Star Trek: Picard is now into its two-part season 1 finale, which begins with the episode "Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1". Naturally, as we've come to the end of Picard season 1, the time for answers and reveals has also arrived. We definitely got some big narrative twists to the many threads of mystery that have been unfolding in Picard, but there was one moment that totally shocked Star Trek fans - especially those of The Next Generation era! Star Trek: Picard episode 9 brings back a major fan-favorite - but not at all in the way we expected!
Warning: Star Trek: Picard Episode 9 SPOILERS Follow!
The big surprise return from the Star Trek franchise was actor Brent Spiner (Commander Data from Star Trek: TNG), but this time he wasn't playing Data at all!
"Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1" sees Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) and his crew of allies finally arrive at the Coppelius, the planet where Bruce Maddox developed the new generation of synthetics, following Starfleet's synth-ban. The Picard is bringing Data's daughter Soji home, but what he finds is a whole community of next-generation synthetics living there - with one key human among them.
That man turns out to be Doctor Altan Inigo Soong - as in, the biological son of Noonian Soong, creator of Data and his brother Lore. It was Altan Soong who worked with Maddox to develop this next generation of synthetic life; when Maddox left on his mission to investigate the truth behind the Mars attack, Soong stayed behind to lead the village of next-gen synths as a surrogate father.
Seeing Brent Spiner in this new pivotal role in the line of Soong is a nice little Easter egg treat for fans, as well as a nice surprise cameo. Spiner has played Doctor Noonian Soong, his android sons Data and Lore, and now the biological son, Altan. In each case, Spiner plays the respective characters with a mix of similarity and distinction. Altan definitely falls more toward the Lore side of the fence, but with a sinister undertone of menace, as Altan's dedication to this "children" proves to be great enough to make the new generation of synthetics a true threat to all organic life in the galaxy.
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