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SYFY WIRE Warp Factor

Time was a companion on the journey of Star Trek: Picard Season 1 [Warp Factor #11]

By Brian Silliman

Dr. Tolian Soran once told Jean-Luc Picard that time was a predator that stalked us all of our lives. He muses much on the subject in Star Trek: Generations, also notably saying that time was "the fire in which we burn."

The notion of time running out (or not running out) was a constant theme in the first season of Star Trek: Picard. Jean-Luc (Patrick Stewart) begins the season having wasted plenty of it, "waiting to die" on his vineyard rather than rejoining the fight. When he does snap to it, he gets word that the defect in his parietal lobe (something brought up in the finale of Star Trek: The Next Generation) is acting up, and that he isn't long for this universe. He burns in the fire of time for the whole season, often remarking that he may never pass these ways again.

Perhaps it is because of his living on borrowed time that Picard spends much of the season making amends to those he's wronged — there are plenty of candidates. His greatest sorrow concerns Data (Brent Spiner) and the sacrifice that he made to save Picard's life in Star Trek: Nemesis. Picard never got over it, and it's that storyline that ends up buying JL more time than he expected.

Talking through a holographic simulation, Data tells Picard that he wishes for his consciousness to be terminated, and that to be fully human means that life is finite. A butterfly that lives forever is not a real butterfly at all, and Data has always wanted to be a real butterfly.

Picard makes it so, but at this point he's also overcome his illness thanks to his comrades putting his consciousness into a new synthetic body. He won't live forever, but he'll get more time. It is a great gift to him, and he likely is more aware than ever of his ultimate response to all of Soran's time-talk in Generations. Time is not a predator, it is a companion that comes with us on the journey. It teaches us to savor every moment, because they'll never come again.

"What we leave behind is not as important as how we've lived," he says in that film, and though Picard has left finally left Data behind for good, Data's life and legacy were full of greatness, and both Picard (and the galaxy) are better off for it. Jean-Luc, now burning a little less hot in the fires of time, sets off with the crew of La Sirena into Season 2, boldly going once more.

Even though he has a synthetic body, for all intents and purposes, he's still only mortal.

For a full wrap-up of the entire first season of Star Trek: Picard, give a watch to the latest episode of SYFY WIRE's Warp Factor. Picard may be finished for now, but the Warp Factor journey has just begun. Where will we venture next? Will we take the measure of a man? Will we get cozy with a magical candle in Scotland? Will we hatch a plot with a Cardassian tailor? Yes, yes, and yes.