Picard Season 3 Demands Our Attention

When she first appeared on “Picard,” Vadic was mysterious, violent, and cruel. She piloted a ship called the Shrike, and was perfectly willing to wipe out whatever vessel stood in the path of her quest to apprehend one Jack Crusher (Ed Speleers). For the show’s first eight episodes, Vadic served as the central villain, cackling with sadistic glee, smoking cigarettes, and consorting with a mysterious overling. She looked a little bit like a Nazi doctor, what with her forward-combed hair and black gloves. 

It turns out there was a reason she looked that way. When Vadic invaded the U.S.S. Titan-A and confronted Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart), she revealed that she and several other Changelings had been kidnapped by the Federation during an infamous war (dramatized at length on “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine”). She and the other Changelings were tortured and experimented on in secret by a Federation scientist … also played by Amanda Plummer. Vadic, then, adopted the face of her torturer and set about on a quest for revenge. She was enraged that Starfleet committed a war crime and was then let off the hook. Her ultimate goal is to destroy as much of the Federation as possible. 

Vadic’s story reveals something gross and dark about Starfleet: evidently, Gene Roddenberry’s idealistic future organization — one devoted to peace and diplomacy — was corrupted by war and employed torture doctors. Starfleet, then, unwittingly created a terrorist faction keen on apocalyptic revenge. Oops.

Vadic, who killed many people on “Picard,” was eventually bested when Seven of Nine (Jeri Ryan) blew her out of an airlock. She died in the vacuum of space. That was in episode eight of 10. 

One might think the final two episodes would involve a reckoning by Picard.

They aren’t.

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