Spoilers for the first three episodes of Star Trek: Picard
While Star Trek has traditionally been a franchise built around the central premise that sitting in a comfy chair in front of a giant television seems pretty nice, Star Trek: Picard is a decidedly different Trek series altogether. The new adventures of everyone's favorite hairless Enterprise captain feature murderous Romulan Ninjas, F-bomb dropping Admirals, and characters getting high with futuristic weed vapes-- making us wonder if that time Dr. Crusher banged a sentient green ghost cloud could retroactively be interpreted as a wild "Snakeleaf" trip.
Most jarring is the fact that the Starfleet of Picard is no longer the beacon of progressivism and do-goodery it once was. Instead, they've embraced xenophobia and isolationism following a terrorist attack involving androids on Mars-- which sounds the premise for 24: The Next Generation but is a central plot point of Picard.
As the show progresses, this attack (basically space-9/11) becomes more and more suspicious. If Picard's former first officer Rafi is to be believed, it was an inside job. The show's reveal that a secret Romulan faction is operating inside Starfleet seemingly gives credence to these suspicions.
What makes this all extra crazy is that Star Trek famously just did this in Star Trek Into Darkness. The 2013 film's wacky plot eventually reveals that Starfleet has secretly been working with the terrorist Khan in order to justify a war with the Klingons. More unsubtly, the movie was randomly dedicated to "Post-9/11 Veterans". Into Darkness was co-written by Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman. Orci had spouted Truther sentiments on his now-deleted Twitter account but has nothing to do with Picard. Kurtzman, however, is a writer and executive producer on Picard. Is he a Truther too? Maybe. Or maybe he's being set-up by a secret cabal deep inside CBS that--
Check out JM's Star Trek: Picard recap podcast Tea Earl Grey Hot Take, or follow him on Twitter!