Spoilers Santiago Cabrera as Captain Cristóbal "Chris" Rios

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Picard' started by Mondragon, Feb 6, 2020.

  1. Charles Phipps

    Charles Phipps Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I basically am going with the assumption that Rios is deciding to be Kyle Reese here. He knows WW3 is coming and possibly that the woman's son is going to be a scientist as influential as Einstein or Oppenheimer. So, he is going to make sure that nothing happens to them and he is going to protect them through the bad years.
     
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  2. Dr Helen Noel

    Dr Helen Noel Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    It does seem like that on the surface, and I think that's what the writers want you to think, but trying to make sense of all the stuff that doesn't add up doesn't point that way for me.

    I think the writers thought Rios acting stupidly regarding butterflies was a good idea but forgot about the concussion and so didn't tie the two together, even though it's pretty obvious when you notice it.

    They were intentional with the Picard father thing as Rios speaks about it in season 1 and 2. However, the editing of the Rios leaving scene looks to have some parts cut out. Perhaps Picard was more caring in another edit. Unless an extended version is released, we can only go with what we were shown. Rios doesn't give an indication that he wants to stay before that and tells Teresa as much. I think concussed Rios also confuses that Ricardo's father is not actually dead as we aren't given an indication Ricardo's father isn't around despite the divorce.

    I don't think the writers intended it to seem like Teresa doesn't like Rios until she sees his tech but that's how it comes across. She even says he seems like a serial killer and gets angry at him, plus wouldn't she be terrified having seen the drones? The story she tells on the ship feels like something a PUA would say and seems forced, plus he literally just told her several huge secrets right before that. The crew are only there for about 3 days and Rios doesn't even spend that much time with Teresa. Plus I don't know why Teresa wouldn't have told him not to make a big decision while he has a concussion, being a doctor. This all feels like unintentional bad writing.

    We already know Guinan wasn't being completely truthful as she said Teresa could drink Rios under the table, which clearly isn't true, though this could be taken as a joke. I don't think the writers intended it to seem like Guinan was lying so unless we are supposed to assume there is more to the story to explain how she knows, or just accept this timeline's Rios had an identical life to other timeline's Rios. Or the writers didn't understand Guinan properly.

    It's frustrating trying to make sense of the writer's mistakes. I didn't find my first watch of season 2 very satisfying because of all the points that didn't add up, but rewatching Rios' scenes with my previous points in mind, the story is much better in my opinion. I can understand that other people might not have these issues though.

    Something I'm still trying to make sense of is Q's reaction to Rios staying. "Interesting..." and "Most unexpected". I think the "bags packed" part was definitely aimed at Rios but his choice seemed to throw Q, as if it could have gone either way. What did Q see when Rios told him he was staying? Would Q have refused Rios if he had asked to bring Teresa and Ricardo as well? It's not clear whether bringing the three to the future would have actually taken more energy than bringing Elron back from the dead, especially considering Elron's body is on the way to the Delta quadrant as they speak. Q also doesn't specify that Elron was the gift, perhaps it was something else and he intended to bring back Elron all along.

    This would have been a great idea and wish they had used it. Wesley could have recruited Rios to be a watcher for Ricardo.
     
  3. Reanok

    Reanok Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Kilana 2 the Rios book by John Jackson Miller Rogue elements is a terrific story of Rios' adventures before he meets Picard.I read it last year and thought it was really good.
     
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  4. JoaquinSlowly

    JoaquinSlowly Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I’m sort of bummed about Rios staying, but overall I’m okay with it, and ‪‪I enjoyed that he helped Teresa make the Mariposas something that lasts all the way to 2400.

    I’ve seen a lot of people express that they can’t understand why Rios would have stayed, and that a few days wasn’t enough for him to decide to stay for Teresa, but ‪‪I feel like they’re not considering the most important part of this whole thing: Rios had peanut butter cookies.

    When he said “real peanut butter!” with his mouth full of cookie, ‪‪I knew exaclty what he meant. That was the moment he fell in love, with 2024, and decided to stay.
     
  5. Markonian

    Markonian Fleet Admiral Moderator

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    Why can this not be true? Teresa might be a skilled drinker.
     
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  6. Dr Helen Noel

    Dr Helen Noel Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    The actress that plays Teresa is 5'2" and looks to weigh about 100lbs. The actor playing Rios is 6" and is probably about 170lbs. Rios is shown in season 1 episode 8 as still conscious after presumably drinking a fair amount of pisco (38-48% alcohol). Even ignoring that women process alcohol more slowly due to higher fat percentages, it is very unlikely that Teresa is going to drink Rios under the table.

    However, if we assume that Rios being enamored with 21st century food and cigars also extends to 21st alcohol because he is more used to synthehol, then it might be plausible that he doesn't do so well with real alcohol at first, though this is unlikely to last long or be enough to counteract their different body sizes completely.

    Saying all that, perhaps I was a little too absolute to say that it definitely wasn't true, but I do personally lean towards the idea of Teresa regularly out drinking Rios probably is not true. I guess this part is open to personal interpretation.

    Speaking of this scene, I did like this theory that John Jackson Miller (who authored the Rios book "Rogue Elements") posted in another thread explaining what Guinan said:

    Rios might have told Guinan to tell Picard the drinking him under the table thing, thinking it might make Picard laugh.
     
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  7. Kilana2

    Kilana2 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    And another thing that comes to mind: Rios wouldn't have liked anyone to be outright in tears while listening about his fate. Reminiscing about his greatest moments or entertaining stories - exaggerations or truth notwithstanding - perpetuates his memory best. That's why Picard and Guinan were laughing - or smiling (I prefer the latter term).
     
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  8. Yistaan

    Yistaan Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I'm just thinking the character of Rios is all over the place. Picard tells him when they meet that Rios is Starfleet to the core, but Rios brushes him off. After Rios is reinstated and commanding the Stargazer, it seems Picard may have been right. Except not only does Rios break every temporal directive rule there is just to get together with Teresa, he doesn't even seem to show any concern for his crew which last he checked was under attack by the Borg (he didn't know it was Agnes yet although to be fair he may have guessed by this point). Heck, he doesn't even know any Trek Earth history as he doesn't even mention World War 3!
     
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  9. Kilana2

    Kilana2 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    :D I've googled some soccer players with the name Rìos (results: one of them is of German-Spanish ancestry, one is from Uruguay): none of them looked like a Rìos relative, the guy from Uruguay has the size of a Ferengi. They both could fit a a Rìos gang, though.
     
  10. Dr Helen Noel

    Dr Helen Noel Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    I did some searching to see if there were any hints of a Rios series and found this interview with Santiago Cabrera from March where he seems to be choosing his words very carefully. At 2:08:


    There's also this quote from another interview where he discusses bringing ideas to the writers room:
    https://fangirlish.com/2022/03/01/i...tiago-cabrera-talk-star-trek-picard-season-2/

    And that his favourite ship was La Sirena:
    https://movieweb.com/santiago-cabrera-future-captain-the-uss-stargazer/

    I think from these it's fair to assume that a Rios spin-off has very likely been discussed and Cabrera shows preference for a La Sirena setting, which would have to be a prequel (though the original La Sirena might still exist at the end of season 2). The two year gap between season 1 and 2 doesn't leave much time for a Stargazer series, and one where Rios is supposed to be uncomfortable would be a bit weird, plus the set is now being converted into a different ship for season 3.

    The end of season 2 seems to only make a 21st century Gary Seven/Khan/Adam Soong spin-off possible. Gary Seven did have the ability to travel between planets, which Tallin likely had as well, and could be inherited by Rios if he took over her apartment. There doesn't seem to be as much interest in this from fans though.

    At present, Cabrera doesn't have any upcoming roles listed on imdb or mentions of any on his social media. He's currently in multiple episodes of The Flight Attendant, but having skimmed through the available episodes, he seems to only be playing a generic boyfriend role with few lines per episode and it's not clear if he will be returning next season.

    Saying all that, Rios did receive a strangely detailed remaining life story and death. I can't help but wonder if he somehow annoyed one of the writers to be given the Trip Tucker treatment. There's also the issue that Cabrera was given terrible cliche Latin plot lines in season 2 that he might not want to risk repeating if he worked with the same team again. Both of these could be put down to the general poor writing of season 2 though, which is hopefully fixable.

    Personally, I'm still leaning towards the show likely not happening but now I'm curious to know why it they decided against it, especially since they seem keen to continue creating spin-offs, such as The Section 31 show and the Starfreet Academy show which don't seem to have as much interest as a possible Rios spin-off did.

    I'm not on twitter, but if anyone is, it might be interesting to see if one of the show creators would respond to a tagged tweet asking if we are likely to see Rios again as none of them seem to have tweeted anything Rios related since the show ended.
     
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  11. Yistaan

    Yistaan Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    It just occurred to me that if some vicious blowup didn't occur between Santiago and the showrunners, maybe Rios is being kept in store for the Section 31 show. Albeit that would be extremely out of character considering Rios himself was screwed over by a shady Starfleet coverup, why would he join such a group?
     
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  12. Kilana2

    Kilana2 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    They shouldn't mess up the Rios character any further and leave things as they currently are.

    I'm still hoping for a novel re-encounter aside from Rogue Elements.
     
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  13. Llywela

    Llywela Commander Red Shirt

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    Seems unlikely to me. I've followed Cabrera's career off and on since he was in Heroes all those years ago, and pretty much everyone he's ever worked with seems to love him and love working with him, he's maintained long friendships with people he worked with on previous projects spanning almost two decades. He's a quiet, low-key person who likes to keep his head down and just get on with the job.

    I agree that The Flight Attendant is very much a stopgap role, although it could also be seen as a foot in the door at HBO. If he has anything else in the pipeline, he won't let any hint of it drop until there is a public announcement, he never does. I do wonder if S2 was a disappointment for him, as he has worked hard all his career to avoid Latin stereotypes and had a lot of input into the development of Rios for S1, only for all that characterisation to be thrown out of the window by the new showrunners in S2, reducing him to the Latin stereotype he had always sought to avoid. But again, if he was disappointed by how this gig turned out, he'll never say. Too diplomatic, too good at keeping his head down and avoiding drama.

    It's a shame. I thought the cast in general and Rios in particular were simply brimming with potential for further development - as is the early 25th century in general - and it seems short-sighted, to me, to have burned so much of that potential by going scorched earth on Rios, apparently for no better reason than to get Seven into the captain's chair. But I guess these writers weren't interested in looking ahead, they were only interested in resolving the plot requirements of this season alone.
     
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  14. Dr Helen Noel

    Dr Helen Noel Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    I didn't really get the vibe that he would intentionally annoy anyone either to be honest, especially as he worked with some of the producers before on other projects. He did seem to be trying to put a positive spin on the plot in the interviews I watched, saying things like "we get to see a different side of Rios this season". However, I'm struggling to think of other reasons for what happened.

    Perhaps the writers just didn't anticipate how much popular the idea of a Rios led Stargazer would be? I don't think there was much call for a spin-off after season 1 as season 3 was expected, and by the time everyone started requesting one, it would have been too late.

    Agree, I'm very annoyed that the show runners seem to be heavily relying on legacy characters, prequels, reboots, and general nostalgia for all the shows. So much wasted potential for all the Picard characters, as well as the time period. I'm afraid they going to burn the franchise out again when they run out of nostalgia, if they don't ruin all the legacy characters first.

    Plus a La Sirena show would have been able to explore life outside the Federation. What is it like visiting planets when you're not from Starfleet? Maybe something Firefly-ish? What is it like traveling in space when you're pretty much alone on your ship? What happens if you make first contact by accident? So many fresh ideas to explore. Even if they don't use Rios, I hope they still consider doing a freighter captain series.

    You've probably seen his scenes already, but for anyone that hasn't, he has the same accent and look as he did for Rios, making it feel like it could be a "Rios stuck in the past and trying to blend in" spin-off.
     
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  15. ThreeEdgedSword

    ThreeEdgedSword Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    IMO they were not much more interested in Raffi and Seven than they were in Rios, the two were just given stuff to do (and made to look generic "badass"). Which leads me to a rather cynical conclusion as to why Seven and Raffi were the ones to go on to season 3: They realized that the TNG 8 season 3 cast they really care about consists of far more male than female characters. I have my doubts they will be explored in any meaningful way (as they tried with Raffi, Rios and Soji in s1), any more than in season 2. I could be wrong, of course.

    I'd like to think they're kept around because the writers are actually interested in them etc. but I doubt it. I'd also like to think it's because they are fan favs, but then I believe so is Rios.
     
  16. Dr Helen Noel

    Dr Helen Noel Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    My theory about this is that the Seven/Raffi pairing turned out to be more popular than the writers expected. If you look at AO3, the top Picard pairings are:
    https://archiveofourown.org/tags/Star Trek: Picard/works

    For anyone familiar with Trek fanfiction, the pairing being popular isn't really surprising as "Lesbians in Space" has been a common trope for a while. A prominent female/female relationship was well overdue in Trek. I think a lot of people forget that a big chunk of Trek's fanbase is actually female. Turning a legacy character bisexual and having the couple be mixed race is pretty appealing too.

    Interestingly, there doesn't seem to have been a single story posted so far mentioning Teresa, even though she has a lot of fanfic potential. I guess Rios/Teresa is not a popular pairing. After Juratti, Rios' second most popular pairing with OC male characters. Perhaps the writers should have explored that instead.
     
  17. ThreeEdgedSword

    ThreeEdgedSword Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Good point! Overdue indeed, and also, not a bad match considering their similar age, experiences with losing sons etc, and chemistry. Their being so popular on AO3 happened right after series 1, I think. Then it's even more puzzling that they wrote them like they did.
    Ah well, they all got shortchanged this season.
     
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  18. Llywela

    Llywela Commander Red Shirt

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    Oh yeah, a canon lesbian relationship was always going to be catnip to fanfic writers - so let us remember that the writers did not come up with it themselves, it was pitched to them by the actors. Without that, I imagine Seven and Raffi would have had the exact same plot only without any personal issues to thrash out along the way, making their material through the season a lot duller.

    In the circles I move among, although Teresa was liked when she first showed up, Rios/Teresa is pretty much universally hated, specifically because the relationship was so forced and was clearly designed purely to write him out of the show in the most shallow, 1970s Doctor Who way imaginable. Go back to the fic written for S1, however, and it is full of Rios/Jurati, and the holos - I don't think the writers really grasped how strongly the fic community latched onto the holos and mourned their loss all through S2.

    And again, in the circles I move among we don't get any sense that the S2 showrunners understood Rios as a character at all. The general sense is that they did nothing, absolutely nothing all season to show that he felt he didn't fit in, as 2.10 claimed. I mean, he didn't leave Starfleet because he "didn't fit in". He left because Starfleet betrayed him and he was suffering from PTSD. But even after the institution he had admired since he was a little boy let him down, he was still "Starfleet to the core" - and then when we saw him commanding the Stargazer in 2.01 he seemed perfectly at home and had a great rapport with his new crew.

    He doesn't spend his time around holos wearing his face because he "doesn't fit in with other people". Quite the opposite! It's clear from the word go that even though he tries to be grumpy and misanthropic and keep everyone at arm's length, he loves people and he lets them into his heart pretty much right away. He's not annoyed by Agnes bugging him, he's intrigued. He's unfailingly polite to Picard, he catches Agnes up when she can't follow the discussion, he geeks out over Seven, he is unfailingly gentle and kind to Soji despite being triggered into a PTSD episode by his first sight of her, even when she tried to hijack his ship. He has holos with his face because he is a people person. Because he gives his heart away quickly, freely, and completely. It's a (probably subconscious) way to protect himself from being hurt again - and a way to protect others from himself, since he blames himself for Vandermeer's death. It has nothing to do with not fitting in. And not having a blood family doesn't mean he had no meaningful connections with anyone in 2401. He spent the whole of season one building warm, strong bonds with the ragtag crew that Picard assembled aboard La Sirena - if Picard could call what was left of that team a family in 2.10, so could Rios.

    The writers may have been able to sell us "he doesn't fit in so this is a good thing for him" if they'd worked for it, spent the season laying groundwork. But for that, they first would have had to understand who he was in season 1, what his damage was, and what his relationship to the people around him was. They could have used his scene on the Stargazer to show he's uncomfortable with his return to Starfleet, instead of showing him perfectly at home and at ease. They could have used his conversations with Teresa to tease out any regrets he has about returning to the service, instead of giving her lots of cute speeches while he simply sat there making heart eyes. They could have used his interactions with Raffi and Seven to show that their friendship had grown more distant as they each got lost in their romantic relationship - instead, we saw the opposite, he and Raffi were as close as ever in the scant few scenes they had together, while a more newly developed friendship with Seven was also very clearly established through the season (I really loved that dynamic - I loved that both Raffi and Seven had a strong friendship with Rios that was completely separate from their relationship with each other). They could have done so many things to make it seem like Rios doesn't fit in and is looking for meaning or somewhere he belongs. Instead they give Agnes an easily-missed half-sentence in the middle of a tense action scene and had Rios rave about "real" food and cigars, as if he couldn't easily get those in the 25th century if he wanted to.

    (Also, because it bugs me: yes, he reads paper books. But Raffi has paper books on her desk, too, and Picard has a whole library. It's clearly not that uncommon. And the record player was Vandermeer's, not Rios's. I agree that he likes antiques and it's a good character trait of his. But it's not like it's a defining aspect of his personality.)

    So yeah. I understand the writers just needed to get rid of him because they wanted to clear the deck for TNG season 8, and romantic love trumps all else, right? And leaving him in 2024 allowed them to put Seven in the captain's chair in his place, which they clearly wanted to do. So finding him a feisty Latina woman to fall in love with made sense to them, and as long as we establish that they have a ton of romantic chemistry, that means we can neglect all other aspects of his character, right? We are making it very clear that nobody should ever watch season 1 again, because it was dumb and doesn't matter, so if we just say he never fit in anywhere and he doesn't belong anywhere because holograms, then the people are gonna go "yeah, that makes sense, that's what his character was about", right?

    Sheesh.

    I know it is a Star Trek tradition for one of the crewmates to suddenly be ready to give up their current life for someone they fell in love with a few days ago. But they don't usually go through with it, and this feels like the worst possible example of that. You really gonna walk away from your communist utopia after receiving a crash course in just how thoroughly your rights will be violated if you stay? You sure you want that, Rios?

    I mean, to have him choose to stay in 2024 without any mention at all of the imminent onset of World War III - and to air that episode on the same day that SNW aired a scene describing the horrors of that conflict in terrible, brutal detail. And to have nobody even mention it as an issue. They could have fixed it. Give him a line where he says, “Yeah, I’ve seen how terrible it is. I know what's coming. And that’s why I need to stay here. Because I know it can get better, eventually. So I can give these people hope. It’ll be hard, but it’s the right thing to do.” Instead, nothing. Guinan tells us after the fact that he and Teresa did a lot of good and helped a lot of people, but the scenario really, desperately needed to show us that Rios knew up front what he was getting himself into and was prepared for it, rather than just going with the cutesy, "I'm in love and this is my new family, I'm home," statement.

    Not to mention that scene of Picard calling Seven, Raffi and Elnor his family, laughing happily together just moments after Guinan had described Rios's premature death in a bar brawl, of all things. 'Died as he lived' my foot. S2 tried to peg Rios as an impulsive type, but in S1 this was the man who talked everyone else down from an armed standoff and got the team home safely when even the great Picard himself had failed - how is being murdered in a bar brawl 'dying as he lived' for that guy?

    None of it works for his character even a little bit, and it also doesn't work for the themes of the story, which are all about NOT getting stuck in the past, and it's an insult to the character, his deeply meaningful relationships to all the other characters around him, and it's frankly an insult to Santiago Cabrera. Writing him out of the show this unceremoniously with an alleged "happy ending" that reduces his character to a shadow of his former self and closes all doors for future projects so there will have to be tons of loopholes to contend with if anyone wants to bring his character back - it's a complete farce, start to finish.

    It just makes me so furious how badly they butchered this layered, complex character and gave him basically zero motivation for ending the story the way he did beyond "romantic love is more important than friendship, found family, duty, community, and the prospect of horrific war, racism, and decades upon decades of suffering".

    Bah humbug. Glad I've got that off my chest! I could probably rant a bit more about the deeply flawed structure of the show and how Elnor and Soji deserved better, too - not to mention Agnes, but this is a Rios thread so I'll shut up now.
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2022
  19. Ray Hardgrit

    Ray Hardgrit Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Oh damn, how did I not realise that until now. He totally got a classic Doctor Who companion ending!
     
  20. ThreeEdgedSword

    ThreeEdgedSword Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Yes, maybe we can continue this in another thread, both about how the writers didn't care for any of the characters, the friendships between them, but also the themes and world-building of season 1.
     
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