The Picard Finale's Most Emotional Moment Hid a Heartbreaking Secret

Nothing but blue skies, from now on.
Nothing but blue skies, from now on.
Image: CBS

The first season finale of Star Trek: Picard delivered an at-times-incoherent blast of nostalgia, but one of its best moments was its most emotionally powerful—and it turns out it was secretly even more touching than you could’ve expected.

Illustration for article titled The Picard Finale's Most Emotional Moment Hid a Heartbreaking Secret

In the final battle between the Zhat Vash and the potential harbinger of Synthetic oblivion, Picard may have been allowed to cheat death (with a little help from some very smart friends), but there was one proper goodbye to be had: after meeting his former captain in a cyberspace limbo, Brent Spiner’s Commander Data officially lived his last moments. One of his final neurons used to create Isa Briones’ synthetic heroines, twin sisters Dahj and Soji, made a request for the revived Picard to shut down his neuron for good, giving Data the chance to truly experience the value of his organic life by likewise experiencing the end of it.

And experience it he does. As Picard delivers a touching eulogy back in the real world, Data’s synthetic soul prepared himself for his last moments—complete with a facsimile of his captain, a nice robe for his final rest, and “Blue Skies” swelling in the soundtrack, the Irving Berlin song Data sang at Troi and Riker’s wedding in Star Trek: Nemesis.

It was a touching chance to give Data a farewell more befitting than his distant sacrifice in Nemesis (the least of that movie’s problems, admittedly), and a moment Picard’s finale effectively balanced its nostalgia-trip and character work to make something beautiful. But it turns out it was even more beautiful than we thought: the cover of “Blue Skies” that played over Data’s death was sung by none other than Briones herself. You can now hear her full rendition of it online, now that the episode has released.

A lovely farewell from a distant daughter to her father.


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James is a News Editor at io9, where you can find him delivering your morning spoilers, writing about superheroes, and having many feelings about Star Wars. He wants pictures. Pictures of Spider-Man!


Data Chandler

Mr Whitbrook, I’m sorry, but what on earth are you talking about? I really don’t want to sound too combative, but I’m genuinely baffled.

Like everything Alex Kurtzman touches, this was a shallow, manipulative, plot hole riddled garbage show with a garbage finale.

I say that as a devoted Star Trek fan for 25 years who absolutely adored TNG and waited 18 years to see Picard and Data again: this was nonsensical trash.

I spent a long time explaining why in the review thread, I won’t repeat it here save from some key examples, but suffice to say the only reason I finished this season was out of loyalty to the characters I loved when I grew up.

- Having Data’s memory and personality, and the means to create lifelike aging human android bodies, only to rekill him and put Picard in one is absolutely crazy. Also, I bet the writers didn’t even realize what kind of philosophical existential conundrum they got themselves into. I bet they went “cool, Picard in a robot body” and stopped there.

- That Romulan lady just repeating over and over again to standby to fire was absolutely ridiculous. It was basically an SNL sketch.

- Seven Of Nine just saying she has no home or friends and might as well kill herself implies all her Voyager friends are dead then? Ugh this show, that’s probably true. Guess we’ll see Harry Kim get butchered in S2.

- This show apparently had the budget of a failed sitcom pilot. Not a single decent Star Trek set (like a bridge or engineering) was made, even Picard’s quarters and Data’s “afterlife” take place in living rooms, because reasons. Jonathan Frakes looked like he was sitting in front of a green screen in his living room and sent in his cameo over Youtube.

- Those Romulan and Starfleet ships were just the same ship copy pasted into infinity while somehow still making sure you don’t get a decent look at any of them. No long swoopy glamour shots of majestic Starfleet ships or menacing Warbirds. Nope, space flowers and tentacles, pew pew pew!

- Let’s forget that Agnes is a cold blooded murderer, shall we?

- I honestly could write a hundred more of these, and I could for each previous episode.

I know, to each their own, but this episode and show had so many glaring flaws and plotholes that I find it almost suspicious anyone could enjoy them. There are no politics or gender issues at play here to muddle the waters and polarize everything like with Star Wars, this was just pure, tedious crap. I can’t imagine another movie or show getting away with this and somehow still getting praise.

**This shitty show is in dire need of a Rob Bricken FAQ to expose it all.**

Is there a bribery/brainwash situation going on that almost everyone is in on, except me and a few others? I’m genuinely asking because I’m very confused and baffled. 2020 sure sucks.