Star Trek: Picard's Sutra Synth Creates A Plot Hole With The Previous Episode
Warning: SPOILERS for Star Trek: Picard Season 1, Episode 9
Episode 9 ofStar Trek: Picard introduced Sutra (Isa Briones), the twin sister of Jana, a synthetic Cristobal Rios (Santiago Cabrera) met 9 years ago, but her appearance seems to create a plot hole. In the first half of Star Trek: Picard's season 1 finale, "Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1", Jean-Luc (Patrick Stewart) and his motley crew successfully brought Soji home to Coppelius, the planet she came from that's now occupied by synthetics. Meanwhile, the Romulan Zhat Vash are en route with 218 Warbirds to lay waste to the planet and annihilate Soji and her android brethren.Click the button below to start this article in quick view. Start now
Before Soji laid in a course for Coppelius, Picard met with her, Rios, Raffi Musiker (Michelle Hurd), and Dr. Agnes Jurati (Alison Pill) aboard his hired starship, La Sirena. They all laid their cards on the table and pieced together the mystery they found themselves embroiled in regarding the Romulans' mission to eradicate Soji and her synthetic race, the Synthetic Armageddon eons ago, the origin of the Zhat Vash, and a tragic incident that happened 9 years prior, in 2390, aboard the U.S.S. ibn Majid. Rios was an Officer on the ibn Majid when they made contact with a diplomatic starship containing two synthetics: a male named Beautiful Flower and a female named Jana. Rios never forgot Jana's preference for dipping French fries in peppermint ice cream (something Soji also enjoys). But then, under orders from Commodore Oh (Tamlyn Tomita) of Starfleet Security (who is secretly the leader of the Zhat Vash), Captain Alfonzo Vandermeer murdered the two synths before committing suicide.
Captain Rios told the story to his friends in Star Trek: Picard episode 8, "Broken Pieces", but he left out a significant piece of information regarding Jana: she didn't quite look identical to Soji because, like her twin Sutra, Jana had the golden skin and yellow eyes of the late Commander Data (Brent Spiner), whose positronic neuron all the synths were built from. Even though Isa Briones plays both Soji and Sutra, which means she also would play Jana if there is a flashback to Rios meeting her, the androids are markedly different physically and in demeanor — and this is a bit of a plot hole because Cris carried on as if he couldn't believe his eyes that Soji was Jana's exact doppelganger. In fact, Soji is a much more evolved and human-like synth compared to Jana. And even though Sutra is shown to possess emotions, she could never pass for human the way Soji (and her dead twin Dahj) can.
Sutra has a sinister quality to her and one has to wonder if Jana also seemed as distant and robotic as her twin, despite Sutra (and presumably Jana) obviously possessing emotions. If Jana behaved like Sutra, then at least it's understandable why Rios was so taken back by Soji's perfectly human appearance and behavior when she beamed aboard La Sirena with Picard. But it's still weird that Rios didn't mention the big difference between Jana and Soji, even when he was busy trying to prove that both synths mix French fries and peppermint. In fact, Rios was quicker to point out he found that combo disgusting than imparting a rather important piece of information about Jana compared to Soji.
The obvious reason for Rios failing to provide a vital piece of information about Jana's appearance to his compatriots was to preserve the surprise when Sutra appeared in Star Trek: Picard episode 9. Rios keeping a black and white sketch of Jana also furthers Star Trek: Picard's feint since it conveniently leaves out the synth's golden skin and eyes. The omission was purely for the sake of getting a reaction from the audience, as well as Picard and his crew, when Sutra is revealed, but it's also rather jarring that Rios simply didn't mention that Soji isn't quite Jana's lookalike. Instead, the audience was purposely misled to think that Jana was identical to Soji like Dahj was.
Star Trek: Picard streams Thursdays on CBS All-Access and Fridays internationally on Amazon Prime Video.