1.10: Star Trek: Picard - Et In Arcadia Ego: Part 2

ctg

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Picard and his team are pitted against the Romulans and the synthetics of Coppelius in a final confrontation.
 

ctg

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Amazing final and a wonderful season.

I don't really want to talk about it, because I appreciate people and their stress of spoilers, but at the same time I cannot really keep fingers off from the keyboard. There are so, so many things that happen in a rapid succession in this episode. As it should because this is an action filled episode rather than a goodbye. Maybe the nicest thing is that we don't have to say goodbye completely as the second season has already been approved, but once you get towards the ending, you get what I mean.

The people were right, the Synths weren't able to keep away the Romulan Armada. They needed help, and I loved that Picard decided to nick the ship and go for a joyride, while others were trying to stop the Synths from invoking the end of everything. As you can see from the above shot, the Old Ones come in many forms and there is no doubt that the Synth Gods aren't far from Lovecraft's creations.

What I expected to be was a humongous nanite cloud instead of tentacles. I also assumed that they would follow the hivemind pattern and possibly overwhelm the surrounding space with something that stops the armada. I estimate that there were at least seven hundred vessels in a thickly packed space with Picard in the middle. Luckily all the wine drinking had steeled his nerves or otherwise he could have had a heart attack as soon as the space orchids turned to dust.

I am amazed of how long they held against the Romulan firepower. It felt that they could take a beating and survive. But honestly I was disappointed that not one vessel was disabled, while in the last episode they took down the might of Borg's. What the hell happened?

To be honest, I expected the Cube to get off from the ground instead becoming a permanent feature of Coppelius landscape. They didn't even fire one beam even thought the cube was able to track Picard's vessel at the orbit. That is some feature in the Borg Cube that should not be ignored. But there it is, stuck on a shoreline, with a colony of EB's inside of it.

I wonder if one day they get an idea to start tourism business?

Man, where are the Ferengis? There surely would have figured out to make a profit from that sight instead of leaving it all in the Federation Sanctury.

It is kind of funny how things turned out and I do admit that giving a peaceful resolution surely damped of ramping up the hype for the next season. It is as if nothing really happened and the Milkyway keeps turning forever and again. You think about it and even though the Alpha and Beta Quadrant are now kind of united, there's still a lot of stuff that's not explored.

Just today there was a piece that said there's trillion trillion stars in the universe. That 1 with 26 zeros behind it. So if there really is Synthetic Gods in the ST universe, they surely weren't advanced enough to cross the space between the galaxies even though that surely would show their power. Therefore, there was not just one First Contact situation in the Coppelius, but two.

One was with Soji and another with the Synth Gods. Maybe the strangest thing is that as soon as the crisis was averted the Starfleet left the space and moved on without leaving a single ship as a backup, just in case the Romulans decided to come back.

As far as I can understand there is still problems on tracking the ship that do jumps. The science isn't exact, and the jump coordinates cannot be easily calculated. Therefore the Starfleet made a tactical error or then not, because surely everyone can trust the word of a traitor admiral. Right?
 

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Fantastic season finale!

I never realized how emotionally invested I am in Star Trek characters, especially Picard, before this show. Picard’s enduring humanity shines like a supernova in times that have darkened for Roddenberry’s utopian visionary future, as well as for our own current reality.

The “deaths” of both Picard and Data were emotional high points in the finale. Funny how neither Picard nor Data wanted the burden of immortality, although Picard was not above fishing for just how long his “normal” remaining lifespan might be -- 10 years? 20 years?

Another goosebumps moment was the dramatic arrival of a gazillon Starfleet warships to confront the Romulan armada. It reminded me of Kirk decloaking the Bird of Prey between the whalers and their intended victims in The Voyage Home. It’s always a thrill to see so many starships amassed, proving that the Federation remains a force to be respected.

Of course, the episode was not without hokey moments. I was expecting the arrival of the Synth Gods to be something more impressive than some enormous mechanical tentacles flopping blindly through a portal. While it was great to have Riker riding to the rescue of his beloved captain, it was a stretch to believe Starfleet had pulled him out of retirement and put him command of its top starship to lead the charge.

So, the new crew, including Seven of Nine, is ready for action in season two. I loved how they rewarded fans with an ending “engage”.
 

ctg

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The “deaths” of both Picard and Data were emotional high points in the finale. Funny how neither Picard nor Data wanted the burden of immortality, although Picard was not above fishing for just how long his “normal” remaining lifespan might be -- 10 years? 20 years?

Exactly. Now we know that we don't have to worry about the abnormality, just his general health. Sir Patric will get to do whatever he wants as long as it's a good script and budget holds.

Another goosebumps moment was the dramatic arrival of a gazillon Starfleet warships to confront the Romulan armada. It reminded me of Kirk decloaking the Bird of Prey between the whalers and their intended victims in The Voyage Home. It’s always a thrill to see so many starships amassed, proving that the Federation remains a force to be respected.

It was thinking more of Babylon 5's grand battles. Nobody has replicated anything like them since. Not even in the BSG. I intentionally avoided mentioning the clash, because I knew the impact. To be honest it was better than in any new movies. The fleets warping in and showing power is main tactic in the games like for example Eve Online, where thousands of players can engage in humongous battles.

They usually start with a show of force that the opponent has to match or outnumber by any means. In the war all tactics allowed. What really bothered me was the lack of capital ship. The massive ones, which I would have expected being part of both armadas. I get that it's a budget decision, and it was easier for the computers to replicate one model instead of hundred different ones.

Frankly the battle at the end of the DS9 is one of the best clashes in the ST history. And honestly the StarFleet has always been a diverse one. They have had diverse ships rather than unison fleets.

I would have loved them exchanging volleys of photon torpedoes. Romulans releasing all those small fliers and Starfleet blanketing the near space with phaser beams. It would have a glorious sight. Not that there was anything wrong with this conflict either. It just was a bit meh...

I was expecting the arrival of the Synth Gods to be something more impressive than some enormous mechanical tentacles flopping blindly through a portal.

I expect to see more of them in the future. Can Picard ignore the mystery?

So, the new crew, including Seven of Nine, is ready for action in season two. I loved how they rewarded fans with an ending “engage”.

Indeed <3
 

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I have one gripe: I think it's cheap tacky writing to kill a character off and then pull them back to life through some deus ex machina cheat. Either kill the character or don't. Basically the whole brain illness was a completely redundant narrative whose presence was to set up this whole 'Oh no he's dead, how sad; oh no he's ok...' :mad:
 

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I have one gripe: I think it's cheap tacky writing to kill a character off and then pull them back to life through some deus ex machina cheat. Either kill the character or don't. Basically the whole brain illness was a completely redundant narrative whose presence was to set up this whole 'Oh no he's dead, how sad; oh no he's ok...' :mad:
If Picard had stayed dead, they would have needed to change the name of the show. Maybe Seven of Nine for possibly two of three seasons? :D
 

Mister_Oy

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I have one gripe: I think it's cheap tacky writing to kill a character off and then pull them back to life through some deus ex machina cheat. Either kill the character or don't. Basically the whole brain illness was a completely redundant narrative whose presence was to set up this whole 'Oh no he's dead, how sad; oh no he's ok...' :mad:

I agree - and I thought they were going to use the magic knuckleduster thing. It was underused for something so powerful. Maybe we'll see it again.
 

ctg

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I have one gripe: I think it's cheap tacky writing to kill a character off and then pull them back to life through some deus ex machina cheat.

I thought about it and I, personally allow the deus ex because it happened in the character without outside influence. All we know is that he imagined it and it was time to put Data to final rest instead of Picard. Are you not happy of having more of him, because I was thinking how they can continue the show without its main character?
 

Narkalui

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Oh don't get me wrong, I'm really glad that the Admiral will still be there in the next series and I had no need to suspend my disbelief any further to accept the manner of his resurrection. Also, Data's passing and Picard's final meeting with him were both very touching, I just think that it could have been done without the cheap tease to the audience's emotions
 

farntfar

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I have to agree that I would have prefered an deus ex machina saving him in the nick of time and allowing an incidental cure of the brain problem to an actual death and then rebirth in the golem.
They still could have acheived a final chat with data somehow.
Also, going back to discussions we've previously had regarding whether the transporter actually transports a person, or kills him off while simultaneously creating a new person with all the attributes and memories of the old one, how do you feel about a new person created in a golem. Is it really Picard or merely a new person with Picardy properties. (Even if they have programmed in an eventual shutdown.)
Second question.
The technology now exists for immortality. How will they stop the rich and powerful cornering the process. (And don't tell me the corruption required to try that has been bred out of us by then, because clearly it hasn't. Not to mention the Ferengi.)
Third question. Data was recreated from 1 braincell (or something). No?
He was killed off by removing 3 USB keys. Does the braincell still exist? Can the USB keys therefore be recreated later if necessary?
 

ctg

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Is it really Picard or merely a new person with Picardy properties. (Even if they have programmed in an eventual shutdown.)

For the sake of Sir Patric, I don't think it's an elaborate copy with a hidden agenda. I think it allows him more freedom and show progression with the age. I hope he's not going to develop a bladder problem, but I surely hope we are going to see more of grumpy Picard. Maybe even with a little bit spice on the side. We should allow him to wander around in fluffies, dressing gown, while holding a cup of Earl Grey in his hands. Maybe even teleporting to some place for some R&R.

The technology now exists for immortality. How will they stop the rich and powerful cornering the process. (And don't tell me the corruption required to try that has been bred out of us by then, because clearly it hasn't. Not to mention the Ferengi.)

Making those bodies isn't a trivial process. Does the Synth community offer immortality to people?

He was killed off by removing 3 USB keys. Does the braincell still exist? Can the USB keys therefore be recreated later if necessary?

It's a loop hole for us writers to bring back a character, if there is a need. Now at the moment there's no need.

PS. No need for spoiler tags in these individual threads. Only use them if it's going to spoil future episodes.
 
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REBerg

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Also, going back to discussions we've previously had regarding whether the transporter actually transports a person, or kills him off while simultaneously creating a new person with all the attributes and memories of the old one, how do you feel about a new person created in a golem. Is it really Picard or merely a new person with Picardy properties.
They touched on that theory in "Second Chances," when Riker was duplicated in a transporter mishap. Maybe that's what sparked the earlier discussion, which I did not see.
For the sake of Sir Patric, I don't think it's an elaborate copy with a hidden agenda. I think it allows him more freedom and show progression with the age. I hope he's not going to develop a bladder problem, but I surely hope we are going to see more of grumpy Picard. Maybe even with a little bit spice on the side. We should allow him to wonder around in fluffies, dressing gown, while holding a cup of Earl Grey in his hands. Maybe even teleporting to some place for some R&R.
Stop suggesting things I can't scrub from my mind!
Making those bodies isn't a trivial process. Does the Synth community offer immortality to people?
That ability was implied when Picard asked if he had been made immortal. They didn't respond with, "No, because we can't do that -- yet."

EDIT: On the other hand, Saga was taken out by what was basically a sharp stick in the eye. Apparently nothing could be done for her, including removing the object for the funeral ceremony.
 
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Brian G Turner

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I found this a bit... meh.

The final conversation between Picard and Data was superb, but I felt cheated by the fact Picard's quest was to find a piece of data to rebuild him, when all the time it had already been done "in a complicated quantum reality" which made Data's death feel pointless to me - he started dead, he ended dead. Picard's "death" was another obvious cheat. As was the "device of deus ex machina" which is really a magical fantasy element built into a SF and IMO has no real place here.

The confrontation between the fleets - again, whenever I see that sort of effect in film/TV all I can think of is "copy/paste" with the computer graphics. A few different ships emanating power has far more presence - Wrath of Khan showed that - yet here Starfleet ships were treating as little more than fighter craft to be called by volume instead of individual and powerful capital ships that each have their own individual prowess.

Btw, if Starfleet has become so incompetent it couldn't even patrol the system where Samurai Elf came from, then how on earth does it suddenly end up with hundreds of capital ships to confront the Romulans? That seems so inconsistent, especially when that can't have been all of Starfleet's ships.

What really surprised me is that the Borg ship played no role in any of it - I would have thought that's the ship they would have prioritized repairing seeing as it's so damn powerful! Instead, like a few other tricks, it's just sat around under-used,

Btw, if the Romulans are now part of Starfleet then how on earth do they get their own huge fleet without Starfleet noticing - let alone Starfleet not knowing that their head of security is wandering around in a black death squad uniform in her spare time? :)

So, overall, in terms of production values, superb - everything Picard says is great. But so much sloppy off-the-shelf writing in terms of plot and character that left this season with more downs than ups and left it being "okay" rather than "great." Honestly, the best episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation easily trump everything here.

Also, it has to be said, a Star Trek show built on a dystopian future isn't really Star Trek - hope was the whole under-pinning point of the franchise.
 
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farntfar

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Also, it has to be said, a Star Trek show built on a dystopian future isn't really Star Trek - hope was the whole under-pinning point of the franchise.
I agree with pretty much all you said Brian. But I think we left the Roddenbury optimism already in Discovery. (season one at the very least.)

But for all that, I enjoyed it.
 

farntfar

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going back to discussions we've previously had regarding whether the transporter actually transports a person, or kills him off while simultaneously creating a new person with all the attributes and memories of the old one, how do you feel about a new person created in a golem. Is it really Picard or merely a new person with Picardy properties. (Even if they have programmed in an eventual shutdown.)

Going back (again? :rolleyes:) to my previous question about whether newly created golem Picard can be considered a real continuation of the original flesh Picard I was intrigued to find a similar discussion today in the Coronavirus sense thread and in particular ancient Greek discussions. Notably:
Thank you TC for some very interesting stuff. I may be boring the rest of you, but I find it intriguing.
 

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All I can say is that I'm glad this is over. They took a two-part story and stretched it out to ten episodes. There were a few good moments and Picard himself was wonderful to watch, but overall the idea of a Star Trek future that has turned into a dystopian one never sat well with me.

I got to the end of this series, but like with Discovery, I'll not bother with any more.
 

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I really enjoyed the ending - it felt very Star Trek in how it all ended.

A few interesting observations:
1) The manner in which they restored Picard was very interesting because having basically copy-pasted him into a new body there was always the question of if he was the original or not. What the period of time with Data presents is the possibility that, within the ST universe, machine existence of a living mind can basically facilitate the transfer for what counts as a soul. This presents the notion both that a soul/essence can move within the digital world and that artificial life can indeed be fully "alive".

2) The stand-off of two fleets was interesting, if because it shows the SF armada being quite uniform in appearance. Rikers comment about it being the most recent warship that he was commanding also suggests that after the Dominion War and likely after the Nemesis incident as well; SF has stepped up the mark on the concept of warships. Producing in a very short span of time a very uniform fleet focused more about policing and enforcing and providing a war-time capable response. This is in stark contrast to the past where most of their fleets were comprised of exploratory ships which happened to also have weapons, plus a few Klingons and the Defiant.
IT might also be pressure created because the Klingon Empire has, far as I can tell, continued to slide into a a period of prolonged peace and increased tranquility away from its warlike origins. This suggests that perhaps they don't have as many ships on hand. Plus the Dominion War again showed that having a heavy reliance on allied forces to be your military can have some serious issues if they don't "play ball" with you.

3) Bit of a shame that the two fleets didn't fight for a bit, but in the end it was a finish that gave Picard a chance to shine in his classic position like he's not really had a chance too in this season.

4) Some might say the season was overlong with a lot of flashbacks; however I agree with the above that much of that was needed. Remember its still only been 10 episodes which is quite short for a ST series and very short for a non-episodic series. They had a lot of ground to cover in this series in terms of new story, but also presenting the characters and their past. They also had to show why Picard is like he is.

5) If I were to highlight a weak point it might be the very end when they all got on the small ship and flew off together. That makes for a nice ending, but I get the feeling that there's a 5-10 min segment before that where they'd have best established where they were going; what they are intending to do and even why they've all remained on the ship - unless he's just taking them home to Earth. Since in theory they've not bonded as a crew and also they've not really got an objective now that the planet is safe and the Romulan threat at least deflected for a while. (though I hold out hope that Seven might not have killed the Romulan Sister - she fell, but they've still got all those fancy short range teleporters that she might have setup on the cube prior to working on the weapons).

6) Not sure what Seven and Raffi were up too, but it seems that they've formed a very quick, sudden and not hinted at in the series thus far, relationship.


Overall a very Trek ending; the fight with the flowers was very pretty and we got a complete story. There's threads left incomplete too including what if that powerful force from outside comes knocking to find out why its beacon was built and then destroyed.
 

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Well, I seem to be in a minority. I didn't like it much at all.
I found this a bit... meh.
Not only me then. I guess my problems were with the philosophical directions that my Star Trek universe is being taken rather than the episode itself.
I have one gripe: I think it's cheap tacky writing to kill a character off and then pull them back to life through some deus ex machina cheat. Either kill the character or don't. Basically the whole brain illness was a completely redundant narrative whose presence was to set up this whole 'Oh no he's dead, how sad; oh no he's ok...'
Only that one gripe? There were multiple instances of deus ex machina. What about fixing the ship using the magical knuckleduster?
I thought they were going to use the magic knuckleduster thing. It was underused for something so powerful. Maybe we'll see it again.
I certainly hope not. And the rest of the show was a game of are they dead, no they aren't! I honestly didn't believe anyone was dead. Why can't Hugh come back too? He didn't deserve to die.
The “deaths” of both Picard and Data were emotional high points in the finale. Funny how neither Picard nor Data wanted the burden of immortality, although Picard was not above fishing for just how long his “normal” remaining lifespan might be -- 10 years? 20 years?
But immortality wasn't ruled out. The door has now been opened. Just because Data didn't want immortality, and Picard was given his expected life expectancy, doesn't mean others won't crave immortality.
The technology now exists for immortality. How will they stop the rich and powerful cornering the process.
Precisely, and we will then have the futures portrayed in Bank's Culture novels, or in Morgan's Altered Carbon. Both very different to the Star Trek universe as we know it.
Data was recreated from 1 braincell (or something). No?
He was killed off by removing 3 USB keys. Does the braincell still exist? Can the USB keys therefore be recreated later if necessary?
That is possible too. Anything is possible when you use magical devices.

So, exactly why was the ban upon Synthetics lifted? (Quite obviously, so that Picard the Android version can have another season.) Was it because the Romulans and not the Synthetics made the attack of Mars. Except that the threat from the 'metal tentacle' synthetics still exists. All you need to do it build a leaning tower of tables and open a portal. None of which was explained adequately. Neither was anything about them explained. Are they the same intelligence that NOMAD and V'GER met? The Synthetics remain a threat to all organic life in the Universe.

Narek - He was useless as an agent and at information gathering. He failed at everything he did. Is he the best the Tal Shiar can do? Where did he go to?

And the Romulans were given a free pass? They destroyed Mars and had the blame placed on someone else. They infiltrated Starfleet. Organised assassinations and attacks on Earth. They lied about the Borg Reclamation Project. They've lied for years. But they can go and wander off somewhere, maybe do it all again?
What really surprised me is that the Borg ship played no role in any of it
What was the point of introducing that at all?

Did someone do a rewrite of this episode and completely change everything that was originally planned for it for something totally different?
So, the new crew, including Seven of Nine, is ready for action in season two. I loved how they rewarded fans with an ending “engage”.

But ready for what exactly? There was a goal to achieve here - to save Soji. That is achieved. Doesn't Rios have better things to do? Is Picard still leasing the ship? Shouldn't Seven be out being a Ranger? Shouldn't Raffi try to be reconciled with her estranged husband and son? I can't see anything that Picard would want to do that could be more important to them.

When this show was first mooted, I expected it might be a sort of 'Indiana Jones in Space' with Picard renewing his interest in archaeology. I think that is the only thing that would be believable to me in the second season. This idea that Starfleet had lost its way and that only an aged ex-Admiral with a rag-tag crew could save the day, will only work just the one time.
 

ctg

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When this show was first mooted, I expected it might be a sort of 'Indiana Jones in Space' with Picard renewing his interest in archaeology. I think that is the only thing that would be believable to me in the second season. This idea that Starfleet had lost its way and that only an aged ex-Admiral with a rag-tag crew could save the day, will only work just the one time.

I agree. This is a brilliant idea and it suits him. There has been one instance before that I remember and that was in the Babylon 5 - if you count out Stargate Saga, as it was set in present day. It would suit him better than sitting in the vineyard, getting grumpier as days go by. I still expect him to get super grumpy at some point, but exoarcheology should lead them to Synth Gods and other places. At the moment, the way Picard's crew has been setup, they'll everything they need, except a deal maker. They even have two fighters to deal with the hairy situations.

As I understood the ending, Picard got back his Admiral Rank through Will's message. So, in theory, the federation could finance his voyages to known and unknown archaeological sites. The problem I see is that digging stuff up isn't fast. It takes a while and then you have to solve the history, and in the series, you cannot show that time progress as everything has to flow well. Still, I would love to see Picard getting his fingers dirt, and developing a permanent dust-layer cause he's been in so many ancient places.
 

farntfar

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Vash must still be out there somewhere in the universe to join the archaeology work, now that that don't have to worry so much about the Zhat Vash.
 

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