Warning: SPOILERS for Star Trek: Picard Season 3, Episode 5 – “Imposters”One detail about Jack Crusher (Ed Speleers) in Star Trek: Picard season 3 hints at the timeline of the Changelings’ plan to attack Starfleet. Jack began having terrifying visions after he was exposed to deadly gas after he uncovered the USS Titan-A’s Changeling saboteur in Picard season 3, episode 3, “Seventeen Seconds.” Since then, Jack’s waking nightmares have intensified as he visualizes an apocalyptic landscape, a door, blood-colored branches, and a voice urging Crusher to “find me.”
At the start of Star Trek: Picard season 3, episode 5, “Imposters,” Jack goes on a murderous rampage and slaughters the Titan’s bridge crew before he snaps back to reality. But Crusher’s waking life isn’t any safer than his nightmares because security officers from the USS Intrepid led by Commander Ro Laren (Michelle Forbes) of Starfleet Intelligence come aboard the Titan to apprehend him. Commander Seven of Nine (Jeri Ryan) hides Jack in plain sight as a Starfleet Officer at the behest of Crusher’s father, Admiral Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart). But after the Changelings posing as Starfleet security murder Ro, they return to the Titan, only to be taken down and terminated by Jack Crusher.
Jack Crusher’s Nightmares Hint At Star Trek: Picard Season 3’s Changeling Timeline
In the Titan’s Sickbay, Jack finally confesses to his mother, Dr. Beverly Crusher (Gates McFadden) that “something is very wrong” with him. But Beverly can already see it because she has seen Jack in this distressed state before. Dr. Crusher reminds Jack that he’s experienced similar nightmares since he was little – and therein lies a clue as to how long the rogue Changelings have been plotting against Starfleet. Jack is about 23 or 24 in Star Trek: Picard season 3’s 2401 timeframe; if Crusher’s nightmares began when he was very young, then the Changelings have been implementing their plan for over 20 years, likely since the early 2380s.
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine season 7 ended the Dominion War in 2375. Star Trek: Voyager‘s series finale occurred in 2378, and Star Trek: Nemesis happened in 2379, before the pregnant Beverly Crusher left the USS Enterprise-E and cut off her crew mates for 20 years to secretly raise Jack. Somehow, in the interim years after the Dominion War’s conclusion, rogue Changelings broke away from the Great Link and returned to the Alpha Quadrant to seek revenge on the United Federation of Planets. Whatever the Changelings are suspected to have done to Jack Crusher, they did when he was very young, hence the nightmares that plagued him since he was a boy.
Is Jack Crusher A Changeling In Star Trek: Picard Season 3?
Jack Crusher’s nightmares and the murderous sprees he undergoes are like a switch goes off in his head, and his eyes even glow red. The question is whether Jack is actually a Changeling, or if he is indeed human but was somehow altered by Changelings when he was very young. Giving Jack the benefit of the doubt of being human and the trueborn son of Jean-Luc Picard and Beverly Crusher, it means he was augmented as a child. If the Changelings did this to Jack, then it was part of their far-reaching, forward-thinking plan, perhaps to use Crusher as a weapon.
This may be why Captain Vadic (Amanda Plummer) was ordered by The Face (Garth Kemp), her Changeling boss, to apprehend Jack because he’s needed for the Changelings’ plan. Another possibility, however, is that Jack Crusher’s nightmares are the result of someone else augmenting him, and he’s meant to be a weapon used to stop the Changelings. This could also explain why the shapeshifters are so desperate to capture Jack. Whatever is truly going on with Jack Crusher in Star Trek: Picard season 3, he has likely been a pawn of the Changelings’ insidious plot to attack Starfleet for about 20 years.
More: Star Trek: Picard Season 3 Episode 5 Ending Explained
Star Trek: Picard Season 3 streams Thursdays on Paramount+.