Picard reveals why seven of the nine left Starfleet

The following contains spoilers for Star Trek: Picard Season 2, Episode 9, “Hide and Seek,” streaming now on Paramount+.

One of the greatest returning characters on Star Trek: Picard is Seven of Nine, the liberated Borg drone that played a leading role in Star Trek: Voyager. Years after the USS Traveler Back in the Alpha Quadrant, Seven did not remain in direct Starfleet service, but instead forged her own space path. And as Seven faces a reborn Borg Collective for the fate of the timeline, she quietly reveals the heartbreaking reason why she ultimately didn’t stay with Starfleet after returning with Traveler.

When Seven made her grand entrance into picard Season 1, she served with the Fenris Rangers, a paramilitary organization caring for communities left behind by Starfleet. After working with Picard to expose a vast Romulan conspiracy, Seven was given command of Chris Rios’ former ship. Mermaid continue his activities with the Rangers. This leads to her helping Starfleet take on the resurrected Borg Queen in season 2, with Seven traveling to the 21st century to restore the changes made to the timeline thanks to the omnipotent Q.

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As Seven and her on-and-off love interest Raffi Musiker face off against a Borg drone army commanded by the Queen (who might have had a chance to redeem herself) in the 21st century. Seven admits that while she was interested in officially enlisting in Starfleet after serving as de facto senior officer on Traveler during his return voyage, the Starfleet brass were baffled by the presence of a former Borg endoctrinaire among them. Kathryn Janeway personally pleaded for Starfleet Command to reconsider such a fear-fueled decision, but the Admiralty stood firm in keeping Seven out, leading her to join the Fenris Rangers to continue defending the forgotten of the United Federation.

Starfleet also approached Picard himself with such a level of caution after being released from the Borg Collective. After an extended leave with his family in France, Picard’s command is restored – but when the Borg make another game for Earth in Star Trek: First Contact, he and the Enterprise are ordered to the other side of Federation space. Realizing that Starfleet is ordering him to leave because of their fear of him joining the Borg, Picard returns just in time to turn the tide of the battle and save the day.

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This hypocritical Starfleet stance regarding Seven and their lingering fears regarding her connection to the Borg can be more superficially informed. For most of her life, Seven’s Borg-made cybernetic implants were visible on her face while Picard’s implants were seemingly all removed. In this rewritten timeline, Seven’s implants were removed but reincorporated into her body by the Queen to save her life from severe injuries sustained in the fight against the 21st Century Borg.

Assimilated into the Borg Collective since childhood, Seven of Nine overcame adversity with every step, even after regaining her sense of humanity. Seven further proved to be exemplary Starfleet material by helping Traveler make its long and arduous journey back to the Alpha Quadrant. And yet, for all Seven’s service, the bull-headed Admiralty of Starfleet couldn’t let the heroic character officially join their ranks.

Created by Akiva Goldsman, Michael Chabon, Kirsten Beyer and Alex Kurtzman, Star Trek: Picard releases new episodes Thursdays on Paramount+.

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