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.