The second half of Star Trek: Prodigy‘s two-part midseason finale packs one hell of a wallop. The entire season so far has been phenomenal, but “A Moral Star, Part 2” really elevates the series. This episode made me cheer, gasp, and totally freak out. And this isn’t even the end of the season!
While “A Moral Star, Part 2” marks only the halfway point of the first season (the rest of the season will air later this year), the quality of this episode has me excited for what is to come.
I thought last week’s episode ended rather abruptly. As the first episode of a two-parter, much of what happened was meant to be buildup to the conclusion. And the conclusion was fantastic! There are still a few unanswered questions, and we can’t yet be sure if the answers we did get are accurate, but suffice it to say this is an episode that does not disappoint.
The biggest reveal of the day was what, exactly, the Diviner intended to do with the Protostar. My suspicion last week, that he blames Starfleet for the destruction of their planet, was spot on. Using the holodeck, he explains to Gwyn that Solum has not been destroyed – not yet. The Diviner was sent back in time to prevent a civil war among the Vau N’Akat that devastated the planet.
According to the Diviner, it was Starfleet’s arrival that served as the trigger for the civil war. After first contact with Starfleet, the people were divided between those who wanted to ally with Starfleet and those who wanted to preserve their current way of life. Of course, he’s noticeably light on the details. I don’t doubt that he absolutely does blame Starfleet for what happened. But is it really their fault? Would Solum have been at peace indefinitely without their arrival, or was that only the catalyst for something deeper?
His goal was to use the Protostar to destroy Starfleet by corrupting their ships’ computer banks and causing them to turn on each other. Gwyn, while rattled from the knowledge of what will happen to her people, is adamantly against causing one tragedy to save another. She argues that they should talk to Starfleet and explain the situation. But after so many years of striving for Starfleet’s destruction, the Diviner is resolute.
I have so many questions. Just how did the Diviner come back in time? How long has he been here? Are there many Vau N’Akat left in his future? Was he truly sent back, as he claims, or is he operating on his own? Why don’t they just go to Solum and explain the situation to them?
Sadly, we probably won’t get those answers any time soon, because the Diviner is in no condition to answer them. In a truly terrifying scene, Zero – in a bid to save both Gwyn and Dal – lets the Diviner see their true form. Zero talked about it earlier in the series, but basically, anyone who observes them in their non-corporeal state is driven mad. The Diviner had been using Zero as a weapon, and Zero wanted him to experience what all those other victims did.
That scene was legitimately frightening. It reminded me a lot of the scene at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark, where everyone is melted after looking upon the glory of God, or whatever was going on in that scene. The Diviner wasn’t melted, but the animation made for a truly haunting experience. You could almost witness the sanity leaving his eyes.
Gwyn almost endures the same fate, despite Dal trying to protect her. Thankfully, she only saw Zero’s reflection in Dal’s Starfleet badge. Unfortunately, she loses all her memory of what happened, including the knowledge that if they return the Protostar to Starfleet, it almost certainly spells doom for Solum.
Things are just a little less intense for the crew still stranded at Tars Lamora. With the atmosphere fading and the gravity off, it’s a race against time to save the other prisoners and escape with the protostar.
I absolutely loved this sequence. From Dal figuring out how to jury rig universal translators by using the prisoners’ ankle bracelets to the prisoners coming together to take down Drednok, everything about the scenes on Tars Lamora was a gift.
There is a lesson to be learned here, that people will unite against a common enemy. These prisoners knew nothing about each other. But as soon as they’re able to communicate with each other, the first thing they do is rally together to save Jankom, Rok-Tahk, and Murf. And if they take down their hated enemy in the process, so be it.
When they burst into the engine room, I cheered. I especially loved that it was the little Caitian who ended Drednok for good. “We now have a voice! Good for us; bad for you.”
I mean, we can go deep into class warfare struggles with this entire series if we wanted to. I did point out in my review of the premiere that the prisoners are prevented from talking to each other by design. After all, an easy way to keep the population under control is to keep them from communicating with each other. If they can’t understand each other, they can’t plan. Plus, as the Diviner refers to the prisoners as “the Unwanted”, it stands to reason that these are people used to not having a voice.
I really appreciated the scene where Jankom, Rok-Tahk, and Murf find the engine room, and they immediately take up their usual roles. Jankom, as the engineer, races to the engine, whereas Rok-Tahk, with her bulk, is left to hold the door. However, after the unknown length of time she spent alone during “Time Amok”, Rok-Tahk now recognizes that she is capable of more. And Jankom, amazingly, realizes that he is out of his depth. In fact, it’s his assertion that they switch roles.
That is an important lesson to learn. First, that you are not always stuck where you started. Second, that it is perfectly acceptable to acknowledge when you don’t know how to do something – even something in which you are generally pretty skilled.
“A Moral Star, Part 2” ends with a moment that made me gasp. As the Protostar prepares to make for Starfleet, lightyears away, a Starfleet ship has picked up their warp signature. We soon discover that Admiral Janeway is at the helm of the Dauntless, and she is determined to discover what happened to their ship.
Honestly, “A Moral Star, Part 2” would have been a great way to end a season. The fact that this is only the midseason finale means that there are even bigger things coming up. I cannot wait to find out what they are.
Author: Jamie Sugah
Jamie has a BA in English with a focus in creative writing from The Ohio State University. She self-published her first novel, The Perils of Long Hair on a Windy Day, which is available through Amazon. She is currently an archivist and lives in New York City with her demon ninja vampire cat. She covers television, books, movies, anime, and conventions in the NYC area.
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