Recap/Review: ‘Star Trek: Prodigy’ Pauses To Reflect In “Imposter Syndrome” [Episode 206]

“Imposter Syndrome”

Star Trek: Prodigy Season 2, Episode 6 – Debuted Monday, July 1, 2024
Written by Diandra Pendleton-Thompson
Directed by Sung Shin

An amusing standalone outing onboard the Voyager-A puts a telling mirror up to the characters.

Dal is starting to miss Tars Lamora.

WARNING: Spoilers below!

RECAP

“You want to steal a ship again?”

We begin in media res (that’s Latin for crazy moment halfway through the episode) as Dal is being chased down by the other kids as he pleads that his “real friends” would never do whatever they are about to do to him. Jump to a day earlier, and the gang is working around their restricted access and the hovering Doctor to locate the coordinates Murf got led to on a far-off hidden planet. The plan is to “borrow” the Infinity. go find Chakotay and the Protostar, and reset time before Gwyn succumbs to her time displacement—all of this without approval from the Admiral, naturally. They will avoid being missed during their long trip by replacing themselves with holo duplicates, but the first batch isn’t real enough, so the nerdier kids get to work on making perfect duplicates. What could possibly go wrong with that plan? Jellico has ordered the Infinity to be destroyed, so the plan is to fly that piece of treaty-violating evidence into a giant blue star. A two-hour ticking clock works for the kids if they can get on board and cloak the ship before it gets vaporized. After a check-in with a very understanding and sympathetic Janeway, Rok’s perfect hologram dupes are deemed a success, so it’s time for a ship heist… Except the dupes think they are the real gang and leave our heroes behind in the holodeck. Who could have seen this coming? Okay, everyone.

You even replicated Pog’s unique… aroma.

“Now onto the next crisis…”

New plan: Everyone split up and track down their own dupe before the fakes board the Infinity and blip out as it leaves the Voyager, their only chance to save the timeline. Things progress as befitting each, with the Dals having a split-screen ego-off and the Pogs dueling percussive maintenance. There are more hijinks and shenanigans including the Doctor (almost) noticing a glitch in the Matrix by seeing Murf stroll by… and then stroll by again, plus a surprisingly sweet little moment with a Zero and Ma’jel. Of course, the Roks end up being best pals. (“Yay, team Rok!”) Eventually, we catch up to our Latin episode start with Dal hunted by the dupes until his real friends come to his rescue. As the two groups have a phaser faceoff, the Roks arrive (holding hands! OMG, so cute!). The pair of Brikars have a solution, so they all warily head off to the holodeck. Their plan is to reboot the ship’s holomatrix, resetting every hologram on the ship, including the dupes’ awareness they are dupes. With only minutes to the Infinity launch, the plan works and the real gang runs… straight into the confused Doctor, wondering if he did their tutoring today. Maj’el comes to their rescue, taking one for the team by distracting the Doc with a request for opera lessons and sending Zero some more flirty (for a Vulcan) thoughts. Still, they miss the launch, but quick thinking and a hidden transport get them on the time ship, where they cloak it and head off without a wistful Janeway or her team catching on to the ruse. Everything works out… until the dupes reboot with the minor issue that all of their personalities have switched bodies. I’m sure this will be fine.

Okay, but I get to sit in the captain’s chair next.

ANALYSIS

Getting existential

After some heady stuff, it was nice to have a diverting episode focus on the fun. Feeling a bit like season 1 of Prodigy (which isn’t a bad thing), the episode puts a delightful twist on a couple of Trek tropes, mashing up holodeck malfunctions and characters dealing with their duplicates. And once again Prodigy finds a way to tell these classic Star Trek stories with a wonderful spin for a younger audience while still able to tickle us older fans along the way. But there is also a deeper story here where the interactions between the duplicates allowed for interesting character exploration. The Roks being friends was so wonderful, and it says a lot that she chose to recreate the Protostar as a kind of safe space to get her best thinking done. The Pog-on-Pog existential crisis (especially for a guy who loves to talk in third person) was hilarious, truly a “Pog-pocolypse.” As for Dal, he has to take a cold hard look at himself. His shoot-first nature and over-the-top cockiness literally stare him in the face, and he doesn’t like it, which adds a new layer to the obvious meaning behind the title “Imposter Syndrome.” But like the best Mirror Universe stories, character duplicates proved to be a great gateway into understanding who these characters are at this moment.

Yes, we are adorable.

We are now seeing the welcome pivot with Maj’el, who started off by sitting at the cool kid table but later gives the gang a key assist as it is clear she has a thing for the Medusan, sending Angus Imrie into full Hugh Grant flustered Brit mode, delightful. After initially coming off a bit clichéd, the season is pacing her arc well as she’s on her way to becoming one of the gang. One curiosity is how season 2 has retconned Dr. Noum into the ship’s counselor, which seems more to do with allowing Robert Picardo’s EMH to be the sickbay hero. This makes Noum more of another comic gruff Tellarite, but perhaps that suits the always reliable Jason Alexander. As we move into this second five-episode arc, the focus has moved entirely to the Voyager, leaving Chakotay a mystery—which makes sense, but we didn’t get any more clues about what happened to him or those mysterious messages. Also, no update on what Ascencia is up to on Solum, although we can be sure she is up to no good. This is always the challenge with these short episodes, and with the 20-episode Netflix drop, perhaps it doesn’t matter as we will probably soon return to some of these lingering questions by just clicking “next episode.”

Flirting is logical.

Final thoughts

Episode 6 feels like a bit of a pivot as we move into a new 5-episode arc. A fun but fleeting bottle show delivers laughs and some Trek trope twists with satisfying character moments. The season 2 binge is still going strong, can’t wait for season 7 (and luckily, there is no wait).

According to my PADD, this kind of thing happens all the time.

BITS

  • The Infinity is said to violate three treaties, which would include the Federation/Romulan Treaty of Algeron forbidding cloaked ships in Starfleet. It’s unclear what the other two treaties are.
  • Gwyn narrowed down one of Murfs gurgles to “yes” or “Talaxian burrito.”
  • Noum likes to relax in the holodeck at a tropical retreat (with extra hot tub bubbles), although later we saw him reading in a boat (before the holodeck shut off).
  • The Doctor suggests he can sing Verdi’s “Questa o Quella” for Maj’el, which he sang in the Voyager episode “Renaissance Man.”
  • ICYMI, the holo-dupe personality switches were Dal/Zero, Pog/Rok, and Murf/Gwyn.
  • Pog describes the phaser standoff between the groups as a “Hanonian Pickle” (misspelled in the closed caption as Hinonian), a reference to a food the USS Voyager crew ate when stranded on Hanon IV in “Basics, Part II.”
  • Class B hypergiant stars are indeed blue, and are apparently one of Chakotay’s favorite kinds of stars.

Chakotay would have loved this one.

TrekMovie’s Prodigy 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 of Prodigy 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 the Star Trek Universe at TrekMovie.com.

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Another fantastic episode. I was just as confused as everyone else haha. This was so much fun I actually watched it again when I finished it.

And Ma’jel melts my heart the more I see her. A fine addition to the crew.

Are they really doing this episode-by-episode and not offering a dedicated discussion for folks who’ve seen the whole thing already and want to dish (and, it being Trek, gripe)? I’m gonna forget what I saw by the time they get to episode 20! Hahaha.

I agree. We need a collective season discussion. We should also be encouraging binge-watching as that is the metric Netflix likes. The quicker you watch it all the better metrics it reaches.

Hurray @ science re: Class B hypergiant stars!!!!

Hurray with the science (a Class B hypergiant star!)!!

This one was tons of fun! And the season only gets stronger and stronger!

Enjoying Season 2 from A to Z. Great episode. Pog cracked me up doubting himself if he was the real one.

Really hope Prodigy, Legacy, Lower Decks, and Disco moves forward with the possible merge. In any format, movies, series, short treks, It is a billion dollar franchise!

I feel I have finally closed the gap between the Berman and the Kurtzman eras. These new productions, ALL, have their positive vibes.

I like the ending. It made my day. I love the glitch gag.

Unfortunately, the line about Chakotay loving blue was cringe. I’m going to be so disappointed if those two are romantically involved. It feels forced and lacks chemistry. I might be wrong, I’ll keep watching.

You know a season is something special when even your least favorite episode is still very enjoyable in its own way. That’s what this episode is to me. I thought this one was a lot of fun, seeing the different versions of the group interact with each other. They did a great job with this one. My favorite parts probably being Jankom having an existential crisis, the two Roks working together, and (as usual) anything Murf was up do throughout the episode. And of course, I loved the swapped personalities of the characters at the end. It gave me a bit of a “Mindwalk” vibe, but still fun in its own way.

No wonder this got cancelled.

Watching this as slowly as I can, as it’s tempting to binge it all, also while giving PIC S3 a rewatch. I’m having some good old Summer Trek fun over here. Good times.

I suppose any episode that has a Tellarite say “existential” has to be given bonus points if only for that. This was fun, but it was also kind of a muddled mess, “mess” in this case being the kind only the writer or the Cat in the Hat could get its protagonists out of. The question for me remains: how much can these kids get away with before I yearn to see them shot at dawn?

Nope, not watching a kid’s show. I’m with Picard on this one: No children on a starship lol

I think all except Murf are older than Wesley was on TNG though. Rok is probably actually oldest now, after the time displacement shenanigans in Season 1.

Watched S2 until EP 15 and it’s just GREAT. LOVE IT! Highly entertaining, real Trek, really touching, sometimes weird and quirky, simply likeable throughout.

Reminds me of the Calvin and Hobbes strip where Calvin made multiple duplicates of himself and caused havoc throughout the house.