In Star Trek: Picard Episode 8, “Broken Pieces,” Soji begins to come to terms with her synthetic nature while the crew of the La Sirena begin to put together the pieces of this season-long jigsaw puzzle.
This recap of Star Trek: Picard Season 1, Episode 8, “Broken Pieces”, contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.
Well, we’re nearing the end of the first season of Star Trek: Picard, and things are getting crazy. The disparate plotlines began to come together two episodes ago (slightly splitting off into another head-scratching diversion still on the Artifact). Last week, Picard received some much-needed counsel and direction from his former compatriates, and now he returns to the La Sirena – his new crew – to truly begin to solve the puzzle of this season. It all comes together swimmingly!
We begin Star Trek: Picard Episode 8 on Aia, “the grief world.” There’s a group of Zhad Vash ladies, led by Commodore Oh and joined by Narissa and Ramdha, all standing around a strange light bar. When they touch it, they’re all inundated with the same vision that Oh forced upon Agnes Jurati (Alison Pill) a few weeks ago. It turns out that Oh is half-Vulcan, half-Romulan, giving her telepathic powers and helping her to infiltrate Starfleet. She also apparently facilitates the Zhad Vash ritual called The Admonition (great name), which may drive the participants mad. It shows them the end of all things, what Jurati describes as Hell made real. The Zhad Vash connect this with synthetic life, that an ancient race has warned them to stop the creation of synthetic lifeforms because it will inevitably lead to the destruction of all things. Once they see this apocalyptic vision, all but Narissa drive themselves mad, and all but Ramdha kill themselves. And now Narissa has a purpose: join Oh and the Zhad Vash in destroying Mars to goad Starfleet into banning Synths and then hunting down the last of them at their homeworld.
Elnor (who inexplicably remains on the Borg cube) called for Seven of Nine in the last episode, and she arrives to save him. There’s a ton of fighting, and Seven tells Elnor she has a plan: “I can explain or I can steal this cube.” She hotwires the Borg cube and plans to make a mini-Collective to drive out the Romulans from the Cube. Seven becomes a Borg Queen, activates the Borg to Drive Out the Romulans from the cube. Then Narissa shoots them all into Space, devastating Seven.
Back on the La Sirena in Star Trek: Picard Episode 8, Picard takes Troi’s advice from the last episode and begins to talk with Soji, to see what makes her tick, to make her trust him. He is returning to the captain we’ve always known him to be, and it’s wondrously reassuring to behold. When she laments her false history, he reassures her: “You have a story waiting to be claimed.” She’s somehow inherited Data’s engrams, making her special. Moreover, he admits that “Data’s capacity for processing and expressing emotion was limited. We have that in common.” He’s still a bit gruff, but Picard’s capacity for ingratiation is returning.
Rios somehow recognizes Soji, sets the La Sirena on autopilot for Deep Space 12 and locks himself in his quarters to drink. Raffi then begins to piece together the mystery, interrogating Rios’ many holograms that run the ship. This leads to a few endearing, delightful scenes with the disparate aspects of Rios’ holo-personas. He runs the ship using a version of automation; he’s scanned himself to create a holographic crew, all with different personalities but with Rios’ face. It’s really funny and engaging. All the while, Raffi tries to talk with them to get to the truth of why Rios reacted so strongly to Soji’s arrival.
She gets the name “Jana” from them and proceeds to ask Rios. He tells her the story of Captain Alonzo Vandermeer of the USS ibn Majid who met two emissaries and they promptly killed them after meeting with them. One of them looked exactly like Soji. Rios admits that this was a murder ordered by Starfleet, that Oh discovered they were Synths and ordered Vandermeer to murder them in cold blood. Rios confronted his captain, who then killed himself, forcing Rios to cover the whole thing up and then resign from Starfleet six months later. It destroyed him.
In the meantime, the La Sirena crew have figured out Jurati’s tracking device and that she put herself in a coma. Picard wakes up Jurati and she admits everything, then swoons upon meeting Soji, swearing she’ll never harm her (after killing Maddox…). The whole crew talks, combining their stories, some of the missing pieces are filled in by Soji, as her newly-activated artificial intelligence begins to reassert itself. She then hacks the La Sirena and sets a course for her homeworld using a Transwarp conduit… and a Romulan scout ship (piloted by Narek, I presume) remains in pursuit.
This is a solid episode, filled with great, thorough character work. It’s thrilling, exciting and shows Picard’s growth through the season. Now that he’s not merely using the inhabitants of the La Sirena to do his bidding, he’s actually beginning to lead them, to mold them together into more than a motley connection of broken individuals–they’re becoming a crew.
- The Five Holo-Rioses are hilarious! The emergency engineering hologram! He’s Scottish!
- Rios’ lullaby backdoor security protocol is fantastic
- Picard reminds us that “Fear is the great destroyer,” which is good advice in this, our COVID-19 worry-filled world.
- Every time Star Trek—be it Disco or Picard—drops an F-bomb, it’s so out of place. I’m no prude, but it just feels jammed in there because we can have a TV-MA rating on this streaming platform. Use the streaming capabilities to tell varying lengths and structures of story–stop using it for smut and stupidity.
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