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  1. I really don't see how a field replicator with a neural interface is any more magical than any other technobabble Star Trek has ever spouted. None of the science is real. And any sufficiently advanced technology will always look like magic. 😉
  2. I don't think so, they wrapped filming back last summer and then S2 was announced later, shortly before the first episode premiered. I think they probably knew there was a good chance, but it wasn't confirmed.
  3. I agree that both Romulans and Synths interpreted (or misinterpreted) the Admonition according to their own understanding and bias. We have no way of knowing what it is they were actually summoning with that beacon, but I'd lay good odds it wasn't what either side expected. Added spoiler tags because I realised which episode thread this is - spoiler for ep 10.
  4. Haven't had a chance to post before now. Decent finale, I thought - very emotional in places - and a decent first season, taken as a whole. Not perfect, but nothing is, and most of the show's weaknesses I felt stemmed in the main from the inexperience of the showrunner. Michael Chabon is primarily a novelist rather than a screenwriter and it showed, although his love of all things Trek shone through throughout. I like all the new characters, although their development over the season has been patchy and the progression of their interrelationships patchier still (the season could have done with a couple more episodes, in the end, to let the characters and story breathe a bit more) so my biggest wish for season two is some good old-fashioned team-building, truly digging into the character dynamics and allowing them to develop organically. Data had nothing to do with the orchids. They were designed and created by Soong, Maddox, and their synthetic offspring. And as we saw in ep 9, they worked just fine when there was just one or two ships getting a bit too close. The community simply never anticipated having an entire armada sent after them! I think Narissa's device was only a short-range local transport, so when she activated if after the xBs attacked her, it took her to another part of the Cube rather than to another ship, which was why she was still on board when it crashed. The other Romulans would have assumed she was dead when she didn't make it to one of the warbirds before they left. Narek is a definite loose thread left dangling - in his Instagram Q&A Michael Chabon said they had intended to show him being taken into Federation custody, but with the way the story worked out there wasn't a good place to fit that in. Judging by previous answers, Narek and Narissa got the shaft all season, in fact - Chabon said theirs was the often first material to be cut in the editorial process, and both characters suffered for it. I'm not convinced Soji truly did comprehend the enormity of what she was trying to do, to be honest. She was simply terrified and allowed that fear to control her. Since so many are assuming that Agnes is going to get away with murder, I will just observe that we don't actually know where La Sirena is heading at the end there. Agnes did previously agree to turn herself in, and that may well still be the intention, we have no way of knowing till season 2 happens. And if she doesn't...Star Trek is littered with past examples of characters getting away with murder on the basis of having their minds temporarily corrupted, or whatever. My take on the uber-synths is that just because they were highly advanced 200,000 years ago during the incident the Admonition commemorates doesn't mean they are still highly advanced now, so who actually knows what that beacon was truly summoning. Sutra's interpretation of the Admonition was not necessarily any more accurate than the Romulans, both were influenced by their own fears and bias. Who says they have coupled up? We saw them holding hands. That doesn't have to indicate a fully fledged relationship that we somehow missed. It's just as likely to be the first flirtation, a moment of connection that promises the possibility of more, rather than an indication of past history. Two brilliant yet damaged individuals who have been thrown together in tense circumstances - plenty of hook-ups have been based on less. We were specifically told in Nepenthe that Riker was still on active reserve, so his returning to action when his old friend needed help was perfectly in keeping and heavily foreshadowed. He's an exemplary officer with an outstanding service record, and no shadows hanging over his retirement - there's no reason for Starfleet to refuse his request to be involved. They talked a lot about it being a brain abnormality that would deteriorate over time and eventually prove fatal. If Picard had stayed cosseted on his vineyard he probably would have lasted longer, but we'd already seen that the stresses and strains of this mission were exacerbating his symptoms. The medication he told Agnes to administer gave him the strength he needed to finish the job, but also hastened his death - seemed almost like a sort of stroke, to me, which is in keeping with the idea of a brain abnormality going critical. The synths did say they could make more orchids, given time - and we saw with the beacon how fast they can build stuff, if need be! Agnes called the device a 'field replicator with a neural interface', which makes sense of how it could repair damage to La Sirena, or at least makes as much sense as regular replicators do. I'm hazier on how that translate into 'psychic holo-projector', but, you know, it's Star Trek science, so haziness is to be expected. According to Chabon, a couple of scenes showing the xBs and synths forming a new community together were scripted/filmed, but were cut. The story would have been stronger if they were left in, imo. And yes, also according to Chabon, there was a short time skip between Picard's resurrection and La Sirena shipping out - I think that could have been made a little clearer, too. Oh wasn't just a Romulan spy, she was more specifically a Zhat Vash spy - to her, fulfilling the Zhat Vash mission of preventing the apocalypse was her most important duty, so once the homeworld of the synths was located, her work with Starfleet was done, time to move onto the next stage of the mission: wiping out the synths. Plus, Agnes outed her as a spy once she came clean to Picard, so in the wake of that forced mind-meld she had to know that her days were numbered. I don't think that's how the device works. It is a replicator with a neural interface, it seems clear that it's application is fairly limited - we've seen it used to repair a bit of damage and to project a false image, that's all. It isn't a weapon. There is no indication that it can be used to imagine enemies out of existence - if so, the Romulan fleet wouldn't have been such a threat in this episode. Soji was created on Coppelius not on Freecloud, but she was removed to Freecloud soon after activation. She does seem to be a newer model than Sutra though.
  5. An android can go anywhere. A hologram can only go where holo projectors are installed, and generally speaking can't transfer themselves from one location to another or switch themselves on or off, they are extremely limited in their function. Of course, Voyager, over a long period of time, gave the Doctor the ability to do many of these things for himself - he was re-programmed to be able to switch himself on and off, because doing so enabled him to better fulfill the role of chief medical officer, and I believe he was later given the ability to transfer his own programme to the holodeck, too. Later still, a mobile emitter was developed to enable him to go on away missions. But his function remained limited, all of these additions had to be specifically developed for his unique situation. Your average hologram, like those on La Sirena, remains strictly limited in function.
  6. Laris and Zhaban are ex-Tal Shiar, therefore highly skilled at disposing of unwanted evidence. And all they have to do to get rid of the bodies is fire a phaser on its highest setting - poof, vaporised, no magic required.
  7. Yes, he probably will be, but I was answering a specific question about who is next in line after Charles. Which is William, as I said.
  8. Santiago posted a cute little vid on Instagram, singing and playing ukelele (and urging everyone to stay home) No way to predict when season 2 might go into production, the state of the world being what it is, but I note that his Rios hair and beard are on the way back. Anyway, this is small talk, so - how are we all doing, folks? These are stressful times. I hope you are all keeping safe and staying indoors.
  9. I dunno, they've never actually explained the biology behind the Vulcan mind-meld. If it revolves around electrical impulses in the brain, I can just about buy a sophisticated android learning the technique. If Soong was an android, he wouldn't be so concerned with his mortality or in such a rush for Agnes to help him figure out how to transfer his mind into that golem body of his. Clone I could buy, but I don't think any of the Soongs are meant to be clones, it is just an in-joke that they all look so identical, being played by the same actor. Man, but this series more than any other Trek series really loves making its actors work overtime, playing multiple characters!
  10. I dunno. The Borg have a track record of disconnecting from Cubes that have been compromised in some way - heck, Hugh returning to the Collective as an individual rather than a mindless drone was enough for his Cube to be spat out. So perhaps it isn't so surprising that Ramdha's experience of the Admonition would be enough to break a Cube. To the Borg, everything is disposable, even Cubes. Protecting the larger Collective is what matters.
  11. To be fair to Picard, the Romulans had located Soji before he even knew she existed, and they'd extracted the location of her homeworld from her before he arrived at the Cube. They'd have been gunning for the synths of Coppelius whether he was involved or not. But giving the synths prior warning, now that's what has endangered all organics, and that one is 100% on Picard for choosing to help Soji - he really did have no idea what he was getting himself into. No wonder the Romulans are so annoyed. They had this solid plan and it would have worked, too, if Picard hadn't shoved his oar in! The synth colony was definitely modelled on the TOS/TNG space hippy pattern!
  12. Super advanced in their design and construction, but not in life experience or knowledge. When we first met Data, he had already been in Starfleet for years, had a career's worth of experience behind him. These new synthetics are a different design and have led extremely sheltered lives, given access only to the knowledge their creator wants them to have. He has kept them naive because he likes them that way.
  13. We already knew that the Romulans - or rather, a small but fanatical cabal of Romulans - had a reason to be aggressively monitoring and terminating synths. We've known that since we saw the flashback to the Admonition, it wasn't new information in this episode. We saw then how biological minds interpreted and responded to the Admonition - here we are seeing how a synthetic mind interprets and responds to it, and what we see is how similar the reaction is. Both the biological and synthetic minds exposed to the Admonition have the same reaction: this is a warning intended for me, I must take extreme action as a result of it, or the outcome will be devastating. Is Sutra's interpretation any more accurate than the Zhat Vash's? Just because she says it is, doesn't make it so. Just because Sutra terrifies her small, virtually defenceless community of synths into considering extreme action as the cliffhanger end of the pentultimate episode doesn't mean all those synths are irrevocably evil any more than the extreme actions of the Zhat Vash mean all Romulans are evil, or the corruption of Commodore Oh means the whole of Starfleet is evil. This show has been telling a single story in ten parts. The way stories are structured calls for a climax before the resolution. And this episode was not only the penultimate episode of the season but also the first of a two-parter - therefore the story it is telling is not yet complete. The cliffhanger crisis of this episode sets the scene for the climax of the story in the finale, after which will come the resolution - don't mistake that crisis for the message of the show. The actual message of the show has been proclaimed by Picard from the start: a message of peace and optimism, of cooperation and mutual support. I have absolutely no doubt that sanity will prevail in the end, that the two sides will not wipe each other out, that an alternate solution will be found. Because this is Star Trek and that's how Star Trek rolls. The story isn't over yet. ETA I would laugh if they attempted to summon these all-powerful ancient synths to destroy all organic life and then nothing turned up, because a) that's not what the message was meant to convey after all, or, b) those ancient unknowable beings no longer exist, because hey, even synthetics aren't actually eternally immortal, and an aeon is a long time.
  14. Soong is the only human on the planet, but not the only male - we saw male synths as well as female, and we know that Beautiful Flower was also male. I am pretty sure that Soong is exactly who he says he is: the biological son of Noonian Soong who felt overshadowed all his life by his father's obsession with his android 'children' but who nonetheless decided to follow in his father's footsteps and achieved success after hooking up with Maddox. If he were a synth himself, he wouldn't be so concerned with his own mortality or so eager to find a way to transfer his consciousness into a synthetic body. Plus, last we saw of Lore he was well and truly deactivated and disassembled. His story is told. But a new generation of Soongs allows another branch of the story to develop.
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