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S01.E10: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

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And the way they lured the golden-tanned, evil Soji behind the pilar and tranqed her without anyone noticing. Thank god androids are so stupid. 

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7 minutes ago, Wouter said:

Not a robot body: a synthetic but organic body. The net result is that Picard is more human than ever

"More human than human."

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5 hours ago, Florinaldo said:

Where did Soong go after deactivating Sutra? He nodded to Raffi and then just was not in any other shot, until the Picard transfer. Why did he not also deactivate Soji instead of letting her go through with the portal opening? Of course, that would have robbed JLP of his Great Moment when he convinced Soji to make the right choice.

How many orchids were there exactly; didn't they mention last episode that about a dozen were left? It looked like the Romulan fleet was facing a whole Amazonian forest!

That little device is close to a magic lamp; make a wish and it will come true, as long as you can imagine it. If they keep it and have constant access to such a magical tool, there wont be much sense of jeopardy in  Season 2.

I hope they don't have the device anymore, would indeed be too easy ("just imagine those Borg cubes/Romulan Fleets/space monsters are all gone").

One of the synths (Arcana?) mentioned that more Orchids could be made, given time. They didn't have much time but apparently production goes quite fast, even though the Romulans made short work of them.

It's not certain Soji can be shut down like Sutra could be, she was "build" by Maddox on a lab in Freecloud and may not work exactly the same as Sutra/Jana.

Soong of course should have spoken up (unlike what I wrote earlier, apparently he didn't even tell Soji that it was Sutra rather than Narek who took Saga's life), but as you say, that would have brought Soji to her senses and the writers couldn't have that (yet). A bit of a shame, as with some more care in the plotting it could have been an excellent finale.

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13 hours ago, pootlus said:

Loved Riker showing up to save the day but that was ridiculously implausible.  I mean can you imagine? "Oh hey, can I come back - just for a week or so?" 

IIRC, Riker mentioned that he was not retired from Starfleet but acting still in a sort of on-call capacity or one temporary leave or something to that effect while talking to Picard back in "Nepenthe."

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In the last 20 years, Starfleet Academy failed to produce the next Kirk or Picard or Riker or Jellicoe to face down a known enemy.... Or Vandemeer was the chosen one that died too soon?

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I think the whole ubersynths plot would have worked better if it was made clear that Soji and co thought they could use them to wipe out the Romulan Fleet, thank them and sent them back (or limit them to defend the colony from that ime on). As it was though, they left little doubt that the total genocide/biocide on galactic scale was understood and that Soji was fine with that.

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16 minutes ago, Wouter said:

As it was though, they left little doubt that the total genocide/biocide on galactic scale was understood and that Soji was fine with that.

Yes, and that has really put me off the character for good although she was problematic before. Her hippie siblings were naive because they were sheltered (except Sutra but that's another can of worms) and so their b/w thinking is easier to accept. But she was immersed in organic culture and should have had a better grasp at nuanced thinking. I rolled my eyes when she showed up as one of the crew in the last scene. Agnes I can deal with since she showed remorse for what she did and was willing to sacrifice herself in the end. A little bit of 'oops, sorry that I nearly caused a mass extinction level event because my super-positronic brain reverted back to toddler levels of thinking' would have gone a long way.

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Isa Briones was the one singing "Blue Skies" as Data was drifting away.

 

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11 hours ago, Wouter said:

While the scenes of the others grieving for Picard were nicely done, it did feel like emotional manipulation, given that Picard would be back and that something similar would follow with Data. The talk about mortality also didn't make all that much sense to me, and with Picard being resurrected he didn't really lead by example in this specific case.

Sometimes we talk about a show being plot-driven or character-driven, but this episode was an example of a different thing where the events don't really make sense for the plot or the characters, but they make sense for setting up a melodramatic moment for the audience... which then rings hollow because it doesn't make sense for the plot or characters.

I laughed when Picard insisted that he had to talk to Soji on an open channel so that everyone could hear him movingly talk her into cancelling the kraken attack, and then when Soji beamed Picard down to the planet not because she had a way to help him, but because it was more dramatic if he died surrounded by all of the other characters.

I didn't laugh when Data showed up, but I was kind of confused by it because, if you're going to write a scenario where Data's consciousness still exists somewhere in the midst of all this, why wouldn't you find a way for him to participate in the story instead of just showing up at the end to bum everyone out?

(Honestly, I didn't think Picard would die, but I thought there was a chance Patrick Stewart would bounce after the first season and Picard's consciousness would be in a different body, played by a new actor, so it felt like an extra, EXTRA cop-out that he made it though the whole thing unscathed, but whatever).

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16 minutes ago, MissLucas said:

Yes, and that has really put me off the character for good although she was problematic before. Her hippie siblings were naive because they were sheltered (except Sutra but that's another can of worms) and so their b/w thinking is easier to accept. But she was immersed in organic culture and should have had a better grasp at nuanced thinking. I rolled my eyes when she showed up as one of the crew in the last scene. Agnes I can deal with since she showed remorse for what she did and was willing to sacrifice herself in the end. A little bit of 'oops, sorry that I nearly caused a mass extinction level event because my super-positronic brain reverted back to toddler levels of thinking' would have gone a long way.

Exactly, Soji thought she was human for 3 years, and interacted with a lot of people during that time. All the xB's she cared about (or seemed to?), her colleagues including Hugh, that Trill woman and various Romulans. And then the people who helped her after the cube: Kestra, Riker, Troi, Rios, Raffi, Jurati, even Soong. They all need to die? Along with everyone else?

And I don't get why she was worried for Picard when La Sirena was hit by the Romulans and out of control for a moment. If Picard died then and there, it would only hasten his end by a few minutes, and if the Romulans didn't kill him she would do it herself. Her behaviour is totally inconsistent.

Interestingly, nobody in-universe seems to be calling her out on that (Picard even "believes in her"). Even more so, many online reactions I've seen focus on Agnes Jurati getting away with murder, but totally ignore the attempted total genocide.

 

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Did Data's request to Picard remind anyone of the finale of The Good Place?

 

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Boy did this end badly. I really hate it when the big bad gets half way through the portal and then just goes back home...or when the bad guys are right and the good guys wrong.

The Romulans were right all along.

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2 minutes ago, Notwisconsin said:

Boy did this end badly. I really hate it when the big bad gets half way through the portal and then just goes back home...or when the bad guys are right and the good guys wrong.

The Romulans were right all along.

Yes and no. They were right the synths have genocidal tendencies, but they engineered the whole situation themselves. If the Romulans had done nothing, the synths would not have been banned in the first place and wouldn't have felt threatened.

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Nah, the creators of the Admonition started it with their bad encoding.

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1 hour ago, MissLucas said:

Nah, the creators of the Admonition started it with their bad encoding.

Uber Synth Leader: We just defied the laws of physics by moving 8 suns into an unnatural configuration. What next?

Uber Synth Tech: Leave this mp4 file with a psychic user interface.

Leader: Then trap ourselves in a dead end portal?

Tech: Yes, according to the book. But we could just kill all the organics now.

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6 hours ago, Wouter said:

One of the synths (Arcana?) mentioned that more Orchids could be made, given time. They didn't have much time but apparently production goes quite fast, even though the Romulans made short work of them.

It's not certain Soji can be shut down like Sutra could be, she was "build" by Maddox on a lab in Freecloud and may not work exactly the same as Sutra/Jana.

I caught the mention of growing more orchids, but we mere organics, flora as well as fauna, take time to grow and mature; the last two episodes took place over barely a day.

Was Soji really made on Freecloud? I thought they said she originated on the synth planet and was then sent away on her "mission" with her memories blocked. Hence her vision in the Romulan meditation room of her home world. I doubt Maddox would have been able to keep secret the development of two synths on Freecloud; even though the labs are mostly deserted, he would still have needed lots of materials and power.

6 hours ago, Wouter said:

Soong of course should have spoken up

Soong would only have needed to show to the crowd the little clip he retrieved from Saga's dead brain and Sutra would have lost all credibility and support. The episode would also have been 15 minutes shorter. 

7 hours ago, starri said:

Presumably, Picard told Admiral Clancy when he spoke to her to ask for Starfleet's help.

The last conversation we saw between JLP and Clancy took place before he talked to Agnes and learned that Oh was a mole. I think we are supposed to infer that he informed the Federation during his attempt to contact them while on the synth planet. He was frustrated by not getting a reply, but his message must have gotten through since Riker used an excerpt to buttress the Federation's claim on the planet as preceding the one by the Romulans.

6 hours ago, kokapetl said:

Thank god androids are so stupid. 

As Soong said after deactivating Sutra, they're no better than we are.

The uber-synths behaved like most mega-entitites do in movies or novels; when the Door/Portal/Rift or whatever opening they are using gets closed, the hastily retreat back to their own realm (they apparently do not wish to get caught in ours, and who can blame them). These looked like mechanised stereotypical near-Lovecraftian beings.

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Ridiculous and cliched until Data. About 6 things made no sense. From Data on, it was kind of sweet.

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5 hours ago, SourK said:

I didn't laugh when Data showed up, but I was kind of confused by it because, if you're going to write a scenario where Data's consciousness still exists somewhere in the midst of all this, why wouldn't you find a way for him to participate in the story instead of just showing up at the end to bum everyone out?

Agreed. So he's been a consciousness for all these years, but never made any efforts to express that he'd like to talk to his old friends, or otherwise was involved with any of the other androids or the story. Kind of a shame, just to have one more morality play and sendoff for Data. I got the feeling the writers just hated Star Trek: Nemesis.

2 hours ago, Florinaldo said:

Was Soji really made on Freecloud? I thought they said she originated on the synth planet and was then sent away on her "mission" with her memories blocked.

I'm honestly still a little unclear on why Soji and Dahj were sent away with false memories in the first place. I also wonder why the show didn't address how both of them look entirely human while the other androids still resemble Data more closely.

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23 hours ago, thuganomics85 said:

Whatever happen to Agnes turning herself in?

They strongly implied that the crew decided Oh’s telepathic assault made her not in her right mind. She did “wake up” from the implanted belief and feel horrified. 

The relationship glimpses in the final minute were shoehorned in. I was pretty indifferent to the initial Rios/Agnes tumble. But I did feel unexpectedly touched by them later. The scene at the very end, though, was over the top. 

And Raffi/Seven was WAY over the top. My favorite Raffi scene was her comforting Elnor—she’d already lost her son and he’d just lost his father figure. So good. I really loved Seven, unapologetically bi throughout the season. But Raffi/Seven was way too instant. I like the idea of the pairing, but drop hints and get to it maybe midway in season 2. Let the fans speculate about chemistry, then delightfully surprise them by making it canon. They took all the build/romance out of it.

 

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22 hours ago, lora said:

The angry synth-worms looked creepy, and I am pretty sure at least one was able to slip through that portal.

Centipedes. Giant mechanical centipedes. 

(I didn't watch it all.)

 

Edited by Anothermi · Reason: visuals!
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14 hours ago, marinw said:

True, but racism and xenophobia won't go away overnight.

I fully expect this to be a season 2 episode sub-plot. And I'm good with that. 

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4 hours ago, ahisma said:

They strongly implied that the crew decided Oh’s telepathic assault made her not in her right mind

 

If Geordi actually assassinated the Klingon Ambassador 30 years ago, and the Romulan mind control was definitively proven... Would he get a free pass?

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31 minutes ago, paigow said:

If Geordi actually assassinated the Klingon Ambassador 30 years ago, and the Romulan mind control was definitively proven... Would he get a free pass?

Did Picard get a free pass for what he did as Locutus of Borg?

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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.

On 3/26/2020 at 9:03 PM, paigow said:

Did Data believe that orchids were the optimal planetary defence weapon? He had almost unlimited knowledge of galactic history and war strategy on repelling Invaders. Shaka when the walls fell.....

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!

On 3/26/2020 at 10:13 PM, Wouter said:

It was surprising that she was still on the borg cube, I thought one of the Romulan warships had beamed her out. Seems they just gave up on her (some of her underlings were rather taken aback by her genocidal behaviour against the xB's).

I'm glad Agnes wasn't turned over. I would forgive her too, after she played a major role in saving all life.

As for Narek, I liked that he turned in this episode, and that he was pleading with Soji shows that he didn't quite see her as the destroyer, in the end. He still hoped she would turn. That she didn't for him is only realistic I suppose, though I was very disappointed in Soji for going through with it, even after Sutra was exposed and knocked out (another surprise, for me). 

Did Soji not understand that Picard, and Kestra, and everyone (but maybe the synths) was going to die if her own plan succeeded?

That the Borg cube couldn't be used to destroy the tower may actually be quite logical, given that the cube was quite far from the site its beam weapons may not be able to reach it (unless drilling through an enormous amount of rock, which would also take time) due to lacking line-of-sight. Any projecticle weapons (I don't recall the Borg using any) may have been still offline.

I guess that Narek went back to his aunt Ramdha, and to go look for his sister (both on the cube)? He didn't show hatred for xB's. And the xB's can probably stay on the planet, with or without the help of the synths. Free from Romulan interference.

The uber-synths (or whatever they actually are) probably need the power from the other side to get through. Tough luck for them.

Narek was excellent, I had half hoped he would join the crew. I guess we will see him again next season.

And what will next season be about? Will it still focus on the synths and the machinations of the Tal Shiar/Zhat Vash, or will the latter decide to give up on their vendetta? Given how close they were to "ganmadan", I guess Oh and co will still be inclined to take extreme measures.

In any case, Picard will need some new excuse to not return to his vineyard.

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.

On 3/26/2020 at 10:55 PM, TVbitch said:

Um, when did Rafi/7 couple up? 

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.

On 3/27/2020 at 8:54 AM, pootlus said:

Loved Riker showing up to save the day but that was ridiculously implausible.  I mean can you imagine? "Oh hey, can I come back - just for a week or so?"  As @thuganomics85 says it would have been better with Worf or Geordi or anyone from TNG who hadn't been established as quitting/retiring.

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.

22 hours ago, marinw said:

I thought  Irumodic Syndrome was like dementia. Not a death by migrane thing.

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.

20 hours ago, Florinaldo said:

How many orchids were there exactly; didn't they mention last episode that about a dozen were left? It looked like the Romulan fleet was facing a whole Amazonian forest!

That little device is close to a magic lamp; make a wish and it will come true, as long as you can imagine it. If they keep it and have constant access to such a magical tool, there wont be much sense of jeopardy in  Season 2.

There seemed to be a scene missing between everyone weeping over JLP's death and the next time we saw them all together on the Sirena, everything hunky-dory.

The golem body being bald may have been a visual foretelling that JLP would end up in it (it did become quite the obvious outcome while he was dying and there was so much time left in the episode). But what will be the legal status of JLP: will his golem self be recognised as equal to his human one and will he still be entitled to his properties like the vineyard?

Narissa was activating the Cube weapons. Seven might have tried to finish the process and wiped out a few of those Romulan ships in space. I guess the synths will now be caretakers for the ex-Bs. I hope Seven dactivated the Queen chamber, just as a precaution.

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.

18 hours ago, kokapetl said:

I don’t recall Commodore Oh being exposed as a Romulan spy, her running back to Romulan space didn’t quite make sense, and her commanding the armada was extremely convenient. 

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.

15 hours ago, Wouter said:

I hope they don't have the device anymore, would indeed be too easy ("just imagine those Borg cubes/Romulan Fleets/space monsters are all gone").

It's not certain Soji can be shut down like Sutra could be, she was "build" by Maddox on a lab in Freecloud and may not work exactly the same as Sutra/Jana.

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.

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On 3/26/2020 at 7:09 AM, paigow said:

Where is the cube? Why is Seven not taking care of the XB? Did Elnor kill Narek off screen?

There were so many significant, immediate, plot points left hanging. Things that could have been given just a quick line or scene instead of ignoring completely. 
But no, instead, the show wanted all that time for maudlin good-bye scenes with Picard, then mourning soon-to-be-alive-again-Picard, and more fireside chats between Data and Picard professing their love for one another. 

On 3/26/2020 at 6:04 PM, kokapetl said:

You know who cared about Data and Hugh the most? Geordi.

There was way too much emphasis on the super, BFF, unique connection between Picard and Data. I watched TNG and that was never the case. Data and Picard became friends when Data became a popular character. This show made it seem as if they were practically soul mates.
Maybe it was the result of binge watching, but the Data drama was over the top ... and that goes for *all* the Data worship by so many of the characters. And did everyone forget about Lore?

On 3/27/2020 at 3:08 AM, thuganomics85 said:

Sure, show.  You're totally going to kill off Jean-Luc Picard on a show that is called... Star Trek: Picard!

That felt like a waste of time. 
I won't even bother complaining about everything nonsensical with "Look! We made you an 80-year old body with no advantages to your previous body, besides not being dead."


I would prefer if ST:Picard was a stand-alone series, to be followed up by ST: Geordi or ST:Seve-of-Nine, etc. 

So now the Federation knows that there are über-synths somewhere out there. You know who won't be able to resist trying to explore that?: Starfleet..

The introduction of the magical, imagination-powered, fix-it tool was probably a good representation this series. It claims it wants realism when it comes to being grim and pessimistic - - but then it gets silly when it comes to the science part of sci-fi. 

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What Michael Chabon took away from Nemesis, it seems, is that Data didn't die enough. 

To my surprise, I agree. Data's flickering out was a more compelling version of Tasha Yar's return into a storyline in which her death had "meaning."  What this show proposed with Data, specifically, went beyond the idea that death has "meaning" if it saves something: a beloved character, the ship, or the galaxy. An outcome such as that would lend meaning to anything, from flukes to cat videos.

Data's death also went beyond the idea that death has meaning if it's sacrificial, though that was the overall theme of the episode and even the season. "I'm considering the nature of sacrifice," Soji told Picard, sounding and acting exactly like Data when he'd bring his captain his latest quandary. Paraphrasing Narissa: "We destroy to give meaning to our parent's death and our forebears' sacrifice." And, "We've here to save each other," said Picard, while he died to help Soji see the light. Data himself subtly chastened Picard when he asked why Picard -- his measure of a man -- would believe that Data regretted his sacrifice to save him. Sacrifice for the greater good is itself a great good, and a Star Trek verity: the needs of the many...

But then Data boldly, calmly went on to put death in the context in which humans most often experience it. Not as something reserved for heroes, reluctant or otherwise, or as a far, far better thing that puts right all that went before. He implied that death was life's essential shadow, even its twin: its Lore or its Sutra. He spoke of death as a living awareness, as a truth that has no meaning but what it gives to life. What death brings to our ongoing mission as we live it, to seek out "peace, love, friendship." 

Sonnet 73: "This thou perceiv'st, which make thy love more strong/To love that well which thou must leave ere long."

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1 hour ago, shrewd.buddha said:

There was way too much emphasis on the super, BFF, unique connection between Picard and Data. I watched TNG and that was never the case. Data and Picard became friends when Data became a popular character. This show made it seem as if they were practically soul mates.

I think we should lay the blame for that one on the movies.  If you watched TNG, Picard was a mentor to Data, but if he had a best friend, it was Beverly.  But if you only saw the four films, you'd think Data was his bestie.

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They should have dropped the coin to hire Tom Hardy for those last scenes.

That would have been funny.

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1 hour ago, revbfc said:

They should have dropped the coin to hire Tom Hardy for those last scenes.

That would have been funny.

You mean the Golem should look like Shinzon??? Exxxxcelllennnttt!

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18 minutes ago, Tyro49 said:

Somehow I think that both the Romulans and the Synths are misinterpreting the Admonishon. Perhaps the Artifact has become somewhat corrupted over the millenia? The message has become garbled? That seems the most likely outcome to me. Both sides have "interpreted" it in opposite yet parallel ways, but I feel they are both "missing" some essential part of it.

I hope Picard does get healed, but I can't see him ever wanting to become an andriod. (Especially after being "Borgified". Once was enough!)

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.

But there is no healing for Picard. Transferring his consciousness into a new synthetic body is all the healing possible for him - and is already done, there is no going back. His old body is dead. The new one is hale and hearty and good for another 20-30 years of adventuring, if he's careful with it. The transfer sets up a whole new character arc for him, coming to terms with his new existence, having already accepted his mortality and made peace with it. It forces him to put his money where his mouth is, after being an advocate of synthetic life for so many years. This experience is completely different from being assimilated. That was a violation, bending both mind and body to the will of another - and an enemy, at that. This transfer, in contrast, sets him free from the debilitating condition he's been suffering under, and leaves him 100% himself still in the process. No comparison. Although I daresay there will be soul-searching about the deeper meaning of it all next season!

Added spoiler tags because I realised which episode thread this is - spoiler for ep 10.

Edited by Llywela
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I don't think I'll ever be able to hear "Blue Skies" again without getting weepy. Was not prepared.

Wonder if they knew they were getting a second season when this episode was filmed?

 

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4 minutes ago, Joimiaroxeu said:

Wonder if they knew they were getting a second season when this episode was filmed?

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.

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5 hours ago, shrewd.buddha said:

The introduction of the magical, imagination-powered, fix-it tool was probably a good representation this series. It claims it wants realism when it comes to being grim and pessimistic - - but then it gets silly when it comes to the science part of sci-fi. 

I knew rhey'd eventually introduce a sonic screwdriver.

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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. 😉

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5 hours ago, shrewd.buddha said:

There was way too much emphasis on the super, BFF, unique connection between Picard and Data. I watched TNG and that was never the case. Data and Picard became friends when Data became a popular character. This show made it seem as if they were practically soul mates.
Maybe it was the result of binge watching, but the Data drama was over the top ... and that goes for *all* the Data worship by so many of the characters.

I completely agree. I think my main disappointment with the series was this out right Data deification.  In TNG I never saw the Picard/Data friendship and all that so with "Nemesis" it came out of left field that these two were sooo devoted to each other which annoyed me at the beginning to this series when that seemed to be Picard's biggest issue.  So, okay, Picard has a brain problem that makes him obsess about a former crewman/shipmate but I didn't buy into that "Data my bestest buddy and died for me so I've got to rescue his heretofore unknown, unexpected offspring as penance."  In TNG I was more interested in the rest of the cast then get caught up in the manufactured Picard/Data pairing.  

All-in-all I did enjoy the series but I agree that there was some misfires there.  I'm hoping that the next season will iron some of this out.

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I think Data's death would have profound effects on Picard for a number of reasons chiefly the theme of sacrifice which was highlighted in this episode. I think Picard's obsession with Data's death is also that of survivor's guilt. Also, no matter what way you can cut it, Data was exceptional member of and friend to the Enterprise crew and his loss would be profound. I didn't find it difficult for Picard to obsess over it especially after all the stuff with the Mars Attack and the synths ban.

The other thing that this series touches on and was explored on TNG was that the crew were a family. Some of them did not have good relationships with their parents. Data himself did admire Picard and saw him as more of a father figure than Soong ever was. Riker felt the same. Notice that in Nepenthe episode this is touched on with Soji and Kess spells it out to her and the audience. Soji will also see Picard as a mentor and father figure.

I still think the show is silly at times. I am really biased because I adored Data so his loss and paying tribute to him worked for me in this series.

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5 hours ago, Notwisconsin said:

I knew rhey'd eventually introduce a sonic screwdriver.

I just hope the sonic screwdriver doesn't show up again next season.

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It was an okay season finale, not mindblowing but okay.

So, are we to assume Narek was safely returned to his glass prison on Coppelius?

I'd hoped for a cliffhanger, though. Not sure what season 2 is going to be like, perhaps with more stand alone episodes.

I am not sad to see Narissa go. I don't think anyone is.

 

 

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On 3/25/2020 at 2:04 PM, kokapetl said:

And now, the disappointing conclusion.

It was obvious last episode how truly awful this ending would be.  And... it was.

A few overly manipulated feel good moments packed in with a lot of nonsense, basically.

A few episodes smack dab in the middle of the season reached truly good status, but the rest?  Ugh,  It's not just the sap.  I'm okay with some amount of sap in Star Trek.  It's not just the contrivance.  I'm at least USED to some degree of contrivance.  It's the mass of it all.  Plus, admittedly even the contrivance I am used to is multiplied intolerably when it' UNNECESSARY contrivance.  When they do dumb shit they didn't have to vs. dumb shit that is needed.  Just look at the last two episodes for a sample.  Nothing demanded that the evil synth had to be able to magically know how to do Vulcan mind tricks.  You literally could have told the same story with her without that. Nothing demanded Picard actually die and yet be brought back in a body that's essentially the same, but artificial and magically powered down to not have superpowers and eventually die.  You didn't even need the excuse of him dying to reveal Data's fate or his last request.  You could have told the same story with the Doctor just telling Picard that Data was there and then using some whammy tech to insert him into that matrix temporarily.  Also, having Riker show up was just dumb unnecessary indulgence. But if he did?  Fatty McRetired Acting Captain isn't going to be commanding a whole fleet.   You just had to have him standing BEHIND some Admiral who was.  Maybe to show the full circle nature of things, the Admiral that Picard fought with, showing that his words finally had an effect on her.  

The overall theme was fine.  However it is also a bit silly that Soji's near calling of the Machine Apocalypse didn't have a knock on effect,  Either with her being basically pardoned by the Federation, or with the machines just... slinking back. Both were ridiculous, but I suppose unlike the earlier stuff I mentioned at least they served a legitimate dramatic purpose.  Frankly a much cleaner ending, a more meaningful one, would have been Soji TRYING to undo what she did, failing, but then the nature of the things on the other side of that wormhole thing being totally different than expected.  

Sigh.  I suppose I will still watch Season 2, a long time from now after Corona is gone and they actually manage to make it, but I am skeptical that the balance they found in the few middle episodes is something they can summon all that often.  

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On 3/27/2020 at 11:26 PM, Ottis said:

Ridiculous and cliched until Data. About 6 things made no sense. From Data on, it was kind of sweet.

6?  You are being generous.

Plus some of them SUPER did not make sense.  Or worse, were unnecessary contrivances where writing just a TINY bit different would have created the same plot but without bullshit being inserted.  Contrivance actually has a legit place in Star Trek to drive plots when necessary, but the key word is "necessary".  I'm fine in general with McGuffins in Trek for example, even though I know they enrage some people.  They're a classic literally trope.  But there's a difference between having a magical device you rely on for a plot and having something happen in a silly or overly complicated way instead of a simple one.  This show was packed with the silly and complicated (I mention several in my last post). 

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On 3/27/2020 at 7:06 PM, starri said:

Isa Briones was the one singing "Blue Skies" as Data was drifting away.

 

Yes, and it shows that in addition to all of the silliness in this episode/whole season, there were also tons of missed opportunities.  There is zero reason, NONE, that they couldn't have easily written a scenario where it was actually Soji singing that, and show it on screen, intercut with the Data death scene.  And they just didn't do it.  I know I complained earlier about UNNECESSARY contrivances, but this would have been an EASY contrivance that served a genuine purpose instead of the many silly unneeded ones we got.

I mean if you've got a great singer like Isa Briones on your show, use that.  The audio was great, but this way it's just like bonus material or trivia to know she sang it. Whereas singing it onscreen would have actually had impact.  Not that she knew Data, or that he was any more her father than of any of them, but the connection was still important enough that she was there when they disconnected him.

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On 3/28/2020 at 3:31 AM, Florinaldo said:

Was Soji really made on Freecloud? I thought they said she originated on the synth planet and was then sent away on her "mission" with her memories blocked. Hence her vision in the Romulan meditation room of her home world. I doubt Maddox would have been able to keep secret the development of two synths on Freecloud; even though the labs are mostly deserted, he would still have needed lots of materials and power.

Soong would only have needed to show to the crowd the little clip he retrieved from Saga's dead brain and Sutra would have lost all credibility and support. The episode would also have been 15 minutes shorter.

You're right about Soji, Maddox had his lab there but maybe the Tal Shiar/Zhat Vash blew it up before he could really make anything.

Right about Soong too: I forgot that Soji didn't even know (that we were shown, at least) that it was Sutra who had killed Saga.

On 3/28/2020 at 5:43 AM, Cthulhudrew said:

I'm honestly still a little unclear on why Soji and Dahj were sent away with false memories in the first place. I also wonder why the show didn't address how both of them look entirely human while the other androids still resemble Data more closely.

I think this can be explained. One simple option is that is was for variety. There were different looking models on the colony, as well, some looking like Data, some like the synths on Mars, and others. The other option is that infiltration in human/Romulan society had been kept in mind from the start, if not by Soong then at least by Maddox.

That would also be the reason for the fake memories, like Boomer from  Moore's BSG: to be more effective infiltrators, able to behave convincingly like humans because they believed themselves to be. They cannot betray themselves, because they don't know.

One thing the show did not explain is how Soji knew stuff like the name and purpose of the Shaenor, the last ship assimilated by the Borg Cube. Such information was likely given to high ranking Romulans only. Unless Maddox had pals in S31 or at least Starfleet Intelligence, and those had gathered intel on it. I suppose people like Laris and Zhaban (ex-Tal Shiar) could potentially have known, but why would one of those randomly tell Maddox or Soong?

On 3/28/2020 at 7:31 AM, ahisma said:

They strongly implied that the crew decided Oh’s telepathic assault made her not in her right mind. She did “wake up” from the implanted belief and feel horrified.

I tend to agree with them. I don't see the point in "justice" being done in the form of a trial. Who has something to gain with that? Not Maddox, he will remain dead. Not Soji and the other androids (or Soong), who prefer to have Jurati with them rather than have her rot on some penal colony. Not Picard and the La Sirena crew. Not Jurati herself, unless she insists on self flagellation. Not the Daystrom Institute, which can use Jurati's expertise and cannot use the likely scandal of having one of their top scientist murder an alumni.

And on a political level, both Romulans and Federation may prefer to keep things as quiet as possible (note how Starfleet did not want to pay the price of a massive fleet to fleet battle - even though they would win - just to bring Oh to justice). Only some Federation lawyers would have something to gain from it.

Jurati is far more useful as part of the crew - for everyone involved. And I do think we can easily say she was not in her right mind, and that could at least be the outcome of a painful trial.

There is also Soji and her attempted genocide to consider. In most countries today, planning a terrorist attack, with concrete steps being taken to implement said attack (like arranging for weapons/explosions etc) is sufficient to be convicted for terrorism. Since Soji was already executing Sutra's plan, she would be like the #2 of IS in terms of a real world situation, albeit with a change of heart at the very last instance. So why isn't everybody calling for Soji to go to DS12 and then on to a Federation courtroom?

On 3/28/2020 at 12:59 PM, Llywela said:

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.

[...]

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.

[...]

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.

[...]

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.

I also generally like the characters, the dialogue, the setting, atmosphere etc. Overall, Picard had a good first season. Compared to the classic Trek series, there is the advantage of a season-long spanning story (as opposed to the "problem/planet/species/character of the week" format), an emotional buildup and more "real" characters compared to sometimes stiff utopian-perfect Starfleet officers from earlier series.

Compared to Discovery, the creators of Picard at least seem to have had a firm plan on what they wanted the first season to be. And while I'm dissapointed by some of the choices in the finale, overall the story for the first season was strong. For me, Discovery S1 was a big disappointment with its handling of the Klingons and of characters like Lorca. So far, I haven't watched Disco S2 yet. I am, however, looking forward to more Picard, allthough a somewhat more episodic format may be better after the high stakes of S1.

I agree on Narissa, short-range device within the Borg Cube (maybe not unlike the emergency portale transporter from Nemesis). It's still weird that the Romulan ships didn't beam her out afterwards though, but maybe some underling was glad to get rid of genocidal Narissa. Since we know that present transporters allow Romulans to beam out in mid fall (pilot episode) and that Narissa has a device on the cube, she may well have survived the final.

It's a pity they she and Narek didn't get more scenes, equally so with the xB's at the end. Since it's a streaming show they could easily have left them in, weird decision to trim the episodes. I hope Narek will still be involved in some capacity, next season, preferably on the side of Rios and co.

Soji seems to have gotten a lobotomy as part of the process of regaining her android memories. That she did not understand what she was doing would have been an explication (allthough also requiring the lobotomy anyway), but Soji was so dismissive of "organics" (allthough she believed herself to be one mere days ago, and arguably is an organic as well as synthetic, being carbon based) that she arguably may have understood.

Her line to Picard was quite ironic: "You choose if we live, you choose if we die. You choose! We have no choice! You organics have never given us one."

The problem being, Picard isn't the one who has the power to choose. In so far he had power to let the Androids live, he did all he could by:

-contacting Starfleet to call for protection

-exposing the truth of Mars

-providing an escape possibility with the La Sirena, by being ahead of the Romulans (which was risky business for Rios)

Soji was actually talking about herself, choosing about life or death over other people.

I am bit surprised that a writer of the caliber of Chabon didn't find a better solution for this, especially with a character like Sutra in their arsenal. It seems the obvious call to let her manipulate the situation (have her incapacitate Soong, rather than the other way round) and then call on Soji to stop her, after getting the Picard speech (tm).

I guess that the writers absolutely wanted to let everything hinge on that one Picard moment. This is one example where the name and concept of the show works against itself, as an ensemble show like TNG or DS9 would have solved this far more elegantly by not insisting on letting one particular character be the only one deciding factor.

I didn't catch that the magic device is actually a replicator. That makes sense for the repair of La Sirena, since the only thing that was missing to do the repairs was a specific part. However, the ultrabelievable (fools Romulan sensors) projection would not seem to be part of the curriculum of the average Federation replicator.

On 3/28/2020 at 8:18 PM, Athena said:

I think Data's death would have profound effects on Picard for a number of reasons chiefly the theme of sacrifice which was highlighted in this episode. I think Picard's obsession with Data's death is also that of survivor's guilt. Also, no matter what way you can cut it, Data was exceptional member of and friend to the Enterprise crew and his loss would be profound. I didn't find it difficult for Picard to obsess over it especially after all the stuff with the Mars Attack and the synths ban.

The other thing that this series touches on and was explored on TNG was that the crew were a family. Some of them did not have good relationships with their parents. Data himself did admire Picard and saw him as more of a father figure than Soong ever was. Riker felt the same. Notice that in Nepenthe episode this is touched on with Soji and Kess spells it out to her and the audience. Soji will also see Picard as a mentor and father figure.

I still think the show is silly at times. I am really biased because I adored Data so his loss and paying tribute to him worked for me in this series.

I also really liked Data in TNG - he was a great officer and a very decent being - and so the Data indulgence is a bit of a guilty pleasure. Allthough it's a shame Geordi was not involved, I also think that Data and Picard had a very good relationship even in TNG, at least since "measure of a man".

I do, however, also agree with those who say that the near worship of Data was a bit over the top at times. The show could have been more subtle in this regard.

Best episode of the season, for me, was The Impossible Box. Worked on all levels, and the return of Picard to a Cube (first time since Best of Both Worlds) was the highlight of the season.

Edited by Wouter
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2 hours ago, Wouter said:

One thing the show did not explain is how Soji knew stuff like the name and purpose of the Shaenor, the last ship assimilated by the Borg Cube. Such information was likely given to high ranking Romulans only. Unless Maddox had pals in S31 or at least Starfleet Intelligence, and those had gathered intel on it. I suppose people like Laris and Zhaban (ex-Tal Shiar) could potentially have known, but why would one of those randomly tell Maddox or Soong?

When Soji was super-knowledgeable on the Cube, I assumed that her unconscious mind (the part her “mother” accessed) was hacking into the Romulus systems and squirreling away all the information so she’d have every tactical advantage if needed.

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Of course Riker has to come out of retirement for this special occasion! Not only can he show up to save Picard, but he gets to look super cool and throw out some badass lines to the Romulans about them kindly fucking off! He can certainly put down the pizza for that. 

I cant lie, I got super emotional while Picard "died" even while that he is totally going to be fine. Everyone's reactions really just hit me, especially Elnor sobbing hysterically into Raffis arms and Rios saying how he swore he would never get attached to another captain, but now its happened again. So now Picard get to be a Picard Synth! A Pynth if you will! 

I thought this was a pretty good ending, even if the ending felt a bit rushed and we have a whole lot of unanswered questions left, like what happened to the ex borg, Narek, the other Rolumans, the Synth world and the unknown proto-synths. Some of that will presumably come back later next season, but I would have liked to see a bit more closure. 

Hell yeah Seven, avenge Hugh! I am still super freaking salty to have lots Hugh, but at least that asshole Narisa is taken care of. At least, she might be, we never saw a body...

So Seven and Raffi huh? I mean, I kind of caught a vibe from them, and they apparently caught an even BIGGER vibe! I still dont get a lot of chemistry between Agnes and Rios, but I dont hate them together or anything, so I am decently interested in seeing where it goes. 

So Picard gets a new crew, a new ship, and some new adventures! I hope that next season we can spend time on a few more planet of the week one off episodes or ridiculous anomalies or something. I love serialized story telling, and I dont want the show to become completely episodic and pushing the reset button every week (cough Voyager cough) but I think this show could benefit with some breather episodes that focus on character stuff or exploring new wacky planets or whatever. Get creative, it doesent have to be all space hippies and holodeck malfunctions! 

Elnor just glaring daggers at Narek the whole time he was around was great. He is not a fan at all, just ask him! And Altan isnt mad Sutra, he is just disappointed. Alright and pretty mad too. 

There was a lot to like about this show, and a lot that I think could be improved on, but I am really glad I watched and I am really excited to see what season two might be like! I really want to explore the Trek world more and what is going on in the Federation and with their various allies and enemies since we last saw them, other than some obvious political parallels with xenophobia and stuff, and, while I know this show shouldn't be a big cameo fest, I would like to check in with some more characters. Looking forward to season two! Engage!

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15 minutes ago, tennisgurl said:

I cant lie, I got super emotional while Picard "died" even while that he is totally going to be fine.

I dunno. There's a pretty good argument that the being walking around calling himself Jean Luc Picard now is a legitimate sentient being but... not him.  It's a newborn individual with a copy of all of his memories.  Jean Luc Picard is dead, and stayed dead.

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18 minutes ago, tennisgurl said:

So Seven and Raffi huh? I mean, I kind of caught a vibe from them, and they apparently caught an even BIGGER vibe!

I dunno. Jeri Ryan, who wasn't even a series regular this time, might be more money than they want to spend, when they also likely have to pay 2 or 3 of the others to come back for cameos next season as well (I'm thinking Wil Wheaton is practically begging to do it for scale though...) I'm dubious that we will see her hanging around being Raffi's girlfriend next season. I think her use on this show is done.

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1 minute ago, Kromm said:

I dunno. There's a pretty good argument that the being walking around calling himself Jean Luc Picard now is a legitimate sentient being but... not him.  It's a newborn individual with a copy of all of his memories.  Jean Luc Picard is dead, and stayed dead.

Technically you could say the same thing about Spock as well (Star Trek 3), I guess.  Katras, substrate scans, who's to say ?  I'm just going to let it ride.  :)

 

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There are photos of Burton & Dorn visiting the set. Watch episode 10 of Ready Room with Wheaton.

Edited by paigow

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On 3/28/2020 at 12:28 PM, revbfc said:

They should have dropped the coin to hire Tom Hardy for those last scenes.

Or James McAvoy, 

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