Star Trek Prodigy S1E10: “A Moral Star, Part 2” review and reactions

STAR TREK: PRODIGY: Ep#109 -- Angus Imrie as Zero and Dee Bradley Baker as Murf in STAR TREK: PRODIGY streaming on Paramount+ Photo: Nickelodeon/Paramount+ ©2022 VIACOM INTERNATIONAL. All Rights Reserved.
STAR TREK: PRODIGY: Ep#109 -- Angus Imrie as Zero and Dee Bradley Baker as Murf in STAR TREK: PRODIGY streaming on Paramount+ Photo: Nickelodeon/Paramount+ ©2022 VIACOM INTERNATIONAL. All Rights Reserved. /

Star Trek Prodigy finishes its first half-season in epic form.

The mid-season finale of Star Trek Prodigy is so action-packed and ambitious, it could serve as a season finale on any other Star Trek series. Happily for fans, “A Moral Star, Part 2” marks only this season’s midway point.

On Tars Lamora, Dal and Zero guide the newly freed miners to the Rev-12. Zero turns the “Unwanted”’s manacles into universal translators, giving them the ability to communicate that their captor had denied them. Jankom holds the door to the Rev-12’s engine room against the reactivated Watcher robots while Rok repairs the ship’s damaged energy core, restoring gravity and power.

The Protostar returns. Drednok beams down demanding the proto-core, but the former prisoners join forces against him. None other than the cute little Caitian we first met in Prodigy’s pilot episode delivers the head-severing blow. Unfortunately, the decapitated droid was able to transmit the drive’s coordinates, and the proto-drive is gone.

Aboard the Protostar, the Diviner begins bringing the proto-drive online. Hologram Janeway reveals Gwyn upgraded her programming to prevent the Diviner’s overrides. She blocks the Diviner, buying time for Gwyn’s attempts to lower the Protostar’s shields so the freed miners can beam aboard.

The Diviner tells Gwyn that, together, they can still save the Vau N’Akat. He reveals he has come from a future in which Starfleet’s first contact with the planet Solum sparked culture shock and a civil war that destroyed the planet and their people. The Diviner wants to use a weapon aboard the Protostar to destroy Starfleet. The ship’s very return will trigger the fleet’s ruin from within.

Jankom fires at the Protostar’s shield emitters, lowering its shields enough for individuals to beam aboard one at a time. They do so just as the Diviner is about to engage the proto-drive. Zero reveals herself to the Diviner, driving him mad. Dal tries to keep Gwyn from looking on Zero, but Gwyn catches a reflected glimpse of the Medusan in Dal’s combadge.

The Protostar leaves the Diviner behind in the wreckage of Tars Lamora. Gwyn recovers physically from the sight of Zero’s true nature, but without her memories of the incident—meaning she is unable to warn of the danger the ship’s return to Starfleet carries.

Meanwhile, the USS Dauntless II, commanded by Admiral Kathryn Janeway, detects the Protostar’s warp signature, and sets a course for it. Admiral Janeway vows, “I’m coming, Chakotay.”

“A Moral Star, Part 2” shows Star Trek Prodigy is rich, relevant storytelling

“A Moral Star, Part 2” deftly develops on plot points, capitalizes on character beats, and drives home thematic elements established throughout this first season’s first half. Even a moment as fleeting as the Caitian prisoner’s attack on Drednok feels immensely satisfying because we saw that prisoner delivered to Tars Lamora in the very first episode.

Another example is Zero revealing her true form to the Diviner. Zero has expressed grief on more than one occasion that the Diviner used them, against their will, as a weapon. Fans may debate whether Zero’s actions here align with Starfleet’s ethos—but Zero doesn’t belong to Starfleet, they are not motivated by revenge but by a desire to save Dal and Gwyn and the ship, and they are making their own choice. The resolution to the crisis feels authentic and well-earned.

I was surprised to learn “Solum” isn’t the Diviner’s personal name, but the name of the Vau N’Akat homeworld. But whether he has a personal name or not, the Diviner’s motivation becomes crystal clear in “A Moral Star, Part 2.” True to his previous appearances, he is no one-dimensional, egomaniacal evil genius bent on wreaking galactic havoc for havoc’s sake. No, his motives are all too familiar in our society. He is motivated by a desire to hang on to a past “supremacy,” a privileging of his own people and culture at others’ expense.

“Starfleet lit the fire,” the Diviner charges, “and left us to burn.” We will no doubt learn more about Starfleet’s first contact with Solum as Prodigy continues. We shouldn’t assume the Diviner is telling and (courtsey of the Protostar’s holodeck) showing Gwyn the whole truth. But no doubt his version of events contains some truth, and the civil war the Vau N’Akat suffered is tragic and lamentable.

Yet Gwyn voices the true way forward: “You can’t trade one tragedy for another.” Discussion, not destruction, holds the key. This truth puts the choice to leave the Diviner behind as “the last Unwanted,” while emotionally satisfying, also at odds with the Starfleet ethos of compassion—not to mention leaving the narrative door open for the Diviner to make more trouble!

“A Moral Star, Part 2” includes a valedictory log entry from Hologram Janeway, appropriately sounding the series’ themes of friendship, cooperation, and potential. But the crew’s ignorance of the threat the Protostar represents to Starfleet leaves us on the proverbial edge of our seats.

Once again, Star Trek Prodigy proves it can deliver characters, plot, and issues at the high levels Star Trek fans expect. Its first ten episodes give us every reason to think the next ten will be just as enchanting and exciting.

Next. Star Trek Prodigy S1E9: “A Moral Star, Part 1” review and reactions. dark