Recap/Review: ‘Star Trek: Prodigy’ Returns With A Bang In “Into The Breach” (Part I & Part II) (2024)

“Into The Breach, Part I” and“Into The Breach, Part II”

Star Trek: Prodigy Season 2, Episodes 1 & 2 – Debuted Monday, July 1, 2024
Part I: Written by Kevin & Dan Hageman, directed by Ben Hibon
Part II: Written by Aaron Waltke, directed by Andrew L. Schmidt & Patrick Krebs

This delightful series doesn’t miss a beat as it reintroduces us to the characters and sets them on a grand new adventure.

Miss us?

WARNING: Spoilers below!

RECAP

“Greetings, Starfleet Academy hopefuls.”

Some time has passed since the season 1 finale, and the kids are now Starfleet Academy hopefuls, each assigned to a different specialty. Separately, Murf, Rok, Jankom, Zero, and Dal get a message from Admiral Janeway that “prep school is over” and it is time for some “study abroad.” They reunite to be greeted by their escort: It’s the holographic Doctor, or as he reminds us, a “hero of the Delta Quadrant.” Their escort tells them the mission is to explore the wormhole that was created when they blew up the Protostar last season, which created a gateway to future war-torn Solum (where Chakotay is), not to be confused with the peaceful Solum of today (where Gwyn is headed)… “This timey-whimey stuff hurts my head,” says Dal. They arrive at their new home, the USS Voyager-A, Janeway’s fancy new ride. They soon find out the ship has other potential Academy recruits, including teen Vulcan Maj’el, one of the snooty Nova Squadron candidates calling the prodigies “Never Squadron.” Burn! The kids are sent to their assignments with four of them very happy: Murf starts security training, Zero heads to sickbay, Jankom’s in engineering, and Rok in Cetacean Ops! But Dal is disappointed command training isn’t an away mission fighting the Borg; he’s just handed a huge pile of books, Temporal Mechanics 101 at the top. Boring!

Sorry kid, can’t talk, have to finish today’s Wordle.

“It’s time for one of my co*ckamamie plans.”

Dal runs into a brick wall when he tries to rally the gang into some hijinks. They’re not moved by his talk of how they “used to be heroes” on their own ship. Even Jankom is “trying to fit in.” The former kid captain retreats to his room to facetime with Gwyn, revealing he is rethinking the whole Academy thing, but she has her own concerns as she heads to Solum to convince a bunch of xenophobes that a galaxy full of aliens is actually going to be fun for them. But after Zero overhears The Doctor get a cryptic message from Janeway about Shuttlebay 3, which isn’t supposed to exist, they take Dal up on his suggestion of doing some snooping. Jankom and Murf join in, but Rok will have nothing to do with breaking the rules. They eventually find a seemingly empty hanger that actually contains a cloaked ship (still illegal in the 24th century). Janeway and her bridge crew show up, so the kids hide as the officers reveal the real mission was to use this ship called “Infinity” to go into the wormhole and save Chakotay—but now Admiral Jerkico is having second thoughts. Noum, Tysess, and Doctor say they are ready to go anyway, but Janeway is going to play by the book for the moment, and will keep trying to convince her boss to change his mind and go through with the secret time travel mission. Dal nails it with: “And this just got interesting.”

Yes, this would qualify as hijinks.

“I have traveled here from the stars.”

Gwyn finally arrives at Solum, and beams down alone with the assurance that she can return to the shuttle anytime. After announcing her surprise appearance to a crowd she is ushered in to meet the elders, but her message of “peaceful worlds and civilizations” falls on deaf ears. Surprise! Asencia (aka The Vindicator) arrived earlier and already convinced the leaders of the planet that Gwyn is a fake Vau N’Akat and a spy there to destroy the planet for her “Starfleet masters.” Things go downhill with calls to “seize her!” and she barely escapes, only to see her Federation ride home (and its pilot) blown out of the sky. These people aren’t very neighborly. Gwyn slinks around the back alleys of Solum until she feels the pull of her heirloom, leading her to the younger version of her father. This lonely astronomer named Ilthuran is far more amiable years before the civil war she is there to stop turns him into “The Diviner.” After she convinces him she is indeed his daughter, he takes her to meet the Lorekeeper, which appears to be an equally amiable version of the future evil robot Drednok. Using the “Arcanum” repository of the planet’s history, this friendly bot suggests Gwyn can prove she is a true blue Vau N’Akat if she can successfully perform the ancient ritual of Va’Lu’Rah. That is, if she survives the dangerous ceremony that hasn’t been done in a millennia. Gulp.

Take me to your leader?

“There are so many violations here.”

Voyager arrives at the wormhole, where the ship is greeted by a glowing orb thing warning “Janeway, do not enter the anomaly.” Ominous, much? At this point Dal, channeling his inner John McClane, falls out of his ceiling snooping spot, exiting by dropping a hint he knows about Shuttle Bay 3. Janeway calls the prodigies to a secret meeting and they spill what they know. The admiral reveals data recovered from the Protostar showing how Chakotay was captured on future Solum and the Protostar was turned into a weapon. The kids now understand his sacrifice; sending the ship back in time to be lost is how they won their freedom from Tars Lamora, “His sacrifice changed our lives.” They know flying the Protostar around almost allowed the Living Construct to fulfill its nefarious Starfleet-destroying mission. As the wormhole is locked to exactly 52 years in the future, the secret mission is to use the Infinity to rescue Chakotay, but even if they had permission, it would have to wait 41 hours so they arrive after Chakotay sends the Protostar back in time; otherwise, bad stuff happens—like Gwyn will cease to exist. Later, the gang’s enthusiasm of being on the inside of the big secret gets overheard by Maj’el. The Vulcan calls her Nova wannabe buddies to meet her at what she now knows to be Shuttlebay 3, revealed by some uncool mindreading of Zero. Dal decides the best way to keep Janeway’s illegal ship a secret is to fly it into another shuttlebay without anyone noticing. That plan works as well as you can imagine: The Novas show up, a struggle ensues, and the secret little ship gets launched at the wormhole just in time for the mysterious entity to show up again for a cosmic “WTF.” Rok and Murf are left behind, but Maj’el is along for the ride as Janeway and her bridge crew can only watch the Infinity disappear into the wormhole… unauthorized and way ahead of the timeline-breaking schedule. Prodigy and its hijinks are back!

Murf calls this pose the “Burt Reynolds.”

ANALYSIS

Welcome back, kids

The return of Prodigy took too long but was still worth the wait. The 2-part season premiere had all the season 1 touches of fun, lore, and heart while adding new twists by moving our characters into a new setting with a new mission. The team behind the show reveals a new confidence, knowing their formula works and refining it more as the characters evolve. Each episode stands well on its own, but together they hint at the more serialized second season ahead. It didn’t take the show long to catch us up on where each character was in their post-Protostar life, each settled into the disciplines they discovered suited them in season 1, but we also got hints of new arcs for each, such as Zero’s longing for corporeal love and Dal’s frustration with fitting into the restrictions of life as a Starfleet Academy cadet trainee. All of the catch-up did start things off a bit slow, but the action ramped up soon enough, especially in the second part. No time was wasted reminding us how much we cared about these kids, and their new challenges should be relatable to kids of all ages. The cast is as strong as ever, but Angus Imrie stands out for his nuanced performance, delivering light and touching moments.

Oh to be a sphere in love.

The second season also introduces us to some new (and familiar) characters. Maj’el (Michaela Dietz) and her Nova trainees start off as a bit of a clichéd cool kid clique to conflict with our outcast heroes, but hopefully, things will get more nuanced as the season progresses. The more interesting character tension is between the prodigies themselves, with Rok-Tahk representing the desire to fit into the rules and Dal bristling against them on the other extreme. Bringing Robert Picardo’s Star Trek: Voyager EMH back as a holographic minder for the kids worked right from the start, adding lots of humor (including “I’m a doctor, not a butler”), but also some heart, like when he offered Zero some non-corporeal wisdom about their potential for growth. As we get into the second half of the episode, we get to meet Ilthuran, the younger Diviner, and John Noble is amazing in how he creates an entirely different character from his terrifying (and too often one-dimensional) season 1 villain. An exciting new character of the season is the USS Voyager-A, a beautiful update on the original akin to the evolution of the sacred 1701 refit. The visual effects team nailed it with the classic spacedock scene and we are just getting to see some of the exciting elements of this new Voyager, including Cetacean Ops… a perfect new home for Rok-Tahk. It’s also a nice setting for the kids (and therefore the audience) to learn more Trek lore, even the seemingly mundane like the turbolift—because turbolifts are cool!

Get ready for more “I’m a doctor, not a ___” gags kid, I have been saving up.

The main plot for the season was established well, with quite a bit of exposition for the benefit of those not familiar with Temporal Mechanics 101. The season 1 finale set up a storyline that is going to take place in multiple timelines, with potentially dangerous implications. The secret mission, cool new ship, and mysterious Orb entity all added to the galactic stakes and offered plenty to keep the audience intrigued. The focus is still on saving Chakotay, and who doesn’t choke up when he records his “Tell Kathryn… I’m sorry. But I’m doing this for you” message, establishing the very personal stakes for the season. Of course, once the Infinity was introduced, it was obvious Dal and the gang would end up taking the little ship, and the series of events that lead to them flying it through the wormhole bordered on sitcom antics but got them back into space on their own and set up for many more adventures for this new season. Splitting the kids up in time and space with Rok and Murf on Voyager and Gwyn on present-day Solum does complicate things, but that is a problem for the rest of the highly anticipated season to come.

Is this thing on?

Final thoughts

Prodigy is as good as it has ever been, and possibly even better. This show may be targeted at young audiences, but it works for all ages and even for us (too often cynical) older fans as well, demonstrating a deep understanding and love for Star Trek. The show simply makes you feel young again.

Still has that new ship smell…

BITS

  • Stardate 61859.6 (as of Part II).
  • Rok-Tahk’s presentation on solving the Tribble multiplying problem referenced the late Edward Larkin from the Short Treks episode “The Trouble With Edward.”
  • The original USS Voyager was mentioned as a “floating museum,” which was seen in Lower Decks, set a few years before.
  • It’s mentioned that Admiral Janeway personally took command of the new Voyager because much of Starfleet was focused on the “Romulan evacuation.” This effort was headed up by Admiral Picard at this time (around 2385).
  • The USS Voyager is launched from above Mars, home to the Utopia Planitia Fleet Yards, not long before the Synth Attack on Mars fromPicard and Short Treks.
  • Janeway said she promised Picard she wouldn’t lose the new Voyager in the Delta Quadrant, referring to how she did get lost in the Delta Quadrant for seven years on Star Trek: Voyager.
  • One of the Nova candidates was a Lurian.
  • Zero notes Bolian births are “colorful.” The Bolian mother talks about her baby having “heartbeats,” indicating Bolians have more than one heart.
  • Bonnie Gordon (who voiced the USS Protostar in season 1) returns, voicing the Voyager and Infinity computer, as well as the Bolian mother.
  • Jimmi Simpson (voice of Drednok) also voices the much nicer robot “Lorekeeper.”

You can tell he is a nice robot because he is painted white.

TrekMovie’sProdigy July binge-watch

Since all 20 episodes were released on Netflix at once, we’re binging it in five-episode arcs; we can’t stick to watching just one a week! Each All Access Star Trek podcast (every Friday morning) will cover five episodes, while written reviews for all five will publish throughout the week, with two-parters paired up.

This will all wrap up just as San Diego Comic-Con kicks off at the end of the month. We also hope to have more Prodigy interviews and analysis in July and beyond.

We welcome fans joining us through July covering 5 episodes each week. However, for those choosing to binge the show even faster, we ask readers to avoid spoilers for episodes beyond the latest recap/review in our comments section.

Season 2 ofProdigy is available to stream on Netflix globally (excluding Canada, Nordics, CEE, Netherlands, Spain, Portugal, Poland, Russia, Belarus and Mainland China) and season one is currently available on SkyShowtime in the Nordics, the Netherlands, Spain, Portugal and Central and Eastern Europe with season two coming soon. Season two has launched in France on France Televisions channels and Okoo.

Keep up with news about theStar Trek Universe at TrekMovie.com.

Recap/Review: ‘Star Trek: Prodigy’ Returns With A Bang In “Into The Breach” (Part I & Part II) (12)

Recap/Review: ‘Star Trek: Prodigy’ Returns With A Bang In “Into The Breach” (Part I & Part II) (2024)

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