Star Trek: Prodigy revisits a classic Trek antagonist in “Let Sleeping Borg Lie” when the Protostar encounters a dormant Borg cube. The crew hopes that the Borg’s collective brainpower can help them figure out what to do with the hidden weapon on their ship.
“Let Sleeping Borg Lie” seems to pick up almost exactly where “Asylum” left off. Gwyn leads the others through her newly-restored memories as they learn that the Diviner hid a weapon on their ship. This weapon is meant to turn Starfleet’s assets against itself. At first, the others – particularly Janeway – don’t believe it. How could this weapon have been on the Protostar without any of them realizing?
A search of the ship eventually reveals the hidden sub-deck under the bridge where the weapon sits. The kids debate what to do with it. They don’t know how to turn it off. They can’t risk it falling into the wrong hands. And as Jankom helpfully discovers, they can’t destroy it.
I do so love when Prodigy dips into Trek lore, which let’s be honest, happens on a consistent basis. It’s doubly inspired bringing back the Borg. Janeway has more than a passing familiarity with them. Aaron J. Watke, one of the writers for Prodigy, said that this episode was meant to explore the aftermath of the Borg post-“Endgame” (the Voyager series finale).
Whether because the kids are kids or because they’re ignorant of the greater universe, Dal and the others ignore Janeway’s warnings to flee and decide to board the Borg cube. They’re hoping that the combined consciousness of the Borg hive mind will know what to do with the Living Construct – the weapon that the Diviner hid on the Protostar. I suppose if I were completely unaware of the danger posed by the Borg, I might want to take the opportunity as well.
The cube is apparently dormant, so the kids take the risk to board. The scenes on the cube do a fantastic job of showing just how massive in scale the Borg ships are. I don’t know if any other incarnation of Trek has been able to get that across quite as well. Because these kids are new to Starfleet, and therefore the larger universe, everything is new to them.
Prodigy takes this opportunity to re-introduce the Borg as though the audience is just as unfamiliar with them as the kids are. We are seeing the cube through their eyes. The camera is allowed to linger where before it wasn’t. I am also a huge fan of how they depicted the shared consciousness. I don’t know if something like that could have been done on any of the live-action series. Animation truly is the best medium for things like this.
(Side note: I love how excited Jankom was with all of the new technology, while everyone else was creeped out by all of the sleeping drones.)
In retrospect, I can see why they thought Zero was the natural choice to plug into the Borg. As Zero said, they were part of a collective hive mind before; they know how strong the pull is, so it stands to reason that they would be the best equipped to fight it. But at the same time, I feel like that makes Zero the most vulnerable to succumbing. It’s so easy to fall back into something familiar. That’s why addiction is something a person spends their whole life fighting.
You want to talk about horrifying? Let’s talk about the thought of a Medussan Borg. It’s almost enough to keep you up at night, isn’t it?
This is a kids’ show first and foremost, so the power of friendship saves the day in the end. Zero is able to break free of the collective because when it comes down to it, they don’t want to hurt people. But they especially don’t want to hurt their friends.
Resistance may not be futile, but their mission to the Borg cube was. Despite being able to identify the weapon – the Living Construct – the Borg knew of no way to deactivate it. But then you have to wonder, how did they know what it was? If this technology is supposedly from the future, are the Borg able to link their consciousness through time? Or did the Diviner simply find this technology, not make it? If so, is there someone out there who knows more about it?
The scene where the Borg attack is quite well done. The kids get a first-hand look at the adaptability of the Borg when their phasers are no longer effective. But these kids are adaptable as well, and it’s nice to see that depicted so effectively. Rok-Tahk instructs everyone to keep changing the variances on the phasers. Gwyn uses her heirloom. They also take a few out by just good old-fashioned tackling.
I really appreciated the moment when Dal saved Gwyn at the expense of all of the others getting captured. Considering his actions on Tars Lamora, it shows a lot of growth for Dal that he willingly put himself in danger to save Gwyn – and hopefully Zero. Couple that with the moment where Dal suggests putting off finding Starfleet – and his first-ever chance to learn anything about his origins. Dal has really matured throughout the season, but this is the first episode where I thought him being Captain actually made the most sense.
Meanwhile, aboard the Dauntless, the Diviner is still alive. He isn’t quite conscious yet, but his delirious mutterings are perfectly worded to make it seem like he’s a good person. We don’t have enough information yet to know if this is intentional, but with the way Admiral Janeway reacted, it just makes the kids look even worse. Their situation isn’t helped at all when the Dauntless finds the ruins of the outpost from “Asylum” – with no life signs. (Where did that guy go? He had an escape pod.)
Also, there is something hinky about Asencia. When Dr. Noum snarks about eventually taking her orders, she had this weird look on her face. It can probably be ascribed to ambition – I’m sure many people who join Starfleet hope to someday be in a position of command. But it looked like she was almost smirking, and it just seemed very out of place – almost sinister. But it could just be my imagination.
Star Trek: Prodigy just keeps getting better and better, and “Let Sleeping Borg Lie” is just one of the many amazing episodes in this series. I can’t wait for the next episode!
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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