Star Trek: Prodigy 1×19 Review: “Supernova, Part 1”

Star Trek Prodigy Supernova
Photo: Nickelodeon/Paramount+ ©2022 VIACOM INTERNATIONAL. All Rights Reserved.

“Mindwalk” set the stage quite nicely last week for the thrilling climax of Star Trek: Prodigy‘s first season. With an impressive armada “welcoming” the Protostar into the heart of Federation space, “Supernova, Part 1” features the beleaguered crew doing their darnedest to protect Starfleet from the Living Construct.

I’ll tell you, “Supernova, Part 1” felt much longer than its 24-minute runtime. So much happened in such a short span of time. They really started right off with Ascencia revealing herself and her, the Diviner, and Drednok going to the Protostar to implement their plan. I honestly didn’t think that would happen until closer to the end of the episode, so that it could be a cliffhanger. Although, it still basically has that as a cliffhanger, just a much more depressing one.

Even when faced with impossible odds, these kids do everything they can. Dal has his dreams of joining Starfleet crushed and is rejected by his crush (presumably – life or death situation here, Gwyn never actually gives him an answer) in the span of a few minutes, yet manages to rally impressively and tackle the bulk of the risk in trying to prevent Ascencia from taking over the bridge. He may not be able to join Starfleet, but he’s still determined that the others will be able to do so.

Dal has grown so much this season. They all have, really, but the way Dal graciously gives up the captain’s seat to Gwyn is something that he would never have done even not that long ago. The kiss was something I saw coming, although I did not think it would happen quite this early. Still, he was so adorably awkward in that moment. Honestly, the two of them had so much maturity in that scene, it’s hard to believe that they’re only teenagers.

Also, can I just say that I love how they literally saved each other when it was important? I mean, Rok used Jankom’s glove to free Murf, who then freed Zero, who freed Dal, who freed Rok and Jankom. That is, like, the literal peak of teamwork right there. These kids have come so far since the beginning of the season. They’ve coalesced into more than a team; they’re a family. Prodigy is all about finding where you belong, and I think this episode proves that these kids belong together.

You could tell, over the past few episodes, that the Diviner had lost his zeal for their mission. Losing his memories was the key. Even after Ascencia helped him remember his past, it wasn’t quite the same. The emotional connection was gone. But he still loved Gwyn, and that was ultimately his downfall. (Or maybe his redemption. Perhaps saving Gwyn is the catalyst that ultimately saves the Vau N’Akat.)

“Supernova, Part 1” emphasizes the importance of communication and cooperation. With the Living Construct infecting all of the Starfleet vessels, the diverse crews cannot talk to each other. Janeway’s order to abandon the Dauntless falls upon unresponsive ears, as multiple members of her crew cannot understand her. That was exactly the problem on Tars Lamora, and how the Diviner managed to keep everyone there under his thumb. If you cannot understand each other, you cannot work together.

Then here comes Gwyn to save the day; Gwyn, who had learned multiple languages in order to play species off of each other, using everything she’s learned to bring people together. Her impassioned plea to Starfleet’s allies is as Star Trek a speech as any of Picard’s or Pike’s or Kirk’s monologues. And it works! Cooperation is the key.

The question now becomes, what do they do? Even though their allies have rallied around them – even the adversarial ones like the Klingons and the Gorn – there simply aren’t enough in the area to protect Starfleet from itself. The automatic SOS protocols have more Starfleet ships showing up to provide backup, and with Ascencia having escaped with her Drednok, it’s only a matter of time before there is no Starfleet left.

Naturally, the season can’t end there. But how does this issue get solved? The Protostar is potentially the only ship that will survive the onslaught. Could time travel be the solution? Jumping back to prevent the attack somehow? Jumping forward to prevent the Protostar from going back in the first place? Or perhaps, Chakotay is able to arrive in the nick of time with the answer.

Time travel has the potential to cause the timeline to go all wibbly-wobbly, but let’s be real here. If time travel is going to happen anywhere, it’s going to happen around Janeway.

With only one episode left in the season, I cannot wait to see how Starfleet gets out of this mess, and what’s next for our intrepid crew.

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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