Star Trek: Picard

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S1: The following podcast contains explicit language like.

S2: Shiell in great shape.

S3: What’s in the box?

S4: Hello and welcome to Slate Spoiler Specials. I’m Marissa Martinelli, an associate editor here at Slate. Very excited to be joined today by Slate podcast producer Daniel Schrader.

S1: Hi, Daniel. Hi, Marissa. And Slate legal coordinator Megan Carlstrom. Hi, Megan. Hello. Instead of hello, I should say peace and long life to you, because today we are spoiling Star Trek.

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S5: Picard, the newest installment in the massive Star Trek franchise, is currently streaming on CBS All Access, which is now offering a free month trial because of the Corona virus. Very exciting. So the three of us are all pretty big Star Trek fans. I’m curious what you were thinking going into this series. This brings back Patrick Stewart as Jean-Luc Picard, the character he played on the next generation, arguably the greatest of Star Trek captains. Daniel, what were your patients heading into this? Well.

S6: I mean, he’s the second best Star Trek captain. The first one gonna go to Janeway. But anyway, I was really excited about this.

S7: I have been in the past year or two bingeing a lot of Star Trek, mainly. Thanks to you, Marissa. You gave me a breakdown of where to start in next generation, which is mainly skipped most of the first season. And then just watch that one person die that everybody cared about. And I’m just like by ghost inked in the goo. But I was excited about Picard because I went to Comic-Con last year on a whim. This is where they, like, show the trailer and everything. It was very exciting to see and be in a room with like all these other big Star Trek fans who are maybe a bit more hard fans than I am. But I was looking forward to it because it’s just fun to be with Patrick Stewart on television. He’s a great, charismatic presence and is just really loving and kind and really exuded that onstage. Honestly, during the Comic-Con presentation, he was the most charming, loving person up there and it just kind of radiated out from him. And it was clear that everybody loved the project because he was a part of it. And so I was just excited to experience more of him. How about you, Megan?

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S8: For me. I went to Picard mostly curious about how they were going to structure the series really explicitly around this one character. So my background with Star Trek is I watched the original series and then the next generation Deep Space Nine, probably about four to five years are gone now.

S9: And the next generation was never my favorite of the three. I think I liked the other two better, but I knew that it was a big cultural touchstone. I knew that it had a huge place in sci fi and Patrick Stewart is always a delight to watch. And so I think of all the characters to kind of build an eponymous Star Trek series around Picard’s great choice because he has such a defined philosophy of valuing life and following discovery and really having strong rhetoric around a lot. And I was curious how that kind of idealism and philosophy would play in our world now, and especially the kind of darker tones that you often see in media these days. So I was curious about it. I was excited to see how they would do that. I was excited to see how it would broaden the franchise and broaden what the franchise tends to do. So I wouldn’t say that I was jumping up and down excited about it, but I was really curious about and I was excited to see what they did. And for the most part, I was pretty pleased with the result.

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S6: How about you, Marissa?

S1: I went into Picard with no small amount of trepidation. I was very excited for Star Trek Discovery. CBSA Access is other Star Trek show. It was bringing that franchise back to the small screen for the first time in a long time. I thought the first two episodes were really promising. And then the series cooled on me. Like at first I was really interested and then it got very twisty and needlessly dark and the way it fit into the canon didn’t quite work for me. So by the time the card rolled around, I was really worried about the same set of decision makers playing with one of the most respected characters in all of Star Trek. And I’m very grateful that I needn’t have worried because I think they pulled it off well. And I think they learned a lot of valuable lessons from discovery to the point where certain aspects of the show almost seem to be responding to criticisms and learning from discovery.

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S10: So there’s one major player on Picard who’s not on Discovery, and that is Michael Chabon, the author Pulitzer Prize winner who came in. And it was a little bit surprising when he did, just because a little bit it was like Michael shebeens doing TV. And I think he may have made all the difference in this case. It was so much more cohesive.

S11: However, there was a lot of plot to get. True. And that is where we should jump in.

S12: Daniel, why don’t you kick us off? Where do we pick up with Captain John Picard?

S13: Yeah. So we pick up with Picard about 20 years after the end of Star Trek Nemesis, which was the last feature film of the Star Trek universe. In that film, it’s all about the Borg dated dies. And things are kind of left like that’s the end of that world for quite a while. And then we come back to Picard and it picks up 20 years later. A lot has happened apparently 14 years ago in this world. There’s an incident on Mars 14 years prior to the first episode where the sense somehow all went crazy and murdered a bunch of people and kind of ruined Starfleet’s attempt at saving a bunch of Romulans from a supernova that was happening near their home planet and basically led to the sense being banned by the federation so that no more could be made or worked on and they needed to all be retired. So Picard had a huge problem with this because, A, he really wanted to save the Romulans and was very upset with the federation’s decision to pull out of saving the Romulans after the CYNTH attack and also had a huge problem with the decommissioning of these synths because he view them as people. He viewed them as intelligent life who deserved humanity. So he is retired and was basically forced into retirement because of this incident and the subsequent stuff that happened with the Romulans. And he is now living on his vineyard.

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S11: That is so much plot information. And that’s just like the first episode of this show.

S8: Really half the first episode, too.

S5: Well, the thing is, there’s so much plot dump in the first three episodes that it actually made me nervous about the pace of the show because it was like a lot is happening very slowly. There are so many scenes where characters are sitting across from each other explaining what has happened in the interim since we saw these characters. One that I think the show did really well, though, is that all of the plot developments proceed very naturally from other iterations of the franchise. So you mentioned data who dies at the end of Nemesis? Nemesis, famously one of the not so great Star Trek movies. It didn’t get a sequel.

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S14: It was not a satisfying goodbye for the character. So this series is sort of bringing that back and revisiting it. And then at the end of Nemesis, there’s a suggestion that Data’s consciousness as an android was left in this other creature before.

S12: And that sort of is tied into this series as well, the idea that data is able to live on after his actual death. The other major factor that has influenced this timeline is the Romulan Supernova, which was explored in the J.J. Abrams reboot universe. And it’s felt sort of like this random puzzle piece that J.J. Abrams kind of tossed in there to get the plot going as he’s want to do.

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S5: And it was actually really satisfying for me to see that play out and have long term consequences for the franchise.

S15: So Maurice’s point speaks to something that I enjoyed about this series in that this kind of harkens back to the event that occurs with Spock in the red matter in the 2009 J.J. Abrams Star Trek movie.

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S8: And I like that in Picard because those movies are now happening in an alternate timeline. You can see these two universes even across lots of time, kind of playing out separately. And I like that you can see the full potential of the franchise being able to explore these two different parts of Star Trek. One thing that part that’s really interesting is that this is the farthest in the future that Star Trek series have taken us so far. And also, this is a bit of a break in current kind of vogue of what Star Trek series have done recently. And they’re both Enterprise, even though that happened a while ago now in Discovery, where both prequels to a lot of the major events happen in the original series.

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S15: And now all Star Trek Picard is happening the furthest in the future of any Star Trek iteration that’s happened so far until the third season comes back of Discovery.

S13: And now they’re like further ahead than like every single iteration of Star Trek ever.

S16: But even that, I feel, is almost less risky creatively to go that far in the future because the stakes are much lower for us as viewers. I mean, as much as we’re attached to the characters, the galaxy may have changed so radically that we don’t really feel attached to it. And we don’t need to see a natural progression so much. Whereas with the span of a couple of decades, we really do expect continuity with the character and our understandings of Starfleet and of the Federation and their values. And so I think Picard, in that respect, by going into the future but not going too far into the future, actually raises the stakes and sets itself up with higher expectations because a lot of the choices they make are potentially. Controversial.

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S10: I mean, this is a version of the federation that as much as it’s continuing on its mission, it failed to help a refugee population. It has and synthetic life. It’s a very bleak imagining of what that future would be.

S7: Basically jumping back to the first episode so that we can get ourselves kind of into what this plot is going to become. We meet this girl named Dodge. We meet this young woman. We’re kind of unsure of who she is, what she’s doing. But the typical, like protagonist of like dropping you in with somebody in the middle of things so you grow to like them. There’s some mystery going on with her. She gets attacked by a bunch of what seemed like Romulan guards or something and were like, wait, what’s happening? And then all the sudden she gets quote unquote activated and starts murdering all of them and becomes this like killing machine and goes on the run. We’re like, what’s happening? What’s going on? So she is for some reason, she doesn’t even know why seeking out Jean-Luc Picard. So she goes to his planet Earth and seeks him out and starts to tell him about what’s going on, that she doesn’t know why she’s here, but was led here. And he takes her in and tries to go to the federation to help her and figure out what’s going on. But she then gets murdered by a nuther like basically Romulans SWAT team. And we see her die at the end of the first episode. And John Luch, his frail body getting thrown from the explosion and somehow is fine. So she dies in the first episode. And we thought that she was gonna be the protagonist of the series. Like what’s happening here? And then we find out that she’s a twin sister and that she’s actually a cynth and that they are identical and that all synths are made as like twin pairs. And so she and her sister were brought in some way into the federation star system and are trying to live. But like they don’t know that they are since necessarily. So now Picard is on a journey to find her twin sister, Sophie, who’s working on a reclaimed Borg cube. That also has some interesting Romulan stuff going on on it.

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S8: One of the important points is that the card also deduces that Dodge and consequently so G are effectively Data’s daughters. So it harkens back to his very important friendship with Dina, who is now dead. And the other important point that I’ll mention is that in his quest to find out more about the origins of these sets and explore his options and helping them and protecting them, he also meets up with Dr. Agnes Geraghty, who I believe works at the day Strohm Institute, and she is a major expert on synthetic artificial life. I think one of the world’s most prominent, especially now that the ban on science has been enacted, played by the fantastic Alison Pill. Yeah, her performance is wonderful in this series. And so that meeting also kicks off a lot of other events and becomes a pretty important point in terms of how we find out about the science and interactions with other characters throughout the season.

S16: So one interesting choice that the show makes is that we actually follow souji apart from Picard. She’s not left as sort of this mystery box MacGuffin character that it’s just an excuse to get the game back together. We’re seeing what she’s doing on this reclaimed Borg cube. And I think the show very neatly brings in a lot of major players from the next generation rather than finding some new made-up enemy. I mean, the Borg are sort of the big bad, certainly for the next generation, but also for Voyager for a lot of the 90s to 2000 series.

S10: And to bring them back. I mean, we get Jonathan Del BARCO has reprised his role as you character, who appeared in a couple of episodes of The Next Generation as a Borg Drown. And this really confirms that the Borg are not a race. The Borg are an entity of artificial life, that they assimilate other races and take their technology and bring them into their hive mind. You will be stimulated. Of course, this is a very famous line. In this case, we’re seeing sort of the aftermath of what happens once the Borg has been theoretically destroyed. We don’t necessarily know that the burger out there, certainly on Picard, they act as though the Borg are no longer a threat. But we’re seeing one individual cube and the project to reclaim the drones and bring them back to their humanity or their romneyland city depending on their race. So so G is involved in that. And at the same time, a Romulan agent is effectively seducing her. Generic is his name. He knows that she’s an android and he’s trying to find out her.

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S14: Secrets. What do you think of Merrick and his very weird relationship with his sister, Nersa.

S17: So we’ve narrowed. At first I was a little bit apprehensive.

S18: The show has so much emphasis on the relationship, quote unquote, that eventually develops between Sochi and Narok and it kind of develops rather slowly in a way that I didn’t always love watching. But at the same time, I thought it paid off really well. The way that the show eventually gives us insight into his mind felt very much kind of like a twisted version of asking questions that Jim Kirk might ask or Cisco might ask in the sense of what is the purpose of X, Y, Z function in a sense. And I really enjoy that. One thing that I think PACCAR does well is that it takes knowledge, DONNALLY, as a value, but also as a weapon. And I like how you could really see that playing out in Eric’s character. I think that the downside of Eric is I thought he was such a well-done character by the end of the season that in contrast, Nebraska just felt even thinner as a character because in many ways she just came across as this very beautiful, hyper competent, vicious woman villain whose Romulan. And I just didn’t ever get a good sense of characterisation beyond that. And because NAQ was so well developed and because a lot of characters in this season, I think are pretty well developed. I wanted more. So I thought that sometimes her comparison with Narok could kind of overshadow her even more.

S8: But I really liked him enough and I thought it made sense that there would also be a sibling parallel between Dodge and souji, but also Narok Nerissa in that you kind of see how siblings complement each other, and that turns out to be a big theme in the show.

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S7: I didn’t like him. I disliked him a lot, but I think mainly it’s because I don’t like Harry Tredway in this. Maybe I don’t like him at all, but I totally didn’t like him in this. He has more of like a Lord of the Rings face than he does a Star Trek face.

S13: That’s just how I felt watching it. So I personally like Nerissa better, but that’s because I’m always down for like a bad ass, somewhat villainous woman than I am for a sad sack guy who because he’s in love with somebody. Sorry. Get over yourself.

S1: Norris is interesting because she is much more of the like goatees twirling villain who seems to be enjoying herself. Makes it all the more surprising when we find out the motivation behind the Romulans. So there is a Romulan conspiracy going on at the heart of the series.

S6: I love this. I love this. I’ll let you explain it. But like I love this.

S5: Now, the Romulans, I would say, of all the Star Trek villains, are maybe still the least explored. Maybe you guys will disagree. Certainly we’ve seen a lot of them in Star Trek, but their culture is very secretive. True to the name, there’s like a little bit of a Roman Empire thing going on. We know that they have the secret police, the Talj Shiaa in Picard. We learn that there’s like an even secret or police, the Zac Vash, who explain like a lot of different moving parts of the Romulans.

S14: They are vehemently against synthetic lifeforms like androids, like data. And so we find actually that by infiltrating the federation, they have orchestrated the synthetic uprising on Mars, which we see in brutal detail. It’s these like very primitive Android forms, like your toaster. If your toaster was walking around like Wall-E, a little bit like Wall-E, less decrepit.

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S5: Wall-E, a dumb. I would say, wow. But so we see this uprising where basically they hack into the system and they kill a lot of people on Mars. But it turns out and it’s not entirely unexpected that this was not actually an Android uprising. It was specifically the work of one Zack Fash agent who passes herself off as a Vulcan within Starfleet.

S14: But it turns out she’s actually Romulan. And this is communicated. Commodore.

S8: Oh, so she’s half Romulan, half Falcon.

S11: She has both. But it’s implied that she’s hiding her Romulan half to rise through the ring. Yeah. Is hidden for me, the kind of wink at this a little bit early in the series because she’s wearing sunglasses a lot and Vulcans have an extra in her eyelid that protects their eyes from light. Yes. Daniel’s making a face. Sounds fake.

S14: I like us because. So Discovery did something similar with this where one of the villains without getting into too much detail is sensitive to light. And it turns out it’s because he’s from the mirror universe where everything is dark. And I found that to be so ridiculous. In this case, though, I found it to be really smart because it fits and I didn’t feel quite so random.

S8: Well, I think one thing that helped it with this reveal is that from the get-go, we see her communicating. I think one of her first scenes with the woman later revealed to be Nerissa. So from the get go, we realize that she’s got it other motivation or that something may be kind of going on behind the scenes here and it’s not totally aboveboard and not totally in line with the federation’s interests. So I think that having the sunglasses just kind of further tunes into what we already know as opposed to being some big reveal.

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S5: But it’s that attention to detail that I really admire about this series. And I think as much as I’ve mentioned Michael Chabon as being a good narrative for us, I think a lot of credit goes to Kirsten Buyer, who has been a Star Trek’s kind of canon keeper and making sure that all the details line up. She’s a diehard fan and that’s rewarding for someone who’s watched a lot of the series to see those little details integrated so smoothly. Part of the reason I bring it up is that does not Vash actually have a good reason for wanting all synthetic life destroyed and they really tease this out until late in the series.

S14: But to me, Nerissa, as this kind of gleefully evil character fit together nicely with that reveal, because it turns out that the Romulans have this prophecy, although it’s not clear whether it is a prophecy called the admonition that warns that there is a threshold where synthetic life can become so advanced that it will attract the attention of this larger.

S5: Force of synthetic life throughout the galaxy, almost like a federation of synthetic life that exists beyond the perception of organic people.

S6: Well, but we don’t even know that it’s that we just know that it’s like something it’s going to summon something.

S11: We don’t know that. But they know that because they have horrible visions that cause their agents to go mad with lack of comprehension.

S7: Yes. But I think that like the madness that they go through kind of keeps some of the information from them, which is clear as it plays out later on in the season. And we see Agnes Girardi struggle with it. And we see then one of these since actually figure out what the admonition actually is like. They’re only getting like flashes.

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S6: And so part of the problem is that they are too dumb to understand what the admonition actually is like. That’s the problem. I really appreciated that, honestly, because in the second episode we meet a Romulan who was absorbed by the Borg and is being Deborde. And so G is talking to her and this woman who’s kind of close, she has like PTSD from being a Borg and is trying to figure out how to become a Romulan again is like playing this card game type thing or something that is Romulan. And it seems to be also like kind of like a fortune-telling thing. And so she asks her what it is like, what’s the name of it? And Romulan. And she just says news, which I love. I don’t know why, but I love something like that so that it’s like this long running myth in Romulan culture that something will come to attack us when the since. Rise up. But there’s no understanding that we come to at the end of the season, which is that it’s not that the synths are summoning something to kill humans. It’s that the sense they’re summoning someone to protect themselves. And that, I thought was a very interesting twist that I really liked and found refreshing because like, yeah, the Romulans are always villains, but it’s nice that they’re villains because they’re dumb and they don’t get it.

S19: I don’t agree with that.

S5: In a way, they’re right, because when we arrive at the end of the series, it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy, certainly, because by attacking the sense they’re forcing since to theoretically summon this higher power, they’re not wrong. The sense they’re ready to wipe out all organic life in order to liberate themselves.

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S8: I appreciate that there is a bit of irony in this being a self-fulfilling prophecy where you see this awful thing come to light and you think, OK, this or you process this thing that you can understand is bad for you, and that makes you want to defend yourself proactively by killing all these synthetic lifeforms. But in so doing, you’re just fulfilling it. But I didn’t take that as a sign of inability to understand things so much as kind of invoking the trope of tragedy where you just can’t see the whole picture and you can understand that your actions can actually prevent this by just not initiating this in the first place. And so I liked that that tied into kind of a sense of tragedy. I didn’t necessarily think was because they were dumb. Well, anything.

S7: I mean, it’s it’s not because they’re dumb. That’s definitely something that I think Guyana’s twin, who is one of the sense, calls them dumb for not understanding it. It’s not. They’re dumb. It’s that they’re secretive. That’s the problem. Is that like they keep secrets. If they had told the federation, if they had told the sense like, hey, this is the reason why we’re terrified of you, then people would have like understood and been able to figure out what’s going on. But it’s because they, like, felt the need to keep this secret as opposed to make it public knowledge that caused this thing to come about. So like it’s just the Romulan self-fulfilling prophecy, because that’s who they are as people, not because like of any other thing.

S5: So let’s back up a little bit and talk about Picard’s long journey to get to Sochi, because while we are privy to what’s going on on the board.

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S12: Q With her, he is not. So Picard Card has been living in his chateau in France. He has withdrawn from the world. He’s dedicated himself to history. He’s living in the past. And now that he failed to save Dodge and he knows that he has a sister out there. He’s determined to make things right for data sake and for Dodge’s sake. And he’s living not on his own, but with two Romulan refugees who are sort of his caretakers and friends. The relationship there is really interesting. So when it’s time for him to find the ship because Starfleet is not willing to help him so that he can go find saji, he has to put together a crew.

S14: And when his caretakers suggest, well, why not work? Why not? Jordi Why not? REICHER Any of the classic characters from the next generation, he says no, not them, because they would not hesitate to help him and he doesn’t want to put them in that kind of danger. So he has to find a different crew instead.

S7: Yeah. I mean, it would have been fun to see. Let’s get the gang back together. Montage But I get it. I will say I was actually really bummed that we lost the Romulan refugees who were his caretakers so quickly. I thought that Lloris and Zaban were both like so fun and funny and charming and interesting and had like great chemistry with him. And I would have loved one of them, particularly her, to tag along for this journey because like they clearly had so much chemistry and had this kind of imagined personal history there that like really would have thrived in this. What became like basically bottle episodes as they traveled to find saji and such. But I did also really grow to appreciate the crew he put together as well. So Megan wants to tell us how he got his crew together.

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S8: First of all, I just want to you. Plus, one to Daniel’s wish that Larison Chevonne had joined, most of which because I thought that Larissa’s cardigans were awesome and a wonderful addition to the great costumes.

S5: Sidebar we’ll TLAC and talk about the fashion and facial hair of this series. It is so weird to see characters with just like normal cardigans sitting at the vineyard. It could be literally any year if not for the drones collecting the grapes. I thought it was interesting. Michael Chabon actually addressed this in a Q&A and he talked about sort of fashion being cyclical and certain human inventions becoming permanent once they reached the ideal form. And one version of that is books. So you see a lot of paper, you see a lot of knives, you see a lot of very. You could go into your kitchen right now and find it items. And I thought that was an interesting aesthetic choice for this series, because one of the criticisms about Discovery was that it had wandered too far away from this classic Star Trek aesthetic. The red and blue and yellow uniforms and the bright colors. And it seems like they went the other direction with this and they tried to make it as grounded and earthy as possible.

S20: It was a little bit of an acquired taste for me because I am so used to the kind of like high sci fi aesthetic of Star Trek, but I liked it. I think that one theme of that that particularly worked for me is the scene between Agnes and Bruce in memory, where he is showing why he bakes chocolate chip cookies as opposed to just getting them out of a replicator. Bruce Somatics, who is another callback from next generation and is also an expert and creator of a lot of artificial life and who you see for a couple episodes in this season. So we see this kind of cookie scene. We see the importance of not just doing everything, the attack. And I thought that was a pretty intelligent comment on how sci fi can be futuristic and new, but at the same time also appreciate what works and is what is really practical in these worlds. And so I mostly liked the costume decisions. I liked a lot of those kind of prompt decisions. I thought that it helped flush out the car to make it feel more born in and kind of added something to the franchise about asking what would be futuristic and why and what would be the reason for those kinds of evolutions and different objects.

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S5: So I enjoy that as as a as a choice in a lot of the design, you see a lot of those costume choices among the crew that Picard eventually puts together.

S17: Once the card kind of sets out to form this crew.

S18: So the first crew member who we meet is Roffey, who is Picard’s first officer on the Verity, which I believe is the last ship the Picard served on. It’s implied that they did a lot of work on Romulan refugees together. This seems very important to Roffey. But then when Picard resigned in protest after the synthetic life form ban was enacted and the Romulan rescue efforts essentially shut down as a result. So when he resigns in protest, Roffey is fired. It’s implied due to her close association with Picard. And so in the intervening 14 years, they don’t really have seem to interact in much. When Picard approaches her, she’s living in the galactic version of a trailer. Seems to have a lot of substance abuse problems, all of which stand in stark contrast to how the card is living in the chateau and this vineyard in France. And so he talks to her about finding a ship. She connects him with Captain Crystal Ball Rios.

S8: And so through Roffey, the card is able to find a ship. I don’t think it’s initially implied that Roffey is going to go with him, but she ends up going so that she can get to a certain destination. They will be going to which is free cloud. Agnes Girardi also comes along because she has a very earnest speech marketing herself. Picard is take me along with you. I’m an expert on synthetic life. In a speech that I think reflects some of Picard’s own rhetorical tendencies, which I thought was a nice touch and seems to the trick of convincing him pretty well. So we don’t know Agnes’s total motivations because the viewer has also seen a mysterious conversation she’s had with the sunglasses wearing half Romulan Commodore Oh, whom we referenced elsewhere as the Romulan implants in Star Fleet in the Federation.

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S21: And so Agnes comes along as well, presumably as an expert, but we’re not totally sure if that’s all her motivation. And so Picard. Roffey Rios. Agnes.

S7: Yes. So that’s the crew until they get to free club?

S22: Actually, no, until they get to the call at Milan because you’re a goner. I think I’ve saids too through four or kind of spent developing this crew up and slowly picking them up and putting them together. So then an Episode 4, we meet another member of the crew. Marisa. Do you want to talk about that?

S5: Nah, nah. What do you do? Ellner is the best character on this show.

S6: Elmore is such a snooze.

S11: Ray Yeah, I’m not sure. Embraced by Romulan assassin Nunns. He’s the only boy in this commun of women.

S22: An interesting backstory is not sufficient to make him an interesting Jaggers.

S6: Marissa You think you’d be less of an El Borre?

S11: Wow. Good. Okay. Anyway, sorry, Marissa. Do you wanna explain to the haters? Keep coming in through shit all over my favorite character. Elna is great. So we see in a flashback.

S5: That Picard did try to help resettle the Romulan refugees, despite Starfleet’s reluctance because of the CYNTH attack, how it derailed the rescue effort. And so he goes and he he helps them and he goes among the people. And one boy who is living among these Romulan assassin nuns, he takes a special interest in him. We see him reading to him. We see him teaching him how to fence. He’s very much a father figure. And this is definitely where you start to see that Michael Chabon influences come in.

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S14: And they live, by the way, of absolute candor, which means that they always tell the total truth, even if it’s awkward, they’ll say to your face, that hurt my feelings and when they make a promise, they don’t break it. And so Picard promises that he’ll come back. Poor ELEANOR. But of course, life gets in the way because, you know, an explosion on Mars. And so the Romulans feel a little bit abandoned on this particular planet. And ELEANOR in particular. So Picard, since he’s taking his last space journey, presumably he is old. I mean, Patrick Stewart is 79, but the character is actually supposed to be ninety four. And he has an issue in his parietal lobe, in his brain that is a holdover from the next generation that he speaks to a doctor and it’s getting worse. So this could very well be his last trip. And he wants to make things right with ELEANOR. So he goes and he has ELEANOR pledge himself as sort of the almost like a samurai kind of way. He has a sword, he is a topknot, and he joins the cause because it’s a hopeless cause and punches himself to Picard. I love LMR. I can’t believe you guys don’t like Elna. He’s such a Star Trek character in that he’s a step removed from humanity. He’s the outsider who’s looking in. He doesn’t understand deception and lies like later when they have to go on a mission and wear disguises. He’s like, he can’t comprehend that fact because it’s so foreign to him. I love it. He’s a little cinnamon bun.

S8: Here’s my reaction to ELEANOR. And I agree with a lot of the positive qualities that you just mentioned. I felt that sometimes his naivete about not understanding deceptions could sometimes go so far as to make him appear a little bit less intelligent than I think he normally would be like. He’s praised as being intelligent. He’s praised being open hearted and really competent in what he does. And so I would expect him to be a little bit more able to grasp what’s going on, because sometimes I believe also with Agnes and REOs, who also end up sleeping together. Neither spoiler just a drop in their key mentions that the I don’t know something about the tension between the two of you makes me uneasy. And so sometimes he could just come across as being more a plot device for explanation or for comic relief in a way that I didn’t think was up to snuff with a lot of the characterisation of the rest of the characters.

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S21: And on a more meta level, Ellmore also spoke to me about a frustration that I felt with some aspects of the Romulan depictions in the series in that I think they made a lot of sense as the kind of main villain choice, because as I think Lloris or Zyban points out, they don’t have any A.I.. So for this particular focus, I think it makes a lot of sense for them to be there.

S23: But at the same time, I felt like the characterisation that we got of the shot fast, the tall Shiaa, the co-op in a lot was more focused on this individual organisations and they didn’t give a sense of romneyland culture more as a whole.

S8: And I wanted that. I felt like it was kind of disjointed and it was hard to see. What about the culture spun out all these different organisations and all these different perspectives?

S21: And so Ellmore as a character, because I didn’t get a wonderful sense of who he was or how he fit into Romulan culture as part of the co-op. Me a lot also kind of reminded me of what I felt I was missing. I think he’s got potential, but I wanted to see more.

S6: He’s just another Lord of the Rings boy to me, guys.

S5: Sorry, that is unfair, although I understand he’s definitely got some elfin hair going on. I would push back a little bit on that. I think it’s true that he is sometimes comic relief. But that’s true of Spock. That’s true of data. That’s true of a lot of these outsiders who are looking in at you, Menotti, and trying to understand it. So I don’t think that’s a drawback. I also think a little bit of levity in this very dark series, which is so much more violent and grim than sort of the episodic cheerful trek was welcome at times. And I would say that I think the pieces that we see of the Romulans do fit in a larger sense with our understanding of their existing culture and develop individual sex. I don’t love the Star Trek tendency of being like, yeah, here’s a race of aliens. Here is their defining quality and that is what they’re known for. I think Star Trek is at its best when it takes those races and then delves in and explores the nuance within it.

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S6: I mean, you see this one, yet your favorite episode is like da mocap to Nagra.

S5: We cannot get into that time with what the Ferengi right, where there are a race of people who at first glance their whole culture revolves around money and that’s all they are and they’re often the butt of the joke for that reason.

S10: But as we get to know more and more of them, we see that there are differences and we learn to be different from the humans they encounter who paint them with a broad brush. And I think the show did that effectively for the Romulans, in part because the Romulans are distant cousins of the Vulcans and they have a lot in common that we see here.

S14: For example, the axiom in the Star Trek universe is that Vulcans can’t lie, which is, of course, not true. But in this case, it was kind of fun to see a group of Romulans who don’t lie and you can kind of understand that part of the culture. The same with being secretive. I mean, the Vulcans have a secretive side to them, too. So I did not find that too disjointed with what we’ve seen. And I thought they fleshed out the Romulans pretty well. LMR forever.

S7: So after they’ve picked up Ellmore, they all go to free cloud, which is where they’re looking for Bruce Mattox, who is connected to all of this. He knows Soucy and Dodge, et cetera, and they find him. And we also find maybe one of my favorite characters of the entire franchise, which is Gerry Ryan, a seven of nine. She’s a breath of fresh air to this series and to the franchise as a whole. I’ve always loved her, even when they didn’t really know what to do with her by the end of Voyager. But we basically get her in what felt like a one off episode where she just gets to pop up and then her like final scene is basically her fighting off people as Picard and Co. flee free cloud to go to the Borg Cube. And I was kind of bummed at the end of that episode ‘cause I was worried she was going to come back and that that was it for her. But thankfully, once they get to the board cube and seek out so G and start trying to run away from the Borg Cube and make their way towards Sophie’s home planet, seventy-nine pops back up and basically join some of the Borg and CO to fight against the Romulans that are onboard trying to stop so `gee from leaving and getting back to her people.

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S11: I liked certain aspects of Severns character and bringing her back. She’s one of the big Star Trek characters, certainly the biggest from Voyager.

S5: She’s up there, if not quite at the level of Spock, but maybe like along the lines of data where she is one of the most famous characters and bringing her back in this capacity. Certain elements I really liked. I like that they explored the trauma of being an ex Borg. I liked that she was able to bond with Picard about that. I mean, what a joy to see him and you reunite. What a joy to see him. And Seven interact.

S10: One thing I didn’t quite love is that a lot of characters on this show are broken, alcoholic, you know, a hardass types. That’s true of Rafie. That’s true of Rios, who watched his captain blow his brains out after being given a covert order by Starfleet to kill a couple of sense.

S6: I had to guess that REOs, his captain, had been somehow given this admonition from a Romulan. Kind of like Agnes got an admonition. She basically was given a vision of the admonition from O the MINDMELD. And I kind of thought that maybe Rios is captain who killed himself, received the same thing, because Agnes even has a line later on in the season where she says, like, the thing that gets me through the day day is thinking that suicide is still an option.

S8: I think at one point they actively deduced that, oh, god, this former captain of Rio, since you I think is called VanderMeer. Yes. To do this.

S15: So I don’t know about the admonition, but it certainly seems like o.’s hand has been at work within the federation in trying to kill these sense for a really, really long time. And not just from the Mars attack. I’m not sure she was involved in the Federation of our point, but there’s clearly an ongoing effort to do this and it infiltrates a lot of people.

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S7: I think that your point is well taken, that there are a lot of people who are broken by this. And it’s interesting, actually, that Picard doesn’t seem broken while the rest of them do.

S6: But I think in some ways that it feels like, okay, they’ve made too many people have drinking problems and drug problems. But also to me, it speaks to the way that this type of universe might actually break a lot more people than we think it does.

S24: And that it’s actually oh, we think that like exploring space and the final frontier is this exciting, altruistic, noble thing. But then we don’t think about like the human consequences of what happens afterward, because for all that we have, like the positive endings of Picard for like where Picard ended up after everything and that he’s like sitting on a vineyard, we have all of the people who never got to be a admiral, who never got to those like high ranks. And so now we’re just kind of living like broken people like Roffey or Rios because. They’re able to retire and have families, which is hard to have if you’re out in space, then you’re kind of left broken once your job is done.

S1: This speaks to two elements of the show that I think are interesting.

S11: One is that scarcity is an issue. The fact that Rafie is living. In a kind of trailer and she makes a dig at Picard for living in his chateau away from the world, is against our understanding of the economics of Star Trek, which is that this is a post-scarcity society.

S5: Everyone has what they need. You could deduce that, you know, the card simply has had this chateau for a long time, so there is inherited wealth in a sense, but that was an interesting wrinkle that the show introduces. I agree with you that definitely the portrayals of trauma ring true considering the devastating events that are taking place. I just wish. There had been a little more variety, like the most interesting characters to me or someone like you who has gone through this terrible trauma and is rechanneling those efforts into helping his people and the reclamation project and for the show too, as they do eventually kill him off, so suddenly seem like kind of a waste of one of the characters who provided some variety. Rios I was a little bit hesitant about him at first. He seemed like a bit of a hands to Leo type with a traumatic past. He really developed into an interesting character in his own right. Rafi developed into an interesting character. I don’t know that I buy seven of nine as an alcoholic vigilante travelling the galaxy. I think part of what made the character so interesting on Voyager was her haughtiness and her poise. And arguably you could say that those were leftover characteristics from her time as a board. But I just really to me to see her with her hair all askew swigging from the bottle. It just felt generic for a character that is anything but.

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S7: See, I have to disagree. I understand your point. And I think that she definitely is not the same person that she was in Voyager and she was definitely much hardier and more like I’m better than these dumb humans type of thing then. But I think for me at least where I see the most.

S24: Humanity and brokenness of her is when she is considering basically jacking in to the Borg Cube to try and fight off the Romulans who are trying to kill them and trying to find the sense and kill them. She was about to jack in and I believe she’s talking to Ellmore and he’s like, you sure you’re gonna do this? And she’s basically like, I don’t know if I can like subject all of these Borg who are here in status to being a part of the collective. Again, like I don’t know if I can morally do that, but then also I don’t know if I would be able to let them go after I do this to me. It spoke to this sort of delayed trauma that she never got to experience in Voyager, that she had to kind of sort through and live out afterward where the trauma came, when she realized that she still deeply yearned for this connection, but then also understood the detrimental ways that these connections can impact her and all of her fellow former Borg. It’s this kind of thing we never got a chance to see because she didn’t ever have the like universal experience at that point.

S25: I haven’t seen Voyager, so I am not particularly familiar with previous depictions of seven or nine as a character. But I thought her character, at least in the card as a stand alone kind of series, worked because even though there are a lot of broken characters that played into the reactionary question that this season seems to be asking in direct reaction to the next generation, where in my mind the next generation often explored. Once we remove limitations from humans, when we can easily resolve scarcity, resolve economic problems, what are we capable of? And yet Picard as a series, seems interested in then answering the question when we do still have those limitations. You know, if scarcity exists or if PTSD exists a lot more visibly, what then are we capable of? Can we still achieve those same heights? And I think that having more characters who are grappling with trauma, substance abuse and even Agnes grappling with guilt, I think that that ties into that question. It’s really interesting. And it also helps expand the franchise’s exploration of the value of discovery by adding the discovery of renewal and forgiveness and the ability to move on. I liked that Picard was able to expand that sense of discovery in those themes. So for me, seven of nine was a character who also tied into that, who also just became a part of that thematic unity.

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S5: I will say that I would watch Jeri Ryan do pretty much anything, including rape in the film, I guess.

S7: There was a point in episode eight or nine where I really kind of wanted they had like left Elmore and seven of nine on the board QB and had gone off to find Sophie’s planet, but it left them there. And part of me wanted a spinoff show that was about Elmore and seven of nine.

S1: That’s funny that you say that because I wanted. That’s been a show about Elmore. And, you know, I thought they were such an obviously good pairing. They only have like two scenes together in both scenes. They’re like clutching each other’s faces. They have great chemistry. I was like, they’re in love. It’s wonderful. And then you was killed off almost.

S8: I was not necessarily feeling that same chemistry. And that was not why I was necessarily sad that Hugh died. But I was also so bond. I thought he was such an interesting character. I thought that was a very successful callback to the next generation. And adding a whole new dimension to this major so-called race in Star Trek, the Borg. And I was really bummed that he was killed off as a character. Yeah. And also I would totally watch a spinoff, platonic or romantic or anything in between with Q and Elna. So maybe we’ll have some alternate universe sort of that happens.

S7: Okay. So now we’re back out of saturnine talk. So rehost and Girardi and Rafie are on the ship flying to the planet that they were beamed to.

S11: Narok is telling them 7 arrives onboard KUB to help Hugh and Elna, mostly Elna Kazdin. Okay, great. Another familiar face who pops up around this time is William Riker and Diana Try his wife, who it’s actually really fun to see them just like living on a rando planet cooking pizza with their little feral daughter who plays in the woods. Picard and so saji use crazy Borg technology to arrive on their planet. Meanwhile, the rest of the crew is on their way and we have the Meric the Romulan spy telling them I love seeing them.

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S7: I mean, I couldn’t care less about Riker. He’s fine or whatever, but I really I love Diana personally. She’s one of my favorite characters and so it was really nice to see her again. I know that she’s. Controversial one for some. But like I’ve always loved her and really like her energy.

S5: And it was really satisfying to see another familiar face as much as the emphasis was on the Picard Riker reunion, because they were the one and two on the ship. And Jonathan Frakes has been very involved in the franchise. He’s directed some episodes of not only Picard but Discovery. I really think that Troy was the pivotal character here because what’s so G needs at this juncture is a counsellor. And as much as. A lot of Troy’s skills come from her being an empath and be able to read other people’s emotions. She can’t do that with soda because soda is not a person. But so she has just had a very disturbing revelation that everything she owns is only three years old. Her mother is not real. She’s a simulated program. Her dreams are actually directions that she has a homeworld out there with other synthetics.

S14: Her sister is dead. I mean, she’s been through the wringer. And so it was nice to see her find this little slice of domesticity where even though she’s suspicious that everything she’s known has been fake, she can actually form real connections and talk to people who understand what she’s going through.

S8: I agree with Marissa. I thought that she was a really pivotal character in this episode. And I think also brings a lot of emotional depth to the connection that’s forged between Picard and so G and helps the viewer understand just how much EOG has been through, just how much will be difficult to make this connection because the viewer implicitly trusts Picard. We’ve been with him for a lot of seasons and movies. We know how brilliant he is and we know that he really cares about data and transit. Tivoli really cares about his daughter. But Troy’s presence here, I think really sells the emotional core and also helps tap into that increasing vulnerability thing that we see in a lot of these characters, especially in the cards ability to keep developing as character emotionally, which is really impressive for a character who’s been in so many different iterations that there’s still room to explore and grow to other points that are communicated by this little outing that are very important.

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S11: One, Riker and Troy have lost a son. To condition that, it seems like it was chronic or genetic. And it’s very unexpected to learn that because this is the Star Trek universe and most illnesses of that nature we’ve wiped out as much as Star Trek has found room for disability and things like that.

S14: Illness is something that we’re not used to seeing, and so it was very strange that that was a plot point, but we learned that the reason he died is because positronic makes matrices has been banned as part of the ban on synthetic life. So we’re seeing the wide reaching effects of the synthetic ban. It’s not just that artificial life forms are banned. It’s actually affecting organics as well. And the other reason I thought that this was an important scene is because so G says after eating a real tomato growing in the ground, real is better. The implication being that she is not real and is therefore less than. And because Troy lost a son because of the ban on artificial life. This really was a nice corrective for me to the almost sort of like fetishization in the series of like the real the gritty. It’s not always better. Technology is a force for good. That really crystallized it for me and I thought this is a great little breath of fresh air in the midst of all the action and angst where we could actually sit back and have a philosophical conversation.

S5: Yeah. And look forward with a little optimism.

S6: It was a nice breather of an episode where we just kind of got to dig in to some emotional stuff before we go back on the space adventure. But now that we’re back on the space adventure, Roffey and Rios and everybody arrive and pick up Picard and so G and they start heading off so that Reicher and his family do not get embroiled in this whole battle against the Romulans. So then.

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S7: They are being tracked by a Romulan. And they don’t know how or why. And it turns out that Agnes had swallowed a tracker at one point. And so she injects herself with something to kill the tracker because she has had a very big emotional journey of whether or not she should be working with the Romulans or not. The reason she’s working with the Romulans and actually the reason she killed Bruce Mattox a couple episodes earlier and has been dealing with the guilt of why she has done that is because we are shown a flashback that O has shared a vision with Agnes via a mindmeld about this admonition.

S6: She has come to understand the Romulan point of view that like since mean the end of organic life. And so she kills Bruce and is helping the Romulans because she thinks that they are right. But then she does a moral turn and basically almost tries to kill herself in order to stop this tracker from working and loses the tail almost.

S1: She also has a great scene with Sony where they’re face to face.

S11: And so J says, do you recognize me as a person?

S5: And Girardi has been sort of wrapped and in meeting this android that she’s worked her whole life toward building. And she’s fascinated by the fact that she has mucus and saliva. And she when she’s faced with this question of, are you a person? It’s a great throwback to the next generation episode measure of a man, which is about data’s humanity and is a classic, you know, ethical quandary in a truck vein. And so I really appreciated that scene as a change of heart for her. I find that the rest of the crew was kind of like, oh, she murdered somebody. But we have bigger fish to fry. And then at the end, we kind of forgot that she murdered.

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S8: By the end, she acts valiantly to try and make up for it clearly shows remorse. Tell so gee, she would never hurt her. So she also says, yeah, I would never let you. So that’s good. We also see that the crew was planning to go to deep space twelve and was going to have her arrested there and turn herself in. But then they get a little bit hijacked by so and end up going to kupelian. So it’s difficult because then the crew also kind of forgot about it.

S24: Yeah. They forget about it. And that should be criticized. But also I think that they are a bit more realistic about like, OK. She was kind of brainwashed by some Romulans and she wasn’t necessarily acting of her own accord. Like she’s clearly still struggling with the weight of the admonition mixed in with this murdering of her former lover. And so, like, they have some sympathy for her, even if they are horrified by her actions. And Picard is like, OK, gro-, you turn yourself in, right. And she’s like, yeah, I well, I’m so sorry. But after she’s helped so much by the end, I I want to give her a pass. I think that, like, you can’t fault her for being brainwashed necessarily.

S19: But see, this goes back to a question that really is explored in the last two episodes of the series, which is a matter of choice and how you always have a choice even when you don’t think you have a choice.

S1: And I don’t think it’s accurate to say brainwashed. I think that she was given a terrible piece of information that was almost beyond her comprehension and much in the same way that the Romulans were. But she did have a choice. That’s the thing. That’s the message that the show keeps hammering home. She could have chosen differently and she didn’t. And she has to live with those kinds of.

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S6: Yes. But I do also think that the admonition that she received and experienced, as we are shown, literally drove other Romulans to kill themselves when they experienced and received it and go insane. So I think that, like the fact that she absorbed it and was still coherent is in itself a victory for her, even if she did something so horrible.

S5: And the implication is that the admonition was so powerful to your point that when Norris’s aunt was assimilated by the Borg Cube, that that’s what actually proved too much for the Borg and caused that cube to fail, which is a pretty big deal considering how much control the Borg have over their drones.

S7: On your note about the board cube, I found that really interesting that like they threw in the note that the reason the Borg Cube fell apart was because they took on this person with the admonition in their head. We are made to think that they are some sort of artificially intelligent life of some sort that is absorbing organic life. They are not the actual version of artificial intelligence that the admonition is looking for.

S6: And that I found really interesting that like the admonition is looking for completely synthetic beings, not things that are augmenting organics to make them better.

S5: We finally do get to see the true androids, synthetic beings in action on their home planet when so she has her big homecoming and the crew crash lands basically on this planet where they’re seized by giant orchids. Which probably blew the entire special effects budget of the show. They’re really fascinating. It’s weird to see something so and it’s funny to use this word organic. As a defense mechanism for the planet where the orchid sees ships that are incoming, strip them of power and bring them down to earth. Everyone is converging on this one planet where we have our Romulan spy. We have Picard and his crew. We have so g as her homecoming. And then meanwhile, we have an entire fleet of Romulan war birds on their way, intent on destroying it to prevent the admonition and the donno synthetic life.

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S8: We find a large group of synthetic lifeforms, all who seem to have been created in some way by Dr. Alton’s to who we need as the son of the famous Newnan who created data also played by Brent Spiner, who it’s fun to see back in yet another role in the Star Trek franchise. And so we find them there. We in particular meet one standeth named Sue Tromped, who is kind of a fraternal sister twin of So Gere’s where so G and Dodge were identical and appeared very human like Suiter is the twin of Johnna, who is one of the sense that REOs is Captain VanderMeer murdered, and she is a little bit more bronzed.

S21: She looks a little bit more like our kind of traditional data esq android on Star Trek, and so they all meet up Sugiura axis is the admonition from Agnes’s mind and then actually ends up working with Narok the Romulan after Picard takes the ship up into the sky and the synthetics are trying to launch this beacon.

S6: Picard is really trying to get the synths to stop trying to contact this other life form Pino’s that this being is going to come and kill all of organic life. And he is really trying to get so g. And the other sense to understand that like as Marissa has said earlier, what they have is a choice.

S11: What he says is to be alive is a responsibility as well as a right. It’s a very human assertion.

S5: And it’s interesting to me because citra, we learn, has been taking an interest in Vulcan culture. And so it makes sense to her that she would kill one of the other androids. They’re all basically brothers and sisters to convince the rest to join their cause because the needs of the many outweigh the needs of a few. But Picard makes a distinctly human and humane plea that there is always a choice, and that one side must always be the one to show the compassion and the trust in order to get compassion and trust in return.

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S6: Basically, the federation arrives and is gearing up to shoot at the Romulans. Romulans are ready to shoot at the federation and kind of they’re ready to just kill each other until Picard gives saji this option to turn off the beacon and choose life over this destruction. And we see all of these like crane arms start to come out of the like little hole that is being created by this beacon. And it’s like this red light. So clearly something evil and villainous is about to come out. But she decides at the last minute. Yes, I’m going to choose to save humans from this and move forward from this. And it allows everybody to stand down, the Romulans stand down, the federation stands down, and everybody is able to move past this, except then as we are seeing everything end, Jean-Luc Picard dies.

S26: We see Picard succumb to this parietal lobe condition that we’ve seen discussed a little bit throughout the series. We see him then kind of wake up in this really excellent sets that mirrors his chateau, but with all the detail great out. So you see the structure of a clock, but no actual clock, face or paintings. And he has a conversation with data. He asks if he is dead. And data essentially reveals to him that he is, but teeth compels him to go back. They have a really beautiful heart warming conversation. And before he leaves, data also asks him for a favor, which is to turn Data’s consciousness in the Android before off. And data has this really beautiful, I think all time trek character moment for me talking about how that he wants to live for a moment, a life of mortality and that the idea that friendship and love and peace of these things do not endure is what makes living so special. So if the court agrees to do this, he wakes up, realizes that his consciousness has been transferred into this new android, not an android, it’s a golomb such as shavohn thing to throw in to this universe random.

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S5: Lately, if you’ve read The Amazing Adventures of Cavalier and Clay, the Gollum is like a figure that features prominently. I found that to be such a strange kind of like cop-out.

S7: This isn’t the first time that they refer to golems. I think that Agnes at one point referred to like a synthetic. Put a life on, too, as a golomb, and so like it’s like this empty sense. It’s not like it’s a different thing. It’s just a scent that hasn’t been given its own consciousness yet. So it receives his basically when he wakes up and it turns out he’s an unknown version of his body that they have given the same lifetime limits on so that he’s going to die eventually. They basically just designed like a 9 year old man’s body and put him back into it, which is to me hilarious. I love it. I love it so much. It’s great. And that’s kind of the end of the season.

S20: I will say there’s one other important thing that they all do together, which is to turn off data’s consciousness. And you have this really beautiful final scene where you see Dana in this scene, kind of Shatto simulation as these three kind of life plugs are unplugged. You see him aging, which did notably never did because he an android. And then finally passing away as he holds this simulation version of a young Picard’s hand.

S7: It gave me very Anton Chekhov, the Cherry Orchard vibes as it ended the final actual scene as them all beaming back onboard the ship. So we see Agnes and REOs exchanging intimacy. We see Roffey and seven of nine sitting at a table, locking their fingers together.

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S11: And it ends with Picard behind the wheel, once again, saying his famous line and.

S7: I’ve got to say, I love the ending. I was really happy with it. I think it told a nice, tight, full story in itself. Yes, there is way too much plot going on up at the top, but it reminded me of how people have described things like Moby Dick, which I’ve never read, or one of my favorite parts of Infinite Jest, which is its own like standalone little piece of like a story that has Wyk way too much information, way too much plot, way too much like things that you need to learn up top. But then those last three episodes, those last 10 chapters, those last like 30 minutes of a film are like perfect because you needed all of that information beforehand.

S6: And it felt like work at times to get through it.

S1: But there really was a satisfying payoff for me, at least I think it was very tightly plotted in spite of some pacing problems. It found a nice balance between the overarching story and some little episodic adventures, but every moving part finally fit together in the end in a way that is very satisfying as a viewer. Nothing was left to chance. No loose ends were left dangling, with the exception, perhaps, of Dr. Girardi murderer.

S6: And it was satisfying to me, because so often when stories like that are told, I feel like they are too hermetic, they’re too tight, they have too much of this character, knows that character, knows that character, and too much is happening together because there is so much plot. The world was so broad. It really worked for me in a way that something like this often doesn’t.

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S8: Every plot thread for me kind of felt like it tied into the ending. There weren’t a lot of these threads, and I also particularly liked the final twist of making Picard into a Gollum because of all the characters. He is in Star Trek. He has always been very open and very passionate about advocating for new life, advocating for new discoveries. And so having him kind of take this next step himself and going forward with the since been lifted, but also in this different body as a synth himself, I thought it was a really interesting choice. And it worked well for a character who worked well for the show and is going to set up some interesting exploration next season.

S1: Will I see you both back for Picard Season 2? I’d love to.

S7: Most definitely. Along with Whoopi Goldberg, apparently, who said she would come on to be in the second season when Patrick Stewart went on The View to promote the first season. So I’ll see y’all in Whippy next year.

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