SPOILER WARNING: This article contains story details and plot points for Episode 15 of Star Trek: Prodigy "Masquerade."
At the end of the previous episode of Star Trek: Prodigy, "Crossroads," Admiral Janeway tries to make the difficult decision of whether to follow the Protostar into the Neutral Zone, risking war with the Romulans.
Meanwhile, the Protostar is hiding in the Neutral Zone, making repairs after their tussle with the Dauntless. They're adjusting to the new toddler Murf, and Okona seems to be everywhere, putting out fires and constantly saving the day. It's clear that Dal is experiencing some jealousy at how much the crew has taken to Okona.
The ship needs a safe place to park and make repairs, and Okona just happens to have the solution to that too — Noble Isle. It's an independent starport within the Neutral Zone.
Back on the Dauntless, Vice Admiral Janeway is now facing down two Romulan Warbirds. To make matters even more complicated, Admiral Jellico orders Janeway not to enter the Neutral Zone because it might jeopardize the peace the Federation is currently negotiating with the Romulans. In fact, he orders her to destroy the Protostar if the Romulans attempt to steal it.
The Protostar crew arrives at Noble Isle and the space elevator that will transport them to the surface. The crew learns that the outpost is a haven for “scientific progress” — which most likely means illegal scientific experimentation. As Dal is leaving the ship, Hologram Janeway warns him, " If it's too good to be true, it probably is.”
Gwyn, Rok-Tahk, Dal, and Murf follow Okona as he heads to meet with a geneticist, apparently his client, named Dr. Jago. She immediately takes interest in Dal and how unique he is. She's never seen another life form like him, but she knows Dal's origins. He's the work of Dr. Arik Soong's protégés, which means he was created in a lab; a product of artificial hybrid speciation.
Dal's been looking for his origins, but it's clear this isn't what he wanted to find out. He's essentially a human augment, blended with 26 other species. Rok-Tahk tries to look at the bright side — Dal is unique. But Dal is shaken by the idea that he doesn't have a family to look for.
Dr. Jago offers to enhance Dal through an epigentic dermal implant that will both activate dormant genes and stimulate rapid cell division. At first, Dal turns down the offer. But after the rest of the crew leaves, he changes his mind and goes through with it.
Back on the Dauntless, The Diviner is sitting and talking to Ensign Asencia. It's clear that his memories still haven't come back, and he's struggling to remember his mission. Admiral Janeway walks in, and Asencia offers to get the ship into the Neutral Zone covertly. Janeway turns her down, but then realizes if they're thinking of doing that, it's a good bet the Romulans are too. Janeway orders Asencia to figure out a way to tap Romulan communications.
As the Protostar crew is chatting, Dal catches up with them and it's immediately clear that he's different. The crew doesn’t know it yet, but he's gotten the implant.
To make matters even more complicated, Admiral Janeway was right. Romulans have boarded the Protostar and they take out Jankom Pog, Zero, and Hologram Janeway. They're locked out of the command functions on the ship and need the captain to gain access; they need Dal.
The Romulans catch up with the crew on the planet's surface, and Okona makes a quick exit, leaving them to their fate. Dal manages to deftly fight the Romulans off, and Gwyn and Rok-Tahk realize that he got the implant after all. But it’s clearly malfunctioning, and the changes are coming on too fast and too strong.
They have to get Dal back to the ship, but the Romulan Tal Shiar are hot on their heels.
The Dauntless realizes things are dire and the Tal Shiar are about to take control of the Protostar. Admiral Janeway fires two torpedoes at the Protostar, following Jellico's orders.
Dal, Gwyn, Rok-Tahk, and Murf are still aboard the space elevator heading back to the ship. Even in his messed up state, Dal tells Rok-Tahk to let Murf out of his little ball carrying case. Murf jumps out of the elevator and takes out the Tal Shiar.
The torpedoes are still racing towards the Protostar, when the Dauntless gets the word that the Romulan takeover of the ship failed. They're able to redirect the torpedoes at the last minute.
Dal apologizes for all the trouble his implant caused, and Gwyn assures him that he's better than Okona. After all, Okona left them behind; Dal didn’t.
Back on the Protostar, Murf is now their official security officer, while Jankom Pog is fixing up the ship. Dal's back to normal after the removal of his implant. Things are looking up for this crew.
Or are they? Back on the Dauntless, Ensign Asencia bursts into The Diviner's quarters and proclaims they're running out of time, then she calls for Drednok. With the push of a button, Asencia restores her true appearance — She's a member of The Diviner's species, the Vau N'Akat, and it turns out, she was also sent back to find the Protostar.
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.