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Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

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Title :
Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2
Series :
Picard
Rating :
4
Disc No :
Episode :
10
First Aired :
26 Mar 2020
Stardate :
Unknown
Director :
Year :
Writers :
Season :
Main Cast :
Guest Cast :
YATI :
You have to wonder where Narek goes at the end of the episode. He seems to have completely disappeared. I can't see him being a welcome guest on Coppelius. Picard didn't take him with them. The Romulans didn't say anything about beaming him up, nor did the Federation.

Agnes' murder trial seems to have been forgotten about too. It would have been nice to at least have mention of her being acquitted due to temporary insanity following Oh's mind meld.
Great Moment :
Picard's final moments were really quite touching. Only slightly ruined by the fact that his death is so rapidly reversed.
Body Count :
The crews of around 17 Romulan ships are killed by the orchids.

Narissa is killed by Seven of Nine in revenge for killing Hugh.

Picard! Well almost.
Factoid :
The idea of uploading a consciousness into an android body is one that has come up in Star Trek before. Infact the first occurence was back in TNG : "The Schizoid Man", when Dr Ira Graves succeeded in uploading himself into Data, before ultimately agreeing to remove himself.

This episode is a nominee for the DITL "Best of Trek" award.

Plotline

Flashback!

Over at the Cube, we find Narek who has escaped from the synth compound. He enters the Cube, sneaking around out of sight. Seven and Elnor are sitting on the floor. Elnor asks, would the xBs be better off dead? Everyone hates them. They have no home. They don't belong anywhere. Seven asks, am I better off dead? I'm an xB. I have no home. I don't belong anywhere. Why don't I just put a phaser to my head and get it over with? Elnor is slightly taken aback and says, because... I'd miss you. Narek skirts around them and continues along a corridor. He stops and looks over a railing. Suddenly, a knife is held to his throat, he is turned around and it is Narissa. She hugs him. After a while she releases him and says, well... Have you found them? Narek responds, yes, they're all here. Narissa says, have you fucked any of them? He replies, mm. Not yet. She asks, killed any? He replies, one. Narissa says, well, I call that progress. Come see my hiding place. Oceanfront, crashing waves. You'll love it.

Picard is locked in a room and there is a butterfly. He plays with it a little and it lands on his finger. He goes over to the window and lets it go, saying, lucky you. Outside Soji opens the lock using her eyeprint. She enters saying, I just wanted to see if you were okay. Picard replies, I will be when I'm set free. Soji says, Picard, try to see this from our point of view. You choose if we live. You choose if we die. You choose. We have no choice. You organics have never given us one. Picard corrects, to say you have no choice is a failure of imagination. Please, don't let the Romulans turn you into the monsters they fear. Stop them, Soji. Stop building that beacon. Shut it down now. The beings you are attempting to summon may well be your salvation... but they will be our annihilation.

Back at the Cube, Narissa says, you're telling me you want to use those grenades to destroy flowers? Narek replies, ship-killing flowers that fly. Narissa goes to stop him and he says, no, not this time. I made my way out of the nest. I can make my way back in. You have to stay here and bring the weapon systems online. Narissa says, our parents died for this, Narek. Many more gave their lives. Narek says, I found her, Narissa. Me. The family disgrace. The Zhat Vash washout. I found Seb-Cheneb. Narissa says, well, go on then. I have my work to do. He nods and leaves, exiting the Cube. Elnor can be seen following him.

Back at La Sirena, crashed and powerless. Rios is looking at the device the androids gave them. He says, honestly, I'm a little afraid of it. Like if I use it too much, it's gonna... eat my soul. Raffi says, well, luckily, you don't have a soul, so... Rios says, but what does it do? How do I even... Raffi replies, well, when Saga gave it to me, she said, "You have to use your imagination.". Rios says, oh, she said that, did she? Raffi confirms, mm-hmm. Rios jokes, well, I don't have one of those either. Raffi says, okay, well, Chris, this is your ship. You know what's wrong with it. Rios says, it's not too complicated. The intermix reactor is fused. I need to un-fuse it, which is impossible. I need to replace it, but the maintenance replicator is off-line because the intermix reactor is fused. Raffi says, mm. Well, just, you know, give it a try. Rios looks pained, Raffi continues, okay, fine, I'll do it. Rios says, to you, everything's a hammer, or... No. I'll do it. He gets down below the machine. He slips the device onto his hand, his fingers seem to fit the holes. He says, there's... There's no kind of trigger or... or switch. Raffi says, hmm. Well, maybe what she meant was you have to imagine the fix. Rios says, have you been, um, hitting the horgl again? Raffi says, visualize that it's no longer fused. You know, see the hole patching itself. Rios gives it a try and light comes out of the device. Rios says, whoa. Raffi says, uh... What's happening? Rios says, nothing that makes any sense. Little prongs have come out of the device and it seems to be fixing the problem. Rios jumps up and pushes the console back in. The ship comes alive and the engine fires up. Raffi says, say it. Rios says, say what? Raffi says, hmm, those three beautiful words. Rios says, you were right. Raffi says, hmm. Just one more time. Rios says, piss off. Suddenly, there's a clanking sound. Rios says, I know that sound. They move towards the front of the ship.

Back at Coppelius Station, the transmitter is under construction. Orchids are also flying up into space. Agnes and Soong are in Bruce's room, Soong says, all of Bruce's work on the downloading of consciousness into a synthetic body should be on that machine. Agnes agrees, let's hope so. We don't have much time. Soong starts to leave and turns and says, you know... this really is a remarkable act of self-sacrifice on your part. But I suppose that's what mothers do, isn't it? He turns and leaves. Agnes says to herself, it's okay. It'll be okay. You can do this. You have to do this. I'm not their mother, asshole.

Back at La Sirena, Narek is outside throwing rocks at the ship. Rios says, someone's throwing rocks at my ship. Raffi says, the abusive Romulan boyfriend. Rios opens the comms saying, go ahead, throw it. I want to see what a photon torpedo can do at this range. Narek says, I have 12 wide-dispersion molecular solvent grenade canisters. I'm throwing rocks. Raffi says, what do you want? And don't think we won't kick your ass, dirtbag, because we will. Rios says, Raff. What are you doing here, Snakehead? Narek says, trying to save the universe. We can keep fighting, or we can work together. Stop what's coming for us. It's your call.

Inside the ship Narek, Raffi and Rios are talking, Raffi is trying to contact Picard saying, JL. JL, come in. Damn it. Narek says, they are building some kind of transmitter. They are signaling something to come here. Rios asks, to do what? Narek says, we believe synthetics are fated to destroy all organic life. We call it Ganmadan. The place is on lockdown. Whatever that transmitter is, they don't want anyone interfering with it. Rios says, the thing about Picard is... Raffi says, yeah. Interfering is definitely his thing. Rios says, try him again. Raffi tries, JL, come in. Admiral Jean-Luc Picard, retired. Damn it. Narek says, I've told you. They won't respond. The synthetics have jammed all comms. Suddenly, a sword is pointing at Narek. Narek jumps up. Raffi says, whoa, whoa and so does Rios. Narek says, I do. I very much choose to live. Rios says, hold up, kid. We disarmed him, searched him. We may very well have a common enemy coming for us. You're gonna wanna hear what he came here to say.

Back at Coppelius Station, Soong is working on Saga. Agnes enters and says, Altan, I... What are you doing? Soong says, I'm transferring Saga's memories into a V-module as a memento for Arcana. But the damage to her optical processors corrupted the data stream and... Do you need something? Agnes says, yes. I've been working on the neural lace for your golem, but some of the files are encrypted. Bruce always said that your crypto kung fu was the best. Soong says, oh. Okay, I'll see if I can get into those files. Keep an eye on the transcoding rate. Agnes says, got it. Once Soong has left she bends over Saga and takes out her good eye. saying to herself, sorry.

Back at the ship, it is night. Elnor, Rios, Raffi and Narek are all sitting outside around a camp fire. Elnor says, I still don't understand why we're trusting him. His sister murdered Hugh. Narek says, good thing she didn't come along then. Elnor says, I don't like you. Narek says, no? How do you feel about Ganmadan? Because if we waste any more time fighting each other, we will all die. Then whether or not you like me will matter even less. Raffi says, whoa. H-Hold on. What is Ganmadan? What is the story? Elnor says, it's just that. A story. Narek says, a story of the end. Raffi asks, of? Narek says, everything. Rios says, like Ragnarök or Judgment Day. An ancient myth. Narek says, some say it dates back from long before our ancestors first arrived on Vulcan. The story of Ganmadan begins with two sisters. Twin khalagu. Elnor says, demons. Narek continues, twin demons who come at the end of time to open the way and unleash the ch'khalagu. Elnor translates, very bad demons. Narek continues, one sister is called Seb-Natan, the foreteller. She plays a drum made from the skin of children. She strikes it with a chain of skulls so hard and so long that her heart bursts from the effort. The other sister is called Seb... Raffi interupts, Seb-Cheneb? Yes. We... We know about her. Narek asks, so you know that she carries a horn from a great pale hellbeast called Ganmadan? You know when she blows a blast on the horn, it will unleash all the ch'khalagu who have been waiting since the beginning of time. You know the sky will crack, and through the crack in the sky, the ch'khalagu will come ravening. You know about the Thousand Days of Pain. You know the streets will be slick with entrails of half-devoured corpses. You know the worlds will burn. And the ch'khalagu will feast and nurse their brats on blood and pick their teeth with bones. Rios says, no, we did not know any of that. Raffi says, but, I mean, do you really... You really believe this is a, a prophecy? Narek says, no. I believe it's history. Raffi says, oh. Narek says, and the fascinating thing about history is... it always repeats itself. Above them thunder and lightning rattles the sky. The camera pans up and there are two blood red moons.

Over in subspace the Romulan fleet is making progress. On the bridge of the flagship Oh says, at last, our great work is nearly at an end.

Back on the planet at the ship, Narek is showing the others his bag saying, molecular solvent grenades. Short fuse. Push button, throw. Intended for those orchids, but now the transmitter is our target of opportunity. Raffi says, okay. H-Hold on. Hold on. How exactly are we planning on getting ourselves back into Synthville? Narek says, we walk in the front door.

Flash forward to Narek, bound being escorted to the gates of Coppelius station, as they get there Rune and Codex block their way. Raffi says, oh, hey. Hi.

Back at the ship. Rios asks, how are we gonna do that? By bringing them the Romulan secret agent that killed their beloved Saga. Elnor says, I still don't like you.

Back at Coppelius station, Raffi continues, check it out, you guys. Look who we found sneaking around last night. Thought you might want him back.

Back at the ship, so, how are we gonna blow the transmitter? Narek says, a single, concentrated blast. Remote detonation. Rios says, sounds like we need a delivery system. Narek says, a drone.

Back at Coppelius station, Codex asks for their weapons. Rios says, oh, of course. They hand their guns over.

Back at the ship, Rios asks, the molecular solvent, it's stable? Narek says, until it's detonated. Except in metal, so the container needs to be carbon fiber, ceramic.

Back at Coppelius station, Codex asks for their bags. Raffi says, oh, certainly. Rios adds, you bet.

Back at the ship, Narek continues, and with the transporter block the synths have in place, we can't beam anything in or out. So, we'll need a way to conceal it.

Back at Coppelius station, Codex finds a football in Rios' bag. Codex asks, do you play? Rios says, oh, I love the game. He throws the ball up into the air and catches it. Raffi says, all right. Let's go. Thanks.

Outside of Picard's room, a synth eyeball is held up to the door scanner and it beeps, scans and the door slides open. Agnes is there and she enters. Picard is asleep on the bed. Whispering she says, Picard? Admiral Picard. Hello. Are you... Picard says, still here. Agnes continues, okay. They're about to power up the beacon. We have to hurry. Picard asks, what is this? Agnes says, I'm busting you out. I honestly thought I was the worst secret agent ever, but I'm starting to believe I may have a gift. Picard asks, uh, where are we going? Agnes replies, back to La Sirena. Come on. We've gotta move while they're still distracted.

In the Golem lab the machine confirms, synthetic matrix complete. Ready to receive neural engrams. Soong says, yeah. He is then distracted by the machine that is working on retrieving Saga's memories. It beeps and starts to show video. He watches as Narek holds Saga down, Sutra then comes over and takes her broach and stabs her in the eye. Soong winces.

Narek is sneaking around the compound, he watches the transmitter constructing itself. Narek says, tower's almost active. We need to get a clear line of sight on the superluminal tuner at the base. Raffi says, how are we gonna get up there without being seen? Soong replies, an excellent question. They all look surprised and he smiles.

Back at the ship Agnes and Picard have arrived. Agnes says, I guess they went looking for us? Picard replies, we'll worry about that later. Status report on the Romulans. Agnes looks confused. Picard says, come on, Doctor. She presses a few buttons on the ship and says, the attack wing is seven minutes from planetfall. Picard asks, any sign of Starfleet? Agnes says, no, but even if your message got through, they'd still be behind the Romulans. Picard says, we've got to find a way to stall them somehow and, of course, hope that the Federation arrives. Agnes says, yeah, and then? I mean, say we do find a way to hold off the Romulans. We save Soji. Now, she and the golden children are free to call up the über-synths and then, vapor and ash, a galactic-level biocidal event. Picard shouts, well, clearly, we've got to stop them too! Agnes says, they've left us behind, Picard. They're generations beyond us. Picard counters, in one sense, yes, but in another, as you said, they are children. And until now the only teachers that they've had are a couple of hermits and the fear of extermination. But fear is an incompetent teacher. Yes, they have life, but no one is teaching them what it's for. To be alive is a responsibility as well as a right. Agnes asks, how are they supposed to learn that lesson in six minutes and 11 seconds? Picard says, the way that children learn most things. By example. Now, let's see how closely I was watching Rios. Picard sits in the Captain's chair and powers up the ship. It lifts off. Picard says, all right. Agnes says, make it so. Picard activates the ship and it flies unsteadily into the sky.

Back at Coppelius station, Sutra and Soji are standing next to the beacon. Sutra is saying, brothers and sisters, as soon as the beacon is at full capacity, we will begin transmitting. And once the signal is received, a portal will open, and our liberators will be here nearly instantaneously. And then we'll be free. Soong enters followed by the La Sirena crew. He says, watch them. He then walks over to Sutra and goes away to talk to her. He says, I wanted to return this to you. You reasoned correctly that your fellow synthetics needed persuading. An emotional jolt to drive them to the decision you wanted them to make. To build the beacon. Sutra says, I'm glad you see the reason behind my actions. Soong says, I do... but reason isn't everything. How could you help that Romulan kill your sister? I thought I taught you better than this. He presses a button and she deactivates falling to the floor. He continues, turns out... you're no better than we are. He turns and nods to Raffi who whistles. Rios jumps over a railing and Narek drops from above. Elnor punches a few androids. While Narek and Elnor are fighting Rios gets the football from his bag. Looking at Soji near the control panel he says to himself, come on. Move, hija, move.

In the upper atmosphere La Sirena climbs getting steadier in its flight. Cut to inside and Agnes asks, so, how do we hold off 218 warbirds 'till Starfleet gets here? If they get here. Are you not answering to build suspense, or... Picard says, at the present moment, Doctor Jurati, I'm trying to pilot a starship for the first time in a very long time without exploding or crashing! If that is all right with you. Agnes says, nope, totally. Good call. One impossible thing at a time.

Down at the transitter the fight continues, Narek and Elnor are downed, Narek shouts, Soji, please. You don't have to do this. Soji, please! You're making a mistake. Soji moves away from the transmitter and Rios pushes on the ball, it opens and a puck shaped device inside starts to spin and flies towards the transmitter. Soji catches it as it passes her. She stares at it for a moment and then throws it into the sky where it explodes. She returns to the transmitter and starts adjusting it again.

Over in the crashed Borg Cube, Narissa is tracking La Sirena, the computer says, launch detected. Attempting to acquire weapons lock. Seven walks in and points a gun at her saying, drop your weapon. Over the edge. Step away from the console. Narissa throws her gun over the edge of the platform and says, I'm unarmed. Seven replies, I seriously doubt that. Seven starts removing knives from Narissa who says, you know, you're rather pretty, or would be if you weren't a disgusting half-meat. Narissa goes for the gun and starts fighting Seven. Narissa is doing well against Seven.

Up in orbit Agnes says, incoming warp signatures. Picard says, wouldn't happen to be Starfleet, would it?

Romulan ships arrive one after another, filling the sky. On the bridge of the Romulan Flagship a Romulan says, General, they appear to be concentrated in one settlement. General Oh says, sterilize the entire planet.

Down on the planet the androids can see the ships in orbit. Soji presses a few buttons and the orchids fly up to meet the ships.

On La Sirena Agnes says, here come the orchids. Picard says, let's see how much time they can buy us. The orchids fly closer and the Romulans start attacking them. Fronds on the orchids swipe at Romulan ships and destroy them.

Back on the Borg Cube Seven and Narissa are still fighting. Seven is getting the upper hand and she knocks Narissa down. Narissa says, sad Queen Annika, six years old, and all she got for her birthday was assimilated. Why didn't you just put a phaser to your head and get it over with? Seven says, because I still had this to live for. She throws Narissa towards the edge but she stops herself before she falls over the edge. Seven says, this... is for Hugh. She kicks Narissa over the edge and she falls a very long way, screaming as she does. Seven presses a button on the console disabling the targeting.

Up in orbit, the battle between the Romulans and orchids continues. The orchids are taking a pummling but are still destroying ships.

In La Sirena Agnes says, now might be a good time to reveal the secret plan. Once these orchids have had it, there will still be 200 Romulan warships and only one of us. If you figure out a way to get us out of this one, they'll name it after you. The Picard maneuver. Wait, no. No, that's actually a thing, isn't it? You made it look like the Enterprise was in two places at once. Picard says, it was the Stargazer, and it was a long time ago. It would be useless against so many enemy vessels. We'd have to multiply the sensor images and then find some way to disperse them, like an ancient warplane scattering bits of mirror to overwhelm a radar system. Agnes says, yeah, how the hell would we do that? She picks up the android device Rios used to fix the ship saying, if only we had some kinda wacky fundamental field replicator with a neuro-atomic interface. Like this. She does something and her head is replicated around the cabin.

Down on the ground Soji is still working on the transmitter. A call comes in from Picard and she answers it. Soji asks, Picard, what are you doing? Soji, I want you to reconsider your present course of action and power down the beacon. Soji says, you know that's not going to happen. Picard says, I have something I want to give you and your people, and I hope it will change your mind. Soji asks, and what's that? Picard says, my life. Picard out. Soji looks worried.

Up in orbit the orchids are failing and Picard flies around the remains. He gets past them and is now face to face with the Romulans. On the flagship a Romulan says, orbital defences neutralized, General. Oh says, all ships, target the abominations' nest.

On La Sirena Picard says, ready. And they'll all have warp signatures? On my mark.

Picard manouvers into view of the flagship, Oh says, what is that? A Romulan replies, unknown vessel. Scanning now. Oh says, ignore it. Ready planetary sterilization pattern number five.

Picard says, Agnes, now. Now, now! Agnes presses a button and hundreds of La Sirenas appear to warp into orbit along side the original.

On the flagship's bridge a Romulan says, General, there are hundreds of them. Oh says, reposition disruptors. Engage them. The Romulans start firing at the fake fleet. One beam hits the original and it is sent spinning out of control. The other ships disappear. Picard regains control.

Down on the planet Soji shouts, no! Picard is disoriented and Agnes says, Picard, are you all right? He replies, no.

Down on the planet Soji finishes the transmitter and starts it working. Pulses of light run up the tower. A beam forms and fires into space. It reaches into orbit and a spacial anomaly starts to form.

On La Sirena Picard and Agnes look on in horror.

On the Romulan Flagship a Romulan says, they have activated the beacon. Oh says, resume sterilization targeting pattern. On my command.

Suddenly a huge number of Federation ships warp into orbit.

On La Sirena Agnes says, they're here. Admiral, you did it.

On the Romulan flagship a Romulan says, general, their flagship is hailing us. The viewscreen opens and it is Will Riker. He says, acting Captain Will Riker in command of the USS Zheng He. Oh says, and? Riker continues, and it is my duty to inform you that the United Federation of Planets has designated planet Ghulion IV in the Vayt sector as under the protection of Starfleet, according to the terms of the Treaty of Algeron. Oh says, too late. Our claim to this world takes precedence. Move aside. Riker says, afraid not. Picard appears in the corner of the screen saying, I have a priority request to open diplomatic negotiations and protection for the inhabitants of Ghulion IV. Riker continues, General or Commodore, or whatever you're calling yourself, right now, I'm on the bridge of the toughest, fastest, most powerful ship Starfleet has ever put into service. And I've got a fleet of them at my back. We've got our phasers locked on your warp cores. And nothing would make me happier than you giving me an excuse to kick your treacherous Tal Shiar ass. But instead, I'm going to ask you one time... to stand down. The Romulan on Oh's ship says, general, your orders? Oh says, retarget weapons systems. Prepare to fight. Riker orders, weapons hot, deflectors to full.

On the bridge of La Sirena Agnes says, Picard. Suddenly Picard has a pain in the back of his head. Agnes pulls up a scan. She looks worried. Picard says, I know. Agnes grabs a medkit. Picard in agony says, I have to speak with Soji. On an open channel. Agnes says, you're in no shape. Picard says, get me some poly-synephrine, 20cc... Agnes says, no. I... Picard interupts, it will only hasten the inevitable. Do it. She injects him and he immediately feels better. Picard says, open the channel. Now. The channel opens and Soji says, Picard... Picard says, Soji. Please, power down the beacon. Show them how profoundly wrong they are about you. You're not the enemy. You're not the Destroyer. If that doesn't convince them, then they will have to answer to the Federation. Soji says, the same Federation that banned us and threw us on the scrap heap. Picard answers, if we wanted to destroy you, Soji, we would have joined forces with the Romulans. We would be training our phasers on you right now. We aren't. We won't. You know why? Because we trust you to make the right choice. I trust you, Soji. I know you. I believe in you. That's why I saved your lives. So that you could save ours in return. That's the whole point. That's why we're here. To save each other.

In orbit, the annomaly starts to widen. Metalic tenticles start to come through the opening. Soji thinks for a second and then destroys the controller for the beacon. The beacon shuts down and the tenticles retreat, the annomaly closes.

On Oh's ship the Romulan says, they destroyed the beacon. What are your orders?

On Riker's ship someone says, Captain, it looks like the Romulans are standing down. Riker says, excellent decision. Stand down from red alert. Now prepare to be escorted out of Federation space. Oh says, that won't be necessary. Riker says, really, it's no trouble at all. The Romulan vessels start warping out of orbit. Picard contacts Riker saying, Will. How the... Riker says, when I heard you sent an SOS, I asked for temporary reassignment. Just because I didn't try to talk you out of it didn't mean I was gonna let you go it alone. I'm supposed to sit around in the woods making pizza while you have all the fun? Admiral Picard, I leave this situation in your capable hands. Picard says, thank you, Will, for always having my back. Riker says, I learned from the best. Picard says, I've got it from here. Riker says, I'll see you around, my friend. Riker out. Picard sits back in his seat and says quietly to himself, adieu. The Federation fleet warps out of orbit following the Romulans. Picard's head starts hurting again. He imagines walking through his vineyard. Gasping he stands up and falls over. Picard imagines seeing Data again painting in the garden. Data says, would you like to finish it, Captain? Picard thinks, no. I don't want the game to end. Agnes shouts, Picard! Goddamn it! Picard says, it's all right. Soji has seen this and asks, wait. What's happening? What's wrong with him? Agnes says, his brain abnormality. He's failing. Soji asks, can't you get him to the med lab or a sick bay on one of your ships? Picard says, there's no point, is there, Doctor? Agnes says, no. Soji says, I'm dropping the transporter block. I'll beam you guys right here. She beams them down and Soji rushes over. Rios and Raffi join her. Raffi says, no. Picard says, it's all right. It's all right. Soji asks, what did you just do? Picard says, I gave you a choice. Not being the Destroyer was up to you. It always was. Picard spots Elnor and calls him. Elnor bends down and Picard strokes his face smiling. Picard then says, Raffi? Raffi says, yes, JL. I'm right here. Picard says, you were quite right. Raffi says, about what, JL? Picard doesn't answer but fades and dies. Raffi and Soji burst into tears.

Sometime later the sun is setting and Rios is sitting watching it. Seven walks over, she sits down and takes a swig from an odd looking bottle, she then pulls a face. Rios says, you heard? Seven replies, just now. Rios looks at the bottle, Seven looks and says, oh. It's what passes for alcohol here. I really don't recommend it. Rios picks it up and takes a swig. He also pulls a face. Rios says, I said I would never do it again, and then I fucking did it again. Seven says, same. Rios asks, never again do what? Seven says, oh. So many things. But, in this instance, never again... kill somebody just because it's what they deserve. Just because it feels wrong for them to still be alive. You? Rios says, never again let another self-righteous, hard-assed old starship captain into my heart. Never again have to stand there and watch him die. Seven asks, was there anything you could've done to prevent it? No, I guess there wasn't. Seven says, hmm. Then I win.

Raffi is sitting on the hill overlooking the station. Elnor comes up and sits down. Raffi is upset and so is Elnor. Eventually Elnor starts crying. Raffi says, it's okay. It's okay. You let it all out. You cry. I got you.

The camera focuses in on Picard's face. He opens his eyes and looks around. He says, another damn dream. Data says, no, Captain. It is a massively complex quantum simulation. I would imagine, however, from your point of view, hearing me say so would not be out of place in a dream you might have about me. If you ever have dreams about me. Picard says, I dream about you all the time. Data says, interesting. Are you wearing the clothes you had on when you died? Picard says, Data... am I dead? Data says, yes, Captain. Do you remember dying? Picard says, I think I do. Something in my head seemed to just go away, like a child's sandcastle collapsing. Data says, hmm. I'm aware that I was killed in 2379, but I have no memory of my death. My consciousness exists in a massively complex quantum reconstruction made from a copy of the memories I downloaded into B4 just before I died. Picard says, you don't remember your death. I can't forget it. Data says, apparently, I ended my existence in the hope of prolonging yours. Picard says, that's right. Before I had even grasped the nature of our predicament, you had conceived and executed it. I was furious! Data says, my apologies, Captain. But I'm not certain I could've done otherwise. Picard says, true. That might have been the most Data thing you ever did. I've always wished that I could've said I was sorry that it was you and not me. Data says, Captain. Do you regret sacrificing your life for Soji and her people? Picard says, not for an instant. Data asks, then why would you imagine I regret sacrificing mine for yours? Picard says, ah. Did you say all this was a simulation? Data says, yes, sir. An extremely sophisticated one. My memory engrams were extracted from a single neuron salvaged by Bruce Maddox, and then my consciousness was reconstructed by my brother, Doctor Altan Soong. Picard says, I don't much care for him. Data replies, the Soongs can be... I believe the phrase is, "an acquired taste." Picard says, mm-hmm. Well, whatever this is, it's wonderful to see you, Data. To see your strange, beautiful face. Among the many, many things that I regretted after your death... was that I never told you... Data says, that you loved me. Knowing that you loved me forms a small but statistically significant part of my memories. I hope that brings you some comfort, sir. Picard says, it does. Thank you, Data. Data says, which is why I would like to ask you to do me a favor. Picard says, of course. Anything. Data continues, when you leave... Picard says, leave? I'm sorry, I don't understand. I thought this was a simulation. Data says, yes, sir. But you are not. Before your brain functions ceased, Doctors Soong and Jurati, with help from Soji, were able to scan, map and transfer a complete neural image of your brain substrates. Picard asks, do I have to go? Data says, yes, Captain. Picard says, you wanted me to do you a favor. Data says, yes, sir. When you leave, I would be profoundly grateful if you terminated my consciousness. Picard asks, you want to die? Data says, not exactly, sir. I want to live, however briefly, knowing that my life is finite. Mortality gives meaning to human life, Captain. Peace. Love. Friendship. These are precious, because we know they cannot endure. A butterfly that lives forever... is really not a butterfly at all. Picard says, very well. I will do what you ask. Data says, thank you, sir. Picard says, goodbye, Commander. Data says, goodbye, Captain. Picard walks out the room into a light.

Picard is laying in a chamber and starts to open his eyes, He sees Soji smiling at him. Agnes is there too. They are going in and out of focus. Agnes says, hi, mister. Soong is also standing there looking at Picard in a glass casket. Picard lifts his arms up and looks at them. He asks, am I real? Soji says, of course you are.

Later they are all sitting around a table and Picard is drinking some tea. He says, tell me about this body. This, uh... golem. Agnes says, well, it has no augmentations, no, you know, superpowers. Soong says, I knew you wouldn't want to have to adjust to something new. Not after 94 years in the same body with the same face. Picard says, ah. I see. Soong says, everything is new, though. Everything works. Soji says, and the brain abnormality is gone. For good. Picard says, extraordinary. He thinks for a second and then says, you... You haven't made me immortal? Soong says, oh, relax, man. Everyone was paying attention. We took care of you. Agnes says, we designed a cellular homeostasis algorithm that should give you, more or less, the same number of years you would've expected without the brain condition. Picard says, ah. I wouldn't have minded another ten. Twenty? Well, Doctor Soong, I must thank you. My gain is your loss. But now we both have something to lose. I have a promise to keep.

Within Data's simulation a record is playing. It's Blue Skies.

Outside the simulation Picard says, it says a great deal about the mind of Commander Data that... looking at the human race with all its violence and corruption and willful ignorance, he could still see kindness, the immense curiosity and greatness of spirit. And he wanted, more than anything else, to be part of that... Picard pulls a card out of a machine and part of it goes out. Picard continunes, to be a part of... the human family. He pulls another card from the machine. In the simulation Data is laying on the couch. He sees Picard young and in his Staffleet uniform. Picard holds his hand. Picard continues, "We are such stuff as dreams are made on... and our little life is rounded... with a sleep." The third card pulls out. In the simulation Data grows old in a few seconds. Picard continues, and pulls the fourth card out. Finally in the simulation Data and Picard turn to dust and fade away.

On La Sirena Agnes is on the bridge and Rios is sitting in his chair. She puts her hand on his shoulder. He smiles and she kisses him. Downstairs Seven and Raffi are playing Kal-Toh, they smile at each other and hold hands. Picard walks over and says, it's time. He walks towards the bridge and Elnor comes out of his room and follows him. Raffi and Seven come up from downstairs. They take seats on the bridge. Picard walks over to Soji and says, Soji... you have endured so much and travelled so far to find your way home. Now, you leave it all behind. Soji says, I think I'm just more cut out for wandering. And now that they've lifted the ban on synthetics, I'm free to travel. Picard says, hmm. Me too. Rios says, ready, Admiral? Picard says, engage. They warp out of orbit.

Analysis

So the season comes to an end. It is really quite good but you have to wonder why they had to bring back Picard. It seems endemic in Star Trek to never let anyone die. There always seems to be a magic method to get around the issue. Once you've seen it a number of times it starts to get old. We had it in Generations with Kirk, who then comes back to save the day, only to die again afterwards. We also had it with Yar, who came back from an alternate reality and then had a Romulan child. Now, we have it again with Picard. People just can't seem to stay dead.

That aside we have a fairly decent episode full of little twists. Picard piloting the ship was disturbing to watch. Who realised it was so difficult, one assumes it was more a click a button and enter the destination and the ship does the rest. Apparently you have to tell it every little direction at all times. That must make it rather difficult at warp when things are going very fast indeed, or perhaps that is more automated.

On another front we have Team Picard doing the ship piloting and Team Rios going off to try and sort out the Synths. Surely the two groups would have been better off the other way around. OK, they didn't have a way of communicating with each other to sort it all out.

The ban on synths has been lifted. Which kind of makes sense given that the Federation was tricked into introducing it in the first place.
© Graham & Ian Kennedy Page views : 2,585 Last updated : 1 Jan 2022