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‘Picard’ Explained: Jean-Luc Picard Rejoins the Human Family in ‘Et in Arcadia Ego Part 2’

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Star Trek Picard Final Ep Human Family Screenshot

This article is a part of our ongoing Picard Explained sequence, that includes the insights of our resident Starfleet officer Brad Gullickson.

Death provides objective to life. An finish permits perspective for all of the bumps alongside the way in which. It’s a gorgeous, if considerably odd word to conclude the primary arc of Star Trek: Picard. For a season constructed round humanity’s troublesome fearful response to the unknown, particularly as to the way it pertains to artificial life and their seemingly immortal existence, wrapping up Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart)’s newest journey with a celebration of demise as an affirmation of life, rings awkwardly.

Midway by the second a part of the season finale, entitled “Et in Arcadia Ego,” Picard has his second to show organic value to Soji (Isa Briones), the artificial daughter of Data (Brent Spiner) prophesized by the Romulans to deliver final destruction to “ pure” life. During final week’s episode, she rejected Picard’s provide of help, selecting as a substitute to contact an enormous synthetic intelligence alliance ready on the opposite aspect of a dimensional barrier, who promise to avoid wasting Soji’s artificial individuals by eradicating all organic beings. Given his observe file over the previous fourteen years, together with his unceremonious departure from Starfleet, their xenophobic retreat from the ultimate frontier, and their banning of all artificial lifeforms, Soji has no purpose to belief Picard or the individuals he claims to signify.

Soji flicks the swap on her beacon, and a menacing gap in area opens. Why is it menacing? Oh, just because the A.I. alliance appears to consist fully of metallic tendrils and talons affected by a nasty case of grabby-hands.

Picard is already on the point of demise, his degenerative neurological dysfunction lastly consuming away his mind. With mere minutes left of life, he begs Soji to rethink. He asks her to look to the Federation ships which have simply appeared in orbit, full with William T. Riker (Jonathan Frakes) on the helm, to face between the synthetics and the Romulan armada. Starfleet might have turned their phasers on Soji as nicely, however they didn’t. The Federation trusts Soji to do the fitting factor. Why? Because Picard trusts Soji to do the fitting factor.

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“I do know you,” he says. “I imagine in you. That’s why I saved your lives in order that you can save ours in return. That’s the entire level. That’s why we’re right here – to avoid wasting one another.”

Soji powers down the beacon, and the A.I. alliance and their tentacles return from wherever they got here, in all probability to hang around with Thanos and his similarily impressed creature designer. Picard collapses, and regardless of being beamed to the planet’s floor, dies within the lap of Raffi (Michelle Hurd) whereas the remainder of the La Sirena crew observes by tears. Like Captain Kirk and Data earlier than him, he ends his run on this realm by utilizing his final breath to avoid wasting one other life. A becoming conclusion for any Starfleet officer value a rattling, even regardless of his hiccup on the winery. His mood tantrum failings of fourteen years in the past are forgiven by Soji’s motion.

The finish. Goodnight, candy prince.

Hold-up. That’s not how that is gonna go. The second season is already ordered. With extra Star Trek: Picard to come back, we want Jean-Luc Picard.

Even in paradise, demise should arrive, however they’re gonna have to attend a bit longer for J.L. Well, perhaps. It’s sophisticated.

Picard awakens inside a “quantum simulator.” Before he handed, Soji, Dr. Juarti (Alison Pill), and Dr. Soong (additionally Brent Spiner) uploaded his consciousness into the identical program Data’s essence resided in after his destruction on the finish of Star Trek: Nemesis. Picard and Data have a second to say goodbye and inform each other, of their distinctive method, how a lot they imply to the opposite.

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Soong has ready an artificial physique for Picard to return into, minus the pesky Irumodic Syndrome that ended his life. Season Two awaits, however is that this the identical Picard who as soon as commanded the usS. Enterprise? Does it matter? The season finale doesn’t appear to wish to ask these existential questions simply but. Picard is instructed that he’s not immortal and that this new physique is anticipated to final so long as the earlier one if the neurological dysfunction had not come alongside. Meet the brand new Picard, identical because the outdated Picard.

Ah, however there may be one final mission. Before he left the quantum simulator, Data requested Picard to finish his existence inside the program. All his life, Data has dreamed of reaching humanity. That is inconceivable if he can eternally linger inside a pc. Pulling his plug is a present of membership into the human race.

Picard does so, and it permits for a severely candy send-off in addition to a celebration of humanity regardless of its fixed compulsion for atrocity. We suck, however we’re able to grand gestures. In Data’s want to hitch our species, we’re redeemed as nicely.

“It says an excellent deal concerning the thoughts of Commander Data,” says Picard, “that wanting on the human race with all its violence, corruption, and willful ignorance, he might nonetheless see kindness, immense curiosity, and greatness of spirit. He needed greater than anything to be part of that, to be part of the human household.”

Yeah, however, um… whereas I’ve at all times appreciated Data’s dream of accomplishing humanity and the way it highlights all of the minuscule manners during which we’re particular entities, doesn’t it additionally really feel akin to a rejection of the artificial species craving for his or her life throughout this particular season of Star Trek? The Romulans noticed their immortality as a direct risk in opposition to our mortality. As the good unknown, the synthetics are additionally significantly feared. Shouldn’t the conclusion be, not a high-five over demise and the way valuable we’re as a species, however a high-five over the primary contact with a species we wrestle to grasp from our restricted viewpoint?

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To make issues worse, Picard ascends into an artificial kind. His life is over. The Picard spouting “Engage!” for the ultimate shot shouldn’t be the Picard who began on this quest to rescue Soji. He now resides in a physique and a life far more much like his good friend Data. His evolution must be to expertise and perceive the attitude of an artificial lifeform. That’s the story, not the hope we must always have on account of an android selecting us over his variety.

Star Trek: Picard bypasses Picard’s unbelievable metamorphosis as merely, “It’s a brand new physique! Just like your outdated one! No large deal!” On to the following season, and we now not have to fret a couple of sick Picard. Humbug!

The sequence concludes with Picard sustaining the spirit of Starfleet inside him, even when the group snuffed itself out. In pursuing Data’s daughters, he rekindled his objective, and in championing humanity, he saved humanity. Victory. The Federation is course-correcting the actions they made whereas concern consumed them. They lastly obtained off their duffs and dusted off their starships, and so they reversed the ban on artificial lifeforms. Picard did his job and vindicated his sins for the final fourteen years.

So, Picard rejoins the human household, however what about his artificial household? The closing frontier resides with them. They are the good unknown. He shares as a lot in frequent with them now as they do with him. There is a chance right here. Season two should not overlook the digital soul strolling round within the Picard-thing. Exterior exploration at all times equals inside exploration.

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