IN REVIEW: STAR TREK: PICARD: SEASON ONE – Et in Arcadia EGO Part 1

Picard and the crew finally arrive at Soji's home world...

Synopsis: Following an unconventional and dangerous transit, Picard and the crew finally arrive at Soji’s homeworld, Coppelius. However, with Romulan warbirds on their tail, their arrival brings only greater danger as the crew discovers more than expected about the planet’s inhabitants.

Review: Warning the segment below contains mild spoilers. If you have not seen the episode yet. Then read on at your own peril. 

The Story

Picard, Soji and the crew arrive ar Soji’s homeworld, Coppelius, but are followed closely by Narek and Seven of Nine. But before the three ships are able to fight it out they are transported to the planet’s surface by massic flowers that look a little like orchids. Which prompts Jerati’s fun statement of, “We’ve been hit by a flower.” Having made landfall Rios and the crew access the ship’s damage only to find that it is mostly intact structurally, but just lacks power. At this point, Picard calls a crew meeting and tells them all about his Irumodic Syndrome and reveals that he only has a finite amount of time before he begins to show symptoms.

As they begin to explore the planet. Picard, Soji, Rios, Raffi, and Jurati find the settlement where Soji was raised. The synth that lives there greets Picard and his companions with open arms and treat them all really well. At least until one of the Synths called Sutra engages in a Vulcan mind-meld with Jurati to find out what Commadore Oh shared with her about the destruction of all organic life by the synths. The fact that 218 Romulan War Birds are heading toward Coppelius certainly doesn’t help matters either as Sutra starts talking about putting things on a war footing as they prepare to find the Romulans in order to ensure survival. Soji is unsure about this policy but seems to go along with it because of peer pressure. But making matters worse is the fact that Picard is placed under house arrest, which will stifle any chance of a diplomatic solution.

The Acting

This episode has a few surprises, which include another guest appearance from Brent Spiner as Dr. Altan Inigo Soong. The son of the late Dr. Noonian Soong. This works out fairly well from a narrative standpoint because although it was never revealed that Noonian Soong had a son. He was such a reclusive character that we’d likely have not known if he’d sewn a few wild oats or not. Seemingly he did. Altan is very much like his father in that he carried on his father’s work and worked alongside Maddox to create a small community of synthetic life forms using Data as the template.

We also get a great performance from Isa Briones in the duel role of Soji and Sutra. The latter of which is so devoted to cold hard logic that she is not able to see the shades of grey or the opportunity for a potential diplomatic solution that Picard is offering. Briones does a brilliant job of showing us a great deal of contrast between Soji and Sutra. Soji seems more open whereas Sutra is more about protectionism and saving her own no matter the organic cost.

Overall

I really liked how the Synth community was introduced as we saw them engaging in Tai Chi and playing logic puzzles as Picard and his crew walked into their world. I also really loved how all the android characters had the same openness and curiosity about the human characters until Sutra warns that organic life is a threat to them. Overall this episode sets the stage and puts the pieces in place for what will hopefully be an epic series finale. Preferably one that gives us a satisfactory resolution that will offer us some hope and optimism.

9.6
STAR TREK: PICARD: SEASON ONE – Et in Arcadia EGO Part 1
  • Story
    9.4
  • Acting
    10
  • CGI & Stunts
    9.5
  • Incidental Music
    9.3

Ian Cullen is the founder of scifipulse.net and has been a fan of science fiction and fantasy from birth. In the past few years he has written for 'Star Trek' Magazine as well as interviewed numerous comics writers, television producers and actors for the SFP-NOW podcast at: www.scifipulseradio.com When he is not writing for scifipulse.net Ian enjoys playing his guitar, studying music, watching movies and reading his comics. Ian is both the founder and owner of scifipulse.net You can contact ian at: ian@scifipulse.net
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