With “Time Amok,” Star Trek: Prodigy is starting to careen towards the inciting action of the central plot, placing the crew of the U.S.S. Protostar back into Drednok’s terrifying path and forcing them to come together as a united front. But before they can come together, they find themselves trapped in separate temporal phases, faced with oscillating time that sends some of the crew to quick deaths, while others find themselves stuck in years of isolation.
The episode opens on Janeway running them through a training protocol designed to make them solve the age-old riddle of crossing the river with a fox, a chicken, and a bag of grain. Under Dal’s shakey leadership, the crew of the U.S.S. Protostar fails to complete the lesson, with things running amok as Rok-Tahk shirks her assignment, the fox catches the chicken, and Murf drifts away with the boat. No amount of training protocols, however, could have prepared them for an energy field breaching the hull of the vessel, casting them all astray into separate timelines that only Janeway can access.
Janeway quickly realizes that something has gone awry when she scans the ship and finds only one life form aboard. With Jankom’s assistance, she realizes that the warp containment field has been breached, causing the protostar to become volatile and leading to a deadly core breach. Unfortunately for Jankom, the ten-minute estimate he gives for how long it will take to repair the core is vastly accelerated in his timeline. Janeway’s programming allows her to jump into the other temporal phases, but she quickly finds that some of the crew are more helpful than the others.
Zero helps Janeway work out what needs to be repaired in order to save the crew, while Rok-Tahk is left terrified about her isolating predicament, and Murf is, well, Murf. Dal, in all of his hopeful idealism, is fairly useless as a Captain. Despite the dire warning that Janeway issues about the situation, he continues playing around in his quarters and takes no initiative to save his crew. Fortunately, Janeway makes her way to Gwyn, who is making strides to figure out how to save the Protostar, but her efforts are interrupted by Drednok’s attempts to commandeer the vessel.
Janeway confronts Drednok about her discovery last week (the realization that Drednok attacked Captain Chakotay’s crew) which prompts him to permanently delete her file, leaving Gwyn to try to relay the messages across the temporal phases. After devising a plan to get Drednok off the Protostar, Gwyn accepts her impending demise and makes one final plea to Rok-Tahk to save them.
In her exasperated isolation, Rok-Tahk is able to teach herself all of the necessary skills required to build the device to stabilize the core and effectively save the crew from death. Despite her towering size, Rok-Tahk is the youngest member of the crew, and she has been forced into ill-suiting roles because of it. “Time Amok” gives her the time to embrace her hidden brilliance, while also embracing her weaknesses. It’s a sweet reminder for the younger audience—and older—that while you might not be able to do everything, each of us is uniquely suited to certain roles.
While “Time Amok” is a stressful episode, it’s also very exhilarating. Janeway has a number of amusing one-liners that help to break up the tension of the crew in peril, from jesting about sending back the Diviner’s gift to other little tendrils of witty snark that made me miss Kate Mulgrew’s quips on Star Trek: Voyager.
Maggie Lovitt is the Managing Editor of Entertainment at Wealth of Geeks where she covers her favorite topics: Star Wars and pop culture nerdery. She is also a freelance writer and News Editor at Collider. She has had bylines at Inverse, Polygon, and Dorkside of the Force. She is also a member of the Hollywood Critics Association.
When she is not covering entertainment news, she can be found on one of her numerous podcasts or on her YouTube channel. In her free time, she is also a novelist, screenwriter, actor, and member of the Screen Actors Guild.