Star Trek: Picard's Todd Stashwick Just Clarified A Big Seven Of Nine Moment That Completely Changes My Perception Of Captain Shaw

 Jeri Ryan and Todd Stashwick in Star Trek: Picard Season 3.
Jeri Ryan and Todd Stashwick in Star Trek: Picard Season 3.
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While Star Trek: Picard Season 3 was airing on the 2023 TV schedule, Todd Stashwick’s Captain Liam Shaw developed a big following amongst the show’s fans. He was primarily appreciated ‘we love to hate him’ sort of way because of this gruff personality and the sharp one-liners he directed towards Jean-Luc Picard and the other main protagonists. Shaw also had a fairly contentious relationship with Seven of Nine, but now Stashwick has clarified a big moment involving Jeri Ryan’s character that completely changes my perception of the USS Titan’s former captain.

As those who’ve streamed Picard Season 3 with their Paramount+ subscription will remember, in the Season 3 finale, the episode after Shaw died, we got to spend one last moment with the character when a hologram was played of him recommending that Seven of Nine be promoted to captain. During an interview with Star Trek Explorer (via ScreenRant), Stashwick stated that this hologram was recorded prior to Season 3 rather than in the middle of it, saying:

In episode 10, there was a beautiful moment when he appeared again as a hologram and basically told those that needed to hear it that she is captain material. They wrote a beautiful goodbye as I’m literally dying in Seven’s arms. It was him acknowledging that it’s no longer his ship. She has the con. The hologram… He actually recorded the message before Riker and Picard ever came on. What’s revealed to her is that he always believed in her. It’s this great insight into who he was. Even though his external presentation was gruff, caustic, and acerbic, inside he was thoughtful and he did see her for who she was.

Shaw and Seven’s relationship went through various twists and turns throughout Star Trek: Picard Season 3 once Picard and William Riker came aboard the Titan. This seemed to be primarily driven by the latter being a former Borg, given how often the former referred to her by her former human name, Annika Hansen, as he suffered PTSD from his experience at the Battle of Wolf 359 decades earlier. He took issue with various decisions she made throughout the season, and there was even a period when Seven was confined to quarters for disobeying Shaw’s orders.

But as we now officially know from Todd Stashwick, Shaw believed Seven was captain material before the events of Picard Season 3 unfolded, as opposed to coming to that realization during the Titan’s conflict with the Changelings and Borg. Ultimately, his desire to see her take command came true, because after being gunned down by one of the Titan’s Borg-infected officers in “Võx,” Shaw used his dying words to pass control of the ship to Seven. Then after fellow Voyager alum Tuvok played the hologram for Seven in “The Last Generation,” he denied her resignation request and instead officially named her as captain of the Titan, though the ship’s was changed to the Enterprise-G a year later.

While there’s an argument to be made that Liam Shaw shouldn’t be brought back to the Star Trek franchise, Stashwick’s comment at least helps us view him in an even more sympathetic light. He and Seven didn’t always see eye to eye, but at least we now know for certain he already respected her. No doubt he would have revealed this to her personally in due time had the Titan not been pulled into that chaotic adventure, but the hologram certainly me for a memorable final message.

Although Star Trek: Picard is over, there are still calls from fans for the stories of characters like Seven of Nine, Raffi Musiker and Jack Crusher to continue in a proposed Star Trek: Legacy spinoff. We’ll obviously let you know if that show is officially greenlit, but there are plenty of other upcoming Star Trek TV shows to look forward too, as well as what’s slated on the 2024 TV schedule.