Picard Sets up his Endgame in, “Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1.”

Picard and the crew of La Sirena finally get Soji home, but of course, nothing goes right and now, the captain and his crew of misfits get stranded on a planet of androids about to be wiped out by the Romulans.

In this, the penultimate episode before the season finale, I find myself amazed that this show has played its cards so close to its chest and has managed to keep Picard’s odyssey both expected and surprising. It was a given that he would end up on the android planet, but seeing the society practice Klingon martial arts, seeing some of the androids have golden eyes and pale skin, and the familiar face of Brent Spiner among his creations was just warm and welcoming… not at all what I was expecting.

Sadly, I was also expecting more time with Seven of Nine and got maybe three minutes. I love the storyline with the ex-bees and the artifact and, in my opinion, it has taken a tragic backseat when it should have at least been sitting in the passenger seat.

“Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1” also appears to have taken The Artifact out of play which, I will admit, I find very disappointing as I was hoping to see Seven of Nine use it to kick some Romulan butt.

As for Picard’s story, it really ran the gamut between wholesome, sad, comfortable, and disturbing.

I’ve never understood the reasoning for bringing Picard’s Iremodic Syndrome into the series other than giving him an internal ticking clock that we barely hear about, but it did bring out a wonderful character moment out of Raffi and makes me want to know more about her and Picard’s relationship as it appears more and more complicated with every episode. Maybe they’re planning on following this up next season, maybe they won’t bring back Raffi at all I don’t know… I just know that I love this flawed, foul mouthed softy and I want her to be okay at the end.

Does it make a lot of sense for Brent Spiner to play yet another iteration of Soong? No, but I love seeing him anyway. It’s just another comfort in a series of quiet comforts.

I did get the feeling that the episode seemed rushed and, being the first part of a two-parter, it did seem to exist only to set up the events of the season finale, but “Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1” sets it up well and, even if I didn’t need convincing, it’s convinced me to stick around next week to see how it all turns out.

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