The season one finale of Star Trek: Picard is two weeks behind us, but it still has us thinking. Last week we pondered the big metaphysical question about who Jean-Luc Picard is now. But there are still many other questions – big and small – that the finale left us with. While showrunner Michael Chabon has addressed some of them, the answers have often been either vague or based on material not seen on screen, and therefore not (yet) canon.
In no particular order, these eleven questions remain the most vexing…
1. Did they create immortality?
In addition to the philosophical issue of Picard’s synth resurrection, there is also its practical impact on the Star Trek universe and the dramatic stakes moving forward. If the technology now exists for people to be downloaded into perfect copy synth bodies, the show has essentially eliminated death. This new “Altered Carbon” reality would have a profound effect on society and storytelling. This could create some new dramatic possibilities. More likely – as has been the case with last-minute miracle tech – the producers will find a way to negate or at least severely limit the possibility for the tech to be used again.
2. Do they now have access to more magical synth tech?
Golem downloading wasn’t the only bit of impressive synth tech in the finale. Those cool space orchids could neutralize any ship, even a Borg cube. And the tool Saga gave Raffi was not only easily able to fix an “impossible” problem with La Sirena’s engine, but it was also then capable of performing an entirely different – yet equally miraculous – task of creating a duplicate fleet of La Sirenas to fool the Romulans. Having access to a tool limited only by the user’s imagination – and other synth tech – could provide an endless stream of Deus Ex Machina solutions for the crew and a dangerous crutch for writers.
3. Are the Romulans going to get away with it?
The two-part finale unmasked Starfleet’s Commodore Oh as a Tal Shiar general, who was responsible for the 2385 attack on Mars which killed tens of thousands. We saw her Romulan fleet politely escorted away from Coppelius and the ban on synths – who are now exonerated – lifted. But Oh and the Tal Shiar , who appear to be part of the Romulan Free State, are responsible for a heinous act of terrorism. Will the Federation let this war crime slide? And what of all those Romulan refugees that haunt Picard’s guilty conscience? Resolving this could complete more issues for Picard’s arc, and the repercussions of the revealed Romulan plot could provide some interesting galactic politics to deal with.
4. What’s the fate of the xBs?
One of the more compelling season one storylines was the introduction of the former Borg drones (or “xBs”) on the abandoned cube referred to as “The Artifact.” Jonathan Del Arco returned as Hugh to lead the program helping victims of the hive become individuals again. While Narissa spaced many awaiting the process, several xBs survived the Cube’s crash landing on Coppelius. Hugh gave his life for the xBs and much of Seven’s arc in the season was also dedicated to them, leaving their unresolved fate as an annoying loose end. Chabon says there was an edited scene, but the XBs deserve more than a line of text in a post-game Instagram chat.
5. What’s next for Coppelius and the synths?
The ban on synths has been lifted, and Coppelius is now under the protection of the Federation. Does this mean all the synths there are now Federation citizens, with all their rights and privileges? And will they be sharing their “generations ahead” technology with the Federation and Starfleet? Even without the ban, is Federation society ready to accept synths again? And after years of isolation, how will the synths deal with organics, especially after coming close to wiping them all out. The re-mingling of synths and organics could be a dramatic opportunity for the show in season two.
6. Are the super synths still a threat?
The entire first season – and millennia of Romulan mythology – all lead to the revelation there is an “alliance of synthetic life” which spans galaxies and await the call to wipe out all organic life. These super synths left a 911 hotline on Planet Aia, awaiting any synths who want to take it up. While Soji eventually chose not to take up the offer of organic genocide, there are many more synths, holograms, and other AIs populating the galaxy. Leaving “the Admonition” open to any synth to bring down the swarm of killer mecha-snakes is a pretty big risk.
7. Where is Narek?
The fate of the Romulan Zhat Vash agent Narek was an obvious loose end. The last we saw of the season-long antagonist was him teaming up with Rios and crew to attack Synth Town halfway through the finale. According to Chabon, a cut scene had him carted away by the Feds, and that could be the end of his story on Picard. But Narek was one of the more nuanced bad guys for the show, aided by a strong performance by Harry Treadaway. Seeing him cooperating with – or plotting against – the Federation and reigniting his complicated relationship with Soji could be worth exploring in season two.
8. How will Dr. Jurati get off the hook?
One of the darker moments of season one came in “Stardust City Rag” when Dr. Jurati killed her former lover, Dr. Bruce Maddox. She later admitted the crime, explaining that she had been working undercover for Commodore Oh. The season ended with her joining the crew in good spirits, but Chabon has stated Jurati will need a lawyer to face Federation judgment. While being under the influence of “The Admonition” and an invasive mind-meld are mitigating circumstances, season two should show actions have consequences in the Federation. This could be an opportunity for some courtroom drama, and hopefully isn’t just resolved with a line of throwaway dialog.
9. Who is Soji Asha now?
The mystery of Soji’s origins and true mission was at the heart of the season one story. She wasn’t, as she believed, a twentysomething human anthropologist, but instead a three-year-old android presumably sent to “The Artifact” to gather intel. She ends the season leaving her true home of Coppelius, saying she is “more cut out for wandering.” Now that the veil has been lifted, who is Soji really? Is she still an anthropologist? How much of her first years as an android does she remember? Does she have more special synth abilities? In theory, the “real” Soji could be a very different character than the one we knew in season one.
10, Where is La Sirena going?
Season one was a self-contained story of a ragtag crew with their own agendas working towards one goal. That story – along with individual character arcs – ended in the finale, yet we finished with La Sirena’s crew (now with the addition of Seven of Nine) warping off together. They are not part of any fleet, so why are they sticking together and where could they be going? La Sirena is Rios’ ship for hire, so is Picard still paying? Hopefully, their mission is something personal to Picard and the other characters’ history, and not just some random new threat or issue better handled by the Starfleet of the day.
11. How did the harvest go?
In the second episode (“Maps and Legends”) Picard left his vineyard in the capable hands of his Romulan companions Laris and Zhaban. Among the reasons they were left behind was that the harvest was less than a month away. We want to know how that harvest went and how and the former Tal Shiar operatives are faring back at Chateau Picard. Michael Chabon has indicated that season two will check in on these two fan-favorite characters, and maybe they are now free to join Picard on his next adventure. And don’t forget about his faithful dog Number One, too.
What questions do you still have?
There are more questions big and small that linger after the season finale of Star Trek: Picard. Let us know what you think of our assessment and what additional ones are vexing you in the comments below.
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