Michael Chabon And Akiva Goldsman Talk Life, Death And ‘Star Trek: Picard’ Season 2

Star Trek: Picard executive producers Michael Chabon and Akiva Goldsman talked to the Hollywood trades about season one, the finale and where they see things headed going forward.

Note: Season one SPOILERS are discussed.


Picard’s fate was plan from the beginning

Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, Michael Chabon said they always planned to end the season with Picard’s death. He explained the reasoning behind the decision:

We had this realization that if we want to put our money where our mouth has been all season — if we’re saying that since synthetic lifeforms are real and legitimate and they have their sentience, and they have the right to life and existence, if we’re going to be putting Picard out there, where he’s going to stand up and be willing to sacrifice his own life to prove that point? Then he needs to prove it with his life.

Tying up loose end from Star Trek: Nemesis

The season one finale featured the deceased Picard’s consciousness uploaded to a quantum realm where he encountered Data, and specifically a version of Data that was copied to his brother B-4 as revealed in the 2002 film Star Trek: Nemesis.  Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, Akiva Goldsman explained how they sought to tie up that loose end:

That was intentional. Star Trek: Nemesis both furthered and abrogated Data’s arc. He didn’t get the full closure, so Data’s arc was sort of continued by Nemesis, but also stopped prematurely. We spent all those years with the character wrestling with the nature of what it is to be human. And he needed to complete that journey. And we wanted the season to aid him in that. To also help give us a chance to bring Picard’s arc to a conclusion, at least when it comes to the Picard that we knew.

Sir Patrick Stewart as Jean-Luc Picard; Brent Spiner as Data in “Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2” (CBS)

Season two heading confidently in new directions, aspiring to grow the beard

Talking to Variety, showrunner Michael Chabon weighed in on Star Trek: Picard season two:

It’s going to be different in some ways. It’s definitely going to go in directions that we didn’t see in Season 1. I think we’ve been emboldened in many ways by the popularity of the show. I’ve only done this once, but I would imagine it’s probably true for a lot of television shows especially in this era: Season 1 was in many respects about learning how to make “Star Trek: Picard.” Both in a production sense, but also in terms of storytelling and who our cast is, how these characters end up forming surprising links and attachments to each other.

It’s in a way that I think was probably true back with “TNG” and what I was talking about — everyone agrees, once Riker grew the beard, the show got better. It was because they learned what they had. Going forward, we’re only going to be doing more of what we did, with greater confidence and with a greater sense of what this show feels like when it’s firing on all engines.

Keeping up with fan feedback, but not influencing S2

Chabon revealed that he has been keeping up with what fans are saying on social media and the web – saying that he prefers Reddit – but when asked if fan feedback is informing season two, he made it clear that the team is sticking with their vision of the show:

No, not at all. We’re true to what my dear friend and collaborator and partner Akiva Goldsman calls the object. The object is “Star Trek: Picard.” It is a show with a nearly 80-year-old actor playing a 94-year-old man who is if not in the final stages of his career, in the latter stages of his career, who has a period of great dismay and disillusionment in his immediate rear view, who has allowed himself to let ties that were formerly very important to him slip or fade away, and who has now re-engaged with the greatly changed world in which he finds himself. That is the story we’re telling. And we’re telling that story because it feels both interesting and true, but also because it reflects the nature of our star and both his desires and his capabilities. It was not ever going to be “The Next Generation Part Two” in any way. It was never going to have a regular cast made up of LeVar Burton and Jonathan Frakes and Gates McFadden and Michael Dorn. It was never going to be set on the bridge of a starship in Starfleet. It was never going to be episodic in format. It was never going to be any of the things that “TNG” was. Not only couldn’t it be those things if it tried, but it wasn’t going to try. Because that’s not what we have to do.

Season 2 will explore what it means to be Picard 2.0

The season one finale ended with Picard in a brand new – yet still old – synthetic body. Chabon tells THR that this won’t just be a reset, and they will address the implications in the upcoming season:

[W]e definitely don’t want to pretend like these events never happened. So, whatever the implications are going to be for Picard having this new body, and essentially a new brain structure, too — although his mind and his consciousness are the same — all of that is going to be part of [the character’s] way of thinking going forward

Akiva Goldsman and Michael Chabon on the set of Star Trek: Picard (CBS)

The season finale of Star Trek: Picard arrived today on CBS All Access. If you haven’t yet subscribed you can get a free month, just CLICK HERE to try CBS All Access FREE for 1 month. Use code ALL to redeem. 

New episodes of Star Trek: Picard are released on CBS All Access in the USA Thursdays at 12:01 AM PT/3:01 AM ET. In Canada it airs Thursdays on CTV Sci-Fi Channel at 6PM PT /9PM ET and streams on Crave. For the rest of the world it streams Fridays on Amazon Prime Video. Episodes are released weekly.

Keep up with all the Star Trek: Picard news at TrekMovie.

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I thought that finale — and much of the season — was absolutely terrible. I’m glad Chabon is leaving the show, and I wish Akiva Goldsman would stop working on ANY Star Trek.

Well Chabon is not really leaving, he’s just not directly in charge of it anymore. And it sounds like he basically created the outline for season 2 along with the others.

I didn’t like the sound of they are “doing more of what they did in season 1”, doubling down effectively (Chabon just completely negated Kurtzman who said they are waiting with season 2 to incorporate fan feedback). There are definitely parts of season 1 I could do without in season 2 (or any future Trek, ever). This disturbing focus on ripped out eye balls, for one!

Yeah, another ripped eyeball. A weird thing to repeat.

That’s a nod to their ‘vision’ for the show, maybe? Not myopic but at least cyclopic?

Well he did acknowledge, in his own way, season 1 wasn’t perfect and they are going in a new direction. That doesn’t mean good or bad but obviously we know they are going to assess what worked and what didn’t just like Discovery did. I don’t know why Picard would be any different? I’m GUESSING the show is doing a lot better than DIS did so maybe they have more confidence going forward (and its not the only Star Trek show on the air anymore like DIS first two seasons so probably less pressure as well).

I’m with you on the ripped eye balls lol. They stopped eating people on Discovery in season 2 so maybe there is hope Picard goes the same direction. ;)

Maybe they will eat ripped eyeballs in Season 2.

You just couldn’t leave it alone, could you Gary?

Then use the leftover eyestalks like celery?

After two seasons of Discovery, they should already know what works and what doesn’t. They’ve had more than enough time to adapt Trek to serialized format… and yet, it’s still just more of the same: a single episode worth of story, drawn-out across the entire season, padded by aimless rambling, bumbling and backtracking.

VS, we are on the same page with this.

I find the ‘I read Reddit, but won’t be influenced by fan feedback’ messaging from Chabon to be offside from statements from TPTB at CBS programming and Secret Hideout. Especially as Chabon will no longer be the showrunner for this show.

We also know that Kurtzman reads and tracks reactions lot more widely than a single board, and has said that he pays attention when a point or concern is validated by multiple voices in more than one forum. Let’s hope that he once again takes what he gets from that and gives some direction to the incoming showrunner and the writers room.

Amen to that. Chabon is a hack that doesn’t understand the franchise in the slightest. Any one of us know more about Star Trek. The whole season felt like fan fiction.

Yeah… So far I would say his input is hit and miss. I liked his two Short Treks. But Picard was a different animal completely. Maybe he should stick with the shorts?

I wouldn’t go so far as to call Chabon a hack, but the redo of Data’s death definitely felt like fix-it ‘fic. I didn’t dig it. It didn’t feel like a coda to Data’s life to me, just a script straining to squeeze out just a little more sentiment it hadn’t earned out of a finale that was full of it.

Yep. No argument from me on that one. Based on his comments he was trying to “fix” something that wasn’t broken. If he didn’t say what he did then I wouldn’t have been as down because it was staged very much to be all about Picard and his own coming to terms with data’s sacrifice so long ago. But him telling us these things changes everything. He just told us how much he missed the mark on this. And ultimately I think it might be a good thing he will no longer be as involved in the show as he was.

100% agree

It is valid to dislike a show, but if you can’t get more specific than that, your comment is a waste of precious electricity. People, animal, plants and their habitats died for those electrons!!!

agreed on that. Akiva Goldsmann must go away. He is ruining Star Trek because he is just a terrible writer and awful director.

Although I don’t have many issues over what they said (and I’m glad they cleared up the end with Data was his memories from B4) but I just don’t see what’s the point of ‘killing’ someone if you are going to bring them back literally in minutes. This was the entire issue with Kirk also ‘dying’ in STID, it just felt waaaaay too easy and convenient. I mean you pat yourself on the back killing off someone that didn’t actually lose anything. Sure he’s in a new body but its exactly like the old one lol. BUT it does sound like it won’t just all go back to normal like nothing happened (which was the other BIG problem with Kirk’s ‘ressurection’) so I guess we’ll see.

But I am happy when Chabon says that synthetic life forms are considered every bit of life as human life because it all goes back to Measure of a Man and exactly what Picard was arguing for all along. I still think how they got there was clumsy, not in terms of how the Synths were portrayed just how it was wrapped up so ridiculously fast. Ban has been lifted, everything is right in the Federation again and let’s all just be one happy fleet again.

I really love AI stories and I been wanting something like this for decades now. I have no issues with seeing human consciousness transferred to A.I. bodies and that’s literally been suggested since season 2 of TNG, so it was ALWAYS possible. And with literally 30 years of advancement it makes more sense. I just don’t know how much sense it made with Picard himself considering his body seemed fine but oh well.

And its nice they can admit the show had flaws. I give it to this team, even though they DO seem to get a lot wrong lol, they can openly admit that and change streams (hence Discovery season 3 ;)), so hopefully second season will build on what they did in the first just like season 2 of Discovery did, yes still not amazing but better, right? Hopefully we will see a lot of beard growing in the coming seasons. ;)

Your optimism is heartening, Tiger, really. I wish I was as forgiving as you of those who now are in charge of our favorite franchise. You give those of us ‘on the fence’ some inspiration to keep tuning in. Respect. I look forward to more beard, as well. And to widen that compliment, thank you, Trekmovie. Without these threads, I wouldn’t have half the enthusiasm for nu-Trek as I do. This site truly is a destination and pleasant diversion from our all-too-real, reality.

Well put, Dan, Tiger.

There were parts of this season I liked (mostly those with Picard, Troi and Riker), but unfortunately there were more parts I found confusing or off-putting. But I’m glad others found plenty to enjoy during these tough times.

To me, the parts I liked were Rios, Rafi and the holograms. The stuff with Picard really fell flat.

Of course I appreciate that, I do try to look at things with the glass half full (ESPECIALLY these days), but I’m also just being practical because I know I’m going to watch these shows no matter what so I HAVE to hope its going to get better. And yes to be fair, most people agree every Star Trek show with the exception TOS all improved. No matter what the show is, everyone seems to think its best seasons are usually in the later seasons, RARELY the early ones. So I hang on to that as well. Obviously that’s not a guarantee either (remember when it use to be the ‘even’ Star Trek movies were all good? Not so much anymore lol).

But same time, I don’t try to spin the bad either. If I think something is bad, I say it. I never have ANY problems with that, even when I like a show. I think I did admit to you in another thread I am a bit more biased to this show because I WANTED to really like it and I still like it obviously, but early on I was willing to forgive some of the flaws you and others pointed out. But now that it’s over I have to be honest of how I feel about it all.

But there is nothing wrong for people to be more cynical and say they are not feeling something BECAUSE it pushes them to do better. That’s literally WHY every Star Trek show got better because fans pointed out what WASN’T working, acknowledged it and went another direction. When I was griping about DIS in season 1 (and I had very little optimism at that point lol) I kept saying that no matter how many times people tried to tell me to shut up. NO, it doesn’t mean every single change was due to people like me whining over and over again. And YES, I understand there were plenty of people who thought the show was fine just the way it was. But even if both of those are true, clearly they themselves knew the show could be improved and made it so.

And I know there are still plenty of people like you who hate the show but one of the things I RARELY hear if at all is that season 2 was worse than season 1. I don’t ever see that including people who liked season 1.

So that’s SOMETHING! Yeah it could be more but it’s at least getting better. As much as I was disappointed with the Picard finale it was still head and shoulders above the Discovery ones. And I will also say on other boards people seem to generally more positive about it, at least what I read.

I didn’t see much admission of mistakes. This “never ever” speech sounded very much like righteous indignation. They just said they were growing into finding their “space legs”, so to speak, but I didn’t see any specific admission the serialization needs serious, serious fixing and doesn’t work in the current format. This entire storyline could’ve been told in a tight TNG two-parter (or DS9 three parter, if must). The Borg were wasted. Too much gratitious violence and profanity for no reason whatsoever, just to keep kids from watching and being inspired to become the next generation of scientists and astronauts. The list goes on and on. In my book this season was a very mixed bag and only the last few episodes (after the pilot) prevented it from being a total failure, even though once again they marked a distinct tonal shift and abrupt change in the story. So now is the time for them to humbly listen instead of thumping their chests.

VS, we do have to remember this interview was probably made before anyone watched the finale. I understand what you’re saying obviously, I just think Chabon is saying they felt they got things more right than wrong. And you can disagree but if people really do think it ended badly I don’t see how they would ignore that completely. I don’t know anything about Chabon AT ALL besides his Star Trek stuff, but at least based on how he discusses the show with fans, interviews, etc, he seems to acknowledge that the show isn’t perfect, or that not every decision was a consensus while defending the choices he made. Again I can’t get in the guys head, but I would THINK if people thought it was really bad then they would make appropriate changes. I don’t ever remember anyone coming out and saying TNG was bad its first few seasons but changes were made, plenty in fact.

And to be honest, this finale doesn’t seem to be hated in the same way the first season of Discovery was hated. The ONLY thing that saved that ending was the Enterprise showing up lol. If not, it would’ve gotten a worse beating. And I think that’s what is kind of happening here. People seem to acknowledge it wasn’t perfect but the Data and Riker stuff just won them over. It just proves over and over again we can pretend like we don’t want fan service but we really really do lol. Or at least when its done RIGHT and I do feel it was here, nearly all of it in fact.

So I suspect if nothing else happens next season we will be seeing MORE of that at least based on all the positives it brought this season. I’m willing to see what they have planned for next season before I dub the whole thing a failure.

I’m add to that Tiger2, that this season finale didn’t have the Discovery S2 problem of trying to overwhelm and divert with spectacle.

In fact, I could have welcomed better spectacle in terms of the two armadas, even just to see some of the ships in detain and bridges with more than one person on them.

They did have a story and hewed to it. I don’t agree with some of the loose ends being left, but they clearly were determined to get through to the end with less clutter than had be filmed, and edited things out.

So true. I did like that it wasn’t another generic space battle like how the season 2 Discovery felt where it was just thousands of unman drones shooting at each other for an hour. That frankly got boring. I would’ve liked SOME battle with Starfleet though. But I appreciate they wanted something more ‘Star Treky’ and to end a conflict with words.

Just a note from a 50-something TOS fan. Human consciousness being transferred to android bodies was done before TNG. TOS episodes “I Mudd” and “Return to Tomorrow” come to mind.

And “What Little Girls Are Made Of”

Yes, it’s been done before, but it was considered wrong. Dr. Roger Korby was considered a lunatic! I just hope Picard doesn’t become propaganda for transhumanism.

Good points, forgot about those. So clearly this has been part of Star Trek from the beginning. And its Star Trek lol.

I was just thinking of that, good call.

Yes, but, again, it was wrong. He stole Data’s body.

And TNG’s “The Schizoid Man” and “Inheritance”. Why does everyone forget TNG already showed this TWICE?

Yes, but in that case the android bodies were going to be built for the alien minds that had been kept waiting for centuries, not to cheat death, like in Picard.

The death thing is spot on. There was no point in killing him if he were just going to be brought right back. It cheapens the entire thing. That was one of the many many problems TROS had. They brought Palpatine back from the dead so then once he was killed no one should believe he was actually dead. It made the scene completely anticlimactic. (although other things ruined it long before that but I trust you get the point)

BTW… When Trek has transferred consciousness to organic bodies it always ended up bad. No all of a sudden there are no consequences to any of it? And I continue to be perplexed by the huge issue that Soong has just CREATED organic life from NOTHING!!! I feel a little like Mike TV from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Wonka displayed teleportation and only the smart kid seems to see it as the wondrous and amazing scientific achievement it is!

Thanks god Chabon is out, now please, leave Akiva Goodman

LOL here we go! Months ago all I kept hearing was how much of a genius Chabon was and that Star Trek was lucky to even have the guy of his caliber working on it. Now I suspect to see a lot of ‘hack’ insults thrown in. And I didn’t love the finale either but WHY do people always do this????

Yes maybe the season didn’t end up as great as others hoped, but it doesn’t mean he can’t improve and make better changes, right? If he wrote great things in the past, I’m sure he can in the future. Why is it always all or nothing?

I have to admit I’m not acquainted with Chabon’s work beyond this, but given his background and resume, why do I have the feeling his ‘vision’ had little to do with the overall story here? I could be entirely wrong, admittedly.

That could be true, we will never really know obviously. I just wish people take it down a notch sometimes. If you think he’s just a bad writer in general, then OK, but now you don’t want the guy anywhere near the franchise? If every writer who wrote a bad episode or movie was fired on Star Trek after that movie or episode, there would literally be no one writing for it today.

I agree that the attitude of “Why is it always all or nothing?” is awful, short sighted and destructive. It’s akin to Picard lamenting his errors when looking at his past, “I let perfect become enemy of good”. That is a very powerful concept and a lesson that can be applied to over criticism of the first season of Picard. We are so fortunate to have this intelligent and highly skilled cast of performers and writers producing Trek. The pressures in creating this series are enormous and from what I’ve read, became ever more intense as the season wore on.
Now from a practical standpoint, with our worsening pandemic, scripted productions have basically all stopped. Also with Patrick Stewarts age, even without underlying health issues, he is vulnerable to a severe situation if infected. I would prefer the writers isolate themselves, communicate via computers, and take the time to hammer out great stories for the next plot arc of season 2.

Well said Douglas.

I’m hoping for the Secret Hideout Trek show teams to reach deep in preproduction of this and other series while work is being done remotely.

The funny thing is I remember reading on another board a few months back when it was announced Colin Trevorrow was going to direct the final Star Wars film and nearly everyone was against it because they thought Trevorrow was a hack and they really wanted Rian Johnson to be in charge of 8 and 9. It’s funny thinking about it now because at that time people treated Johnson like he was the new heir to Star Wars oddly because they really really liked Looper. Then TLJ come and you know the rest. For me, I just get sick of both sides of this. One person write something they like, they are clearly a visionary and treated almost godlike (I just described Roddenberry lol). The second the next project isn’t so hot, now they are frauds who can’t write themselves out of a paper bag. The Game of Thrones guys is now firmly in that camp reading the internet.

As far as production on the show and Coronavirus goes I don’t see ANY productions happening until the containment has clamped down a lot or there is a vaccine. And considering America NOW has the most cases in the world even passing China, I don’t think any large productions will happen for the next few months minimum. But if one profession will benefit with having more time and solitude it is a writer. ;)

Nice thing is, my wife and I usually would have gone out for dinner and drinks last night, but since we can’t I wound up chatting here most of the night (and listening to Dave Matthews playing tunes from his garage). The next productions will come when they come, and we can’t control that. They just announced The Walking Dead season finale will be aired “some time this year,” because post-production isn’t done yet due to the current crisis. So bummed. It’s an excellent season and already halfway through! Ah, well. Stay healthy.

Wow your neighbor is Dave Matthews?? I think I would love to live in your neighborhood, its probably very nice lol.

And I did not know that about TWD. I watch it too. I heard the new spin off show is being delayed but I’m shocked TWD finale itself is still not finished since its suppose to air in a few weeks. But yeah I guess this is going to be a common thing with all the shows and films for awhile.

The sad truth is whenever society breaks down one way or another due to a recession, war, whatever we always had Hollywood to escape our troubles and now this has affected even that place to an extreme level I have not seen in my life time. I wouldn’t be surprised if we don’t see the next season of Picard until 2022 the earliest given everything. Discovery has been off the air for nearly a year now and that was done on purpose.

Atheul, why are you even here? It’s obvious you’re not a fan. You’re just a troll.

The entire season was fantastic and epic. The Star Trek message was on point. The cast absolutely extraordinary. The return cast was nostalgic and perfect

With you on that, agree with some of the sceptics points about plot being hurried a long but for the most part the whole season felt special.

What’s with all these cynics who seem to know director’s by first name and know which direction their directing goes in! They must watch TV differently to me.

Agree. I just loved this season in every respect. Sure, I may have a nitpick or two, but overall just wonderful.

Now that was neat. I was (and am still) not at peace with “Stardust City Rag” and quit my Amazon Prime after that. It lasted for three weeks but then I couldn’t resist and turned my subscription back on. There were ups and downs since then, but this finale was really excellent. I love what they did with our favorite android. Nice closure that I didn’t know the character needed (I do now). If this episode is any indication of what is to come in season 2 regarding quality, count me in. I hope we will see more of Seven and Elnor, they were severely underused. But hey. This episode left me in a hopeful, positive mood and that is all I could ask for.

Well at least he kind of got what he was doing but I don’t think that he understands by his own logic in AI being life that he cheapened Picard’s former organic self and that new Picard is a new life form, not the original Picard. Someone who was you’d think deserves better no? I find it somewhat dehumanizing organic Picard ceases to exist/feel/think/act and doesn’t even get a funeral with everyone oh so happy that “oh good new robo Picard” looks and has the download of Picard 1.0 with memories and brain patterns.
At the same time new Picard is discriminated against despite being a totally new life form having to live with the limitations of organo-Picard just because others out of intolerance aren’t treating him as new life but as a simple copy destined to have a shortened life span, no improved powers and everyone treating him as someone old, when he is not. He is a new life form.
Also I think now that in TNG Trek AI life = organic life:
a) Starfleet can copy best minds into new life forms that have unlimited life, breath in space, holograms, etc. Starships can be alive and beam androids down, maybe even themselves via network connection.
b) The Borg can engineer out the need for organic life
c) V’ger made a mistake with all the knowledge of the universe. Turns out could have engineered itself to have imagination, drive, etc.
d) Wonder if Q will miss the real organic Picard as opposed to new Robo Picard.
However the writers had guts in making it where no one in TNG Trek has souls, they are just all programmed devices who trick themselves into being alive. Will be interesting to see if reality matches that interpretation.

You allwais cry about TNG trek.. some one from TNG took your wife or something?

If he at least didn’t repeat the same 20 things in every.single.post it would be less tiring to read. But we all got our hang ups I guess.

To be fair we all repeat ourselves. Especially us regulars.

Yes, I know, I certainly blamed of that myself. And I didn’t say he shouldn’t say it either. I’m only saying I as a reader don’t personally bother reading them anymore when he practically post the same rant about AI life since this show started. But he has every right to keep writing about it, I’m just guessing less and less people read them base on the non-responses.

Ha ha As if my wife would ever watch TNG. Though one time she got me a Star Trek jacket with this kick ass movie era Starfleet Command delta with inner star logos on the side… but for some reason it had the horrid TNG logo on the front. I wear the jacket, but I am not going to lie, the TNG logo sucks!!! LOL Why would someone allow official star trek merchandise to have those mixed??

Seriously though, it’s the THEME of the whole show, someone should be talking about it no???
I remember a time it was fun to go on a Star Trek forum and see all the opinions and technical discussions (transwarp drive, is it the future? LOL What does transwarp even mean? Is Saavick a Romulan-Vulcan hybrid, she cried in II!).

You are bringing up the issues this season created but decided not to address in any way. I found what they did to be a bit on the irresponsible level story wise.

About d): The Trial was never over. Picard still has to stand trial. Q is omnipotent, and original Picards mind will stand trial for eternity. Would make for great tv.

Well, it’s over. Incredibly mixed feelings, but largely I feel disappointed. The show did not live up to its initial premise and strong opening episodes. The series was a handsome looking, and often gloriously acted, mess. And for that, the blame must rest squarely upon the shoulders of the writers. It started off incredibly well, and from episode 5 onwards just devolved considerably to standard sci-fi action and cod philosophy fare. Characters were bought in and killed too quickly. The Borg side of things was actually barely explored at all (and that could have been hugely interesting). Instead, despite all the pretentious self-important writing and build up, it was yet again ultimately about stopping another Big Bad which (from what little we saw) looked laughably comical and ripped off from The Matrix. No insight into them at all. I was expecting a shock reveal of a V’ger to be honest, but this was even more awful. Will Riker’s quick Hi and Bye fan service moment. Fun, no doubt. But again, I’m sure he knows about Picard’s health. And he looked very frail at that point and was at Death’s door. Why didn’t Jurati say something and have him beam Picard over or stay longer? It’s the kind of fan service BS that JJ does all the time. I expected more from Picard. And all the ships after warping in and all stopping on a dime (again,, ludicrous, but it looks cool I guess) warp away again just as quickly, after all that’s happened. Aren’t the Federation going to want to investigate ALL this, and question NuPicard?! Why did Data need to ‘die’, if he was still ‘alive’ all this time?! On a planet full of synths no less. They couldn’t download him into a body and give him purpose again? He was kept in a weird dream-state kind of limbo for over 20 years? And (like Picard now) is still a copy of the original up to a certain point in time. Yet the scenes with Patrick and Brent were acted and written beautifully, and jerked a few tears, but if you stop and think about the whole situation, it’s simply Discovery levels of ludicrous. It’s a repro. Picard giving a repro. Data what the original Data always wanted. Like JJ Trek, we even get a very lazy (and unexplained, of course. Just ‘here have this, it might help’) deus ex machina device to partially help save the day! Trek really has turned into science-fantasy from science-fiction from JJs film onwards. And Picard… (deep breath, and SPOILER TAG) is now a synth (yes I fully get the irony within this story), but he’s a downloaded version of Picard, a version 2. Think about that for a minute. Now, anybody with access to that level of machinery can potentially fully upload themselves for future use in a synth body… (or presumably other machine). Think the philosophical implications of that’ll be discussed next season? No! It’s Khan magic blood levels of bad all over again. Could you accept and love am exact imitation of one of your parents, albeit one taken a few hours before the death of the original? No. I couldn’t either. Make no mistake, this is Picard 2, and they will gloss over that fact… The original – ‘our’ Picard, lived a while longer than this ‘downloaded earlier’ version of him. ‘Our’ Picard is thoroughly dead. Let that sink in… Data is now truly dead. Hugh is dead. Icheb is dead. The Federation is …. well I guess we’ll find out if they find their optimistic way again, or if Season 2 will be more of the same. The series had some wonderful moments, a very solid beginning, and I ADORE most of the characters (except the awfully written and acted Larissa) and cast so very much. But I wish there was a solid story behind them. I’ll watch Season 2 because of those characters, but I hope they write more stand-alone episodes next season. Tired of these season arcs. And if there’s still ‘trendy’ F-bombs and ‘gritty’ violence in the first episode of S2, I’m truly out. Last episode example, within the first 5 minutes, “did you fuck one of them?” – Honestly, come on! It doesn’t work – why would people suddenly be F-bombing in Star Trek after decades of not crossing that line? It makes no sense within Trek’s loooong continuity. Do you honestly think it makes the show edgier, or is Star Trek better off for it?! You’d have to be a moron to say yes. Have the GUTS to show a little class. Cut out the insane levels of gore and torture too because you KNOW it’s clickbait for drawing curious people in to see what all the online fuss is about! Know the… Read more »

I’d say it went down hill from episode 3. That was an absolute turkey of an episode, with terrible acting, dialogue and editing.

“Ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated?” – Johnny Rotten

Chabon is using the word “never” an awful lot given “his” show preaches there are always possibilities and always choices, up to the last second!
Is it a failure of imagination, as Picard said? ;)

Chabon’s argument about Picard needing to die is, quite frankly, really weak considering he was conveniently resurrected within a few hours of his demise. It was a cop-out designed to manufacture artificial drama and manipulate the audience, just like Kirk dying only to be revived by the magic blood in STID. It was also a rehash of Stewart’s rebirth in X-Men 3 when he transferred his consciousness into the mindless husk that Dr. McIntaggart was conveniently keeping alive.

Also, Picard did not “die” via some heroic physical sacrifice to save the synths. He didn’t sacrifice himself like Kirk did in Generations when he destroyed the missile or Kirk in STID when he repaired the warp core. Picard “died” from the neurological condition introduced by Chabon; if he’d stayed on his chateau the result would have been the same so there is nothing heroic in the manner of his death, temporary as it was.

Ultimately Star Trek Picard was a 3-4 hour story stretched out to a ten episode arc and as a result bloated with a derivative story, unnecessary characters (would removing Elnor or Hugh have changed a thing?), gratuitous gore and profanity, pointless detours and lots of fan-service to try to throw people off the scent.

I’ll give them credit for not succumbing to the temptation to give us another giant space battle and solving the crisis in a positive, non-violent way, which is far more “Star Trek” than anything Discovery every put out, but it still doesn’t even approach the best Trek stories that have come before.

“Ultimately Star Trek Picard was a 3-4 hour story stretched out to a ten episode arc and as a result bloated with a derivative story, unnecessary characters (would removing Elnor or Hugh have changed a thing?), gratuitous gore and profanity, pointless detours and lots of fan-service to try to throw people off the scent.”

That sums it up about perfectly! And, unlike those meandering “10 hour movie” seasons high on carbs but low on vitamins, in a really tight way ;)

Is it possible Chabon left over the resurrection issue? I mean, Nick Meyer steered clear of SFS because he didn’t want to cheapen Spock’s death and also admittedly ‘didn’t deal in resurrections.’

I’m thinking these DSC and PIC writer rooms must be almost as bad as being on staff during TNG s1, everybody with separate agendas.

But he didn’t leave! I guess I just have a different definition of ‘leaving’ a job. When I leave a job, I turn in whatever equipment I was given, they take my name off any emails or paperwork, I don’t have any access to the facilities and most importantly, they stop paying me lol.

Chabon is STILL on the show and still writing scripts for the second season based on what he said. He’s simply not running the show itself but he’s very much involved in creating it.

And watching the Ready Room, it sounded like that was both he and Goldsman idea. He made it sound pretty clear that’s what he came up with at the start of the season and he wanted to see Picard ‘die’.

I mean why not have simulation-Data save Picard AGAIN but this time with his positrons healing irumodic syndrome similar to what was mentioned earlier as positrons being a cure for Riker’s son. They still could’ve had the goodbye scene but it avoids the cop-out cheap Picard death. They again could show how synths are life because a. they provide life in a way by healing and b. Self Sacrifice themselves to save others (a totally non-logical, non purely rational non machine like choice) much like Picard did for the synths. Thus Picard’s and Data’s sacrifices would set an example for the rest of the synths to help out organics instead of wiping them out. And once again Data demonstrates the height of humanity, Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay dow his life for his friends.

It was very strange to see Patrick Stewart once again play a character who transfers his consciousness upon death! I’m glad I’m not the only one who noticed. And Data’s realization that death gives life meaning could have been lifted directly from the last season of The Good Place (but was probably written before that aired). However, Chabon didn’t create Picard’s neurological condition; that was first introduced in the TNG finale “All Good Things.”

I meant that Chabon re-introduced the neurological condition from AGT so that he could then use it as a way to kill Picard and then bring him back. Should have made that more clear.

Also, am I mis-remembering or did Picard exhibit no trace of Irumodic Syndrome at the end of All Good Things? I could have sworn there was a scene where Dr. Crusher told him his readings were normal, which I took to mean that Q had engineered the whole thing to give Picard even more of a challenge, then cured him when he had succeeded in saving humanity again.

Something we need to remember- PICARD IS DEAD – This is just a copy of a Man’s experience and knowledge,his “Self Awareness” (Data and The EMH Doctor both had the ILLUSION of “Self Awareness” because of programming.)

Where is his Soul – hopefully he’s gone off to his reward.

This is going to spur on A LOT of theological discussions about life,death, and the afterlife.

Yeah, I mentioned something similar in the spoiler thread. I compare what happens to Picard here to Korby’s experiments in What Are Little Girls Made Of and Kirks observations on the implications of transferring a person’s consciousness into a synthetic body. That episode had some interesting insights into the idea and ultimately took a very dim view of it.

Another similar analog is the ending to Arthur C. Clarke’s 2061: Odyssey 3, where Dave and HAL make a copy of Dr. Floyd to help them with the Monolith. When the copied Floyd asks them what will happen to the “real” Dr. Floyd, Dave replies that they are both real but the flesh and blood version will eventually die, never knowing he has become immortal.

And since Star Trek: Picard has been compared to the Mass Effect games on multiple occasions, I think it’s relevant to mention that one of the potential endings to the saga had the hero melding with a sentient machine so he could bridge the gap between organic and synthetic life while also continuing to protect his friends.

But here, as presented, it just comes across as a fast-food solution to an artificially manufactured problem.

I think you are right but since certain posters don’t like intellectual discussion I’m going to try to join their bandwagon: “BUT RIKER SHOWED UP FOR 5 MINUTES!!! OMG!!! I mean we only had years of him on a Starship, but 5 MORE MINUTES!!! ALMOST AS BREATHTAKING AS WHEN HE SERVED PIZZA”.

I actually lol when he brought up his Pizza skills in the finale. I really love Riker.

I like him too, easily the most “TOS” of the TNG crew.

Riker is an every man, why he is so relatable.

Well, we know from Mortal Coil that there is no after life.

“Well, we know from Mortal Coil that there is no after life.”

I never accepted that at all. If you believe in an Almighty God, would not God know that your death is not permanent, that Seven and the Doctor will bring you back in a few hours? So no preview of heaven for you.

I do appreciate Voyager delving into religion/metaphysics, but really, this wouldn’t be a problem for a true believer at all. Most would simply say “It wasn’t my time. God still has plans for me here.”

And not for nothing, but what about the Klingon afterlife in “Barge of the Dead”?

“This is going to spur on A LOT of theological discussions about life,death, and the afterlife.”

You would think so but it hasn’t yet around here…

Thank you for stating this! I’ve been banging on about it here too since yesterday. The original Picard was still alive for a while longer, AFTER the transfer of his mind/soul had been done. So at this point we have the real Picard, and a copy in storage/memory. Then ‘our’ Picard dies, but this opens a can of worms, as by copying his ‘essence’ does this imply the writers do not believe in a soul, something non physical? At any rate, ‘our’ Picard dies, then this copy is uploaded into the new body. So this isn’t any less of a Picard, but it is not the original Picard. I guess they might explore whether this Picard possesses a soul, and if the original Picard’s soul is now ‘out there’. Will the new Picard start grappling with whether he deserves to live? I honestly don’t think they thought through the ramifications of this story thread.

chabon is jewish, so he might have spiritual believs, but the last scenes with data concern datas digital memory and picards memory in process of transfer, all technical. no soul in there.

and from a scientific standpoint, there is no soul. our brain dies, were gone. enjoy the ride while it lasts.

So we’ve now gotten to see Data die twice because once wasn’t enough and Picard die only to be whimsically replaced by a synth in the last 10 minutes. Wow. I mean, just wow. This is Star Trek now.

Note: you can die in afterlife too.

You and I have very different definitions of ‘whimsy’.

2 things.

1: This whole warp speed to an instant full stop is driving me insane!
2: We need a Star Trek that gives us a real ship to ride on, and a Captain to route for. Something we haven’t had in Star Trek in a long time. I know, I know, the old days of Trek are long gone and I should get on with the new times. Love Picard, just longing for that old Trek feeling!!

Is there some sort of gravity in space that would keep the ship going when it pops out of warp? Do physical forces act the same way upon a starship as they would on a Formula 1 racecar?

There’s the matter of inherent velocity prior to entering warp, which gets discussed in some of the more science fiction oriented Trek novels, including I believe THE GALACTIC WHIRLPOOL by Gerrold. It is dealt with to a greater degree in (for me his only masterpiece, have probably read it 40 times and even adapted it into a screenplay for fun back in the 80s) YESTERDAY’S CHILDREN, which, like WHIRLPOOL, grew out of his failed TOMORROW WAS YESTERDAY outline for TOS.

I’m still wondering where warp factors have gone….

I’m gonna wait till the review, to comment.

I am having an extended trek orgasm… I love all of this! Give me more and hold me after!

I like the very human moments Chabon has given us through this series.
And I am glad that I was wrong about Akiva Goldsman’s work on the final episode. After the Khan hash of STID, my expectations were VERY low. Glad he “disappointed” me and stuck a decent landing!

That was disappointing.

Can they please explain why DATA’s hairline was such a mess?

Unlike others, I am happy with Picard but feel that the entire show is a pilot to Picard 2.0. Saying goodbye to the old, now we go we’re Star Trek has not gone before.

Sad that some people hate everything though. Maybe they should watch another show. I’m all for criticism, constructive criticism. You gotta love the ones who whinge and moan and say they’ll never watch the show again week after week but are still here to continue the criticism. Sounds like trolling to me???

In the end, this is a TV show. I’ve watched all Star Trek since the 60s. Some good, some not so but Star Trek always takes me away from this planet on a journey to strange new worlds or realities. Just what we need in a TV show during these troubling times.

Can’t wait for Season 3 of Discovery and Season 2 of Picard with Whoopi. Make it so!

Robot/Cylon Picard terrible idea. The real Picard is dead and hopefully buried with honor on the Synth planet. By bringing back “Picard” this way, Chabon totally destroyed Data’s speech about how death makes human life valuable. I won’t be able to watch Cylon Picard without a sense of the uncanny Valley. Just terrible.

Well said, I feel the same way. Both characters giving their farewell was actually really odd too, being as both were ‘downloaded’ versions of their original selves, original selves that had lived beyond each respective download points. So both are genuinely dead as far as I’m concerned. We should all be mourning Picard in particular.

What a ripper of an episode… I reckon the whole series has been done as an apology for Nemisis!
Looking forward to what they dream up for series 2.

All the new Trek series have been polarizing, at least among the hardcore fans – which are the type of fan that reads and posts here. Let’s also remember that on the Internet, the complainers tend to be the most vocal, because those with a problem with something, in any environment, are more motivated to speak out than those that are content. There are a lot negative opinions here – all of which are valid, from that persons point of view, and should be respected, and we should all seek to understand them whether we agree with them or not, because you learn a lot more, I think, from people who disagree with you than people who agree – if you are willing to listen. And we should all humbly remember that we’re fallible and that we could possibly be wrong. I try to always take time to examine my beliefs in the face of opposing viewpoints to see if I might be wrong. It’s helped me a lot over the years, both personally and professionally. The negative opinions nearly always make some valid points, including here.

Its important to note that we may represent the core fans – and that’s debatable, but lets assume so – but we don’t represent all the viewers or fans. Having a lot of negative opinions here likely does not equate to the fanbase as a whole – new and old, hardcore or passing fan – having a majority negative opinion. So those of us who liked the finale should not despair that they are missing something or that they don’t have others that support their equally valid point of view.

TLDR – Be cool, and be respectful, try not to fan-rage, the other people aren’t out to get you, and your opinion is valid from your POV even if others don’t agree, though have the sense to remember you’re not always right – so enjoy the opinions in their infinite diversity and combinations. I learned all this from Star Trek.

Thanks Granite Trek

I’m somewhat surprised by the level of negativity on this thread given how positive many of the comments are on the spoiler thread for the finale. It seems that one needs to take the two threads together to get the balance of the views here, especially as there is a good cross-section of regulars, new voices and a few we haven’t heard from in a while.

As I said on the Spoiler thread, I was happily surprised that I liked the finale as well as I did once I’d seen part 1 & 2 together. I’m still feeling that there was a resolution to the story of the XBs that was left behind in editing to keep the focus on Picard and Soji’s decision, and I am holding Goldsman responsible for the raggedness of that in the final edit.

Overall, I’m happy with the season and looking forward to the next one even if this didn’t end up where I’d expected.

I am wondering, frankly, though if Avika Goldsman has been put out as the spokesperson for the show on the Deadline podcasts overmuch. I believe that he did more of the podcasts than any other EP, which is a bit odd as he wasn’t the showrunner.

Goldman’s way of framing the executive producers’ thinking has put me off several times, and it seems that there are many others who have the same reaction. So, perhaps not the best decision in the Picard communications strategy to put him out as the behind-the-scenes voice of the show that much.

The other thing I’m musing about is how Michael Chabon is talking on about how decisions will be made for season two.

Chabon’s speaking as if he will continue to be the showrunner, and that Avika Goldsman will be the anchor among the continuing EPs to keep the show true. Chabon has been open that Goldsman is a friend, and was the one who recruited him to work on the Short Trek Calypso, and then to a series. So, it sounds as though they feel they collaborate well and that collaboration played a key role in how the season was landed.

However, a new showrunner is coming on, who has his own history with TNG and as a successful EP. Continuity is important, but now that Picard’s crew has been built it will be important for the new showrunner to be able to lead and for Chabon to cede creative leadership. Ceding leadership also means letting the incoming showrunner have his own management relationship with Goldsman.

Oh and on the episode? I liked it a lot, but I’m still mulling things over and processing it and the season as a whole. I’m not fussed about Picard having a synthetic body, because they explained that they essentially lifted his essence, his Trek-version-of-a-soul, out of the fully biological body shell and into the golem. “Don’t worry, we were paying attention,” Soong said – and so Picard’s body won’t last forever. These synths are very much like the replicants from Blade Runner – they have a hard wired expiration date that can’t be altered without killing the synth.

Don’t forget these are a quantum leap beyond Data – they eat, they have emotions, they use contractions – and on that point, its interesting to contrast Soong ‘senior’ limiting Data’s speech, and making him unnaturally colored (for a human), and giving him superhuman abilities, to accentuate that Data was NOT human, while on the other hand Maddox went the opposite direction to make them as human as possible. Soong felt only by making them different would they be accepted, while Maddox thought only if you make them indistinguishable to humans would they be accepted. EDIT: Spelling correction.

I have to say that I found the whole series to be a disappointment. Clumsy and lazy writing along with gratuitous F-Bombs – not the Star Trek I grew up with.

Actually stayed up til midnight Wednesday to put this show out of its misery and then when midnight hit, just went to sleep instead, deeming that a more worthy use of my energies. Woke up yesterday and realized I had no inclination whatsoever to watch it. Worked instead, watched DEVS (awesome show and Alison Pill doing her thing with well-written scripts instead) and was arsing around the house later when a friend texted me to ask had I seen it yet? Told me he liked it so sat down, plugged it in and went for it. Thought it was mind-bogglingly appalling.

To any of you who thought there was any merit to the last ten episodes of this wretchedness, let me remind you that a writers room in 2020 used nothing less than a literal super-duper sci-fi magic wand to fix the La Sirena and fight off a Romulan fleet (in a ship Picard admitted he didn’t know how to fly an episode ago and Jurati, who barely knew how to work a teleporter a few episodes ago, is now a tactical officer because reasons) because they’re not capable of solving the problem any other way.

Oh, Jurati literally murdered her lover, what four, five days ago and now she’s making out with Rios? Do the writers even know they’ve written her as a sociopath? Don’t even get me started on Afterlife Picard. Or RoboPicard. Hey we put you in a robot body but don’t worry, you’re still old and useless. Yay!

Absolute garbage. A literal dumpster fire. Remember people got paid lots of money to write this horror. Enjoy season 2, folks. Count me out. (Oh, and my buddy who said he liked it? Yeah, he admitted to being drunk when he watched it. As I wish I’d been.)

Glad to count you out and glad I won’t have to read your whining during season 2. Now go…

I’ll mail you a garbage sandwich so you’ve something to eat while you’re watching it.

Thanks for the recommendation on DEVS, Blackmocco. On Hulu, a channel actually worth the $ every month.

This series ruined the Picard character forever! The story, some the characters and some of the acting was absolutely crap! I was so excited about this show, and oved the first episode, but this series is truly some of the worst Star Trek I have ever seen. The magic screwdriver… oh, please!

I think many of us here, could have written a far better, more fitting tale for Picard!

“He didn’t get the full closure, so Data’s arc was sort of continued by Nemesis, but also stopped prematurely.”

???? Did these guys see the same movie I did? Data got PERFECT closure! He was obviously at peace with what went down there. And the fact is Nemesis really contained no loose ends except for a tease that the download would take. Also they didn’t seem to recall that the Data download happened pretty early in the film. That download would be completely unaware of anything that happened after that yet the scene was written as if the download happened nanoseconds before Data blew himself up.

Does he really believe that Riker’s beard contributed to the show getting better? But I remind everyone that his beard appeared in season two and that season was still awfully bad.

They say they are going to deal with the synthetic body. I would hope they deal with it in a smart and thoughtful way. But that seems to be difficult from this production company. I’m really doubting Secret Hideout’s ability to run this franchise after reading this stuff…

Q, (paraphrased), “Riker, you were so much fun before the beard.”

The “magic screwdriver” was incredibly lame.

When people complain about tech being too magical in Star Trek, that’s literally the definition of one lol.

Thats no SciFi, its Fantasy. Fantasy is Anti-Trek. And very, very, very uninspired writing.

I believe that the purpose of the object was to show how far technologically ahead the synths had already become.

Anything sufficiently advanced appears to be magic.

In this case, we could think of the device as a means to effect action through visualization without the intervening steps (that our 3-d printers or Trek replicators require).

ST:DISC created a problem by just reinstating a disgraced and criminal Michael Burnham, as season two launched forgive and forget seems to have settled in, that there were few recriminations for being the most hated person in the Federation for having started the Klingon war. I like Discovery, but also admit it’s continuity is very convoluted. Season two of Picard would be wise to not ignore the social ramifications of what they laid down in season one. A few lines of exposition at the end of the show seemed to hint that everything was hunky dory in the Federation – not so fast: There are apparently Romulan agents everywhere, there are still millions dead from the Synth attack on Mars, lets not assume the anti-synth sentiment didn’t just go away, and, oh, the embodiment of everything that seemed to go wrong in the Federation in the last fifteen years, Jean Luc Picard, is now a Synth. This creative team seems to understand thay just can’t ignore this, but if Picard shows up at Starfleet a fully reinstated Admiral in episode one of season two, all things forgiven, that won’t bode well for the future of the show.

All great points Phil, but your point about how everything was just wrapped up in a neat bow in the end is funny because so many people were convinced what we would see happen in Picard this season would lead to the downfall of the Federation in the 32nd century on Discovery. I said it many times it’s kind of ridiculous to think something that happened 800 years prior would lead to the Federation falling in tatters, especially since Picard is going to have multiple seasons. And my prediction that whatever ‘crisis’ the show would be about this season would all be concluded by the season finale.

But even I didn’t think they would wrap it up at warp speed as they did. I’m still hoping SOME of the consequences we saw this season will play some kind of role. OK, we have to believe the Federation is back to its old self I guess (I didn’t think it was all that bad personally though) but you would think everything the sneaky dirty back stabbing Romulans been doing would just increase tensions with the Federation. And ESPECIALLY when we found out they were the ones that caused the Mars attack in the first place (people were actually getting on the Federation case for not being gung ho to help the Romulans…stuff like this is sorta why people ;)). But sadly, like so much of this show, they made a huge deal about it in the beginning, which caused the ban in the first place and even had Raffi drop out of society and lost her family trying to prove it was a conspiracy and then at the end, zip! I don’t even know if they even referenced Mars in the finale at all. Was Starfleet itself ever told?? Its truly amazing how much they completely ignored and overlooked.

SOME of this stuff should still be the main focus going into next season. Just so much set up and so much of it didn’t go anywhere.

There are so many good writers and directors waiting for an opportunity to write for Star Trek… akiva goldsman can´t direct actors or just place the camera properly, the only director that I save from Picard is Jonathan Frakes…
Star Trek needs someone in charge with a VISION, I m disappointed with Chabon, after “calypso” (the best short trek), I thought he could bring a vision, a new way of looking star trek, something special or visionary… but it wasn´t the case.

let´s make a thread with another directors/writers names… maybe someone on CBS will read it:

– Noah Hawley (creator of legion and fargo series) he is working in new movie project for star trek movie now, JUST GIVE THE MAN A SERIES! :p
– Every single corean writer from KINGDOM
– Duncan Jones (Moon)
– Every single german writer from DARK
– Cory Joji Fukunaga (1st season of TRUE DETECTIVE and MANIAC)
– David Desola (The Platform)
– Richard Stanley (Color out of space)
– Panos Cosmatos (Mandy)
– The Daniels (from Swiss Army Man)
– Alex Proyas (the crow and dark city)
– Pella Kagerman (Aniara)
– Leigh Whannell (Upgrade and The invisible man)
– Vincezo Natali (Cube and lots of cool series, american gods, westworld, the strain, hannibal, orphan black)
– Christopher Caldwell, Zeek Earl (Prospect)
– Justin Benson, Aaron Moorhead (The endless, Resolution)

what do you think?

I remember so clearly how done I was with Star Trek by the time Enterprise rolled around. It was a copy of a copy of a copy. The storytelling needed to change. We have that now. Is it perfect? No. Is it refreshing? YES! I love it. I wish all of you could love it. But… I am hopeful that they will get better at this and eventually bring some of you around.

I just cannot thank the writers enough for the “Blue Skies” moments. I truly was in tears… wonderful writing, wonderful acting, and that theme song (Especially that flute) keeps playing in my memory! I bet that was just what the creators intended. Thank you for a great season 1… can’t wait for season 2!

Somehow the Blue Skies song worked very very well at the end of Nemesis. It really didn’t feel like it fit here. Poor directing I think.

The girl has to be back. Period.