‘Star Trek: Picard’ Finale, Explained: Patrick Stewart’s Fate Is Revealed at Last

     March 26, 2020

star-trek-picard-poster-slice-1Spoilers ahead for the season finale of Star Trek: Picard

The tenth episode of Star Trek: Picard’s first season delivered an intriguing season finale that wrapped up the main story arc of the show so far, while also offering glimpses at what’s to come in Season 2 (and, perhaps, beyond). The finale ends with a standoff between the Romulans and Starfleet. After Soji, Data’s android daughter, chose to destroy the beacon that would have called in intergalactic artificial intelligence to destroy organic life, the Romulans chose to withdraw, rather than engage in battle with Starfleet. The ban on synthetics is lifted, and Picard, Soji, and their new crew go out into the unknown as a found family.

But there are still many questions left lingering after the finale’s conclusion: First, and most shocking, centers on Jean-Luc Picard’s death. The good admiral died of a brain abnormality (first introduced in the Star Trek: The Next Generation finale “All Good Things”). Before he faded away, though, Drs. Agnes Jurati and Altan Soong transferred his memories and consciousness into an artificial body. It looks like Picard, it sounds like Picard — for all intents and purposes, it is Picard. It’s just an android version of him.

Image via CBS All Access

This new sense of self for Picard may have ramifications on where the series heads in its second season. One of the causes Jean-Luc felt most strongly about in this first season was the wrongness of the Federation’s ban on synthetic life. Now that it has become clear the Romulans were behind the attack on Mars — the event that directly led to a ban on all artificial intelligence — Starfleet has rescinded the directive. What will this new frontier of AI look like? Both Dr. Agnes Jurati and Dr. Altan Soong are at the forefront of this research, and Soji and Picard are androids. While they no longer have Data’s positronic neurons to work from (the finale delivered a sad and fitting goodbye to the iconic character), Dr. Soong has created plenty more androids to work with. Where will artificial intelligence go from here?

The second season could pick up this path, telling a new story about synthetic life, especially considering the fact that the intergalactic artificial intelligence — the one that the Romulan secret organization the Zhat Vash were working against and Soji was trying to summon in the season finale — now knows about these androids. What is this intelligence? We know it’s far older than Control, the synthetic life that developed over the course of Star Trek: Discovery’s second season, but there are certainly similarities between the way Control looked and the glimpse we received of this artificial life.

There’s also the issue of whether there is a Borg connection to this intelligence. The origins of the Borg are murky at best (we learn a little about them in the Star Trek: Voyager episode “Dragon’s Teeth” — basically that they’ve been around for about a thousand years, and that the Borg’s own records of that time period are fragmentary), and it’s quite possible the Romulan myths could refer to some sort of Borg-adjacent artificial life. The inclusion of Seven of Nine on the crew also lends credence that the second season might have a Borg-focused storyline.

Image via CBS All Access

If La Sirena doesn’t pursue this artificial intelligence path, the second season could still have a Borg-centric storyline. One of the requests Hugh (first seen in The Next Generation episode “I, Borg”) gently made of Picard was to advocate for the ex-Borg. There’s no better way to honor his untimely death than to take up the cause he dedicated his life to. Seven and Jean-Luc are both ex-Borg themselves, and perhaps they will be able to find a place for this reviled group of people.

One thing about Picard’s second season is clear: It will feature the return of fan-favorite cast members from The Next Generation. Patrick Stewart has already publicly asked Whoopi Goldberg to return as his confidante and trusted adviser, Guinan. Brent Spiner may reappear as Soong, and hopefully we’ll see a return of the Rikers, as well as find out what Geordi La Forge, Dr. Beverly Crusher, and Worf have been up to all these years.

Television

Close