Star Trek: Picard Episode 9 - 15 Easter Eggs And References
Star Trek: Picard's ninth episode, "Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1," brings Jean-Luc and the crew of La Sirena to their final goal: the synth homeworld created by Bruce Maddox, and the place that Soji and Dahj were originally from. Like the rest of the series so far, it's another episode steeped in Star Trek lore and history, specifically drawing on Picard's friendship with Data, as well as Data's backstory and history.
We've peered into the depths of "Et in Arcadia Ego" and uncovered a host of Trek Easter eggs, references, and historical tidbits you might have missed. Check out the full list below.
1. Red Alert!
Seconds after La Sirena exits the Borg's transwarp conduit, things get a little heated, with Narek's snakehead ship showing up and attacking it. When it does, we hear the familiar red alert alarm ringing through the ship, although it's been updated since The Next Generation and Voyager.
2. Futuristic Seatbelts
During the opening standoff with Narek's ship, La Sirena goes to red alert, and double-shouldered seatbelts quickly latch themselves onto every crew member. These are very similar in look and function to the seatbelts on the Enterprise, which we we see in the movie Star Trek Into Darkness. These seatbelts also appeared in a scene from Star Trek: Nemesis, although the scene was removed from the final cut of the film.
3. Synths Really Like Orchids
The orchids are a running theme with Bruce Maddox and his synth creations, and it turns out, they're not just metaphors for mixing synthetic and organic life, or for Soji and Dahj's creation. Giant, space-faring orchids allow the synths to defend themselves against incoming ships. That's fascinating and weird, and raises the question of what else the synths are using flowers to do.
4. The Ship Has Windows
Agnes mentions being surprised when Rios lowers La Sirena's shutters, revealing the ship's windows. Though the bridges of Star Trek starships usually use view screens that can display communications and different camera angles outside the ship, there are also windows and portholes scattered around, as well. They might look like they're made of glass, but those windows are actually transparent aluminum, as covered in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home.
5. Old-School Medical Tricorder
When she analyzes Jean-Luc after his episode during the cold open, Agnes mentions that she found an "old-school medical tricorder" and used it to scan him. That looks to be the sort of tricorder that got a lot of use by Enterprise-D medical staff during The Next Generation. Tricorders are hand-held scanners used to gather information in a variety of situations, but medical tricorders are tools that are, obviously, a little more specialized, used by Starfleet doctors to assess a patient’s condition.
6. Picard's Brain
We first heard about Picard's impending neurological troubles back in Episode 2. He's got an abnormality in his parietal lobe, which was actually first mentioned way back in the series finale of The Next Generation. Back then, Dr. Beverly Crusher suggested Picard might develop any of a number of neurological disorders, or none at all. Picard got a glimpse of the future in that episode, in which he developed a disease called Irumodic Syndrome. Now we know that the issue will eventually kill Jean-Luc, but he's basically ignoring it. The fact that the disorder has come up again this late in Season 1 suggests it might start having an effect on his ability to lead before much longer.
7. A Class-M Planet
Star Trek fans have been hearing about Class-M planets for decades, across all the franchise's series. Class-M is the Federation and Starfleet designation for planets that can support human life--essentially, the places where it's safe to send away teams, land, and walk around.
8. Locutus Of Borg
As established in Episode 5 when Picard visited Hugh on the Artifact, the XBs (ex-Borg) all retain at least some of their experience from being a part of the Collective. When Picard and his crew visit the crashed Artifact in order to check for survivors, he again encounters XBs who remember him from his days as Locutus of Borg. It still has a clear emotional impact on Jean-Luc, but he's learning to handle his Borg baggage a little better.
9. 218 Warbirds
We saw the Romulan fleet go to warp and leave the Artifact after Seven of Nine freed it from Romulan control. Though Romulus might have been destroyed, the Tal Shiar and Zhat Vash still have a lot of power at their disposal, it seems. It's also worth noting that though they're called "Warbirds," these are a new version of the main Romulan warships we saw in The Next Generation, which, in turn, were updated versions of the ones that appeared in The Original Series.
As a Klingon warrior and chief of security on the Enterprise-D, we often saw Worf working to keep his combat skills sharp. One way he did that was with the Klingon martial art Mok'bara, something he often taught classes for other members of the crew. It looks like the synthetics are also fans of Mok'bara, which would make sense if they all share some of Data's influences from his time aboard the Enterprise.
11. Golden Eyes
Though Soji and Dahj easily pass for human, when Picard and his crew finally meet the rest of her synthetic family, they discover many who are quite a bit more familiar. Several of the synths, including their de facto leader, Sutra, sport the pale skin and golden eyes that made Data so distinctive. These synths look a lot more like the android from which they were created than the others we've seen so far.
12. Another Soong
Over the years, we've seen a few members of the lineage of Noonien Soong, the cyberneticist who created Data (and all played by Brent Spiner, who portrayed Data). On Star Trek: Enterprise, we met Soong's great-grandfather, Arik Soong, a geneticist who believed in genetic engineering of the type that created superhumans like Khan, the villain of Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan. Data, Lore, and B-4 were obviously his direct creations, and therefore kind of like his children, and he even made an android version of his wife Juliana after her death, complete with copies of her memories. Now we find out that Noonien Soong had a biological son, Alton, as well as artificial ones. Again played by Spiner, Alton has followed in his father's footsteps, although he seems more like Arik than Noonien in his dedication to his creations at the expense of other humans like himself.
13. Vulcan Musical Instrument
Prior to Sutra mindmelding with Agnes, Alton praises Sutra's appreciation of Vulcan culture, saying that she plays the Ka'athyra beautifully. This is a type of Vulcan lute that we see Spock play in the original series episode "Charlie X."
14. "She's Read Surak"
In trying to get the information about the Admonition out of Agnes's brain, the synths and Alton turn to the idea of another Vulcan mindmeld. Alton says that Sutra has an interest in Vulcan culture, noting, "She's read Surak." That's the famous Vulcan philosopher who first pushed for Vulcans to suppress their emotions, which had brought the Vulcan people to the brink of extinction, in favor of pure logic. After seeing the Admonition, Sutra even responds with one of Mr. Spock's famous phrases: "Fascinating." (It was also something Data was fond of saying as well.)
15. Spot 2
It seems Alton Soong didn't just help Bruce Maddox to make synthetic humanoids. He also was able to make synthetic animals and insects, including butterflies--and cats. We meet Spot 2 while Picard and his crew are hanging around the synthetics' home, a nod to Data's pet cat, Spot, who he cared for while he was a member of the Enterprise crew.