The season finale of CBS All Access' Star Trek: Picard "Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2" provided one of the most satisfying wrap-ups in franchise history. Not only does it tie most of the loose ends dangling throughout the season, but it also gives closure and a proper farewell for one of the franchise's most beloved characters. And the stakes couldn't be higher, as the crew is caught in the middle of a war between the Romulans and Synths.
"Star Trek: Picard" – A Final Confrontation
There are multiple paths converging during most of the episode. Agnes Jurati (Alison Pill) and Jean-Luc (Patrick Stewart) attempt to delay the impending Romulan invasion. Narek (Harry Treadaway) tries to recruit Rios (Santiago Cabrera), Raffi (Michelle Hurd) and Elnor (Evan Evagoria) to help stop Soji (Isa Briones) from summoning Armageddon on biological life – and Seven (Jeri Ryan) has a score to settle.
Directed by Akiva Goldsman and co-written by Michael Chabon, the episode reminds you how traditional Star Trek values still matter in the grand scheme of things. In the last decade since J. J. Abrams introduced the Kelvin universe, it changed in favor of more action-oriented storytelling. Here, we see Jean-Luc in his natural element trying to be an agent of change like he did in The Next Generation.
A Soulful Reunion
It felt like a classic Star Trek episode without the standard Federation banner. There are some some "convenient" plot devices here and there – but nothing too distracting or that impacted the narrative. The most satisfying part of the episode comes courtesy of Stewart and Brent Spiner. It's the kind of quality interaction we never got in the TNG films. I argue it's Emmy-worthy since the relationship between the two characters runs so deep.
While the episode travelled down some well-travelled thematic trails, the execution not only made up for that but elevated the episode with its ability to make Trek lore still relevant – even in these trying times. It would be hard for a long time Trek fans not to give in to the excitement of the fan service. This is the second-best episode of the season – next to "Nepenthe" – and serves as a reminder of why Stewart's decision to return to Star Trek is just.