Star Trek: Prodigy opens on Dal’s first official Captain's Log, which gives him the opportunity to recap what has happened in between “Kobayashi” and “First Con-Tact” following the revelation that they aren’t the first crew aboard the U.S.S. Protostar. In the time between the two episodes, Janeway has continued to try to figure out what happened to Chakotay and his crew, while Dal and his crew experiment with the transporter.
After the mayhem and frivolity of beaming up a slice of pie and Murf, the Protostar is hailed by a vessel in distress and Janeway encourages them to offer assistance. The individual feigning a crisis is revealed to be Nandi, a Ferengi that coincidentally raised Dal before he was taken to the Tars Lamora prison colony.
She is thrilled to learn that Dal is safely aboard a Federation vessel and she invites him and the crew aboard her ship, where she spins a tall tale about needing their help. This little side quest gives Dal an opportunity to show his crew where he got his start—sleeping in a hammock under the engine and gazing out at the stars through the little window. Dal agrees to help Nandi find crystals on a planet that is home to an advanced civilization that has never met alien life before. Janeway cautions the crew about General Order 1 (The Prime Directive) and sends them on their way to make first contact with the civilization.
When they arrive, the planet (and its inhabitants) react to them as a threat, conjuring up a pretty intimidating sandstorm with melodious vibrations. Gwyn is quick to realize that they need to act respectfully and she figures out how they can adjust their comm badges to communicate. From there they are able to safely journey to the caverns with Nandi to retrieve the crystals she’s looking for. Of course, her intentions are far from innocent.
While Dal was quick to think she was sincere, any adult watching could read between the lines of her deceitful act. Rather than respecting the inhabitants who greeted them with beautiful music and colors, seemingly created by the crystals suspended above them, Nandi steals several of the crystals and runs. The crew is able to retrieve some of the crystals, but Nandi takes off with one, leading to Dal chasing after her. Once he catches her, Nandi reveals that he wasn’t in fact kidnapped, she sold him off to the Tars Lamora prison colony and replaced him with someone who wouldn’t fail her. It’s a pretty crushing blow for Dal, who realizes that he had been living a lie. He had genuinely believed that Nandi had seen him as a son and had mourned whatever relationship was lost there. This discovery leads to a really sweet moment between Gwyn and Dal, which I’ll get to in a moment.
After delivering that piece of information, Nandi absconds with the final crystal—except she has no idea what Dal has done to it. Unbeknownst to her, he had placed his comm badge on the crystal, allowing the crew to beam it onto the Protostar so they could return it to its rightful place.
In the crew’s absence, Janeway had continued with her efforts to piece together what happened to Chakotay and his crew. While examining a clip from the security footage, she zooms in on an image and discovers that their assailant was none other than Drednok. What this all means has yet to be revealed, but it seems like the series is gearing up to set the crew against the Diviner again.
Despite rectifying their errors, Janeway is disappointed with the crew. Not only did they cause irreparable damage to the civilization and break the Prime Directive, but they had acted with insincere intentions and had set out to cause harm. After Janeway leaves, the rest of the crew depart from the bridge, sulking away to grapple with being in trouble, but Gwyn hangs back to talk to Dal.
Now that Dal has learned that his parental figure never really cared about him, he and Gwyn have a unique understanding of each other. She understands what it’s like to be betrayed by a parent and now Dal does too. She offers him a little advice, pointing out the silver lining—“You learned who your true friends are.”—before telling him the pain doesn’t ever really go away. These kids all deserve a warm blanket and whatever sweet drink they wish to imbibe in. I love the way these two are reflections of each other and these little parallels and points of understanding are just so beautiful to watch.
Star Trek: Prodigy is streaming now on Paramount+.
This post was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.