Yes, I loved the final season of Picard. It was wonderful. I laughed, I cried, all that jazz. But I’ve got a criticism. It’s the same one I’ve had since Trek writers and producers messed up the one thing that made the Borg so terrifying.

What made them scary was that they were a collective. You couldn’t defeat them by blowing up one ship or taking out one thing. The strength of a hive mind is that taking out a few of them is like taking out a few skin cells of a marauding bear. In a true collective, there is no central control. That’s what made them so hard to fight.

But then, we were introduced to a singular villain that the story could focus on, a Borg Queen. Suddenly, you could defeat the entire “collective” by taking her out. It makes the story an easier one to tell. The writers don’t have to work so hard. Voila.

In the case of the Picard finale, our brave starship crew only had to take out the Borg beacon. Easy peasy, from a storytelling perspective.

It’s a very old, very tired story trope. “We can defeat this whole overwhelming army by just blowing up this one base, this one antenna, this one thing…” The idea is that a few heroes — or one hero — can defeat the horde. It’s the stuff of many hero movies. Many, many hero movies. Many, many, many, many, many hero movies.

I get it. It’s a popular story trope, to be sure. I love it, too. It’s just that for a brief moment, there was an opportunity to tell a different kind of story.

The TNG writers thought outside the box in creating a truly terrifying enemy. And then they put them right back in that box.