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‘Star Trek: Prodigy’ Brings Back Trek’s Han Solo in “Crossroads”

6 Minute Read
Nov 17 2022
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Abandoning the Protostar, Dal and company seek refuge in a hive of scum and villainy. You’ll never guess who shows up to “save the day”.

Last week, the Protostar crew successfully saves a group of aliens who just so happen to be Starfleet fans. Basically, even when they are avoiding Starfleet, Dal and the gang seem to run into Starfleet anyway.

So it may not surprise you that in this week’s episode of Star Trek: Prodigy “Crossroads” we see the crew abandon the Protostar entirely on a frozen planet. The new plan is to hitch a new ride at the local depot, get to someone in Starfleet, and explain the situation. As plans go, there are a lot worse. But the Protostar isn’t the only Federation ship on this hunk of rock.

After a long time of getting close to Holo Janeway, it’s time to meet the real thing. It’s gonna be fine…

Courtesy of Paramount Plus

To Boldly Recap

For the first time since Star Trek: Prodigy began, it’s time to move on from the Protostar, at least for a little while. And as Rok packs up Murf in his cocoon, Dal and the rest bid a tearful goodbye to Holo Janeway. She promises that, in sleep mode, it will feel like no time between now and when they see each other again.

Our heroes head to the local depot and loudly talk about finding a way to Federation space. And who should hear them, but a famous rogue and smuggler Thadiun Okona. More on him later. He offers to help but before he can actually do anything useful he gets caught smuggling by the local Xindi Reptile police. And to make matters worse, all ships are grounded because of an intense blizzard.

Also looking for a way back to Federation space is someone the crew already knows: Barniss Frex. But unlike our heroes, Frex’s ticket home is already here – and it’s the Dauntless.

Courtesy of Paramount Plus

Meeting Again for the First Time

As the Dauntless arrives to pick up Frex, big things are already shifting. Ensign Asencia continues helping the Diviner and he continues remembering things. On this occasion, he remembers Gwyn’s name. He says she was kidnapped. Whether or not he really believes that, the Diviner convinces Janeway of it.

And that belief colors everything that happens on the planet below. Asencia helps a young woman fight off a Klingon – and that young woman just so happens to be Gwyn. The pair trade introductions and Asencia immediately knows she is talking with the Diviner’s daughter. But Gwyn hightails it out of there.

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Similar encounters happen elsewhere, including an embarrassing exchange between Jankom Pog and Doctor Noum. But the big introduction is between Dal and Vice Admiral Janeway. Janeway immediately senses Dal’s desire to join Starfleet, but, before they can talk about it, Frex appears.

Frex immediately sets to describing the people who destroyed his relay station. Dal books it as Janeway realizes Frex is describing Dal. Dal and company steal a landspeeder and head back towards the Protostar, but Janeway’s away team follows quickly after. Our crew has a stowaway in the form of Okona.

He gamely helps beat back Starfleet with explosives in exchange for safe passage aboard the Protostar. Also: Murf is hatching.

Courtesy of Paramount Plus

The Chase

With little time for explanations, Dal boots Holo Janeway back up and they warp away. But Vice Admiral Janeway and the Dauntless are not far behind, sending hails as they warp after the Protostar.

Dal faces an impossible choice. On the one hand, he can respond to Janeway’s hail and likely infect her ship with the Protostar’s pesky living virus. Alternatively, Dal can ignore those hails and make his entire crew a bunch of fugitives.

Removing Option A, Murf comes out of his cocoon as a bipedal version of himself. He sits on one of the consoles and fires torpedoes at the Dauntless. Janeway responds by firing back and disabling the Protostar’s warp capability.

Okona recommends they head into the Romulan Neutral Zone, a place Starfleet ships are not supposed to be. Janeway gives pursuit but finds herself stymied when a trio of Romulan vessels decloak. The Romulans threaten the Dauntless and the Protostar gets away – at least for now.

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Courtesy of Paramount Plus

To Boldly Review

There are a lot of places we can start but let’s get the most obvious thing out of the way: this episode of Star Trek: Prodigy is just Star Wars, right? We can talk about whether or not that’s a good thing, but we have to agree first that this is just Star Trek being Star Wars. This depot planet is just Tatooine on Hoth setting. Dal and company are running from Starfleet like they are the Empire. And Okona, as ever, is Han Solo. “Crossroads” is all Star Wars, all the time.

And that is okay! A little rogue-ish excitement every now and again can work in Star Trek. And the continued evolution of our characters goes well. Dal’s scene with Admiral Janeway especially is very exciting. Murf firing a torpedo with his butt is highly believable. And Pog getting smacked down by a fellow Tellarite is sad but important to his development.

The best thing about the episode is the way it twists the knife on Dal’s desire to connect with Admiral Janeway. But not much happens. “Crossroads” is thrilling, but it’s a bit of a filler. We left the ship. We went back to the ship. Now the ship is on the run in the Neutral Zone. It feels like we’re close to something big, but we’re not there yet. And that’s a little unsatisfying.

Courtesy of Paramount Plus

About Thadiun Okona

In the lead-up to airing the second half of Star Trek: Prodigy‘s first season, we found out that Thadiun Okona is going to cameo. For some of us, Okona is infamous. For more of us, he is unknown. So, a quick lesson on who the heck Tahdiun Okona is.

Star Trek: The Next Generation takes two seasons before finding its footing. One of the most embarrassing episodes from that era is “The Outrageous Okona”. Guess who we meet in that one?

Okona is a smuggler rogue with a heart of gold. Sure it seems like he knocked up some poor women and stole some jewels. But, actually, he is covering for the guy who did knock up that nice lady. And Okona is conspiring to help those two crazy kids get married and run away together.

But also Okona has sex with two women aboard the Enterprise-D in as many days despite having the worst pick-up lines of all time. He is, put simply, one of the worst Han Solo imitations ever. Time will tell if Star Trek: Prodigy can change his reputation. And we’ll find out how Okona eventually becomes a party DJ in Star Trek: Lower Decks.

“Crossroads” is fun, but it feels like a slim appetizer while we wait hungrily for the main course.

3/5 stars

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Lina Morgan
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