Star Trek: Lower Decks

My sister’s big, fat, green wedding

"Something Borrowed, Something Green" opens with an Orion support ship being destroyed by the powerful Mystery Vessel that attacked the Klingons and Romulans in the season’s first two episodes. It’s a scene that’s exactly as the other two were — completely divorced from the rest of the episode and advancing this supposedly "serial" plot in no real way because it provides no additional information, but merely more of what we already know. If this is supposed to be some sort of poker-faced parody/commentary on bad serialization, then mission accomplished, but that doesn’t seem like the intent.

This scrap of plot does, I suppose, ever so loosely tie into the main plot, as it provides Freeman with slightly more reason to insist Tendi return home for her sister D’Erika’s wedding, which she’s reluctant to do because she wants to keep her Orion past buried rather than in full view of her friends. ("D’Erika" — I love how we’re now just adding consonants and apostrophes to the beginnings of regular names to make them "alien.")

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Tackling climate change, ‘Lower Decks’ style

The Cerritos assists a Federation colony on Corazonia, a massive artificial ring structure that was built by an ancient alien civilization millions of years ago and now functions much like Yorktown Station in Star Trek Beyond. Vexilon, the AI climate-control computer (which Freeman notes has "no interest in world domination"), is on the fritz and in need of a software update, which is millions of years past due. But when Freemen attempts to make the updates, the computer crashes, causing widespread climate-based havoc. (First, clouds turn into ice and fall like boulders from the sky, then come the prehistoric volcanoes.)

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‘Lower Decks’: Season 4 starts with a twofer

Star Trek: Lower Decks kicks off its fourth season with a two-episode premiere.

“Twovix,” the better of the two episodes, is an entertaining romp that shows what Lower Decks has become as it starts its fourth season — which is essentially the same show it was in its first season, but more refined, balanced, restrained, and effective at doing what it does. In setting this episode aboard a museum-ified Voyager, the writers allow themselves to plunder the archive for as many Voyager references they can fit in.

“I Have No Bones Yet I Must Flee” is not quite as good as “Twovix” but is close enough, and there’s something to be said for this show’s unwavering focus on the devotion this core group of friends has to one another. I’m finding that when this show can strike the right balance between its sincerity and its lunacy, it works out.

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Lower Decks + Strange New Worlds = Back to The Future, Part 47

The crossover episode, or the stunt episode, or the Very Special Episode is represented fairly rarely across the Star Trek canon, but they’re there. "Those Old Scientists" is all three for the price of one. (Strangely, Strange New Worlds will have another Very Special Episode when it does a full-on musical two episodes from now with "Subspace Rhapsody.") The gold standard for this type of episode is DS9‘s "Trials and Tribble-ations," because it literally went back into one of the most celebrated of all Trek comedies and bolted its time-travel nostalgia on top of it for double the fun.

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California vs. Texas: The battle for outer space

Following the bad press in "Trusted Sources," Captain Freeman is admonished by Starfleet Command and informed the entire California-class starship contingent will be replaced with a line of Texas-class autonomous drones that are the brainchild of Admiral Les Buenamigo (whose cutesy name should be considered an ironic warning).

As an attempt to head off this decision and prove her crew’s value, Freeman challenges Buenamigo to a "second-contact race," where she intends to complete a series of missions with her flesh-and-blood crew before his lead automated starship, the Aledo, can do the same.

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