Star Trek: The Complicated History of the Picards and the Crushers

Blair Marnell
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TV Streaming Star Trek Sci-Fi

Since the beginning of Star Trek: The Next Generation, the complicated past of Jean-Luc Picard and Dr. Beverly Crusher has cast a shadow on their lingering feelings for each other. That’s one of the reasons why they never really became a couple on that series. Even now, at the beginning of Star Trek: Picard Season 3, Picard admitted that he and Beverly couldn’t make it work as lovers. However, recent events in the show have dramatically changed the relationship between Picard and Beverly, and potentially united their two families as one.

But things may not be as simple as they appear, and we still have questions before Picard Season 3 brings the TNG era to an end. Fortunately, most of the answers are already available within the previous adventures of Picard and his crew.


Years before Picard took command of the Enterprise, he was the captain of a Federation ship called the U.S.S. Stargazer. And Picard’s second officer on the ship was Beverly’s husband, Lieutenant Commander Jack Crusher. This was the period of time during which Picard became close friends to both Crushers. And in the TNG episode, “Attached,” Picard admitted to Beverly that he had romantic feelings for her even while she was married to Jack. But those feelings only brought Picard shame, especially after Jack’s death. Picard also felt that acting on those feelings would be a betrayal of his friend.

The vast majority of their time on the Stargazer took place off screen. We don’t even know the specifics of how Jack died, only that it was an accident and Picard had to make a split-second life or death decision. In “Violations“, Beverly was forced to relive the memory of Picard bringing Jack’s body home. His death left Beverly a widow, and she was now a single mother to their son, Wesley Crusher.

Close Encounters

Picard and Beverly reunited years later in TNG’s debut episode, “Encounter At Farpoint,” where she became the new chief medical officer on the Enterprise. And with Beverly came Wesley, whom Picard took under his wing, even if it was with reluctance at first. Picard and the rest of the bridge crew mentored Wesley, and he became almost a surrogate father for the ship’s new acting Ensign before Wesley went off to attend Starfleet Academy.

Beverly left the Enterprise for a year, but she eventually returned, which only deepened her connection with Picard. In “Attached,” Picard and Beverly were forcibly linked by technology that allowed them to share each others’ thoughts. For the first time, Picard realized that they really did have a reciprocal romantic attraction. But when given the chance to explore those feelings, it was Beverly who turned away in favor of maintaining their friendship.

The Lost Son

Unlike the Crushers, Picard never had any children of his own as a young man. Nor even a wife. Yet Picard was far from celibate. The episode “Bloodlines” established that Picard had a relationship two decades earlier with Miranda Vigo, a woman who subsequently gave birth to a son named Jason. In the present, the renegade Ferengi captain, Bok, contacted Picard and vowed to get his revenge on the captain for killing his son when Picard was in command of the Stargazer. Jason Vigo was Bok’s pathway to revenge.

Much like events currently playing out in Picard, Jason had a criminal past and a very real reluctance to form any kind of bond with his father. Yet the two men found common ground before the truth was revealed. Bok had faked Jason’s DNA test, and Picard had no son.

Although Picard was disappointed by that revelation, he had some small comfort that his family line would continue through his brother, Robert, and Robert’s son, René. Sadly, both perished in a fire off-screen, and Picard openly despaired at the news in Star Trek: Generations in part because he would now be the last Picard. The family would die with him.

The Prodigal Son

As for Wesley, his career was stalled when he was embroiled in a scandal at Starfleet Academy in “The First Duty.” That eventually led to Wesley’s resignation from Starfleet. But it turns out that Beverly’s son had an even greater destiny. Years earlier on the Enterprise, an alien being known as The Traveler suggested that Wesley could one day become like him and depart from this plane of existence.

The Traveler’s prediction came true in “Journey’s End,” when Wesley had a vision of his father, Jack, who told him to pursue his own path. When Wesley’s powers manifested themselves, The Traveler became his mentor on an interstellar journey beyond imagination. Wesley briefly returned in Star Trek: Nemesis for the wedding of Deanna Troi and William Riker. He also appeared in Star Trek: Picard season 2 as a veteran Traveler, but he doesn’t seem quite as human as he used to be. And for now, we’re not sure of where things stand between Wesley and his mother, what she knows about his current status, or even if Wesley has ever met his half-brother.

What Could Have Been

TNG’s finale, “All Good Things…,” revealed a potential future in which Picard and Beverly had gotten married only to have their union end in a divorce. Even in this possible future, things didn’t work out for them. And even if the potential of a brief marriage offered some hope for their relationship, it never actually happened in the prime timeline. Regardless of his own future fate, Picard did share some info about this unrealized future with his crew in the present. And it may have helped push Picard and Beverly closer together.

Two Decades Later

Patrick Steward as Picard and Gates McFadden as Dr. Beverly Crusher in Star Trek: Picard

There are spoilers ahead for what’s aired in Star Trek: Picard Season 3 so far! Early in the season, while speaking with his current romantic partner, Laris, Picard said that he and Beverly tried to make their romance work one last time after the events of Star Trek: Nemesis. Sadly, they hadn’t seen each other in over two decades. Beverly not only cut Picard out of her life, but all of her former crewmates as well. That’s one of the reasons why Picard was so surprised when Beverly finally made contact with an urgent plea for help.

When Picard and Riker caught up to Beverly, they found her in medical stasis and in the company of her second son, Jack Crusher. Like Jason Vigo, Jack has a checkered past that may make him a criminal in the eyes of Starfleet. But when Beverly silently confirmed Picard’s suspicions, he instantly accepted Jack as his son and took drastic actions to protect him.

What’s next for the Picards and the Crushers? The answers will be forthcoming in the remaining episodes of Star Trek: Picard Season 3.

Blair Marnell
Freelance writer for almost every major geek outlet, including Fandom!