It seems the lack of romance in the third season of “Picard” stems from the scheduling and necessity of the plot. Matala build the season like a feature film, which adds more action and plot elements (as opposed to character or philosophy). There are sinister plot themes involving insidious Changelings, and a mystery about Jack Crusher’s burgeoning X-Men powers. Raffi and Worf (Michael Dorn) spend a few episodes delving into the criminal underworld to find out who stole the superweapon from a Starfleet dark web. Plus, there are episodes devoted to fan service and nostalgia; if you’re prone to wistfulness, roll your eyes during any of the Starfleet Ship Museum scenes in the show.
Throwing all that into just ten episodes leaves little time for other things. Lamenting the lack of love, Matalas said:
“As for the other things that I wish we could have done better, I think I would say that, considering some of the criticism across the board, I would say it’s been a season that hasn’t been a waste of time. There’s no real room for romance, whether it’s Picard and Crusher, Seven and Raffi, Jack and Sidney having a flirty moment Even Riker and Troi mostly deal with tragedy lost a couple’s child. I wish I had scrambled to have more time to have a few more scenes with those characters. I think all fans would want more romance throughout.”
Romance is rarely the focus of “Star Trek”, largely because the characters tend to become colleagues in a professional setting; fraternity is not always appropriate. With “Picard”, however, everyone ended up turning off the clock. Sadly, adding one more romance means subtracting another plot theme.