(written from a Production point of view)
Picard and his team are pitted against the Romulans and the synthetics of Coppelius in a final confrontation. (Season finale)
Narek enters the Artifact crash site, keeping to the shadows as he hears the repair work going on inside. Elsewhere, Elnor asks Seven of Nine if xBs were better off dead: everyone hated them, they had no home, and they don't belong anywhere. Seven counters by pointing out that she is an xB as well, with no home, and she didn't belong anywhere either… so why didn't she just put a phaser to her head and be done? Elnor admits that he would miss her if she did and Seven manages a small smile.
Moving through the cavernous wreck, Narek is suddenly held at knife point by his sister, Narissa, who then turns him around to embrace him. She asks if he has found the synths, if he's had sex with any of them yet, or if he's killed any; Narek answers that he has, he hasn't, and he's killed one. Narissa shows Narek her hiding place, right up against the ocean.
Held in house arrest in Bruce Maddox's former quarters at Coppelius Station, Jean-Luc Picard holds out his hand for a synthetic butterfly to land on; he holds it there for a second before releasing it to fly away. "Lucky you", he comments, as he thinks on his circumstances. Outside, Soji Asha (observed by Agnes Jurati) enters the locked room with a retinal scanner, and asks how Picard is feeling; he comments he would feel better if he were set free. Soji tries to convince him to see things from their point of view: Organics chose whether her kind lived or died, and synths were never given a choice. Picard counters that saying she had no choice was a "failure of imagination". He pleads with her not to allow the Romulans to make her into the monster they fear, and to at once stop building the beacon. The beings they hoped to summon may well be the salvation for Soji and her people, he argues, but it would be the annihilation of all organic life everywhere.
Inside the Artifact, Narek arms a series of grenades for use against the orchids, "ship-killing flowers that fly" as he explains to Narissa; he plans to return to the "nest" while she reactivates the Artifact's weapons. Before she can protest, he rages at her that he, the "family disgrace", the "Zhat Vash washout", was the one who found Seb-Cheneb. Narissa tells him to go on then, as she had work to do. Narek exits the wrecked cube… followed closely by Elnor.
At the crash site of La Sirena, Cristóbal Rios and Raffi Musiker look over the tool given to Musiker by Saga before her death. Rios admits he is afraid of it, afraid it will "eat his soul"; Musiker jokingly mentions that since he doesn't have a soul, he'd be fine. When Rios asks what it does, Musiker relates how Saga said to use her imagination to use the tool, but Rios adds he doesn't have an imagination either. Musiker reminds him that it was his ship, and he knew what was wrong. The intermix reactor is fused and needs to be replaced, but the maintenance replicator was also off-line because the intermix reactor was fused. Holding the tool in his hand, Rios can see no activation switch, but Musiker suggests that what Saga meant was to simply imagine the part not being broken – visualize the fix, "see the hole patching itself". Rios does so… and to both his and Musiker's astonishment, it works, and La Sirena's power is restored. They then hear a banging noise… a sound that Rios is familiar with.
Back at Coppelius Station, as the beacon's construction continues, Dr. Altan Inigo Soong shows Jurati a machine containing all of Maddox's work in order to transfer an organic mind to a machine, and compliments her on her self-sacrifice. "But after all, that's what mothers do, isn't it?" he adds, as he leaves. Jurati tells herself that she could do this, and that she had to… before adding, "I'm not their mother, asshole," to the absent Soong.
Rios returns to the bridge to find Narek, the "abusive Romulan boyfriend", throwing rocks at the front viewport. Rios opens a communication channel, daring him to throw another rock, adding that he would like to see what a photon torpedo could do at that range. Narek counters that he is carrying twelve armed molecular solvent grenade canisters, and that he was just throwing rocks. When Rios asks him what he wants, Narek claims he was trying to save the universe, and that they could keep fighting or work together to stop what was coming – it's Rios' call.
Musiker tries communicating with Picard with her comm pin, but is unable to reach him at all. According to Narek, the synthetics were building a transmitter to summon something there. He explains that the Romulans believe synthetics are fated to destroy all organic life, an event they call "Ganmadan", and that Coppelius Station was on lock down to prevent interfering with the beacon's construction. Rios and Musiker both remark that Picard was almost certainly going to interfere, as Musiker tries to hail him again. All of a sudden, Elnor appears, holding his blade to Narek's throat, telling him in Romulan to "choose to live"; Narek replies, in English and with his hands raised in surrender, that he "very much" chooses to live. Rios talks him down, saying they might well need Narek's help.
In Soong's lab, Jurati finds him trying to transfer Saga's memories to a V-module as a memento for her sister Arcana, but the damage to her optical processors corrupted the data stream. Jurati explains she's been working on the neural laces for Soong's golem, but some of the files were encrypted, and Maddox had said that his "crypto Kung Fu" was the best. He leaves to check on the files, and asks her to keep an eye on the transcoding rate. Once Soong is gone, Jurati reluctantly begins removing Saga's remaining intact eye, apologizing to her lifeless body as she does.
Around a camp fire outside La Sirena, Elnor wonders why they choose to trust Narek, as his sister had murdered Hugh, and expresses his dislike for the Zhat Vash agent. Narek sarcastically asks how he feels about Ganmadan, because if they can't stop it, whether or not they like one another will not matter. Musiker asks what Ganmadan is; Elnor dismisses it simply as a story, but Narek retorts it was a story of the end times, much like Ragnarok or "Judgment Day" in ancient Earth myths. He explains that it involves two sisters, twin khalagu, or "demons", who intend to release a ch'khalagu, or "very bad demon" as Elnor snidely puts it. One sister is Seb-Natan, the Foreteller; the other is Seb-Cheneb, the Destroyer. He paints an apocalyptic picture based on the legends. When Musiker asks if he believes it was a prophecy, Narek says he does not. Rather, he believes it to be history – and history, he adds, always had a habit of repeating itself.
Narek shows La Sirena's crew the molecular solvent grenades he was carrying, originally intended for the orchids, but now he plans to use them for the transmitter itself. When Musiker asks how he intends to get them into "Synthville", Narek states he plans to go through the front door – acting as their prisoner, recovered after his "escape". A single concentrated blast, triggered by remote detonation, would be required to destroy the transmitter, but with the transporter block set up in the station, they would not be able to beam anything in or out. They conceal the grenades inside Rios' soccer balls and approach the main gate, where they are stopped by Rune and Codex, who confiscate their weapons and belongings.
Inside the station, Jurati has recovered Saga's eyeball to use on the retinal scanner in Picard's quarters. After entering, she wakes up Picard from his sleep and explains that the synthetics are about to power up the transmitter, and that she was busting him out to return to La Sirena. Inside the golem lab, Altan sees that the synthetic matrix for the golem was complete, and that it was ready to receive neural engrams. At the same time, the work to restore Saga's memories is also complete, and one of those memories appears on Soong's monitor… showing that it was Sutra, with Narek's aid, who stabbed Saga through the eye. Soong is horrified.
As the team approaches the transmitter, Narek sees the tower is almost complete, and that they need a line of sight at the superluminal tuner at the base. Musiker asks how they could get there without being seen. "An excellent question," Soong answers, from behind them.
Back at La Sirena, Picard and Jurati find it abandoned, with Jurati thinking the others had gone to find them. Picard asks for a status report on the Romulans; Jurati reports they are seven minutes from planetfall. Even if Starfleet Command had received Picard's message, they would still be behind the Romulans. Picard hopes to find a way to stall the Romulans in the hope that the Federation would arrive to help them. Jurati asks him: What then? Even if they stopped the Romulans and rescued Soji, she and the "golden children" would still call the "uber-synths" and wipe out all life. Picard heatedly replies that they would stop them, too, but Jurati points out that the synths were "generations beyond us". Picard agrees that this may be so in one sense, but in all other senses, they were children, and their only teachers were a couple of hermits – Soong and Maddox – and their fear of extermination. He calls fear an "incompetent teacher", and that while the synths had life, no one had taught them what it was for, calling being alive a responsibility as well as a right. Jurati asks how they can possibly learn that lesson in only six minutes and eleven seconds. "The way that children learn most things," Picard replies, as he takes La Sirena's helm. "By example." He brings up the ship's systems, wondering aloud how well he watched Rios at the controls during their journey. As La Sirena rises, Jurati lightheartedly gives him the order to "make it so", and Picard brings La Sirena into orbit.
At the base of the transmitter, Sutra addresses her brothers and sisters, saying that a portal will open once the signal is sent. Soong approaches, accompanied by Musiker and Elnor; he tells Rune and Codex to watch them. Soong hands Saga's hummingbird brooch to Sutra that she used to kill its owner, indicating that he knows that Sutra was responsible, saying that she was right that her fellow synths needed an "emotional jolt" to drive them to the decision she wanted them to make. Sutra remarks that she is glad he can see the reason behind her actions. Soong admits he does, but adds that reason wasn't everything, asking how she could help Narek kill her sister, believing he had taught her better than that. He deactivates Sutra with a small tool and she collapses to the ground. "Turns out, you're no better than we are," he laments. He then nods to Musiker, who whistles to summon Rios and Narek. Elnor and Narek begin to fight the synths, while Rios pulls one of the soccer ball grenades from his pack… and sees Soji still working on the transmitter, silently urging her to move out of the way.
As La Sirena enters orbit, Jurati asks Picard how they intended to hold back 218 Romulan warbirds long enough for Starfleet to arrive, and asks if he's trying to "build suspense" when he doesn't answer. Picard pointedly replies that he is trying to pilot a starship for the first time in a long time, and he's trying to do so without exploding or crashing. Jurati agrees that it was a good call, choosing to focus on "one impossible thing at a time".
Soji continues to work on the transmitter as Narek tries to plead with her to stop; Rios, meanwhile, activates one of the grenades, which Soji catches in her hand and hurls it away into the sky above before it detonates, then returns to work on the transmitter.
Aboard the Artifact, Narissa brings the Artifact's weapons systems back on line and attempts to gain a lock on La Sirena, when Seven enters with a phaser in her hand, telling her to step away from the console and drop her disruptor over the edge of a chasm. Narissa does so and raises her hands, saying she was unarmed, a fact Seven disproves when she deprives her of a pair of knives on her person. Narissa then remarks that Seven would be "pretty" if she weren't a "disgusting half-meat", and engages Seven in a furious melee.
In orbit, Jurati detects warp signatures, and Picard wistfully asks if they could possibly be Starfleet… but as if in answer, the Romulan fleet drops out of warp. Oh – addressed as "general" by the crew – is told that the synths are concentrated in just one settlement; Oh coldly orders the entire planet to be sterilized. The orchids rise from the surface to engage the Romulans.
Inside the Artifact, Narissa mocks "sad Queen Annika" for being assimilated as a child, as the Artifact's weapons lock onto La Sirena. As Seven holds her away from the console, Narissa asks why she didn't just put a phaser to her head and be done with it. "Because I still had this to live for," Seven replies, as she pushes Narissa to the edge. "This… is for Hugh." Seven kicks Narissa over the edge, screaming, to her death. With the Zhat Vash agent gone, Seven moves to the weapons console, removing the target lock.
In orbit, the battle for Coppelius rages, as La Sirena flies between the firing Romulan ships and the orchids. Jurati points out that now would be a good time for Picard to reveal the "secret plan", because once the Romulans destroyed the orchids, they would still have two hundred ships, and there was only one La Sirena. She jokingly adds that they would name whatever plan he made the "Picard Maneuver"… before remembering it already existed, how he had made the Enterprise appear in two places at once. Picard corrects her that it was the USS Stargazer, that it had been a long time ago, and that it would be useless against so many ships. They would have to multiply the sensor images and then find a way to disperse them. Jurati realizes that they do have a way to do both: she takes up Saga's tool, which is able to create multiple projections of her grinning face.
As Soji continues to work on the transmitter, she sees La Sirena on the sensors and opens a channel to Picard. He urges her to power down the beacon, saying he had something to give to her and her people, in the hopes it would change their mind. When Soji asks offhandedly what that could be, Picard answers that he was giving his life, before closing the channel. Soji appears shaken.
Aboard Oh's flagship, her officers report that the orbital defenses had been dealt with; Oh triumphantly orders all ships to target the "abominations' nest". Picard asks Jurati if she was ready, and that all of the projections would have warp signatures; she confirms with a nod. "On my mark," he orders, as he flies La Sirena directly in front of the fleet. Oh sees the ship and tells her fleet to ignore it; Picard gives Jurati the order, and suddenly several hundred La Sirenas appear to drop out of warp beside the original, tricking the fleet to engage them instead. A lucky shot strikes the actual La Sirena, causing it to spin out of control as Soji watches in alarm; the fleet suddenly vanishes. Straining, Picard manages to right the ship. Soji activates the beacon, opening the portal; Oh orders the fleet to begin sterilization on her command.
At that moment, a large fleet of Federation starships – real, this time – drops out of warp. From aboard the flagship, the USS Zheng He, Acting Captain Will Riker informs Oh that under the terms of the Treaty of Algeron, Coppelius is under Starfleet protection. When Oh protests that their claim preceded Starfleet's, Riker shows her Picard's transmission from the surface, which managed to reach Starfleet Command. Riker boasts that he is on the bridge of the toughest, fastest, most powerful ship that Starfleet has put into service, and he had a fleet of them at his back, and that nothing would make him happier than to "give [him] an excuse to kick [her] treacherous Tal Shiar ass," but instead, offers Oh ("or whatever you're calling yourself") one chance to stand down. Oh is unmoved, and orders her fleet to re-target weapons systems on the Starfleet armada. Riker orders weapons armed and deflectors to full.
Aboard La Sirena, Picard is suddenly gripped with pain in the back of his head, a condition which he is very familiar: the previous physical exertions having costed him dearly. He tells Jurati that he wants a channel to Soji on an open frequency but having scanned him with the medkit tricorder, she insists he's in no shape to do so. Despite Jurati's protests, he has her inject him 20 ccs of polisinephrine to relieve his symptoms even though he knows the side effects "will only hasten the inevitible", and once prepared he contacts Soji. He again pleads with her to power down the beacon, to show the Romulans she was not the Destroyer they feared, and if that did not convince them, the Zhat Vash would still have to answer to the Federation anyway. When Soji points out that the same Federation had banned her kind and "threw them on the scrap heap", Picard argues that if the Federation wanted to destroy them, they would have joined forces with the Romulans, not against them – but they wouldn't, because they trusted Soji and her people to make the right choice, adding that he trusted her, that he believed in her. As Riker, warmly smiling, and Oh listen on the open channel, Picard explains that the whole point of what he had done was so that they could save one another. As mechanical tentacles begin to emerge from the portal, Soji smashes the transmitter controls, destroying the beacon and causing the portal to close, the tentacles quickly retreating back to the other side. Now left to face Starfleet, Oh orders her fleet to stand down, and withdraws from Coppelius.
Riker hails La Sirena, explaining that when he heard Picard sent out an SOS, he asked for temporary reassignment; just because he wasn't going to talk Picard out of his mission, he adds, didn't mean he planned to let him go it alone, asking jokingly if he was supposed to sit in the woods making pizza while Picard had all the fun. He then formally informs Admiral Picard that he was leaving the situation in his "capable hands". Picard thanks him for always having his back; Riker replies that he had learned from the best. As the Zhang He and its fleet go to warp to trail after the Zhat Vash, Picard bids his old friend "adieu", rising from the captain's chair… and then collapsing to the deck. As Jurati calls his name, he experiences flashbacks of his dreams, walking through his vineyard, seeing Data painting. Soji worriedly asks what is wrong, and Jurati reports the brain abnormality was causing his body to fail. Soji asks if he could be transported to the sickbay of one of the Starfleet vessels, but Picard gently confirms with the tearful Jurati that there would be no point in doing so. Soji drops the transporter block, and beams Picard and Jurati to the surface beside her where she and the rest of La Sirena's crew rush over to Picard, Musiker cradling his head. He tells Soji that "not being the Destroyer" was up to her, and that he had given her the choice. He looks to Elnor and smiling, touches his face gently when he comes near him. Fading, Picard turns his head to Musiker and remarks that she had been "quite right". But, as Musiker asks him about what, he exhales… it is too late.
Jean-Luc Picard, Starfleet veteran, captain of two starships named Enterprise, is dead.
At Coppelius Station, the sniffling Rios is approached by a visibly upset Seven of Nine, having just heard the news, who takes a drink from a bottle of "what passes for alcohol" there, adding she doesn't recommend it. As they share the bottle, they remark on things they had thought they would never do again, and did anyway. For Seven, it was killing people who she felt deserved it, just because it felt wrong for them to be alive. For Rios, it was allowing "another self-righteous, hard-assed old starship captain" into his heart, never again standing there to watch him die. Seven asks if he could have done anything to prevent it, and Rios admits he couldn't. As they watch the sun set, a synthetic butterfly takes wing. On a ridge overlooking the settlement, Musiker sits alone until she is approached by Elnor, who breaks down sobbing. She admonishes him to let it all out, as she joins him in mourning for Picard.
Suddenly, Picard awakens in the study of Château Picard, illuminated only by the fireplace, and believes he is having "another damn dream". To his surprise, Data enters, wearing his final uniform, correcting him by saying it was in fact a "massively complex quantum simulation", although, as he takes the chair opposite of Picard, Picard would likely think he would say such a thing in a dream about him, if indeed Picard dreamed of him at all. Picard assures that he dreams of Data all the time. If that were the case, Data asks, was Picard, too, wearing the same clothes as he was when he died? Somewhat wrong-footed, Picard asks Data if he is indeed dead, and Data confirms that he is. He asks Picard if he remembers dying, and Picard believes he does, saying he felt something in his head that seemed to just go away, "like a child's sand castle collapsing". Data adds that he knows that he was killed in 2379, but has no memory of his death, as his consciousness exists in a quantum reconstruction created from the memories he downloaded into B-4 just before his death. Picard wonders on the fact that Data cannot remember his own death, as Picard himself could never forget it. Data states his understanding that, apparently, he ended his life in the hope of prolonging Picard's. Picard confirms it, not realizing what was happening until the Lieutenant Commander had already done it, and remarks he had been "furious" at the time. Data apologizes, but he's certain that could not have done otherwise. Picard agrees, saying that it was the "most Data thing" he had ever done, but often regretted that it had been Data who had died and not him. Data then asks if Picard regretted sacrificing his life for Soji and her people. "Not for an instant," Picard answers immediately, to which Data then asks why he would imagine Data would regret doing so for Picard.
Picard then asks about the simulation; Data explains that his memory engrams were recovered from a single neuron salvaged by Maddox, and then his consciousness was reconstructed from it by Soong, his Human "brother". Picard expresses his distaste for the doctor, to which Data admits that the Soongs are, as the term goes, an "acquired taste". Whatever it is, Picard says he is glad to see Data, but regrets that he had never expressed his love and appreciation for him. Data remarks that knowing of Picard's feelings made up a "small but statistically significant" part of his memories, which he hopes brings Picard some comfort; Picard admits it does, which is why Data would ask a favor of him before he left. Picard is confused, wondering how he could leave if it was a simulation. Data replies that it is indeed a simulation, but that Picard himself is not. Before his brain functions ceased, Jurati and Soong, with help from Soji, were able to scan, map, and transfer a complete neural map of Picard's brain substrates. A door behind Picard's chair opens with the hiss of a Starfleet cargo bay door or holodeck, to reveal a bright, white light shining into the room. Picard asks if he has to go, and Data tells him that he does. Picard starts to walk towards the doorway, but then recalls Data asked a favor. Data asks Picard to terminate his consciousness – not exactly death, but rather living briefly knowing that his life was finite. He remarks on how mortality gives meaning to Human life, how concepts of peace, love, and friendship were precious because Humans knew they could not endure. "A butterfly that lives forever," Data explains, as he releases an image of one of Soong's synthetic butterflies from his hand, "is not really a butterfly at all." Picard agrees to do as Data asks, before bidding a proper farewell to his old friend and turning, walks into the light.
Inside Soong's lab, Picard – his consciousness now inside the golem – awakens, seeing Soji, Jurati, and Soong standing over him. Picard raises his hands to see them and asks if he is real. Soji replies with a smile that of course, he is. Later, seated at a table drinking tea and wearing the clothes he died in, Picard asks about his new body. Jurati explains that it has no augmentations, no "superpowers"; Soong adds that after ninety-four years in the same body, he knew Picard would not want to adjust to "something new", but that the body is completely new, and everything works. Soji adds that the brain abnormality that had killed him was also gone, forever. Suddenly having a realization, Picard concernedly asks if it had made him functionally immortal, to which Soong scoffs that they would have done that to him knowing how Picard feels about such things, and Jurati clarifies they designed a cellular homeostasis algorithm, a way that he would live roughly the same number of years he would have without the brain abnormality. Picard jokingly adds that he wouldn't have minded another ten or twenty years. Picard thanks Soong for his work, remarking that Soong's loss was his gain, but that they both had something to lose now… Picard has a promise to keep.
Inside the simulation, Data sips a glass of wine in an easy chair, contentedly listening to "Blue Skies" on a record player, before grabbing a comfortable pillow for his head and laying down on the couch. In the lab, Picard explains to the others that it said a great deal about Data's mind that, looking at the Human race with "all its violence and corruption and willful ignorance", he could still see kindness, curiosity, greatness of spirit. Inside, Data suddenly notices he has company beside him seated on the coffee table, a man who takes his hand comfortingly into his own. Picard continues that Data wanted more than anything to be part of that, to be part of the "Human family". "We are such stuff as dreams are made on," Picard says, quoting Shakespeare as he deactivates the simulation, "and our little life is rounded with a sleep." Data's timeless android face quickly ages to that of an old man with gray hair and eyes closing, peacefully dies with what is revealed to be a simulated Picard from their years on the Enterprise-D at his side, who returns Data's lifeless hand to his lap, at which they and then the rest of the simulation fades away to nothing.
Picard returns to La Sirena, telling its crew – now augmented by Seven and Soji – that it was time to depart. He comments to Soji on how she had worked so hard to get home, and now she was leaving it behind. Soji explains that she felt the urge to wander, and with the synth ban now lifted, she was free to do so, to which Picard adds that he is as well. Rios asks Picard if he was ready. Picard looks around to his crew, and gives the order: "Engage."
"Would the xBs be better off dead? Everyone hates them, they have no home, they don't belong anywhere."
"Am I better off dead? I'm an xB, I have no home, I don't belong anywhere. Why don't I just put a phaser to my head and get it over with?"
"Because… I'd miss you."
- - Elnor and Seven
"Picard, try to see this from our point of view. You choose if we live, you choose if we die. You choose! We have no choice! You organics have never given us one."
"To say you have no choice is a failure of imagination."
- - Soji and Picard
"Mmm, those three beautiful words."
"… You were right."
"Mmm, just one more time."
- - Musiker and Rios, after Rios fixes La Sirena
"Feldor stam torret!"
"I do. I very much choose to live."
- - Elnor and Narek
"Seb Cheneb? Yes, we know about her."
"So you know that she carries a horn from a great hellbeast called Ganmadan. You know when she blows a blast on the horn, it will unleash all the ch'khalagu who have been waiting since there beginning of time. You know the sky will crack, and through the crack in the sky, the ch'khalagu will come ravening. You know about the Thousand Days of Pain. You know the streets will be slick with entrails of half-devoured corpses. You know the worlds will burn, and the ch'khalagu will feast, and nurse their brats on blood, and pick their teeth with bones."
"No, we did not know any of that."
- - Musiker, Narek, and Rios
"I still don't like you."
- - Elnor, to Narek
"They've left us behind, Picard! They're generations beyond us!"
"In one sense, yes, but in another, as you said, they are children. And until now, the only teachers that they've had are a couple of hermits, and the fear of extermination. But fear is an incompetent teacher. Yes, they have life. But no one is teaching them what it's for. To be alive is a responsibility, as well as a right."
"How are they supposed to learn that lesson in six minutes, and eleven seconds?"
"The way that children learn most things: by example."
- - Jurati and Picard
"So, how do we hold off 218 warbirds until Starfleet gets here? If they get here? … Are you not answering to build suspense, or…?"
"At the present moment, Dr. Jurati, I am trying to pilot a starship for the first time in a very long time, without exploding or crashing! If that is alright with you."
"No, totally, good call. One impossible thing at a time."
- - Jurati and Picard
"Sad, Queen Annika. Six years old, and all she got for her birthday was assimilated. Why didn't you just put a phaser to your head and get it over with?!"
"Because I still had this to live for. This... is for HUGH!"
- - Narissa and Seven, before Seven kills Narissa
"Soji, I want you to reconsider your present course of action, and power down the beacon."
"You know that's not going to happen."
"I have something I want to give you and your people. And I hope it will change your mind."
"And what's that?"
"My life. Picard out."
- - Picard and Soji
"General, or commodore, or whatever you're calling yourself, right now I'm on the bridge of the toughest, fastest, most powerful starship Starfleet has ever put into service, and I've got a fleet of them at my back. We've got our phasers locked on your warp cores, and nothing would make me happier than you giving me an excuse to kick your treacherous Tal Shiar ass. But instead, I'm going to ask you one time to stand down."
- - Riker, issuing an ultimatum to Oh
"Prepare to fight."
- - Oh
"I said I would never do it again, and then I fucking did it again."
"Never again do what?"
"So many things, but in this instance, never again kill somebody just because it's what they deserve. Just because it feels wrong for them to still be alive. You?"
"Never again let another self-righteous, hard-assed, old starship captain into my heart. Never again have to stand there and watch him die."
"Was there anything you could have done to prevent it?"
"No, I guess there wasn't."
"Hmm… then I win."
- - Rios and Seven
- - Picard and Data's final words to each other
"Am I real?"
"Of course you are."
- - Picard, and Soji, as Picard awakens in a Golem body
"You- you haven't made me immortal?"
"Oh relax, man. Everyone was paying attention. We took care of you."
"We designed a cellular homeostasis algorithm that should give you more or less the same number of years you would have expected without the brain condition."
"I wouldn't have minded another ten. Twenty?"
- - Picard, Soong, and Jurati
"It says a great deal about the mind of Commander Data that looking at the human race, with all its violence and corruption and willful ignorance, he could still see kindness, immense curiosity, and greatness of spirit, and he wanted more than anything else, to be part of that. To be a part of the human family. We are such stuff as dreams are made on, and our little life is rounded with a sleep."
- - Picard, as he ends Data's consciousness
- - Picard, ending the first season
- This is one of fifteen Star Trek episodes with titles derived from Latin, in this case the phrase "Even in Arcadia, there am I." This is generally interpreted with "Arcadia" meaning a utopian land and the "I" referring to Death, making it a memento mori. The other episodes with Latin titles are "Dramatis Personae", "Sub Rosa", "Ex Post Facto", "Non Sequitur", "Alter Ego", "Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges", "Terra Nova", "Vox Sola", "Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum", "Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1", "Veritas", "Terra Firma, Part 1", "Terra Firma, Part 2", and "Memento Mori".
- The USS Zheng He bridge is a redress of the USS Discovery bridge set from Star Trek: Discovery, located at Pinewood Toronto Studios. Jonathan Frakes took time to film his appearance as William T. Riker while directing an episode of Discovery's third season. 
- 5 March 2020: Title publicly revealed 
Cast and characters
- This episode depicts the death of Jean-Luc Picard's Human body, as well as the transference of his mind into a golem.
- This episode also depicts the final death of Data.
- Narek disappears from the narrative after pleading with Soji to disable the transmitter; his fate is not revealed. According to showrunner Michael Chabon, a scene depicting Narek being taken into Federation custody was ultimately cut from the episode. 
- Seven of Nine and Raffi Musiker are exploring a romantic relationship in their final scene aboard La Sirena, according to Michael Chabon.  Although Seven and Raffi did not have many scenes together during the season, the romance was included at the behest of Jeri Ryan, Michelle Hurd, and the writers, who felt a connection between the characters during a previous shared moment in "Stardust City Rag". 
- Narek mentions that, by some accounts, the story of Seb-Cheneb "dates back from long before our ancestors first arrived on Vulcan." The possibility that Vulcans (and thus, by extension, Romulans) might have descended from interstellar colonists was raised in "Return to Tomorrow".
- Narissa taunts Seven of Nine: "Sad Queen Annika...six years old, and all she got for her birthday was assimilated." In "The Raven", Seven recalled that her last birthday cake before she was taken by the Borg "had six candles on it, and one more to grow on." Responding to Narissa's taunt, Seven kicks her off the ledge declaring "This... is for Hugh!", avenging his murder in "Nepenthe".
- Agnes Jurati mentions the Picard Maneuver, which Picard tells her he used aboard the USS Stargazer, as originally depicted in "The Battle".
- Riker cites the Treaty of Algeron, introduced in "The Pegasus", and also referred to in "These Are the Voyages...", the character's last onscreen appearance prior to Star Trek: Picard.
- This episode follows up on the fate of Lieutenant Commander Data after his "death" in Star Trek Nemesis, and apparently depicts the final end of his consciousness, as the simulation containing it is terminated at his request. Data's desire for a less-than-immortal life was previously expressed to Geordi La Forge in "Time's Arrow".
- Picard ending Data's consciousness hearkens back to Star Trek: Insurrection where Picard told Admiral Dougherty that he should be the one to terminate Data, being his captain and his friend.
- Data's consciousness being preserved in an artificial construct, is in one sense Data coming full circle; in 2369 Data was instrumental in preserving the holographic character James Moriarty in an artificial construct, after Data had meddled with the program, which unexpectedly led to the Moriarty-program becoming sentient. Feeling responsible, Data helped Captain Picard create a memory module in which a perpetually running simulation was embedded, and where Moriarty, accompanied by his (equally artificial) consort, could live out his life. (TNG: "Ship in a Bottle") Moriarty though, was unaware of the true nature of his artificial surroundings, unlike Data who was in his decades later.
- At the conclusion, Raffi is shown playing kal-toh with Seven, who had previously demonstrated "impressive" skill at the game in "The Omega Directive".
Links and references
- Patrick Stewart as Jean-Luc Picard
- Alison Pill as Agnes Jurati
- Isa Briones as Soji Asha / Sutra
- Evan Evagora as Elnor
- Michelle Hurd as Raffaela Musiker
Special guest stars
- Kay Bess as La Sirena computer (voice)
- Brian DeRozan as Romulan officer
- Matt Perfetuo as Rune
- Mike Perfetuo as Codex
- Jade Ramsey as Arcana
- Nikita Ramsey as Saga (corpse)
- Apolla Asteria as a Coppelius android
- Bryan Cartago as a Coppelius android
- Michelle Chelle as a Coppelius android
- Rochelle Chelle as a Coppelius android
- Anna Chiasson as a Coppelius android
- Ashley Chiasson as a Coppelius android
- K DaCosta as a Coppelius android
- Antoine Holmes as a Coppelius android
- Spencer Holmes as a Coppelius android
- Scottie Hulin as a Coppelius android
- Natalie Kailey as a Coppelius android
- Sara Kelly as a Coppelius android
- Maya McClean as a Coppelius android
- Nandy McClean as a Coppelius android
- Marina Miller as a Coppelius android
- Jay Jay Moon as a Coppelius android
- Josh Moreno as a Coppelius android
- Celina Nguyen as a Coppelius android
- Kitty Nguyen as a Coppelius android
- Julia Nolan as a Coppelius android
- Liz Nolan as a Coppelius android
- Ella Rogers as a Coppelius android
- Zachry Rogers as a Coppelius android
- Geoff Samuels as a Coppelius android
- Greg Paul Samuels as a Coppelius android
- Petra Sprecher as a Coppelius android
- Anna Waldrum as a Coppelius android
- Eric Watson as a Coppelius android
- Unknown performers as ten Coppelius androids
- Katelyn Brooke as stunt double for Jeri Ryan
- Janell Haney as stunt double for Peyton List
- Selkie Hom as stunt double for Isa Briones
- Trevor Logan as stunt double for Harry Treadaway
- Tim Storms as stunt double for Patrick Stewart
2305; 2379; acting captain; admiral; Aia artificial lifeform; android; Artifact; assimilation; B-4; ball; blue; bluebirds; "Blue Skies"; brain substrates; bridge; Buddha; butterfly (Coppelius butterfly); captain; captain (title); ccs; cellular homeostasis algorithm; Château Picard; ch'khalagu; clothes; combadge (comm pin); commodore; Coppelius (aka Ghulion IV); Coppelius, Defense of; Coppelius android; Coppelius beacon; Coppelius Station (aka "Synthville"); data stream; death; deflectors; demons; doctor; dream; dual; duty; Enterprise-D, USS; entrails; excuse; eye (optical processor); flagship; fleet; fucking; fundamental field replicator; Ganesha; Ganmadan (event); Ganmadan (hellbeast); general; golem; half-meat; heart; hellbeast; hermits; horgl; house arrest; Hugh; hybrid; imagination; Inquiry-class; intermix reactor; Judgment Day; kal-toh; khalagu; La Barre; landing gear; La Sirena; lieutenant commander; life; lockdown; Maddox, Bruce; maintenance replicator; mirror; molecular solvent grenade; mother; murder; neural engram; neural lace; neurocotamic interface; Oh's warbird; orchid; "organics"; phaser (type 2 phaser); phonograph; photon torpedo; Picard Maneuver; pizza; planet; polisinephrine; prophecy; Qowat Milat (qalankhkai); quantum simulation; RADAR; Ragnarok; Reliant, USS; retinal scan; retinal scanner; Romulan; Romulan disruptor rifle; Romulan drone; Romulan language; Romulan warbird; Saraswati; Seb-Cheneb; Seb-Natan; secret agent; ship; sister; skies; sleep; smiling; snakehead (unnamed); soccer; song; Soong-type android; Spanish language; Starfleet; Starfleet insignia; Starfleet uniform (2350s-2370s); Starfleet uniform (2370s-early 2380s); Starfleet uniform (2390s); Stargazer, USS; statue; sterilization; story; streets; superluminal tuner; superpower; synthetic matrix; Tal Shiar; tan qalanq; teleportation; Tempest, The; terms; Thousand Days of Pain; transporter block; Treaty of Algeron; United Federation of Planets (aka Federation); V-module; Vayt sector; vinyl record; Vulcan (planet); Vulcan (species); warp cores; warplane; weapons systems (aka weapons); xB; Zhat Vash; Zheng He, USS
- Observations in PIC: "Et in Arcadia Ego II" at Ex Astris Scientia
- Et in Arcadia Ego at Memory Beta, the wiki for licensed Star Trek works
- "Star Trek: Picard Episode 9, "Et in Arcadia Ego" Part 2" at MissionLogPodcast.com, a Roddenberry Star Trek podcast
"Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1"
|Star Trek: Picard
"The Star Gazer"