In Star Trek: Nemesis, just before Picard gives the order to

ram Shinzon's ship

he says of Shinzon, "He thinks he knows exactly what I am going to do." I've never understood what that meant. Any help?

1 Answer 1


The official novelisation gives us some internal dialogue from each of the characters. Picard guesses (correctly) that Shinzon will expect Picard to hand himself over to save the Enterprise, not realising that Picard's greater loyalty is to the safety of the Federation, even at the cost of his ship and his crew.

The captain's mind raced. He knew, of course, that Shinzon would now demand that Picard turn himself over if he wanted to save his ship.

At the same time, Picard knew Shinzon's word could not be trusted. Out of pure revenge, Shinzon would destroy the Enterprise; he had no reason now to spare her, and every reason to seek revenge on his double.

Yet Shinzon was counting on the captain as having no choice-for if Picard refused, he and his ship would surely be destroyed. If he gave himself over to Shinzon, if he, in his last moments, could appeal to Shinzon's humanity to save the Enterprise, then perhaps.

That, Picard knew, was Shinzon's reasoning-and so he, Picard, had to think of the opposite of his natural inclination. And his natural inclination was to protect his ship and crew at any cost.

"We've got him," Picard exulted. He sat in his chair and began punching commands into his console.

Geordi gazed quizzically at him with pale eyes. "Sir.?"

Picard did not quite smile. "He thinks he knows exactly what I'm going to do."

And on the Scimitar bridge, Shinzon thought precisely that. His desperation had subsided; now that the battle was his, he decided that he was, in fact, deeply grateful to Picard for putting up such a valiant effort-for it showed what he, Shinzon, was made of. Had his double been any less difficult to capture, Shinzon would not have known the true depths of his own resiliency.

At the same time, the difficulty had angered and frustrated Shinzon to the point that he hated Picard while still admiring him.

Time now for Picard to play the role he'd spent his whole life preparing for: that of the noble martyr.

.... [after ramming Shinzon's ship]

It was not a request he had wanted to make. He had hoped above all to disable the Scimitar, to render her navigation or warp drive powerless-but Shinzon had reacted too quickly. Now he was forced to do the one thing he had, as Shinzon had correctly surmised, wanted to avoid at all costs.

Deanna and Will should not be here now, should not be required to make this sacrifice; they should be sailing on the Opal Sea. And Beverly-Beverly should be cutting through the bureaucratic red tape at Starfleet Medical, clucking her tongue over the new medical recruits and their inability to cope with over a hundred different alien anatomies.

Just as the young helmsman should not have died-and all other crew members aboard this vessel should not be having to suffer the same fate.

But Picard knew his regrets were moot; there was no time to make them known-the Scimitar was moving away too swiftly. He would do what had to be done: Stop Shinzon from destroying Earth and the Federation.

  • 2
    Thank you! I've wondered about this for years! Well ... occasionally ... for years. Not like I'm obsessed with it but, it's been like an itch on my back that I never could quite scratch. Thanks! Nov 26, 2022 at 5:16
  • 2
    @bob.sacamento - Like most moustache-twirling villains, Shinzon's downfall is his overconfidence.
    – Valorum
    Nov 26, 2022 at 5:20
  • @Valorum the hallmark of the weyouns. Maybe the founders should eliminate that from their genetic recipe, next time.
    – Daniel B
    Nov 27, 2022 at 18:51
  • 1
    @DanielB - I'm reasonably certain that having ridiculous amounts of confidence is also the hallmark of greatness.
    – Valorum
    Nov 27, 2022 at 19:01

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