Returning to the Alpha Quadrant wasn’t the best experience for Seven of Nine, and Jeri Ryan discusses that and Seven’s Star Trek: Picard storyline. Note: Spoilers for Star Trek: Picard.
As Picard viewers know, Seven has been working for the Fenris Rangers. They are “trying to bring a semblance of order to the mess the galaxy is in,” said Ryan; “for which she holds Starfleet and the Federation very much responsible, and sort of Picard as an extension of that.”
It’s not easy being a former Borg in the world of Star Trek: Picard. “She’s always going to be visibly former Borg,” said Ryan. “So, now not only is the Borg universally hated, which she did know, now they’re literally hunted for parts. So I don’t think she’s had a terribly warm welcome back to the Alpha Quadrant.”
When Ryan was having trouble “finding her voice” as Seven, fellow actor Jonathan Del Arco said, “What if she just makes a conscious choice to sound as human possible for survival?” For Ryan, “it was like a light bulb went off or a switch was flipped and I was like, ‘that’s it’.”
“I don’t think that humanity has really lived up to her expectations,” said Ryan. “I think they’ve been a pretty big disappointment in a lot of ways. She’s had a tough way to go. She’s been through a lot of dark stuff, as you see in this episode, in flashbacks. She’s in a very dark place when we meet her and that’s a struggle you’ll see her address as the season continues.”
Part of her Seven’s struggles include having to euthanize Icheb and having a once-trusted friend turn on her. “What she goes through breaks my heart,” said Ryan. “But I love that it shows her resilience. She had to live through that horrific experience of having to put what is essentially her son out of his misery, watching him suffer. For all those thirteen years that followed, she’s been hunting this character she was really close to and trusted, Bjayzl, and finally gets to a point where she can seek her revenge. And I think as time goes on we find out if taking that life was really the closure she was seeking. It’s something she is going to struggle with coming to terms with [about] humanity — what it is and what it means.”
In one scene, Seven asked Picard if he had regained all of his humanity back after being reclaimed from the Borg. Ryan found it “a very unique bond that they can’t really talk about with other people, because nobody else would get it.”
I think it’s very touching to show that just because you’re separated and now back around people, you don’t automatically feel complete or whole again,” Ryan added. “I think it speaks to people who have been through any sort of trauma or abuse.”