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The Ending Of Picard Season 2 Episode 9 Explained

Contains extensive spoilers for "Star Trek: Picard" Season 2 Episode 9

As "Star Trek: Picard" Season 2 rockets toward its conclusion, the penultimate episode sets up the final stakes for the fate of multiple timelines as the crew of the La Sirena fights on all fronts. Under the influence of Q (John DeLancie) and in pursuit of personal glory, Dr. Adam Soong (Brent Spiner) is determined to stop Renee Picard (Penelope Mitchell) from taking flight to Europa. Meanwhile, Jurati (Allison Pill) is possessed by the Borg Queen (Annie Wersching), who is determined to get a 400-year jump-start on assimilating the galaxy. With both closing in on them, Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) and his remaining crew must find a way to restore the primary timeline and ensure that the totalitarian alternate future Q created does not come to pass.

It seems as if Picard himself holds the key to salvation, as the season has repeatedly returned to a dark memory from his childhood that it seems he will have to reckon with. The Watcher (Orla Brady) is helping him retrieve those memories, but the clock is running out. Q has enlisted the help of disgraced scientist Doctor Adam Soong to eliminate Jean-Luc, and the Borg Queen has assimilated a team of mercenaries for him to command. The ending of Episode 9 deals with these various plot threads in a much-needed narrative jolt. Multiple plot points that have been slowly brewing are resolved in a packed episode that sends the show hurtling at warp speed toward the season finale.

A new kind of Borg set sail among the stars

The Borg Queen pins Seven (Jeri Ryan) and Raffi (Michelle Hurd) down on the La Sirena and is on the verge of killing Seven when Jurati manages to take back some control of her body. In an impassioned speech, Jurati urges the Borg Queen to reevaluate what the Borg can be. Instead of assimilating people who don't want to be part of the collective, she tells the Queen to incorporate people who need a second chance at life. Jurati's vision of a Borg collective where the "collective" is emphasized, where the collective is not constantly at war, speaks to the Queen. She heals Seven — adding back the Borg implants that disappeared when the crew traveled to this new timeline —and resolves to create a new kind of Borg. As payment for saving Seven, Jurati takes the La Sirena, jumping to warp and leaving the rest of the crew behind on an Earth that will not see them born for 400 years. The Queen leaves with a cryptic message: "There must be two Renee Picards. One who lives and one who dies."

If we look back to the end of this season's first episode, the mysterious Borg that came through a wormhole might finally make sense. Assuming the Jurati-Queen hybrid spent 400 years reshaping the galaxy and creating a peaceful new kind of Borg collective, that may be the version of the Borg who hailed Admiral Picard, perhaps wishing to cross over into the main timeline all those years later. One possibility is that they sought refuge from the xenophobic Confederation and crossed into the main timeline in search of such asylum, only to be blown to bits when Picard initiated the fleet-wide self-destruct sequence. 

With only one more episode to go, hopefully those answers will be made clear in the finale.

Jean-Luc unlocks the tragic secret of his childhood

This season, "Star Trek: Picard" has repeatedly returned to the idea of Jean-Luc's inability to form intimate connections. We still don't know why Q decided to inflict this "trial" on Picard and his friends, but the show has repeatedly implied that part of the solution for fixing the timeline involves the Admiral recalling a repressed traumatic memory from his childhood. Now, in the season's 11th hour, Picard has finally pieced together the great tragedy of his mother's death.

While trapped by Doctor Soong and his newly acquired Borg henchmen in the atrium of Chateau Picard, Jean-Luc finds a large metal skeleton key. The object triggers him to recall the final fragment of his repressed memory. After Yvette Picard (Madeline Wise) suffered from a mental health episode during which she nearly got Jean-Luc killed, Maurice Picard (James Callis) locked her in the bedroom. Yvette begged the young Jean-Luc to open the door, and so he did. But while he was asleep in her bed, Yvette walked to the atrium, climbed onto a chair, and hung herself with a length of rope. "If only I had left that door closed," Picard tells the Watcher, "she might have become an old woman."

Again, we can look to the season premiere, "The Star Gazer," for the missing puzzle pieces. When the Borg emerge through a wormhole in that episode and beam their Queen onto the Stargazer's bridge, she repeats Yvette's words, "Picard, look up." If the Jurati-Queen hybrid began building their new Borg collective in 2022, it's possible they rescued Yvette before she could take her life and assimilated her. That would mean the Borg Queen in Episode 1 has Yvette's memories integrated into the collective, explaining why she said that line to Jean-Luc.

Dr. Soong and Q are a formidable pair of antagonists for the season finale

Q took advantage of disgraced geneticist Doctor Adam Soong over the past few episodes, recruiting him to put a stop to Picard. By the end of Episode 8, it looked like the Borg Queen was teaming up with them. She assimilated mercenaries and placed them under Soong's command. While those soldiers do prove formidable foes in Episode 9, they're dealt with by the end of the hour. The Borg Queen heads off to start her new collective, leaving Soong in the wind and Q somewhere in the shadows.

Brent Spiner seems to be having the time of his life playing against type as an egomaniacal antagonist, and it shows during his face-off against Admiral Picard. Q has told Soong that if he prevents the Europa mission from succeeding, he will become the savior of humanity. Picard explains that will lead to the creation of the xenophobic Confederation in Q's timeline and tells Soong he won't be loved, but rather feared. Soong smugly retorts, "We have to create our own destiny. Captains of ships and captains of industry. To men like us, love and fear are the same thing: a means to an end."

Rios transports into the room, taking out the henchmen and saving Picard and The Watcher. Soong tries to shoot them with a phaser, but triggers the DNA-lock, causing it to explode. He tosses it away at the last second and by the time the dust clears, he's gone.

With Soong and the Borg Queen gone, the crew finally has a moment to regroup. Seven passes on the Queen's message that there must be two Renee Picards. The Admiral responds that he refuses to accept an outcome that has not yet occurred, and with that, the crew heads off to prepare for a final showdown.

Picard has a lot of questions to answer in the season finale

With only one episode left in the season, "Star Trek: Picard" has plenty of plot threads to tidy up. Can they outmaneuver Soong and Q to make sure that Renee Picard goes to Europa, setting the world on track to the future "Star Trek" fans know and love, or will the planet careen toward Q's dystopian future in which humanity has become the scourge of the galaxy? And even if they manage to do so, will they be able to return to their own time without the La Sirena or the Borg Queen?

While there are various methods of time travel documented throughout the "Star Trek" canon, the most obvious — using the La Sirena to slingshot around the Sun at high warp — is now out of the question. Of course, Q traditionally has time travel powers, but he's currently dying and his powers are vastly diminished. Other pathways through time — such as wormholes — aren't accessible, either.

Moreover, even if everything goes as planned and the crew manages to get back to their own future, there's still the fact that Picard triggered the self-destruct of the Starfleet ships during their last moments in the main timeline. Will Picard get a chance to make a different choice in that scenario, or will the crew return to find themselves engulfed in a blinding explosion?

Anything is possible, so it will be fascinating to see how the show navigates the maze of complexity it has built up over the course of Season 2. The season finale is sure to be one for the history books, but which history that will be remains a tantalizing mystery.