Episode 11: “Asylum”
Prodigy is back, everybody! If you need a refresh on what happened before the long mid-season break, startrek.com has got you covered, but essentially when we pick up in “Asylum,” our crew is on their way to the Federation, stopping off to do good, Federation-y things on the way. And if they needed the extra time between episodes 10 and 11 to make it look this gorgeous, it was time well-spent.
Their first mission is an underwater trip to save an Aquathawn (basically an alien whale) from hunters. They’re doing well until Gwyn gets distracted by a disjointed flashback to the last conversation with her father. The whale swallows the crew in their underwater pod, but they’re saved by Hologram Janeway on the Protostar. She beams the whale up, and it spits the crew out onto the deck. Gwyn talks to Zero, who feels really bad about the effect their Medusan abilities had on Gwyn’s amnesia.
Dal does a Captain’s log and says on their way to a Federation communications relay station, and Dal admits to Janeway that he’s scared that the Federation won’t accept him. Janeway gives him a pep talk, and he gives her a giant hug.
When they get to the relay station, it’s salmost deserted except the frazzled Lieutenant (JG) Barniss Frex. Frex is confused about who they are, but welcomes them and makes them all go through a biometric scanner. Pog is proud to learn that the Tellarites were among the Federation’s founding members, and Rok is excited to learn there are many different kinds of science. We also learn that Murf is a Melanoid Slime Worm. But Dal’s scan just pops up a message: “Report to Starfleet.”
Meanwhile we flash back to Earth, where Vice-Admiral Janeway is watching a holorecording of her last meeting with Chakotay before he headed off in command of the Protostar. And all the J/C shippers have FEELS. Just then, Ensign Asensia lets Janeway know she’s found the Protostar.
Exploring the station, Rok goes to learn more about scientific fields, and Zero and Gwyn go to sickbay to try to recover her memories. Gwyn admits she’s afraid to ask what happened to her father, and Zero says: “He cannot hurt you anymore.” She gets on the biobed and Zero starts their work. Meanwhile, Pog discovers hot dogs.
When Frex reviews the Protostar’s logs, the Diviner’s weapon on the ship activates, and the red alert klaxon goes off. Gwyn is trapped in a med tube that’s rapidly filling with water and the station’s weapons start attacking itself. In the med tube Gwyn sees a vision of her father and it inspires her to use her weapon/heirloom to cut herself free. The rest of the crew arrive as Gwyn breaks out of the tank.
Hologram Janeway orders them back to the ship but they’re stopped by Frex, who suspects foul play. The Protostar is blown free of the station and they can’t beam back, and Frex beats them to the escape pod.
Dal’s idea is to get them all in spacesuits and have them jump from one end of the station off toward the Protostar. He looks to Rok to use her scientific knowledge to figure out how to get over there. She’s scared but ultimately gets them close enough for Janeway to tractor them in.
As they get close to the ship, Gwyn’s memories are restored. She sees her father telling her the Protostar was the weapon, one that the Federation would welcome with open arms, “and it will destroy itself from within.”
Meanwhile, Admiral Janeway arrives at Tars Lamora to find The Diviner alive. “I hope he has answers,” she says, and the episode ends!
Episode 12: “Let Sleeping Borg Lie”
We start on the Protostar, where it seems Gwyn has created a hologram of her memories with her father, to show the rest of the crew and Hologram Janeway. We see the Diviner talking to Gwyn about how he engineered the ship to corrupt the computer systems so the ships turn against themselves.
Gwyn reminds them that the Federation hasn’t even destroyed their homeworld yet – he’s a time traveler and that will happen in the future. Everyone is upset. Murf feels sick and Pog snaps back at Janeway when she says she would’ve known if there was a destructive weapon on the ship. Zero shuts down the playback and Pog yells that they have to find the weapon. They find a symbol on the deck in the search, and Gwyn’s weapon reacts to it, turning into a kind of key. A section of the deck drops down, revealing a sub-deck that Janeway didn’t know about.
In the subdeck they find the weapon: a red, glowing set of intersecting circles. Jankom tries to fire his phaser at it but it doesn’t do anything. Dal says they need to find a way to shut it down, but no one has any great ideas at the moment.
Just then, scanners alert them to the presence of a Borg cube. Janeway gives them Borg 101 and says they should run away, but Gwyn and Dal think they might find something on the cube to teach them how to disarm the weapon. Zero’s scans show the systems are functional but the Borg are sleeping. Janeway registers her objection but says at least she can brief them on everything she knows.
Meanwhile on the Dauntless, Admiral Janeway is drinking tea, black (!) and she looks super bummed about it. She tells Ensign Asensia it’s doctor’s orders, but “between you and me, I need a second opinion.” They go to Sickbay, where the Diviner is just waking up. He says, “They took my daughter,” but he can’t really hear them, and Janeway wants Dr. Noum to wake him up more so they can talk to him. Asensia suggests they could replicate more of the bioserum they found him in and use that to revive him.
On board the cube, Pog is super into it, until they point out the drones that he’s conveniently overlooked. Zero says they need to find the vinculum to access the memories of the assimilated worlds contained in the cube. When they get to the vinculum they can’t figure out how to access the data, but Dal says that someone will need to link with the collective. Zero volunteers to do it, having once been part of a collective hive mind.
We flash into Zero’s mind and see their dialogue with the Borg. On the Protostar, Janeway sees that the Borg cube is waking up and scanning the ship.
The Borg drones start waking up and Dal says they need to leave, but Rok doesn’t want to leave Zero. Dal says they’ll come back for Zero, and they make a run for it. When the first drone falls to Dal’s phaser, he thinks they’re not so tough, but the Borg quickly adapt and resist the others’ shots. Gwyn takes one on with her heirloom weapon while the others try rotating phase variance. In the fight Gwyn gets separated. Dal yells at her to get out of there and save Zero, while the drones grab the rest of the crew. Meanwhile Zero negotiates with the Borg, asking for how to deactivate the weapon, which they call the Living Construct.
On her way to Zero, Gwyn talks to Janeway. Janeway says if she wants to save her captured crewmates from assimilation, she has to lay down her weapon and pretend she’s not a threat. If she does that, the Borg will ignore her. Gwyn nervously walks between lines of marching drones. She finds her crewmates on a scan and runs in to save them. Zero floats into the room, glowing green and saying: “Resistance is futile.”
Gwyn tries to convince Zero to resist the collective, but Zero says, “There is no Zero. Zero hurt you, endangered you. Now Zero is Borg.” Gwyn says that’s not the Zero she knows: “We all get hurt, Zero. It’s the risk we take for revealing pieces of ourselves to each other. But what you did, trying to protect me was an act of love, and you should never feel ashamed for that.”
Her speech gets through just as Zero’s about to torture Pog (yup – this episode got dark again) and we see Zero break free in their mind as well, stunning all the drones around them. They escape the cube and, back on the Protostar, Zero says that unfortunately they learned the Living Construct cannot be removed or deactivated.
They decide not to go to Starfleet until they can do so safely, but just then they receive a distress call, and they’re eager to go check it out.
The episode concludes back on the Dauntless, which has just come across the decimated Starfleet relay station. They know the Protostar caused it, but Admiral Janeway can’t believe Chakotay did it. Whoever did must be stopped.