'Star Trek Picard' Ending Explained: What Happened at the End and What It Means For Season 2

In a bold move that is sure to be controversial among some fans, Star Trek: Picard Episode 10 actually kills off Jean-Luc Picard (played by Patrick Stewart), only to then resurrect him in a new synthetic "golem" body. Though this new body looks the same as his previous one, and Picard has been told it is mortal and has no additional powers, this move seems to set up another season of the show where we see just how true this is, as well as making Picard's loyalties in the ongoing battle of organics versus synthetics more complicated.

This was something teased by executive producer Michael Chabon in a Hollywood Reporter interview. He said, "We definitely don't want to pretend like these events never happened. So, whatever the implications are going to be for Picard having this new body, and essentially a new brain structure, too — although his mind and his consciousness are the same — all of that is going to be part of [the character's] way of thinking going forward."

Towards the end of the episode, titled "Et In Arcadia Ego Part 2," Picard dies, not in an epic battle with the synthetics or Romulans but from the terminal brain tumor he has been battling across the CBS All Access season.

star trek picard ending explained
'Star Trek: Picard' Episode 10 saw the death--and resurrection--of Jean-Luc Picard CBS

However, just as we think Picard has died for real (confusing those fans who know that Picard Season 2 has already been ordered), we learned that Jurati (Alison Pill), Soji (Isa Briones) and Soong (Brent Spiner) have scanned Picard's brain and put him in a VR simulation where he is reunited with Soong's "brother," Data (also Brent Spiner), who has been put into the simulation from the memories he implanted into the android B-4 (also Brent Spiner) in Star Trek: Nemesis.

After a long talk, Picard is implanted into his new body and is able to fullfil Data's final wish — for Picard to terminate his simulation and give the human-loving Data the ultimate human ending, allowing him to die. We then see Data on his death bed with Picard as he remembers him, giving the android the proper death scene that many felt was missing from Nemesis.

Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, Patrick Stewart said of the episode's end, "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."

This interview also contains a big hint of what fans might expect from Season 2 now that Data is dead and Picard has a brand new body. "One great afternoon, we had three visitors on the set," Stewart says, "There was Jonathan (Frakes, who played reprised his role Riker in the finale), Marina (Sirtis, who played Deanna Troi in Episode 7) and me — and Brent. And then, who else would turn up, but Michael Dorn (Worf) and LaVar Burton (Geordi La Forge). It was an extraordinary reunion." Stewart does not say what Dorn and Burton were doing on set, but this could spell the return of two more beloved characters in the next season of the CBS All Access show — though hopefully they won't meet the same fate as Data.

Star Trek: Picard is streaming now on CBS All Access.