Trekathon 787: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1 (PIC)

March 27th, 2020

Nearly the end. Spoilers.

I found this a bit of a ‘meh’ episode overall. There are some great moments, and a lot is either resolved or set up for the finale. But it’s largely plot mechanics to get us into a new position, and there’s not a lot of interesting character work.

The central plot is the true meaning of the Admonition, and the choices about whether or not to exterminate all organic life in the area. It’s cast a bit too black-and-white, and as a result the choice of the Synths feels a bit too obviously evil. Maybe it would have worked better with me if there was more of a sense of balance (‘they can just destroy these particular organics’) and bargaining, as opposed to jumping straight to ‘kill all the organics because they’ll kill us’. Soji’s decision in particular is just not given enough space or weight here.

The quick moment wth Seven and Elnor was nice, but didn’t really go anywhere interesting (yet, at least). There are some good moments with Picard’s crew, but more an opportunity to show some nice acting rather than anything else. I wonder if they’re going somewhere with Picard’s brain disease. And there’s the formless golem on the mantlepiece – it’s formless for a reason, so will there be a moment of choice about who goes in there?

It’s nice to see Brent Spiner again, but there’s always been an element of his non-Data performance that doesn’t quite land for me. Maybe I’m just wishing that he’s Data all the time?

And finally we have a little sliver of Narek which is fairly insubstantial on its own, but together with the rest of the season adds a lot to the performance. It’ll be interesting to go back and watch it with a better sense of his overall motivations now.

Quick hits:

  • This show is very happy to just put the camera on the incredible actors in the show and let them react.

  • Ooh, Guest Starring Brent Spiner. As past-Data, present Data (somehow), Noonian Soong, maybe even Lore? I love that there are so many possibilities…

  • I don’t know where this episode is going, but can we give some serious consideration to Seven of Nine and Elnor travelling the universe in a Borg cube as a spinoff?

  • Ah, Dr Soong’s son. Makes sense given the timelines.

  • Spot Two! Gotta love the continuity of this show.

  • Throwing in some heavy ethical concerns at the end of the season is very Star Trek.

  • I’m giving about a 50 per cent chance of it really being Lore at this point. Although I would have expected more foreshadowing if there was.

787 down.