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Review: Star Trek: Prodigy I Episode 16

Review: Star Trek: Prodigy I Episode 16

Episode 16 focuses on the backstories of some of the main characters. Our review shows if “Prelude” is more than just a classic filler episode. Warning: SPOILERS!

Basic information about the characters

“Prelude” is undoubtedly what’s called a “filler episode,” because the season’s overriding story has only progressed marginally here. Instead, the focus of attention in this episode is on the main characters: while the crew repairs the protodrive, the kids tell stories from their pasts. As we last learned about Gwen and Dale’s past, this time it’s Jancom, Rock Tack and Zero’s turn.

Meanwhile, Diviner has been restored on Dauntless. After the “big revelation” from the previous episode, “Masquerade”, the evil trio of Diviner, Asencia, and Dednok are now plotting to take over the ship together.

With this episode, one of my criticisms from my early reviews vanishes immediately: We finally get a very good explanation for our many inconsistencies. Nice that you already thought of it!

Jancom bog

Anyone who follows my reviews will know that I am not necessarily a fan of Jankom Pog. Unfortunately, this did not change as the season progressed. But at least in “Prelude” we learn where he came from and how he ended up on Tars Lamora.

Yancom was born on Tellar Prime long before the Federation was formed in the year 2161. As an orphan, he became part of a sleeper tellurite mining ship sent on a deep-space mission to the distant Delta Quadrant.

So it’s very possible that Jankom’s origins are before “Star Trek: Enterprise,” because the good guy didn’t know people either. However, this background story offers a perfectly understandable explanation as to why Tellarite is unaware of the Federation. And why has he been in the Delta Quadrant for so long.

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However, the story itself then has some “script coincidences”. Yes, there is an emergency on board, but why did Jancom only wake up from stasis? Anyway, Jankom fixes the ship after that, and it’s also a bit funny to watch Jankom’s Hatz fix the ship.

Overall, the finish feels a bit built up. Jankom has to go down for the benefit of the other crew members, or he will run out of oxygen. Sorry, but in freezing cold maybe it doesn’t use oxygen. So you could have just woken up on the 29th and let someone sleep. But of course there had to be a reason why Jankom fell into the hands of the Kazon and was then sold to Tars Lamora…

That’s all well and good, but I’m still missing an explanation as to why he doesn’t seem to know the habits of his own gender. Just two episodes ago, he was verbally abused by a Tellarite Starfleet officer along the lines of “we just call junkies Jankom” (not literally). So the praise was either serious or high by Tellarite standards.

Rock-Tahk

The second story is about Rock Tahak. Prior to her capture on Tars Lamora, our dear Brikar was part of a (mock) arena fight show in which she fought against a supposed “hero” who also treated her as a full partner behind the scenes. Eventually, though, Rock Tack tired of being seen and despised as a “monster”. She turned the tables and ruined her fighting partner’s show – and, of course, the business model. Soon after, she was sold into slavery.

In fact, this story – despite the funny interludes – is almost less exciting than Jankom’s. I’m just missing the spatio-temporal context here (so again nothing for “games and timelines”). It certainly worked here that Rock no longer wanted to live a “monster existence” full of contempt and resisted him at one point. Or the contradiction of her fighting partner, who feels sorry for her in some way, but lets her down anyway.

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It would have been more interesting at this point, though, if one delved into her past and also showed how she got into the field in the first place. However, in the end, this story is taken up very quickly and is also sold to the Kazon and then to the Diviner.

zero

Zero’s story is much more interesting. He was traveling with the other Medusas (who here are still using a classic spaceship) when he was also captured by the Kazon (again!). Incidentally, Kazon wears well-known TOS goggles. But then you have to ask yourself where they actually got it from.

Since Medusers prefer telepathic communication, this story follows without any conversations whatsoever. Overall, it’s very entertaining and cute too, but I’d like to doubt whether this part of the story also offers real added value.

Chakotay and the fortune teller

Perhaps the most exciting part of the story illuminates the fate of Captain Chakotay and the fortune teller.

It was only a matter of time before Diviner regained his old form. And this is what happens. He regains parts of his memory and is eventually captured by the real Janeway. I just found the needed baby stickers and slowly found out about Diviner.

Also, here we finally get the history of Vau Na’Kat, which Diviner and Asencia belong to. And we get more information about the relationship between Diviner and Protostar:

The Protostars, led by Captain Chakotay, entered the Delta Quadrant, but immediately fell into a temporal anomaly. The ship and crew then landed in the future on the ruined planet Sollum. An attack followed and the capture of the crew. After capturing the ship, Vau Na’Kat launches its sabotage operation to crush the Federation fleet. However, Chakotay manages to send the ship back in time to escape the aliens’ control.

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One hundred of the last Vau Na’Kat have been sent across the anomaly to search for the Protostars. The episode left open (perhaps intentionally) how many of them actually succeeded, perhaps to leave the door open for future adversaries. Diviner has landed in the past for 20 years, while Vindicator has only landed three.

And that’s actually the end of the episode, although that could of course be described as a bit of a bang.

But does that mean, on the contrary, that Chakotay is now stuck, alone, in a distant future? After all, he mentioned that the wormhole collapsed later. Well, we hope we find out.

It’s not unimportant at this point that only viewers get to experience all of this. Our team of champions on Protostar are still groping in the dark about this.

Finally, a little fun fact: The Diviner naturally blames the boy (Dal) for betraying Gwyn. Oh, cool… 😊

What are your thoughts on the first season of Star Trek: Prodigy?