Just when you think Star Trek: Picard Season 1 Episode 8 has revealed all, that tiny little stinger of a Romulan Snakehead scout ship has to zap us with the potential of a Narek-Soji reunion.
And you have to know by now that I'm hoping to see her smash his face in.
Overall, there was enough exposition here to add several chapters to the Trek-opedia.
The origin of the Zhat Vash is EPIC in its mysticism.
Even the setting, "Aia, the Grief World," is so completely fantastical. A single planet hung between EIGHT suns?
The idea that a planet in that situation could be accessible or habitable even for the short time it takes to view the Admonition and tear your face off is really stretching the creative end of astrophysics.
Raffi: I'm getting closer. Ian, I can feel it.
EEH: Aye, and how's it feel?
Raffi: Absolutely terrifying.
I have so many questions about the Admonition.
Primarily, why is Data clearly the evolution of the synth in the images? How could the Admonition, supposedly programmed two or three hundred thousand years ago, include Data or any sort of Soong-type android?
Is it possible the Admonition was planted (along with all the effort involved to assemble the octonary system around Aia) to shape the fear that drives the Zhat Vash?
Also, when Ramdha identified Soji as Seb-Cheneb, how could she know there were two? How does the Admonition factor into her knowledge of Romulan mythology?
Why are all the acolytes female? And Oh references only "foremothers" so have all Zhat Vash members always been exclusively female?
What does that make Narek? I mean, besides a counter-balance to Elnor in his role as the only male Qowat Milat.
Did the Zhat Vash predate the Tal Shiar? Or did the Zhat Vash commandeer the more open and recognizable threat of the Tal Shiar to carry out their plans?
The ship-in-a-bottle drama that played out on La Sirena was more like a genie-out-of-a-bottle scenario.
Soji's presence not only triggered Rios' backstory but managed to convert Dr. Jurati from her fanatical brainwashing.
Well, I'm done murdering people so... that's a good thing.Dr. Jurati
Rios' backstory was almost unbelievably relevant to the mystery Raffi was piecing together.
The entire episode aboard the U.S.S. Ibn Majid could have easily been recounted in a tragic Short Trek episode or novelization.
Instead, told by Rios without benefit of fadeaway flashback bleed, it was a heartbreaking account of how a single event can derail everything a man had planned and valued in his life.
How amazing was it to watch Raffi replicate a cup of coffee and pay back the friendship Rios offered when she was coming off her post-son-reunion bender on Star Trek: Picard Season 1 Episode 6?
I'm still hoping to find out how the two of them met.
Raffi: The Tal Shiar had a tracker inside your girl Jurati and it looks like she killed Bruce Maddox.
ENH: Well, that's bad news.
Raffi: Uh, yeah. Unless you like giant, all-encompassing, paranoid conspiracy theories. Then it's kinda, y'know, AWESOME... in a, in a... horrible way
Santiago Cabrera gets all the props for trotting out every accent to distinguish the holo-crew from one another.
Enoch might be Raffi's favorite (he is pretty adorbs) but I'm liking Emmet's shoot-em-unless-we-don't attitude, laughing at the hospitality holo's close-talking, and appreciating Ian's rolling Scottish br-r-r-r-r-rogue.
It's pretty clear Cabrera's getting a kick out of playing out six different facets of Rios' personality. With selective deletions.
So, do all the holos know that Rios and Dr. Jurati had that one-night stand? Weird.
Speaking of our dear Agnes, I'm not sure how comfortable I am with welcoming her back into the fold.
Do you believe in Hell? Yeah, neither did I until I saw it. Now, I think about suicide every day. That's how I comfort myself.Dr. Jurati
I get that she was coerced into being a spy. The Admonition was forced on her which is a horrific sort of violation and her silence was ensured by the psychic block.
But killing Maddox was still a choice. As was getting on La Sirena in the first place.
I'm not sure an apology and turning herself in to Starfleet is going to be enough for me. Or for her.
There are a lot of solid emotional moments embedded in an action-packed plot. Elnor wordlessly hugging Seven might be the one that hit me hardest.
He may be a trained warrior, confident in his skills, but in terms of Romulan aging, he is a VERY young child.
And that's not even considering the fact he was raised by warrior nuns on an isolated planet. Between his young chronological age and his lack of life experience, he is truly a babe in the woods, er... Borg cube.
Pairing him with Seven seems to give her a chance to recapture some of that emotion she felt for Icheb.
Elnor's lack of artifice is also probably ideal for dealing with Seven who always found typical human mannerisms tedious.
With Elnor, she can state the situation and he'll respond honestly in every instance. She can respond in kind.
It's a genius buddy system.
Seven: We could reactivate, reconnect the transceivers. Be a kind of micro-Collective of just the Borg on this cube. Coordinate their movements. Deploy them against the Romulan troops.
Elnor: That sounds amazing. Do that.
Seven: Assimilate them. Invade their minds. Suppress their identities. Enslave them. Again.
Elnor: You can release them when we win.
Seven: They won't want to be released. And I ... I might not want to release them.
Narissa's jettisoning of thousands of Borg while their consciousness was linked into Seven's Collective is bound to have repercussions.
As much as I look forward to Narek and Soji facing off, I'm pretty sure Seven and Narissa will be a pretty brutal beat-down.
If they can disable that stupid personal transporter Narissa carries.
So, what will they do now that they have a Borg cube of their very own?
How will the Romulans react to losing The Artifact?
How will the confrontation on Soji's homeworld go down?
Are there more surprises to be sprung?
Does Clancy get to drop an F-bomb EVERY time she makes an appearance?
As you watch Star Trek: Picard online, note how weirdly spacious La Sirena appears while The Artifact, despite being vertigo-inducingly huge feels completely claustrophobic.
This show has cinematic appeal in megatonnes. Minute for minute, it's the most beautiful thing to watch on television today.
Only two episodes to go. What do you want to see before the finale? WHO do you want back? WHO survives the final confrontation?
Let me know in the comments!
Diana Keng is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.