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Re: Star Trek: Picard (aka ST:P)

Posted: Fri Mar 20, 2020 11:57 pm
by RJDiogenes
Thank you, thank you. I'm here all week. :hello:
scottydog wrote:
Fri Mar 20, 2020 2:26 am
Yeah, they kind of telegraphed this. I spent the entire 2nd half of the episode pondering whether it's a good thing or a bad thing for Picard's "essence" to be transferred into an android body.
It's probably a red herring, but on the other hand they've done a bit of foreshadowing. At least twice-- once with the XBs and once with the Synths-- Picard has promised to be their advocate. The best way he could accomplish that (especially since he's dying) is to be a part of both worlds.
Yet I'm troubled by the implications of this. Are we destined to create technologies that will immortalize us all? Do we want that? Old people and old ideas need to die off. Otherwise, life doesn't progress.
I disagree. I want to live forever. :lol:

Re: Star Trek: Picard (aka ST:P)

Posted: Sat Mar 21, 2020 1:23 am
by scottydog
RJDiogenes wrote:
Fri Mar 20, 2020 11:57 pm
Yet I'm troubled by the implications of this. Are we destined to create technologies that will immortalize us all? Do we want that? Old people and old ideas need to die off. Otherwise, life doesn't progress.
I disagree. I want to live forever. :lol:
It could happen. As we speak, some mad scientist somewhere is attempting to download his personality into a robotic storage device.

Re: Star Trek: Picard (aka ST:P)

Posted: Sat Mar 21, 2020 8:03 am
by Orpheus
I want RJ to live forever, too.

Me? I could stand a rewind to half my current age, but then I'd play forward to the end of the reel until my leader flaps in the breeze like a Crusader's pennant, remembered only vaguely --half-corrupted-- in contradictory versions of history. Let another wear my boots.

Re: Star Trek: Picard (aka ST:P)

Posted: Sat Mar 21, 2020 7:59 pm
by RJDiogenes
scottydog wrote:
Sat Mar 21, 2020 1:23 am
It could happen. As we speak, some mad scientist somewhere is attempting to download his personality into a robotic storage device.
Sure, the world may call me mad, but I'll show them. I'll show them all!
Orpheus wrote:
Sat Mar 21, 2020 8:03 am
I want RJ to live forever, too.
Thank you. Please see my GoFundMe page.
Me? I could stand a rewind to half my current age, but then I'd play forward to the end of the reel until my leader flaps in the breeze like a Crusader's pennant, remembered only vaguely --half-corrupted-- in contradictory versions of history. Let another wear my boots.
Hmmm....
Me? I could stand
a rewind to half my current age
but then I'd play forward
to the end of the reel
until my leader flaps in the breeze
like a Crusader's pennant.
Remembered only vaguely
--half-corrupted--
in contradictory versions of history.
Let another wear my boots.
That's better. :quill:

Re: Star Trek: Picard (aka ST:P)

Posted: Fri Mar 27, 2020 12:50 am
by RJDiogenes
And so the first (and possibly only) season of Picard comes to an end, and there's a lot to think about.

The final episode is unquestionably a mixed bag, as was the whole season, with plenty of loose ends flapping in the breeze, some of them quite surprising. But other aspects of the finale were quite satisfying-- and in some respects also surprising.

As I said at the beginning, I really didn't want them to go the route of the dark and corrupt Federation, but I was grudgingly all right with the way they did it: They didn't present a Federation or a Starfleet that had become entirely Dystopic or criminal, but one that had simply abandoned its high standards for the sake of expediency-- and, as it turns out, as the result being manipulated with fear and loathing. This was not presented as the status quo or as inevitable, but as a failure of vision that drove Picard into isolation. The only thing that could make this thematic development acceptable is for it to be corrected in the end, and that was achieved in this finale. The Synth Ban, emblematic of this dark period, was overturned.

One of the things that makes Trek Trek, of course, are the morality plays, the commentaries on the world we live in, and to that end the moral failure of the Federation parallels modern history. When TOS came on the air, the world was charged with the electricity of change as it never was before-- but the generations that followed abandoned that positivity for negativity, abandoned liberalism for political correctness and identity politics. In classic Trek fashion, Picard tells us that this can be healed. In the same vein, the long and winding plot leads us to a group of androids who are adult in appearance, but are in fact sheltered and naive children, their view of the world shaped-- or misshapen-- by antisocial hermits. Basically, a metaphor for the Millennial Generation, who are defined by the propaganda of social media influencers who profit from conflict. But again, in the person of Soji, we are told that this, too, can be cured by the simple, yet powerful, method of setting a good example.

Which brings us to the curious situation of the title character. Picard begins the series bitter and defeated, yet slowly regains his passion for goodness. He is beset by the obstacles of a hardened Starfleet bureaucracy and the cynicism of broken colleagues, but he carries on, and in the end it is not self-righteousness, but unselfish righteousness that wins the day. But the curious part is what physically becomes of the character. His mind is transplanted into an android body to forestall death-- but the android body is just as elderly and mortal as the dead one he left behind. It is essentially just an elaborate cure for a disease that didn't need to be introduced in the first place. So what was the point? In Sci-Fi terms, or general story terms, this was, perhaps, to make overt his rebirth in an almost messianic way. Picard is reborn, and through him the Federation and the Synths also experience a chance at a new beginning.

The episode itself was certainly not without its flaws. So many threads went nowhere. What was the meaning of the five queens? Of that dream sequence in general? Premonitions really don't belong in Star Trek. Elfwich, as lovable as he is, really had no moment or special story function to justify his existence. The two cool Romulan caretakers just disappeared, despite my expectation that they would pop up at a pivotal moment. So much about Maddox and Soong and their androids remains unexplained-- not the least of which is how they came up with that magic Swiss Army Knife. And how did Oh, after years embedded in Starfleet, suddenly pop up in command of a Romulan armada? Most of all, where the fuck did Admiral Clancy fuck off to?

But there were certainly many great moments, first among them Picard's persuasive diplomatic monologue that changed Soji's heart, pissed off the Romulans, and made Riker smile. And, of course, Riker's sudden appearance in command of his fleet was both impressive and heartwarming. I got a kick, so to speak, out of Rios smuggling in the bomb with his soccer ball-- see, we could have used that Emergency Soccer Hologram after all. And the death of Picard and the mourning of his crew-- all broken people that he patched together-- was almost overwhelming. Poor Elfwich collapsing into Raffi's lap was just too sad.

Another momentous aspect of the episode, of course, was the appearance of Data, before his second and final death, and the final farewell of two old friends and comrades. I do find it unfortunate that the story perpetuated the religious propaganda that it's best to just live your allotted years and then go peacefully into that good night, but this passage, since we know that these actors will not live forever-- and neither will we-- was heartbreakingly bittersweet. And so much better than Nemesis. "How could you think that I would regret giving my life for you?" If that was not a perfect Star Trek moment, I don't know what is.

Then also-- from the sublime to the ridiculous-- we got a glimpse of the Uber-Synths that threatened to annihilate all biological life. I was kind of hoping that they would turn out to be advanced, Organian-like beings who would lecture the Synths and Biologicals alike, but no, they were monsters. Weird, black, mechanical, tenticular monsters. It was like Cthulhu developed an interest in robotics. Kind of cool, actually. But I worry that other writers will turn these guys into the next Borg, and I am so sick of that shit.

Finally, at the end, we came to that classic Star Trek scene of heading off into the final frontier. I don't even know if they said what they planned to do or what their purpose in life is now, I just saw that crew gathered on the bridge, facing front into the unknown. I would have preferred a Starfleet ship, but La Sirena is just fine. The next Next Generation-- Elnor, Jurati, Seven, Raffi, Soji, Rios, and Captain Picard. Definitely a crew I want to follow to their next destination.

Re: Star Trek: Picard (aka ST:P)

Posted: Fri Mar 27, 2020 6:15 am
by Orpheus
RJDiogenes wrote:
Sat Mar 21, 2020 7:59 pm
Orpheus wrote:
Sat Mar 21, 2020 8:03 am
Me? I could stand a rewind to half my current age, but then I'd play forward to the end of the reel until my leader flaps in the breeze like a Crusader's pennant, remembered only vaguely --half-corrupted-- in contradictory versions of history. Let another wear my boots.
Hmmm....
Me? I could stand
a rewind to half my current age
but then I'd play forward
to the end of the reel
until my leader flaps in the breeze
like a Crusader's pennant.
Remembered only vaguely
--half-corrupted--
in contradictory versions of history.
Let another wear my boots.
That's better. :quill:
Damn, RJ, you are some kind of poet!

The same goes for your subsequent analysis!

Re: Star Trek: Picard (aka ST:P)

Posted: Fri Mar 27, 2020 10:14 am
by scottydog
Wow. A truly fabulous finale. :yes:
RJDiogenes wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 12:50 am
And so the first (and possibly only) season of Picard comes to an end
Please don't even raise the possibility that there may not be a season 2 :warn: All signs that I can see point to season 2 happening. Whoopi Goldberg has committed to returning as Guinan -- that will be interesting.
RJDiogenes wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 12:50 am
plenty of loose ends flapping in the breeze
I agree there are loose ends, but the most important issues were resolved and that was enough for me. Picard's two Romulan caretakers, seen earilier this season, are good characters and served the important function of depicting the gratitude and devotion held by some Romulans toward Picard. That's sufficient for me. And if there is a season 2, these characters may yet have their moments.
RJDiogenes wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 12:50 am
As I said at the beginning, I really didn't want them to go the route of the dark and corrupt Federation, but I was grudgingly all right with the way they did it:
I shared your concern and I agree that they way they did it was acceptable. The Star Trek universe can go temporarily dark but not permanently so, IMHO. I wonder if ST: Discovery will learn this lesson in its upcoming season 3.
RJDiogenes wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 12:50 am
But again, in the person of Soji, we are told that this, too, can be cured by the simple, yet powerful, method of setting a good example.
Yes. I love that message. So I sense that you see Soji as representative of Millennials (or Gen Z) and Picard as possibly representing the older generation somehow reaching & wielding positive influence on the young. I'll need to chew on that. There are lots of layers here. The synths desire their independence from the older "establishment" and their defensiveness produces in them the kind of evil they purported to be rebelling against. That's a nice touch, and realistic, too.

I see the Romulans as possibly representing Republican evangelicals, guided by ancient myth and ruled by fear, intent on wiping out any threat to established purity and order.
RJDiogenes wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 12:50 am
Picard begins the series bitter and defeated, yet slowly regains his passion for goodness.
Yes, yes, yes. He transforms back to his true self. This season has been a journey of healing for him, and his transformative healing places him in the position of helping others (Raffi, Agnes, Soji, his bodyguard, etc). Even more importantly, Picard's healing allows for the healing of the larger society and universe as a whole. This is cosmic storytelling, the stuff of the classic hero's journey. :dance:
RJDiogenes wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 12:50 am
But there were certainly many great moments, first among them Picard's persuasive diplomatic monologue that changed Soji's heart, pissed off the Romulans, and made Riker smile.
I loved seeing Picard in his role of mentor, saying all the right things to reach his pupil. It was all so brilliantly written, and very believable, and very moving. And to see a former pupil in Riker, come back to help his old teacher, well, that was a beautiful touch, too.
RJDiogenes wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 12:50 am
...but no, they were monsters. Weird, black, mechanical, tenticular monsters.
Quite a disappointment with the visuals here. One gets the feeling that Seth McFarlane would have made a much, much better choice here regarding the look of the alien destroyers.
RJDiogenes wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 12:50 am
Finally, at the end, we came to that classic Star Trek scene of heading off into the final frontier.
Yes. Makes you very curious what direction season 2 will take, or should take. Will season 2 be a completely independent storyline, or will it have ties to season 1's arc?

I'm still pondering the new, synthetic Picard and how the showrunners handled his life-altering transition. That life-after-death scene with Picard chatting with Data about their love, and their deaths... wow, it is absolutely exquisite. I believe it's a true triumph for the series, and for the entire Star Trek franchise.

Is the ending a bit too tidy? Yes and no. A newly synthetic Picard is a kind of cheat, a hero’s unrealistic avoidance of a deadly condition that would elude no one except of course a sci-fi icon.

Yet the way it is done here somehow works, and somehow satisfies. Picard has been "reborn", healed psychologically and now healed physically. He may be a synth but he’s a mortal synth, with the same ticking biological clock as the rest of us. And am I correct that his deadly brain condition was brought about by his earlier Borgification? If that's true, then it's fitting and appropriate that his emotional healing from that event should parallel his physical healing from it.

So as befitting the hero's journey, Picard rediscovers his True Self, and in so doing he helps others find their True Selves, and he saves the universe. It's all very nice. The butterfly image is a bit too on-the nose, but I can forgive that. At least they had the wisdom to make the butterfly destructible. A butterfly, after all, isn’t a butterfly if it lasts forever.

Re: Star Trek: Picard (aka ST:P)

Posted: Fri Mar 27, 2020 10:16 pm
by RJDiogenes
Orpheus wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 6:15 am
Damn, RJ, you are some kind of poet!
You wrote it! :lol:
The same goes for your subsequent analysis!
Thank you. :)
scottydog wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 10:14 am
Please don't even raise the possibility that there may not be a season 2 :warn:
Season two has already been approved, but everything has been put on hold because of the Coronapocalypse. The longer it's delayed, I think the less likely it is to happen.
All signs that I can see point to season 2 happening. Whoopi Goldberg has committed to returning as Guinan -- that will be interesting.
Robert Picardo, too, I believe.
Picard's two Romulan caretakers, seen earilier this season, are good characters and served the important function of depicting the gratitude and devotion held by some Romulans toward Picard. That's sufficient for me. And if there is a season 2, these characters may yet have their moments.
I hope so. I picture them back at Chateau Picard, saying, "I wish he would call!" Season two will be about his abandonment issues for leaving them behind while he was busy working out his abandonment issues for people he previously abandoned.
The synths desire their independence from the older "establishment" and their defensiveness produces in them the kind of evil they purported to be rebelling against.
Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss.
I see the Romulans as possibly representing Republican evangelicals, guided by ancient myth and ruled by fear, intent on wiping out any threat to established purity and order.
I think the Romulans broadly represent the force of fear and hatred. They used the non-sentient synths to sow discord in the same way that social media influencers use sock puppets.
Yes, yes, yes. He transforms back to his true self. This season has been a journey of healing for him, and his transformative healing places him in the position of helping others (Raffi, Agnes, Soji, his bodyguard, etc). Even more importantly, Picard's healing allows for the healing of the larger society and universe as a whole. This is cosmic storytelling, the stuff of the classic hero's journey. :dance:
Indeed.
Quite a disappointment with the visuals here. One gets the feeling that Seth McFarlane would have made a much, much better choice here regarding the look of the alien destroyers.
Yes, pretty disappointing, although cool in their own way-- just better suited to a Horror movie. It would have been funny if they all looked like Soong. :lol:
Yes. Makes you very curious what direction season 2 will take, or should take. Will season 2 be a completely independent storyline, or will it have ties to season 1's arc?
It won't happen, but it would be perfect if season two is completely episodic, like TNG.
And am I correct that his deadly brain condition was brought about by his earlier Borgification?
I don't know if they ever established that, but it seems certain that he no longer has that connection to the Collective. One thing that occurred to me as I was mulling things over is that it might have been better if he was saved by Borg technology, and left with a visible sign of his new condition, like Seven's eyebrow implant-- essentially becoming half Picard and half Locutus. That would put him in the perfect position to be the spokesmodel for XBs and Synths, as he mentioned a couple of times. The Best of Both Worlds.

Re: Star Trek: Picard (aka ST:P)

Posted: Sat Mar 28, 2020 9:52 am
by Jim Gamma
scottydog wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 10:14 am
I wonder if ST: Discovery will learn this lesson in its upcoming season 3.
S3 is giving us a Federation on the brink of breaking up, or maybe even pretty much gone. They're a thousand years in the future, and there's clips of the new captain holding a Federation pennant with only a few stars left. I think they're going full Andromeda where they have to rebuild the Federation (the V'draysh per one of the Short Treks) from pretty much scratch.

Re: Star Trek: Picard (aka ST:P)

Posted: Sat Mar 28, 2020 10:36 am
by scottydog
Jim Gamma wrote:
Sat Mar 28, 2020 9:52 am
S3 is giving us a Federation on the brink of breaking up, or maybe even pretty much gone. They're a thousand years in the future, and there's clips of the new captain holding a Federation pennant with only a few stars left. I think they're going full Andromeda where they have to rebuild the Federation (the V'draysh per one of the Short Treks) from pretty much scratch.
Wow, really? They say all great empires come and go, that nothing is forever. I'll be curious how they handle all this.

Re: Star Trek: Picard (aka ST:P)

Posted: Sat Mar 28, 2020 7:27 pm
by RJDiogenes
So what did you think of Picard, Jim?

Re: Star Trek: Picard (aka ST:P)

Posted: Mon Mar 30, 2020 6:35 am
by Orpheus
RJDiogenes wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 10:16 pm
Orpheus wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 6:15 am
Damn, RJ, you are some kind of poet!
You wrote it! :lol:
A rose bush is a terrible poet --I've listened to quite a few.

Though it sprouts the buds and spreads the petals, it is he who sees the poem in the blossoms who is the poet.

Re: Star Trek: Picard (aka ST:P)

Posted: Mon Mar 30, 2020 10:20 pm
by RJDiogenes
Orpheus wrote:
Mon Mar 30, 2020 6:35 am
A rose bush is a terrible poet --I've listened to quite a few.

Though it sprouts the buds and spreads the petals, it is he who sees the poem in the blossoms who is the poet.
Hmmm....
Orpheus wrote:
Mon Mar 30, 2020 6:35 am
A rose bush is a terrible poet --
I've listened to quite a few.
Though it sprouts the buds
and spreads the petals,
it is he who sees
the poem in the blossoms
who is the poet.
You did it again! :lol:

Re: Star Trek: Picard (aka ST:P)

Posted: Mon Mar 30, 2020 11:34 pm
by scottydog
^^ :lol: :toast: