Spoilers for Star Trek: Prodigy — Season 1, Episode 12 "Let Sleeping Borg Lie" to follow!
The title of the latest episode of Star Trek: Prodigy should be enough to make chills run down anyone's spine. The Borg are some of the scariest, most ominous villains within the Star Trek universe, and these kids we love are going to have a run-in with them. Let's dive in!
"Let Sleeping Borg Lie" opens with the crew watching a holographic recreation of Gwyn's restored memories. As The Diviner explains the weapon he placed aboard the Protostar (one that will cause Starfleet ships to turn against one another, as seen in "Asylum"), Gwyn reveals that her father was from the future. The first contact with his race, and the revenge he's seeking upon Starfleet — the inciting incident hasn’t even happened yet.
As Hologram Janeway grapples with the idea that there's a destructive weapon aboard her ship that she doesn't even know about, Zero abruptly stops playback of Gwyn's memories before he can show his true self. It's clear that he still blames himself for inadvertently harming his crewmate.
The crew embarks on a frantic deck-by-deck search of the ship looking for the weapon, but they can't seem to find it. That is, until Zero realizes they haven't searched the Bridge. After some scans, they find a mysterious symbol in the floor, one that Gwyn's heirloom is able to unlock.
There's apparently a secret subdeck under the Bridge — one Hologram Janeway has no record of. They find the weapon, called the Living Construct, but they can't seem to disarm it. After Jankom Pog fires a phaser directly at it, they realize that the weapon can protect itself.
Just then, a proximity alert sounds. They’ve stumbled upon a Borg Cube, dormant in space. The Borg are a cybernetic race, intent on assimilating new species and technology. They destroy what they can't assimiliate, or anything they perceive as a threat. Hologram Janeway advocates for leaving immediately.
However, Gwyn points out that if the Borg learn and adapt, then they might know how to disarm the weapon. Hologram Janeway strongly disagrees, but the crew decides to take a trip to the cube.
Aboard the Dauntless, Admiral Janeway orders tea (Gasp! Where’s her coffee?) and then visits Sickbay to check on The Diviner. He's still asleep, muttering about his daughter. Ensign Ascensia has the idea to replicate the serum from his biosuit to see if it will help him regain consciousness.
Back on the Protostar, Hologram Janeway tells the crew that the Borg are dormant because of a neurolytic pathogen (perhaps the same one that the future Admiral Janeway introduced to the Collective in the Star Trek: Voyager episode "Endgame"). That means their mission is dangerous, but now they have somewhat better odds.
The crew beams aboard, and the ship is creepy to be sure. But all the drones do indeed appear to be asleep. Zero leads them towards the ship's Vinculum, which should have the information they need. It's the hub through which all the drones' minds connect.
But there’s a problem. The only way to interface with the Vinculum is to enter the Borg's hive mind. Zero volunteers because they were previously part of a hive mind, so they believe they’ll be able to handle it.
They are shocked to discover that the Borg aren't affected by their true appearance (most people can't handle Zero's true form). As Zero falls deeper into the Hive Mind, the Borg aboard the ship begin waking up.
Dal makes the difficult decision to leave Zero as the crew runs for safety, promising to come back for him. They end up in a firefight, as Gwyn and Rok-Tahk resort to hand-to-hand combat after the Borg adapt to Starfleet phaser frequencies.
The crew is captured, but Dal manages to save Gwyn at the last second, asking her to save Zero as he’s dragged way. Gwyn is ready to strike down any Borg in her path, but Hologram Janeway reminds her that if she lays down her weapon, the Borg won't percieve her as a threat. It's a hard lesson for Gwyn, as she's used to having her shields up all the time, but she complies and is able to get past the Borg.
Dal, Rok-Tahk, and Jankom Pog are about to be assimilated when Gwyn arrives to free them. Unfortunately, a Zero who's been influenced by the Borg Hive Mind also shows up.
Gwyn pleads with Zero, reminding them that they were trying to protect her when they accidentally hurt her, and she lost her memories. It was an act of love, and Gwyn asks Zero to protect them again. Her plea works, and Zero is able to break free from the Collective's influence.
They are able to incapacitate the remaining drones and everyone gets back to the ship, where Hologram Janeway and Murf are waiting. The Protostar escapes, but it's not all good news. The Borg determined that the weapon, the Living Construct, can't be deactivated or removed. They can’t go to Starfleet.
But what they can do is respond to distress signals, help others, and do some good in the universe until they figure out their next step.
Back on the Dauntless, Admiral Janeway arrives at the now-destroyed Starfleet relay station. She realizes that Chakotay isn't in command of the ship anymore, and this sets her mind against whoever is — bad news for our Protostar crew. As the episode closes, The Diviner wakes up with a start.
Swapna Krishna (she/her) writes about space, technology, and pop culture at outlets such as Wired, NPR, Engadget, and more. You can find her on Twitter @skrishna.
Star Trek: Prodigy currently streams exclusively on Paramount+ in U.S., Latin America, Australia, South Korea, Italy and the U.K. and is coming soon to Paramount+ in Germany, Switzerland, Austria and France as well as to Nickelodeon international channels, which are available in 180 countries globally. In Canada, it airs on Bell Media’s CTV Sci-Fi Channel and streams on Crave. Star Trek: Prodigy is distributed by Paramount Global Content Distribution.