Previously on Star Trek: Prodigy, our crew of child prison escapees masquerading as Starfleet cadets faced their first challenge in the Protostar as they were dragged into the gravity of a dying star. They ended up saving the ship and themselves (with a little help from Hologram Janeway) and discovering replicators, fancy Captain’s quarters, a shuttle replicator, and more. Gwyn fought Rok trying to escape but was ultimately unsuccessful.
Last week we learned that Star Trek: Prodigy had been officially renewed for a second season. This season is taking a winter break after Episode 5, returning in January. So I got together with Captain Daphne, our intrepid 9-year-old guest reviewer, to watch the last two episodes of 2021 and let you know what we thought.
Scroll down for our audio review!
Recap (Spoiler Alert!)
“Dreamcatcher” starts with Dal’s first Captain’s Log. Since their escape from the gravity well in episode 3, Hologram Janeway has been teaching the crew important skils like how to put the Protostar on auto-pilot and how to plot a course to avoid dangerous things.
When their course takes them near a Class M planet, Janeway lets them know that it’s their duty as Starfleet Cadets to investigate. She explains to them that a Class M planet is suitable for life but says the computers detect no sentient life on this one (hahahaha good one, Hologram Janeway!). At first Dal doesn’t want to go – he wants to get farther away from The Diviner – but when Janeway says she’ll be forced to report their non-compliance to Starfleet, he agrees so the “adults” don’t come after them.
Dal comes to tell Gwyn they’re going exploring and she’s clearly bitter, saying “What ever happened to ‘we could’ve been friends under different circumstances?”
Janeway briefs them for their first away mission and issues tricorders and phasers, which quickly leads to Dal accidentally shooting Jankom Pog. Janeway seems un…phased (pun 100% intended) because the phasers are set to stun by default. I dunno, seems like a bit of a laissez fire attitude (sorry not sorry).
As they disembark she warns them “Look out…for each other,” but they’re quickly separated. Jankom, the only one in an EV suit out of an abundance of caution, detects an unknown gas sample and heads off to follow it. Dal leaves everyone in behind while he takes off on the Runaway, because if there’s one thing Star Trek needed it was more dune buggies.
Rok ends up on her own and wanders off but we see some weird sticky-looking plant tendril things behind her and it seems like bad news.
Meanwhile on the ship, Gwyn breaks out of her cell by telepathically summoning her shapeshifty sword thing and driving it into a console. It turns out her dad has been training her to run the ship for years, and she easily takes control of it, even over Hologram Janeway’s objections. Dal also doesn’t get the warning from Janeway because he’s off sightseeing. Gwyn calls her dad and tells him where they are.
Meanwhile the other crew members have found things they’re all really intersted in: Jankom Pog has come upon a house with a pot of delicious stew cooking over a fire, Zero has found what seems like the ship’s engine suspended in a hedge, and Rok is being cuddle-piled by a bunch of adorable alien puppy things, even though her tricorder says she’s the only lifeform there.
Driving back towards the ship, Dal thinks he sees a couple standing over by a rock. As he gets closer it looks like the backs of his parents, but Hologram Janeway appears and explains to him he can’t see their faces because he doesn’t remember what they look like. He realizes the real Hologram Janeway can’t leave the ship, and his parents start to turn into the alien plant tendril things. Now be-tentacled Janeway explains what’s going on on the planet: “We have the ability to see what you want and give it to you.”
Side note: the plant is apparently a sentient being nicknamed Scylla, but we missed this in watching it the first time and thought the planet itself was a hostile tentacle monster. Anywho, Dal jumps into the Runaway and goes to find the others but Scylla seems to have changed its mind about tricking them and is now trying to trap them and the Protostar, wrapping the ship with tendrils.
Gwyn walks down out of the ship to try to see what’s going on and she thinks she can see The Diviner, but when he holds his arms open and says he’s proud of her, that’s how she knows it’s a fake and not her real father. Gwyn has to abandon the ship before the tentacles destroy it, so she goes to the half-constructed shuttlecraft in the replicator bay, but at the last minute feels bad and decides she has to take Murf with her.
The shuttle and the Protostar both appear to crash down to the planet. Dal and the gang find Gwyn and Murf in the downed shuttlecraft, crying. Dal says, “You’ve stranded us all.”
And that is the cliffhanger-y end of Episode 4!
Episode 5, “Terror Firma” starts off with an argument between our heroes. Dal is mad that Gwyn tried to steal the Protostar, but the others are inclined to forgive because she saved Murf when she abandoned ship. Meanwhile on the Protostar, Hologram Janeway is trying to hold off the tendrils that are trying to eat the ship, but but she hails Dal and lets him know they need to get back to the ship, fast. The planet, meanwhile, eats the Runaway, and appears intent on consuming the shuttle wreckage too – it seems like it’s less interested now in trying to get them to stay there through trickery.
Gwyn’s leg has a compound fracture but she uses her matter sword to create a splint so she can walk. As they head back to the ship they talk about what to name the new planet. Jankom is bent on “Murder Planet” for obvious reasons.
On the ship, Janeway is trying to find the power to break free but she finds a lot of power going to something called the gravimetric protostar system. The ship won’t let even her disable the system – she needs command permissions. She decides to start with pulling powers from food replicators to start.
The road back to the ship is taking a long time and they realize it’s because Scylla is terraforming the planet to make them go in circles. Rok misunderstands the word as “Terror form”: “The planet is trying to scare us?”
As if on cue the tendrils form a creepy alien thing that attacks them. They start shooting with their phasers but Zero is a horrible shot, so Dal takes their phaser. Gwyn throws a torch at the tentacle being and it catches on fire. The group runs from the fire and falls down a slope. Then it starts raining.
Our heroes seek shelter in what turns out to be a wrecked Klingon ship and they talk about what they each saw presented by the planet. Hearing what the planet was doing to get them to stay, Zero realizes they saw the engine in the forest because Scylla knew they’d be obsessed by the puzzle of how it got there.
Dal and Gwyn end up talking as Dal plays with a mek’leth, which Gwyn actually knows about. She says if warriors can’t make it off this planet, no one will. But as the two of them start to maybe make friends (a little?) again, they realize the stars on this planet are fixed. That means they can use them to navigate back to the Protostar.
As they exit the Klingon ship, they’re confronted by the Diviner’s hench-robot Drednok and they quickly realize this isn’t another planet-generated illusion. Dal is angry to learn Gwyn called her father and knew the Diviner was coming, but Gwyn shows her loyalties are more complex when she steps in front of the group to shield them from Drednok’s weapon. Instead of shooting her, Drednok shoots the matter sword wrapped around her leg and she falls, yelling at the others to split up so he can’t catch them all.
Drednok transforms into more of a spider-type robot and skitters after them. They end up hiding as a group, having failed to split up. Drednok overshoots them and they try to decide whether or not to go back for Gwyn, but Dal says she’s on her own after betraying them.
Gwyn meanwhile is able to reconstruct her matter sword. As she tries to stand she sees the ship isn’t far away and her father is arriving. She calls out for the Diviner’s help but as he sees both his daughter and the ship being enveloped in tendrils, he has to pick which one to save. He chooses the ship. Only too late does he realize the ship isn’t the real ship but another illusion generated by the planet, because it’s what he desires.
This buys Dal and Co. enough time to get back to the Protostar, but before they take off they do throw a literal rope down to save Gwyn. With them all safely on board, Dal sets a course off the planet and “as far away as possible.”
The Diviner manages to get his own ship in the air and into pursuit. It’s much bigger than the Protostar and closing fast. He hails Gwyn and demands they surrender the ship but just in time they realize what that whole protostar system thing Janeway discovered is. Zero pieces it together that the ship itself is actually running on the harnessed energy of a dwarf protostar, so by engaging that system they can get a massive boost of speed.
“You made your choice, father. Now I’ve made mine,” says Gwyn as they engage the protostar and zip off out of reach.
Overall Captain Daphne and I loved these two episodes and it was great to watch them together as almost a two-parter. The pacing was good, Captain Daphne thought the planet looked gorgeous, and the story was interesting and suspenseful but easier to follow. For me as an adult fan it felt like it felt like it really embodied classic Trek spirit, and I liked the insider Trek references (like the part where they’re hanging out on the wrecked Klingon ship and talking about mek’leths but also appreciated that they weren’t alienating for new viewers.
Take a listen to our audio interview for more thoughts on these two episodes from Captain Daphne!