I honestly didn’t think this series could get any better after last weeks tremendous reunion episode. Oh Boy was I wrong.
Let’s not waste any more time and dive in to Broken Pieces.
Now on the ship with the rest of Picard’s crew, Soji discovers more about her past as the secrets of the Zhat Vash begin to unravel.
Is it a ‘Good’ Episode?
As usual I will save spoilers until we reach the Observation Deck but oh man did this episode lay everything out on the table. Like the very poker game played by the TNG crew, we get a very good look at everyone’s hands just before they are shuffled right back in the very deck they started out in. Things are really only beginning and boy does the end game look like it is going to be something special.
I don’t even know where to begin as this felt like the culmination of everything this series has been building up to until you realize that there are still two more episodes. Everyone…and I honestly mean EVERYONE in this episode is at their strongest. One thing I find interesting is how much better everyone is when they are around Patrick Stewart. In several interviews, especially on the after-show with Will Whedon, people mention how Patrick’s mere presence brings out the best in them and makes them WANT to be at their peak and it really shows. In the episodes with Soji so far I found her, kind of lacking. Then, as if a complete turn around, in her scenes with Patrick Stewart, she really steps up her game. Honestly, I am shocked Patrick hasn’t gotten behind the camera more often as he would make an incredible director.
In talking about skill, the real standout in this episode, and stealthily through the series is that of Santiago Carbrera. Through the series so far he has subtly played multiple roles as both himself and his muti-cultural holographic crew. The thing is, until now, we never really got to see the extent of his talents because these holo-crewmembers were never played off of one another. Until now. I won’t go into great detail but his portrayal of all of the various incarnations of the Rios Hologram are inspired. Even with his face plastered all over the screen I had a hard time remembering that it was one person playing all the parts. He is an incredible talent and I honestly hope he is ultimately a series regular going forward.
With a great story and a solid cast we go into the penultimate episode next week and frankly I am super excited to see what happens next. This series has really taken off now that all of the back stories have been told…okay…most of the back stories. Nevertheless, armed with what we have so far, these last two episode are sure to be something special.
Observation Deck: Lots of SPOILERS HERE SO BE WARNED
There is soooo much to unpack here so I will try to dive in to all I can.
- One major revelation is Rios’ back story. It seems that his original ship, the ibn Majid, encountered a pair of androids, a male named Beautiful Flower and a female named Jana. Upon reporting them to Starfleet, Rios’ Captain is ordered to murder them and then kills himself in the process. The interesting thing is that Jana and Soji…look identical. Interestingly, they deliberately never show what Beautiful Flower looks like…I wonder why?
- one other note. Captain Vandermeer, Rios’ Captain on the ibn Majid, killed himself using a phaser to the mouth. Rios claims that the last time he saw him he saw the Captain’s brains and skull paint the bulkhead. Now, if the phaser was on kill he would have simply vaporized his head…this makes me think it was on stun or a very low kill setting which makes no sense since he literally just killed two people moments before. A minor plot hole or something more going on than we think?
- …the reason. Maddox isn’t dead. Hear me out. I think the Maddox we saw die was another biological clone. Think about it. They have been dropping hints about these new androids from the start. They are human clones using Data’s positrons and some sort of donor material…who’s material? How about Bruce Maddox and Doctor Jurati’s? Yep. THAT was the big contribution Android Maddox mentioned before she killed him. Plus, why would Maddox leave a safe place only to literally walk into the hands of an enemy? Because, it wasn’t Maddox… it was Beautiful Flower but aged up significantly.
- Now Seven Of Nine makes a triumphant return and something interesting happened. First off, she reconnects with her very own micro collective and starts assimilating Romulans but that is not the interesting bit…the interesting bit is her eyes. When she was removed from the collective she was fitted with a synthetic eye that matched her biological one. However, when she goes all Super Borg Queen BOTH of her eyes change indicating that, at some point, she either lost her eye or went ahead and upgraded both of them. There is a story there….
- So just before Seven separates herself from the Cube the ‘Borg Voice’ states that ‘Anika has more to do’. I am not sure this was Seven Speaking but the remnants of the Queen herself. Seven does not call herself Anika which happens to be her human given name. So…yeah…what more does she have to do and will this be the rebirth of the Borg?
- Speaking of Borg…the fact that the Borg Transwarp conduits are still active and all around the galaxy makes me wonder if there is something more going on as well. If the Borg were truly defeated by Janeway in Voyager then should they have not simply stopped working? Are the other Borg factions out there? Are they natural phenomena co-opted by the Borg? Or where they created by the ancient race that left the warning….wait a minute…was that warning about THE BORG? Man….I hope this doesn’t turn out to be a Borg origin story. I have a bad feeling about this.
- At one point Picard contacts Admiral Clancy and lays on his sheer fucking hubris explaining that he was indeed right about the conspiracy. She informs him that he will have a small fleet meeting him at Deep Space 12…only he doesn’t make it there. I have to wonder though…was she really sending him ‘help’ or was it a trap. Now that Star Fleet knows…are they going to do anything about it?
- There is a wonderful moment where Picard is about to launch the ship and realizes that he does not have the know-how to do that anymore. It is a humbling and rather fun moment that Stewart OWNS. . Additionally, he also learns through Soji that Data loved him in a rather touching moment. This guy is a gem
- Now for the meat of this story. Commodore Oh and her infiltration of Star Fleet.
- So we learn that Commodore Oh is not a Romulan or a Vulcan but a hybrid of the two allowing her to mind meld and be a double agent…not unlike the one from STNG.
- She has been searching for the home of the synthetics thanks to a device the Romulans found a millennia ago that warned them of the ‘evil synths’ that were predestined to come.
- This revelation can drive people mad which results in both Narissa and her aunt (a future Borg) to become members of the Zhat Vash under the guidance of Oh.
- Interestingly this organization also appears to be entirely female, much like the warrior nuns….
- So Oh and her team setup the attack on Mars due to a recent encounter with these new androids which ties Rios into the mess (more on that below)
- I think the message was a warning about Control from Discovery and the Romulan’s don’t realize that the threat they are scared of….has already been quelled.
- So what we know so far.
- There are more androids…female AND male and they all seem to have similar personalities.
- Oh is half Vulcan/half Romulan Spy.
- The Zhat Vash are a doomsday cult who are responsible for the attack on Mars and now the Federation knows.
- Dr Jurati feels legitimately bad about her murder of Maddox. Hopefully my theory is right and she gets a happy ending.
- Rio’s had an encounter with the Androids but didn’t know it at the time.
- Soji is now fully active and has memories of things she should’t know.
- Rios’ ship is being tracked by the Romulan Narek.
- We are about to meet Soji’s people and I can not be more excited.
- oh and did anyone get a real Replicator from Star Gate SG1 vibe with these?
Okay. That’s that. Until next week!!! As usual. Check out below for some cool shots of next weeks ep!
You can watch this episode now on CBSAllAccess. Do it now. It is well worth it.
Thanks for reading the SciFi TV Review I look forward to discussing the rest of the series with you!
If you would like to read more reviews I have a weekly series called Key Movies Of My Life that comes out every Thursday and for more retro TV goodness check out the rest of the Retro TV Reviews here.
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Special Thanks to Memory Alpha as they are one of the best sources for details on Star Trek information available. Although I have a pretty deep knowledge on the subject, they have proven invaluable as a regular resource.
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Late To The Game 3/12/2020