The penultimate episode of Star Trek: Picard season 1, titled “Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1” dropped online yesterday and featured a major bombshell. Well, at least for the characters, as it’s something fans have known for some time.
Following their crash-landing on the planet Coppelius, Jurati checks the crew over for injuries, including Picard. With this, she discovers the Starfleet legend is seriously ill. When he comes to, Jean-Luc explains that he’s suffering from a terminal illness.
This was made clear to viewers back in the show’s second episode, “Maps and Legends,” as Picard’s medical prior to heading back into space revealed that he was showing signs of Irumodic Syndrome. Having a mission to undertake, however, Picard ignored the diagnosis and never told his friends about it… until now. With the cat out of the bag, he requests that this not change the way La Sirena’s crew treats him, but they’re obviously heartbroken to discover the news. Raffi tells him she loves him, while Elnor – who sees Picard as a father figure – is particularly cut up.
Even before episode 2, however, fans had an inkling of what was in store for Picard, as the series finale of The Next Generation told us what awaited Jean-Luc in his twilight years back in 1994. In that, Dr. Beverly Crusher detects a defect in Picard’s parietal lobe which leaves him vulnerable to degenerative diseases. Q then takes him to a possible future where he’s old and on his vineyard, suffering from forgetfulness and mood swings. His illness? Irumodic Syndrome.
Clearly, the exact future Q showed Picard hasn’t come to pass, but it wasn’t all that far from reality. Despite this diagnosis, though, we can rest assured that the Trek icon isn’t going to meet his fate just yet. Season 2 of Star Trek: Picard is already on its way with at least another season planned after that, too. That said, having his secret out in the open will definitely change the dynamics between himself and his friends going forward.