Wow! What a way to bring back Star Trek: Prodigy! Episode 1×11, “Asylum” starts us off with a bang, a little wink and a nod to longtime Trek fans, and manages to pack a ton into a very brief 24-minute episode. Prodigy is doing what it’s always done best–making Trek accessible for the younger crowd while still providing great Trek action and excitement for the adults in the room. Let’s unpack Star Trek: Prodigy episode 1×11, “Asylum” together.
Star Trek: Prodigy—The One with the Whales?
First up, I just had to laugh when I watched the opening of episode 1×11, “Asylum.” Everyone’s favorite fun and silly Star Trek movie, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home aka “The One with the Whales” has been homaged so often in modern Trek that it’s become like a sort of inside joke. Having the crew of the Protostar open “Asylum” mid-mission to protect an endangered whale species while also nearly violating the Prime Directive is *chef’s kiss* perfect. What this scene also does is tell a lot with a little. We see that our crew has been working on learning the Starfleet ropes with lots of coaching from Hologram Janeway. They’re learning to be a real crew and that bit of growth is very satisfying.
First Contact with Starfleet
Our crew’s first encounter with Starfleet in “Asylum” didn’t go so hot. Not only is the first Starfleet officer they encounter a bit, shall we say, scattered, but through no fault of their own, the Protostar has infected the relay station. You don’t know what you don’t know and now the crew of the Protostar must feel more isolated than ever. How can they get help from Starfleet without demolishing the whole of Starfleet just by connecting with them? It’s a tough situation. The most interesting thing about this situation is that we finally get a clue about who Dal is. Apparently, Starfleet has knowledge of his species, but when he is scanned, the order is to contact Starfleet immediately. Does this mean Dal’s parents made it to Starfleet? Is there something more sinister going on? I’ve got questions! I hope our next episode has answers.
Episode 1×11, “Asylum” does a lot to show how much our crew has grown since we last left them. We see Rok-tahk has grown in her knowledge of science (we also find out that she’s a Brikar, which we’ve not encountered before in Trek lore). Zero and Gwyn are working towards a solution for her memory loss, and Jankom and Dal are just as plucky as ever. And of course, Murf is still being irresistibly cute.
Finally, with Vice Admiral Janeway and her crew finding The Diviner, I have a feeling the next episode will be some trouble for all of them. I’m also eager to find out where the heck Chakotay is, what The Diviner did with him, and how he ended up with The Protostar in the first place! Overall, this is a great mid-season opener and I’m excited for the next episode. Need something to hold you over until next week? I got to chat with Prodigy showrunners, Kevin and Dan Hageman! Be sure to give it a watch.
What did you think of Star Trek: Prodigy episode 1×11, “Asylum”? Leave me a comment and let’s talk Trek.
The next episode of Star Trek: Prodigy will air on November 3, 2022, on Paramount+.