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I was hoping for another twist. Something big and absurd and completely distorting reality. I said Alton Soong was really Lore and could be stupid enough to have fun. Or maybe all of this could be another test of Q Continuum’s Picard; John de Lancie is probably too old to work as an immortal flawless superhero, but hey, they brought the data back, and above all, I could have swallowed a different actor like Q without much struggle. You can travel in time for this hell, or you can show synth saviors, not me, space angels or something. I wanted something as memorable as the end of Life on Mars in America. What I got was equally bad for most of the Star Trek: Picard was bad; thoughtless, hasty tricks, meaningless twists and bold decisions that are not easy at all.
“Et in Arcadia Ego, Pt. 2”
“Et in Arcadia Ego, Pt. 2”
They save the only real twist to end. Last week, given how much the emotional drama of the last few episodes focused on Picard’s deadly brain problems, I wondered how the show would continue for a second season. This week, at half past one, I hit him on the forehead and realized that he would just throw him into a “golem”. Soong was planning to get his mind inside. Of course, the episode takes place after the beloved so-called character tries to make way for the “death” as much as possible. It would be a shame not to be happy; Picard does his best to save the universe again, and as a result dies in the arms of a character we met a few weeks ago, a bunch of other characters we barely look at. People get drunk on his death and then hey, we have a reserve.
I don’t think the thing I really liked was that the new body looked like the old body, or that they were careful to explain that it didn’t have any super cool growth; when he was horrified by Picard’s thought that he might be immortal, and convinced Agnes that they had built him out of fear, he said he should live as long as he could without a deadly brain problem. Thus, after all the structures, weeping and sad images and melodramas, in the end, absolutely nothing happens. The status quo is more or less restored. There is no real victory in this, the satisfaction of life comes from the jaws of death. But if Picard had really died in that episode then, I wouldn’t have cared. The worst thing I can say about this show is that it brings back one of my favorite TV characters, threatens to kill him forever, and finds a way to make sense of something.
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And really this is the episode. People run around making decisions and forming alliances without any meaning or significance. La Sirena has a group with Narek. Soong sees video evidence of the Sutra’s pairing and closes it without any real complication or difficulty. Everyone forgets that Agnes killed a boy. Restrictions can make great art, but usually “restrictions” mean money, time, or special restrictions. There is a limit to following the inner logic of your story; give your audience a word about the choices you make as you explain the subject of your story, and then fulfill that promise. Star Trek’s first season: Picard sometimes remembers to do it. But for the most part, it’s enough to switch from one noisy moment to another, as if it weren’t as scripted as it was written with the phone’s specially designed game.
Is something working here? Well, Narissa enters a pit, which means thank you to the already boring bad sexy Mrs. Romulan. (Narek survives sadly.) And he hit and managed Nine Seven when he left, more than seven in his lifetime. More seriously, Picard and Agnes behaved well when Sirena tried to gamble the last desperate gamble to save everyone’s life; The actors have wonderful chemistry together and it was only possible to forget everything and enjoy the jokes. The show managed to be Picard’s one-time hero; After spending a lot of time teaching people or dismissing or cursing him, he was happy that he had finally won, even though it was a thought of victory that was more satisfying than victory itself.
Hm. Did I like the idea that Seven and Raffi could close next season? Sounds experienced, but can be a really fun relationship. Everything else … good, evil had a certain effectiveness that I could appreciate. Almost every story is presented in a beat and wrapped in several scenes, a whole Romulan decides to demonstrate and stay in the arm that he can stand back only once after a synthetic life form. (I’m sure the Starfleet ships helped decide, but still.) After all the construction and death, what Soji had to do to change his mind was the end of organic life. The fact that only a bunch of real destroyers had robotic tentacle sleeves was icing on a stupid, thoughtless cake.
At the last moment, I did not intend to introduce the idea that the information is still alive. Well, still kind of; consciousness became entangled in the Maddox design matrix, and Soong was created while using neurons to build a new synthetic life. Or something along these lines. Cyber-information is supposed to be poetic and beautiful because it repeats the same old subtext about life-giving death, but it is more empty and manipulative than Picard’s death. The information asks Picard to “kill” him again, because this time it’s sad and miserable, Picard reads some Shakespeare, because Patrick Stewart sells Shakespeare as easy to read, and that’s it.
Disappointed and annoyed by all this, the show is a benevolent desire and the fact that it can take ten years or more of material and waste it all consistently and over and over again. There was potential here, and as the new crew of La Sirena prepares to fly into the galaxy, what surprises me the most in the last scene is that this potential has not been completely lost. Stuart still looks like a game and can develop an ensemble with better writing. But to do that, he needs to find a reason for the show to exist. The ship turns to everyone with a big smile, but there is no mission here, they do not need to exist as a crew. It was as if we watched ten episodes of the pilot, and when we started, there was less reason to continue.
I saw screenplays from an interview with former showman Michael Chabon, where he initially talked about what they considered a version of the show with lower stakes; just a show hanging in Picard’s vineyard, perhaps solving petty crimes and having a good time. God, after watching this confusion, all I can think about is what version we would end up with.
- Still legally surprised that Alton Soong is the real deal.
- I accidentally smiled a lot, but I think when the Sirena crew came out of the big movement against the lighthouse, Rios threw Romulan’s grenade … directly at Soji, who threw them aside. Good job, folks.
- A small example of an even bigger problem: After spending a long time setting up Romulans as a threat, the climax of the episode depends on whether or not Soji will call the Evil Deus Ex Machina rings in particular. Everyone immediately says that the word Sutra is a real threat, and no one doubts the idea of ”summoning a mysterious force to kill everything.” I agree that things are going fast, but no one seems to be so skeptical.
- Yes, they brought Ricker back. A massive naval fleet and the only person we actually see is the Riker we saw two weeks ago. If there was a time for the show to sound camos, it was. But like everything, in the end it feels so small. I love Riker and Frakes is as big as ever, but we had a perfectly reasonable moment to close at Nepente. This is both compulsive and absurd. (Although I liked the idea of Picard leaving his old friend without saying he was dead.)
- “The finished planet sterilization sample number five.” How far did the Romans travel to sterilize entire planets? Someone has to look at it.
- This season, the Nine Seven enthusiastically joined Borga and threw aside five minutes later and never remembered again.
- Hey, do you remember Agnes would surrender to the Federation for killing a man? Apparently, no one else did. (To be more kind, he could go for a walk until he was taken to the nearest star base, but he never reads like that.)
- Maybe in the second season they will understand.
. (take tags) Star Trek: Picard