[Warning: this story contains spoilers for the Star Trek: Picard season two penultimate episode “Hide and Seek.”]
Star Trek: Picard means more to Jeri Ryan than she ever felt was possible.
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It has been nearly 25 years since the actress’ iconic Borg character, Seven of Nine, made her first appearance on Star Trek: Voyager. And when that series concluded in 2001, Ryan bid Seven farewell, assuming that was the end of their road. Then came the Paramount+ series Picard.
The expanded Star Trek Universe gave Ryan and fans a chance to know Seven on a deeper level. And through nearly two seasons, that is exactly what happened — which is why the event of this week’s penultimate season two episode, “Hide and Seek,” is so devastating. In order for her life to be saved after being gravely wounded, Seven is once again assimilated, this time by Agnes Jurati’s (Alison Pill) incarnation of the Borg Queen. For most of the second season, Seven has been human for the first time since she could remember. And, just as before, it was taken away from her in an instant.
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter prior to the release of “Hide and Seek,” Ryan touches on that poignant moment while also delving deeper into the relationship between Seven and Raffi (Michelle Hurd). The actress also explains why the Picard series means so much to her before teasing what’s to come in the third and final season.
The episode is one of the best in all the series, in my humble opinion. So much emotion, so much action. Grand storytelling. Did it feel different in production?
For my character, in particular, it was pretty huge. This has been Seven’s struggle since she was separated from the Collective, trying to reconcile her Borg and her human parts. So, this season was the first time in her life since she had been assimilated that she was just human. She got to see how different life could have been and would have been, and how differently she’s treated without those visible Borg parts.
The moment when she is assimilated again, this time in order to save her life, was so heartbreaking. To me, it appeared from the look on her face the price to survive was too costly. Can you shed some light? Would she have rather died?
I think that’s her gut reaction. She comes to understand, but I think immediately she does not think that it was necessary.
Brutal. Switching to something happier, Seven and Raffi’s relationship is just wonderful. I am positive there is love there. Such a bond. Will the universe allow them ever to be truly together?
There is definitely love there between the characters. They’re growing more understanding of each, their flaws and their struggle and their broken parts. Michelle and I, when talking to the producers, said we wanted a realistic portrayal of these two women who are very mature and very driven and very independent. They’ve had lives and careers. And that it wasn’t going to be “Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy,” they’re in a relationship with a white picket fence, because that is not who these women are. So, we wanted that relationship struggle. They do love each other. They do care for each other. They respect each other. But can they entwine their lives completely without losing who they are and what their lives have been? And that’s any relationship: How much are you willing to change and sacrifice and give up for the benefits of that relationship? And are they even built to do that? How much can they heal together and heal each other? That remains to be seen.
One of my favorite aspects of this series and especially this season is there are so many powerful, extraordinary female characters. I would love to hear your thoughts on keeping such great company.
Oh my God, it’s not just in the story with the characters, but also behind the scenes. It’s incredible how many women I’ve gotten to work with and the crew and the producers and the writers. You know, I’ve said before, but it was a really huge moment for me in the first season when there was the first female camera operator I’ve worked with — in my entire career! It’s been really incredible that the women have been embraced all across the board for this show.
Star Trek: Voyager’s “Scorpion Part 2” premiered in September 1997. And I know it’s a silly question whenever I ask you folks, “Could you ever imagine then?” But I’d love your thoughts on this (no pun intended) journey you and Seven have made from then to now.
Never in a million years. After Voyager ended, if you asked me if I would play this character again, I would have said, “Absolutely not.” I was convinced that I had said goodbye to her, and that chapter was done. This has been such a gift, even more than I expected it to be, because I was a little hesitant when I signed on to do Picard. Ideas sound great on paper, but until you start seeing fully realized scripts and how the characters are really being developed, you just don’t know. It’s a leap of faith. So, it has been such a gift on so many levels to be able to revisit this character and continue this huge amount of her journey and massive arc.
I know you can’t say much, but will we see Seven in the third and final season of Picard?
Yes, you’ll see Seven again, I can tell you that. I think the fans will not be disappointed. The season is huge, and it is a very worthy sendoff for all of these characters.
Interview edited for length and clarity.
Picard streams Thursdays on Paramount+.
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