Star Trek: Prodigy 1×11 Review: “Asylum”
Star Trek: Prodigy returns for the second half of season 1 with “Asylum”. Just when our intrepid crew of the Protostar thought they were safe, something happens that could completely derail their quest to join Starfleet.
When we last left our crew in “A Moral Star, Part 2”, they had just staged a successful rebellion of Tars Lamora. As “Asylum” opens, we learn that it has been some time since. The Protostar dropped all the prisoners off at their home worlds and have been spending the rest of their time performing humanitarian missions in a bid to prove to Starfleet that they would be worthy recruits.
This is an episode that promises answers – if not now, then at some point in the future. Gwyn has lost her memories of the events on Tars Lamora, but she keeps experiencing flashbacks at the most inconvenient of times. Unfortunately, she can’t make any sense of what she is remembering, and she has no context for it. If she did, she might have been able to prevent what happened.
But of course, we can’t blame Gwyn for not being able to remember. After all, seeing Zero’s true form is meant to drive people to madness. Gwyn is lucky she only saw the reflection. And it’s a good thing that she eventually does remember, otherwise, the kids would have had no idea what was going on.
We finally see what the Diviner meant when he said that Starfleet would destroy itself. He actually meant that literally. It’s clever in its insidiousness.
Dal’s quest for identity has been a major part of his character up to this point, and “Asylum” makes it clear that this is a mystery that will be solved at some point this season. The bio scanners on the Starfleet outpost have a match for Dal; we just don’t learn what it is, because all that comes up is a message to report to Starfleet Command. But just the knowledge that they may have the answers is enough to raise Dal’s spirits.
I like that the kids’ first experience with Starfleet (that isn’t a hologram) is initially positive. They are all so very excited at the prospect of joining, and to have them be welcomed likely goes a long way towards easing their nerves. They are all essentially rejects and castoffs; hearing that Starfleet accepts all kinds is a balm to soothe their souls. It’s terrible that the hidden weapon aboard the Protostar – something that they had no knowledge of and nothing to do with – will probably hinder their quest.
You can tell what’s going to happen. The officer stationed at the outpost assumed that this was intentional sabotage. After hearing that they stole the ship, it’s not an unreasonable conclusion to draw. But these are children claiming that they escaped from a prison planet. Surely that would give them the benefit of the doubt.
But they won’t be given the benefit of the doubt. The story will get out somehow, and with Vice Admiral Janeway (aka real Janeway) discovering the Diviner still alive, we can only assume that he will find a way to twist events to his liking. It will only get worse when she located Chakotay’s ship with no Chakotay. It is laughably easy to use rumors and hearsay to manipulate people’s perception of an event, especially an event they themselves did not witness.
I do love the way that Prodigy is able to balance humor with the more dramatic aspects. Jankom and Dal getting pummeled with rogue hot dogs was a nice counter to malfunctioning medical equipment nearly drowning Gwyn. And Zero telling Dal that his argument was “logical, but nonsense” as they tried to figure out a way off the self-destructing outpost was a wonderful moment of levity in an otherwise tense situation.
Prodigy also continues to offer nice little throwbacks to earlier installments in the Star Trek universe. For example, the mission that Dal and the others are on at the beginning of the episode is saving a space whale.
I’m so excited that Prodigy is back! I can’t wait to get some answers and see what real Janeway will get up to.
If you haven’t yet, make sure you listen to our interviews with the cast and crew from this year’s New York Comic Con!
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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