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[This story contains spoilers for the season one finale of Star Trek: Picard.]
So who had “Picard dies and gets his conscience uploaded into a biological-android ‘golem'” on their Star Trek: Picard finale BINGO card?
“Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2” at times took a “kitchen sink” approach to wrapping up Picard‘s first season finale with an emotionally satisfying (and tear-inducing) conclusion to both Picard and Data’s stories. Written by showrunner Michael Chabon and directed by executive producer Akiva Goldsman, Picard’s death (and resurrection) gives the back half of the episode some of Star Trek‘s most compelling and profound drama ever. The finale doubles as sort of a sequel and epilogue to Star Trek: Nemesis as well; it picks up some of that disappointing 2002 film’s more underserved and dangling story threads and dramatizes them to their most logical and emotionally-honest conclusions. In doing so, several Easter eggs are referenced. Here are the highlights:
1. The transmitter/beacon that Soji and her android kind are using to contact reinforcements seems to use nano technology in its construction. Nanites played a key role in both season two of Star Trek: Discovery and in the Star Trek: The Next Generation season three episode, “Evolution.”
2. The use of this transmitter also conjures up that time the Borg tried to turn the Enterprise-E’s into an interplexing beacon to signal for reinforcements from the future in Star Trek: First Contact.
3. Rios eating an apple similar to the one Admiral Kirk eats in the Genesis Cave feels like a callback to Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.
3. In addition to “engage,” Picard’s other signature catchphrase — “Make it so” — makes an appearance here, finally. Though it’s Agnes (Alison Pill) and not Picard that says it.
4. The badass way Seven (Jeri Ryan) takes out the villainous Narissa (Peyton List) — kicking her off and down a deep chasm — echoes the way Kirk dispatched the Klingon baddie Kruge (Christopher Lloyd) in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock.
5. “The Picard Maneuver” is referenced here — and gets an upgrade — after first being introduced into canon in the season one episode “The Battle.” (This Picard Maneuver involves the time Picard used his first ship, the Stargazer, in battle against the Ferengi — not his popular uniform tuck.)
6. Captain Riker is back in Starfleet uniform and in the center seat (doing the Riker lean) presumably for the first time since he took command of the Titan in Nemesis.
7. Riker casually drops the Treaty of Algeron when confronting the traitorous Vulcan-Romulan Commodore Oh. That peace treaty was signed between the United Federation of Planets and the Romulan Star Empire in 2311, and was first referenced in the Riker-centric, TNG episode “The Pegasus.”
8. And yup, that’s a TNG-era hypospray Agnes uses on Picard.
9. When Picard sits down and talks to Data in the “Dataverse,” as Chabon calls it, Data references his death in Nemesis and his consciousness being put into B-4.
10. The reprise of “Blue Skies” toward the end of the episode, a callback to both the season premiere and Nemesis, is sung by Isa Briones, who — at 19 — was a castmember of the national touring production of Hamilton. She and composer Jeffrey Russo worked together to record her performance of the song.
11. It was Patrick Stewart’s idea to change Picard’s traditional order of “tea, earl grey – hot” to “earl grey, decaf.” It was also the actor’s suggestion to have Picard remark that he never really cared for science fiction when he comments on an Isaac Asimov book.
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