Easter Eggs And References In ‘Star Trek: Picard’ Season One Finale

The season one finale of Star Trek: Picard (“Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2”) is now part of Star Trek lore, but it also evoked a fair amount of previous lore as well as other real world references. Some may not have been intentional, but like with all art, connections can be in the eye of the beholder. Here are some that caught our eye.

Star Trek Connections

Picardisms

The final line of dialog for the episode – and therefore the season – was the classic Captain Picard line “engage” as he issued the order for Rios to warp away from the synth homeworld. This marks the first time that the “new” Picard in the synth body has issued the “engage” line. The finale also contained the first use of Picard’s other famous Star Trek: The Next Generation order “make it so,” although there was a twist: It was Dr. Jurati who said the line to Picard while they prepared their plan to delay the Romulan fleet.

Jean Luc-Picard performs his classic “engage” point in TNG and the Picard finale

Picard’s maneuver

While attempting a Hail Mary in their fight against the Romulans, Jurati wondered if they could employ the famous “Picard Maneuver.” This battle technique involved a brief in-system warp that fooled enemy sensors to see a ship in two places at once. The technique was first referred in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “The Battle,” which told the story about how Picard used the maneuver during the Battle of Maxia when he was in command of the USS Stargazer. In “Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2” Picard corrects Jurati on this point, noting it was the Stargazer and not the Enterprise, showing how parts of Picard’s history can be mythologized decades later. The new “Jurati Maneuver” had some similarities to the Picard Maneuver except it involved using a bit of advanced synth tech to create dozens of duplicate versions of the La Sirena, fooling the Romulans into attacking this “fleet” of fake ships.

The Picard Maneuver from TNG’s “The Battle” (above) inspired the Jurati Maneuver in the Picard finale (below)

Riker’s Treaty of Algeron

The cameo from William Riker as acting captain of the Federation fleet flagship USS Zheng He in the finale was evocative of the way the future version of Riker showed up in a super-powerful version of the USS Enterprise D the series finale of Star Trek: The Next Generation, “All Good Things.” And in Picard, as he faced off against the Romulan fleet headed by General Oh (or whatever her real name is), Riker brought up the Treaty of Algeron. This is a Federation/Romulan treaty first referenced in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “The Pegasus,” a very Riker-centric episode.  In “The Pegasus” Riker worked with his old captain – then an admiral – in an attempt to revive a project that violated the treaty, and at one point Riker was even put into custody for his part in the plot.

Riker in the brig for violating the Treaty of Algeron in “The Pegasus” (above) and citing the treaty in the Picard finale (below)

Data’s Blue Skies

Perhaps the biggest connection to Trek history in the finale as picking up on the story of Data’s death from the 2002 film Star Trek: Nemesis. In that film we saw Data copy his database to his (less capable) “brother,” android B-4. It was unclear what effect this would have on B-4, but a scene towards the end of the film showed hope when B-4 started singing the song “Blue Skies.” This is significant as the film started off with the wedding of Troi and Riker, where the original Data sang the song “Blue Skies”. The season finale finally revealed the fate of this copy of Data, ending up on the synth homeworld where Bruce Maddox had stored it in a “quantum realm” where this Data continued to live. After Picard died and was scanned for his own download, this Data had a moment to visit with his old captain in the quantum realm and request that the simulation be shut down. Picard complied, and in Data’s final moments he listened to a vinyl recording of “Blue Skies.” And to add yet another layer, the version from the finale was sung by Isa Briones, who plays Data’s daughter Soji on Star Trek: Picard.

Data sings “Blue Skies” in Star Trek: Nemesis (above) and listens to “Blue Skies” in Picard (below)

Familiar props

As Picard is falling ill, Dr. Jurati uses a Star Trek: The Next Generation style of medical hypospray to inject him with some drugs.

TNG style hypo as seen on TNG (left) and Picard (right)

In the final moments of the episode, Seven and Raffi can be seen playing the Vulcan game kal-toh which was introduced in Star Trek: Voyager. In the Voyager episode “The Omega Directive,” Seven inserts herself into a game between Ensign Kim and Tuvok, helping Kim win and noting it is merely “elementary spatial harmonics.”

Seven assists Harry at kal-toh in Voyager (left) and plays Raffi in Picard (right)

As Seven and Rios are mourning Picard, they drink what is she describes as “what passes for alcohol” on the synth homeworld, and she doesn’t recommend it. While it may just be a coincidence, the android’s booze is green like Scotty’s famous “it’s green” booze from the TOS episode “By Any Other Name”, and the first callback to this classic TOS moment, in the TNG episode “Relics”. The bottle is also shaped like a traditional bottle of Saurian Brandy, which can also be seen in the scene when Scotty and the Kelvan Tovar get drunk together.

Green booze in TOS (left) and Picard (right)

Other references and connections

There were some other interesting non-Star Trek connections in the season finale.

Et in Arcadia ego – the painting

The title of the Picard two-part finale is taken from a painting by 17th-century French painter Nicolas Poussin, and translates directly to “Even in Arcadia, there am I,” with the “I” referencing death and Arcadia as a utopian land. This is a “memento mori” or symbolic reminder of the inevitability of death, which ties into the themes for the episode. The painting – which currently hangs in the Louvre in Paris – has been referenced often in other media, including a Tom Stoppard play, an Umberto Eco novel and the title of the 1997 tour by the metal band Tool.

The painting Et in Arcadia ego

Zhen He – OG explorer

Riker’s flagship in the finale is the USS Zheng He, which is named for the 15th century Chinese admiral and explorer. Zheng He lead a fleet of “treasure ships” in seven expeditions, vastly increasing the geographic knowledge and influence of China.

The original Zheng He

Picard and the Bard

In a grand Star Trek tradition, especially one carried by Jean-Luc Picard in Star Trek: The Next Generation, William Shakespeare makes an appearance in the Picard finale. During the memorial held for Data, Picard says: “We are such stuff. As dreams are made on. And our little life is rounded with a sleep.” These lines are from Shakespeare’s play The Tempest, a play Patrick Stewart has starred in for the Royal Shakespeare Company as well as on Broadway.

Sir Patrick Stewart in 2006 Royal Shakespeare Company production of The Tempest

2399: A Data Odyssey  

The way Picard deactivated the Data we met in the quantum realm was reminiscent of how the HAL 9000 artificial intelligence was deactivated in the 1968 classic sci-fi film 2001: A Space Odyssey. In both cases, a series of translucent glowing chips are removed to deactivate. Although in the sequel 2010, HAL was reactivated, so he wasn’t entirely dead.

HAL being deactivated in 2001

Romucylons

In the finale, Narek tells the Romulan armageddon myth of Ganmadan. It is the mythologized version of “admonition” telling of the annihilation of all organic life by synthetic life – a story that appears to be coming true as Soji prepares to summon intergalactic super-powerful synths to protect them from all the organics, by wiping them out. Narek says he does not see it as prophecy, but as “history,” adding “the fascinating thing about history is it always repeats itself.” This idea of a history of synthetic life wiping out organic life in an eons-long cycle is – as has been noted by many fans online – reminiscent of the core story of the Mass Effect videogame franchise with the cycle of the Reapers. And Narek’s line about history repeating itself is also reminiscent of the mantra from Ron Moore’s Battlestar Galactica that “All of this has happened before, and all of this will happen again,” telling the story about how synthetics warring with organics in a cycle of history.

Cylons from Battlestar Galactica

EPs talk easter eggs

Wired got executive producers Akiva Goldsman and Michael Chabon to chat about some easter eggs from the whole season of Star Trek: Picard.

What else is there?

Did you see any other easter eggs or references? Share them in the comments below.

The season finale of Star Trek: Picard arrived this week on CBS All Access. If you haven’t yet subscribed, you can get a free month: 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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Edward Samuela

The Treaty of Algeron reference was weird, since the implication of the scene is that under the terms of the treaty the Romulans had a right to do what whatever they wanted to do with the planet if Riker didn’t have Picard’s message asking for diplomatic recognition.

But when the Romulans back down, Riker states Starfleet will escort the Romulan fleet out of Federation space. Why would the Romulans have any right to any planets within the Federation?

Also, why would the treaty still have any force under galactic law? The government that agreed to the treaty, the Romulan Star Empire, no longer exists. The Neutral Zone no longer exists. So why would the Federation be obligated by its terms?

Nero

The Russian Federation respected most of the treaties signed by USSR.

AtomicHorror

The Romulan Free State is presumably the legal successor state to the Empire, so it might have inherited the treaty, which would just have been amended, in the same way contracts are inherited by corporations during takeovers and mergers.

The planet is not in Federation territory, but Picard’s message gave the Federation some limited jurisdiction over the planet. Riker may be overstating, but it doesn’t matter much.

fgdj2000

It’s like “ramming speed” in Star Trek: First Contact. It was a simplification in the dialogue to let the audience know what’s going on.

German Trekkie

Hot take: Copellius was probably not Federation Space before Picard requested the planet to become a protectorate of the UFP (Maddox and Soong probably decidedly wanted to go to a neutral planet, which would be equivalent to earths “International waters”…)
So using the sentence “We’ll escort you out of Federation space” serves to emphasize even more that Starfleet does reject the Claim of General (?) Oh – like in “This is our territory as of NOW…”
it’s basicly a verbal pissing contest ;)

Luke Montgomery

THAT. WAS. AMAZING. I loved the video with Akiva and Michael going through all the Easter eggs. Shows they LOVE the material. I had picked up on most of them but a few I learned about here first. Again, loved the video.

Soo Lin

I’ve watched the episode a few times now and I can’t shake the feeling they spent all the money on the finale of Season 2 of Discovery.

I really couldn’t connect with this episode in a way I’ve connected with the others. So many missed opportunities. What’s an acting Captain? Why Riker? And if it has to be Riker, why not the Titan or the Enterprise?

The narrative was muddled snd tried to speed up the slow pace of the previous 9 episodes to conclude everything in the tenth.

I’ll try again in a week.

Murray

I love that it was Riker. Agreed on the ship. Why wasn’t it the Enterprise-E? That would have blown the roof off the show. The new powerful ships with the E leading. Missed opportunities.

Denny C

The Enterprise E was the fan service I was holding out for. That would have been a lot of fun.

Tiger2

Yes most of us wanted to see the E show up again and literally for a moment just like that. We all knew there was going to be a fleet of ships showing up at some point and we knew it was going to be with someone from TNG who would leading it. I guess they thought they didn’t want to fanboy it up too much lol. And I guess it wouldn’t make much sense Riker is sitting on the Enterprise because you would have to believe its sitting in mothballs somewhere. Although if it was the the Enterprise E you could believe it had been retired and the F is roaming the galaxy somewhere.

But I’m still really happy with what we got with Riker, but eventually we have to see our girl again!

A34

The E is too old

German Trekkie

Normally, the Big E is out there exploring deep space (only patrolling in times of serious interplanetary tensions) – most likely it just would not have been practical or even feasible to call her in… remember, DS5 was relatively near to Picard last location before they entered the Transwarp Hub, and DS5 could well be on the other side of Federation Space from the Es perspective…

Copellius was maybe even out of fast reach for the most ships in Starfleet (except the ones who where the FASTEST hehe – even explains why we have seen only those “Copy Paste” Ships – they were just the only ones who could manage to get there in time!).

Sean

To be fair, remember that this series takes place 20 years after Star Trek Nemesis, and at that point the Enterprise-E had been in service for 7 years. By 2399, the Enterprise-E would be a 27-year old spaceship. The Titan would be equally old. Now, if it’d been the Enterprise-F, THAT would have been incredible, but maybe they didn’t want to take that big a swing, have that big a factor detract from the rest of the story.

Soo Lin

Titan-A, Enterprise E-refit or Enterprise F.

The whole Commodore Oh thing is completely unresolved too. Will they pick it up in Season 2 or is it just something no-one will ever speak of again? If the head of the FBI suddenly turns up in China on the bridge of a Chinese aircraft carrier, you’d think this might attract some discussion?

Too many things just don’t make sense.

ML31

The thing that is weird is just to get Frakes in the show they had to have Riker horn in and remove an existing Captain with a guy who has been retired for a number of years. It doesn’t make much sense he showed up at all. I can kind of see him wanting to barge in to help his old Captain but it meant displacing someone else. Feels kinda selfish of you ask me.

German Trekkie

My take would be, that Riker is one of the most renowned people to handle Romulans (remember, the Titan led a Federation-Romulan Task Force after Nemesis, which is, I believe, canon) as well as “Picard-Related” matters so to speak ;)
The Logik would be, that General Oh did know with whom she was dealing – not just SOME random Captain.

In my head canon, Riker also persuaded Admiral Clancy to give the Fleet (which was supposed to be a squadron – I don’t think this was a squadron…) more “punch”.
I just imagine, that there was still a need to rally support among Starfleet despite Clancy giving in to Picard (which still could have backfired…), and Riker probably knew that. That he would be one of those who could do more due to his Loyalty and Connection to Picard.

My verdict: Not JUST fan service (but also ;)

ML31

Well… I am forced to disagree. It was fan service. They also dropped that hint earlier when Riker told Picard he was still in reserve. But in spite of what you said it really doesn’t made sense, even if there was a Captains vacancy, to bring back a guy who had been out of action for so very long. It just adds to the complex logistics of an already tough situation.

German Trekkie

Yes it was fan service. I just wanted to emphasize that it also can be explained. It’s really a head canon thing above all. And to be honest its more fun for me to imagine how this improbable circumstance happened to be – than just saying “it was fan service” and move on :D

I like to imagine Rikers own Storyline – how Riker, after Picard left, did not just go back to baking Pizza. But rather used the tech he still got right away to stay up to date on the “Picard” mission. He probably used the ominous Cap. Crandall character (who was presented as well informed and connected) to get in touch with the right people and leave Nepenthe with Crandalls Ship, and so on.

But of course, you can skip the fun of imagining that and just and try to “proof” the writers dropped the ball. Not my cup of tea.

BTW: I also imagine, that the actual captain of the “Zhang He” was still on the ship, and that Riker just took command of the flagship and the fleet until the specific mission was done. Much like Commodore Decker took command over from Kirk, or Jellico filled in for Picard, because he was the man to deal with the Cardassians (I bet there are other cases of that elsewhere).

EDIT: Admiral Kirk taking over from Captain Decker (funny enough) in TMP

ML31

I don’t recall Decker being very happy about that. It really was a bit of a dick move. The Admiralty was not agreeing with him. McCoy: You rammed getting this command down Star Fleet’s throat. You used this emergency to get the Enterprise back.

Timo Lang

HAL 2000?
Rather 9000.

There was more 2001 in there. Also the monochrome representation of Picard’ s study was reminicent of the ending of 2001 where the astronaut lived out the rest of his life in a stylized represetation of a house. And let’s not forget Lore’s deactivation where his final line “I love you, brother” was lowered in pitch. The same was done when HAL 9000 sang the lullaby and was deactivated.

ScarletMousse

I’m reasonably certain that the smoking jacket Data wore as he died in the finale is the same as he wore in his study during All Good Things

VZX

That’s what I thought as well.

Jay

The Bridge on the Zheng He looks very similar to the Bridge on Discovery. Different lighting and graphics, but very similar.

Tiger2

Because it was literally the Discovery bridge, just redressed. ;)

AtomicHorror

The bridge redress is one of Star Trek’s oldest traditions.

kmart

If this is supposed to be a better-looking version of trek then they can do a better job of redressing. The vertical light thing behind Riker in the still screamed DSC to me, and I haven’t even watched a DSC since s2 ep1.

Most of the production values on this show make it look like it was shot in a warehouse by refugees from Roger Corman 80s flicks, except those showed a lot more imagination and ingenuity when it came to the set decorations.

AtomicHorror

If it wasn’t such an anticipated moment, I don’t think anyone would care. But it was- the first view of 24th century Starfleet in full flight since Nemesis. Between the bridge redress and the ugly, cookie cutter star ships, it was a disappointment.

Denny C

They should have redressed the new Enterprise bridge but, hey, that’s just me.

ML31

The very fact they could easily redress a Discovery set only cements how far ahead of its time that ship looked. Think about it. How easy could it be to redress a wooden sailing vessel into a modern Destroyer?

The Collector

It was a redress of the Discovery bridge. Some are criticising Picard for this, but it’s nitpicking and sensible if we’re only going to see it a couple of short times. At least there was LCARS in the back and the uniforms looked alright.

fgdj2000

Riker’s uniform looked better fitting than the earlier appearance of the uniform, which was good.

AtomicHorror

The uniforms started to look better around episode 3 or 4 I think- whenever it was that Rafi made her call to her buddy in Starfleet. It’s as if the ones in the trailers and ep 1-2 were rushed.

Cmd.Bremmon

Yes, the 23rd century had WAY cooler bridges (1701 has the best bridge, someone make that Pike show!) than anything in TNG. Riker’s bridge looked cool. I don’t think it was the Discovery though because I saw monitors with cool looking displays. This is in contrast to the Discovery where all I saw was a giant door.
Even in the Kelvin movies the bridge of the Kelvin looked way cooler and more happening than the Apple Store bridge of the Enterprise. I don’t understand why Directors don’t see that a happening bridge is more exciting than a boring door.

Tiger2

I disagree. I always preferred the Enterprise D bridge to the TOS one. I like the TOS one but it always screamed THIS IS THE SIXTIES to me. That said though, I liked how updated if felt in Discovery so I don’t have any issues with it now. But I always assumed they avoided making it in the Kelvin movies because it may just feel to outdated for new viewers.

ML31

Ugh… I never like the D’s bridge. It’s ‘battle bridge’ was a far superior design. So was the altered bridge in Yesterday’s Enterprise. And the E-E’s bridge was way better too. I think the TOS design and the movie updates all worked much better. But of course this is subjective. And to be fair I was never a fan of the E-D’s design or look. My friend at the time said it best. It should be the USS Hilton as that is what the ship looked like. Outside and inside.

Tiger2

Yeah I know its not a very popular opinion here lol. But I’ve always loved it. I remember the first time I saw it as a kid and thought ‘whoa’! The funny thing is I wasn’t completely in love with the design of the ship itself but loved its interiors and especially the bridge. I don’t hate the TOS bridge obviously, it was cool for its time and I like the updated movie versions of it as well.

ML31

I’m well aware of what it is like to hold an unpopular opinion!

PEWDIEPICARD

Pretty sure it was the Disco bridge. I mean it looked just as ugly. Like an Apple store on acid.

Douglass Abramson

The look of the synths creeping out of the wormhole and the Romulan mythology regarding them seemed to echo Lovecraft and his disciples.

AtomicHorror

They were clearly going for that cosmic horror vibe. Lovecraft or the Lovecraft-inspired Ogdru Jahad from Hellboy.

Tiger2

Even though I was a little disappointed with the finale and the season as a whole was a bit mixed, I can still say 100% of how IMPRESSED I was with how in line they kept to all the canon and made the show feel COMPLETELY in line with the 24th century that (most of us anyway) know and love, just twenty years later. Not one thing felt out of place for me. The setting, the technology, back story of all the events that has happened between Nemesis and present day just really felt on point. I know people question what they did with some of the characters like Seven and Icheb for example and yes the universe itself was a bit darker but it still fell in line given what we know that has happened in it from the Dominion war through the Mars attack. They did their homework for sure and really honored not only TNG but also VOY and DS9. I’m STILL smiling that Quark out of all people got a mention lol. As a hardcore fan, I was very pleased!

If there was ONE disappointment I had, I do wish we learned a little more about the events post Dominion war like what happened with the Cardassians, Bajor, etc but A. I get its a Picard story and the Enterprise wasn’t directly involved in the war as others were and B. we have plenty of seasons to go and most likely Lower Decks will cover it since its only been a year since the war ended in that timeline.

For a lot of fans like me who has been begging ‘to go forward’ this is the stuff a lot of us wanted to see again. And while I’m NOT trying to put Discovery down, I think that show would’ve gotten a LOT less flack if they simply honored the TOS era more like Picard honored the TNG era from the beginning; but I could be wrong. ;)

The Collector

“All the canon” and “COMPLETELY” might be a bit of an exaggeration. I agree with the point about Discovery, but in addition to being consistent with TOS, it should’ve been consistent with science fiction (no magic mushroom drive or sonar in space).

Tiger2

Well I was mainly talking about nothing was completely contradicted about what we know about the universe like so much with Discovery (spore drives, Klingons having cloaking tech, Spock having a sibling etc) but yes there is actually one big contradiction I didn’t think about until now and that is Altan Soong himself. It was always stated the entire reason Noonien Soong made Data and Lore was because he didn’t have any children on his own but then out of nowhere he just pops up anyway lol. And they pass it off the same way they passed off Burnham like he was just always there and no one is suppose to question it. So yes, I was wrong but its not a huge deal I guess. At least its a more minor character and they didn’t give Picard a sister who also happen to be in Starfleet the entire time as him. But of course we know Picard never talks about his family to anyone either so maybe they could’ve gotten away with it. ;)

DeanH

Perhaps if they end up doing a Pike, Spock, Number One series, the writers will have a chance to do a redo, and be more in line with the look and feel of TOS. It will be really interesting to see what happens. If they can pull off a modern updated take on a show from the 1960s and build on what TNG did in the 80s and 90s, I would be very impressed BUT there are bound to be people who will hate it.

Tiger2

True and yes they did a much better job of it feeling more lie the 23rd century with Pike and company. But of course that was after all the complaints in first season over the Klingons, uniforms, tech, etc. But I think if a Pike show happens it will look a lot more closer to TOS but the damage is already done in some areas.

ML31

They did try but it still looked like an offshoot of the Discovery aesthetic. It really wasn’t too bad considering they were stuck with that going in. I can only imagine how good they could have gotten things if they weren’t handcuffed with Discovery.

DaytonTrekFan72

So…ten episodes to do to Picard what they did to Data in Nemesis? Die-not-die? Shows you just how bad these writers are. They are fan fiction at best.

AtomicHorror

There are some genuine examples of bad writing in Picard. See every scene with Space Cersei (all she’s missing is a glass of wine). The mortality theme in Picard was written well. Data’s decision was not the same as in Nemesis. In Nemesis he was weighing his life against another and choosing self-sacrifice. In Picard, he’s choosing to fulfill his journey as a human by dying like one. A personal choice, entirely for himself.

It was the most successful part of the episode in my view. It made perfect sense of Data to choose a real death over a fake life.

Too many fans use “bad/lazy writing” as a criticism of plot decisions they didn’t like, rather than bad implementation.

ML31

Seems to me that he chose a “real” death already in Nemesis. And it was a heroic death. It seems like it has a ton more meaning that his “pretend” death in Nemesis.

AtomicHorror

Well whether you consider one real, one pretend, or whatever, the point was that they’re certainly not the same kind of death.

ML31

It certainly was different. I would argue that him being “murdered” or “deleted” through Picard’s actions feels like an empty or hollow death compared to one that resulted in saving the lives of his captain and ship mates.

AtomicHorror

Labeling euthanasia as murder… ok, well that’s an interesting take. If that’s how you view it, I doubt we’d see eye to eye on much here.

You found it hollow, so I guess it didn’t land for you. That’s ok.

I thought it made sense. It made me sad, I didn’t want Data to die, but it made sense to me and I thought the writers carried it off beautifully.

ML31

First of all, what really went down was not euthanasia nor was it suicide. You cannot kill what does not exist. This was all in Picard’s head.

But, if you opt to buy into the failed execution of the scene as described by those who made the show, then it still wasn’t euthanasia. It was clearly murder. If you bought that it was indeed for some weird unknown reason it really was Data then there was nothing physically wrong with him. He was just the same as he always has been. He could have easily been placed in some new robot body. Even one that aped an organic one. As far as I know euthanasia is when someone is in pain with no end in sight. Typically the person is critical. If you buy that it was really data none of that was the case.

AtomicHorror

Informed and rational consent is the sole difference between euthanasia and murder. The justifications or lack thereof don’t come into it. Opinions can differ on whether a specific instance of euthanasia was justified or not, but that alone can’t make it murder. When someone asks you to help them die, and you do that, then that’s euthanasia. Assuming of course that their consent comes in full possession of the facts and not through deception or coercion.

Of course legally, depending on where you live, it’s a whole other ballgame, but we could only speculate about Federation law on the matter. Likely it is liberal, particularly since we know McCoy euthanized his father and did not seem to face legal consequences.

As to whether that scene happened in Picard’s head, it doesn’t seem likely that was the writer’s intention. They clearly set this encounter with Data apart from the previous ones. Data and Picard never showed lucid awareness in the previous experiences, never discussed such specifics as which version of Data was speaking or how he had come to exist. Besides which, if Data were not plausibly alive inside the quantum simulator, why did they take the trouble to shut it down and do a eulogy? Maybe everyone was placating Picard, but I don’t think so.

ML31

If someone is completely healthy and not in pain asks you to kill them and you do, I do not know of any other interpretation of such a thing except as murder. Even Agnes shutting down systems on Maddox could be considered a mercy killing and was more justified. McCoy’s father was in pain and there was no end in sight. That would justify euthanizing him. Data, if you buy that it really was him, wasn’t close to any of that. Not only was he not suffering or in pain (something he is completely unfamiliar with anyway) there was a VERY easy way out that situation.

It is now obvious it was the writers intention that it be a “real” data but the way the scene came out it did not come across that way. You brought up something else that supports it I did not. It sort of bookends the show. It started off with Picard dreaming of Data and ends with him doing the same. It was Picard who needed to come come to terms with Data’s sacrifice. It was established already in the show that the Data back up did not work. It is a very well used tool in visual story telling to show someone talking to a dead family member or friend to represent an imagined conversation. And the B4 download made reference to events it would have no awareness of. Everything pointed to it being in Picard’s head and when he came back the shutting down of the machine was merely a cathartic action that was more symbolic than anything else. Picard needed to do those actions so his closure could be comolete. The scene worked… Until I read hear that was not what they intended it to be. Which means this ending ended up being a major failure. It’s too bad they spoke up about it because the way it ended up did work. Differently than they intended but it did work.

Cmd.Bremmon

Ugh the show is so dehumanizing to the point Data wants to commit suicide? I suppose Picard doesn’t want to live longer too because he wants to commit suicide? If you are going to commit suicide why not go out on a suicide mission to save someone or something?

ML31

Ummm… Kind of like manually detonating a thaleron device that was going to destroy the Enterprise?

i'mpaul

Right, AtomicHorrow. I love how Trekkie’s who don’t write anything but film critiques, are experts at what constitutes good writing just because they don’t like something.

I will say that in Discovery, punching Control to death right before going to the future, in order to get away from Control, made no sense. I would count that as bad writing.

And to the original poster’s point — I thought the Data arc in Season 1 of Picard was beautiful. Not to mention, it picked up EXACTLY at the point that TNG left off — dealing with the death of Data. So again, just because you didn’t like it doesn’t make it bad writing.

AtomicHorror

Very much agreed on both points. It’s rare that a Star Trek episode that ends in violence feels entirely successful. I’ve seen a lot of disappointment that the two fleets didn’t duke it out at the end of Picard. I’d have been disappointed if they did.

i'mpaul

Funny you mention that, because I just rewatched Riker’s scenes today for the 12th time or so. And I was thinking about just how perfectly Trekkie it was that they successfully de-escalated a major galactic episode without a shot fired. It occurred to me only today that this was probably why people felt like down by this episode. They wanted to see a big space battle. While I like space battles as much as the next nerd, I don’t think that would have been earned, and I think that would have missed the point entirely. Riker coming in like a badass satisfied all my nerd needs. Resolving the encounter with understanding and compassion, (and the villain still alive,) was the most TNG of climaxes. Starting a war cavalierly is not the way of these characters.

PEWDIEPICARD

These writers are trash. (Nothing personal). Trekkies have been spoiled by quality writing. We know a sham when we see it.

AtomicHorror

I’d say calling people trash is pretty personal.

Brian

Agreed, the writers were actually quite good, but everyone has an opinion, no need to take a personal attack

Imon

That makes absolutely no sense. The Discovery Bridge as well as the Enterprise one are in Toronto and the show was shot in LA. Is there anything published that states Frakes went to Canada to shoot those scenes?

DeanH

Don’t forget, Frakes is a Director for Discovery and has been up here in Toronto for S3 shoots. They could have easily had him shoot the bridge scenes in Picard during those visits. Regardless, Toronto is just 5 hours away from LA so having him come up to shoot those scenes would not have been that big of a deal.

Murray

I think he lives in Maine or someplace like that. So it’s even closer to Toronto to do a one day shoot.

kmart

Cheaper to send one guy to Canada than bring a set down, or even cut a sliver of set and send it down. Do you see the whole bridge during the ep, or just that part behind him in the still?

Also, PR-wise, might be easier to control knowledge of Frakes doing this if it wasn’t happening in L.A. Just a thought. You see him walking around an LA stage in a Starfleet uniform, somebody is going to post that image.

i'mpaul

The bridge behind him was the Discovery bridge, and looking forward (toward the view screen) seemed to be mostly digital.

I love the cameo and have gone back to watch it 8 times, but it feels a little bit cheap and out of place. It’s because they skimped on the bridge and had a second unit shoot it. And let’s face it people — there’s a way for Frakes to get to Canada to shoot a brief one-shot for Picard…

Tiger2

“That makes absolutely no sense. The Discovery Bridge as well as the Enterprise one are in Toronto and the show was shot in LA. Is there anything published that states Frakes went to Canada to shoot those scenes?”

This is Hollywood, they do stuff like this ALL the time and shoot things in multiple locations. Even the Discovery pilot it was shot in two other locations outside of Canada like Jordan in the opening scene and then back at Paramount Studios in L.A. for Burnham’s space flight scene. We already know for the season 3 opening episode part of that was shot in Iceland. Yes shows don’t usually shoot in multiple places like movies do but that’s usually because they just don’t have the time to do it. But that’s the other difference, these Trek shows shoot way less episodes than the others and given more time to shoot each one. When you have 6 months to shoot 10 episodes you have the luxury of time TNG never got.

Mark

I read that he shot those scenes while he was directing an episode of Discovery season 3.

Jako

Where have you read this?

michelle

chabon said in a instagram q&a that it was shot iin toronto while frakes was directing a season 3 episode of discovery

ST:EXP

I had assumed Data’s robe and environment in his death scene was purposely reminiscent to what he was wearing and where he lived in his future-self sequence from All Good Things. Was this mentioned?

Murray

It was a redress of Picard home study. But it did look like the other one.

ML31

Which also helps lead the viewer to conclude this was happening entirely in JL’s head.

Cmd.Bremmon

I prefer your interpretation to “Data was suicidal” no longer wanting to learn (like V’ger) or help people.

i'mpaul

Actually, it was a massively complex quantum simulation

;P

ML31

That’s what Picard’s subconscious data said. Obviously it was Picard’s brain manufacturing a situation that would allow him to get closure regarding the loss of his subordinate.

Legate Damar

And then Alton Soong just went along with it for no reason?

ML31

If you are referring to shutting down whatever machine had the B4 download why wouldn’t he? There are two possibilities here. A: The B4 download still lived in the machine. Just shutting it down down doesn’t erase the OS. If the download was on those plastic props Picard pulled out of the machine then the B4 download is still safe and sound on those. B: It was made clear early on the download never worked. It was also impossible to reverse engineer Data to begin with so even if it was gone for good it’s no loss to him. If Soon did have the ability to create Data like androids (which it looks like he can) then he has no need for the B4 download. Whether it worked or not.

Scott

Thank God Riker didn’t use a joystick to fly the Zheng He.

Tiger2

LOL!

odradek

What about the Lovecraft connection dating back to Robert Bloch’s What little Girls made of? Episode with almost the same plot.Missed opportunity cast Combs as Dr Soong Reanimator

Susana

It was not the first time Picard said “engage” on the show. He said it when he flew with La Sirena for the first time, at the end of episode 3, “The End is the Beginning”.

Susana

Ah, ok, I get it. The first time as a synth! Right.

odradek

Wrong painter and painting… but who cares? Still better researched than the writer if Star Trek Picard did.

Cmd.Bremmon

Now we can look forward to 100s of identical Federation starships going into battle with 100s of equally identical starships. Isn’t that great?!? To think “Star Trek” once had something to do with strategic starship combat with such massive interstellar ships hard to construct and of strategic value. Why look how Riker in command personally impacted the deployment of the fleet, that was some three dimensional thinking.
On the plus side – THANK YOU FOR WHOEVER PUT SOME COOL LOOKING MONITORS BEHIND ADMIRAL RIKER!!! Why it looked like a bridge! Considering how much time Trek is looking at a character in a chair it really is refreshing to see some cool displays and activity behind the Captain as opposed to a giant door and/or nonsensical furniture and/or uninformative hard drives storage. Screams functional to me as opposed to big door out of which someone is going to walk in and shoot the Captain in the back without said Captain ever being aware.

Dom

‘Et in Arcadia Ego’ is also the title of the first part of Evelyn Waugh’s novel Brideshead Revisited, as Charles Ryder returns to the house of old friends and lovers during World War II and reminisces about younger, happier days with his good friend Sebastian Flyte, likely dead by this time.

Steveo

Synth coming through the gateway looked suspiciously like the future version of Control from Discovery….

AtomicHorror

It’s not though. See the Q&A article.

Fred Javelina

Fun connection: The Tempest was the inspiration for the movie Forbidden Planet, which itself was an inspiration for Star Trek.

I’mPaul

Why don’t they just give us nerds what we really want which is a Titan series? Smh

ML31

I thought we wanted a Pike series…

i'mpaul

Eh. They give us a TOS timeline show and we all bitch that it doesn’t feel TOS enough. If it did we would all bitch that it feels like a fan film. Makes me wonder why they put themselves through the abuse, (and why they think that we all want to see TOS timeline so badly aren’t we mostly the TNG generation nowadays anyway.) The Pike series is a cool idea and would be welcome. But isn’t the Titan what we had all been sort of nerd-ticipating for the past 17 years. I mean, why not capitalize on the recognizable characters/actors? If Picard taught CBS anything I think it’s that we haven’t been bullshitting for the past 20 years when we say that we would really like to see what happens NEXT in the Star Trek saga.

ML31

I cannot speak for all of fandom but it seems to me that most when they saw the NCC-1701 in STD S2 they were fine with it. I could only imagine had the designers not been handcuffed by the existing Discovery aesthetic it would have been even BETTER received. I’m not as against going back to the TOS time frame as some of the others here. But I was totally against a Pike led show BEFORE seeing Mount play the part. Now I am completely ready for it and want to see that far more than Section 31 or Picard. My only pause is Secret Hideout. They haven’t exactly put together a decently thought out Trek show. The best I can say about them is they have gotten a little better with each outing. This does not mean there can’t be shows revolving around the Picard time frame. They are planning multiple shows. If I had a say in things the time I would opt for is perhaps 20-40 years AFTER TUC.

i'mpaul

Uggggh Section 31. That’s the one that I look at and say, “they really don’t get us at all, do they?” And yet, to your point, they also give us Pike and I think “damn. They nailed it.” In any event, I do like Pike and want to see that show. I think it’s coming. I think it will be more episodic. And I think it’s going to be a big hit. But since the Kelvin movies let us down, I just don’t feel like there’s quite the appetite to hang out in the TOS timeline that producers think there is.

Praetor Tal

If Star Trek wants to give these nods to Chinese history, they need to get the pronunciation right, or better at least. Zheng He is “jung-huh”; Shenzhou is “shun-joe.”