“Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1” is the ninth episode of the TV show “Star Trek: Picard” and follows “Broken Pieces“. It’s available in the USA on the CBS All Access streaming platform and in many other countries on Amazon Prime Video.
Note. This article contains some spoilers about “Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1”.
The starship La Sirena reaches the home planet of Soji (Isa Briones), where it’s intercepted by the starship piloted by Narek (Harry Treadaway) and subsequently reached by the Borg cube, reactivated by 7 of 9 (Jeri Ryan). The planet’s defenses disable all the starships, which are forced to land. On the planet, the first truths about synthetic organisms emerge.
Et in Arcadia ego is an inscription associated above all with the painting “The Arcadian Shepherds”. It makes sense that it’s associated with the planet of the synthetics, where they managed lived in peace, away from persecution. It’s a utopia that’s about to be destroyed because a Romulan fleet is arriving.
The episode is clearly a build-up for the second part, which will be the season finale. This means that revelations about synthetics arrived, including the surprise that Dr. Noonien Soong had a son. At this point I expect more twists, also because Sutra (Isa Briones) seems to have an agenda that could be personal or in agreement with someone else on the planet.
Dr. Agnes Jurati (Alison Pill) is often the center of attention because the encounter with the synthetics forces her to face the consequences of her actions. Sutra has telepathic abilities comparable to the Vulcans, and this is already an interesting element, and can read Agnes’s vision about synthetics in Agnes’s mind. Her reading explains why Romulans often go crazy when they receive it and why Agnes was traumatized as well.
That twist leads to the ending with the ethical discussion on the relationship between synthetics and organics, and a cliffhanger made to lead to the season finale with a dramatic moment. There are scenes that left me a little puzzled such as the sudden declarations between Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) and Raffi Musiker (Michelle Hurd): they implicitly suggested that there was something between them, but honestly that moment seemed a bit cheesy to me. Once again the doubt remains regarding what could happen on the Borg cube. In the end, as the first part of the season finale, “Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1” seemed to me built in a way that mixes intriguing moments with others based on clichés. It’s a case in which the overall judgment can be given only after watching the final episode.