1. "Et in Arcadia Ego" - Star Trek: Picard (season 1, episodes 9 & 10)
"Et in Arcadia Ego," the two-part finale of Star Trek: Picard's season 1, boldly went where many Star Trek episodes have gone before, but perhaps it should have calmed down a bit on the drama. The episodes are similar to a high-stakes poker game where everyone's bluffing and nobody's holding the winning hand. On one side of the table, we have a motley crew of beloved characters (and some new faces) led by the amazing Jean-Luc Picard, racing against time to save a new synthetic civilization. On the other side? A Romulan armada, itching for scrap and led by a villain who probably twirled her metaphorical mustache just a tad too much.
The core issue? Many of us felt the finale teetered on the precipice of greatness but fell into a black hole of narrative and logical inconsistencies, much like the entire first season of this show. I am still very salty over how awful the first and majority of the second seasons of what should have been an incredible homage to Star Trek's most beloved character, Picard. Anyway.
It's a storyline that builds up an epic conflict, only to resolve it with a Deus Ex Machina so convenient it could make a holodeck simulation blush. Our beloved Picard, a character known for his cerebral and diplomatic skills, seems to be a mere passenger in the wild ride of plot conveniences and technobabble ex-machina. And then there's the handling of his iconic character arc - it's as if someone decided to play a game of galactic Jenga with the very elements that make up the essence of Picard.
In the end, what was meant to be a climactic battle between organics and synthetics, with plenty of philosophical moments a-la-Picard, ended up feeling more like a missed opportunity to explore the deeper themes that Star Trek is cherished for. We expected an epic symphony but got a kazoo solo instead.