Okay, this next episode started slow once again but actually had some stuff happen that made it quite interesting. As the world is currently going through the coronavirus pandemic with country versus country and people practicing self-isolation and separation it’s nice to hear the message that Picard delivers at the end about “Truth, Justice and the American Way”. When Soji finally gets her memories and we finally understand a bit more of the whole story things actually start to click.
It turns out several hundred thousand years ago another race had created artificial life but had learned that in doing so another greater threat was evoked. It turns out the Romulans might not be the baddies of this piece and while their actions are a bit evil their intentions are actually for the Salvation of the Galaxy. You see, the Zhat Vash took this warning so seriously that it became their central mission: to eliminate any artificial beings, and the will to create them.
If, of course, the vision is true and this new batch of synth will actually lead to the same level of destruction as the ancient civilization. Regardless, despite the ruthlessness of Narissa and Narek and Commodore Oh (who essentially made Agnes suffer the Admonition against her will, leading her to “think about suicide every day”) they at least believe that what they’re doing is just and heroic. To them, the ends absolutely justify the means, no matter how horrific those means are—including the attack on Mars.
In terms of cool things, we get to see Seven of Nine again and see her kick butt. It’s good to have her back as I was hoping we’d see more of her. Weird Vulcan assassin dude (Elnor) is still there but doesn’t really do too much. In fact, on the Borg cube, Elnor is hiding out, waiting for rescue, and it arrives just in time, in the style you’d expect from Seven of Nine. Her casual, “Where’s Hugh?” is painful on multiple levels, as it reminds us of the fate of our one of our favorite ex-Borg, but also makes it clear that there’s backstory there we will likely never get to see (except perhaps in a book or comic). The hug Elnor gives Seven is absolutely perfect.
At this point, I have to take a moment to give a special applause to Santiago Cabrera for his performance not just as an emotionally broken up Rios, but as the five different holographic versions of himself, each with their own distinct accent. (Broken pieces of Rios, as it were).
As the episode progresses, we get to see Seven regenerating the Borg cube and creating an entirely new collective among the local Borg — with herself as queen! However, the show is not only about the Borg. From the second he sees Soji, Ríos begins acting very strangely. It quickly becomes clear that Dahj and Soji weren’t the first of Data’s daughters, and that he’s come across one of their previous incarnations — Giana, in this case.
Raffi has increasingly taken on the role of mother to Picard’s grandfather. Perhaps due to the rejection by her son, or for other reasons, but regardless that seems to be her focus now. She spends the bulk of the episode piecing together Ríos’s relationship with Soji, as well as the truth behind the synth attack on Mars: The Conclave of Eight isn’t a secret organization, it’s the name of the system where the Zhat Vash holds their initiation rites and where the warning is located.
Soji however just continues to impress with her commandeering of Rios’s ship. Broken Pieces makes it incredibly clear how singular Data was, and how destructive he potentially could have been! Now we just need to see a planet full of clones that can either decimate the universe or potentially save the universe as we’re getting near to the end of the season.