15 essential Captain Picard episodes to get you pumped for his return

8 of 16

“Suddenly Human” (S4E4)

Picard perks: Annoyed Picard, Picard is afraid of kids.

What it’s about: A Talarian ship sends out a distress signal and the Enterprise answers it, rescuing and treating the remaining crew. The doctor and counselor summon the Captain when they discover a human teenager, Jono, among the survivors.

Quickly, they find out that he was a survivor of a slaughter when the Talarians considered the settlement near their territory an act of war. Dr. Crusher discovered multiple healed injuries sustained over the course of Jono’s lifetime and tells the captain she suspects abuse.

The crew decides to reconnect the youth with his biological family closer to Earth. In the meantime, Jono is frustrated and protesting that he is not released to the family he knows, Endar, his adoptive father.

Troi insists that Captain Picard plays the role of a father figure to Jono. “Oh no, counselor,” he spits immediately, shaking his head, his pulse racing. “Oh no, not me.” Captain Picard is notoriously afraid of children.

Yet he assumes the role instinctively, yelling “What is that racket?” when Jono listens to Talarian Rock, and “you stop that,” when he recites the scream that is meant to be mourning. He supervises all visits between Jono and his father Endar.

After Picard is finally stabbed, he gets the wake-up call. He had not been listening to Jono all this time, and kept a boy from his family. He was so insistent that he was right he committed a serious humanitarian violation, and forced Jono into a corner. Jono felt suicide by law was his only option.

Picard apologizes (it takes a big man to admit when he is wrong and violated his own principles) and returns Jono to Endar, who is as moved and relieved as any father would be.

Picard Quotes:

  • “A serious wrong has been committed here. Mine.”