In episode 7, Jean Luc and Soji arrive on the planet Nepenthe seeking refuge with old Next Generation friends Will Riker and Deanna Troi, who now live there with their teen daughter. Elnor, Hugh and the xBs face Narissa’s wrath on the Artifact, while La Sirena is stuck in the cube’s tractor beam. Once the ship gets free, Narek follows them in a small ship. On La Sirena, Agnes tries to cope with the magnitude of her betrayals, with the help of Raffi, Chris and the EMH.
Nepenthe has two meanings: It is referred to in Homer’s Odyssey as a potion which induces forgetfulness of pain and sorrow, such as opium or a medicinal herb like borage. The second meaning is more interesting and just as pertinent to our story.
Nepenthes is a genus of carnivorous plants, the tropical pitcher plants, which act as a literal honey trap, using bright colors, an attractive smell and sugary nectar to lure prey to the edge of their tube shaped trap. The slippery digestive fluids on the lips and inside of the plant then stop the prey from escaping, acting like quicksand so that the harder the prey fights to escape, the further entrapped it becomes.
Both senses of Nepenthe are being used on Star Trek: Picard this season.
Nepenthe(s) as a honey trap is what Narek did to Soji all season and, on a smaller scale, Seven did to Bejayzl in episode 5. In the past, Bejayzl used herself as a honey trap on Seven, so Seven was only returning the favor. Will someone return the favor for Narek?
Nepenthe as a balm for your pain is Counselor Troi and Auntie Raffi’s department, depending on whether you want to go the mellow or intense route. Do you want to try pizza, wine and conversation with old friends or cake, snakeweed and casual sex with people you’ve recently met? Or maybe you’re the type who goes for adrenaline rush-inducing sword fights on an empty stomach with your archenemy. On a Borg cube.
No judgement here. Everybody’s just trying to survive. Not that I condone murder as stress relief, of course.