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The question is pretty much the title. As bad as season two was, at the end we have a Borg queen that was a former friend of Picard (from season one), who rescues the galaxy or something (plots so bad not worth spoiler-tagging).

Then in season 3 we have an entirely different villain, until the big reveal, and it's the Borg again. Back to their old nasty tricks.

I won't challenge anyone to answer this from within the story, but I would like a better understanding of what has happened in the real world to let it get this bad. Do not offer theories of manatees in an aquarium selecting plot elements with colored plastic balls unless you have actual court-admissible evidence (I know your secret account Trey Parker, you can't hide from me).

As a Trekkie, am I being made fun of by the creators of this show, and what did I ever do to deserve this?

PS This is a serious question. Jokes are ok, but I am truly bewildered by season three. Someone help me.

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    The friendly borg queen formed her own collective. The original borg always still existed.
    – sno
    Commented Apr 24, 2023 at 0:40
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    see How many Borg collectives are there?
    – sno
    Commented Apr 24, 2023 at 4:08
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    @JohnO you are mistaken with the "became all the borg". Just a different group that kept a low profile. But there's no harm in ignoring this stuff entirely. I don't personally acknowledge TNG movies, half of Voyager, all of enterprise and everything later. And I'm very happy Commented Apr 24, 2023 at 5:02
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    I downvoted - it's a good question, but it sounds a lot like a rant about Picard and also Voyager. Also I am unhappy with the fact that you deem it unnecessary to use spoiler tags because of your personal assessment that this plot is not worth protecting.
    – Philipp
    Commented Apr 24, 2023 at 7:06
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    @JohnO The impression I got from the S2 finale was that the "new" collective was tiny, not even close to all of the Borg. That's why they needed to commandeer the Starfleet ships to make the shield large enough.
    – Izkata
    Commented Apr 24, 2023 at 15:15

4 Answers 4

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Multiple, independent Borg Collectives are an old characteristic of the Borg

The Borg are introduced as a huge, completely interconnected hive mind, which is one characteristic that makes them unstoppable.

However, this characteristic leads, out of universe, to two problems:

  1. To be a proper, enjoyable villain, the Borg need to be "defeatable" at the end of the day, otherwise TNG Season 4 and onwards would have been very boring.
  2. Given range limits in communication, how can the Borg maintain interconnectivity with the whole hive mind at all times? And if they possess the technology for long-range communications, what would happen when that fails?

So the plot device they found is that it is possible to "split" the hive network, that disconnected parts of the network can act autonomously and can (and strive to) reconnect. And to add to that, they have added the idea that our individuality is something that eventually is dangerous to the Hive Mind.

They have used these plot devices multiple times:

  • "I, Borg" in TNG deals with a Borg Drone disconnected from the Hive Mind
  • "Descent" deals with a whole collective disconnected from the Hive Mind as a result from what happened in "I, Borg"
  • "Unity" in Voyager marks the first appearance of the Borg in Voy and also shows a separated Collective

... and many more.

The Borg Queen in Season 3 herself is on her own

Now that we have established that disconnected collectives are a thing in Star Trek: The Borg Queen we see in Season 3 is clearly not connected to a huge hive mind and assumes it doesn't exist. Part of her bitterness and anger is (other than being part of her evil personality) driven by the fact that her collective was dying from Janeway's virus and she even had to kill her remaining few borg drones to sustain herself.

Long story short: The universe might be full of other Borg, including Jurati, but this Borg Queen in Season 3 is not connected to them and wouldn't know.

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    I have a list of 3 SciFi plot devices I hate, and "exponential growth enemies" is on it. Your #1 is a great explanation of one of my chief problems with that device. There is in theory no way protagonists should be able to win against it. In practice writers just quietly nerf the exponential growth to help their plot out, but the ridiculous power of exponential growth is always there to randomly turn back on for no good reason but plot convenience.
    – T.E.D.
    Commented Apr 24, 2023 at 15:06
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    To be honest, the downfall of the borg began with their proper introduction in Voyager, when the producers decided to join the Hype Train following First Contact and introduced the Borg there. While Scorpion was a strong episode and I like Seven of Nine, it all went downhill from there.
    – Philipp
    Commented Apr 24, 2023 at 15:11
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    @T.E.D. "We were looking for a way to make the ratings soar/so we orchestrated an encounter with the Borg..." Commented Apr 24, 2023 at 19:59
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    Evil Borg queen is the downfall of the Borg and honestly Berman Era trek. The only thing worse is the thunderous applause First Contact gets. The TNG borg were a transhumanism society gone horribly wrong and assimilate everyone for their own good is no more evil than an AI killing all humans because it was told to save earth. A mustache twirling queen villain was a huge retcon. Commented Apr 25, 2023 at 0:54
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    I think of it like real-life ants or bees. All ants/bees in a given nest/hive work together, but there are countless individual nests and hives, some of which even wage war on each other, so they're not all one collective. Commented Apr 25, 2023 at 13:42
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I think the best answer is from season 3 episode 4, captain Shaw says

"Forget about all that weird shit on the Stargazer. The real Borg are still out there. And they have a name for you. Locutus of Borg. The only Borg so deadly they gave him a goddamn name."

2 different borg factions now exist would seem to be the implication.

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The two types of Borgs are easily explained.

  1. By isolated networks that don't talk to each other or use different protocols.

  2. Even Voyager dabbled in this already with the Borg Cooperative being a rival collective. https://memory-beta.fandom.com/wiki/Borg_Cooperative

  3. Yes, you have been made fun of, because you keep giving them your money and attention for anything with Star Trek slapped on it. And have been doing so since Voyager was new.

  4. Real World: it is safe to speculate that the lowest-common-denominator understanding of who Picard's nemesis is would be: the Borg, and then Q. So low-brow pseudo-fanservice scripts will give the lowest-common-denominator fans what they want for a show named Picard. Which means sometimes you get the Borg two seasons in a row.

  5. Similarly, the lowest-common-denominator understanding of who Picard's favorite person is would be Data. (Speculation, not a factual statistical survey) Which is why they did two different seasons on undoing his Nemesis death.

    I do recall there's a Red Letter Media video on this point. It compiled lots of TNG scenes of Picard and Data awkward coworker conversations because they were never super close and then compared to the movies where they had a bromance while Picard was always doing his "Die Hard" stuff.

  6. Voyager fans really like 7 of 9. Throw her in too. And that means even more Borg.

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    Yeah, the movies pretty much destroyed the character dynamics of TNG. Picard was always the wise mentor figure to his officers (Beverly withstanding), offering sound, helpful advice but always apart. Then, like you say, the movies turn into a bromance between Picard and Data, overriding the deep pre-existing relationships that existed (Data and Geordi, Picard and Beverly, etc.) I understand it on the one hand, it's hard to do a large family drama in a 90-minute action movie, but on the other hand they did the show dirty.
    – Xantec
    Commented Apr 24, 2023 at 5:24
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Simplest answer. Jurati remained in the past and had a few hundred years to improve TNG Borg tech for her collective, separated from other collectives. Presumably respecting the prime directive along the way until they were needed, or developed the tech to jump back to Picard's timeline and save the day. The Queen from present day was what remained after Janeway released the virus that devastated the Borg, having to cannibalise her limited resources for one last offensive. If you think about the Borg motivation, the fact they even consider evolution over assimilation is horrifying and shows their relentlessness.

But from a story perspective that's what I think the canon is.

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    Are you just speculating here, or is there evidence to support this? If there is evidence, you should cite it to lend more weight to this answer. Commented Apr 25, 2023 at 12:30

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