Fan Collective Unimatrix 47: Star Trek Prodigy’s “Supernova, Part 2” Episode

Marie Brownhill
Game Industry News is running the best blog posts from people writing about the game industry. Articles here may originally appear on Marie's blog, Fan Collective Unimatrix 47.


Star Trek: Prodigy’s freshman season has been fairly consistently fantastic, and while I don’t think “Supernova Part 2” quite lives up to the same level of quality, I do think the season’s final episode sets us up for a really fantastic coming season two. I therefore understand the choices that were made in the construction of the episode and story, but I’m not entirely certain that I agree with all of them. Your mileage may vary.

Plot Ahoy!

Briefly stymied by the Living Construct’s continued destruction of Starfleet, Zero suggests detonating the Protostar Drive just at the moment the ship jumps into proto-warp, which would ensure that the damage from the ship’s destruction would be minimized. No, I don’t know how that works either, so don’t ask. Dal volunteers to set the detonation in motion given that the ship’s automatic navigation controls have been fried, but Hologram Janeway volunteers instead, arguing that they can copy her program onto an isolinear chip and take her with them.

The crew gets to work with Jankom Pog prepping the drive and Rok-Tahk and Gwyn designing an interstellar life-raft that necessarily has to be primitive. The vessel will lack the requisite navigational information, but Rok isn’t worried given that they’ll have Hologram Janeway with them. Meanwhile, Janeway attempts to copy her program only to discover that there’s not enough space on the chips available. She realizes that she will perish with the Protostar and takes steps to conceal her coming fate from her young charges.

The crew boards the life raft with the chip clutched in Dal’s hands, and they deploy just in time for Janeway to pull the trigger on the Protostar’s destruction. The kids immediately plug in the chip expecting to see their mentor, but they find a final message from her, instead. Through their grief, they realize that they honestly aren’t certain how to get to Starfleet now, given that Janeway was meant to be their navigational system.

A month later back on Earth, Admiral Janeway attends a briefing in which a Vulcan officer explains that Holographic Janeway matched the conditions of the temporal anomaly that resulted in Chakotay’s disappearance. He also reveals that they’ve received subsequent transmissions from Chakotay, and Starfleet plans to send a ship through the anomaly to attempt to retrieve Chakotay and whatever remains of his crew. Janeway demands to be on that ship.

Just as she makes that demand, she receives a notification that the Protostar crew has made landfall, or rather a water landing in San Francisco Bay. After their rescue, Starfleet drags them before a vintage Star Trek 2009 tribunal to discuss their crimes. Admiral Janeway pleads their collective case, even arguing given that Dal’s DNA contains that of a chunk of the Federation’s member species that he’s the perfect expression of what the Federation means. The tribunal concludes that fast-tracking them into the Academy would be unfair to everyone currently waiting in the wings, but in light of their experiences aboard the Protostar, the tribunal grants five of them warrant-officer-in-training status directly under Admiral Janeway’s direct supervision. Gwyn, however, has chosen to take a shuttle to Solum in order to attempt a better version of First Contact that will hopefully spare her people the civil war they experienced the first time. Zero dubs her Gwyn the Unifier.

Dal, Zero, Murf, Jankom, and Rok watch Gwyn’s shuttle depart, and Janeway joins them just as the doors to a construction facility open, revealing the first of the new Protostar class ships. Janeway invites them all with her to see what she has in store for them.


“Supernova Part 2” could have gone in two directions. The episode either could have spent the entire runtime resolving the destruction of Starfleet issue and ended without us knowing our protagonists’ fate until the opening of the second season, or it could have done what it did. The former option would have left us frustrated and wanting, which is hardly ideal, but the second option resulted in an episode with weirdly uneven pacing. The resolution of the Protostar’s story seemingly took five minutes, and I remember looking down at my watch wondering if the episode was going to end there. The second half of the episode felt like an entirely different story that didn’t get nearly enough time to develop. That said, I understand why the choice was made to divide the episode’s story in the way the show’s writers and producers did because it does set the stage for next season. We already know what the crew’s new mission will be, so season two gets to jump right into things without having to worry with the world-building it did in the series’ opening episodes while also sparing viewers the emotional limbo we all remember from Best of Both Worlds Part I. However, while I understand the decision, I don’t necessarily think the execution quite worked as well as they’d hoped.

I have real questions about how the Protostar kids managed to crash land on Earth exactly where they needed to be or how they survived a month drifting in space given that they lacked navigational systems. I can only imagine they lacked replicators and other necessary facilities as well. I can see the argument that showing us that journey would have felt like a replay of season one, but honestly, we clearly all enjoyed season one enough to stick around thus far. Why mess with success?

I do like that we see Gwyn choosing to help her people; it makes sense given that she wants to track down her father. In addition, I like the idea that she’s going to complete her father’s mission but on her own terms and in her own way. It’s a shame that she has to leave just as she and Dal have worked out their feelings for each other, but they handle it in such a mature way that it’s hard to be upset. Good for them. I’m going to be interested to see what differences exist, if any, between Admiral Janeway’s methods of wrangling these kids and her holographic counterpart’s because that could be a really ripe and interesting direction for the series to take. I even loved the structural allusions the episode makes to previous Trek canon. Still, I’m not certain that this was the strongest note on which to end the series.

All that said, I am so, so excited to see where this crew goes next!


Three crates of chimerium

Stray Thoughts From the Couch:

  1. Crashing into the Bay is straight out of Star Trek IV.
  2. The tribunal also reminded me both of the 2009 movie and of the end of Star Trek IV, especially with the ship reveal.
  3. Hologram Janeway’s final message seemed pulled straight out of another Star franchise.
  4. Given Zero’s new encounter suit—hello, Babylon V–Starfleet apparently borrows its aesthetic from the Apple Store, which I think is actually a design choice J.J. Abrams mentions making for the 2009 movie.
  5. I love Jankom’s brief fake-out with percussive maintenance.
  6. Of COURSE, Rok is going into xenobiology. What else would she do?
  7. I have real reservations about how Dal will adapt to Starfleet, but he’s come so, so far. I can’t wait to see what he does next.
  8. I did think the Augment thing got handwaved really, really quickly. Maybe Strange New Worlds will shed some light on that?
  9. Does Starfleet know any more about Melanoid Slime Worms than we’ve discovered thus far? I’m not sure they do in light of the conversation Rok has with the xenobiology officer.
  10. I wonder when Asencia and her robotic minion will return because you know they will.
Share this GiN Article on your favorite social media network: