Star Trek: Picard Season 2 Ending Explained: Come Take A Trip In My Time Ship

"Star Trek: Picard" season 2's messy web of time-travelling plot threads has been woven together to create quite the crescendo of a finale.

Season 1 took a sharp left turn out of "Star Trek" to focus on a more action-orientated sci-fi thriller of a story — so it was great to see season 2 return to the Trek we love. "Picard" season 2 is far more character-focused than the first season, with a deep dive into "Star Trek" lore at every turn, and a bundle of interesting characters caught up in a plot that threatens the very existence of reality itself.

After being transported to a grim alternate reality by the mischievous Q (John de Lancie), Picard (Patrick Stewart) finds the only way home is to travel back in time to the year 2024 and change the course of history. Thankfully, his allies Agnes Jurati (Alison Pill), Chris Rios (Santiago Cabrera), Raffi Musiker (Michelle Hurd), Elnor (Evan Avagora), and Seven of Nine (Jeri Ryan) are there to help out ... But not all of them make it to the end in one piece.

Captain Rios

After the events of "Star Trek: Picard" season 1, it looks as though Rios has made captain. Heading up the USS Stargazer, it's quite a command. It's also Captain Rios' ship that's 'attacked' by the Borg in the first episode, which leads to the appearance of Q. Thrust into an alternate dimension, Rios thankfully manages to get hold of La Sirena, his old ship. And when the dark timeline gets a bit too much, Rios, Picard and the rest of the crew make their escape to the year 2024 with a little help from a rogue Borg queen.

It's here that Rios finds his happy ending, albeit after a bit of an ordeal. After a transporter malfunction, Rios is knocked out, awaking to discover he's being treated at a clinic for undocumented immigrants. 

The entire storyline is a fascinating commentary on the way the U.S. government treats Spanish immigrants. "Being able to use my own voice for different kind of characters and just make them Latino was something I was very happy to do," explained Cabrera. "Especially being a Captain as well, and seeing Latinos in a new light, because we're so much more."

Unfortunately, after a raid by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, he's arrested and detained — though not before meeting a very special doctor. That's right: Rios falls in love with Teresa Ramirez (Sol Rodriguez), the doctor who ran the clinic where he was treated. 

Ultimately, when all is said and done, Rios chooses to stay in the 21st century instead of returning home. Yes, it's a move that left me wondering whether he would end up being his own grandfather. But when Picard returns to the future, he catches up with Guinan, who tells him all about Rios' life in the 21st century — and it seems he couldn't be prouder.

Raffi and Seven

It's no secret that Raffi and Seven shared a tender moment during "Star Trek: Picard" season 1. Thankfully, their relationship continues to develop in season 2. Getting together properly in between seasons, the new "Star Trek" power couple take on a new dynamic this time around. As Jeri Ryan has noted, it's not all lovey dovey:

"It's not happy, happy, joy, joy. That's not who they are. It's not who they would be. This is such a realistic relationship."

Instead, the pair are still figuring out their relationship while also trying to save the universe (and reality itself). That's quite a bit of pressure on a blossoming relationship. Things only get worse when Raffi's surrogate Romulan, Elnor, is wounded during the crew's daring escape from the dark alternate reality, and eventually dies of his wounds.

Raffi is wracked with guilt. The entire season sees her dealing with this, focusing all her energy on righting the timeline in an effort to ensure that Elnor is returned safe and sound. Thankfully, she gets her wish. After testing the crew and forcing them to think on who they are and what they value, Q returns Picard, Seven, and Raffi to their own timeline, where Elnor is still alive.

Coming full circle, not much has changed for Raffi and Seven by the end of "Star Trek: Picard" season 2, but it feels as though they're a lot closer to figuring out their relationship and what's important to them. And sometimes, that's all you really need.

Renée Picard and Tallinn

One of the stranger parts of "Star Trek: Picard" season 2? It's essentially all about Renée Picard.

Who is she? Well, it turns out that Jean-Luc's ancestor was instrumental in creating the positive, peaceful version of the Federation that we know and love. It's all down to the Europa Mission — a 21st century spaceflight which sees Renée find a sentient organism on Jupiter's moon, Io. She simply has to go on that mission, but Adam Soong (Brent Spiner) wants to stop her.

Initially, the mission was in trouble due to Renée's doubts – an obstacle that was neatly resolved with a laughably short pep talk from Jean-Luc. But it turns out there's more to it than that. An ominous message from a friend explains that Renée must simultaneously live and die in order to save the timeline. That's where Tallinn comes in. She's a watcher who has been tasked with keeping an eye on Renée, and also inexplicably looks exactly like Picard's almost-lover, Laris (Orla Brady).

Ultimately, Adam Soong is hell bent on destroying the Europa mission to secure a future in which he becomes a powerful man. Tallinn sacrifices herself to save Renée, using a holographic disguise to fool Soong so that Renée can make her getaway and board the Europa mission. 

Yes, Tallinn is actually the "Renée" who dies. Succumbing to poisoning at the hands of Soong while cradled by Jean-Luc, it becomes clear that this is all a weird set up to force Picard to face his own fears when it comes to love and romance. Lovely.

Apparently, this is the only timeline in which Tallinn gets to meet Renée ... and that's supposed to be a touching consolation to the woman dying in agony to save a future she's never seen. Hmmm.

Kore and Adam Soong

If "Star Trek: Picard" wasn't weird enough, this is where it all gets a bit crazy. After Q promises Soong that his future as a geneticist is written in the stars, it looks as though the mad scientist is forced to take matters into his own hands. He's told by the Borg queen of a future in which he's responsible for a future in which Earth is the centre of the universe. Sure, there's a bit of genocide and fascism, but who cares?

Fixated on grasping at the power he so desperately seeks, Soong resigns himself to stopping the Europa mission at all costs. But there's another problem: Kore. It turns out that his daughter isn't his daughter at all. She's a genetic experiment, which explains away her mystery illness — and she's not happy when she finds out. The last we saw of Kore, she stormed out of Soong HQ calling out her dad's B.S.

But she doesn't stop there. After Soong is foiled over at the Europa mission, his hopes of becoming the great dictator evaporate once Kore returns and destroys his research. No more of those pesky clones! At least, that's what she thinks.

When all's said and done, Soong opens a drawer to find one last remaining file with a familiar name emblazoned on the front that hints he may have been responsible for The Eugenics Wars. It's a dark twist to a seemingly happy ending. And there's more where that came from.

Agnes Jurati and the Borg Queen

The fates of Jurati and the Borg Queen have been intertwined throughout "Star Trek: Picard" season 2, and it only gets more complicated by the season finale. After forming a physical connection with the Borg, Agnes found her mind invaded by the alien threat and even saw her body taken over, acting as a host to one of "Star Trek's" most terrifying villains. 

It's surprising, then, to see the two form a pact. It's easy to see why Jurati might go for it:

"Agnes has quite low self-esteem, and the queen does not," said actress Alison Pill. "So, I think the imaginary quality of suddenly believing in your own power is intoxicating, as it would be for many people."

But what's in it for the Borg Queen? One of the most infuriating parts of "Star Trek: Picard" was the moment Jurati manages to convince the Borg Queen not to go on an annihilation/assimilation spree simply by promising companionship. Yup, the Borg are lonely too, it seems.

Anyway, by the season 2 finale, it looks as though they're back. It's revealed that the new masked Borg Queen seen at the start of the season was Jurati all along. But she's not trying to assimilate the fleet; she's trying to save it. A space anomaly that the Federation was completely unable to detect is about to erupt and destroy the entire quadrant, and only by taking control of the entire fleet and turning their shields on the big space hole is she able to save them.

It's a weirdly unsatisfying conclusion to one of the show's more promising arcs, and it's all wrapped up in just a few minutes. Convenient, huh?

Q and Jean-Luc Picard

Ah yes — the pièce de resistance. Jean-Luc and Q have always had an interesting relationship throughout "Star Trek: The Next Generation" and it turns out that's what all this has been about.

It was recently revealed that Q is dying — a surprise even to him. But what we thought was an act of an unstable member of the Q Continuum in a last act of aggression is actually a last chance to put an old friend on the right path. You see, Q's test wasn't an act of anger or lashing out, as we were led to believe. No, it's actually a way of helping Jean-Luc. Forcing him to face old trauma head on, he reminds Jean-Luc that love is everything.

Yes, it's all about helping Jean-Luc to accept that he can't be responsible for everyone and everything, and that he doesn't have to be alone. All this while also embarking on one last hurrah as a final send-off. Accomplishing his mission, there's a touching scene between Q and Jean-Luc as he reveals his real plans ... and it's surprising to see a Q get this emotional. The two embrace as old friends and it's all rather nice (if a bit out of character for a Q).

Bringing the series full circle, Q uses his last ounce of strength to transport Picard, Raffi and Seven back to the 25th century, where they find Elnor alive and well. It's a touching favor for an old friend, and a fitting send-off for one of Picard's greatest frenemies.