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Star Trek Picard's season finale "Et in Arcadia Ego Part 2" has arrived. We finally get to see some turn of the century Starfleet ships, plus a welcome familiar face. So what did I think of the climax? I talk about what worked for me, and what didn't. It's been a wild ride over the last ten weeks. I've enjoyed the journey, and I hope you'll continue to join me on Nerd Heaven now that Star Trek Picard is finished. There's plenty more to come!
Welcome to Nerd Heaven
I’m Adam David Collings, the author of Jewel of The Stars
And I am a nerd.
This is episode 20 of the podcast. Today, we’re talking the 10th episode and season finale of Star Trek Picard Et in Arcadia ego Part 2.
And yes, apparently, it’s et, not et. It’s apparently latin. Last week I interpreted it as a mixture of french and english. Which should probably be a little embarrassing.
So we’ve made it all the way through season 1. Be sure to stick around to the end of this podcast, because I’ll be talking about what the future holds for Nerd Heaven now that Picard season 1 is finished.
I’m recording this episode on the 28th of March 2020. And right now, basically the entire world are being told to stay in their homes unless absolutely necessary, due to the spread of covid 19. It’s a crazy time. But at least we have new Star Trek to talk about.
The description for this episode on memory alpha reads
Picard and his team are pitted against the Romulans and the synthetics of Coppelius in a final confrontation.
The teleplay was by Michael Chabon.
The story was by Michael Chabon and Akiva Goldsman
It was directed by Akiva Goldsman
And it first aired on the 26th of March 2020.
Make it so.
I love that opening shot of the Borg cube crashed on the shore of the ocean.
And we see that Narak has arrived. Makes sense this would be the place he’d go.
Elnor and Seven are just sitting around in the dark talking about xbs. Why did they stay behind again? One of the downsides of this show seems to be under-utilising certain characters, such as these two. I think this scene epitomises that problem.
However, it’s a great scene.
Elnor posits that because the xbs have no home, and are hated by everyone, that they might be better off dead.
Seven reminds him that she’s also an xb. Does that mean she should just kill herself?
The reason he gives that she should not, is that he would miss her. Nice little friendship growing between these two.
So in Elnor’s philosophy, being loved by another is a reason to live. And it is. It’s one of the strongest driving forces that keeps us going through hard times. It’s also one of the most soul-destroying things that rob people of their hope, when they feel that nobody loves them.
And then surprise surprise. Rizzo is on the cube. This has me really confused. We saw her being attacked by xbs. At the last second she beamed aboard one of the Romulan ships and left the cube, heading for Coppelius. And then last week, we saw her commanding one of the warbirds, a day away from the planet. Unless that was Oh. We know she’s commanding the fleet now. But it seemed very clear to me, back in Broken Pieces, that she had beamed off the cube. So if we’re supposed to accept that she’s been hiding on the cube all this time, they’ve not done a good job of explaining it.
Now she’s on the cube, but the fleet hasn’t arrived yet. I was waiting for her to fade out, as a hologram. Very strange.
We’ll see the robot butterfly flapping about a lot in this episode. It could be symbolic. I’ll talk more about it later.
For now, Picard is envious of the freedom the butterfly has, since he is currently imprisoned.
Soji comes in to see him.
It seems she wasn’t being a double agent last week, when she agreed with her evil twin Sutra.
And she has the nerve to say to Picard “Try to see this from our point of view.”
We’re going to kill you, everyone you ever loved, and literally all organic life in the galaxy. But try to see it from our point of view.”
She says of his plan to rescue them in his ship, “You choose if we live. You choose if we die. You choose. We have no choice.”
But that’s exactly what she’s doing right now. She’s choosing whether people live or die, and she’s chosen for them to die.
The synths have legitimate grievances again organics, but she has become just like her enemy.
But she has become worse.
Worse than the Federation.
Not worse than the Zhat Vash, who want to exterminate all synthetic life. The synths and the Zhat Vash have become mirrors of each other. And both because of the same motivation. Fear. Again, we’ll come back to this.
Picard says “To say you have no choice is a failure of imagination.” Which I think is a great line. And one that we can all apply to our own lives.
And as he points out, not only have the synths become the Zhat Vash, they have become the very monsters the Zhat Vash fear.
And so another party separates, leaving one of their number behind on the Borg cube. This time, Rizo remains to bring the weapons online. Not sure what she hopes to accomplish with the weapons of a grounded borg cube, but anyway.
And Elnor notices Narak and follows him.
Rios and Raffi are fixing the ship using the magic repair device. It feels like a technology that would be more at home in Doctor Who than Star Trek, but it’s interesting. I do like the friendship these two have.
Altan Soong is an interesting one. He really is okay with all organic life being annihilated for the sake of his synths. As long as he gets to transfer into a synth body, of course.
He really believes Agnus is willing to help him do that, and then die herself. And he’s okay with that as well.
The guy is a bit unhinged.
Of course, Agnus has no intention of helping him, or of dying.
Narak makes a good point to Rios. He’s trying to save the universe. And he is. While Narak and his sister are really not fantastic villains, this is one aspect of them that I like. They believe they’re the good guys. They’re not just evil for evil’s sake. I do like a villain who is the hero of their own story.
Right now, Narak and Rios have a common enemy, and a partially common goal. They need to stop the synths from calling in the supersynths. Of course, Narak wants to do that by eliminating all the synths. So working with him is very risky.
But maybe, just maybe, the partially genuine feelings he developed for Soji have softened him just a bit. Maybe he’s hoping to find a way to save the universe without slaughtering the synths. Maybe that’s why he insisted that Rizo stay behind at the cube, because she’s more trigger-happy than he is.
I really like Elnor’s innocence. He just says what’s on his mind like a kid. He looks across the campfire at Narak and says “I don’t like you.” And yet, somehow, Evan Evagora sells it without it sounding silly or on the nose.
So Narak tells the story of ganmadan. It’s like the Romulan end times. What’s interesting is that he says “some say it dates back from long before our ancestors first arrived on vulcan.”
Now, either this is a mistake in dialog, meant to say “before our ancestors arrived on Romulus from Vulcan”, or they are implying that Vulcans are not native to their homeworld, that they travelled their from somewhere else.
Which is a major game-changing idea to casually just drop into conversation like this. What are we supposed to make of this?
Anyway, Ganmadan is a story that is eerily reminiscent of what is going on, even more eerily reminiscent of what will soon happen later in the episode. Narak doesn’t believe it’s a prophecy, he believes it’s history. A history that will repeat itself.
Okay. So we know the super-nasty-synths from a higher plan have come and annihilated organic life before. But they were called by two sisters? It seems strangely coincidental that all those eons ago, it was synths made in sibling pairs, just like Maddox’s synths, that called the big bads.
So I’m left wondering. Is there more to it? There’s no time-travel involved in this show. Will there be there in the future? Or is it supposed to truly be a real prophecy? Something none of the characters around this fireplace actually believe in?
I know it would probably be easier to pull off their plan in daylight, and the campfire scene allows the episode to give us some exposition in a dramatic way, but given the stakes, they seem to have very little sense of urgency. If I were them, I’d be trying to destroy that beacon as soon as possible.
They do that cutting back and force thing again here, and it works well for me here, because it’s kinda reminiscent of a heist movie.
They hide the detonator in a soccer ball, which the synths let him carry into the village. Odd that he’d happen to bring a soccer ball, but whatever. I’ll give them that one.
So agnus breaks Picard out of jail. I love Agnus’s face when she says she thought she’d be a terrible secret agent, but she’s starting to think she may have a gift.
Picard and Agnus are talking about how to stop the synths. Technologically, they’re more advanced, but they’re also like children. Their only teachers have been a couple of hermits. And we already know that one of them, Soong, is a pretty unstable guy. They’ve lived their lives under the threat of extermination.
Picard can’t single handedly take down the Romulan Fleet, or destroy the beacon, but he can teach the synths some better lessons. This is what he’s good at. This is the speech-making Picard we’ve known all these years. Who debated passionately with Q. Who pleaded with Soran to call of his genocide of the people in the Viridian system.
Picard is a man who influences and convinces. That’s how he’s going to save the day.
“Yes, they have life, but nobody is teaching them what life is for. To be alive is a responsibility as well as a right.” He’s going to teach them this lesson by example.
This is a pretty decent Picard speech, and will likely be remembered alongside many from TNG.
“Fear is an incompetent teacher,” he says. Feat has been an important theme throughout this show. Probably the most important. Everybody in this show is allowing their actions to be dictated by fear. The Zhat Vash, Starfleet, the synths. They’ve all succumbed to it. That’s the other thing about fear. None of us are immune to it. You know what would have made this theme even more powerful, is that if Picard himself had struggled with fear a little through this season, but overcame it in time to teach the galaxy this lesson.
Picard has had an arc, and he has struggled with things, but fear hasn’t been one of them. Which makes him come off, just a little pompous. But then, I guess that’s also been a bit of an aspect of Picard’s character all these years. He’s the high idea, the one who teaches us all the error of our ways. This show has probably given us the most flawed Picard we’ve ever had. So, I’ll not be too harsh here.
Actually, I’ve gotta say on second viewing, I’m really connecting with this more than the first time.
The thing is, at 94 years of age, Picard is no longer an action hero. He’s using what he’s got. His mind. His mind, and his conscience are as keen as the day we first met him coming down the lift in the engine room of the newly commissioned Enterprise D.
And then we finally get our one and only “Make it so” in the season. And it’s spoken, not by Picard, but by Agnes.
In a way that feels very much fan-service easter-egg.
I talked about this last week. “Make it so” is not something that should be fan service. Make it so is not an easter egg. Make it so is a very natural and regular part of Picard’s vocabulary. I don’t think the writers of this show understand that.
It makes little sense for Agnus to say it. First of all, how does she even know it’s a phrase of his. He’s never said it in front of her, at least not on screen.
It’s like they’re thinking, “we can’t put in too many easter eggs, and we’ve got to mix them up, so we’ll have Agnus say it.” Totally missing the point there. As I said last week, there have been plenty of opportunities for Picard to say it very naturally. But instead, they give us this.
I know it’s a small thing, but we Star Trek fans like to nitpick the small things. And this was a bit frustrating to me.
Anyway, moving on.
So Soong learns the truth. Saga was killed not by Narak, but by Sutra, who let Narak go.
So he decides to become one of the good guys. He confronts Sutra and de-activates her.
But remember, minutes ago, this was the man who was quite okay with all organic life being obliterated. This is a little too much for me. It’s not that the realisation that he’s been played makes him join the good guys, it’s the fact that he went so far the other way first. I’m afraid it’s not quite working for me.
Soong realises at this moment that he’s been a bad teacher. His line as she falls is kinda telling, though. “Turns out, you’re no better than we are.” It seems that Soong believed the synths were better than humanity. Superior, not just physically, but morally. Perhaps that’s why he was willing to let all organic life die. This line helps, but his turn is still too jarring, from super-super-evil-moustache-twirler to reasonable man.
And I’m afraid I have to point out that Elnor and Narak punching and kicking synths is ridiculous. All they’d get for their trouble would be broken fingers and ankles. These are androids. Metal and plastic. Super strong. And super fast. Honestly, there’s no way our heroes should succeed here. But of course, they don’t.
For a second there, I thought Soji was going to turn good and help them. But no, she throws the detonator into the sky.
She’s really still okay with comitting genocide.
I’m ok with the other synths being committed to this plan. As picard says they’re children who’ve not been taught well. But until recently, Soji thought she was human. And she’s begun to develop relationships with humans.
Rizo is trying to use the Borg weapons to destroy La Sierena. But Seven shows up to stop her.
I always thought Elnor would be the one to kill Rizo, but I’m okay with Seven doing it. In fact, that may be even more satisfying. Especially when she says “this is for hugh.”
Rizo’s prejudice against rescued former borg is inconsistent. She doesn’t treat her aunt Ramdha with hate, or call her a half-meat. But it’s probably a mistake to look for logic or consistency in hate.
Have I mentioned before that I quite like the designs of the new Romulan warbirds?
Oh orders her people to sterilise the entire planet.
I feel like the episode should be over at this point. They should have been able to destroy the settlement before the orchids even made it into orbit.
Anyway, those orchids buy us a little time.
I have quite mixed feelings about this next part of the episode.
So Agnus and Picard come up with a plan, inspired by the old Picard Maneuver he used on the Stargazer against a Ferengi vessel all those decades ago.
Picard’s plan here is to show Soji a better way. Her specifically. She’s the one he can reach. She’s the one he’s been building a relationship with all this time.
He’s not just trying to stop the synths from unleashing hell. He’s also trying to stop the Romulans from killing the synths. In effect, he’s on both sides of the conflict, or on neither.
He wants Soji to know that despite what she’s doing, he still wants to save her people, to find an option that works for all.
Again, Oh orders all ships to target the nest. Then a good 30 seconds before Picard’s fake ships even appear. The nest should now be destroyed. But no, the Romulan ships are just sitting there, their guns glowing. Doing nothing.
And Oh is so distracted by the site of La Sirenna. One ship. “What is that?” she asks, like she’s seen something amazing.
This is not a new problem. TNG often had the crew of the Enterprise sitting around like stunned mullets when they should have been acting. This time around, it’s the villains.
Then Agnus pulls off the trick. Lots of fake La Sierannas. It distracts the Romulans for a moment or two, but it doesn’t actually achieve anything.
Except, I guess, it buys them a little more time for Starfleet to get there.
But before that can happen, the brecon activates. It opens a whole in space. A portal.
Again Oh, is so slow. Does it really take that long to re-target their distruports? “On my command. Now I’ll start into space dramatically for a few seconds beforeI give the command. Oh. too late. Starfleet are here now.”
However, the arrival of Starfleet was a great moment.
We’ve been wanting to see some turn-of-the-century Starfleet ships, and finally we get some.
This is the moment we’ve been waiting for.
We spot some modern upgrades to the nebula class, an excitingly, a couple of sovereign classes! Could one of these be the Enterprise? Has the Enterprise E been retired or destroyed at this point? We don’t actually know. But either way, it’s wonderful to see the sovereign class. I love that ship. And you know, this is the first time we’ve actually seen the sovereign class in a TV show. Back when they were doing the TNG movies, we never saw a sovereign on screen in either DS9 or Voyager. I thought that was a shame, personally.
At a closer look, those other ships are not so reminiscent of the nebula class. They’re kind of a squishy hybrid between the intrepid class and the galaxy class, but skinned with the aesthetic of the sovereign class.
Most of the fleet seems to be made up of this new ship class, and sovereigns, although I think I might have spotted something slightly deficient-esque. But maybe not.
Anyway, then, a not-so-big-but-still-welcome-suprise.
This is acting Captain Will Riker in command of the USS Zheng He.
I was hoping Riker would put the uniform back on to lead the fleet coming to Picard’s aide. He’s not on board his old ship, the Titan. This, apparently, is Starfleet’s most powerful ship.
The ship is named after chinese explorer Zheng He. Apparently, he was also a mariner, diplomat, fleet admiral, and court eunuch! That’s quite a diverse career.
He lived from 1371 to 1433.
We don’t know much about this ship. We don’t even really see the exterior. Memory alpha describes it as a Zheng-he type starship. So it’s a new class, a prototype. We have no registry number.
We do see the interior of the bridge, and I quite like what little we see of it. Loving that super wide viewscreen.
Apparently, the bridge is a redress of the USS Discovery bridge. All I recognised was the chair, so it must be a pretty significant redress. Anyway, that aesthetic looks a lot more appropriate here at the turn of the 25th century than it ever did in the twenty third.
As much as I love this moment, I’m kinda annoyed that they don’t even show us the exterior of this ship. We Star Trek nerds live for this kind of thing.
And all the while everyone is talking, that beacon is still working, and the portal is open. There’s a real timing problem with this confrontation.
While all of this is happening, Picard is having some kind of stroke or something. Obviously related to his brain defect. It seems his syndrome, irumodic or otherwise, is taking his life a heck of a lot quicker than we were expecting.
But Picard still has to convince Soji.
He begs Soji to prove to the Romulans that she’s not the destroyer, that they don’t need to fear her.
And while all of this is going on, those fleets are still just sitting there. No shot has been fired yet. Even though Oh ordered her ships to target the Federation fleet and attack. For some reason, these romulan weapons take an absolute eternity to re-target, which is preposterous to me.
Picard makes a good point. We’re not trying to destroy you. We’re not joining the Romulans, targeting you. We’re defending you. Because we believe in you.
Then we get a cool but brief look at the super-synths. They’re really creepy. The stuff of nightmares. Crawley tentacled things squirming in red-tinged space.
Soji finally listens to Picard’s words and turns off the beacon. As well she should. Picard, I believe, has successfully made his point.
But it’s at this moment when everybody seems to give up too easily.
The super-synths are just gone. Now we have to speculate at this point, that the beacon is more than just a message, saying come help us. It literally opens a portal into our universe. A portal that can’t be opened from the other side? It would seem to me that these super-synths wouldn’t just give up and go home just because the beacon stopped transmitting. I mean, the beacon could have been destroyed by the organics.
The romulans give up too easily. These extremist Zhat Vash who have devoted their lives to wiping out synths leave the scene immediately. And then the entire Federation fleet leaves the system. Escorting the Romulans out of Federation space, apparently, but not one ship remains behind to guard the planet, or to make sure no super-synths return with a portal of their own.
I love that we got to see the Federation fleet, and I love that we got to see Riker in uniform again, the new uniform. Looks good on him. But I wanted more. Starfleet didn’t even fire a shot.
I get that this show is more sci-fi drama than sci-fi action. But this felt quite anti-climactic to me. I was expecting an epic space battle here. It could have been one to rival the battle in Deep Space Nine’s Sacrifice of Angels. The two fleets should have battled while Picard was convincing Soji.
Anyway. That was the plot climax for the series. But not the character climax. That’s about to come now.
The little exchange between Picard and Riker actually felt reminiscent of the scene between Kirk and Sulu at the end of Star Trek 6. They may not be stationed on the same ship together, but these characters will always have each other’s backs.
And now that it’s all over, Picard’s brain tears itself apart.
Hastened by the dru Agnus administered.
I’ll admit, this surprised me.
I thought Picard’s slow descent into dementia and eventual death would be an arc that would take us through all seasons of this show.
It’s an emotional moment, but at the same time, it’s kind of hollow. We know this is not the end.
We know they’re already working on season 2. The show is called Star Trek Picard. They’re not gonna do it without him. So we know they’re gonna pull some kind of magic reset button like they did back in the days of TNG.
As Picard dies, he tells Rafi she was right. She asks what about, but he never gets any more words out.
What do you think he was talking about?
I’m guessing he means when she got angry at him for giving up after Starfleet refused to help the Romulans.
It’s the one big disagreement they had.
So now we get a couple of character scenes between different people.
When Rios says “You heard?” they make it clear that Picard has died. But there’s more they don’t tell you yet.
Seven is angry at herself for killing somebody just because it’s what they deserve. Just because it feels wrong for them to still be alive.
I love this moment.
I agree with Seven. It felt wrong for Rizo to still be alive, given how evil she was. If we were talking about a real person, I’d feel differently, but because she was fictional, I really really wanted her to die.
But I love that the show addresses the harsh reality of this. Seven took a life. That’s not a good thing. It’s not something to be celebrated. In so many shows, the good guy kills the bad guy, and feels nothing. This show is acknowledging that Seven did what had to be done, but that doesn’t means she should be okay with it. Taking a life exerts a toll on the killer. I assure you I don’t say that from experience. I’ve never killed anyone, and I desperately hope I never have to.
As for Rios, he’s angry for once again letting a great captain, another father figure, into his heart, only to lose them again.
These are the moments that Star Trek Picard excels at. The quiet character moments.
And then the butterfly swoops past the camera again.
At this moment, my wife said “That butterfly has to be symbolic of something.”
Poor Elnor. The way he puts his fists up to his eyes didn’t feel like a good acting choice. Looked more like a little kid crying of a broken toy, than a young man crying over the death of the only father he ever knew. But apart from the tiny moment, this scene still made me hurt inside. As Elnor sobs and Raffi holds him. Yeah, that got to me, so well done to both actors.
And then we cut to Picard.
I think that maybe, the butterfly was symbolic of Data. Although the butterfly has what Data lacks. Freedome. But i’m getting ahead of myself.
Picard wakes up in a room with Data. Data calls it a massively complex quantum simulation.
Turns out, Picard’s consciousness has been uploaded into a computer. That computer also contains the consciousness of Data, originally backed-up to B4, and used to clone all the other synths. So..this is efficevely, the real data. Not a dream.
This is wonderful because it gives Picard the chance to actually have a real talk with the real data.
Also, I love that Data shows up in my favourite uniform - the TNG movie uniform he last wore before he died.
Makes sense. That’s what he was wearing when he backed up his engrams into B4.
I love how Picard says “I was furious” because Data sacrificed himself to save Picard. And Data says to straight “I apologise, Captain. But I am not certain I could have done otherwise.”
Data doesn’t quite look right in this scene, but honestly, that doesn’t bother me in the slightest. Brent Spiner is 71 years old. He was 38 when he first played Data. He’s allowed to look different, even under all that makeup. And this is a beautiful scene.
This really is a great conversation. They talk about their lack of regret for the sacrifices they made for others. This all helps Picard finally come to terms with Data’s death.
Which makes it all the more heartbreaking when Data makes a request of Picard.
Data asks Picard to terminate his consciousness.
What did I say about this show being full of suicide? Here’s another example.
I struggled with this. Data says he doesn’t want to die, he wants to live, however briefly, knowing his life is finite. Mortality gives meaning to human life, captain.
Data says peace, love and friendship are precious, because we know they cannot endure.
I agree with Data that these things are precious, although I’m not sure I agree with his reason. They are precious, but not necessarily because they cannot endure. I’m not even sure I fully agree that they cannot endure.
Anyway, Data has always wanted to be more human, and there is nothing more human than mortality. As Picard said to Soran in generations. It’s our mortality that defines us. It’s part of the truth of our existence.
And so, heart-breakingly, we have to watch Data die a second time.
And it’s worse than the first time.
But I’ll get to that.
The thing I like about this show is that, in some way, it redeemed Star Trek Nemesis. Don’t get me wrong, I still think that’s a bad movie, but this gives much greater meaning and depth to it, in much the same way that Avengers Endgame gave more depth to Thor Ragnarok and Guardians of The Galaxy.
So they downloaded Picard’s consciousness into the golem. It looks exactly like Picard’s real body.
We still don’t understand if this golem is made of metal or flesh. But given he has normal skin tone, not yellow skin and eyes, I’d suggest it’s probably a flesh body like what Soji has.
Picard seems remarkably okay with this. Personally, I’d find the realisation that I’d died and was now in an artificial body a difficult transition to get used to. I’d be feeling a whole host of emotions.
But this body is not augmented. No super strength or speed.
The brain abnormality is gone.
I love when he says, almost panicked, “you haven’t made me immortal.”
“No, we were paying attention. You’ll die roughly around the time you would have died otherwise.”
And then Picard says “I wouldn't have minded an extra 10 years. Maybe 20.”
We still don’t know what the average lifespan of a human in the 24th century is, but it’s clearly longer than current day.
So picard de-activates data. As he listens to Blue Skies he sips a drink and closes his eyes with satisfaction. He lies down, like he’s going to have a nice nap.
This is a hard scene for me to watch.
Last time, we just saw the ship blow up. This time, we have to watch data’s face rapidly age, into a ray dried husk. And then he whisps away like he’s been Thanossed out of existence.
It hurts that they brought him back like this, just to have him die again.
So now that we’ve all crying, let’s take a look at thematically what this is saying.
Data’s desire to end here, seems to connect with the common quesion that people often ask, “would eternal life became a form of torture? Would living forever eventually become so painful that you would want to end?”
This is a thematic question that Star Trek Voyager once addressed, in the episode Death Wish. The best Q episode they ever did on Voyager, and some would argue, the only good one.
This is an interesting philosophical question.
And I understand where people are coming from, when they ask it. And to be honest, I have contemplated the question myself, certainly since I first watched this scene last night.
I personally do believe in an afterlife.
But I don’t believe it will end up becoming torturous. I believe it will be a fulfilling existence, and that it will be eternally fulfilling. That’s the biblical perspective.
But Data is not living in the version of eternity that I believe in.
Data’s situation is not entirely unpleasant. We metaphorically see it as a room he is in. A comfortable room. In reality, he’s an isolated personality inside a computer simulation. He probably has plenty of literature to access, and we know Data was creative, so he can probably create his own entertainment. But he is alone. Nobody to interact with. And as much as someone like me might jokingly say “that sounds like introvert heaven” to really truly be alone, with nobody else, for the rest of eternity. That would be hard. That would be painful. Even for an extreme introvert like me. So I can see how he wouldn’t want to remain like that forever.
It’s all very thought-provoking.
So I get why they did this Data. It’s sad that Data, the one who should have endured long after all his shipmates is truly gone. But it’s good to know a part of him will live on in the children Maddix and Soong have created from him. Data will not be the last soong-type android. He is the father of a new race.
But what about Picard?
As I said, I thought the arc of his brain abnormality would continue through the rest of the show. The writers said they planned to make this a 3-season show.
I feel they jumped the gun a bit here.
Picard’s illness played out too quickly. They killed him, only to put him in a synth body, the problem all solved now.
Why did they kill him off only to bring him back like that? It all feels kinda pointless to me.
It’s like, they’ve just eliminated the most interesting part of his character, for no real reason at all.
That reset-button mentality was, in my opinion, one of the weaker aspects of TNG and Voyager. And not something that I am thrilled about them reviving.
And then we get that final scene on the La Sirena.
The ban on synths has been lifted. In one sense, this again feels a little too easy. But I can accept that once Starfleet understood that it had all been a conspiracy, that Oh had infiltrated Starfleet and set the whole thing up, to make the synths look bad, they would see their mistake and undo it.
The whole problem is fixed. It seems Elnor and Seven and Soji will all remain on board, as part of Picard’s new crew.
Picard now plans to wander the universe, Doctor Who style. Looking for whatever adventure may find him.
It feels like everything has wrapped up a bit too nearly.
I thought this was gonna be a 3 season story, but it seems this story is completed, and season two will be a completely new standalone story. That’s not different to Discovery, really, but, I dunno, this ending just felt a bit too much like a TNG ending.
There’s a lot of great nostalgic stuff from TNG I’ve wanted to revisit, but TNG also had a lot of weaknesses, and this feels like they’re reviving the weaknesses along with the strengths.
I hope I haven’t come across too critical this time around. When I first watched it last night, this finale fell a little flat for me. Upon second viewing, I’ve appreciated the thematic and character stuff a lot more, but the climax still felt a little … well …. Anticlimactic.
Star Trek Picard hasn’t been a perfect show, but I would say on balance it has been a good show. I’ve enjoyed it, and I’m sure I’ll get it on Bluray when the time comes. Certainly this show has been better than both seasons of Discovery so far. So yes, my opinion is overall positive.
I really liked how all the story elements came together, and how the mysteries were paid off.
This has been the first STar Trek show ever, to not focus on Starfleet. I feel that at the end, Picard has a rag-tag group of friends, not a crew as such. It’s almost taken us to a bit of a Farscape-eqsue kinda place. Which is interesting.
A part of me wants more Starfleet, though. I want to see what will become of Starfleet as we move into the 25th century. I wanna know what their new ships can do. I want to see more people in that new uniform.
I think ultimately, I am hoping that this won’t be the only show set in this time. We’ve opened up a whole new era of the Star Trek universe. And I want to keep exploring it. I’d actually love something that connects a bit more with Deep Space Nine.
Anyway, I think I’ll leave any further overall thoughts on the series as a whole for another time, after I’ve let it marinate a bit.
But I’m very glad that CBS have given us this show. I’ve had a fantastic time on the ups and downs of this journey.
So now that Picard is done and dusted. What am I doing with the Nerd Heaven Podcast.
Well, it certainly isn’t over. I feel we’re just beginning.
I’ll keep talking about sci-fi and fantasy. And Star Trek will always be a big part of that. I’m going to move from a weekly schedule to a fortnightly schedule, now that I’m not talking in real time about a current show on the air.
I’ll be back next week, where I’m gonna talk about my own history with the Star Trek franchise.
But there’ll be no podcast the week after. And then back the week after that.
I’ve got plenty planned for the future.
I plan to talk about the two remaining TNG movies, Generations and Insurrection. In fact, I’ve already recorded my thoughts on Generations. I have some Stargate content I want to do, and a Lord of the Rings, Read, Watch and Walk series. And I want to work my way through the DC movies. I’ll probably tackle the Marvel movies at some point as well.
Will I return to the weekly format? Maybe. Perhaps when Discovery season 3 comes out. We’ll see.
But going fortnightly now will give me a bit of a breather, and let me get a small backlog built up, so I don’t feel I have to spend all of my Saturday every week putting this show together as quick as I can.
Plus, I’ll have time to give some attention to some of my other creative endeavours.
Anyway, be assured. The party is just getting started.
I’ll see you next on Nerd heaven.
Live Long and Prosper.
Make it so.