Star Trek: Picard Season 3 theories – week 7

Spoiler Warning: There are spoilers ahead for Star Trek: Picard Seasons 1-3. Spoilers are also present for the following Star Trek productions: The Wrath of KhanThe Search for SpockThe Next GenerationDeep Space NineVoyager, and Discovery.

If you’ve already checked out my review of Dominion, you’ll know it’s an episode that I have mixed feelings about! It was tense and exciting, with some truly fantastic acting performances and clever use of lighting – but it’s also an episode that, narratively speaking, wasn’t particularly original and that didn’t take the main story of the season to an especially fun place.

After last week’s theory massacre, Dominion didn’t actually move the needle very much! Most of the theories on the list remain relatively unchanged, in spite of a lot of running around and shooting at changelings! There are a few changes, of course – but perhaps fewer than I’d been expecting at this relatively late stage. There are just three episodes left, after all!

The Titan and the Shrike in Dominion.

I was pleasantly surprised to see Tuvok’s face this week – and I hope that we’ll see the real Tuvok before the season ends. It’s great to see Picard leaning into Voyager and Deep Space Nine as well as The Next Generation – it feels like Season 3 is trying really hard to celebrate the legacy of the 24th Century Star Trek shows. This was “my” era of Star Trek through my adolescence and young adulthood – so I’m trying really hard to keep a positive attitude and get on board with this festival of Trek!

This week we have two theories that I’m calling “semi” confirmed, one outright confirmation, and one sole debunking. As always, that’s where we’ll begin!

Semi-confirmed theory #1:
Lore betrayed Picard and the crew.

Lore in Dominion.

I’m probably going to rework part of this theory and keep it on the list – so check that out below! But for now, suffice to say that I was right about Lore messing things up for Picard and the crew. His ill-timed interventions, just as the crew of the Titan were trying to trap Vadic and her crew, seem to have allowed Vadic and her followers to break out of confinement and seize control of the ship – as well as endangering Jack and Sidney in the process.

I have to be honest here: I didn’t like how this played out on screen. It felt contrived, and it made the main thrust of Dominion’s story feel like a succession of random, unlikely coincidences. But nevertheless, I was right about Lore betraying Picard.

Semi-confirmed theory #2:
A spin-off has been announced!

The official announcement graphic.

Okay, okay. If you want to get all technical about it, Starfleet Academy probably isn’t a true spin-off from Picard. The show’s rather threadbare announcement seemed to imply that the new series will be set in Discovery’s far future era, perhaps picking up threads from the backdoor pilot All Is Possible, which aired during Discovery’s fourth season.

But I’m claiming victory on this one nonetheless! This is the first announcement of a new Star Trek series since Strange New Worlds was greenlit three years ago, and it came during Picard’s third season – as I hoped an announcement would! Part of me is tempted to stick this theory back on the list and hope for an announcement of a “Seven of Nine show” or Star Trek: Titan… but I suspect that Starfleet Academy will be the last big announcement for some time.

Confirmed theory:
Another unannounced character made an appearance!

Mr Vulcan!

Tim Russ returned to Star Trek for the first time in more than two decades to play Tuvok… or rather, Tuvok’s changeling impersonator. It was a bold move to try something like this, and I think Dominion pulled it off remarkably well. I’m holding out hope that we’ll see the real Tuvok before the season ends, though.

The sequence between Seven and Tuvok was tense, and a great way to begin the episode. Seven poked and tested Tuvok while Captain Shaw and the Titan’s science officer tried to analyse his responses, and it seemed at first as if Tuvok may have been the real deal. But that was ripped away when it was revealed that he was an imposter. A clever sequence, and a fun way to welcome back one of the stars of Voyager.

This theory is going to stick around, though… I don’t think Picard is done with surprise characters yet!

Debunked theory:
Vadic is a veteran of the Battle of Wolf-359.

Vadic at the end of Dominion.

Dominion finally gave us Vadic’s missing backstory, and began the process of putting both her quest and her eccentric characterisation into some kind of context. This theory was already hanging by the tiniest of threads after we got confirmation that Vadic was a changeling – but I felt that multiple references to the Battle of Wolf-359 and Picard’s assimilation could have indicated that she was present at the battle, and perhaps was traumatised by the events that unfolded.

It remains to be seen whether the lack of a connection between Vadic and Picard will be an issue. Her current scheme has roped in Picard; she stole his corpse, she’s chasing his son, and she’s captured at least two of his friends. But it would have been interesting in more ways than one if Vadic had some kind of tie to Picard from the past.

So those theories were confirmed and debunked in Dominion.

Up next we’ll jump into the main theory list, beginning with those theories that saw movement this week or that are brand-new.

Theory #1:
Picard and the crew will commandeer the Shrike.

The Shrike with the SS Eleos.

I don’t like the old “the heroes’ ship is captured” trope – but one way that the next episode could put a totally different spin on that tired concept would be to reveal it as a kind of double-bluff. In short, Picard and the crew allowed Vadic to think she had captured the Titan and taken them all prisoner… but they then beamed aboard the Shrike at the last moment. Maybe that’s why Geordi was so concerned about the transporters!

The Shrike is a powerful warship and could prove to be a valuable asset to Picard and the crew. With Riker and Troi potentially imprisoned there, too, such a storyline could reunite the crew. It would be a bold plan – but it could be a fun, unexpected twist in what isn’t the most original of storylines.

Theory #2:
The rogue changelings are keeping most of their important prisoners alive.

Is Riker as “dead” as the rogue changeling claimed?

Picard suspected that his corpse was stolen from Daystrom Station so that the rogue changelings could replicate his DNA. If they need actual bodies for that, that could bode well for the likes of Tuvok. Maybe the changelings need to periodically drain some of their captives’ blood, maybe they need to keep them around to “refresh” their DNA, or maybe there’s some other technobabble reason for it – but one way or another, I suspect that they aren’t just murdering all of the people they replace.

Perhaps this is a theory born of hope: hope that the likes of Riker, Troi, and Tuvok will survive their captivity! But there are reasonable pathways to making it happen.

Theory #3:
Vadic and the rogue changelings got to Lore first.

The golem at Daystrom Station.

Lore hasn’t said much about changelings since awakening in the golem body, but could his actions aboard the Titan this week be taken as evidence that Vadic and her gang tampered with him? We know that at least some of the rogue changelings visited Daystrom Station, where the Data-Lore golem was being held. And we know that synths can be reprogrammed – that’s something we saw in Season 1. Lore’s actions this week also benefitted Vadic in a huge way – trapping Picard’s friends, allowing her to break out of confinement, and paving the way for her to seize control of the Titan.

As I said above, this sequence of events feels pretty contrived right now. But if it were revealed that Lore had been somehow convinced, programmed, or brainwashed into doing Vadic’s bidding, it would go a long way to making that aspect of Dominion feel a lot more natural.

Theory #4:
Jack is a Dominion War-era “sleeper agent.”

Jack used his powers to “possess” Sidney.

As Jack’s superpowers continue to manifest and grow, we’re getting more and more evidence that everything is not as it seems! I suggested last week that Jack may be a kind of “sleeper agent” – an intelligence asset that has been programmed and was designed to be “activated” at a later date. Jack could be a Federation or Section 31 sleeper agent – or he could be a changeling/Dominion sleeper agent.

Jack certainly has no idea what’s going on – though this week we saw him seemingly make the conscious choice to use his powers for the first time. Vadic, however, has promised to spill the beans… so we might not have long to wait to find out what’s going on with Jack!

Theory #5:
Vadic is the female changeling from Deep Space Nine.

The female changeling.

This theory feels very unlikely now that we’ve seen Vadic tell us about her backstory… but nothing in that story entirely contradicted the idea that Vadic and Deep Space Nine’s female changeling – the Founder who led the Dominion’s forces during the Dominion War – are one and the same. In fact, we could make the case that as the only changeling known to have been in Federation custody, the female changeling is actually a good candidate here!

I’d be surprised if the story goes in this direction now, and it would come close to treading on the toes of the ending of Deep Space Nine. But this theory remains in play, at least for now.

Theory #6:
Worf and Raffi will save Riker, Troi, and Tuvok.

Riker with Worf and Raffi.

Where did Worf go? If he was trying to track Vadic and the Shrike to rescue Riker, he isn’t doing a very good job! This week, Picard and the Titan caught up to the Shrike, but Worf and Raffi were nowhere to be found. Although it was implied that Riker and Troi were imprisoned aboard the Shrike, perhaps they’ve been transferred to another rogue changeling ship or facility – and that’s where Worf is going. Or maybe Worf was just a long way behind Vadic, and will show up this week – perhaps at the last second.

Either way, I hope to see Worf and Raffi make some kind of rescue attempt! If they come across a prison camp, perhaps other characters like Tuvok might be there, too – and could be saved.

Theory #7:
Floaty McFloatface isn’t a changeling.

Floaty McFloatface.

The way Floaty McFloatface spoke to Vadic this week seemed to suggest that they don’t see themselves as being part of the same group or even race as Vadic. Floaty McFloatface spoke down to Vadic, telling her that her kind are “malleable,” and that line could be taken as the two characters being from different races. We’ve also only ever seen Floaty in this one singular form, which could mean that they are unable to shapeshift.

The nature of Vadic’s relationship with Floaty McFloatface isn’t clear, though she seems to be very much the junior partner in whatever their scheme may be.

Theory #8:
At least one more unannounced character will make an appearance!

It probably won’t be Chekov…

There have been two big surprises so far this season: Ro Laren and Tuvok. But there’s still time to include other unannounced characters! Admiral Janeway’s name has been mentioned more than once, for example, and in a story about rogue changelings, it’s possible that a main character from Deep Space Nine could emerge.

In Seasons 1 and 2, there were surprises all the way up to and including the final episodes… so there’s still plenty of time for someone truly unexpected to make a shocking – but welcome – return to Star Trek!

Theory #9:
Captain Shaw will be killed.

Captain Shaw was injured (again) this week.

Captain Shaw didn’t have much to do in Dominion, but his main scene saw him beaten up and captured by Vadic and one of her goons. With Shaw held captive on the bridge of the Titan, he seems to be in a lot of danger! I could see Shaw making an heroic sacrifice, perhaps saving the life of Seven or one of the bridge officers.

Narratively speaking, Shaw has complicated things in Season 3. He served a purpose at first, don’t get me wrong, but the story hasn’t always been well-served by concentrating so many senior officers on one ship. Shaw has felt superfluous now for several episodes – really since his big blow-up with Picard about Wolf-359 – and doesn’t seem to be involved in any real way in the decision-making process aboard his own ship. I’ve been predicting his death all season long… but could the moment have finally come for the “dipshit from Chicago?”

So those theories are new or saw significant movement in Dominion.

As always, I’ll now recap all of the other theories that are currently in play. These theories didn’t change based on what we saw this week – but I find it helps to keep the whole list together in one place!

Theory #10:
At least one main character will be killed.

Who could it be?

The death of Ro Laren has shaken Picard and the crew… but it’s also shaken up this theory! The fundamental question is this: is Ro’s death a harbinger of things to come? Or is it simply a narrative device used to show how high the stakes are? I think there’s a solid case to make that Picard and the crew are in danger.

Television storytelling has changed a lot since The Next Generation premiered, and even main characters can no longer consider themselves to be safe if they wind up in dangerous situations! It would be a challenge to kill off a legacy character in a way that would be satisfying and would feel right – but it would be incredibly bold, and if such a story beat stuck the landing it could pay off a character arc that’s been running for well over three decades.

I made a list of who I thought could be in danger before the season began, and you can find it by clicking or tapping here.

Theory #11:
The rogue changelings are planning attacks on the Klingon Empire and the Romulans.

A joint Federation-Klingon task force during the Dominion War.
Image Credit: JTVFX on YouTube

It wasn’t only the Federation that opposed the Founders during the Dominion War. The Klingons, Romulans, and later a Cardassian resistance movement all played significant roles in preventing the Dominion from conquering the Alpha Quadrant – so it stands to reason that the rogue changelings would be looking to get revenge on these powers, too.

Despite having had two full seasons of Picard already – one of which had a major Romulan theme – we still don’t know much about the state of the galaxy in political terms. Are the Federation, Romulans, and Klingons on friendly terms in this era, or has the Dominion War alliance of necessity fallen apart? After the Zhat Vash plot was exposed, what happened to Federation-Romulan relations? All of these things would be interesting to explore, and the rogue changelings’ plot could lead to such a storyline. For now, though, suffice to say I suspect that the Federation may not be the only target that the rogue changelings have in mind!

Theory #12:
The rogue changelings may also be targeting the Bajorans and Cardassians.

Cardassia Prime as it appeared in Deep Space Nine.

These two factions played smaller roles during the Dominion War in some respects, with the Cardassians serving as Dominion allies (and members of the Dominion), and Bajor signing an official non-aggression pact with the Dominion. However, both the Bajorans and Cardassians later opposed the Dominion, and the Prophets – who are strongly aligned with Bajor – arguably turned the tide of the entire war.

If the rogue changelings are on the move, I would suspect that the Federation, Romulans, and Klingons would be their main targets as it was these powers who played the biggest and most obvious roles in the conflict. But Bajor and Cardassia may not be safe.

Again, we don’t know enough about the geopolitics of this era! Bajor may have joined the Federation, and even Cardassia could be under Federation protection. If so, that changes the dynamic.

Theory #13:
The rogue changelings are planning to cripple Starfleet.

The Titan and the Intrepid.

The precise number of ships that Starfleet has has always been a tad vague, adaptable to different stories. But I think we can safely assume that there are several hundred ships in Starfleet at any one time. Many of these, though, will be science vessels, ships of exploration, or even transport ships. The number of tactical vessels and combat-ready front-line ships is going to be a lot smaller.

With that in mind, a coordinated strike against these ships could cripple the Federation’s ability to defend itself. We already know that the rogue changeling aboard the Titan had a bomb that they used to severely damage the ship – if other rogue changeling operatives are similarly equipped, they could potentially take out Starfleet’s best and most powerful vessels in one fell swoop.

Theory #14:
The rogue changelings are responsible for the mysterious anomaly seen in Season 2.

The anomaly in the Season 2 finale.

It didn’t escape my notice that the events of Season 2 were referenced – albeit incredibly briefly – by Captain Shaw in No Win Scenario. That being said, this theory still feels like somewhat of a long-shot just based on how Picard seems to have moved on from what happened last year.

In short, what I’m suggesting is that the mysterious anomaly that was a big part of the story of Season 2 will turn out to be a weapon of some kind deployed by the rogue changelings, either as part of or as a precursor to their plan to attack Starfleet and the Federation. This would explain Dr Jurati’s comment that the anomaly seemed to be artificial in nature – and it would tie up a massive loose end from last season.

Theory #15:
Someone on Picard’s crew will turn out to be an imposter.

The crew in a Season 3 promo collage.

I think we can safely say that Picard, Riker, the Crushers, Captain Shaw, and Seven of Nine aren’t changelings. But that still leaves several major characters who could potentially have been replaced!

With changelings on the move, basically anyone could have been replaced, and it won’t always be easy to tell. It seems possible that someone like Geordi, Troi, or perhaps even Raffi could’ve been replaced by changeling infiltrators before they linked up with Picard and the crew of the Titan, and it may not be possible to know who to trust.

With two “changeling imposter” storylines having already played out, though, it will have to be handled carefully so as not to feel repetitive! Still, I can’t help but wonder if a main character having been replaced might turn out to be a big revelation in a future episode.

Theory #16:
Not all of Raffi’s messages were from Worf.

Could someone have hacked Raffi’s comms?

As the changeling infiltration story deepens, I think it’s not beyond the realm of possibility that someone involved in the conspiracy – Vadic, perhaps – was sending messages to Raffi claiming to be her handler. These messages may have been false leads, irrelevant information, or other attempts to throw her off the trail. If so, it worked – Raffi wasn’t able to stop the attack on the Federation facility in time.

Narratively speaking, there was a good reason to keep Worf hidden until the end of Disengage: it made his last-second appearance all the more dramatic. But could there be another reason why Raffi’s messages came through in text form, read aloud by a disembodied digital voice? I wonder.

Theory #17:
Picard will donate his golem body to Jack.

Picard awakens in his golem body at the end of Season 1.

The revelation that Jack has the terminal and incurable Irumodic syndrome was a surprising inclusion in The Bounty – and it tied into that episode’s theme of the relationship parents have with their children, and what kinds of things children inherit from their parents. Irumodic syndrome was the most obvious example of a “flaw” passed from parent to child.

But this story could have also set up the endgame – not only for Season 3, but for Jean-Luc Picard himself. In short, I’m suggesting that Picard will donate his golem to Jack, sacrificing himself to save his son’s life in one final act of parental love. This will come after Vadic and the rogue changelings have been defeated – and will mark the definitive, conclusive end of Picard and the show’s title character.

There has been speculation ever since Picard was announced that the series would end with his death – and while I’ve said it would be hard to pull off after the fake-out death at the end of Season 1, this kind of sacrifice could be one way to make that story work.

Theory #18:
The rogue changelings didn’t want Jean-Luc Picard… they wanted Locutus.

Locutus of Borg.

Why did the rogue changelings abscond with Picard’s corpse? And for that matter, why was Section 31 holding onto it to begin with? Perhaps the reason is that Picard was once Locutus of Borg – and his body may contain some residual Borg implants or nanoprobes that the rogue changelings want. If Jack Crusher also has Borg nanites in his system that could explain their interest in him, too.

We know that Starfleet has incorporated Borg technology into some of their newer vessels, and in The Bounty we learned that the entire fleet can automatically link up and communicate – which could be Borg tech. In Season 2, the Borg Queen seemed to be able to seize control of one Federation ship and then use that to command an entire fleet. Could that explain why the rogue changelings need Borg nanoprobes?

Theory #19:
The rogue changelings want to hack the entire Federation fleet.

The Borg Queen used her mechanical tentacles to hack into the USS Stargazer’s systems in Season 2.

Tied to the theory above is the idea that the changelings may not want to destroy Starfleet outright, but rather hack into the ships and use them in some other way – perhaps to attack Federation or allied targets, or even to attack each other. If the ships are connected somehow, and the changelings could take over that connection, maybe they could seize control of the entire fleet at once.

This would be an interesting idea, as it would potentially connect the story to what happened at the beginning of Season 2. With many advancements in AI out here in the real world, it could prove to be quite a timely story, too!

Theory #20:
The rogue changelings are trying to reach the Nexus.

The Nexus.

One of the easter eggs in The Bounty showed us a glimpse of Captain Kirk’s body – or a readout on a screen, at least. As far as we know, only two corpses were stored at Daystrom Station: Picard’s and Kirk’s. Aside from both being captains of the Enterprise, what else do these two characters have in common? They both used the Nexus to travel through time. Picard travelled only a few hours, but Kirk jumped forwards in time by decades.

The Nexus hasn’t been mentioned since Generations, and it would be a less well-known part of Star Trek to bring back in some ways. But the timelines could kind of sync up here: if it’s been 30+ years since the events of Generations, and the Nexus returns every 39.1 years, that could work! The Nexus could also be phenomenally useful for the rogue changelings – if they wanted to travel back in time to prevent the Dominion’s defeat, for example.

Theory #21:
Vadic has put together a “rogues’ gallery” of Star Trek villains.

Characters like DaiMon Bok could be involved… somehow!

This theory is barely hanging in there right now, especially now that we know that Vadic’s crew are changelings. However, I still think it’s a possibility that there could be other players involved in the rogue changelings’ conspiracy, and some of those could be familiar characters from past iterations of Star Trek.

I originally came up with this idea after we saw Lore and Moriarty in pre-season trailers, and made the assumption that they would be on Vadic’s side. Now that we know that isn’t the case, this idea feels another step further away! But there’s still a chance – so I’m not striking it off the list just yet.

If you want to see the list I wrote back in November, you can find it by clicking or tapping here.

Theory #22:
Jack’s eyes, combat skills, and hallucinations are connected to the Borg.

Why do Jack’s eyes glow red?

I feel that there’s more to Jack’s story than a diagnosis of Irumodic syndrome. The theft of Picard’s body – a body that was once assimilated by the Borg – could come into play here too. The feminine voice Jack has heard on more than one occasion could be the Borg Queen reaching out to him – and while Dr Crusher has given him medication that may treat his symptoms, if there’s a Borg connection here all that might do is mask it.

We don’t know whether there will be a greater Borg connection in the story – but it feels like there could be. There have been mentions and references to the Borg, and specifically to Picard’s assimilation experience, going all the way back to the season premiere. Jack could be the key to understanding why!

Theory #22-A:
Jack has Borg nanoprobes in his body.

Borg nanoprobes.

If Jack’s symptoms are connected to the Borg in some way, it stands to reason that he may have Borg nanites in his system. The question of how this could have occurred is still an open one – perhaps they came from Picard at the moment of conception, or perhaps Jack encountered Borg technology during one of his medical missions.

Again, this could explain the rogue changelings’ interest in him. We saw in Season 1 that many ex-Borg had been killed; butchered for parts. There may not be many individuals in the quadrant with any Borg technology in their systems – and that could account for the rogue changelings both stealing Picard’s body and chasing after Jack.

Theory #23:
The Borg are involved.

The first Borg drone ever seen in Star Trek.

We’ve talked a fair bit about the Borg already, and looked at a couple of ways in which they could be included. This theory has come about largely because of the frequent mentions of the Borg and the Battle of Wolf-359 in the story so far. The theft of Picard’s body could also be connected to this idea, as Picard had once been assimilated by the Borg. But why keep bringing up these Borg references if there’s no bigger connection?

It’s possible, but perhaps unlikely, that the rogue changelings have formulated some kind of deal or alliance with the Borg, as both factions would benefit from the Federation collapsing or being severely damaged. This seems less likely than a more subtle connection, perhaps, but it’s worth acknowledging the possibility!

Even if I haven’t figured out the exact way in which the Borg will be woven into the story, some kind of Borg connection feels like a distinct possibility.

Theory #24:
Jack Crusher has changeling DNA… somehow.

Is this Jack’s DNA?

We learned a couple of weeks ago that changelings can mimic humanoid DNA well enough to pass scans and screenings – so even though Jack was recently investigated by Dr Crusher, his being diagnosed with Irumodic syndrome shouldn’t rule out some kind of changeling DNA being present in his system. If Jack were a “sleeper agent,” as suggested above, that could explain why he has some changeling DNA. Or it could be as a result of something that happened to Jack and Dr Crusher during one of their medical missions.

I don’t think that the story could get away with saying that Jack is a changeling – and that he was never truly the son of Picard and/or Dr Crusher. That would be too hard a pill to swallow, especially after episodes like The Bounty focused extensively on the themes of family and relationships between children and parents. But Jack could still possess changeling DNA somehow – and that may account for the rogue changelings’ obsession with catching him.

Theory #25:
Deanna Troi is a changeling.

A captive Troi. But is she who she appears to be?

The final scene of The Bounty saw Riker taken into custody aboard the Shrike – where he encountered a captive Deanna Troi. But is this the real Troi, or is the fact that she’s on a ship crewed by changelings a hint that she might not actually be who she appears to be?

It’s very easy in a story like this to become almost paranoid, and to see changelings behind every character’s mask! But right now, of all the characters currently in play, Deanna Troi aboard the Shrike feels like the most likely candidate for being a changeling imposter. Perhaps she will try to get information out of Riker, pressing him to choose between his family and his friends – only to reveal that it was all a ruse.

Theory #26:
Irumodic syndrome is important to the rogue changelings.

Irumodic syndrome “killed” Picard… briefly.

At this point in the story, we know that the rogue changelings want Jack Crusher badly. And we’ve just learned that they’ve stolen Picard’s corpse from Daystrom Station. As Picard noted in The Bounty, he “died” of Irumodic syndrome back in Season 1. Irumodic syndrome is a big link between Jack and Picard right now – and because these two characters are the ones who seem to have gotten most of the rogue changelings’ attention, that fact could be significant!

Perhaps Irumodic syndrome can be used by changelings to mask their presence, or maybe it can somehow cure the genetic disease that Section 31 created. Irumodic syndrome could also be an indication that an individual possesses changeling DNA – or some other attribute that’s important to changelings.

Theory #27:
The absences of characters from Seasons 1 and 2 will be explained.

Soji in Season 1.

I was pleasantly surprised to see Laris was included in the season premiere, and while she won’t have a big role in the story of the season, it was great that the story didn’t just dump her as it raced ahead. Due to her importance to the story of Season 2, Laris was perhaps the character who I felt it was most important to include in some way, and I’m glad we got to see her.

But there are still several characters from Seasons 1 and 2 who haven’t been mentioned. Elnor and Soji could easily be name-dropped; a line or two of dialogue could clear up where they are, what they’re doing, and why they can’t join Picard on his current mission. The Borg Queen-Dr Jurati hybrid is a bit more complicated; her self-appointed role as “guardian” of the mysterious anomaly makes it a bit harder to just wave away her disappearance.

I hope we’ll get something that will acknowledge these characters’ absences. All were important in the first two seasons of the show, and simply abandoning them without any kind of goodbye was disappointing at the end of Season 2. If Season 3 could do something to rectify that, I’d appreciate it!

Theory #28:
Vadic will be killed by her own portal-weapon.

The USS Titan and one of the portals.

This idea is a pretty simple one: as often happens to villains in stories like these, Captain Vadic will end up being killed by her own powerful weapon. We saw the portal-weapon used against the Titan in Seventeen Seconds, and I can absolutely see a pathway to Picard and the crew capturing it or gaining control of it, and turning it against Vadic.

There can be something poetic about an evil villain being destroyed by their own weapon, so I can’t help but feel that Vadic may meet her end by being spliced through one of her own portals!

Theory #29:
Odo will make an appearance – somehow.

Odo in Deep Space Nine.

I don’t know how I feel about this one. It was sweet to see Worf make reference to Odo in Seventeen Seconds – though the connection could have been clearer, especially for more casual viewers – but I’m not convinced that we need to see Odo for ourselves. The reason for that is simple: the only way we could see Odo is either by re-casting the character or recreating him through some kind of CGI process.

Star Trek has successfully re-cast many characters over the years, so I don’t really take exception to that. But the death of actor René Auberjonois is still recent and fresh in our minds, so bringing Odo back without him just feels… uncomfortable. Although Odo is well-suited to a story in which the changelings are back, I think I’d rather he didn’t appear in person on this occasion. But I wanted to acknowledge that it’s at least a plausible development for the story.

So that’s it!

Picard’s phaser pistol.

With three episodes remaining, we have quite a long list of theories that are still in play! Dominion side-stepped most of them, and didn’t really move the needle in a big way. But there’s still plenty of time to debunk every last one of them, so don’t worry! Even though I wasn’t wild about some of the storytelling decisions taken in Dominion, I’m still very much looking forward to the next episode of Picard.

As a final note: I always like to end these theory lists by saying that I do this just for fun. I enjoy writing, I enjoy Star Trek, and spending more time in this world is an escape and an enjoyable distraction for me. But for some folks, fan theories can become frustrating or unenjoyable, especially if they get very attached to a plausible-sounding theory that ultimately doesn’t pan out. I have no “insider information” and I’m not trying to claim that anything suggested above can, will, or must be part of Picard Season 3. I fully expect many of these theories to be debunked and for the season to go in wildly unpredictable directions!

Star Trek: Picard Seasons 1-3 are available to stream now on Paramount+ in the United States and other countries and territories where the service is available, and on Amazon Prime Video in the UK and around the world. The Star Trek franchise – including Picard and all other properties discussed above – is the copyright of Paramount Global. This article contains the thoughts and opinions of one person only and is not intended to cause any offence.