Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Star Trek: Picard Season 3 Episode 3 Makes A Nod To The Late Rene Auberjonois

Contains spoilers for "Star Trek: Picard" Season 3, Episode 3 — "Seventeen Seconds"

"Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" was a sort of haven for great character actors who had never gotten the chance to shine in a leading role before. One of those was the late, great Rene Auberjonois, who played the station's security chief, Odo, a mysterious being who can shape-shift into anything he likes and who, at the beginning of the series, doesn't know where he came from. By the end of the series, Odo not only discovers that he is a member of the Changeling species but also suddenly finds his loyalties divided when his friends enter into a war with his newly discovered homeworld. In the end, Odo chooses to return to his people and their "Great Link" following the end of the war with the Dominion.

In a 2011 interview with StarTrek.com, Auberjonois said he was very satisfied with how his character's arc ended on "Deep Space Nine," expressing that Odo returning to the Great Link was inevitable given the direction the series had been going in for years. "It was exactly the way I would have done it myself if I'd been writing it," the actor revealed.

Sadly, Auberjonois died in 2019 of metastatic lung cancer (via The New York Times), so it would have been impossible for him to reprise his character in Season 3 of "Star Trek: Picard." But the writers weren't about to let a little thing like death get in the way of making him a key part of the new season.

Worf calls Odo a man of honor

In Season 3, Episode 3 of "Star Trek: Picard," titled "Seventeen Seconds," Worf (Michael Dorn) tells Raffi (Michelle Hurd) that, while the official position of the Changelings is that they surrendered to the Federation Alliance at the end of the Dominion War, some within the Great Link refused to accept defeat and broke off into a terrorist faction. Worf explains that he was given this information by "a close friend" and "a man of honor" who was inside the Great Link. Since Odo is the only Changeling with any loyalty toward the Federation, it's not too hard to guess whom Worf is talking about. 

"Star Trek: Picard" showrunner Terry Matalas first teased in a tweet in July 2022 that Worf would be "on another track... one related to the Dominion War." He also said on an episode of the podcast "Inglorious Treksperts" that Season 3 will explore "the fallout of the Dominion War."

If the Changelings are going to be the primary antagonists of Season 3 — and after this episode, it looks like they will be — then that means that the New York Comic Con 2022 teaser trailer is employing some misdirection by focusing so heavily on the return of the holographic Professor Moriarty from "Star Trek: The Next Generation." In the end, the Changelings are definitely a much better adversary for the season and give the show a great excuse to make a nod to a "Star Trek" legend.