Major revelations about Captain Dal R’el (Brett Gray) and action-packed adventure make “Masquerade” a can’t-miss episode of Star Trek: Prodigy. Season 1 episode 15 was written by Nikhil S. Jayaram and directed by Sung Shin.

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Protostar Captain’s Log, Stardate… “Aw, who cares?” Dal says they’ve escaped Starfleet by entering the Neutral Zone. However they need to get their third nacelle fixed before they can really travel again.

Jankom Pog (Jason Mantzoukas) stomps out a fire on the Protostar.

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Jankom Pog (Jason Mantzoukas) is assisted in putting out a fire by Okona (Billy Campbell). Dal says that Murf is getting used to his new body while everyone gets used to the new Murf. 

Murf careens about the Protostar firing a pair of phasers. He is pursued by Rok-Tahk (Rylee Alazraqui) and Zero (Angus Imrie). Okona captures Murf in a hamster-ball type device.

Dal is annoyed by his crew’s reaction to Okona. But he’s outright seething as Gwyn (Ella Purnell) has an animated conversation with the older man. That’s when Okona accidentally puts his hand on a panel and is ejected from the ship! But this is revealed to be Dal’s fantasy.

On the Protostar bridge, Gwyn asks Dal if he found a starport. In addition to toasting the protodrive, the blast put Hologram Janeway (Kate Mulgrew) on the fritz. They need to find a place to dock for repairs. Zero senses that Dal is “utterly clueless.” 

In Star Trek: Prodigy's 'Masquerade', Brett Gray as Dal, Kete MUlgrew as Janeway, Thadiun Okona as Billy Campbell and Jason Mantzoukas as Jankom Pog. They are on the bridge of the Protostar, examining a holographic projection of Noble Isle.

Somebody meme this image already!

Okona suggests they “park and patch up” at the starport Noble Isle.

Chain of Command

Meanwhile, aboard the Dauntless, Vice Admiral Janeway is facing off with Romulan warbirds on the edge of the Neutral Zone. Janeway urges Admiral Edward Jellico (Ronny Cox) to reconsider. She says there are kids on a disabled ship in the Neutral Zone. The Romulans want the ship’s tech.

Jellico says that the Romulans may be untrustworthy but the Federation is finally working towards peace with them. The Dauntless is not to enter the Neutral Zone for any reason. Jellico orders Janeway to destroy the Protostar should the Romulans attempt to steal it.

The Protostar arrives at Noble Isle. A spacedock is connected to the planet’s surface by way of a space elevator. Because of ion storms, there’s no communication or beaming down to the planet.

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Okona explains that since Noble Isle is outside Federation jurisdiction, it is a site for otherwise outlawed science. 

Okona asks who is ready for shore leave. Dal clarifies that this isn’t shore leave, it’s a mission to fix the ship. Zero and Jankom will remain aboard the Protostar while the rest of the crew forms an away team.

Hologram Janeway cautions Dal that the science here is unregulated. She tells him the Federation has laws about science for a reason. She cautions him that if something seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Noble Isle

Rok takes in the sights as the away team rides the orbital lift down. A holographic advertisement activates. Doctor Jago (Amy Hill) implores the target demographic not to let their “genes impede [their] dreams.” Jago says her genetic augmentation process can bring out the best in anyone. Okona says Jago is who he’s here to see.

In Jago’s lab, a giddy Rok identifies a DNA double helix as well as the chemical bases adenine, cytosine and guanine. Jago appears and adds “thymine.” Jago says Okona is late with her gelatinous putrescine. Okona informs Jago that her shipment has been permanently misplaced. He promises to make it up to her, but she says he already has.

Thadiun Okona as Billy Campbell and Amy Hill as Dr. Torgo

Okona makes excuses to Jago.

She approaches Dal and asks about this “specimen.” She eagerly lists Dal’s physical features. Gwyn asks if she’s seen someone like him before and Jago says his origins are obvious. Dal asks if she knows where he came from. Jago says not “where,” but “who.”

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Jago plucks one of Dal’s hairs for a DNA sample. After analyzing it, her suspicions are confirmed. She tells him he’s the handiwork of the proteges of Dr. Eric Soong, a Federation-defected geneticist. 

Dal is “the product of artificial hybrid speciation.” Rok explains this is when the DNA of different species is combined to create an original. Jago reveals that Dal’s base DNA sample was human. He’s “human augment, blended with the recessive traits of 26 species.” These include Vulcan and proto-Organian. 

Doctor Jago’s Implant

Dal struggles to come to grips with the fact that he’s an augment, realizing he has no parents. Rok says being unique is cool. Okona says it’s a tough break. Gwyn says he’s more than his DNA.

But Jago’s starts the sales pitch. As Rok explains to Dal in layman’s terms, at the push of a button, Dal’s recessive traits can be brought forward. Dal remember’s Hologram Janeway’s warning. He tells Jago it’s not what they’re here for.

Soon Okona is leading the away team to the salvage yard followed by a meal. But Dal stays behind and turns to Jago, asking her about how long the procedure takes.

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On the Dauntless, The Diviner (John Noble) sits in conversation with Ensign Ascencia (Jameela Jamil). He says he has some greater purpose. Ascencia asks him what that is. 

Vice Admiral Janeway enters and says she was told Ascencia wanted to speak with her. Ascencia offers her services infiltrating the Neutral Zone. Janeway says that would disobey a direct order. But Ascencia says she knows how much the Protostar means to her.

Janeway says if they can’t abide by the rule of law, they’re no better than the forces they oppose. However, Janeway states that if they’re considering sneaking in, so are the Romulans. She orders Ascencia to find a way to eavesdrop on all Romulan subchannels.

Tal Shi’ar

On Noble Isle, a Tal Shi’ar (Romulan intelligence agency) shock team lead by Commander Kaseth (Kimberly Brooks) beams in. They take in the Protostar.

On the planet, Okona is recounting the events of Star Trek: The Next Generation season 2 episode 3, “The Outrageous Okona.” However, Dal appears and reveals Okona misrepresented his motivation. He took the job because it would give him a story to woo anyone’s heart.

Okona wonders how he could know that. Unless he’s a mind reader. Dal laughs.

rett Gray as Dal, Rylee Alazraqui as Rok-Tahk and Zero, Ella Purnell as Gwyn. They have been taken hostage at phaser point.

Dal’s got an ace up his sleeve. Or does he?

Gwyn asks if Dal’s feeling better. He answers that he’s fine. He acts like the revelation he just learned was no big deal. Plus, he continues to speak with uncharacteristically polysyllabic words. Overall, he’s acting strange. 

On the Protostar, Jankom and Zero are incapacitated by a Romulan weapon. Meanwhile, Hologram Janeway’s holo matrix is disabled. However, the systems are locked: the Romulans need the captain to access the ship’s system. They activate antigrav suits and leap towards the planet.

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On the Dauntless, Ascencia reports that the Tal Shi’ar have discovered the Protostar. They are now hunting for the captain. Janeway doesn’t like their odds. 

Commander Tysess (Daveed Diggs) reports “minimum-yield micro-torpedos, tight cluster, armed and ready, Admiral.” Ascencia is incredulous that Janeway would destroy the Protostar. Janeway says they can’t let the Romulans take it.

Confrontation

At Noble Isle, Rok takes in a trio of brightly-colored puppies. Dal senses that something isn’t right and urges them to leave. But that’s when the Tal Shi’ar repel down the building and surround the Protostar crew. 

The Tal Shi’ar advance and demand the captain accompany them. They assume this to be Okona. Dal laughs and outs himself as captain in the process. Okona says he’s overstayed his welcome and exits.

Murf is restless. The Tal Shi’ar tells the Protostar crew to stand still. Dal chuckles and uses the appendage on his head to activate the implant that Jago gave him. The nanoprobes in his blood engage. The effect is immediate: Dal bests the Tal Shi’ar. 

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There’s also an effect on his appearance. His facial features and fingers both begin to change, offering familiar Trek alien vibes.

Brett Gray as Dal, who has grown antennae, more facial hair, pointed ears, and Klingon forehead ridges.

A face only a Soong could love?

Rok realizes Dal got the implant. Gwyn says she doesn’t think he was meant to juice the implant as much as he did. Before they can converse further, the awakening Tal Shi’ar warriors compel them to flee.

In the next scene, Dal’s appearance has changed even further. He has antennae and Vulcan-style ears. He reasons that by maxing out his dermal implant, he activated all of his dormant DNA simultaneously. In the style of a Tellarite, Dal says he’d do it all over again. Then he says he either senses more danger, or he’s about to grow a third arm. 

Ella Purnell as Gwyn, Brett Gray as Dal and Rylee Alazraqui as Rok-Tahk. Dal has become even more mutated than in the previous scene, with a Tellarite style nose and fangs.

Rok and Gwyn agree they need to get him to sick bay.

Space Elevator

The Protostar away team reaches the orbital lift. Dal reacts with horror to his reflection in the mirror. His body continues to gurgle.

Elevators appear on either side of the one the away team is in. Each are filled with Tal Shi’ar warriors. They begin firing phasers at the lift in which the away team is riding. The glass cracks.

Ella Purnell as Gwyn, Rylee Alazraqui as Rok-Tahk, Angus Imrie as Zero and Brett Gray as Dal, and Dee Bradley Baker as Murf. They are all wearing EV suits (well, Murf's in a ball) as they ride the orbital lift. Dal is looking as the substance he has just secreted, which is on his hands and Murf's ball.

Cleanup on orbital lift 5… Cleanup on orbital lift 5.

Gwyn activates emergency equipment and orders everyone to don environment suits. Rok assures Murf he’ll be fine, as he’s indestructible. Dal says maybe his super DNA can help. However, he just produces a viscous blue substance he can’t identify. Some of it falls on Murf’s ball and causes him to vomit.

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The glass of the lift breaks. The Tal Shi’ar are now firing directly at the away team. One of them jumps to the away team’s elevator but slips and falls on Dal’s secretion.

The Tal Shi’ar pull out a big weapon. Rok notes it is composed of metal. She tells Gwyn to withdraw her heirloom. A few moments later, lightning strikes. Drawn to the metal weapons, it incapacitates several Tal Shi’ar. Gwyn tells Dal to hold on, they’re almost through.

Torpedoes Away

On the Dauntless, Ascencia reports that she can’t tell what’s happening. In spite of Asencia’s protestations, Janeway says they have no choice. She activates the torpedoes.

The Tal Shi’ar’s sustained fire on the away team’s elevator is causing ominous shaking. Murf is freaking out. Dal shouts, “Open the ball!”

Rylee Alazraqui as Rok-Tahk as Dee Bradley Baker as Murf. Murf is leaving the ball being held by Rok-Tahk.

“I’m comin’ out!”

Murf springs over to the Tal Shi’ar’s orbital lift. He makes quick work of the enemies. Then he returns to his ball. “Looks like we found our new security officer,” remarks Gwyn.

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Meanwhile, the torpedoes have almost reached the Protostar. The away team sees them approaching and Dal wonders, “What now?” However, Ascencia reports that the Tal Shi’ar have failed in their mission. Janeway orders the torpedoes aborted. At the last moment, the torpedoes veer off and explode in space.

“Who are these kids?” wonders Janeway. Ascencia leaves the bridge.

On the away team’s lift, Dal apologizes for messing things up. He tells Gwyn he just wants her to look at him like she looks at Okona.

Gwyn says he’ll never be as good as Okona. Because Okona left them, Dal is better. Murf stretches his body to cover the open windows of the elevator as they reach the top of the orbital lift.

Protostar

Back on the Protostar, Rok records a Science Log. She can afford this luxury now that Murf is the new security officer.

Jankom is working hard on fixing the Protostar nacelle. Zero and Rok successfully removed Dal’s implant in advance of any permanent chances. 

Rok says, “If there’s anything we learned while visiting Noble Isle, it’s science rules… and science needs rules. And, it’s our imperfections that make us who we are.” The triumphant crew celebrates their victory.

On the Dauntless, Ascencia bursts into The Diviner’s room and declares they need a change. She says they’re running out of time and orders Drednok (Jimmi Simpson) to activate. The Diviner’s table falls away to reveal Drednok, who says, “There is no barrier we cannot overcome.”

Ascencia presses an implant on the back of her neck and reveals herself as a Vau N’Akat. 

“You weren’t the only one sent back to find the ship,” she says. 

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New episodes of Star Trek: Prodigy are available for streaming Thursdays on Paramount Plus.

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