Jean Luc Picard transforms many minds in the final episode of Star Trek: Picard.
” Et in Arcadia, Ego, Part Two” is an epic finish to the first season of Star Trek: Picard. The episode ends with a perfect opening for the next season of the series It looks like we will get more Picard (wink). When I went to the premiere of Star Trek: Picard, I was fortunate to view the first three episodes edited together into a full-length movie. The movie ended with Picard ordering his crew to “Engage,” as he did in Star Trek: The Next Generation. So for me, the first season has a book ending, since Picard tells his crew (with the additions of Soji, Elnor and Seven of Nine) to engage as they fly off to their next adventure in the finale.
There are a couple of cool Easter Eggs in this episode. My favorite Easter Egg is the reference to the “Picard Maneuver.” When Agnus and Picard face a whole Romulan fleet on the starship La Sirena on their own, the scientist jokes that if Picard figures out a move to distract the fleet until Starfleet comes, then everybody will name it after him. She remembers Picard already created a maneuver that came to be known as the “Picard Maneuver” where his starship went so fast that the vessel read as two ships in the sensors. Hence, the Ferengi thought there were two vessels ready to fight them instead of one. They attacked the starship illusion instead of the real one allowing Picard to destroy their ship with a photon torpedo. Agnus mistakenly thinks the maneuver was created when the retired Admiral was Captain of the Enterprise, but Picard corrects her explaining that at that time he was Captain of the USS Stargazer.
Thankfully, Picard and Agnus use the Picard Maneuver on the Romulan fleet by utilizing the unique “fixing” device that the Synths gave them to create a fleet of duplicated starships with sensors readings. This updated “Picard Maneuver” distracts the Romulans long enough for Starfleet to arrive. Another Easter Egg comes in just as General Oh is about to “sanitize” Coppelius, and the real Federation Starfleet, headed by Captain William Riker, comes to the rescue. William Riker served as the first office to Jean Luc Picard in Star Trek: The Next Generation.
Another Easter Egg, when Agnes tells Picard to “make it so,” is something that Picard said many times in TNG. When Captain Riker takes on the Romulan fleet, he cites the Treaty of Algeron, the peace treaty that ended the war between the Federation and Romulus more than a hundred years ago. This treaty created the Neutral Zone between the Romulan Star Empire and the Federation, and if the Romulans violate it, it’ll mean another war with the Federation.
When the simulation of Data dies at the end of the episode, he is listening to ” Blue Skies” the song he sang at Riker and Troi’s wedding in the Star Trek film Nemesis. Before Picard shuts down the simulation, he quotes a line from the Shakespeare play “The Tempest.” A play that Data performed a lot in TNG to figure out humanity. The last Easter Egg, I spotted is when Seven of Nine stares at a pile of pieces of metal that makes up a Vulcan strategy gamed called Kal-Toh. A game that Seven of Nine played with Commander Tuvok in Star Trek: Voyager.
I’m not sure how I feel about Picard becoming a Synth which he does in “Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2”. I am glad that Jurati enabled him to still age and die, but I wish that they either not killed him at the end of the season or left him alive.
Picard’s brain abnormality acts up during the battle between Starfleet and the Romulans. Agnus injects the retired Admiral with something that allows him to inspire Soji to turn off the beacon before it summons the Advanced Synths to wipe out Organics. After Soji turns off the beacon and the Romulans back off, Picard collapses.
Soji transports Agnus and Picard back onto Coppelius so that he can say goodbye to everybody. We see Elnor, Agnus, Rios, Seven of Nine, Raffi & Soji breakdown and cry because they each lost a friend and mentor. Soong and Agnus find a way to place Picard’s consciousness into the “Gollum” Synth. The Synth, is downloaded with Picard’s mind, appears identical to Picard and has a proper lifespan. Picard’s resurrection makes all those mourning scenes feel cheap, but don’t get me wrong I am glad that Picard lives.
One of my favorite scenes of episode ten features the simulation that Altan Inigo Soong built to house the consciousness of Data. After Picard dies, his mind is temporarily placed in the simulation allowing the two old friends to converse. Data shares with Picard that he always knew that his former Captain loved him. Like Picard, he was willing sacrifices himself for Soji, and he had no regrets dying for his Captain (which happened in Nemesis). Picard and Data discuss how our human life including, friendship, love, passions, are especially meaningful because we all die. I understand that this scene couldn’t exist without Picard dying, but still, I question the need to make Captain Picard a Synth. Soji and Data already have taught us that Synths are as “real” as human beings we don’t need Picard to teach us that lesson.
I continue to question the integrity of Narissa and Narek’s storylines in this season. I don’t understand how Narissa was able to stay on the Borg cube after she transported off. Why didn’t Seven of Nine or Elnor find her until Narek snuck onboard?
Narek’s death in the hands of the Synths has no real emotional impact. The Romulan spy had a massive part in most of the season, so I think he should have been developed enough for us to care about his death, which we don’t. In the finale, Narek comes off as a good guy. He doesn’t bring his evil sister Narissa with him to destroy the Orchid weapons. When Narek finds out about the beacon that could destroy all organic life, he goes to Raffi, Rios, Seven of Nine, and Elnor for help. Together they safely destroy it. In the end, Narek dies a hero trying to talk Soji out of genocide, but because he was never formed into a three-dimensional character, we don’t really care.
Overall, I enjoyed Star Trek: Picard Season One. I hope next season the writers work on developing all their characters, especially Elnor, who has not quite found his niche in the crew. Retired Admiral Picard’s Synth statues should be downplayed since we already spent a whole season exploring them. I suggest the writers focus more on the Borg since that storyline was barely delved into this season. Seven of Nine as a crew member seems to promise that the Borgs will remain part of the story which is a good thing. I am glad that now the Synth ban has been lifted, Coppelius is safe. I cannot wait to watch Star Trek: Picard Season Two with all of you next year.