The first season finale of Star Trek: Picard delivered an at-times-incoherent blast of nostalgia, but one of its best moments was its most emotionally powerful—and it turns out it was secretly even more touching than you could’ve expected.
In the final battle between the Zhat Vash and the potential harbinger of Synthetic oblivion, Picard may have been allowed to cheat death (with a little help from some very smart friends), but there was one proper goodbye to be had: after meeting his former captain in a cyberspace limbo, Brent Spiner’s Commander Data officially lived his last moments. One of his final neurons used to create Isa Briones’ synthetic heroines, twin sisters Dahj and Soji, made a request for the revived Picard to shut down his neuron for good, giving Data the chance to truly experience the value of his organic life by likewise experiencing the end of it.
And experience it he does. As Picard delivers a touching eulogy back in the real world, Data’s synthetic soul prepared himself for his last moments—complete with a facsimile of his captain, a nice robe for his final rest, and “Blue Skies” swelling in the soundtrack, the Irving Berlin song Data sang at Troi and Riker’s wedding in Star Trek: Nemesis.
It was a touching chance to give Data a farewell more befitting than his distant sacrifice in Nemesis (the least of that movie’s problems, admittedly), and a moment Picard’s finale effectively balanced its nostalgia-trip and character work to make something beautiful. But it turns out it was even more beautiful than we thought: the cover of “Blue Skies” that played over Data’s death was sung by none other than Briones herself. You can now hear her full rendition of it online, now that the episode has released.
A lovely farewell from a distant daughter to her father.