Harry Treadaway turned heads with his captivating, or as ExB Hugh, called him “dashing” portrayal of the Romulan spy Narek whose mission is it is to find the synth home-world on Star Trek: Picard.
Narek and to a lesser extent his sister Narissa are the the first fully formed three dimensional Romulans ever portrayed on Trek who are actual characters and not archetypes or indistinguishable from any other Romulan. As to his fate after the end of the season finale, ComicBook.com says that “[Head writer Michael] Chabon has been frequently using Instagram Stories to answer Star Trek fans’ questions about Picard each week – including the obvious one about why Narek never got any resolution to his storyline in season 1, despite being a pivotal part of the finale. As Chabon hints (not so subtly), it was the finale editors who dropped the ball with Narek: “Yeah. Narek. We know, we know. A casualty of the editorial process, alas. The intention was for him to be taken into Federation custody.”
Narek had one of the more dynamic new character arcs in Picard season 1. He started out trying to prove his worth to the Zhat Vash and his sister (and Starfleet spy) Narissa, by getting close to Soji and learning her all-important secret. While Narek ultimately did his duty, he did develop genuine feelings for Soji, it seemed. In the end, Narek found a middle ground, by not staying to loyal to the Zhat Vash, but also trying to accomplish the goal of avoiding a mass genocide of organic life by the Synthetic Alliance. That’s all to say: it was kind of an important detail to see what became of Narek – especially since Seven of Nine killed his sister, and the Zhat Vash has seemingly disavowed him. While there’s been no official word yet, many fans would almost certainly like to see Harry Treadaway back as Narek, in Picard season 2.
Den of Geek praised the show saying that with Narek, Picard did the bad boyfriend trope right. “With the ending rather ambiguous but Soji and Narek both still on the playing field, there’s plenty of room for fans to speculate about where their relationship might go from here, whether that means healthy re-connection, happily never seeing one again, or anything in between. The fantasy of a liaison with a smart, charming spy is still present in the show for fans who want it, but it’s not nearly as important as everything else in the finale, which includes an emphasis on totally different elements of strong friendships and romances.
The separate fates of both characters reinforce the idea that Soji, not Narek, has the power to save herself and her allies in the finale. Picard’s crewmate Raffi Musiker directly calls Narek an “abusive boyfriend.” Narek agrees to help Picard’s team by providing himself as a prize to the androids who want to destroy all organic life. But he isn’t the key to their success; the whole plan falls apart, leaving it to Soji, unmoved by Narek’s opinions, to decide to stop the androids’ attack. Picard decides he is willing to sacrifice his own life for the androids, and Soji decides peace is more important than revenge. She gets what she wants—the chance to know her true history and to decide what kind of life to live for herself, with or without her enemy.
Watch the powerful scene below where Narek takes Soji on Zhal Makh, a traditional form of meditation that can unlock the mind’s most intimate space and explore dreams. It’s another well-crafted and imaginative element of Romulan culture that we’ve been seeing over the course of the show..