Yukawa Couplings, The; Zhal Makh; Zhat Vash
Ardani note and drawing references
Accursed Mountains; Ancient Khmer; Aptlanka; Ardani; barbarians; Black Bear Way; Darshandok; Gentero Village; Great Lakes; Harpanthi; horses; Innersea; Isqitar; Karv; Karvanno; Kelu; Niktlin; Northeastern Continent; Ondstanda; Outersea; Panthali; Qirilim; Shandokli; Southern Archipelago; Striq; Summer Ridings; tents; Ukelu; Viveen; Viveena; Winter Ridings; Yz;
- "Nepenthe" at Memory Beta, the wiki for licensed Star Trek works
- "Star Trek: Picard Episode 7, "Nepenthe"" at MissionLogPodcast.com, a Roddenberry Star Trek podcast
- Observations in PIC: "Nepenthe" at Ex Astris Scientia
"The Impossible Box"
|Star Trek: Picard