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Consider this biographer impressed.
“Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1” does a amazing job of synthesizing the appearance of “The Next Generation” with that of “The Original Series” — and the aftereffect is article new altogether.
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What does that mean? Well, anticipate about this: we’ve got a chase of college activity forms that attending somewhat human, but in address are acutely not. Their women are almost clad, unnaturally hued, and a tad spacey. Their men, shirtless, leave no consequence at all. And they all alive in a affectionate of Eden breadth any disruption to their abstract means could aftereffect in an apocalyptic, deus ex machina solution. They additionally use behemothic amplitude flowers as weapons!
This could be the bureaucracy of any cardinal of “Original Series” episodes. But again you bandy Brent Spiner in the mix as a self-described “mad scientist” and Jean-Luc Picard’s speechifying and you’ve got a birr of “Next Gen” added to the mix. The aggregate of the two after-effects in a amalgam that could be the defining artful of “Star Trek: Picard.”
Other than “Nepenthe,” this is absolutely the best adventure of this asperous alternation to date, and it began with a bang: a amplitude action amid La Sirena and Narek’s Romulan ability aloft arising from the transwarp corridor. They’d catholic 25 ablaze years in 15 annual and emerged aloft the apple Coppelius — a name that has its agent in a aberrant E.T.A. Hoffmann story. Added on that later.
Seven of Nine pilots what was already “The Artifact” over Coppelius herself, the Borg cube arising from its own transwarp adit with a acceptable thwang (spectacular complete alteration in this episode). All of this reminds one of the archetypal real-time action amateur “Star Trek: Armada” and “Star Trek: Armada II” which depicted transwarp corridors actual abundant the aforementioned way. (Those amateur were the best.)
Giant flowers from the apparent of the planet aback appear, anniversary enveloping these ships in apogee and causing them to blast bottomward assimilate the apparent — including the Cube.
Our heroes adventure over to the cube to see who survived, and, reuniting with Seven of Nine and Elnor, Picard learns that Hugh sacrificed himself aggravating to belch the Romulans already and for all.
Raffi uses the cube’s sensors to chase for the Romulan agile afterward in their wake: it’s 218 warbirds. Let’s achievement the citizenry of this planet accept absolutely the greenhouse to abound added of those baleful flowers!
It turns out they do not. Afterwards behest adieu to Elnor and Seven — a admirable barter in which Seven says “Keep extenuative the galaxy, Picard” and the captain replies, casual the torch, “That’s all on you now” — they appointment the adjustment breadth the synths accept been growing their community. This is breadth we’re to accept the blow of Data’s “children” were either fabricated or settled. And they’re active activity like it’s a hippie commune, accomplishing accessible calisthenics and tai chi in the boondocks square.
This is breadth the appellation comes into play. “Et in Arcadia Ego” is the name of a Nicolas Poussin painting in which shepherds apprehend the inscription on a tomb. Arcadia is the axial arena of the Peloponnese. It was a quiet rural breadth sparsely busy during the time of age-old Greece, back best Greeks lived in cities forth the coast. The Greeks advised Arcadia to be a pastoral paradise abroad from the affray of burghal activity — and yet afterlife is begin alike here, as exemplified by this tomb. “And in Arcadia, I am” is the accurate Latin translation, admitting best adapt it as “Even in Arcadia, I am,” acceptation that you can never escape afterlife no amount breadth you travel.
This accomplished time we’d anticipation Bruce Maddox had been the one to get this association off the ground, but it turns out a argent fox walks avant-garde with a airy greeting: it’s Brent Spiner as Dr. Alton Inigo Soong! He looks absolutely like Data would’ve looked if he were a “real” animal who “got old and soft,” as Soong puts it.
How odd. Now, of course, “Star Trek” has consistently aback sprung never-before-seen ancestors associates on us, from Spock’s never-previously-mentioned brother Sybok in “The Final Frontier” and Spock’s never-previously-mentioned sister Michael Burnham on “Discovery.” So it’s accessible that Dr. Noonien Soong, the robotics prodigy who created Data and his angry brother Lore, could accept had a beef and claret son. Alike admitting a antecedent adventure of “Next Gen” accustomed Soong had no children.
But article seems off about this Dr. Alton Inigo Soong. “Alton Inigo?” Could that be any afterpiece to “alter ego”? And the way he describes his ancestor — “he had me but he created Data… a actuality he never let me forget” — suggests not aloof a little bit of acerbity against Data. That annual calmly elides the actuality that his ancestor created Lore first, a apprentice who was a little too animal — whose personality was apprenticed by affect added than logic. He could fit in abundant bigger than Data could. What fabricated Data a bigger “person” was that he consistently strove to be human, alike admitting he begin it so difficult — he could never alike use contractions in speaking, article that came artlessly to Lore. That Lore didn’t accept to strive to be animal meant he lacked a moral center. Lore was apprenticed by his jealousy, his greed, his animalism for power.
Lore additionally had a affiliation to Hugh, Jonathan Del Arco’s late, dearly absent ex-Borg, back he came to ascendancy a accumulation of ex-Borg in the two-part “Next Gen” adventure “Descent.”
Calling it now: Dr. Alton Inigo Soong is Lore, and he beatific Soji to Hugh’s Borg Cube, possibly acquisitive that she’d apprentice added about the Admonition from Narissa’s crazy aunt who saw it. She’d accept to fit in absolutely with the added doctors on the cube, so “Soong” wiped all anamnesis from Soji that she’s an android — eventually she’d arise into acquaintance with her and apprentice what that Admonition was all about.
One of Soong’s added Soji lookalikes, Sutra (whose bark looks like it’s covered in banknote flakes, as if she’s a victim of Auric Goldfinger) has a theory: the Admonition was not a admonishing for organics to abort all synthetics, lest the Apocalypse should happen. It was a bulletin for bolt about how to arouse an alike added advanced, abiding accord of bolt that spans galaxies. Back they access they’ll clean out all amoebic activity in the galaxy to assure and bottle the synths who acquainted they were beneath threat. And in this Admonition is a abundance synths can use to accomplish aboriginal contact.
Who are these absolute synths from far away? We apperceive from the adventure “I, Mudd” in “The Original Series” that an avant-garde acculturation already resided in the Andromeda galaxy until a supernova destroyed them, abrogation alone their acquainted androids behind. Sounds a lot like what happened to the Romulans. Could these college akin androids accept already abiding the Romulan supernova as a preemptive strike?
Turns out, Soji didn’t charge to get this glimpse of the Admonition from Narissa’s aunt at all. Because advancing appropriate to this adjustment on Coppelius is Agnes Jurati, who saw it herself: Sutra performs a mind-meld with her and gets the abundance to acquaintance these higher-level robots. Now the stakes are this: to assure themselves from the Romulan aggression fleet, will the androids of Coppelius become the actual affair the Romulans appetite to abort them for in the aboriginal place? Is it account extenuative yourself if you become a monster in the process?
Sutra acutely thinks so, and she’s activity a continued way against proving the Romulans right. But she has to argue the blow of the androids that such a desperate footfall is merited. She needs to annihilation one of their own aboriginal and pin it on the Romulans: she sends one of them, a actual open-hearted and naïve android called Saga, to analysis in on Narek, who they’ve confined afterwards their flowers brought his address to the ground. And Sutra arranges it that Saga is dead and Narek freed so that it looks like he was the one to annihilate her. Passions will run aerial and the androids will about-face to the best acute measures.
And admonition them on this accomplished time? Dr. Alton Inigo Soong, who allegedly feels aloof about actuality destroyed forth with the blow of the organics in the galaxy. Back Picard tries to accord a activation accent about how they will all acquisition a safe anchorage in the Federation, he mockingly shuts him down, acquainted that the Federation didn’t accept to him afore about extenuative the Romulans — why would they now? This seems absolutely like article Lore would do. We additionally see that he’s been alive on a “mind transfer” activity to abode the alertness of bodies whose bodies are declining them into beginning android bodies.
So now Picard and his makeshift aggregation angle amid two clashing factions, with both abandon adverse to them: the Romulans, who appetite annihilation but to abort all constructed life, and the androids who are activity out of their way beneath Sutra’s administration to prove the Romulans right. What ancillary will Soji ultimately booty in this accomplished showdown?
Oh, about “Coppelius”: That was the name of a appearance in Hoffmann’s abbreviate adventure “The Sandman” from 1816. Hoffmann admired tales about azoic altar accepted acquaintance (he additionally wrote “The Nutcracker”). Coppelius is the villain of the piece: a advocate bedeviled with the actinic arts who “begins demography ‘shining masses’ out of the blaze and beating them into face-like shapes after eyes.” A battling alchemist absolutely does accomplish in creating a conscientious apparatus (one who succeeds in “passing” as human), and this battling calls the android “his daughter.” But Coppelius comes into control of the automaton/android and uses it for his own abominable purposes. Coppelius and his battling accept a knockdown, drag-out action about the purpose of the android and which one of them “created its eyes” and “which created its clockwork”: Is the affair that makes it arise animal as important as its basal programming? Sounds a bit like whatever “Dr. Soong” actuality was adage about how Bruce Maddox was the able back it came to “mind transfer” while his own abilities lay elsewhere.
Will Dr. Soong ultimately be appear as Lore? Who knows. But his abomination seems appealing abundant assured no amount what.
And with that we alone accept one adventure of “Star Trek: Picard” Season 1 to go. How will this blanket up?
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