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This page contains information regarding Star Trek: Prodigy, and thus may contain spoilers.

Reunited on Voyager and under strict supervision, the gang must decode a secret message their mysterious benefactor left with Murf.

Summary[]

Teaser[]

The USS Voyager-A holds position outside of the wormhole leading to the future. Onboard, Vice Admiral Kathryn Janeway interrogates the makeshift crew of the Infinity on their mission. Dal R'El, enjoying a cup of coffee, protests that he was just trying to move the ship, not steal it. Declaring that he's now done with the nice-nice, Jankom Pog tells Janeway that it was one heck of a ride. Maj'el states that the others are very difficult to reason with and it was a problem. Rok-Tahk nervously states that she had tried to stop the others. Zero acknowledges that some mistakes were made, and they tried not to alter past events, but Captain Chakotay ended up piloting the USS Protostar to who knows where. Murf's explanation proves to be completely incoherent, earning sighs from Janeway, Commander Tysess, Councilor Noum and The Doctor. Dal adds that they then got a message to save Gwyn in the past which Maj'el states was from a mysterious unknown entity who assisted them several times. Maj'el calls it all highly illogical, a terrified Jankom suggests that it was a ghost, Gwyn states that she's alive because of the others, Rok worries that this will go on their records, and Murf just continues to babble incoherently.

The frustrated senior officers dismiss the crew who Noum calls troublemakers who have lost them Chakotay and endangered the timestream. The Doctor has a headache despite not technically having a head and comments that he hasn't seen a crew this dysfunctional since the USS Cerritos. The Doctor suggests that the crew needs more supervision and Janeway points out that the altering of the timeline has already displaced Gwyn from their reality which is just the first sign of terrible things to come. The Doctor warns that while he has managed to stabilize Gwyn, it's only a temporary solution to the problem. Janeway states that their mission clearly isn't over: they need to find the Protostar and return it to its rightful place on Tars Lamora in the past. While Noum continues to be frustrated, Janeway acknowledges that it was an accident that happened because the kids were on a mission they never should've been on. Janeway reminds her senior staff that they were all willing to go on that very same mission just 48 hours ago and they all share the blame. Tysess brings up the mysterious entity and Noum wonders how it knew about their mission. Janeway senses that there are bigger things at play here and orders a multi-spectral sensor sweep while she sends her report to Starfleet Command. Janeway orders The Doctor to make sure their wayward guests stay out of trouble.

In the mess hall, while Murf steals items from everyone, Dal complains about the Protostar crew now having restricted access to the ship, but Zero points out that after what happened, the Voyager crew might not want them further wandering the ship. Rok points out that Dal should feel lucky that they are being allowed to continue their studies, even if it is on probation. Jankom shares Dal's frustration and Dal notices Gwyn fiddling with her temporal stabilizer. Gwyn admits that she's having trouble getting used to it and Gwyn misses her heirloom. Zero invites Maj'el to join them, but she decides to sit with the rest of Nova Squadron instead, although with visible regret. Gwyn feels like she failed Solum and abandoned her homeworld. Dal believes they can still fix this, pointing out that Chakotay and the Protostar must still be out there somewhere and Dal wants to find them and send their ship back to Tars Lamora themselves. "Our past is fixed, Gwyn gets better, she saves Solum, and we all redeem ourselves." However, both Jankom and Rok are dubious of Dal's plan which risks digging themselves a deeper hole.

Catching everyone's attention, Murf points to where he has used the stolen items to build a spiral shape on the floor. Gwyn recognizes it as the same spiral shape that she saw in her vision in the cavern where the mysterious entity said that they must stick together. Rok remembers seeing Murf acting weird and talking at the walls. The group realizes that the entity must've spoken to Murf too and left a message with him. However, Zero can't read Murf's mind and Gwyn doesn't understand his language despite the numerous languages that she knows. Gwyn suggests that Murf could be the key to understanding everything that's been happening if they can just figure out a way to understand what Murf's trying to tell them. The Doctor interrupts the discussion and Jankom quickly lies that the mess is from a food fight gone wrong. Acknowledging that the mission was a harrowing ordeal, The Doctor offers to discuss the matter with them, but no one's interested. The Doctor personally escorts the crew back to their quarters, annoying them with his "helpful" suggestions and popping up everywhere when they try to ditch him. Taking one for the team, Zero distracts The Doctor by asking him about his latest holonovel, Love in the Time of Holograms.

The rest of the group, aside from Rok who doesn't want to be involved in whatever illegal things they're up to, reconvenes. However, their attempts to figure out Murf's words fail, so Jankom tries tweaking the universal translator in a combadge to decipher Murf-speak. However, this only results in Murf's gibberish being comprehensible gibberish and he runs off, chased by the others. Rok spots them running past Cetacean Ops where she's cleaning the glass, but she refuses to get involved. Gillian the humpback whale offers to talk about it, but Rok just tells her that it's a long story.

Act One[]

Gwyn attempts to cross-reference Murf's spiral with everything in the Starfleet database, but she's having trouble as there's just too many variables. Dal asks Gwyn if she's alright after everything with her father, her homeworld and almost getting erased from existence which is a lot, but Gwyn knows and she's back now. If this is Gwyn's chance to set one thing right, she has to try. Dal tells Gwyn that she's not going alone from here on out and he's got here back. Dal spots a match on the computer in a petroglyph called a CHAH-mooz-ee used among the more traditional descendants of the Rubber Tree People and Nicarao people who now inhabit the ex-Federation colony on Trebus. The computer identifies a former Trebus colonist who was in Starfleet but is now missing in action: Captain Chakotay.

In Shuttlebay 3, Tysess tells Janeway and Noum that Infinity's power is some kind of cascading photovoltaic loop, confusing the Andorian officer as to how kids could make the advanced calculations needed to reroute the ship's power grid in this way. Noting that the mysterious entity was encountered as Chakotay was lost in the time anomaly, Janeway wonders if the entity could somehow be Chakotay himself reaching out to them. Admiral Edward Jellico contacts Janeway, having received her debrief on the incident. Jellico declares that a time anomaly on this magnitude poses a serious threat to the Federation, and they can't risk another Protostar disaster. Starfleet has deemed the wormhole to be too dangerous to keep open and Janeway is ordered to collapse it immediately. Janeway argues that she has a young woman aboard who has been affected by the wormhole and they don't know what will happen to her if it's closed, but Jellico states that this is bigger than Gwyn or Chakotay and the mission is over.

Dal and Gwyn have shared their discovery with Jankom and Murf and Gwyn calls it too much of a coincidence since Chakotay vanished in the wormhole with the Protostar. Gwyn suggests that Chakotay has been trying to communicate, and a visibly exasperated Zero enters, having finally lost The Doctor after he was called away. Murf tries to tell Dal something about the spiral, but Dal tells his friend they know that it's related to Chakotay somehow, but they don't know how and the language barrier is keeping Murf from telling them. Gwyn can only think of one person who might be able to help them figure Murf out.

In Cetacean Ops, Rok refuses to help her friends, stating that she's not even supposed to have visitors right now. In addition, Rok spent months trying to translate Murf without any success. Gwyn pleads with Rok to help them as Rok's the best xenobiologist she knows and Rok knows Murf better than anyone. Rok is reluctant to get into trouble as she wants to get into Starfleet Academy, but Dal tells her that they're there because they do care. The Doctor said that Gwyn's stabilizer is only a temporary solution, and she can't stay like this forever. Finding Chakotay and the Protostar might be the only way to fix things and if they don't, then Gwyn might never exist. Rok is a part of their crew, and they can't do this without her. Gwyn needs Rok's help and so does Murf. Touched by their words and worried for her friend, Rok agrees that she can at least help them do it right, getting a hug from Murf in response.

Considering the problem, Rok notes that they don't know much about Murf's species, but Mellanoid slime worms did evolve from aquatic sea life. Rok realizes that maybe the reason that no one can understand Murf is because Murf has to be in water to be understood. Some frequencies can't be heard easily unless they're submerged such as whale harmonics. Rok suddenly figures out how to understand Murf: his language might be too nuanced for the universal translator, but a whale might be able to understand him. Having been eavesdropping, Gillian agrees to help them out.

Act Two[]

Rok reassures Murf who is afraid of Gillian and, wearing a rebreather, enters the water with her friend. Glowing, Murf sprouts a tail and fins and, with Rok's encouragement, attempts to talk to Gillian. The whale is able to understand Murf and tells the Protostar crew that he's saying "D-M-E-F-I-N" which Zero realizes is actually "Find Me" out of order. Murf also gives them a series of numbers which is too short to be coordinates and the numbers are off for a Fibonacci sequence, leaving them wondering what the numbers mean.

On the bridge, Tysess reports that they're ready to use a quantum torpedo detonated by a tachyon pulse to close the wormhole. Noum and The Doctor tell Janeway that everyone on the bridge agrees that nobody wanted the rescue mission to end this way. The entire bridge crew stands in support of their admiral, touching her. Janeway orders the crew to begin the countdown and retreats to her captain's ready room and looks at a CHAH-mooz-ee stone. Janeway has a flashback to Chakotay promising that she would be the first one he'd call if he got into trouble at the Protostar's christening ceremony. Chakotay gives Janeway the stone, telling her to "think of it like a beacon to guide me home." Steeling herself and holding the stone, Janeway gives the order to fire, and Voyager closes the wormhole. Janeway asks The Doctor if she's a fool to hope that Chakotay is still alive out there somewhere, but The Doctor tells her that this wormhole may have been their only door to Chakotay, but hope is never a foolish thing. The Doctor has found that whenever a door closes, a window may open.

In Cetacean Ops, Gwyn and Murf put their hands against each other through the glass and Murf draws Gwyn's attention to her armband where the numbers are moving rapidly. Gwyn realizes that the numbers are a frequency for her armband and Gwyn needs to change it to see what this all means and to find Chakotay. Dal and Rok express concerns over Gwyn fiddling with it, particularly as the stabilizer is the only thing keeping Gwyn in this reality. However, Gwyn knows that someone tried to show her something in that spiral and she believes that they're trying again. Dal refuses to lose Gwyn again, reminding her that the voice had said that they all have to be together, but Gwyn is convinced that this is what she has to do and asks Dal if he has her back. All of Gwyn's friends promise that they do, and Gwyn promises that she'll switch it right back if something feels off when she crosses over.

Gwyn changes the frequency and vanishes into thin air. Gwyn finds herself in space again and is tugged across the cosmos, ending in front of a nebula matching the spiral shape that she had seen in her vision and the CHAH-mooz-ee symbol. A strange chittering sound echoes in the background and the entity tells Gwyn to "find me,,, before they do." In pain, Gwyn resets her armband and reappears on Voyager. Gwyn tells her friends that she knows where to find Chakotay: the spiral is a map to his location.

Log entries[]

"Admiral's log, stardate 61865.1. After the unexpected launch of the Infinity with some young crew aboard, we are dealing with the fallout of our failed mission to rescue Captain Chakotay. The investigation into what exactly happened on the other side of the wormhole is underway as we struggle to understand what went wrong and who is responsible."

Memorable quotes[]

"Mmm, this is way better with sugar."

-- Dal tries coffee again


"I know I have a headache. And I don't technically have a head."
"They're troublemakers. Their recklessness lost Chakotay, endangered the timestream!"
"I haven't seen a crew this dysfunctional since the Cerritos."

-- The Doctor and Noum are frustrated with how dysfunctional and reckless the Protostar crew is


"Murf, why did you make that?"
"Whoa, Gwyn. What's wrong?"
"That spiral. I've seen it before. In the cave, I heard a voice say, "we must stay together.""
" That's the ghost."
"Well, I did see Murf acting weird, talking at the walls."

-- Gwyn, Dal, Jankom and Rok after seeing Murf's creation


"Wait, you're telling me whoever's been helping us left some kind of secret message with Murf?"
"Well, I can't read his mind. So, what is he saying Gwyn?"
"I know a lot of languages, but Murf's not one of them. The strange events, the voices, why it's happening to us -- Murf could be the key to everything."
"Yeah, great, except we're grounded, none of us speak Murf-ese, and the senior officers already think we're crazy."
"I don't care. We have to figure out what he's saying."

-- Dal, Zero, Gwyn, and Jankom realize that Murf could hold the answers if they could understand him


"Hello. Please state the nature of the mentorship emergency."

-- The Doctor


"Dal, you owe me one."

-- Zero takes one for the team


"Ok. Everyone who is not Rok, Operation: What the Heck is Murf Saying, is a go."

-- Dal


"Mushroom. Bounce. Radio, stare, disco."
"We've got a malfunction!"
"Hullabaloo. Kalamazoo. Saturday!"

-- Murf, through a failed universal translator attempt by Jankom


"I can't help you. I'm not even allowed to have visitors right now. Plus, I spent months trying to translate Murf and got nowhere."
"Please, Rok. We've tried everything with him. You're the best xenobiologist I know. And you know Murf better than anyone."
"And if we get caught, we may as well have "I Love the Brig" signs around our necks. Don't you care about Starfleet Academy anymore?"
"Rok, we're here because we do care. The Doctor said Gwyn's stabilizer is only a temporary solution. She can't stay like this forever. Finding Chakotay and the Protostar might be our only way to fix this. And if we don't, then we -- she --"
"Might never exist kid."
"You're part of our crew, Rok. We can't do this without you. I need you, and so does he."
"At least I can help you do this right."

-- Rok is convinced to help by Gwyn, Dal and Rok


"Oh, I love this part. She gets that look when she's close to a breakthrough."
"Shh. She's hypothesizing."
"Hmm. Wait a sec. Murf-speak might be too nuanced for the universal translator, but maybe not for a whale."

-- Dal and Gwyn watch Rok figure it out


"I'm sorry, Chakotay."
"Permission to speak freely, Admiral? Everyone on this bridge agrees --"
"None of us wanted the rescue mission to end this way."
"Duly noted."

-- Janeway receives support from Noum, The Doctor and her bridge crew


"Be careful, Chakotay. It's still a long way from home."
"If I run into any trouble, you'll be the first one I call. Before I go, this is for you. Think of it like a beacon to guide me home."

-- Janeway and Chakotay say goodbye before he leaves for the Delta Quadrant


"Am I a fool to hope, Doctor, that he's still out there, alive, safe?"
"Perhaps this was our only door to Chakotay. But hope is never a foolish thing. I've found whenever a door closes, a window may open."

-- Janeway and The Doctor


"Find me... before they do."

-- The mysterious entity's newest message


"What happened in there?"
"What did you see?"
"Chakotay, I know where to find him. The spiral -- it's a map."

-- Dal, Rok and Gwyn

Background information[]

Title[]

  • The title comes from the observer's paradox, a phenomenon in which the act of observing a situation has an effect on the outcome.

Story and script[]

Preproduction[]

Production[]

Postproduction[]

Cast and characters[]

Soundtrack[]

Special effects[]

Continuity[]

  • When Dal drinks a cup of coffee, he comments that "this is way better with sugar," a reference to "Mindwalk" where Councilor Noum tested Dal, who had at the time switched bodies with Janeway, by giving him Janeway's usual black coffee. Dal's reaction at the time was one of disgust, thus proving that he wasn't Janeway.
  • When discussing Dal and his friends, The Doctor compares them to the crew of the USS Cerritos, a reference to the ship and crew of Star Trek: Lower Decks.
  • Chakotay's homeworld is given the name "Trebus". Jeri Taylor first used this name for the planet in the Pocket VOY novel Pathways. [1]
  • The description of the CHAH-mooz-ee on Gwyn's PADD is based directly on a May 2022 version of the Memory Alpha article about the symbol.

Apocrypha[]

Reception[]

Awards[]

Releases[]

  • Like the rest of the second season, it was first released on France.tv (a French public television's streaming service) as well as on AppleTV+ France on 22 March 2024, well in advance of the Netflix release in the United States.

Links and references[]

Cast[]

And

References[]

Bajoran; Cerritos, USS; Cetacean Ops; Chakotay's tribe; CHAH-mooz-ee; coffee; Drayan; ghost; hexagon; holonovel; humpback whale; IDIC; Infinity; Janeway wormhole; Klingon; Loom; Love in the Time of Holograms; love triangle; Maquis; Mellanoid slime worm; Missing in Action; nebula; Nicarao; petroglyph; power grid; Protostar, USS; quantum torpedo; Rubber Tree People; spiral nebula; Starfleet database; storyline; tachyon pulse; Tars Lamora; temporal paradox; temporal stabilizer; Trebus; Voyager, USS; Voyager-A, USS; Vulcan; Vulcan language; whale; wormhole

Janeway's diploma[]

2357; graduating class; initials; Starfleet Academy

LCARS references[]

blessing; campfire; Deep Space 23; Excalibur, USS; Lya III; Sky Spirit;

Trebus inhabitants[]

Acati-Oz; Alom; Cabaguil; Chac; Chakotay; Chamahez, Ahau; Cualli; Ekchauh; Gukumatz; Iktan; Itzam-Ye; Kianto; Kisin; Kolopak; Nacon; Necahual; Tananka; Voltan; Xumucane; Zyanya

External links[]

Previous episode:
"Temporal Mechanics 101"
Star Trek: Prodigy
Season 2
Next episode:
"Imposter Syndrome"
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