Wow, what a ride so far. I honestly did not know what to expect when this series started and, although it had a slow start, this series has really dished it out in spades since the mid point. Now here we are, the penultimate episode and things are certainly at a boil. I mean, not only is the water rolling but it’s actually starting to boil over. So, without further adeu, this is Et In Arcadia Ego Part 1.
Et In Arcadia Ego Part 1:
Picard and the crew of the Le Sirena arrive at Soji’s homeworld to find a familiar face and an all new threat.
Is it a ‘Good’ Episode?
First off, I really don’t know why they called this part one of two. I mean, that kind of thing worked for previous series since the episodes were normally pretty self contained but this series has literally been a continuing story from the start. If anything this is Et In Arcadia Ego Part 9 but that is honestly a moot point. Titles aside, this episode serves as a great setup for the finale that we are waiting for with baited breath. The show-runners wasted not a second of this episode establishing new and surprising characters and finally showing us the truth behind the giant threat the Romulan’s were so afraid of. Ironically, it’s not what we thought it was…or at least not yet.
Unlike the other episodes, this one really didn’t have any stand out moments or character defining segments, just some really solid story telling that, while getting us ready for the finale, also casually reminds us of what has come before. Some of the reminders significantly hit you over the head with some VERY obvious clues and others are quite subtle hints.
To keep this one brief, as the next one is sure to be a long review, this penultimate episode really set the stage for the final act. For the first time since watching the season finally of Star Trek TNG Season 6, I honestly do not know where they are going with this series. Granted there are a ton of clues and hints but everything is just conjecture at this point. That, my friends, is why I am really digging it. It is a decent episode that really launches the characters into the air, in all directions really,,….but will they stick their landings? I guess we will see next week.
Observation Deck: Lots of SPOILERS HERE SO BE WARNED
- First things first. DATA HAS A HUMAN BROTHER. Yeah. So apparently Doctor Noonian Soong had a son that happens to look A LOT like Data. I mean, that does make sense as most sons do grow up to look like their fathers and Data was modeled after Noonian so I get it. The cool thing is, Brent Spiner returns to play yet another Soong this time as Altan Inigo Soong. Getting to appear sans makeup, Spiner does a tremendous job bringing the latest Soong to life but it seems this one is a little bias when it comes to his feelings about Androids. I mean rightfully so but this guy is legitimately all about android rights…even if it means the death of humanity. Which makes since since he might become an android himself….
- So Soong is working on a gollum so he can transfer his mind to an android body in order to ‘lead’ his people beyond his own mortality. This seems like a VERY convenient plot point seeing that we are constantly reminded of Picard’s own mortality throughout the episode. I mean, lets hit this on the head shall we? Dr Jurati, who Soong has enlisted to work on this new body, is going to have to make a choice…Soong or Picard and seeing there will be a season 2…I have a feeling who is gonna win that fight. The question is, will the new Picard be played by Patrick Stewart but with a more youthful demeanor OR will they enlist a younger actor to take over as Android Picard? How interesting would it be if a certain younger Professor Xavier made his first appearance in Star Trek. Seeing how both Stewart and James McAvoy seem to be chummy, it would not surprise me in the least that we end up with McAvoy as the ‘new’ Picard for season two. It would split the fan base for sure but man it would be interesting. I mean, really, Picard says his goodbyes to just about everyone in this one making us think it is the end so…do you really think it will be?
- Soji has yet another sister (cousin?) but this time in the form of a gold skinned Sutra sister to the late Jana. Sutra, also played by Isa Briones, is certainly more driven to save her own species and appears to be the real ‘Destroyer’ of legend. Plus…somehow… she taught herself how to do mind melds? Eh, it’s a stretch but sure, why not. I mean….okay that part made no sense at all since synthetic life can not be picked up by empaths but can somehow tap into biological brains? I wonder if Troi could have detected Sutra?
- Now, about the mind meld. It seems the Romulan’s got it all wrong but completely right all at once. The message they got wasn’t a warning but a message for synthetics. There is a species out in space that is patiently waiting for the synthetics to call them to eradicate biological beings in order to protect the synths. Sound familiar? Yep, essentially the plot of the Mass Effect Video Game series. In Mass Effect it was when ‘humanity’ reached a specific point in tech that a massive threat appears to basically reset the clock for the universe. In this case it is when synthetic life gets to a certain point but the basic idea is there. I can’t blame them for cribbing a great game but….yeah.
- Back to Sutra. She has been established as the REAL Destroyer, even setting up Narek as a killer to convince Soji to join her. I have to wonder if Sutra and her late Sister Jana are not from Data’s engrams but Lore’s. I mean, heck, she kills one of her own in order to get Soji to join her and I don’t see any child of Data being this devious. Plus, we never learned what became of Lore’s body after Descent Part 2 so it is entirely possible Maddox and Soong Jr got their hands on it. Come to think of it…Soong got to Saga’s body pretty quickly. hmmmmm
- A few other fun tidbits
- Seven and Elnor are rebuilding a Borg Cube together. How cool is that.
- Freaking SPOT II! I mean, even Spot got a chance to be immortal!
- We keep being reminded of Maddox and Agnes’ relationship. There is something more here we are not seeing I think.
As usual, some glimpses of next weeks episode below. Until then!
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 2/13/2020