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star trek prodigy 7.1
Photo: Nickelodeon/Paramount+

Television

‘Star Trek: Prodigy’ episode 7 review: Trust and mommy issues

On the latest Star Trek: Prodigy, we meet who raised Dal.

Star Trek: Prodigy follows a rag tag group of young aliens who go through unorthodox Starfleet training thanks to a high-tech ship they commandeered along with its instructive AI based off of the USS Voyager captain, Kathryn Janeway. In “First Contact,” as the title suggests, the crew set out to a new planet to be the first outsiders the local inhabitants interact with.

The episode further explores Dal’s unresolved parental issues. We saw back in “Terror Firma” that the one thing he desired the most was to be with his mom and dad. It was implied that he never really knew them because he couldn’t imagine their distinct faces. Through chance the Protostar comes across his foster mother of sorts, Nandi.

It’s easy to see how the Ferengi helped shape Dal from his street smarts to his questionable moral stance. As much as the ship’s captain is happy to see the woman who raised him, there is a tenseness in the air and a hesitance from him to help her under the guise of a diplomatic mission. Their backstory is pretty predictable as it is gradually revealed and it feels like a squandered opportunity.

Star Trek: Prodigy could have shown a complicated relationship between the two with some genuine affection from Nandi to garner some sympathy for her character. This could have added extra layers to their conflict when they cross paths again but it’s all played as one dimensional with her being selfish and only looking out for herself. There’s a strong possibility she does appear again and maybe she’ll be accompanied by another disgruntled parent of the Protostar team.

star trek prodigy 7.2
Photo: Nickelodeon/Paramount+

Having an animated series can cater more towards a younger audience and their sensibilities. However, the medium can be effectively used for world building in the Star Trek Universe. The area they visit is a breath-taking desert and the special effects of wind gusts and vibrations bring the environment to life. The character designs of the natives are ethereal and imaginative and the inability to communicate with each other enhances the first contact experience.

In the end, there is a lesson for Dal but the message is diminished with a real lack of accountability for his actions. The worst of it is a scolding from Janeway. Part of being a leader is having people trust you. Even though he is able to stop Nandi, the locals will now approach visitors with distrust. That doesn’t mention all the lying to the rest of the crew yet they shrug it all off and pity him for his falling out with his mother figure.

It’s not all deceit on this episode of Star Trek: Prodigy. The cold opening is playful and entertaining and is a reminder of how young and innocent the crew is. The mystery of the Protostar itself deepens as Janeway analyzes the video from last week of Captain Chakotay. It only leads to more questions about the Diviner and Drednok’s interest in the ship that will play into the overarching narrative.

“First Contact” has some impressive visuals of a new alien world while trying to bring more depth to the ship’s captain with inconsistent results.

New episodes of Star Trek: Prodigy are released Thursdays on Paramount+.

star trek prodigy 7.1
Star Trek: Prodigy E 7 Review: 'First Contact'
“First Contact” has some impressive visuals of a new alien world while trying to bring more depth to the ship’s captain with inconsistent results.
Reader Rating0 Votes
0
Funny and cute cold opening.
Visually impressive environments and aliens.
More development of the mystery behind the Protostar.
The villain is too one dimensional.
No real accountability for Dal after all his lying.
7
Good

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