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    Another semi-episodic plot, but way, way more effective than the previous episode (almost said last week, heh) because it focuses on a character and explores them.

    Zero has had low-level discomfort with their non-corporeal nature building the entire season. Here, the gang finds a planet of non-corporeal beings who can not just fix up their old robo-shell, but give them a whole new humanoid body. While I do have to say I think it's a bit presumptuous to think so many energy beings want to be humanoid (I was always under the presumption that they were considered a higher form in the Trekverse), it does allow for an interesting exploration of the desire for what we cannot have. One could even squint and see a bit of a trans metaphor here, though I'm not sure that was intended.

    That said, not all is as it seems. The new humanoid bodies are not supposed to leave the planet (which I expected). More surprisingly, there's a race with life-or-death consequences - very similar to what Discovery did in its past season with Whistlespeak. I think it comes across as more effective here, as it's built into the episode's concept and not tacked on. I also love there was no twist antagonist, the planet was not sinister, and the other embodied energy beings were exactly what they seemed. It both befitted the status of Prodigy as a kids show, along with keeping to the ethos of Star Trek.

    Unsurprisingly, Zero leaves with the others. Surprisingly, they are still embodied - though I expect it will not last all season. Really hope they get to smooch M'Jel before their shell falls apart.

    In terms of the overall plot arc, there's not much else to say here, other than by the end the jig is up with the holo-bodies, meaning Voyager will be searching them out again. I do wonder how the hell holo-Gwyn knew she was a hologram - and knew where they were going. I thought there was a partial mind wipe?

    This is one of the Trekkiest concepts of the Kurtzman era. Fascinating possibilities, played straight and reasonably, and with terrific visual flair to boot. Angus Imrie gets to expand Zero's voice and just nails it.

    Also, am I right in thinking that this episode gave us our first canon glimpse of actual Parisses Squares play?

    @Brandon - totally agree with you. I've enjoyed the story and the concepts put forth here. And yeah, I think this is our first view of Parrisses Squares! Doesn't look _that_ dangerous... 😆

    Classic Star Trek premise right here: take the alien crew member and explore their alien-ness, and in addition to the thought experiment, learn something about what it means to be human along the way. All with a really big sense of wonder thrown in for good measure.

    A non-corporeal crew member like a Medusan could never work as a series regular on a live-action show. I like that Prodigy is making the most of its animated nature to ask "what can we explore in this format that Star Trek couldn't explore in the past?"

    Also like that Zero's constructed body was carefully designed to incorporate subtle elements of both genders so that it was, in effect, non-gendered. That's trickier to design than people realize, I think. Our brains are designed to sort people into categories on very subtle indications. This one was very well done.

    I expected Zero to have to go back into the box at the end of the episode. That would have been an okay ending too, but I'm glad the show swerved on that and avoided the obvious. More interesting this way.

    . . .

    Why are Kurtzman and co shooting a Starfleet Academy TV series? Prodigy is already doing that, and there's no way that show is going to do it better than this. Prodigy is going to straight up eat that show's lunch.

    @ Brandon

    I checked Memory Alpha, and I think you're right that this is the very first time we ever actually see Parrises Squares being played. I remembered it was basically a gag for a while (often mentioned and purposely never explained), but I did think it was eventually shown in an episode somewhere along the line. Only now that I think about it, I think I'm getting it mixed up with Pyramid from BSG! Shame on me, pyramids and squares are nothing alike. Heh.

    Dal has been annoying this season but I liked his moment when he thanked Gwyn for overruling him and looking after Zero. That's the signs of maturing Dal needs

    Isn't the title of this episode a wonderful twist on the title of the original episode that introduced the Medusans? ("Is there in truth no beauty?" TOS S3E5).

    "Beauty" stands for corporeality, and "Truth" stands for the ideal, perfect, existence. Does one have to be non-corporeal to be perfect? Can't the imperfections, and specificity of corporealness be perfect as well? Can't the manifest be ideal as well? Religions and philosophers have debated this question for millennia. Here we have Star Trek dabble in it, that too in a kids' show!

    I also liked how the crew wore the red glasses/goggles to protect themswlves that Spock and Co. wore in TOS S3E5.

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