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Picard Season 3 Episode 6's Pop Goes The Weasel Easter Egg Is Utter Perfection

Contains spoilers for "Star Trek: Picard" Season 3, Episode 6 — "The Bounty"

In 2364, a friendship began with a whistling duet of "Pop Goes the Weasel." And it's that first encounter between Will Riker (Jonathan Frakes) and Data (Brent Spiner) in "Star Trek: The Next Generation" Season 1, Episode 1, "Encounter at Farpoint," that becomes a big Easter egg in "Star Trek: Picard" Season 3, Episode 6, "The Bounty."

In this episode of "The Next Generation," Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) has requested Data's help in solving some puzzles, and it's up to Riker to find him. This leads him to the U.S.S. Enterprise's holodeck, which has been transformed into a forest where Data is observing nature while trying to whistle the tune of "Pop Goes the Weasel," but he just can't seem to get out the last bar of the song. Riker helps him by finishing the tune before introducing himself.

"Picard" Season 3 has proven to be a big homecoming for many characters from "The Next Generation." While both Data and Riker have appeared in past seasons of "Star Trek: Picard," the Season 3 reunion will be emotional for fans since Data dies in Season 1, Episode 10, "Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2." So it is only fitting that the script builds up to Data's return with the whistling of that classic tune and a few other Data-related Easter eggs.

The Next Generation Easter eggs that lead up to Pop Goes the Weasel

In "The Bounty," Riker, Worf (Michael Dorn), and Raffi Musiker (Michelle Hurd) are searching for a project manifest on the Daystrom Institute's Daystrom Station, but they're watching out for a dangerous AI that's protecting it. A raven hologram suddenly appears, and the trio then hears music as a Professor Moriarty (Daniel Davis) hologram attacks them.

He explains that the music is stuck in his head, and that's when Riker remembers walking through the holodeck forest in "Encounter at Farpoint." He puts the pieces together and whistles the end of "Pop Goes the Weasel." Professor Moriarty then disappears, clearing the way for them to come face-to-face with an AI that appears to be Data.

While "Pop Goes the Weasel" is a callback to the series premiere of "The Next Generation," Data dreams about a raven in Season 6, Episode 16, "Birthright, Part I," and Professor Moriarty is a foe that Data first encounters in Season 2, Episode 3, "Elementary, Dear Data." Each of these three clues adds anticipation and emotion to this reunion in "Picard.