The secret arch-villain of Star Trek: Picard season 1 turned out to be treacherous Starfleet boss Commodore Oh. Though she was always depicted as having a combative relationship with the titular retired admiral, it was ultimately revealed that Oh was a secret Zhat Vash leader who had worked for years to infiltrate Starfleet and ban all synthetic life. Her Vulcan appearance was the key to pulling off this twist, as her true Romulan heritage was hidden by the similarity of the two races’ features.
We know that she was half-Vulcan, half-Romulan, but in a response to a fan on Instagram, showrunner Michael Chabon cleared up the mystery of Oh’s lineage. He explained that “her parents were Re-unificationists, or so her Romulan mother wanted it to be believed.” So, there you have it. Chabon’s comments indicate that Oh gets her duplicitous nature and Zhat Vash loyalties from her mother, who went to the lengths of starting a family with a Vulcan reunificationist to further her own agenda.
The concept of Vulcan/Romulan reunification actually creates an unexpected connection to Spock’s mission in The Next Generation as well. In season 5’s “Unification,” Picard and Data discovered that the Vulcan had embarked on a unauthorized mission to Romulus where he’d befriended a peaceful faction of Romulans who shared his wish to unite their two people, who were once one and the same before the early Romulans left Vulcan behind.
Unfortunately, Romulan Commander Sela manipulated the peace talks in a bid to invade and conquer Vulcan. The story of Oh’s mother, then, shows once again how the peaceful aims of reunificationists can be corrupted by those with warlike aims. Oh’s mother’s villainy is even worse than that, though, as Chabon’s reveal heavily suggests she had her hybrid child purely to create a disciple who could infiltrate Starfleet and be a useful pawn in the Zhat Vash’s schemes.
Further exploring efforts to reunite these two old enemies would be an intriguing plotline for Star Trek: Picard to pick up in its second season, but it remains to be seen whether Chabon’s comments were just intended as backstory or a hint at the future.