Warning: This Star Trek: Picard article contains MAJOR spoilers for the Season 1 finale.
Star Trek: Picard Season 1 has come to an end and, while it did a satisfying job of wrapping up many ongoing storylines, there were some questions “Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2” left unanswered—from the state of synth rights to the how very good boy Number One is doing.
The series has already been renewed for a Season 2, and we’re really hoping it addresses some of these Very Important Questions we have about these characters and world following the events of that epic and emotional Season 1 finale.
How many people know that Picard is a robot?
It’s unclear come the end of the finale if Picard’s current status as a synthetic life form is a secret, open knowledge, or something in-between. While Jean-Luc isn’t the type to be less than honest, he’s also not dumb, and letting people know that there is this kind of technology available in the universe could be very dangerous.
What is the average lifespan of a human during Picard’s time?
As soon as Dr. Soong and Agnes let Picard know that he would live a normal length of time, the immediate follow-up question became: what does that look like in the year of our Lord 2399? In Season 1, Picard is 94. How much longer does he have? (Doctor McCoy lived until the ripe old age of roughly 120, so Picard might have a few more decades left in him.)
What are the implications of human-robot hybrids in the Star Trek universe?
This question won’t feel strange to those of us who are also watching Westworld, but… what exactly does it mean for the Star Trek universe at large that humans can apparently transfer their functioning consciousnesses into robot hosts?
At present, Picard is literally one of a kind. But should this technology spread, it changes the idea of what it means to be human in complex and potentially dangerous ways. (There’s also the small issue of the fact that at least two Trek series take place in a future far beyond this one. Are some of those folks synths?)
Has Picard possibly made some segment of humanity functionally immortal? And, if not, who decides which humans get to shift to a synth body after the day? Or how long they are allowed to live?
What rights do synths have now?
At the end of Picard Season 1, we see the Federation’s synth ban relaxed enough that Soji can wander the universe on the La Sirena with little worry about her own safety. (A twist probably helped along by the fact that the Federation was forced to recognize contact with an entire planet of synths.)
However, despite the fact that synths are, apparently, allowed to exist freely without fear of immediate annihilation by the Federation or weird Romulan death cults, does that mean everything is suddenly fine? Are they now to be treated with the same amount of deference and agency that any other species might receive? And if they’re not… why not?
Is Data dead for good?
At this point, it looks like it. Granted, most of us thought Data was dead and gone already, outside of Picard’s dreams and flashbacks. But, it turned out that his consciousness was still being kept alive inside a simulation, which Picard himself pulled the plug on during an emotional final scene. (Complete with “Blue Skies” playing in the background.) This sequence felt like nothing so much as bringing Data’s journey full circle, and illustrating that he had, on some level, succeeded in ihs attempt to become as human as possible.
This is, of course, a science fiction show, set in a science fiction universe. And death has proven less than permanent for characters in the Trek universe in the past. So, never say never. But here’s hoping that Picard allows Data to rest in peace. To do otherwise would rob his final arc of much of its poignancy and meaning.
Is Elnor’s mission complete?
Elnor is a qalankhkai, a warrior who chooses to bind his blade in service of a cause he or she deems worthy. In his case, the criterion for worthiness was that the cause he served be considered a “lost” one. Yet by the end of the finale, pretty much every element of Elinor’s quest—to protect Picard, to find Soji—is a resounding success. (True, Picard did die, but only for a little while, so it still probably counts as a win.) So, does that victory mean that Elnor, himself, is a failure? And if so, are there consequences for that?
As the finale concludes, it appears as though Elnor certainly intends to stay with Picard and the rest of the crew of La Sirena, but does that mean that he’s leaving his order behind? There’s really appealing about the prospect of this young man who has only ever lived on a planet full of warrior nuns getting the chance to see the rest of the universe.
Is Seven staying with Team Picard?
The return of Jeri Ryan and Seven of Nine has been one of the most unexpected joys of Star Trek: Picard Season 1. And the season’s final moments certainly seem to indicate that the former Borg is joining up with the crew of the La Sirena. At least for a time. But… should she?
Prior to running into Picard and friends earlier this season, Seven was apparently part of a group known as the Fenris Rangers, dedicated to dispensing justice and helping those the Federation forgot about on the edges of Romulan space. And there’s something about that “career” that feels fitting for the place she is as a character, who seems almost desperate for something like atonement and purpose, more so than having random adventures with Picard and friends.
True, we could also probably argue that real friendships—and, whatever is going on with Raffi (see below)—is the exactly the sort of real connections that will help keep Seven in touch with her humanity. But is it the best use of her skills and experience? Should she be back out with the Rangers, or helping the Ex-B survivors from the Artifact, instead?
What’s going on with Seven and Raffi?
While we’d seen the Rios/Agnes romantic relationship seeded before the finale, the final shots of the La Sirena hinted at another romantic relationship amongst the crew: Seven of Nine and Raffi. Um, yes please! We already knew Seven is bisexual, but we’ve learned less about what kind of people Raffi is attracted to. (In the novel The Last Best Hope, we find out she was married to a man named Jae who’s the father of Gabe, met in an earlier episode.) Whatever their sexual orientations, we would love to see a relationship between these two women explored in Season 2.
What happened to Narek?
While Narek technically may have helped the crew of the La Sirena try to take out the synth beacon, his hands are far from clean. He tried to kill Soji. Then, he tried (and almost succeeded in) killing the entire crew of the La Sirena—he probably would have if Seven hadn’t shown up in the nick of the time. He has an intense hate for synthetic life that he has acted on again and again. It would be dangerous to have him loose in the universe… so is he?
Is Narissa really dead this time?
That fall from a great height on the Artifact seems like it would make her dead, but so did the time she was overtaken by Ex-Bs. Could we see Narissa come back, perhaps with some cybernetic components?
What happens to the Zhat Vash?
Star Trek: Picard wasn’t super clear about the relationship of the secret Romulan sect, the Zhat Vash, to the rest of the Romulan Empire. After all, could a secret group really command hundreds of war birds without Romulan High Command or, you know, literally everyone else in the galaxy noticing?
Theoretically, the Zhat Vash existed as a result of the Admonition, a vision which insisted that a synth Destroyer would break the world. Without that threat, do they really have any further reason to exist? Or does that threat still exist?
Will those robot tentacles be back?
We’re not even sure what those robot tentacles even are, so it feels difficult to say whether we’ll see them again. Let’s hope not. They seem less than friendly.
What will happen to the Artifact?
Picard and friends may have set off in La Sirena for points unknown, but they weren’t the only downed vessel on Coppelius. The former Borg Cube now known as the Artifact was part of the same space flower attack that snatched Rios’ ship from the sky. Seven seemed to be getting many of the Artifact’s systems back online before the big battle against the Romulans, but, when the season finale ends, it’s unclear what shape the Artifact actually is—or who is in charge of it. Seven and Elnor were seemingly leading the efforts to clean up the Cube and get it back in business after its crash onto Coppelius. Before that, Hugh (R.I.P.) seemed the main leader of the Ex-Bs. With Hugh gone and Seven and Elnor part of Picard’s fam, what does the present and future look like for the Ex-Bs?
– Kayti Burt
What will happen to the Synths on Coppelius?
Similarly, La Sirena’s quick exit from Coppelius following Picard’s, um, recovery, also left the fate of Synthville unclear. The Federation may have lifted at least some level of the ban on synthetic life (Soji and Picard are allowed to travel freely), but it’s unclear what kinds of opportunities or ambitions the synths on Coppelius, and Dr. Soong, have for their community moving forward—or if, now that they are no longer hidden, they are entirely safe on Coppelius.
What happened to Sutra?
Last time we saw the synth leader who was staging a light revolution, Dr. Soong had turned her off with the push of a button (I have so many questions about the hierarchy in place in Synthville). She killed Saga. She let Narek go. She lied to her friends and family. What kinds of repercussions does she face, both from her community and, perhaps, from a broader authority. (Coppelius does seem to be under Federation control now, in some way.)
Will the Synths and Ex-Bs join forces?
Maybe Star Trek: Picard will leave Coppelius and never come back, but, should they return, it could be interesting to see the Synths and the Ex-Bs forming some kind of community together. They are different in so many ways, but they also share some things in common, most especially the valid fear that comes with being a discriminated against “other” and the home they now share.
Will we see Riker, Troi or any of our other Next Generation favorites again?
Will Riker’s miraculous save-the-day appearance at the end of the finale certainly indicates that Picard isn’t above pulling our faves out of narrative storage as the need or opportunity arises, so here’s hoping. (Also, if we don’t see the Rikers’ incredible daughter Kestra again, we riot.)
How’s the vineyard doing?
Guys. Picard has been away from Chateau Picard for days at least (how much time does pass in Picard Season 1?). He left his home in the seemingly competent hands of Laris and Zhaban in “Maps and Legends,” but he hasn’t checked in since! How are the grapes?
Who is taking care of Number One?!
While we’re thinking about how things are going back at Chateau Picard, it seems worth mentioning that we haven’t gotten a proper pupdate on Picard’s dog in a while. When last we saw Number One, he was safely ensconced at home with Laris and Zhaban, Star Trek: Picard’s answer to Downton Abbey’s Bates and Mrs. Hughes. But is he being properly looked after? Is he getting all his walks in? These are the things we need to know.
And, more importantly, does Picard’s decision to jaunt off around the universe with his new ragtag found family mean he’s leaving his best friend behind? Can we at least get some sort of intergalactic Facetime session next season, before Soji decides to clone Picard a new four-legged friend?
What questions do you still have about the Star Trek: Picard Season 1 finale? Let us know in the comments below.