Star Trek: Picard Season 3 Is Giving Seven Of Nine A Fascinating New Trajectory

The arc of Seven of Nine (Jeri Ryan) throughout "Star Trek" has been turbulent and strange.

Seven of Nine (Jeri Ryan) first appeared on "Star Trek: Voyager" at the end of its third season, and became a regular in its fourth. Seven of Nine was a Borg drone assigned to work with the U.S.S. Voyager as part of an elaborate negotiation Capt. Janeway (Kate Mulgrew) made with the malevolent cyborgs. When she was separated from the Borg collective, Seven of Nine had many of her cybernetic implants removed, save a few facial machines and apparatus on her hand. She was still a Borg, but slowly began learning how to behave like a human again. By the end of the series, Seven was a full-fledged member of the crew and even took small steps toward having a proper relationship with the Voyager's first officer Chakotay (Robert Beltran). 

In the first season of "Star Trek: Picard," Seven of Nine's life seems to have taken a very dramatic turn for the worse. No longer exploring her humanity, Seven had taken up work as a badass bounty hunter who went around murdering bad guys, holding phasers in each hand. In one scene, she kicks a Romulan off a ledge. Later in the season, she talks about turning over a new leaf, claiming she won't kill anyone "just because they deserve it." It seems she's leaving some wiggle room to murder under other circumstances. Th season ends well for her, though. She seems to hit it off, romantically, with the character Raffi (Michelle Hurd), and, beginning with season two, Seven and Raffi will be involved in an on-again-off-again relationship.

The rise and fall and rise and fall and rise of Seven of Nine

The second season of "Picard" saw Seven traveling back in time to prevent a causality cataclysm, forcing her and Raffi to explore Los Angeles in the year 2024. They were often too focused on their mission to contemplate the state of their relationship, but at least they got some time together. Also, they could bond over their mutual capacity for killing. "Picard" is a very violent show. 

In a strange moral twist, the characters of "Picard" briefly occupied parallel universe versions of themselves in a dimension where they were all horrible villains. Picard (Patrick Stewart) was, in this parallel universe, a murderous general who kept his victims' skulls as souvenirs, and Seven of Nine found that she ruled Earth as its fascist empress. The implication here is strange. It seems that Seven was weirdly fated to become a killer in any universe. She assimilated many as a Borg, but she was robbed of her free will. Her movement toward humanity was, perhaps, a form of atonement. Her work as a bounty hunter felt like a moral fall again. She has returned to taking lives. Had she never been assimilated, however, Seven would have become a fascist regardless. Her path has, it seems, always been muddy. 

In the third season of "Picard," however, Seven appears to be back on the straight-and-narrow. She is introduced already serving as the first officer aboard the U.S.S. Titan under Capt. Shaw (Todd Stashwick). She will mention that her friendship with Picard, and a recommendation from Janeway, led her to pursue a career in Starfleet. In serving on board a starship again, Seven has chosen to devote her life to the "Star Trek" ideals of diplomacy, peace, science, and exploration. 

Seven, the officere

Seven was, at least on "Voyager," a scientific, powerfully intelligent character. She was so smart, a cadre of supra-intellectuals once tried to recruit her. She had a near-religious experience when witnessed the formation of a new kind of subatomic particle. Seven was exactly the kind of nerd that would have thrived on a starship. It was only after years of recovery following her de-assimilation by the Borg that she was able to come to that conclusion. At the conclusion of "Voyager," a viewer might easily picture her becoming a science officer or an engineer. 

A first officer, however, finds their stock in command. On board the U.S.S. Titan in the new season of "Picard," Seven will have to make quick command decisions and intuit the will of her captain. It's a role that involves a great deal of humanity and instinct, fields through which Seven is still, it seems, stumbling. In a very human way, of course, but still stumbling. It isn't helped by the fact that Capt. Shaw is a self-described a-hole who refuses even to use her preferred name (prior to Borg assimilation as a girl, she was a human named Annika Hansen). This was supposed to be the good path, and Seven is now finding herself fighting for dignity.

Seven's new arc, then, is vocational. For Seven, Starfleet may provide a path to healing and redemption after her violent bounty hunter job, but she's struggling to regain her humanity a second time. On a starship, her chances to avoid murder may be high, but this isn't going to be easy for her. 

Seven's many fans are likely rooting for her. Someday, life will not be a struggle.