Picard's Big Season 3 Twist Was a Long Time Coming

Showrunner Terry Matalas explains why he put new emphasis on "the next generation."

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Jean-Luc Picard and Will Riker look at each other somberly.
Photo: Trae Patton/Paramount

Star Trek: Picard’s final season is currently airing on Paramount+, but the former crew of the Enterprise-D has plenty of new problems to deal with. The biggest by far, however, was just revealed in today’s episode, “Disengage,” and it’s a twist that will force Jean-Luc to grapple with his past—which is exactly what showrunner Terry Matalas wanted.

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Season three of Picard is focused on two themes: “sins of the past” and “the next generation.” Both come to a head in Jack Crusher, the new character played by Ed Speleers, who is revealed to be not only the son of medical officer Beverly Crusher in last week’s premiere, but at the climax of this week’s as also being the secret son of Picard. It’s a truth Jean-Luc realizes merely by looking in the eyes of his former will-they/won’t-they flame when Jack offers to give himself to the season’s villain, Vadic (Amanda Plummer), who’s hunting him for as-yet unknown reasons.

“I felt like this had to be not only a passing the torch to the next generation, but a look-back at the last generation and an introspective look at what they viewed as the sins of their pasts,” Terry Matalas told EW. “As the season goes on and you see what it’s all about, there are great regrets for all of them, but also a celebration of their triumphs that these are things that they could only overcome by coming together as this family. Showing that to a new generation, that just seems obvious. That should be the story.”


Hopefully, the story will also explain why Beverly felt the need to keep Jack a secret from Jean-Luc all these years, and whether Wesley (Wil Wheaton) knows he has a half-brother or not. Meanwhile, for more on Picard, keep an eye out for io9's recap of “Disengage” coming later today.

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