Prodigy’s “Supernova, Part 2” in Review
Continuing from Part 1, the fleet is still attacking itself due to the influence of the Construct. Dal suggests initiating a self-destruct on the Protostar, but the protostar at the ship’s core would destroy the star system. By destroying the ship in proto-warp, they could spread the energy over a long range and minimize the severity of the destruction. The crew would escape on a shuttlecraft. With the auto-pilot non-functional, Hologram Janeway will have to stay behind and pilot the ship, though she’ll give the kids a copy of herself on an isolinear chip.
Jankom goes to finish the repairs he was working on in Part 1 so they can proto-jump. Rok and Gwyn rapidly design a shuttlecraft. Hologram Janeway discovers that her program won’t fit on an isolinear chip, but she lies to Dal so he doesn’t know that she’s about to be destroyed.
The shuttlecraft is launched. Hologram Janeway engages and then detonates the Proto-Core, destroying the ship and saving the fleet. The kids try to load the copy of Hologram Janeway, but they realize it’s only a pre-recorded message explaining her actions, praising the kids, and instructing them to “go boldly.”
A month later, Starfleet has discovered that, in her final moments, Hologram Janeway caused the creation of an interspatial rift: a wormhole to an alternate future. Starfleet has also received a new mayday message from Chakotay, sent back in time fifty-two years via the wormhole.
The kids land their shuttlecraft in San Francisco Bay and are placed before Starfleet Command to consider both their request to join the Academy and the charges against them. Vice Admiral Janeway passionately defends them.
The charges are all dropped. The kids aren’t admitted to the Academy. However, all but Gwyn are recruited as warrant officers and will receive training under Janeway. Gwyn will be going to Solum, to attempt to unify the Vau N’Akat and avert their destruction.
The kids start their training. Rok favors the study of xenobiology, Jankom learns non-percussive maintenance, and Zero gets a new containment suit that looks like it was designed by Aperture Science. Gwyn and Dal share a kiss that’s significantly less awkward than the one Dal planted in Part 1.
Vice Admiral Janeway reveals that a new ship of the Protostar-class has been created, though she says she has a much bigger plan for the kids than that. She leads them onto Season 2. “Well, are you coming, or not?”
“Supernova, Part 2” is a generally solid conclusion to both the first season as a whole and the second half of the season in particular. As a conclusion to a two-parter, it feels like it wraps up the problems of Part 1 a little quickly, but it’s hard to criticize it much for that when they have so much to take care of and so little time to do so.
As such, one might wish we had more time to wrap everything up. The episode manages to, well, “go fast.” The proto-core was offline last episode, but in this episode they rapidly fix it by… fixing it. Fair enough. They have an issue with the shuttle’s navigation, but they manage to get to Earth by… managing to get to Earth (and this complication doesn’t seem to add anything to the episode, other than a time jump).
The “trial” of the kids wraps up very quickly. The issue of Dal being an Augment is breezed through with a quick speech. Maybe the prejudice will be explored further next season, but getting past it seemed a little too easy for the moment. Maybe the Starfleet brass didn’t want Janeway to threaten to resign again.
Interestingly, the level of destruction from the fleet battle is left vague, although maybe the episode’s writers were reluctant to point out what would seem to be thousands of deaths on a kids’ show. Whatever the reason, it feels a little glossed over.
The possibility of traveling to an alternate future is raised, presumably so they can still rescue Chakotay, even now that the timeline has been altered. This new development doesn’t feel like it really fits with any of the time travel portrayed in previous Star Trek. While we’ve seen messages and even people come back from alternate futures (such as in the Voyager episodes “Timeless” and “Endgame”), the general implication has been that the changes to the timeline wiped out that future. That said, time travel in Star Trek has never been completely consistent.
As the close of this particular chapter of the story, “Supernova, Part 2” bears the brunt for any questions the audience considers to be left dangling (though some may still be answered next season). For example, I suspect we’ll never get a full answer to how the Diviner managed to locate the planet that contained the Protostar but didn’t manage to determine where on the planet it was located for nearly twenty years.
That said, it’s easy to focus on what the episode and the season didn’t do, but it’s important not to overlook what they did do. For example, we’ve definitely received a reasonable number of answers to our questions, and we have a pretty good approximate timeline now:
2363: The Diviner arrives in the past
2366: The Diviner decides to create a progeny
2381: The Vindicator (Asencia) arrives in the past
2383: Prodigy Season 1
2435: Chakotay arrives in the future (now an alternate future), eventually leading the Diviner to head back to 2363
This episode also takes our likable and complex cast of characters and lets them achieve their first goal, which is certainly satisfying to see. Now that the real Janeway is bonded with the kids, Season 2 will presumably explore their time with her and their mission to save Chakotay.
The wrap-up to Season 1 may have felt a little uneven. However, it was solid and satisfying overall, and I’m looking forward to the next twenty episodes that Season 2 will provide.
Roger McCoy is pretty sure he was watching Star Trek before he was born! He has contributed to the Star Trek: Strange New Worlds anthology series from Simon & Schuster (not directly related to the TV series of the same name) as well as a couple of unofficial Doctor Who anthologies. He believes a Star Trek story does not have to be canon to be good and does not have to be good to be canon, but if a story is Star Trek then you have his attention. He can be found online on his laptop in the other room; come on over and say hi! He’s probably just looking at Star Trek news.