TL;DR – Not every part of the final episode landed, but the promise is so much more
Score – 4 out of 5 stars
Review – It is time to come to the end and the first season of Star Trek Picard has drawn to a close, it was a show full of warmth and promise but also a hint of sadness. Like someone taking one last look at the old neighbourhood before moving one. With this in mind, I approached the final episode with a little hesitation and now I have seen it that felling was not entirely unmerited. Well then, let’s dive in and have a look at the final episode before having a look at the entire season.
So to set the scene, at the end of Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1 we were in a very perilous place with everything about to unravel. Picard (Patrick Stewart) had been taken hostage by the synths that had finally discovered the meaning behind the Zhat Vash prophecy and were using the death of one of their own as a pretence to steam straight ahead to the destruction of all organic life. On the Borg Cube, Seven (Jeri Ryan) and Elnor (Evan Evagora) chat not realising that they have an uninvited guest in the form of Narek (Harry Treadaway). But there might be one ray of hope because Agnes (Alison Pill) might not be who she says she is. Now we will be looking at the episode and the season as a whole, so there may be some [SPOILERS] ahead.
Let’s begin with the good, and that was when the show went full-Picard, and I do love them when they go there. He is a man that feels that you should be able to talk yourself out any situation without resorting to violence. Of all the quotes, I think my favourite of the episode has to be “fear is an incompetent teacher”. At his core, he was prepared to sacrifice himself to find the third option, the one where no one dies. It is a level of hope that I think we need in times like this.
From a technical perspective, the battles were quite good, even if you felt like they held back a bit due to budget. The stand out being the orchard attack on the Romulan warbirds and I do have to say the design of the new Warbirds was beautiful. It did feel like they missed an opportunity just having one type of Starfleet vessel in the blockade. It would have been a nice shout out to a lot of ships that people adore. Also, there were moments when themes from the past poked through at key moments that made everything shine but it does highlight that the show never really found its musical voice.
When it comes to the ending of the episode, it did feel like everything was inevitable. Ever since they dropped that they had a spare body laying around, the question was not if someone was going to be saved but who? The likely candidate was the admiral with a life-ending ailment and that, of course, was where we ended up. Because of this, the montage where everyone is really sad had the same emotional effect as when people started blipping at the end of Infinity War. But much like Infinity War even though I knew in my mind that it is all going to be undone there was a moment when all my walls broke down, and that was when Elnor (Evan Evagora) fell apart.
Overall, the thing I found most interesting with this episode is less with how it ended, but more with the promise of what there is to come. In the closing moments of the episode we got to see a crew that had come together as one, and if you know me, you know that is my jam. It was also interesting that the potential big bads in this episode looked remarkably similar to the big bads from the end of Star Trek Discovery’s Season 2. Also, did I hear them drop that Vulcans might not be native to Vulcan because that is one heck of a twist?
When I think back over the season as a whole, it is remarkable just how much they did in just ten episodes. They explored a Federation and Starfleet that had become a bit insular and looking out for themselves and not for the values they stand for. It worked as a follow up to both The Next Generation and Voyager, while also killing off a very dear character in the process. One of the things this season has done is reframe the ending of Star Trek Nemesis, and if nothing else it should be championed for that. We see that a lot in the final episode with the conversation between Data (Brent Spiner) and Picard about life, what it meant to be human, and sacrifice. While the final episode might not have been the perfect landing, the journey and the friends we made along the way more than made up for it. Hell, if nothing else it showed us we all need Irish ex-Tal Shiar in our lives, and I hope the first thing the La Sirena does is go and pick Laris and Zhaban up.
In the end, do we recommend Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2 and Star Trek Picard Season 1? Absolutely. I have loved every moment of the show, even when it was breaking my heart. The best recommendation I can give it is that I can’t wait to see where they go next.
By Brian MacNamara: You can follow Brian on Twitter Here, when he’s not chatting about Movies and TV, he’ll be talking about International Relations, or the Solar System.
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Credits – All images were created by the cast, crew, and production companies of Star Trek: Picard
Directed by – Akiva Goldsman
Written by – Michael Chabon & Akiva Goldsman
Created by – Akiva Goldsman, Michael Chabon, Kirsten Beyer & Alex Kurtzman
Based on – Star Trek: The Next Generation created by Gene Roddenberry
Production/Distribution Companies – CBS Studios & Amazon Prime
Starring – Patrick Stewart, Alison Pill, Isa Briones, Evan Evagora, Michelle Hurd, Santiago Cabrera & Harry Treadaway with Jeri Ryan, Brent Spiner, Jonathan Frakes, Tamlyn Tomita, Peyton List, Kay Bess, Brian DeRozan, Matt Perfetuo, Mike Perfetuo, Jade Ramsey &Nikita Ramsey