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Hugh’s Death Is Star Trek: Picard’s First Big Mistake


Star Trek: Picard has dedicated its first unforgivable mistake with the demise of Hugh. The previous Borg drone was launched over 25 years in the past within the Star Trek: The Subsequent Era episode “I, Borg” a TNG basic that went a good distance towards humanizing the cybernetic zombies. Hugh’s individuality primarily contaminated the Borg when he rejoined the collective; a bunch of newly sentient drones would fall underneath the affect of Lore, Lieutenant Commander Information’s evil brother, earlier than he was vanquished by the Enterprise crew. Picard instructed Hugh could be a effective chief for this new breed of Borg, and certainly, he spent the following twenty years serving to former Borg drones – known as exBs – rediscover their humanity.

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Hugh’s life was minimize brief in brutal, jarring trend within the collection’ seventh episode “Nepenthe”, seemingly simply as he was reaching his full potential as a person. It is a violent, cynical misstep for Star Trek: Picard, a present that has already are available in for criticisms of being too darkish and graphically violent. A lot of these complaints are inclined to ignore the wealthy, sophisticated historical past of Star Trek, the place the Federation’s ethical superiority is examined and pushed to the restrict, however Hugh’s demise is one thing completely different.

Associated: Star Trek: Picard’s Borg Dice Was First Launched In Voyager

Hugh’s demise feels extra like a plot machination than a aware effort to present a a lot beloved character a correct sendoff, and followers have been up in arms because the episode debuted, outraged that Hugh ended up such a small a part of Picard’s story. To know the fury directed at Star Trek: Picard over Hugh’s demise, it is vital to know what Hugh represented as a personality and an idea.

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Hugh Was The Borg Of Hope

In “I, Borg,” Hugh was initially known as Third of 5, simply one other Borg drone the Enterprise unintentionally rescued when it detected a misery sign. Captain Picard had each intention of utilizing Hugh as a weapon in opposition to the collective with a virus, one thing akin to an involuntary suicide bomber. However Dr. Beverly Crusher and Lieutenant Commander Geordi LaForge started to note Hugh’s individuality resurface the longer he was away from the collective, and so they turned uncomfortable with Picard’s plan. Picard – himself haunted by the trauma he endured when he was assimilated as Locutus – lastly relented when he met Hugh nose to nose and have become satisfied he was an unbiased, sentient lifeform.

After shepherding the freed Borg after Lore’s demise, Hugh turned the director of the Borg Reclamation Challenge aboard the artifact. There he was underneath the thumb of Romulans who despised the Borg and harvested them for his or her superior expertise. Hugh was content material to stay on this compromised ethical territory till Jean-Luc Picard confirmed up at his doorstep, searching for Dr. Soji Asha, who’s secretly the daughter of Information. Hugh helped Picard and Soji escape the Romulans – who consider Soji to be a prophesied destroyer – left behind with Picard’s younger Romulan ally Elnor.

After Narissa executed a handful of exBs to punish Hugh for his function in serving to Picard escape, Hugh and Elnor plotted to take the dice away from the Romulans utilizing the ability of the Queen Cell. However earlier than Hugh can put his plan into impact, he and Elnor come underneath assault by Narissa, who kills Hugh by throwing a dagger into his neck. Together with his dying breaths, Hugh thanks Elnor for making him really feel so alive once more, and palms him a Fenris Ranger S.O.S. beacon, which presumably means Seven of 9 will probably be becoming a member of the social gathering shortly.

Associated: Star Trek: Picard’s Steel Coronary heart From TNG Flashbacks Defined

It is a good gesture – and really in character – for Hugh to nonetheless be pondering of the exBs as he lay dying, however it’s a surprisingly bloody scene, and the demise would not land with the emotional weight {that a} character of Hugh’s reputation deserves. It is also, fairly frankly, form of a dumb demise; Narissa is initially unable to kill Hugh as a result of he has diplomatic immunity as a Federation citizen. However Hugh’s loud, aggressive ranting about open rebellion sealed his destiny, and made the character appear dumber than he often is – even Narissa was a bit baffled that Hugh would not suppose he was being monitored after serving to Picard escape.

Star Trek: Picard Has A Dying Downside

The critiques for Star Trek: Picard have largely been robust, and whereas the present has not been with out its points, it is acquired a reasonably heat reception from Star Trek fandom as effectively, definitely hotter than what greeted Star Trek: Discovery or the J.J. Abrams reboot movies. However the present is beginning to develop a nasty behavior that it wants to interrupt in a rush. Picard has introduced in three well-known minor Star Trek characters – TNG’s Bruce Maddox, Voyager’s Icheb, and TNG’s Hugh – and proceeded to brutally homicide all three. It looks like lazy, “anyone can die!” Sport of Thrones knockoff storytelling, and the present is nice sufficient that it could actually afford to maintain its bloodlust in test. Minor characters are at all times going to finish up cannon fodder in reveals like Star Trek: Picard, however it’s virtually as if these three had been picked to inflict probably the most emotional injury on its viewers as doable, and so they merely went a pair steps too far.

However with all due respect, there are not any hardcore Bruce Maddox followers, and the Icheb fanbase is decidedly small, however Hugh is a really completely different story. Hugh was the car by way of which the Borg turned one thing extra than simply monsters bent on conquest; Hugh made the Borg actual, and reminded the viewers of what Picard himself not too long ago famous on the Artifact: the Borg are victims, not monsters. Certainly, he served as one thing of a template character for Seven of Nine, the drone-turned-human who dominated the again half of Voyager and is the wild card in Picard. That Hugh was capable of transcend his trauma and assist so many others, and nonetheless die a violent, useless demise, looks like a slap within the face to followers who felt Hugh represented one thing larger than himself.

Star Trek: Picard is basically hitting the proper notes. Its measured use of nostalgia, its nice forged, and its themes of redemption and remorse have all landed superbly, making it probably the most profitable Star Trek collection in a era. However the present must be cautious to not twist fan service into one thing decidedly darker for cynical causes, as has occurred with a lot style tv of this period. Star Trek can go to darkish locations, however it has to have the ability to come again from the darkness. There is no coming again for Hugh, and that is a real disgrace.

Subsequent: Star Trek: Picard Lastly Gave Us The Riker TNG’s Films By no means Did

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About The Creator

Dusty Stowe has been writing for Display screen Rant since 2016. A local of Yorktown, Virginia, he moved to Los Angeles in 2010 to pursue a profession within the leisure business. He at the moment writes lists, options, and information articles protecting motion pictures, comics, and tv. He’s a loyal fan of Physician Who, DC Comics, and no matter David Lynch deems us worthy of viewing. Star Trek: The Subsequent Era lit up his 5 year-old mind like a firework, guaranteeing he’d be a progressive nerd for the remainder of his life. His present focuses are on protecting the Arrowverse, Star Trek: Discovery, and the DC Cinematic Universe. He’s additionally a skilled audio engineer with a level from the Los Angeles Movie College, and manages a number of company social media accounts. He actually, actually needs a brand new Inexperienced Lantern film. You may speak to him about soccer, politics, and his bizarre nerd takes on Twitter @dustystowe.

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