Spoilers Recurring Eye Motif

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Picard' started by Kahloke, Mar 23, 2020.

  1. Kahloke

    Kahloke Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2005
    I have no doubt others have noticed this, but haven’t found any mention of it in the forum so far. Apologies if this is old hat. Apologies, also, that this isn’t a fully formed thesis. It’s late, and I’m a couple of hot toddys into self-isolation.

    Violence inflicted upon the eyes, specifically the left eye, seems to be a recurring motif throughout Picard. As I am not an expert in literary or cinematic symbolism, I can only fall back on my recently made (and hasty) google search about the deeper significance of left eyes. In Egyptian myth, Horus’ left eye was gouged out by Set, the god of (wikipedia be praised) “chaos, fire, deserts, trickery, storms, envy, disorder, violence, and foreigners”. Hypatia, a mathematician and philosopher, had her eyes gouged out by an angry mob after a political dispute. I can’t help but think that this plays into the series’ commentary on mob mentality, reactionary politics, and the negative consequences of acting through fear and distrust.

    I’m sure I’ve missed a few. Here are all the examples I can find in the series so far:

    Opening Credits:
    • Closeup of an iris.

    Absolute Candor:
    • Ramdha, unlike the other xB’s, is *not* missing an eye, which makes sense, as she was only partially assimilated. She is portrayed as perceptive and intuitive.
    • Hugh’s left eye was removed, however he now has an obvious prosthesis.

    Stardust City Rag:
    • The infamous eye removal scene. Icheb is graphically shown having his left eye ripped out.
    • Picard wears an eyepatch over his left eye.

    The Impossible Box
    • There is a flashback to the “eye drill” from First Contact.
    • All of the xBs are missing their left eyes. The camera lingers on both the former drone who saves Picard from falling during his panic attack, as well as on one having the scarring over their missing eye healed.

    Nepenthe:
    • Oh’s *removal* of her sunglasses, done in order to facilitate her forced mind meld on Jurati. A disturbingly intimate form of violence.

    Broken Pieces:
    • Seven of Nine’s eyes transform when she is linked to the collective as their new (temporary) queen.
    • The transwarp conduit that la Sirena enters at the end of the episode looks remarkably similar to an iris and pupil.

    Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1:
    • The former drone that calls out “Locutus” is missing his left eye.
    • Saga is stabbed in her left eye.
     
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  2. Bad Thoughts

    Bad Thoughts Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The last episode very deliberately introduces references to ETA Hoffmann's short story, "The Sandman." The story has numerous references to eyes and scientific devices used to see. The sandman himself is a boogyman, a person who steals the eyes of children who refuse to sleep. Coppellius, a lawyer, threatens to take the protagonist's eyes, purportedly for the human-like figures he is making. As an adult, the protagonist purchases a telescope from a merchant, named Coppola, whom the protagonist believes may be Coppelius. The telescope is itself a device that fools the protagonist into believing that an automaton (Olympia) is a real woman, with which he falls in love. Later the protagonist finds Coppola fighting with Olympia's creator, her eyes lying on the floor. (There are a few other references in the story.)

    The whole story is filled with references to automatons and vision. One of the major themes is whether one can trust one's sense, whether naturally or enhanced through scientific equipment, as well a broader deceptions by both reason and unreason. IIRC, Freud compared the centrality of eyes in the story with fear of being castrated, losing one's eyesight being a peculiar obsession of children which is replaced by others in adulthood. He suggests that trying to peer too deeply into the nature of things produces madness.

    ETA: let me add my own interpretation. The story is relevant to Picard's neural disorder. Amongst all the discussion of artificial life that the story conjurs up, the story questions whether one really has command of one's senses. In All Good THings, Picard's former crewmembers ponder whether he is being misled because of his Irumoduc Syndrome.
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2020
  3. KerbalStarfleet

    KerbalStarfleet Ensign Newbie

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    Feb 8, 2020
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    USA
    I have also noticed this...anyone else think in the intro the iris turning into an orange robot eye/light in the intro is a deliberate homage/reference to the HAL 9000 computer's "eye" from 2001: A Space Odyssey? It fits the show's theme (rogue AI).

    "Open the pod bay doors, Data."
    "I'm sorry Jean-Luc, I can't do that."
     
  4. Tim Thomason

    Tim Thomason Commodore Commodore

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    Location:
    Daniels' Illinois
    And Jurati just pulled out another eye for us to enjoy. Although they spared us the close up of the gouging this time.
     
  5. Turtletrekker

    Turtletrekker Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2003
    Location:
    Tacoma, Washington
    But I love the squishy squishy noises we got.
     
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