Warning: SPOILERS for Star Trek: Picard Season 3, Episode 2 – “Disengage”Star Trek: Picard season 3, episode 2, confirms that Dr. Beverly Crusher’s (Gates McFadden) second son is named Jack Crusher (Ed Speleers), but is his name an insult to his father, Admiral Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart)? Picard and Captain Will Riker (Jonathan Frakes) were shocked when Jack Crusher identified himself as Beverly’s son at the end of Star Trek: Picard’s season 3 premiere, although Riker immediately noticed Jack’s traits reminded him of Jean-Luc. But it wasn’t until the end of episode 2 that Picard accepted that Jack Crusher is indeed his son.
Star Trek: Picard season 3‘s first two episodes dropped some crucial info about Jack Crusher. Jack was conceived over 20 years before Star Trek: Picard season 3, which is when Beverly inexplicably left the USS Enterprise-E and severed all contact with her former Star Trek: The Next Generation crew mates, including Picard. Beverly raised Jack by herself, and together, the Crushers worked outside of Federation space performing Doctors Without Borders-style missions of mercy aboard the SS Eleos. For unrevealed reasons, Captain Vadic (Amanda Plummer) wants to apprehend Jack, and the Crushers have evaded capture from people who have falsely identified themselves as Fenris Rangers, Klingons, and even Starfleet Officers. But through it all, Jack admittedly “never had” a father growing up.
Why Jack Crusher’s Name Is Insulting To Jean-Luc Picard
Jack Crusher is named not for his father, Jean-Luc Picard, but for Lt. Commander Jack Crusher (Doug Wert), Beverly Crusher’s deceased husband and Captain Picard‘s closest friend when they served together on the USS Stargazer. But the late Jack Crusher is not the younger Jack’s father, as he was to Beverly’s firstborn son, Wesley Crusher (Wil Wheaton), who has noticeably not been name-dropped in Star Trek: Picard season 3 thus far. Naming Picard’s son after her dead husband is a questionable move by Beverly, even if the elder Jack was the love of Dr. Crusher’s life. Meanwhile, Jack is believed to be a con man who has gone by multiple aliases – none of them “Picard.”
For Jean-Luc, Beverly choosing to name their son after her dead husband could naturally feel like an insult. After all, Jean-Luc is the last Picard to carry that surname, which is a fact Beverly certainly knows after Jean-Luc’s family died in a fire in Star Trek Generations. Jean-Luc had accepted that his family name would eventually die with him, and any joy he feels at discovering he has a full-grown offspring may be undercut by the fact that Jack is named after the late Lt. Commander Crusher, not his biological father who is still living. For Picard, Jack not carrying his surname may be the most hurtful part of not being part of his son’s life for the last 20 years.
Why Didn’t Beverly Tell Picard He Has A Son?
Of course, it’s hard to believe that Beverly Crusher would willingly want to hurt Jean-Luc Picard, even after 20 years of non-communication. After all, it was Picard who Beverly called for help when she was in her most desperate need at the start of Star Trek: Picard season 3’s premiere. But judging by what we know about what happened between Beverly and the Enterprise crew after Star Trek: Nemesis, Dr. Crusher somehow got pregnant by Picard, and she chose to leave to secretly have her baby without anyone knowing. Dr. Crusher then continued to maintain her isolation and radio silence for two decades.
Giving Beverly the benefit of the doubt she has earned, Dr. Crusher must have good reasons for choosing to keep Jack a secret and to perpetuate a total blackout of Picard and their friends. What those reasons could be will surely be revealed by Star Trek: Picard season 3, as Jean-Luc and Beverly are bound to have a serious heart-to-heart aboard the Titan. But whatever rationale Beverly has for keeping Jack away from his father, it may be a bit harder to explain naming the young man after her dead husband. Of course, the surname Picard is loaded with both expectations and the potential for Jean-Luc’s enemies to come after his offspring, but if those are Beverly’s reasons, would they be justifiable enough for Jean-Luc?
Should Picard Forgive Beverly For Jack Crusher?
There is certainly a myriad of complex emotions involved in Jean-Luc Picard accepting the fact that Jack is his son. Picard was stunned when he and Beverly saw each other on the USS Titan-A’s bridge for the first time in two decades, and she needed no words to convey the truth that Jean-Luc initially refused to face about Jack. But it would certainly be understandable if being hurt by Beverly’s choice of Jack’s surname is among the rush of feelings that swept over Picard. After all, Jean-Luc may have claimed to Laris (Orla Brady) that he is “not a man who needs a legacy,” but that legacy which was heretofore kept from him is now living and breathing on the Titan while carrying another man’s surname.
The desire to get to know Jack, and for Jack to get to know his father, may likely supersede any hurt feelings Jean-Luc might have over his son not being named Picard. And if Beverly has a solid reason behind her choice of keeping Jack from him, Picard is absolutely capable of understanding her decision. After all, Admiral James T. Kirk (William Shatner) faced a similar circumstance when Dr. Carol Marcus (Bibi Besch) named their son David Marcus (Merritt Butrick) instead of David Kirk in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.
Meanwhile, Jack Crusher does offer Jean-Luc new hope as Picard now has a next generation, but it’s tempered by the fact that the Picard family name will not go on regardless of Jack being his son. There is, of course, much more to be learned about Beverly and Jack Crusher in the next 8 episodes of Star Trek: Picard season 3. The potential is there for Jack to end the season as Jack Picard. But before any such thing can happen, Beverly Crusher must provide Jean-Luc Picard with some long-deserved answers, and they must both forgive each other for whatever hurt they may have caused.
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Star Trek: Picard Season 3 streams Thursdays on Paramount+.