Star Trek: Picard Season 1 Episode 10- Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2 Recap and Season 1 Analysis

Star Trek Picard S1E10 Jean Luc Picard

Et in Arcadia, Part 2, is the finale episode for season 1 of Star Trek: Picard and wow, does it go for the big, unprecedented finish. This is really about three episodes worth of plot crammed into 1 hour. The giant killer orchids make their return, along with Will Riker (Jonathan Frakes) and another surprise guest. The story moves between space, Synthville, the Artifact and La Sirena as the battle to stop the synths from destroying organic life unfolds. Several characters make unexpected alliances and sacrifices.

Let’s go save the galaxy.

Recap

The Artifact is now sitting in water. Was it low tide in episode 9?

Narek sneaks in unnoticed. Elnor and Seven are taking a break and talking philosophy. He wonders if the xBs are better off dead since they’re hated, unwanted and have no home. Seven asks if he thinks she’s also better off dead, since she’s also an xB with no home and no place she belongs. Maybe she should end it all? Elnor doesn’t think she should die, because he’d miss her.

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Star Trek: Picard Season 1 Episode 9- Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1 Recap

Star Trek: Picard S1E9 Soji, Elnor, Picard, Agnes
Star Trek Picard S1E9 La Sirena Gets Eaten by an Orchid
Attack of the Giant Killer Space Orchid

In episode 9, the La Sirena arrives at the synth homeworld of Coppelius, where it’s met by some old friends and a surprising new enemy. Down on the planet, Soji finds her synth family and Picard discovers another member of the Soong family, Dr Altan Inigo Soong (Brent Spiner), from the lineage of mad scientists responsible for creating Data and other synths with positronic matrices. When news of the Admonition and the imminent arrival of the Zhat Vash fleet is revealed to the synths, they don’t have the reaction Picard was hoping for.

Recap

The episode picks up where episode 8 left off, with La Sirena in the Borg transwarp conduit, speeding toward Soji’s homeworld. It’s a bumpy ride, which Agnes spends in her quarters, under a desk. She really hates to travel. Everyone else is on the bridge, in various stages of enjoying the ride.

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Star Trek: Picard Season 1 Episode 8- Broken Pieces Recap

Star Trek Picard S1E8 Rios, Raffi & Picard

In episode 8, we learn more about the mission of the Zhat Vash, Agnes wakes up from her coma and Picard and Soji return to La Sirena. Rios discovers that he has a connection to Soji, while Seven arrives on the Artifact to help Elnor and the xBs.

In this episode, we also discover that Rios is heavily influenced by the Danish philosopher Søren Kirkegaard. I read Nietzche to recap Netflix’s Dark. I guess I’ll be exploring Kierkegaard for Picard. If you haven’t seen Dark, go watch it while you’re self-quarantined for the coronavirus and wondering how your life came to this!

Recap

The episode begins with images of the nebula that also appeared in Picard’s dream from the pilot. In this dream, Picard drank tea and played poker with Data while Bing Crosby sang Blue Skies. Data held 5 queens of hearts in his hand. Then Mars exploded. Every one of these things has become important in some way, which I’ll go over later. Now we discover the nebula is the home of the Admonition, the warning about synthetic life which gives the Zhat Vash its mission.

Commodore Oh showed a version of the Admonitiion to Agnes back on Earth in order to recruit her as a spy. In Broken Pieces, Oh brings her Zhat Vash recruits directly to the source so they can experience the undiluted message.

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Star Trek: Picard Season 1 Episode 7: Nepenthe Recap

Star Trek Picard S1E7 Picard & Soji on Nepenthe

In episode 7, Jean Luc and Soji arrive on the planet Nepenthe seeking refuge with old Next Generation friends Will Riker and Deanna Troi, who now live there with their teen daughter. Elnor, Hugh and the xBs face Narissa’s wrath on the Artifact, while La Sirena is stuck in the cube’s tractor beam. Once the ship gets free, Narek follows them in a small ship. On La Sirena, Agnes tries to cope with the magnitude of her betrayals, with the help of Raffi, Chris and the EMH.

Nepenthe has two meanings: It is referred to in Homer’s Odyssey as a potion which induces forgetfulness of pain and sorrow, such as opium or a medicinal herb like borage. The second meaning is more interesting and just as pertinent to our story.

Nepenthes is a genus of carnivorous plants, the tropical pitcher plants, which act as a literal honey trap, using bright colors, an attractive smell and sugary nectar to lure prey to the edge of their tube shaped trap. The slippery digestive fluids on the lips and inside of the plant then stop the prey from escaping, acting like quicksand so that the harder the prey fights to escape, the further entrapped it becomes.

Both senses of Nepenthe are being used on Star Trek: Picard this season.

Nepenthe(s) as a honey trap is what Narek did to Soji all season and, on a smaller scale, Seven did to Bejayzl in episode 5. In the past, Bejayzl used herself as a honey trap on Seven, so Seven was only returning the favor. Will someone return the favor for Narek?

Nepenthe as a balm for your pain is Counselor Troi and Auntie Raffi’s department, depending on whether you want to go the mellow or intense route. Do you want to try pizza, wine and conversation with old friends or cake, snakeweed and casual sex with people you’ve recently met? Or maybe you’re the type who goes for adrenaline rush-inducing sword fights on an empty stomach with your archenemy. On a Borg cube.

No judgement here. Everybody’s just trying to survive. Not that I condone murder as stress relief, of course.

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Star Trek: Picard Season 1 Episode 6-The Impossible Box Recap

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In episode 6 of Star Trek: Picard the separate storylines finally meet, as the La Sirena reaches the Artifact, Soji figures out her true nature with a little help from her favorite Romulan spy and Jean Luc is reunited with Hugh and a few dozen of his former Borg compatriots. As you might expect, none of this goes smoothly. In fact, the themes of the week are emotional breakdown in the face of trauma, trust vs coercion vs betrayal, family vs fellow hostages, recovery vs repression vs mental illness and the general sense that we don’t control as much of our lives as we wish we did, even our own feelings and actions.

Recap

We begin with a dream instead of a flashback, or maybe a flashback disguised as a dream. The dream belongs to Soji, so it’s her creative brain working to make sense of her world, much as ours do and eventually Data’s did.

In Soji’s dream, there may also be elements of inserted memory that belong to someone else. Narek is counting on it. The Alex Kurtzman version of Star Trek is taking more than a few cues from Blade Runner 2049.

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Star Trek: Picard Season 1 Episode 5- Stardust City Rag Recap

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With episode 5, season 1 of Star Trek: Picard reaches its halfway point and finishes its set up. I love the show so far. The characters and storylines are complex and modern. The cast is excellent and balanced between men and women, humans and aliens, and is diverse in other ways as well. 😉 The show is following the Star Trek model by exploring topical and moral issues, using space and aliens as a metaphor. But it’s putting its own twist on that model, as each series needs to do, by focusing on the characters’ journeys and the effect that certain huge events have had on them.

ST:P is particularly focusing on issues involved with differences such as ageing, illness, addiction, mental illness, failure, loss and disability, which are issues that Star Trek has tended to avoid, since it takes place in a more successful society than ours. These are all issues which are especially relevant in our current world, so they are important for fiction to explore. Jean Luc Picard is a perfect choice as the lead character, since he has faced loss before and has always been an introspective man.

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Star Trek: Picard Season 1 Episode 3: The End is the Beginning Recap

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And we’re off! The action picks up in episode 3 of Star Trek: Picard, with Jean Luc acquiring a ship and skeleton crew, then setting off into space. Before that happens, the Romulan assassins find him and Agnes, he and Raffi negotiate a delicate peace, and we’re introduced to the eccentric captain of the new ship, Cristobal Rios, and his look-alike EMH.

Over on the Borg cube, Narek’s sister, Rizzo, arrives in person, Narek and Soji continue to grow closer, and Soji is allowed to interview an important ex drone.

Recap

Every episode so far, including this one, has begun with a PTSD vision of the destruction of Mars in 2385, an event which, 14 years later, collectively haunts the Federation the way 9/11/01 haunts the US and WW2 haunts the entire world. Once the worst of the nightmare recedes, the scene changes to Starfleet Headquarters, not long after the attack on Mars. Picard’s personal nightmare isn’t over yet.

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