Star Trek: Picard (CBS All Access)
Season 1, Episode 10 – “Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2”
Written by Michael Chabon & Akiva Goldsman
Directed by Akiva Goldsman
I really loved the idea of Star Trek: Picard. Bringing back the aged captain and seeing what he’s like now, how he relates to the galaxy around him. Of course, we knew going in that Picard would be surrounded by new faces, and I was a little apprehensive but still open to new characters. From looking at Discovery, it was clear that this new show would push the boundaries in terms of violence, language, and sex. That’s acceptable and could make the show more “realistic” in terms of human behaviors. Ultimately though, Picard never becomes the thing so many expected it to be. There are real moments of brilliance, but for the most part, it plays out predictably with characters taking actions and saying things you would expect them to, not much better than mediocre fan fiction.
This show had a very muddled look, washed-out grays, and a less bright future than any Trek before it. There were some high moments, the flower ships and the synthetics had an interesting look. But everything else so uninspiring and managed to become a copy of every other science fiction/comic book content of our current era. The massive battle in space, cramming every inch of the screen possible with ships, was a fine technical feat but really added nothing to the story or characters.
This finale also does something eye-rollingly annoying. The writers kill off a character who we know can’t die because of their role in this series, and what do you know? They are resurrected minutes later, making their death and the grief we see over it completely meaningless. When news that the series had been renewed for a second season weeks after its premiere immediately killed the stakes for life and death when it came to many of the characters. There is another death the third act that had much more resonance for longterm Trek fans as it was actually the final moments of a character. I will admit I got a little teary-eyed when I watched this scene because not only was it the passing a familiar face, it was done with reverence to what that particular person had always wanted.
What was extremely annoying was that as the final moments show us that this new crew is going off for new adventures, so many plot threads were completely abandoned or unresolved. And they should have been wrapped up. Season two should be a new story with new character arcs, not continuing the half baked ones in this first season.
What was the point of Ramdha, the former Borg Romulan aunt of the spies? Why was she in this season? Why did Alton Soong come to this planet and create these synths? Was there a higher purpose? How did Commodore Oh just become a Romulan officer when she was head of security for Starfleet? There seemed to be no ramifications for her switching suddenly. What the purpose of the Romulan presence in the reclaimed Borg cube? What did they want it for? Character actions had no significant consequence this entire season, and I’m still annoyed how Agnes committing murder had zero ramifications for her practically. Am I excited about a season two of this? Not really.