This week’s Star Trek: Prodigy, episode 1×12, “Let Sleeping Borg Lie,” definitely put me on edge. Our crew is in peril! We’re working through emotional trauma! Oh yeah, and THE BORG! There is more excitement in this 24-minute episode than in many other episodes of Star Trek! Okay, enough with the exclamation points. Let’s dig into this week’s episode of Star Trek: Prodigy, episode 1×12, “Let Sleeping Borg Lie.”
The Borg! In a Kid’s Show?!
You heard that right. I could not believe that the Star Trek: Prodigy writers’ room decided to put our young crew in front of the Borg! It puts me in nervous mama mode to see our crew in such peril. However, what they chose to do is a very Starfleet thing. They must prevent further harm from this weapon they can’t remove from their ship. The Borg is the most logical choice for finding out how to do that. I admire that courage. However, what is most surprising about this episode is that I felt legitimately scared and threatened by the Borg. Yes, I know it’s a “kid’s” show. Who cares? That’s the mark of good storytelling. When I spoke with Kevin and Dan Hageman a few weeks ago, they said that one thing that makes a children’s show accessible for kids and still entertaining for adults is that there are real stakes. In Star Trek, it’s hard to have higher stakes than the Borg. Well done, Prodigy writers’ room!
Zero’s Emotional Trauma
One of the things that continually impresses me about Star Trek: Prodigy is that it is incredibly emotionally intelligent. Zero has had an awful time processing their grief regarding Gwyn’s accidental memory loss. Couple this with how The Diviner used Zero to torture people into madness, and we’ve got some serious emotional trauma on our hands.
Being part of a collective where Zero can exist without having to hide their true form makes the Borg particularly seductive to them. It’s a way to avoid dealing with the pain they’ve caused, even inadvertently. However, Zero’s choice to move forward shows an emotional depth I wish I had seen modeled as a kid. It’s one I wish I would see modeled in more people now! I love their resolution at the end of the episode—“While I may have harmed others in the past, I now choose to save.”
There are so many good lines in episode 1×12. Gwyn’s words during the climax of the episode are what stick with me the deepest. “We all get hurt, Zero. It’s the risk we take for revealing pieces of ourselves to each other. But what you did trying to protect me was an act of love and you should never feel ashamed for that. …Resistance is NOT futile.” What an incredible piece of dialogue with an incredibly powerful message! I am not ashamed to admit that I got a little choked up hearing it. As I said, the emotional intelligence on display in this episode is powerful. I’m so, so grateful that this is in a children’s show.
Finally, I appreciate that Vice Admiral Janeway and her crew do not know that the Diviner is seriously bad news, but now he’s awake! Does he remember anything? Has he gone mad? I’m sure we’ll find out more soon enough! Janeway better switch back to “Coffee. Black,” before long; she’s going to need all the stamina she can get, doctor’s orders or not.
There are two ways for you to dig deeper into this episode and with Star Trek: Prodigy this week. First up, I got to have a phone interview with Angus Imrie who plays Zero this week! We chatted quite a bit about the recording process, his thoughts on Zero, and in particular, this week’s episode. Second, I am now officially one of four co-hosts on We Are Starfleet, a Star Trek podcast on the We Made This Podcast network. Host Mike Slamer and I got to chat “Let Sleeping Borg Lie” and it’s a conversation you don’t want to miss. And most importantly, check out our Fangirlish tag for Star Trek: Prodigy to make sure you’re up to date with everything Trek.
The next episode of Star Trek: Prodigy will air on November 10, 2022, on Paramount+.