Star Trek: Prodigy got shockingly dark for its first season finale.
Star Trek: Prodigy pulled a fast one on us in the season one finale of the show. Figuring out that the Protostar’s Living Construct will keep infecting ships, and holding its will on those ships until it is destroyed, the crew finds a way to destroy the ship without destroying any planets or solar systems in the process.
The only problem is, someone has to stay behind to blow the ship up. Dal R’El, the de-facto captain on the ship, volunteers to stay behind, as he wouldn’t be allowed into Starfleet anyway due to his augmented nature. The Emergency Command Hologram Kathryn Janeway, however, says she’ll do it, as she can copy her program to a mini-drive and send it with the crew into a lifeboat of sorts so that no one has to die.
It turns out, however, that Janeway’s programming has learned and grown in size making her essentially too big to fit on anything smaller than the Prodigy’s computer, meaning she can’t leave the ship after all. The plan goes off, the ship is destroyed, taking the EMC Janeway with it, and all the while the kids are unaware their holographic mentor was unable to join them. That is until they try to re-activate her on their shuttle.
All they get is a mini-message from their friend, explaining why she couldn’t join them. It was a heart-breaking moment for a show, made basically for families and kids. It, in turn, made the season finale pretty dark for what is basically a kid’s show.
But that’s a pretty necessary thing to do from time to time.
Dealing with loss is a necessary skill all Star Trek fans need to learn
While the “real” Kathryn Janeway came in after the death of the hologram and took the crew under her wings, the way they viewed the EMC was that of another member of their family. While the EMC was just a computer program, the kids viewed her as real. So to them, her “death” was real.
So the concept of her death was a painful one for them to deal with. Death is part of life, and it happens to everyone. So while the show is geared towards kids and families, it’s still a lesson that Star Trek fans should be exposed to.
The way the kids on the show grieved their friend felt real and the passing wasn’t so traumatic that it would scar anyone watching. It was a topic matter that the show would likely tackle eventually and the fact they did so in such a dramatic way, should give fans hope that this series can handle heavier Trek concepts just like the live-action shows do
All in all, the episode may have gotten dark but it was the perfect way to teach younger viewers that grief is ok, and that you’ll get through it.