One of the shocking plot twists in the season 1 finale of Star Trek: Picard took even star Patrick Stewart by surprise. Picard premiered on CBS All Access in January and instantly became a hit for the streamer. The latest Trek series saw the highly-anticipated return of Stewart’s Jean-Luc Picard as he entered the newest stage of his life. Even while retired, Picard still found a way to get involved with a new adventure, this time because of a mysterious girl named Soji (Isa Briones). As a follow up to Star Trek: The Next Generation, Picard found plenty of opportunities to call back to the 1987 series, mainly through cameos from former cast members.
Picard‘s season 1 finale featured lots of twists and turns, but one in particular might have drawn some tears from fans. All season long, Picard has been grappling with a fatal illness, and it finally catches up with him in the finale, titled “Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2.” Picard succumbs to his illness, but that’s far from the end of his story. With the help of Dr. Agnes Jurati (Alison Pill), Picard’s consciousness is transferred to a new synthetic body known as the Golem. In this way, Picard’s adventure can continue on.
While talking to THR, Stewart revealed he was genuinely surprised to learn about Picard’s fate, especially since he found out so late in the season. Per Stewart, “I only learned of [Picard’s death] way into [shooting] the first season. Because that final episode wasn’t written yet, and I didn’t know it was part of the storyline.” While Picard’s fatal brain disease was made known in the second episode of the season, it wasn’t clear if Picard would actually die from it. However, Stewart joked that in the lead up to the finale, “there was a moment where I thought: ‘Oh, lord, am I being killed off? What did I do wrong?’“
Stewart likely wasn’t the only one surprised to learn Picard’s fate, not in the least because the show itself is called Picard. A second season was ordered ahead of the show’s premiere, indicating Picard would be sticking around for a bit. And while he will thanks to his new synthetic body, the events definitely didn’t unravel how fans expected. The decision could prove controversial for some, but it can’t be denied that the change has opened the door to new story possibilities in the future.
The finale also gave Picard the opportunity to share one last moment with his friend Data (Brent Spiner), which Stewart said he was “looking forward to shooting it so very much, because I adore working with Brent.” It served as a fitting goodbye to Data, as well as a satisfying start to Picard’s new life. It’s unclear what the new next chapter of Picard’s life will entail, but the second season of Picard will certainly be full of even more surprises.
More: What To Expect From Star Trek: Picard Season 2