Patrick Stewart Teases An Alternate Picard Season 3 Ending He's Not Allowed To Talk About

This post contains spoilers for the "Star Trek: Picard" series finale.

"Star Trek: Picard" has officially come to an end, closing out with a warm and wonderful scene of Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes, Michael Dorn, Marin Sirtis, Gates McFadden, LeVar Burton, and Brent Spiner hanging out in a bar, playing poker, and shooting the breeze. This was their moment of reunion and relaxation after an elaborate scheme involving Changelings, the Borg, and mysterious X-Men-like brain powers that Picard passed on to his son Jack (Ed Speleers), a son he didn't know about for the past 20 years. After all was said and done, Picard (Stewart) accepted that he was Jack's father, and he and Dr. Crusher (McFadden) seemed to have worked out their long-standing personal acrimony.

A long-standing drama with Jean-Luc Picard has been his solitude. He wasn't lonely, necessarily, but his professional station as a starship captain prevented him from fostering any kind of close personal relationships. He had been burned by a few romances gone awry in the past, and seemed content to remain unattached the rest of his life. In "Star Trek: Generations," the captain revealed that, since he had a brother, the family would at least continue without his input. When his brother and nephew died in a fire, he became distraught. In "Picard," audiences learned that he and Dr. Crusher, after many false starts, attempted a proper romance, had a single awkward tryst, and then split up seemingly for good. The tryst, however, resulted in Jack. Whether or not Picard wanted to start a family, he had one now.

In an interview with Variety, Stewart talked about Picard's personal relationships, as well as a secondary, alternate ending to the "Picard" series that no one will ever see.

Jean-Luc and Beverly

It's worth noting that Jean-Luc Picard was established throughout "Star Trek: The Next Generation" as hating children. He was uncomfortable with the teenage Wesley Crusher (Wil Wheaton) on his bridge and was loath to take a small group of under-10s on a tour of the Enterprise. Being a father was never on his radar, so the appearance of Jack in his life allowed Patrick Stewart to explore a new facet of his character. He found himself finally facing Dr. Crusher in a more meaningful way. Stewart explained:

"I think that the relationship between Dr. Crusher and Picard was what mattered most in this. I read several accounts of parents who only learned that they were parents when the child was quite adult. What it produced in Jean-Luc was fury [...] with Dr. Crusher, because she had not told him. He had not pursued family life as an essential part of his own life; nevertheless, when the thing happened, he was cut out of it. He was isolated."

Stewart commented on the fact that Picard's life expanded in many new career directions as he aged, and how, when he discovered he was a father, those things immediately began to feel insignificant. Picard was finally forced to approach something personally:

"I think that was the toughest thing for him to swallow, that there had been 20-odd years in the life of his only son, and he had not known about it at all. Those 20 years were the years in which he had wandered through being promoted to an admiral, the desk job he had, retiring, becoming a lecturer and a winemaker — all of these things became irrelevant as he dealt with the critical situation that was building up around the people he cared about so deeply."

The question mark

Throughout "Next Generation," Jean-Luc and Beverly often approached romance, but never actually committed. In the final episode of the series, Beverly kissed Picard, implying that a romance was still possible. In the following four movies, however, the romance was never mentioned. When asked about the lack of romantic subplots in the movies, Patrick Stewart merely shrugged, saying that he suspected the films' writers preferred question marks around the issue. He also pointed out that an early draft of the final episode of "Picard" ended with a relationship mystery. In his words:

"We'd had one idea for ending 'Picard,' which I think now would have been a mistake. But it would have ended the show with a huge question mark. I liked that in terms of how it could have sent our viewers minds racing and questioning and puzzling about what was this question mark exactly and what did it mean? We didn't do it." 

Of course, he was asked what the mystery was, but Stewart was sworn to secrecy, saying:

"I can't talk about it. I said I wouldn't talk about it, because it was a complicated situation. I went with what the producers wanted. I was not comfortable with it, but watching the final episode the other night, I realized that what they had persuaded me we should do was absolutely the best thing that could have happened."

Was Jack revealed not to be Picard's son after all? Was Jack actually Wesley in disguise? Perhaps the time-drift reincarnation of the original Jack Crusher, Beverly's first husband (and how weird was it that Beverly named her second son after her late husband)? Did Jean-Luc and Beverly get married? Was Beverly pregnant with another child? Was Jack a Q baby? Was he a Changeling? 

We'll never know.