This post contains spoilers for the latest episode of Star Trek: Prodigy “Mindwalk” with John Noble as The Diviner.
When Star Trek: Prodigy introduced The Diviner, the audience immediately saw him as the villain of the series. That was the set up, especially when it came to how he treated his daughter, Gwynn and the labor camp he ran on Tars Lamora. In fact, up until now, the character, voiced by John Noble, had no redeeming qualities. That changed in the most recent episode of “Mindwalk,” when Vice Admiral Janeway (Kate Mulgrew) was confined in sickbay. Because she had saved his life, the Diviner released her, seemingly without any ulterior motive.
That action was brought to question in a recent interview Noble had with Trekmovie.
"Trekmovie: Are we seeing a nuance that he [The Diviner] isn’t so single-minded?Noble: Perfectly put, sir. That’s the joy of the character because you start to see that nuance inside: ‘But hang on, I thought he was more…’ So you can see he’s more fleshed out than you thought. And he’s more human than you thought. I think it’s a beautiful development. I’m aware of it and thank you for noticing it. It’s something we’ve worked on and will continue to work on. I like story arcs that have a redemption element in them. I really do, but whether it be a story arc or a character if there’s some redemption in there for most of them, so that’s a goal towards pursuing. And I think The Diviner’s redemption is necessary, frankly."
Is John Noble right? Is it necessary for The Diviner to be redeemed?
Every series has a villain or an antagonist, if a villain isn’t essential. For the most part of season one, the audience has seen The Diviner in that light. Though Noble thinks a redemption is necessary for him, there are countless stories in Star Trek where villains don’t get redeemed. They’re just simply evil.
For instance, Khan from Star Trek: The Original Series and Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, had no redeeming qualities, and it wasn’t necessary to shape him into something he wasn’t. Changing The Diviner might be Prodigy’s next move, but after causing so much pain and doing so much damage, it’s going to be difficult for the audience to see him as anything other than a bad guy.
Seeing him release Admiral Janeway only made me more suspicious of his next move, especially since he said he had to see his mission through. He’s clearly not done with chaos, and if the current crew of the Protostar attempt to prevent him from achieving his goal yet again, it’s unlikely he’s going to let them go like he did with Janeway.
Is redemption possible? Sure, but it’s going to take more than just one act of kindness to convince Prodigy fans that The Diviner is moving from evil to good.