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Lynos
Thu, Apr 2, 2020, 9:21am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

@ Andy's Friend

In episode 1 Jurati mentions that Data's neural pathways were downloaded into B4. She later mentions Maddox's theory that other sophisticated synths can be constructed from a single neuron originating from Data. (we see that come into fruition later on, and we know Soji/Dahj are Data's "daughters").

In episode 10, Data mentions that his memory engrams were downloaded by Maddox, and also says "my memory engrams were constructed from a single neuron salvaged by Bruce Maddox, and then my consciousness was reconstructed by my brother, Dr Alton Soong".

So while the show is murky on the details, it treats Data's cocnsiousness as something that can be downloaded and manipulated to certain ends and means. I do not disagree with you regarding TNG. When watching TNG I didn't think of Data as something else but Data, but STP is trying to rewrite the rules while without really fully explaining what the new rules are.

I mean, of you can create other androids from Data's single neuron, why can't you recreate Data? Or at least a very close simile of Data? The fact that nobody in the episode, including Data, doesn't even entertain this idea is patently odd.
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Lynos
Thu, Apr 2, 2020, 3:01am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

@ bencanuck

"Data is essentially hooked up to a machine that is sustaining his life, but he has no option to repair his actual body. There is no hope of his body winning the fight."

Data is NOT his body. He is an artificial intelligence which can be preserved and downloaded to any body, and is only "dead" when his core consciousness is erased or destroyed, similar to the "stacks" in Altered Carbon (only in that universe it's digitized human consciousness).

The writers are making the mistake of assuming that Data is his body. They show him in his old uniforms etc. Data would not have any attachment to any certain body. He would be fine being downloaded into a new body. Heck, it would even excite him. Showing him sitting all depressed in his "quantum simulation" is just... wrong. Data is supposed to be curious, not depressed. Now that the show has established digitizing consciousness and downloading it into synthetic bodies is possible in Trek, there is really no reason for Data to die other than him WANTING do die - and I could see that being a story point - but the script did not set his motivations for this radical act in any sort of convincing way. As it stands, it makes no sense for Data - a consciousness that was always looking to learn, was always looking for new experiences - to be euthanized in such a way. And it simply feels like the reasons for this story beat have more to do with external factors and not with any organic character development. So as much as the scenes are well put together and finely acted, they ring hollow and manipulative to me.
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Lynos
Wed, Apr 1, 2020, 3:23pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

@ Chrome

I said it before, but I wish they did something interesting with "Measure of a Man". That would've been a worthwhile Star Trek show. What was the point of having Maddox in this series? He appears at the beginning of an episode, has a few lines, and is killed at the end by Jurati. His character is so unimportant to the story that his murderer doesn't even get punished. Heck, she hardly even get scolded.
And Maddox doesn't even have scenes with any synths or with Data. What a waste of opportunity. So did absolutely nothing with Measure of a Man.

@ Dom

Using TNG lore or name-checking Star Trek Trivia (Like that Borg weapon that originated in a Voyager episode, was used for that one plot contrivance, and then was never heard from again) is just that: name-checking. It doesn't mean the writers understand Star Trek thematically. It's fan service with a very low nutritional value.

There is one good thing that came out of this show, though. All this name-checking sent me to re-watch some of these old episodes. For example, I watched Prime Factors from Voyager following STP's The Impossible Box, and wow, what a humdinger of an episode!
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Lynos
Wed, Apr 1, 2020, 9:53am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

@ Gerontius

"Why give reanimated Picard only ten years? They didn't - lifespan is longer in the 24th century. "

I guess so. But I still find it silly that you transfer a human being's... consciousness? (echoes of Altered Carbon here, even though in STP it's never really explained or is there any effort being made to establish it as part of the universe)... and then just slap an extra tenner on it just for kicks.

I mean, in Altered Carbon you are essentially immortal unless your "sleeve" is destroyed alonh with your "stack" (your consciousness). As much as I find Altered Carbon problematic, at least it sets up a consistent universe with consistent rules which are explored in a consistent way.
That's what's so maddening about STP. They toy around with these interesting ideas but are not doing anything worthwhile with them. They just slap them on and expect us to accept it. So now you can download consciousness in Star Trek into artificial bodies? This is huge! It's a friggin's Pandora's Box. It's like in Rise of Skywalker you can now resurrect people from the dead using the Force. Big Ideas demand serious consideration, not this kind of slipshod treatment.

Now you might argue this will be explored in season 2, and that may be the case, but having it be the end game of season 1 without any proper set-up and worse, no character development on the part of Picard with relation to it... it's written as a plot twist when it should've been the moral core of the story.

So much potential in this show, so many interesting ideas that were raised, and they did nothing with it.
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Lynos
Wed, Apr 1, 2020, 8:11am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

And also, I much prefer Data's death in Nemesis. He went out in an honorable way doing his duty as a starfleet officer, instead of having his USB's pulled out of the computer. If only this depressing scene meant something in the context of the show, if only the show did a proper set-up and then paid it off. If only pigs could fly (maybe in season 2).
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Lynos
Wed, Apr 1, 2020, 8:05am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

I also take umbrage against the series' attempt to retcon what happened in Nemesis as saddling Picard with guilt for 20 years,. Watch Data's death again:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0GOumoL4MIQ

Data beamed himself to Shinzon's ship and made an act of self-sacrifice to save his captain. Sure, I would get why Picard would be sad about it, but guilty? Why? He's an experienced starship captain. He knew the risks. He has respect for Data and i'm sure Data's sacrifice touched him deeply, but he's a professional military man. He lost men and women under his command. He lost Tasha Yar. Why isn't he guilt-ridden about her 20 years later?

So as much as the scenes between Data and Picard that close out STP are well-written and well-preformed, they all revolve around a faulty premise that makes little sense character-wise. And again, at least if the writers made something interesting with the connection to Nemesis (after all, Shinzon's was Picard's clone, and Picard is now a clone of himself...) But it's just done on the most superficial and manipulative level to make you feel something.
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Lynos
Wed, Apr 1, 2020, 6:35am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

I was of course eager to finally read Jammer's take on this. I agree with some of it but not all. The series starts with a good scene between Data and Picard and ends with a good scene between Data and Picard. Those scenes are about 10 minutes all put together.
Why did we have to go through the other 9 hours and 50 minutes is beyond me. This could've been an amazing movie if done right. But setting your sights on this Data/Picard thing and then proceeding to bombard us with inanities for most of the runtime of the show does not make for good TV or storytelling. In other words, I'm not giving the show the slack that Jammer seems to give it.

I also think there was missed opportunity with Picard's resurrection. Imagine if there was a moral dilemma there. If Picard would be facing this option and deliberating it. The fact it was done against his will is completely brushed over. And as long as you're putting him in a synthetic body, why give him only 10 years... so silly.

I agree with what Peter G. and Startrekwatcher said. It was a missed opportunity for some fascinating drama. Also, this show retroactively turns Nemesis from a relatively obscure Star Trek film to essential companion piece. I disliked Nemesis when I first saw it but my opinion changed with subsequent viewing and I now consider it underrated. If only this show was executed better it would've been a fascinating continuation. Recall that Nemesis also dealt with the Romulans...
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Lynos
Tue, Mar 31, 2020, 10:31am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

I don't wanna put everybody down (at least not those who dislike this show), and I brought this topic before, but really, the mainstream media is loving this show. If you just go by mainstream media outlets, the new Trek shows are... fine. They're fine. And sometimes they're great, not fine. I mean, we can bitch and moan on Jammer's website an in YT comments, but at end of the day, what counts is the ratings and the mass media response to these shows. STP is right now at 87% (!) on Rotten Tomatoes (audience score of 61%, which is interesting). But Discovery was slammed by so many Trek fans and more casual viewers and it is heading into its third season and at this point can be counted as success for CBS. CBS would not pour so much money and renew the show if they didn't think there is an audience for it.

Quite depressing.
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Lynos
Tue, Mar 31, 2020, 9:35am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

I guess you're right.
I do want to watch The Expanse at some point, though. The positive feedback I've been hearing about it is reaching critical mass.

I would probably not make it very far into Discovery or Picard if it didn't have the name Star Trek attached to them.
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Lynos
Tue, Mar 31, 2020, 9:19am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

@ Dom

I admit I have not watched a lot of modern Sci Fi shows. I quit on BSG after season 2 because it became too convoluted for my tastes and I lost interest. I never made it past the first few episodes of Babillon 5, it looked like a cheap rip-off of Star Trek (people tell me I missed out). I have no watched any of the shows you mentioned except for Altered Carbon, which I ditched half-way through season 1 because I grew tired the constant grimness and violence and lack of appealing characters (I read the novel it's based on, though, which is much better).

I do like The Orville quite a bit, but as you mentioned, it still haven't found it's tone, even though season 2 showed improvement. I would of course take The Orville over any of Kurtzman's horrible Trek shows.

For me the best Sci Fi series of recent years is The Mandalorian. It's everything that STP isn't. It's scaled back, simple, imaginative, and its faceless protagonist elicits more sympathy than the entire crew of the La Sirena times two. If not for the very last episode of the season which falters a bit, it would be a perfect show.
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Lynos
Tue, Mar 31, 2020, 6:41am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

A few more words now that the series is over that I couldn't fit in anywhere else:

1) STP is proof to me that actors don't always understand their characters as well as we might think they do. Just because Stewart played Picard 20 years ago doesn't mean he has a handle on the character or on the way it should be portrayed and in which context it needs to operate. Not only actors, sometimes creators themselves, especially as they get older, lose sight of what made their creation special. Prime example for this would be George Lucas with Star Wars.

2) I feel really sorry for those guys who now need to add the claptrap of STP season 1 as official canon to the Trek Wiki pages, the same way I pitied those who needed to add Discovery's "contributions" to the lore. I've been trying to think if there is a comparable example of a beloved franchise that was repeatedly bombarded with canon inanity as Star Trek is in the last couple of years. I sincerely feel that these new Trek show diminish Star Trek as a franchise with regards to its themes and history. The people who handle these shows have a responsibility, but being the hacks they are they botching it over and over again. It's like watching a bunch of thugs beat down on a helpless animal. You want to avert your eyes, but you keep watching because you really hope that the animal can get back up and kick them in the face.
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Lynos
Sun, Mar 29, 2020, 11:28am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

@ Tim

Yup, the show is tonally way off if you compare it to other Trek shows (even Discovery wasn't that bad). I mean, this episode had a character ask another character if he fucked some androids. So it's definitely not a show for kids or anyone looking for clean entertainment. Not that all entertainment should be clean, of course, but Star Trek was a kind of a rare place where you can enjoy genre storytelling relatively free of excessive violence and profanity.

And the sad thing is there is not need for any of it. It's not an integral part of the story STP is trying to tell. It's simply there to be "adult" and drive the ratings.

I think your story about your mom's distaste of the show is the best example of why this decision by the show runners is flawed. Nobody watches this show and says "man, the violence and F bombs are so cool!"
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Lynos
Sun, Mar 29, 2020, 3:44am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

@ Nick

Thanks for taking on the points.

"The show established that this was an AI designed to prevent them from realizing what they really were."

Where? I'd like to go back and watch it in case I missed it.

"The warp signature thing was addressed in the episode."

Ditto.

"I mean, she probably should but you could say she was under the influence of Oh and not in the right state of mind. I assume this will be re-visited later in the series."

Nothing in the show suggested Jurati was under the influence of Oh when she committed the murder. Actually, the episode takes great pains to show this is a conscious decision by Jurati and that she is struggling with it as she's doing it. Yes, Oh showed her a vision, but that was a few days before and the decision to murder Maddox is solely on Jurati. I can't tell you how off-putting it is to see her cracking jokes with the crew and especially with Picard - a character who is supposed to have a rock solid moral center and still does NOTHING about Jurati.

"He asked to die. The show didn’t delve too deep into his reasons but those were his wishes and they respected them."

Yes, they certainly didn't delve into the reasons. Maybe if they did it would come off as less manipulative and nonsensical.

"The beacon got destroyed. Certainly, the knowledge to create one is still there (though that knowledge is probably also on the sensor logs of all those ships as well). I assume people are concerned but what you going to do at this point? The colony has no reason to create the beacon again so long as Starfleet continues to protect it. Though I would assume both Starfleet and the Romulans will be keeping a close eye on the colony going forward."

Yes, but it's still technically there, and the tentacle organic-destroying dudes presumably know where it came from. Just because you hung up doesn't mean that an uber-advanced alien race don't have your IP address. And the episode doesn't show any action by starfleet to secure the place. Actually, the entire starfleet armada simply vanishes once Oh retreats. You would think they would leave at least one vessel there, but nope. This place, which contained this highly dangerous device, is simply left unsecured, with the knowledge still in the possession of the synths. The writers must think we're idiots.

The funniest thing about this show is that the bad guys were right all along. And if Picard hasn't intervened, they would've simply destroyed the device and the synths and saved the galaxy. Good on them I say!

@ Tim

Fair enough regarding the no-stun on the Romulan weapons. When I think about it, most of the weapons fired on the show were indeed Romulan. The level of carnage still seems excessive for a Star Trek show, but I guess they found a good excuse for it.
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Lynos
Sat, Mar 28, 2020, 2:44pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

@ Nick

"You might be right, but I wonder if some are judging this against some idealized version Star Trek in their minds instead of what it actually was."

Fair enough.

Let's judge the show as an actual scripted science fiction show. I am not going to mention old Trek whatsoever in below.

So let's see:

- Why were Soji and Dahj introduced as Data's daughter if this fact had almost zero effect on the story starting from episode 2 forward. It's a failure to implement what is called "setup" and "payoff". A basic screenwriting technique. The series as a whole has a huge problems with this aspect.

- Why was the Borg cube introduced as a major part of the story if it served as nothing more than the evil Romulans secret base? Please recall that the arrival of the Borg cube at the synth planet was totally superfluous to the story except for bringing Seven and Elnor with it.
- Why was Soji on the Borg cube?
- Why was Dahj on Earth?
- Who is Dahj and Soji's "mother" seen briefly in the earlier episodes.
- Why is there no stun setting to anyone's weapons on this show? Why is there no use of detecting warp signatures (to call Picard's bluff in this episode)? Why is the technology of the established universe the story takes place in ignored?
- Why is Jurati not answering for her crime?
- How did the synths came to proliferate Federation space? What makes them tick? How do they differ from each other?
- Why did Data have to die when you can just download his consciousness to another android or even a to a mobile computer such as a starship?
- Why is Picard flying the La Sirena if it was established there are multiple holograms that are able to do it?
- Why is nobody concerned there is a working beacon in the middle of a presumably at least semi-hostile android colony capable of summoning aliens that will destroy all organic life? Why is Soji invited aboard when five minutes before she was about to murder all the organic races in the galaxy and never really showed any kind of regret or self-doubt?

I could go on. I have listed what I find as serious script problems and tried to avoid nitpicks and comparisons to old Trek.
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Lynos
Sat, Mar 28, 2020, 11:36am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

@Eamon

One of the biggest failures of this episode and of STP in general is the complete disconnect between Soji and Data. The had not a single shared scene, not a line of dialogue passed between them. When they all arrive to synth planet, it was a given that Soji will meet her father.

Nope.

Picard and Data's scenes in the episode are good, but only as stand-alone scenes. In the larger picture they make no sense. Everybody is on a planet where there are synthetic bodies either ready to go or can be manufactured. Why did Data have to die? Why couldn't his positronic matrix be downloaded into another artificial body, thus giving him a new lease on life? They friggin's did it for Picard. I'll tell you why, because the writers wanted a heartfelt scene where Data talks about how meaningful it is to be mortal and then have a scene where Picard is basically euthanizing his friend, because that's how they can make us feel something. And yes, I almost teared up on that scene because it's well-done, but at the same time it's completely and utterly unnecessary.
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Lynos
Sat, Mar 28, 2020, 3:47am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

Regarding the often heard sentiment that people who dislike the show should stop bitching about it and stop watching it and move on:

I think (and hope) we can all agree that most people coming here are not casual Trek fans. Casual Trek fans will usually not bother reading hundreds of comments, not to mention writing essay length comments of their own.

I want to believe that what we do here, both those of us who praise or detract, is discussing the current state of the franchise and its current strengths and weaknesses. That discussion can never be one-sided. It must allow different viewpoints, as long as they are well thought out and not just pure troll hyperbole. The same criticism leveled at people who dislike the show ("why do you bother commenting here?") can be leveled at the people who read those comments ("why do you bother reading the comments?")

We don't want to live in a bubble. I am always interested in reading opinions other than my own. I might disagree with most of them, but some of them on occasion give me insights into things I didn't notice or overlooked or simply mis-remembered. Some of the people who comment more more positively on Trek are for sure people with vast knowledge of the franchise, more that I can ever hope to have, and I always respect their opinions even if I don't always agree.

I watch Star Trek because I care about the franchise and I want it to be good, to tell meaningful stories, to provoke the mind and the heart, to give us insights into ourselves and human nature and into the place of mankind in the cosmos. You know, all the things it always used to do in its best iterations. In that regard I watch it with a more critical eye, yes. Personally, throughout this season I always tried to judge STP on its own merits, and most of my criticism being just on the level of its own storytelling and not as a comparison to previous Trek, although that could not always be avoided, since this IS a continuation of previous Trek. It's not a show in a vacuum.

I would lie if I'd say I did not toy with the idea of not watching these shows anymore. I was actually late in starting to watch Picard, but then people who know me and know I'm a Trek fan started asking me what I thought about the show, and increasingly you feel like you are being left out of the conversation.

The bottom line is that we watch these shows because they are official Star Trek. And we care about Star Trek. We criticize these shows when we feel the need, because somewhere in the primitive back of our minds we feel that if we make our voices heard, then perhaps it would affect some change and the writing will get better and we get something that is worthy of the name it represents.

Because if the people who watch the new Star Trek are only people who like the new star Trek, then it's just a bubble of people congratulating each other on job well done. Criticism in media, unless it's just mean-spirited, is often geared towards bettering said media by highlighting what doesn't work.

And yes, I think it IS possible to find the man or the woman who will help Trek find its voice again. Right now it seems like the person most influencing the shape of current Trek is Alex Kurtzman, and so I think as long as he's steering this boat nothing much will change, but hey... hope springs eternal.
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Lynos
Fri, Mar 27, 2020, 5:43pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

The Enterprise bridge at the end of Discovery S2 looked stunning. It was genuinely a beautiful thing to behold. I wanted a series on that space ship with this crew. Heck, just remake TOS with Pike and Spock.

But Discovery and Picard are shows that suffer from attention-deficit, both in the filming - the camera can't stop moving. The music can't stop playing. It doesn't matter who directs - and in the writing. Threads are left dangling, details are left obscure , character development is shallow- it's all about creating momentum so that you won't have to stop and ask too many questions.

So for me it's just a shame that all that money, all that talent in VFX and production design, is ultimately wasted. Just imagine the writers were as talented as those production designers and those VFX people.

But if a guy like Micheal Chabon can't make it work., then I dunno anymore. I dunno who's the guy who can make Trek great again.
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Lynos
Fri, Mar 27, 2020, 4:52pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

@ Booming

"Just saw the Discovery teaser... it looks exactly like the other seasons of NuTrek."

I think as long as the creative teams stay roughly unchanged, NuTrek is going to stay mediocre. There is an essential problem here that the people shepherding the franchise into the future are simply not a good fit for this material. They want action, melodrama, and science fantasy a-la Star Wars, and are less interested in heady sci fi. It's movie Trek on the small screen.

I am actually intrigued by the next season of Discovery simply because it's the first time NuTrek is heading into a place where it will mostly divorced from relying on old characters and storylines. But on the other hand, I'm not expecting much. There are so many ways they can screw it up.

This new iteration of Trek is really heartbreaking to a degree because while I'm not a fan of the widescreen and the erratic camera, the shows do look good production-wise. They look great, actually. It's the writing that sinks it each and every time.

You need someone with a strong vision at the helm who understands the franchise and can steer it to the right place.
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Lynos
Fri, Mar 27, 2020, 9:25am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

When seeing the great banter between Picard and Data at the end, and Data's emotional send-off by Picard into death (by unplugging a couple of USB's, it seems...?) it made me feel like this thread should not have dropped in the final episode after first appearing in episode 1. It should've been carefully woven throughout, building on Measure of a Man. Then we could have had a great series about the meaning and rights and importance of artificial life, and what it means to Picard.

Instead we got some half-baked plot about some secret Romulan cult who wants to destroy synthetic life forms because of some prophecy. This inane plot ran for the entire show, culminating in the most anti-climactic way possible, with a ridiculous non-stand off between 1 million Starfleet ships and 1 million Zhat Vash ships. All it took to convince Soji to not destroy The Entire Organics Population of the Galaxy was a few words from Picard. Hey, I wouldn't trust this babe with anything now, sorry. She took her side. But here she is back on the La Sirena, with all the gang, everything's forgotten, together with Jurati who apparently now is back to being the comic relief of the show after murdering a person in cold blood earlier in the season. But hey, at least she got to say to Picard "Make it so", right? (how would she know he used to say that. Did she watch TNG in her spare time?)

The Romulan threat is dispatched with so haphazardly it's almost funny. Nareesa is thrown into a pit by the killer MVP of the season, Seven or Nine. Narek betrays his sister but then has no further scenes with Soji (wasn't their relationship a big part of the story? I guess we can forget about closure), and actually, he is never seen again after the infiltration of the camp.

And speaking about the camp, apparently all it took to dispatch of Evil Sutra was Soong's car remote.

The melodrama and crying buckets of tears over Picard's "death" falls flat, just as the hackneyed melodrama at Discovery's season 2 finale fell flat. Once again, the characters did not earn this, and even if they did, the plot reveals seconds later that there was a plan to save Picard, so this is nothing but naked emotional manipulation.

I liked:

- Riker in uniform on a starship bridge, even though his dialogue was awful. We get it. Picard is his best friend in the world. What about some subtlety, writers?

- Data and Picard. Finally somebody's talking about something meaningful. But put a gun to my head and I can't tell you where this meeting took place, and how. Some quantum matrix chamber? Whatever. So in episode 1 it WAS dream and now it wasn't?

- The Romulans fleet destroying the orchids (the orchids are silly, but it was a cool visual).

At the end of the day, it's so-so conclusion to a so-so series, the epitome of mediocrity. We deserve, and should demand, better, more thoughtful and cohesive storytelling from one of the most beloved and groundbreaking science fiction franchises in the world.
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Lynos
Wed, Mar 25, 2020, 1:10pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1

@ James White

"BTW - did you ever see Patrick Stewart in the 1975 mini-series of North & South? That was interesting to say the least."

At first I though you meant the Civil War mini-series with Patrick Swayze, lol. I was like, "I don't remember Patrick Stewart ever being there!"

As long we're mentioning his early performances, he was a Roman general in the brilliant "I Claudius" and he also has a part in 1981's "Excalibur".

Anybody saw him in "Green Room"? I hear he's pretty good there.
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Lynos
Tue, Mar 24, 2020, 12:27pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1

@ Quincy

I really like your explanation regarding Soji. She's a biological construct that was created in a lab, she apparently has superhuman strength and intellect, so that gels with your explanation.
However, in the show all this appear as circumstantial evidence. It's there, but it's not explained or contextualized. Either it's because the writers are keeping us in the dark on purpose for whatever reason, or it's simply just there and we have to accept it at face value, maybe until some Big Reveal in the season finale.

Apart from what Soji and Dahj are, it's also not clea why they couldn't be a run-of-the-mill sleeper agents send by Maddox, but had to be get "activated", along with an entire fabricated life in an operation worthy of the CIA.
Remember Dahj "mom" back on Earth? And Soji's? She was obviously lying to them. Who is this person? Did Maddox know her? Her character was simply vanish somewhere mid-season.

One more thing that bothers me about Soji: after her activation, she essentially becomes an amnesiac character, she has glimpses of her past but they are very few. Essentially she doesn't who she is, and that prompts everyone to head to her home world. However, in this episode she begins remembering names of places and people and other details. She simply says them as they pop into her head. Rule # 1 about amnesiac characters: make them EARN back their memory. The fact Soji starts to randomly remember stuff means that any second now she might know everything there is to know about everything. Instead of the episode being about Soji's journey to find herself (with the help of Picard), it's about The Admonition and Evil Sutra's diabolical plan.
Look at a movie like Memento, the guy is putting tattoos all over his body to remember stuff. Jason Bourne needs to kill a lot of bad guys and go through hell to find some tiny bits of information about his past. There's more. But Soji simply remembers stuff as she walks around synth town.
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Lynos
Tue, Mar 24, 2020, 7:44am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1

Hey Tim

If only STP took it's cue from Measure of a Man and ran with it in a consistent way, that would be an amazing show!

I mean, we don't even know exactly WHAT Soji is. We've just witnessed there are different kinds of synths. You have Soji and Daj which are indistinguishable from humans and are for all intents and purposes manufactured organics. Doesn't that make then clones of some sort, and not androids?

Then you have the bronze/golden synths such as Sutra, hanging out on Synth planet.

Then you have the slave synths on Mars, who revolted.

How do these all come together? Who are the synths? What is their role in this story? What was Maddox attempting to do? I mean, even if in season 2 we get answers to some of these questions, it doesn't mean the writing is season 1 isn't sloppy as hell.

Go ahead, make it about Picard's mission to fight for the rights of artificial life, that' actually a great premise for a Picard series. But make me CARE. When the world-building is so clumsy, I don't even know who I'm supposed to root for.

What or who is Soji? Why are being strung for an entire season without knowing who she is? What is the point of hiding all this information from us?

Measure of a Man did in 40 minutes what this show has now failed to do in 9 hours.
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Lynos
Tue, Mar 24, 2020, 5:14am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1

@ Tim C

"Picard now has to persuade people that he's right. He has to listen, and empathise, and *ask* for help, and rely on the charity of others. He can trade on his reputation and earned goodwill a little, depending on the audience, but otherwise he is playing an entirely new game".

Sure, I'd love to see this show you're describing, If it was executed successfully. If it was written consistently, with strong characters, convincing world-building and story turns that make sense. And if Picard's character wasn't so passive.

We still have one more episode to go, but it feels to me like you could remove Picard's character from this story and nothing much would change. His main involvement was in getting the quest to find and save Soji off the ground. The writers involve him personally by partially-retconning his relationship to Data, coupled with his need to be a man of action again.

How ironic, then, that after the promising pilot, he is nothing but a man of action. Ever since he stepped on the La Sirena, he's been taking advice from everybody and exhibiting very little agency of his own. The only time everybody did as he said was when he diverted the ship to the Romulan colony which proved to be a pointless episode, since Elnor is a non-character.

In Wrath of Khan, Kirk struggles with similar issues. He feels old and irrelevant. But the story cleverly puts him into a situation when he has to ACT, and act decisively, in order to save his friends. The film is a comment about a man being both haunted by his past and his future. And it works.

When I first heard they were making a show about Picard I hoped they were going for the same thing. A story about a character feeling obsolete , what it means to them, and the type of action they take as a response. But what we got is this half-baked story about Data's "daughter" and android-hating Romulans. It has almost zero connection to Picard as a character. I want to see Jean-Luc Picard wrestling with moral dilemmas, I want to see him Do the Right Thing in a pro-active way, I don't want to see him being carried around the galaxy by a bunch of underwritten characters that treat him like a piece of furniture.

Why is this show even called Star Trek Picard? What makes it "Picardish?" Why not call it Star Trek: Synths?

Maybe we will find out in the last chapter. Maybe we won't.

Let's also remember this show has four (!) showrunners and 27 executive producers. So it is not surprising that just like Discovery, it is a mess. Too many cooks in the kitchen. No single unifying vision.
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Lynos
Mon, Mar 23, 2020, 10:13am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1

@ Gerontius

I feel like the point of what I wrote was kind of lost and we are focusing on the wrong thing... but in any case, I was not aware "doddering" was an offensive word, and I certainly have no attitude towards the elderly, implied or not. If anyone implies anything it is you, is it not? I use words in such a way that they fit my arguments, I do not use them to offend anyone. The list of words that one "can't use" is growing so rapidly with each passing day that it's hard to keep up.

If you were offended personally by my use of this word than I genuinely apologize, but nothing was done on purpose here.

Peace.
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Lynos
Mon, Mar 23, 2020, 4:43am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1

@ Phaser

Please see below:

"Why are Picard and Data best friends? Picard was a fairly cold captain. Geordie and Data were best friends."

Because the writers only watched the TNG movies, specifically Nemesis. Movie TNG Picard is a few beats removed from TV TNG Picard.

"Why did the mars attack make the federation not help romulan empire?"

Who knows.

"Why is everybody angry at Picard?"

Because he's portrayed as a doddering old man fighting windmills. Yes, this version of Picard reminds me most of all of Don Quixote, only with much less pathos or subtext.

"Why does Picard act close to Elnor when they only spent a day together in his life before ditching him?"

Because the writing is sloppy.

"Why is 7 of 9 a jaded murderer who kicks ass?"

Because retconning old characters for the benefit of the modern viewer is a staple of Nu Trek. Same way some of the TV show characters were subtly retconned for the benefit of movie audiences back in the mid-90's.

"Why is everybody fine that Agnes just murdered a guy?"

The script seems to rationalize it as an act that was done under the influence of something outside of Jurati's control, but this entire plot arc was set up in such a sloppy way that it doesn't gel at all.

"Why 251 warbirds? 1 or 2 is much more dramatic."

That's what came out in the randomizer used in the writers' room.

"Is there going to be another CGI battle with 1000 space explosion?"

Signs point to yes.

"Why does Raffi call Picard mr id and ego when he was exactly the opposite of that?"

I wouldn't really trust anything Raffi says.

"What was the purpose of a lot of the episodes? Like visiting Riker and Troi."

Well, it was nice seeing them I guess, but it actually served no purpose. Now that we saw episode 9, you could've removed episode 8 and it would make no difference. The few character beats and conversations there could've been moved to La Sirena.
It was basically done for the jolt of warm and fuzzy nostalgia.
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