A generational ship, a promotion and an ascension all come together as the members of the lower decks find themselves trying to figure it all out once again. Jumping in as the fourth episode of the series this is Moist Vessel.
Captain’s Log….hehe log….. Stardate 57538.9 Moist Vessel (teehee)
What is the best way to crush a layabout or a bad employee? Fire them? no…promote them. Well, that’s the idea Captain Carol Freeman has when she decides its past time for her daughter, Ensign Mariner, to stop being a pain in her side. Introducing Lieutenant Mariner, who finds that being a ranking officer is not…fun at all. Meanwhile Ensign Tendi accidentally disrupts a fellow crew-members ascension and Boimler wonders how his trouble-making friend got promoted in the first place. Oh and the ship comes in contact with a lost generational ship which has a crazy fluid that can terriform planets…so you know that goes really bad really quickly.
Is it a ‘Good’ Episode?
This episode really embraces it’s inspiration, that of the STNG episode Lower Decks, by not only showing the careful balance between the Senior staff and the lower decks officers, but also showing the rivalries that build between senior officers of various ships. It is perhaps the most Trek episode of Lower Decks to date as it features not only a massive ‘ship in danger’ story line but also give the players some serious character growth along the way.
This growth is across the board with the lead characters. We discover that Ensign Tendi hates when people don’t like her, and we also see that, while Mariner may not be the best officer, she is actually a very skilled and intelligent person. Without going too deep into spoiler territory, we learn that Mariner is really only acting out due to the undue pressure from her Admiral Father and Captain Mother. While it is never stated outright, it seems that she is has had to deal with the red tape of Star Fleet her whole life and is only in it due to the expectations of her parents and their achievements. Honestly, if it were not for the pressure of her parents and probably every other Star Fleet officer comparing her to them, she would likely be a model officer. Instead she has no desire to do anything but enjoy life, which drives Boimler insane.
Overall, this honestly could have been the perfect pilot episode as it really sets the bar to what this series is all about. This is the tale of those crew members that you only see passing by in the other series, the one’s that are never named and, if they are, it’s usually posthumously, it is about the fact that these ships could not run with only the lead characters in charge and that each ship has a much larger ecosystem than just seven core characters. This is a series about the Ensigns Kaplans, the Lynch’s, The Sito Jaxas and the Tauriks, this is about those that keep things together so that the Enterpises of the fleet can explore new worlds and do the things they do to make them the best in the fleet. It’s about what goes on during the commercial breaks and when the camera is focused on the bridge and that is what makes this series so much fun.
Gleanings, Questions and cool bits: (slight spoilers here)
- Ever wonder how the holodeck is cleaned up after its….multiple uses…yeah. wonder no more.
- We also confirm that the holodecks are mostly used for [REDACTED] because we all knew that there was a lot of [REDACTED] going on in those. I mean, seriously…did you think they were used for purely scientific pursuits?
- Apparently the Universe is balanced on the back of a giant smiling koala, don’t question it, just go with it.
- We get a great reference to the poker games that were made famous in STNG.
- We also get a delightful joke about the way some of the actors pronounced Sensors. It’s a fantastic meta reference that works brilliantly.
- This series finally introduces a Tellarite Captain in the form of Captain Durango of the USS Merced.
Thanks for reading the SciFi TV Review I look forward to discussing the rest of the series with you! Oh and don’t forget to check out some images of next weeks ep where we meet Boimler’s Girlfriend?!
If you would like to read more reviews I have a weekly series called Key Movies Of My Life that comes out every Thursday and for more retro TV goodness check out the rest of the Retro TV Reviews here.
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Late To The Game 8/30/2020