Picard: A Few Quick Thoughts About The End

I prematurely reviewed Picard earlier in the week because I’d enjoyed it so much. There’s not much I can add to that beyond saying: I still enjoyed it. The last two episodes were not without faults, however…

I’d left it with the crew about to reach the planet where the synths were made and lived. We had a bit about giant space orchids which was so wonderfully over the top that I forgave the silliness. It was the kind of enemy that appeared in nearly every episode of The Original Series, plus the CGI was some of the best I’ve ever seen in a TV show. It was Star Wars level of CGI and I’m a total sucker for good CGI.

So, they crashed on the planet, along with the Romulan guy who always seemed a bit Welsh and the Borg cube. They met the synths and Dr. Altan Inigo Soong, which was a nice twist. It’s opened up the next series so we might get to see more of Brent Spiner. I’m all up for that, especially if he could join the crew. Each of them is so well drawn that there wasn’t a scene that bored me… Well, not involving them. I did find the Romulan stuff a bit on the tedious side (and probably the early part of the season set around the Artifact were the least fun). Least interesting of any of the characters, though the crew struggling to decide if they were on the Romulan or Synth side did feel like an interesting problem.

I liked the final sense that Picard now has a new crew, new regulars around which they can construct new adventures. Speaking of which: the hint of a lesbian romance felt totally within the universe. It was always one of the odder bits that the future would have so many of the hang-ups of the twentieth century.

What’s next?

Oh yes. The synths decide to defend themselves by building a transmitter so they can call help from the “tech gods”, with the crew splintering and attempting in different ways to thwart a plan which will decimate humanity, whilst also preventing the Romulans from destroying the planet.

I loved the arrival of Starfleet. It was sheer popcorn.

Loved the identity of the lead commander, the standoff, and the eventual capitulation. It was all well done.

Really enjoyed the tech throughout the series. There was some technobabble, early on around Episode 2, that was brilliant tech writing. I love mangled words and pseudo code talk.

Loved Data’s death, but in that way where I would never admit to sobbing a bit. Never!

What I didn’t like, however, was how Picard solved the problem of delaying the Romulan fleet. The device which only requires you to “use your imagination” is the worst example of deus ex machina I’ve seen in a long time. If it really was that easy to conjure up a fleet of ships, then why doesn’t every ship have one?

But I’m not going there. The more I think about it, the more annoyed I become. It did slightly stink up the last episode but I’m not so obsessive that I need my sci-fi to be entirely possible. They moved quickly on, so it was at least (almost) forgettable.

I’m far more ambiguous about how they got around Picard’s death. It was neatly handled – allowing him some screen time with Data – but the new body angle doesn’t sit quite right with me. How they aged the body to be exactly his right age, with no advantages… Okay, I get it. It allows them to move forward with a Season 2 with a totally revitalized Picard, with almost a clean slate as to what they do with him and where they take him. I’ll probably forget it within five minutes of the next series but it does niggle me that the new Picard isn’t the old Picard. I’m sure they did this before but perhaps I’m imagining it…

14 thoughts on “Picard: A Few Quick Thoughts About The End”

  1. I agree with most of that. I’ll probably rewatch it all before season 2. The only thing that got on my nerves that youve not mentioned is the fate of Narek? Apparently they just forgot! I also like Data’s death. Much better than the last one!

    1. Bloody hell! I’d completely forgotten about Narek. You’re right. He disappeared after they attacked the transmitter. Probably didn’t notice because I really didn’t connect with his character, which, if I delve deeper, probably had something to do with how he looked like Kili, the “attractive Hobbit” in the new trilogy. Never occurred to me that they hadn’t wrapped up his fate and now it’s going to bother me.

      I was also a bit too obsessed with Narissa. I kept thinking I’d seen here from something and every scene I went back to check IMDB only to decide I hadn’t. She probably looks like somebody. Drove me to distraction.

    1. Never watched it. There. I said it. Terrible admission for a self-professed sci-fi fan.

      Then again, doubt if I’ve ever watched more than two or three episodes of Dr Who.

  2. Apparently they’re going to show him in Starfleet custody which is what should’ve happened! As an aside, and further to a comment on the last Pucard post, you should check The Expanse out. I binged it back in January/February.

    1. I’ll give it a try once my binge-meter is recovered, though I also want to catch the Mandalorian before this Disney sub expires. So much sci-fi to watch, though I’m not complaining. 😉

    1. Oh, the tentacles! Yes. They were terrible but, thankfully, so fleeting that they didn’t both me too much. I’m not a big fan of the Marvel stuff so I didn’t make the connection. I did wonder how they’d portray super-advanced tech that should be beyond our imaginations to describe. I’d have preferred a swarm of nanobots or something that was too specific.

  3. Back for your final thoughts, with some of my own post Picard therapy.

    Got to agree the CGI looked great and the idea of defence plant that could stop a Borg cube was really fun. I liked the fact the synths had that weird shiny skin looked original series makeup design.
    It was also nice to see Data and Picard on screen together.

    Now for the therapy part.

    The Seven sexuality revel felt really unearned. If your going to have LGBTQ+ charachter great it makes perfect sense in a rounded universe. However it has become a cooperate trope to hint or just recon it into a show, seem like shortchanging that community. Disney have become guilty of this.

    Alison Pills character is a murderer and no one seems to care

    The Romulan secret cult, had one mission so important to the fate of the galaxy (they believed) but they gave up without a fight. When a single torpedo/disrupter shot would of solved it for them.

    Narissa and Narek relationship felt really sexualised so much so that i was shocked when i found out they were brother and sister.

    The imagination fix thing was so stupid, especially when you have a borg cube just sitting there would of been nice to see them use the cube parts to repair the ship.

    Lastly really geeky nitpick kinda sucked that all the federation ships looked the same when we have seen in past shows they have a wide range of ships.

    I don’t expect anyone to answer these or defend the show was just some thoughts i had. I hope PIcard follows the path of most Star Trek with a poor first season (my opinion) then finds it stride later on.

    If you have read this then fact for your patience and enjoy your weekend .

    1. No, such good points, I have to answer! 😉

      The LGBTQ+ thing… I see what you’re saying. I’m currently watching Brooklyn 99, which does such a great job of portraying a gay police captain because it’s treated incidentally and little is made of it, which is precisely how these things should be handled. Yet it shocked me when, series later, they decided another lead character was bisexual. But this time they weren’t subtle. It felt, like you say, corporate and there was some degree of moralising going on. The problem with Star Trek, I assume, is that these relationships have never been normalised, so the first might stand out a little too much. I like the argument I read that because she’d been Borg, she was used to seeing humanity as a collective. Not that it matters. I don’t care if these things happen tangentially to a story. I have a different attitude when any romance becomes the big issue in any genre where it’s intrusive. I watched a wedding episode of Brooklyn 99 last night and felt exactly the same. I watch it for the comedy not for the romance. Ditto sci-fi. Gay characters don’t bother me in the slightest, but I don’t like life lessons teaching me to be tolerant when I’d even object to the word “tolerant”. I want to shout: “it really isn’t an issue. Get back to the aliens!”

      Yes, the Pills thing… I did wonder how they’d get out of that and I guess bit where somebody said “perhaps you weren’t really you” explained it away. It doesn’t bother me that she was a murderer, though. Fits in with the darker tone of the series. Seven of Nine wasn’t exactly morally pure either.

      Romulans giving up: I guess it was down to the fact that the synths had proved that they wouldn’t become the Destroyer by the fact they shut the portal. Also, war with the Federation would have followed. So, imho, the logic worked out.

      Narissa and Narek: the hint of incest was a bit too Game of Thrones, which I did wonder if it influenced the show. Again, felt okay but a cliché straight from Shakespeare.

      A shanme you didn’t like it. After the awful films, this really brought be back around to loving Star Trek. Really intend on catching some of the earlier series I’ve not seen in years or might not have seen at all.

  4. “So, they crashed on the planet, along with the Romulan guy who always seemed a bit Welsh”

    It’s strange how we readily accept certain voices of fictional characters such as aliens or monsters if they have a plummy English accent or even an American one. But if they’re ‘regional’ or Welsh in this case to draw attention to it as somehow ‘out of place’ or odd 😜. I’ll be honest, I found myself doing the same thing with Picard’s female Romulan friend who had an Irish accent..why would an alien have an Irish accent I thought to myself?..

    I checked myself and it got me thinking. We’re still class bound and we still associate certain identities with (stereotypical) roles. The same would happen (especially) if they were a regional accent such as Scouse. I’m sure if you were to pitch to BBC drama heads in London a story about a brilliant maverick barrister or scientist who had a thick Liverpool accent they’d turn it down because it’s not ‘believable’. In other words, they’re operating beyond their station or set parameters.

    Dr. Dean Burnett covers this about depictions of and assumptions about Welsh people on his podcast: https://cosmicshambles.com/smartwelshpeople/announcement

    Anyway, just a thought.

    See you in the Twitterverse,

    Emyr

    1. Such a good question. I think we’re definitely bound by class (see three or four other posts on here where I talk about it) but isn’t is also natural human behaviour to become accustomed (and pretty bored) seeing or hearing the same thing all the time?

      In this case, certain accents are probably neutral because we’re always hearing them. If Scouse was the RP of the nation, we wouldn’t hear it. As it is, that bland American accent (not sure if it has a name) and RP in the UK are given, though within context. An English accent in a US show stands out. Usually we’re villains. A US accent in a UK show usually means it’s the “cousin” visiting, Fawlty Towers style, to lecture us on our small miserable country.

      Accents, though, always stand out. Piccard’s Romulan assistant was Irish, which stood out yet oddly felt right for the supporting role she was in. People with accents rarely get the main role, though. Scotty was always a minor role compared with Kirk. It’s probably unsurprising that Piccard isn’t Welsh or Scottish or a Geordie…

      The bigger problem I had with the Narek was that he just didn’t look right. He’s English but when I said he seemed Welsh it’s because they’d given him that dark brooding Celtic look to make him attractive. Like I said somewhere: it reminded me of the handsome hobbit in the recent trilogy.

      Hobbits, though, suit accents. But again, not Frodo or Bilbo. It’s Sam Gamgee they give an accent to, which might suggest that accents might get in the way with out sympathising with a character. They make them bland to make them more “universal”, which probably then links back to what you said about class. Do producers think we’d find it harder to empathise with people unlike ourselves?

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