The reference to Gary Seven in Picard season 2 episode 4 feels equally out of place as “Assignment Earth” does in TOS because of Jean-Luc Picard’s knowledge of the character, not to mention the fact that the episode has never felt like a Star Trek episode to begin with and for good reason. Star Trek‘s Picard discovers that Gary Seven was employed by the same alien world that employs the Watcher, who is a supervisor assigned to watch over the destinies of events and specific individuals in history. While it is a unique niche reference, the implication of Gary being a Watcher doesn’t align with the ending of “Assignment: Earth,” where Kirk and Spock note their awareness of Gary’s future adventures. If Picard is unaware of Watchers in his time, then Kirk and Spock being aware of Gary Seven’s placement in the history books lacks sense. It translates as a stretch for Picard to remember a random case file from the USS Enterprise NCC-1701, where an alien from an unknown planet intercepted Captain Kirk’s crew.
The season 2 finale of TOS has never felt like a legitimate Star Trek: The Original Series episode and shouldn’t be treated as solid canon. Picard referencing the character of Gary Seven by adding lore on top of the continuity-destructive “Assignment: Earth” comes across as nostalgia bait. While the episode should have been aired separately from the original series, it has obviously not been disregarded.
Star Trek: Picard continues Thursdays on Paramount+.