With only one episode left for the season Lower Decks boldly goes to where Trek has certainly gone before, to the cinema! Only this time it’s via a holodeck but still, the penultimate episode gives us a heartfelt tribute to all things Trek Film and it is glorious.
Emsign Ensain UGH! ENSIGN’S LOG Stardate, forget it, who the heck cares at this point? Crisis Point
After being assigned counseling by her mother, Ensign Mariner disrupts her friends holodeck program to bring them her own story in the form of an epic movie adventure CRISIS POINT: THE RISE OF VINDICTA!
Is it a ‘Good’ Episode?
Lower Decks is all about exposing the tropes of Star Trek for what they are while remaining reverent to the universe it is based in. Throughout the season the showrunners have walked the edge of a Bat’leth carefully avoiding pain sticks and somehow delivering a show that is both humorous and completely beholden to canon. This latest episode is no different except it takes the series to it’s ultimate realization by hitting on all the movie tropes that were seen in the Trek Film franchise, yes including the JJ Abrams Trek.
When I say they honor the movie franchise, I mean ALL OF IT. This episode goes from the long ‘tour’ of the Cerritos (like that of the Enterprise in The Motion Picture) to the iconic lense-flare from the Kelvin Universe films to even the signatures at the end from Undiscovered Country. In between all of this are dozens of references to each and every Trek film even namedropping characters like Xon. Who is Xon? Exactly. In fact, this production even goes as far as adding in film scratches giving the episode a theatrical feel that is so subtle that I only noticed it on my second viewing, but it is details like this that really sell this series.
The episode itself is not just a homage to Trek Films but also finally confronts Mariner’s mommy issues allowing her to explore her feelings by not only confronting a holographic version of Captain Free-Man but also, herself. In fact, this episode gives several of the characters a chance to explore the tropes and personal issues that have plagued them this entire season allowing each of the characters a chance to grow further than most of the Trek series do. Not only does Mariner get a chance to confront her demons, but Rutherford finally faces his love, Tendi confronts her species stereotyping (she’s an Orion), and of course Boimler finally discovers a truth about himself and a fellow crewmate.
Bottom line, if this is the second to last episode I have to wonder how they are going to top this with the season finale. I mean, this was some epic shit for sure! What amazes me is that there are still ‘fans’ out there who deride this series even after being upset with how much Discovery Season One ignored Canon. Guy’s you can’t have it both ways, pick a lane. Lower Decks is not perfect but it is DAMN good.
Gleanings, Questions and cool bits: (slight spoilers here)
- This episode also confronts the absurdity to the blind religion that is The Prime Directive by confronting a species that is literally eating another species. It is classic and a wonderful reference to the classic STNG episode Lonely Among Us with the return of the Anticans and their…eating habits.
- We learn that some of the crew do in fact sit in front of the warp core watching it swirl, because why not?
- Boimler learns that Mariner is the daughter of Captain Freeman and does not know how to process this new information.
As always, check below for a few glimpses into next weeks episode….it looks awesome!
Thanks for reading the SciFi TV Review I look forward to discussing the rest of the series with you!
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Late To The Game 10/4/2020