Whether they realize it or not, the young characters of Star Trek: Prodigy took their first steps on what will most likely be a fantastic adventure. In last week’s episode, the crew of the USS Protostar began learning how to properly pilot the ship. In “Dreamcatcher,” they become familiar with one of Starfleet’s main objectives: to explore space and document their scientific findings.
As the Protostar wanders the galaxy, Janeway discovers a Class M planet close by and encourages the crew to investigate. Though Dal is hesitant because the Diviner is still on their tail, he relents fearing that their holographic mentor will uncover they aren’t real Starfleet cadets. The kids have their first mission but it turns out to be more than they bargained for.
The episode of Star Trek: Prodigy captures the awe and excitement of Dal, Jankom, Zero, and Rok-Tahk as they embark on their assignment. It’s a significant moment and it’s fun to see them receive some of the iconic gadgets including their tricorders and phasers. Though we’re quickly reminded of how immature and inexperienced they are when they play with their devices like toys.
There is never a Star Trek mission that is uneventful and the conflict the characters face provides some interesting insight into each. Dal still comes off as irritatingly too cool for school and cocky but we’re given a glimpse of his unresolved family issues and how that affects him. From a scientific standpoint, Zero embodies the inquisitiveness of the franchise the most but it’s curious to see how the Medusan has changed from the premiere when they were a dangerous rebel and outlaw to someone who is more incompetent and helpless.
Gwyn continues to be the most compelling character. Even though she is still technically a bad guy in Star Trek: Prodigy, the story definitely makes her sympathetic. Similar to Dal, she has complicated feelings about her parent. However, unlike the ship’s de facto captain, Gwyn demonstrates she has the intelligence, cunning, and decision-making skills to be a leader.
There is good in her when she goes back for someone needing help rather than make a clean escape. The cliffhanger ending leaves on an intriguing note where it positions all the characters, including Gwyn, needing to work together to solve their predicament. Seeing how the series compares and contrasts her and Dal, it would be worth seeing how Gwyn would do as captain if she ever completes her redemptive arc.
Some of the other character reveals aren’t as deep or meaningful. Rok-Tahk is searching for companionship and friends and how the antagonist exploits her desires is creepy and leads to surprisingly good scares. The fact that actress, Rylee Alazraqui, is so you and has an innocent voice adds to the suspense. Meanwhile, Jankom is fueled by finding good food, which isn’t profound but he does supply much of the comic relief. Anyone can appreciate a good fart joke regardless of age.
“Dreamcatcher” is an enjoyable episode that provides good scares, humor, and character development.
New episodes of Star Trek: Prodigy are released Thursdays on Paramount+.
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