It’s a testament to how unpredictably well-crafted the final season of “Picard” is that the Changelings resurfacing isn’t the season’s biggest villain reveal. Throughout the season, Picard’s son Jack Crusher (Ed Speleers) is hunted by Changelings while receiving recurring visions of an ominous red door. Realizing the source of his visions is hiding out on Jupiter, Jack confronts the threat alone, with the mysterious antagonist revealed to be the Borg Queen. To make matters worse, the Queen allies with the Changelings, the Changelings helping her secretly assimilate Starfleet personnel as unwitting sleeper agents.
The Borg Queen has managed to endure on-screen death on two previous occasions, but her return on “Picard” doesn’t feel cheap or derivative. Allied with the Changelings, the Queen’s plan is already largely completed by the time Jack and Picard discover what they’re up against, effectively stacking the deck against the heroes. To pour additional salt on the wound, Jack is among the Queen’s sleeper agents, assimilated as the Borg initiate their endgame to destroy the Federation. The final season of “Picard” wraps its first half bringing back one major enemy, only to turn around and top it with compounding plot twists in the penultimate episode.