Picard Season 3 Episode 2 Easter Eggs: The Best Star Trek References
The latest episode of Picard season 3, "Disengage," features plenty of easter eggs and references to other parts of the Star Trek universe!
This Star Trek: Picard article contains spoilers.
Part of what makes Star Trek: Picard season 3 so compelling for old-school TNG fans is the endless love these episodes have for the ‘90s era of Trek. But the references and easter eggs actually go way beyond just The Next Generation. In fact, what makes this season so interesting when it comes to the deep cuts is the fact that some references extend way beyond the Star Trek universe, and into other fandoms and franchises.
So, with that in mind, here are all the best easter eggs we caught for Picard season 3, episode 2, “Disengage.”
The Shrike Hiding in the Star Trek Logo Introduction
Since Strange New Worlds, the new shows have opened with a Star Trek logo, complete with whichever ship is the “star” of the particular program. But there are sometimes small easter eggs lurking in these intros. For example, in the Lower Decks intro, there’s sometimes a koala hidden in the nebula. For this episode of Picard, Captain Vadic’s ship, the Shrike can briefly be glimpsed in the intro as the USS Titan warps around.
“Starchild” by Baby
Jack Crusher (Ed Speleers) is jamming out to a 1974 track called “Starchild” by the Texas-based band Baby. This band did not last and isn’t particularly famous, but this track is totally killer and Jack clearly has good taste.
Jack Crusher Jr.
Although nobody mentions it outright in this episode (though maybe they will in a future one) the new Jack Crusher is obviously named after Jack Crusher Sr., Beverly Crusher’s late husband. In The Next Generation, we learned that Jack Crusher died under Picard’s command onboard the USS Stargazer. In “The Bonding,” we even learned that Wesley Crusher blamed Picard for the death of his dad. Jack’s name clearly has a lot of baggage!
Jack identifies the SS Eleos as a “Mariposa medical vessel.” This references the 21st-century Mariposa medical clinic run by Dr. Teresa Ramirez in Picard season 2. Because Rios stayed behind in the 21st century to help Teresa with humanitarian aid, it seems like this type of medical vessel might exist, indirectly, because of Rios.
Jack tangos with some Fenris Rangers in this short flashback, and briefly, they talk about taking Romulan Ale as a bribe. The bottle style of the Romulan ale is identical to the same bottle Bones had in The Wrath of Khan, which is when we first learned about Romulan ale.
Riker and Picard’s Shuttle Is Called “Saavik”
The shuttle that Riker and Picard took from the Titan is revealed to have the name “Saavik.” This is a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it easter egg, just as the wreckage from the shuttle flies at the screen. Saavik, of course, references the 23rd-century half-Vulcan-half-Romulan protégé of Spock, first introduced in The Wrath of Khan.
In that film, Saavik was played by Kirstie Alley, and then later by Robin Curtis in The Search for Spock and The Voyage Home. In the backstory of the USS Titan, revealed by Paramount’s official “logs” Instagram account, it turns out Saavik was the captain of the first USS Titan, which predates Riker’s Titan and Shaw’s Titan by almost a century. In this episode, gold models of all three Titans are on display in the briefing room.
Also, having shuttlecraft named after former captains of previous versions of your starship is an old tradition. In the TNG episode “The Most Toys,” Data flew a shuttlecraft called “Pike,” which, of course, references Captain Pike, an earlier captain of a different Enterprise.
The Titan’s Rescue of the SS Eleos
When the Titan warps in at the last second to save Picard, Riker, Jack Crusher, and Beverly, the moment is very reminiscent of when the Enterprise-E warped in to save the Defiant from the Borg in First Contact. Even the angle is similar!
Captain Vadic’s IRL Lineage
If Captain Vadic’s chair seemed reminiscent of General Chang’s giant Klingon chair in The Undiscovered Country, it should. The chair is very similar. Maybe Vadic borrowed it from General Chang? In real life, the actress who plays Vadic is Amanda Plummer, the daughter of Christopher Plummer, who played Chang in Star Trek VI.
Picard’s Synth Body
Vadic mentions that Picard is “in the synthetic flesh.” This references the fact that Jean-Luc was reborn in a Synth body at the end of Picard season 1. Notably, when the Titan tries to beam everyone over from the Eleos, all the lifeform readings scan as “human.” Picard’s Synth body truly does pass for flesh. He’s like a Replicant. Only better.
Lt. Mura (Joseph Lee), a Bajoran, mentions that the Shrike is rocking a huge arsenal, including “Isolytic Weapons.” This references Star Trek: Insurrection when Geordi explained that isolytic bursts are basically subspace weapons.
Jack Crusher’s Aliases
All of the various false names that Jack Crusher has used over the years are hilarious. But the biggest reference here is “James Cole.” That refers to the protagonist of 12 Monkeys, played by Bruce Willis in the 1995 movie and Aaron Stanford in the Syfy reboot. That version of 12 Monkeys also starred Todd Stashwick, who plays Captain Liam Shaw on this season of Picard, and was produced by Terry Matalas, the showrunner for Picard season 3.
Aaron Stanford Cameo: James Cole Returns!
Later in this episode, Aaron Stanford, James Cole himself from 12 Monkeys, appears as the Ferengi crime boss Sneed. He even refers to the drug that he offers Raffi as “Splinter,” which references the time travel tech from that show. Stanford also starred with Patrick Stewart in X-Men 2, where he played Pyro. However, he doesn’t share any scenes with Stewart in this episode, since Worf, you know, cuts off his head.
When Picard is grilling Jack, he says that Jack is wanted for “organized crime on Andoria” and “Terrorism on Bynar 3.” Andoria references the homeworld of the Andorians, and also the Aenar. Meanwhile, Bynar 3 is a reference to the species first introduced in the TNG episode “11001001.”
Is That Sisko’s Baseball?
When Sneed tells Raffi he’s obsessed with “human things,” we see a baseball, which will make many Deep Space Nine fans wonder if he somehow got his hands on Sisko’s baseball from DS9 itself. In the Lower Decks episode “Hear All, Trust Nothing” Kira still had Sisko’s baseball in 2381. But this is 2402. Could someone have stolen it?
Appropriately, Sneed accused Raffi of being part of Section 31, Starfleet’s super-secret agency which was first introduced in the DS9 episode “Inquisition.” Section 31 also appears in Enterprise, Lower Decks, Star Trek Into Darkness, and, extensively, in Discovery. Technically, although it is referenced here, Raffi is not part of Section 31, but rather, working for Starfleet Intelligence, which, as far as we know, in the 2402 context, is not the same as Section 31. Notably, in the late 24th century, Section 31 was not as well known as it was in the 23rd century. So, it’s possible it’s even more underground in the 25th century.
No Money in the Federation
Raffi says that the Federation is an organization that “doesn’t value money,” which references a long-standing concept in Star Trek that the Federation doesn’t use money at all. Kirk joked about this in The Voyage Home. In First Contact, Picard outright said that “money doesn’t exist” in the 24th century.
But since The Original Series, we’ve known there is still plenty of money in the Star Trek future. It’s just that the Federation specifically doesn’t use it. In Discovery season 3, the Orion leader Osyraa pointed out this hypocrisy, noting that the Federation benefits from capitalism, even if within the Federation, there’s no conventional currency.
Sneed’s “Splinter” drug (again, a 12 Monkeys reference) is injected into the eyes. This feels like a very obvious reference to the TNG episode “The Game,” in which Riker brings onboard a virtual reality game that everyone gets addicted to in the worst possible way.
It turns out that Worf is Raffi’s handler at Starfleet intelligence, which makes some of the text messages Raffi received in episode 1 suddenly make a lot more sense. This is the first time Michael Dorn has appeared as Worf since 2002 in the film Star Trek Nemesis. All in all, Worf is the character who has appeared in most episodes of Star Trek, including 174 episodes of The Next Generation and 96 episodes of Deep Space Nine. When we first see his face, we hear Jerry Goldsmith’s “Klingon Theme,” which was first featured in the 1979 film Star Trek: The Motion Picture. Subsequently, this theme was used to represent Worf’s heroics in First Contact.
We talked to Michael Dorn and Michelle Hurd about Worf and Raffi’s new partnership here.
Although we have never seen Worf wield this exact Klingon weapon, it was created by Dan Curry, who also designed the Bat’leth and Worf’s smaller weapon, the Mek’leth. This new Klingon weapon is called a Kur’leth.
Jack Is Picard’s Son
In a twist we all knew was coming, Beverly gets on the bridge and convinces Jean-Luc to fight for Jack. Picard says that Jack is “my son,” and we realize that means that Jack was born sometime right after 2379, following the events of Star Trek Nemesis. This makes him about 22 or 23 years old.
The Blaster Beam
As Picard takes the Titan deeper into the nebula, we hear the infamous “Blaster Beam” sound effect. This famous sound appeared in Star Trek: The Motion Picture as the sound of V’Ger. Although the complex “Blaster Beam” instrument was invented by John Lazelle, it was popularized by Craig Huxley. Prior to his work on making a cool Blaster Beam for TMP, Huxley guest starred in Star Trek: The Original Series when he was a child. In “Operation Annihilate!” he played Peter Kirk and in “And the Children Shall Lead” he played Tommy Starnes. So, when you hear a “blaster beam,” you’re hearing the various Star Trek generations… collide.