Here we are at last. 10 weeks have passed since we got introduced again to Jean-Luc Picard, the captain we all loved and knew from the iconic Star Trek show, The Next Generation. In about 10 weeks ago we have had a faintest idea how things will progress and how everything will unfold. We all had our crazy ideas about Soji, Data, Picard, Narek, we cheered for the return of Hugh and Seven, we welcomed Raffi, Rios, Elnor and Jurati. What an incredible ride it has been and what an ending that both left me tossed back to TNG and both got me knocked out from my comfort zone yet once more.
Compare this episode in terms of execution, story continuation and performances were excellent. I have had some issues in Part 1, specially in terms of performances, but second time round my slightly balances faith has been restored. Brent Spiner was fantastic, somehow he got together this new Soong character, Picard was phenomenal and we will talk about him a bit later, and the rest of crew was great too. Overall fantastic appearances and great execution, also lot of reveals. Finally we got to know how the Romulan mythology works and connects with the Synth's and their faith, how Soji becomes the destroyer and how she redeems herself. An over all good closure of one of the main theme of the season. Of course with Picard we talk about multiple themes here: his regret to lose Data, his search for Data's daughters, fighting for Soji and for a good cause that brings the character into a great shape by this episode - even though ironically we lose him at some point... but again, let's leave that for later.
There were a lot of action happening in this episode. Narek sneaking into the Borg Cube where we find his sister Narissa hiding and plotting something evil as usual. There was a little revelation to Narissa in my eyes in that interaction with Narek as she literally seemed like afraid and also joyful to see her brother. She was not my favourite in the season, but this one moment definitely gave her a little something that made me feel sorry for her and for not hating her for one single moment. Big kudos to the writers that they gave her a little emotion. Narek leaves the cube later with some grenades that would essentially be able to destroy the beacon that Sutra was started building with Soji. Narissa is left behind working on something evil that I did not really understood... she was targeting La Sirena for some reason, and by that I mean I have had the feeling that she was after destroying them, but here comes Seven kicking her ass - pardon my french - and essentially taking revenge on Hugh. While that move from her was understandable I do feel that was really not something that she picked up from Voyager. I know, Seven has been through some tough stuff over the years and she became a kind of Judge Dredd in a sense being the jury, the law and executor in person. Not sure I was comfortable with who she became, but her last scene with Rios made me regain my confidence in her seeing that a little bit of Starfleet still is in her heart.
A lot of us were suspecting that Narek killed the Saga, but in this episode we see that in realty that was Sutra... somehow I knew that I did not like her from the very beginning. She was the real Lore in this scenario, not as Dr. Soong as many of us believed it. And I'm also glad that she was deactivated and hopefully she will be locked away for good. Now what happened with Saga was quite disturbing from the very beginning, having her eye poked with an sharp object is one thing, but essentially I have some doubt that a synth could be just killed that way. It did seem a little odd to me that she just "died" because she lost one of her eye. Anyhow, the more disturbing thing was seeing Dr Jurati taking out the other eye by her hands which was quite disturbing. Agnes did go a long way herself proving that she is more than that "cutesy scientist" who we thought she is from the very beginning.
The action has picked up a little bit when the La Sirena gang was about to create some diversion and try to sabotage the beacon that sadly did not happen due to the fact that they were discovered. Meanwhile the Romulan fleet arrived and stated preparing to exterminate the planet... and for one time I do have to say it did seem that the Romulans were up to a good cause at the end. No, I'm not defending them they were good all along as they did kill Dahj, but at the end they kinda knew what's coming for them and if Starfleet does not show up in time, they might have been just able to save the Galaxy as we know it. Off course when Starfleet arrived and they confronted each other they did have a bit of a playoff, but thanks to Picard the situation was very much under control at the end. But I keep thinking that having the Romulans essentially doing a great favour to the Alpha Quadrant is somewhat redeeming and also kind of comes to the whole politics side of it as well. Just as we got to know that the Federation turned their back against the race, they really served a bigger purpose not just to save them, but save the entire Quadrant. Again, not happy about what they've done over all, but at the end of the day, they didn't do this with bad intention.
DEad... but NOT Really
Obviously the big thing happened in this episode is Picard and how they planted at the beginning of the season that he is dealing with health conditions. Now, let me say something here real quick... if we get the news in the first episode that he is dying, don't announce that he is coming back for a second season, that just defeats the purpose of the climax in the end of the season. And knowing it I was kinda left off a bit empty when he indeed died in the end of the episode, despite the fact that he didn't die really, or at least his consciousness. It s not new to the world of Star Trek that one mind can be transferred to another body. It happened in TNG episode The Schizoid Man when Dr Ira graves takes over Data's body, and also in a sense it happens with Kes in the Voyager episode Warlord as well. So the technique is not new in a sense, however previously we seen this happening with other people who we did not know, ans suddenly Picard got into this golum body, which is not really himself any more, but his personality and mind has been transferred totally. I'm a bit confused though that they were able to get rid of the abnormality with the transfer, but they could not treat him with his condition. Never the less his death scene was beautiful and punching, but I was missing out on that emotional moment that I was anticipating... and mainly because of the fact that there is a second second coming.
A little sidenote here, when Data died in Nemesis I was shuttered because I did not know and did not expect, of course with movies it's difficult to see if there's gonna be another one, but you don't know the whole story essentially.
The other beautiful ans also somewhat confusing scene for me was definitely the scene with Data's remaining consciousness and Picard's mind meet each other in that higher matrix simulation. The scene was lovingly written and having a closure inside Picard for his Data's death and admitting that he loved him was a nice move and executed really well. It did a bit of a closure for both character as even Data was able to ask Picard to help him "die." That moment really reminded me of the Bicentennial Man with Robin Williams - beautiful movie that you should watch - and how he was asking for mortality. It's funny how the mind is still alive for an android in a matrix, but you died once. So I kinda started wondering that whatever happened there between Data and Picard was real or not, but never the less was therapeutic for both. Picard seemed to regain his confidence and lose that burden he was carrying in the last 17+ years ever since Nemesis. Seeing Data die in this "graceful" way was also good to see in a loving sense, giving us a kinda grand farewell here.
So is Picard an android/synth now? Is he basically a Bicentennial Man who got mortality? Well, I'm not sure what will happen and not sure if this will play any role in the second season, but I guess he is still Picard... wonder what did they do with his "real" body though?
I've touched on a few things that I did not really enjoyed about Picard in previous episodes, but they were minor elements. In this episode I have some little nitpicks, oddities and some untied strings that I wanted to address.
Let's start with the Starfleet ships. I have anticipated to see some ships - secretly waiting for the Enterprise-E myself with Geordi, Worf or Riker in the helm. Well, we got to see Riker in uniform which was an amazing thing to witness and gosh, that brought back some memories. The ships though felt... boring. I expected a bit of variety with some older girls coming in, maybe an Akira, Prometheus, Defiant, Galaxy, Sovereign and some new built as well... but the whole fleet looked and constructed by the same design which made them a bit dull. Also those ships looked ugly to me. just like the Vengeance from Into Darkness, just didn't like them. The interior nicely done though and also proves that the discovery design fits to the future, not to the past... just sayin.
Did I miss something, or Narek disappeared without any trace? We got to see him in the end of the episode where he was strangled down by synths and that's it. We never seen him again. Was he killed? Did he run away? did he got transported by the Romulan fleet? No trace of that guy... not that I mind as the character did not work for me, but it would have been nice to know what happened with him. Maybe we will see him again in Season 2 at some point...
Now, before I go into this I have to make a disclaimer for people cheering for this change that I'm not against it, just puzzled by. Obviously I'm talking about Seven and Raffi and their "moment." again, nothing wrong with it, if that is the character development for both, that is totally fine, however it felt a bit empty to me... The two character didn't really have to much interaction during the episodes - even in the finale - and they ended up together. For me it just wasn't set up properly to see this as a natural course of development. Raffi was dealing with her life a lot and probably she wanted to start again... so do Seven with all the difficulties they've been dealing with. I was just missing that subtle transition in their agenda that would have indicated that they will have an affection towards each other.
Finally... what about the Borg Cube and the ExB's? are they just left behind in the planet on their own? Will the Borg find the signal of the cube and will they come back to Coppellius to assimilate the synths? well, hope not, but I would have been satisfied knowing that they are saved or rescued in any way or form. In a sense these ExB's have a very sad faith in this show. Saving the synths and being an advocate towards them, but no one gives a damn about the Ex Drones... does not seem fair to me, but I could be wrong.
So the last episode of Picard was interesting, enjoyable to watch. Seeing the titular character regain his power as Jean-Luc Picard and never the less making peace within his soul was indeed a beautiful moment. Seeing the crew coming together and having everyone going forward to the unknown was brilliant. Over all a great season finale that I really enjoyed watching. Great to know that Raffi, Rios, Elnor, Agnes, Soji and even Seven is taking part of Picard's life in the future.
The show definitely gave us something great, something new and something familiar as well while pushed us out from our comfort zone and the same time comforted us as with great respect to the legacy of Star Trek. Kudos to the team front and behind the camera for bringing this show to life and enriching the Universe of Star Trek. To mark the finale of the show I will be releasing an overall discussion for Picard Season 1 coming this Sunday 7pm (GMT) on my channel where we going to div into a bit of everything of this fantastic show and what it meant to us. _\\//