'Star Trek: Picard' Ending explained: The fate of the synths, the villains, and Picard's new crew
We take a closer look at the sacrifice of Picard, the farewell to a classic 'Next Generation' character, and what happens to synthetic life
Spoilers for 'Star Trek: Picard' Season 1, Episode 10 - 'Et in Arcadia Ego: Part 2'
'Star Trek: Picard' has reached the end of its first season, and has resolved a lot of major story arcs. While it's answered a lot of the questions it posed at the start of the season, there are still a few more left for Season 2 to answer. We take a closer look at the ending, and where it leaves the show's protagonists, synthetic beings, and what remains after the season's grand finale.
As rational beings, the synthetic lifeforms of Starfleet didn't have a lot of faith in Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) when he said that he could convince Starfleet to allow synthetic beings full autonomy and lift the ban — but they should have. Picard manages to do just that, by showing the world that Soji (Isa Briones) would, when it came down to it, choose not to end all organic life as we know it. She deactivated the beacon, and the higher synthetic lifeforms that would have destroyed all organic life are apparently content to let synths fight for themselves...for now. Meanwhile, Starfleet has given the planet that the synths live on protected status, making it illegal for anyone to attack it or its citizens. In addition, the ban on synths has been lifted — synths can be created, and move through the universe as freely as they wish. As clear a victor as could be hoped for.
The Zhat Vash has been repelled — both by the might of Starfleet and by seeing Soji make the choice not to destroy them all. They may still hold hatred for all synthetic life, but they may be questioning whether or not it's worth sacrificing their lives in an attempt to wipe all synthetic life out, especially as it would mean an all-out war with the Federation.
Not everyone survived the battle, however. Fighting for control of the Borg Cube with Seven of Nine (Jeri Ryan), Narissa (Peyton List) fell to her death. Her brother, Narrek (Harry Treadaway) was last seen being taken away by synths after his failure to destroy the beacon — he is doubtless being held in a synth prison, for his crimes. The real Destroyer, Sutra (Isa Briones) has been deactivated, for her crimes. Though as a synthetic being, that deactivation might not have been permanent.
A pleasant surprise for 'Star Trek: The Next Generation' fans — Data (Brent Spiner) was alive, all this time! Sort of. His mind had successfully been transferred to B-4 (Brent Spiner) in 'Star Trek: Nemesis,' and those engrams were in turn transferred by Dr Soong (Brent Spiner) to a simulation where Data could live out his days, peacefully. After his death, Picard's own engrams were stored there, allowing him and Data to have a conversation about their relationship, about the latter's death, and about how finiteness gives life meaning — the last of which being why Data tells Picard that he wants to die.
As we've spoken about previously, Dr Soong's golem was always a backdoor for a dead Picard to come back to life with. Using Picard's engrams, taken at the moment of death and stored in the simulation in which Data had been living, they were able to bring Picard back. Out of respect to Picard's own mortality, they brought him back healthy, minus the brain abnormality, and introduced an algorithm into his synthetic body that will allow Picard to age and die like a normal 94-year-old human would have. Given his new life, Picard honors the request of his friend and ends Data's life permanently by deactivating his simulation.
Picard now has a full crew at his disposal — and there are some romantic relationships teased for Season 2. Cristobal Rios (Santiago Cabrera) and Agnes Jurati (Alison Pill) appear to have resumed their romance, and the way Seven of Nine and Raffi Musiker (Amber Heard) were seen holding hands implies that the 'Star Trek' television franchise may see its first openly queer couple in history. Soji has also joined the crew, with the ban on synths in the galaxy lifted, she wants to wander the stars. Now a synthetic being himself, Picard realizes the ban has been lifted on himself, as well.
With his new team assembled, Picard commands a familiar 'Engage' — moving the crew straight on to Season 2.
All episodes of 'Star Trek: Picard' Season 1 are now available to stream on CBS All Access.