Star Trek: Lower Decks Season 1, Episode 3 – Debuted Thursday, August 20th, 2020
Written by Dave Ihlenfeld & David Wright
Directed by Bob Suarez
The third episode of this new animated comedy hearkens back to some classic Star Trek storylines and themes with mixed results. With some good laughs and its heart in the right place, “Temporal Edict” pushes the boundaries of the show’s own rules of playing within the lines of Star Trek.
WARNING: Spoilers below!
Cold open mic
This week’s opening teaser reminds us again that Mariner is the coolest and Boimler is a nerd, with the added nuance that he’s also a mama’s boy. By injecting herself into Brad’s violin recital with some old-school rock and roll cranked up to 11, the “music” makes its way through the ship to the bridge, leaving the commander of the Klingon Bird of Prey Captain Freeman was trying to talk to asking, “What is the meaning of this intense bass, are you mocking me?” One would think that speed metal would honor the warrior race, but apparently not.
By the time Shaxs gets to the bar to put an end to the noise, Tendi and Mariner have exited rock star-style, leaving Boimler’s violin to get the full not-a-merry-man treatment, thankfully before the ensign has a chance to perform “Requiem for a Hug.”
More than just another fun standalone gag of life on board the USS Cerritos to start off the show, these character dynamics will play key roles throughout the episode.
It’s buffer time!
The main story for “Temporal Edict” leans into the show’s premise that the USS Cerritos is the least important ship in Starfleet. After being informed that she won’t be needed for a “historic, once-in-a-lifetime summit” on Cardassia Prime (because the Cardassians “were creeping everyone out”), Captain Freeman channels Rodney Dangerfield, declaring her own ship a “joke” crewed by a “bunch of slackers.” And she really gets pushed over the edge when she finds out the crew has been exaggerating work estimates with “buffer time,” thanks to Boimler spilling the beans—seriously, Boims?
However, her solution of strict time quotas has the opposite of the desired effect, as the crew buckles under the micromanagement, becoming sleep-deprived, frazzled, and turning poor Tendi into something like a zombie. She can’t even remember what deck sickbay is on, or even how many decks there are on the ship. Of course, Boimler is loving every strictly-regimented minute of all of this, meta-asking himself, “Space, the funnest frontier?”
The consolation prize mission has the ship delivering peace tokens to Gelrak V, with Commander Ransom leading a landing party and a wisecracking Mariner along for the ride. While the planet has already gone through first contact and even has their own starships, the crystals-obsessed natives remain primitive to the point of cliché, right down to the xenophobic paranoia and hair triggers, or in this case, hair spearers. All it takes is the display of the wrong gift token—due to an overworked Bolian ensign—for the Gelrakians to start the stabbing and the throwing.
Turns out by displaying the “perverted sex charm” of their sworn enemies from Mavok Prime, the Federation has inadvertently declared war. Oops. Like a good Starfleet officer, Ransom wants to avoid a fight, eschewing the use of phasers. He figures he can win over the Gelrakians with the swagger of a Riker stance combined with some Picard speechifying. Vigorously returning the wood token straight to his groin, the locals put an end to his negotiated settlement, with the whole landing party now captured. Classic. By the way, Mariner points out it is a Kirk-like classic move in one of the too-many winking moments from this episode.
Things get even more classic as the crew learns their only way out is via trial by combat, and one of them has to fight the ginormous Vindor. The fate of the rest of the landing party is in the balance, or literally under “adjudication geode” of death. These guys really love their crystals.
From the mouths of babes
A fleet of incensed Gelrakians head up to the Cerritos and because everyone is so zoned out due to weeks of relentless work quotas, the shields aren’t functioning and the hostiles just start boarding and defacing the ship, again with just the spears. And still, the captain can’t let go of her scheduling edict, ordering the crew to multitask and repel boarders while finishing their other time tasks. Showing a pathological level of Starship envy, she admonishes, “They do it on the Enterprise all the time.”
Due to the power of his extreme nerdiness, Boimler is immune to the PADD-driven project management that is crippling the rest of the crew. It’s the greatest week of his life, but he has to shake Captain Freeman out of her OCD, teaching her the lesson that the rest of the crew needed a more flexible approach. Once the captain reinstates buffer time, the crew—perhaps with a message about our screen-obsessed culture—stop staring at their PADDs, and start using them as weapons to repel the wood-hating aliens, with surprising ease.
Down on the planet, Mariner is also doing her bit to teach a senior officer some lessons on breaking protocol. Arguing she should be the one to fight in the arena, her regular simmer of insubordination boils to court-martial level with, “I’m calling bulls**t on your whole thing here, sir.” (Hey, at least she still said “sir.”) She declares that SHE is the real pro, for “exploring strange new worlds, solving space mysteries, and kicking asses,” and she has the scars to prove it. And yes, rack up another wink at the audience there.
Ransom is a quick learner, so he does the very un-Starfleet thing of stabbing her in the foot so he can do the very-Starfleet thing of being the one to fight in the arena, and without the lethal weapon. Thanks to a masterful level of Kirk Fu, he finally gets to do some “I respect your sovereignty” speechifying between the double-fist punches, winning the day, and even Mariner’s respect.
With the honor crystal presented, the whole invading-of-the-ship thing is forgiven. Mariner decides to keep her new foot scar and chooses not to report Ransom for stabbing her. The whole experience has each respecting the other a bit more, with a hint there could be even more. But Ransom still sends Mariner to the brig for ignoring his order to roll down her sleeves, so that may put a dent in any romance in the near future, hopefully.
The captain is also showing her respect for Brad, bestowing him with a plaque for what she is calling the “Boimler Effect,” a new rule that allows the crew to take shortcuts and use buffer time. His rule-loving brain has trouble accepting a rule about not following rules in his name. He is assured no one will remember him for this. However in a bit of a coda set in the “far future,” we see a teacher telling her class “The Boimler Effect is something we will never forget,” thanks to him being the “laziest officer in Starfleet history.” Doh!
Oh, then they threw in references to the Great Bird of the Galaxy and Miles O’Brien, in case you forgot this was a Star Trek comedy. But you won’t get any argument that the Chief was “perhaps the most important person in Starfleet history.”
Bending Star Trek
The conceit of Lower Decks is that it is a canon Star Trek show, where funny things are happening. The events and the characters are supposed to fit into the universe we know, but we are just seeing the lighter side of that universe.
In “Temporal Edict” we are presented with Gelrak V, a planet home to a primitive race, prejudiced and prone to violence. There is no indication of democracy, and the justice system is barbaric, complete with capital punishment, even if we are assured the giant geode of death is part of their constitution. And yet we are told the Gelrakians have been invited into the Federation.
On board the USS Cerritos the captain has implemented new policies in order to increase efficiency. Her motivations were primarily personal concerns about being slighted and disrespected. These new strict policies had an obvious detrimental effect on the crew, driving them to inefficiency due to sleep deprivation. This also triggered the crisis on the planet with the Gelrakians leading to the ship being boarded, yet the crew is ordered to keep on task. Even the most feckless captain in Starfleet – think John Harriman – would know to make a priority of repelling invaders.
When people finally wise up and come to resolve both the planetary and the ship crises, in both cases the solutions are based on violence. Sure Ransom wasn’t using lethal force and espousing Federation language, but he did so while giving a The Rock-level beat down. On the Cerritos, when the crew are freed to come up with ways to take back control of the ship the only thing they can think of is various ways to punch and hit the Gelrakians in a sequence of Three Stooges-type skirmishes.
Couldn’t they all come up with more creative solutions? The whole adventure on the planet hearkened back to TOS, and while Kirk was known to get into a shirt-ripping scrape, he more often found non-violent ways to win the day. And on the ship, given the freedom to be creative, wasn’t there some fun TNG science solution to take down the Galrakians. Maybe the wood-hating aliens were adversely affected by the sound of woodwinds, and you swap Boimler’s violin for a bassoon, and Bob’s your uncle.
Is this just an exercise in extreme nitpicking? Yes, indeed it is. But it is putting Lower Decks up against the standard that the show has set for itself. In his TrekMovie interview, creator Mike McMahan said “it was a priority to never have somebody in Starfleet be stupid or dumb.” He also conceded that members of the crew could make mistakes, and fair enough. We don’t expect our comedy characters to be perfect, even in the 24th century. But it is hard to argue that the captain was not acting stupid here, and everything that followed flowed from that. As for the Gelrakians, there is simply no way a warlike, undemocratic, racist species like that would ever be invited into the Federation.
The challenge of the show is for us to feel like we’re living in the Star Trek world but having some laughs along the way. As soon as it no longer feels like Star Trek, we are taken out of the show, at least as fans. The first two episodes were successful in finding that balance, but this third outing too often went over that line. It may still be funny, but it stops being Star Trek. And no amount of references to Miles O’Brien and Gene Roddenberry can change that.
Looking forward to next week
While still entertaining, “Temporal Edict” was the least satisfying episode of Lower Decks so far. The series remains impressive in many ways and this episode was especially enhanced by a strong performance from Dawnn Lewis, who convincingly took us on Captain Freeman’s folly. But this third episode brought back some of the same issues in the first, with an over-reliance on winks and nods to the franchise.
Lower Decks is at its best when it rises above being just a collection of Star Trek references and twists the Trek tropes into an entirely different balloon animal. We have seen that done in all three episodes, but this “Temporal Edict” popped too many of those balloons along the way.
New episodes of Star Trek: Lower Decks premiere on Thursdays on CBS All Access in the U.S. and on CTV Sci-Fi Channel in Canada, where it’s also available to stream on Crave. It has not yet been announced where and when Lower Decks will be available outside of the USA and Canada.
Keep up with all the news and reviews from the new Star Trek Universe on TV at TrekMovie.com.
Yep, my least favorite so far. Loved the last one, though.
Favorite parts: “ you look like a bleeping scratching post“ and “the great bird of the galaxy.”
Also, the last two words of the episode: “Miles O’Brien”
Yeah, that scratching post line was great.
Same here. I’ll also add “Not everyone’s a Boimler.” to collection of possibly useful movie quotes
Really enjoyed this one!
Not my favorite episode but it still deserved a pass.
This episode is not good like the last episode but all is forgiven. Lower Decks is still trying to figure out what it wants to be. This show is not yet Star Trek material.
I agree, the worst episode so far.
Too much fan service and juvenile humor.
Out of curiosity what defines Star Trek for you?
I ask this because with all of this new content I find older fans pushing back against it, while younger audiences like myself have been enjoying it.
I mean no offense if you love TNG, but good lord it’s hard to get through a lot of those episodes though most fans seem consider it sacred cinema. DS9 and Voyager are very much the same. They are pockets here and there with some quality stories, but I get the impression fans are using a handful of episodes to define Star Trek and condemn anything new.
Not seen Lower Decks Danny as I live in the UK so I can’t comment on it personally but TV is a product of its time. There’ll come a day when you will still regard the current Trek shows fondly but younger viewers might dismiss them. Likewise given time you might come to appreciate the older shows more. I used to feel the same about TOS as you do about the 80’s and nineties shows but it’s something I grew to love. Ultimately I think we all define what the Trek universe should be based on the values of the show/movies that drew us into the franchise. For my part I think my own experiences reconciling TOS with the TNG era series and the movies makes it much easier for me to accept the more modern shows.
I don’t particularly agree with this. Well-made movies generally stand the test of time. The cinematography of LAWRENCE OF ARABIA would not be out of place today (even if the whitewashed casting of Alec Guiness would be).
You know I’m ashamed to say that I’ve never watched Lawrence of Arabia but I’m pretty confident that it most definitely does not look like it’s been made today. It may well be a classic with brilliant cinematography that stands the test of time but is it really what a typical young person expects from cinema today? I seriously doubt It.
What about Star Wars?
I kind of agree with you on Star Wars to be fair but that being said it’s been revised and updated multiple times so in a strange sort of way it’s the film that proves both our points. However there are exceptions to every rule. I’m generalising to a certain degree with the point I was making as with all things reality can be a little bit more nuanced. Nevertheless Star Wars is an interesting example in that George Lucas actually considered it first and foremost a children’s movie. I’m not sure I entirely agree with that, I’d say personally that it is family movie but maybe I’m splitting hairs. Regardless it is a movie that is very much accessible to young children and I think if you were looking at examples of movies/tv that are truly timeless in terms of their universal appeal they probably fall into the same category.
It’s hard to explain, but I’ll try. I’m kind of going through this with my own kids, so I can kind of see your perspective, if only through their eyes.
I’m one of those who grew up on TNG, and it’s a cornerstone of my early-teen formative years. DS9 and Voyager saw me through college, having my first kid, and early adulthood. Stuff like science, morality, harmony, cooperation, a passion for truth, a passion for knowledge and self improvement, and when it came to it, tactical brilliance. Recent Star Trek has these ideals in short supply. When they get into a fight, it’s 280 ships versus either 1 ship or 280 other ships, slugging it out, doing barrel rolls, crashing into crap. Spectacle over drama. Take this against, say, the Mutara Nebula battle from Wrath of Khan (a film which my children refuse to watch because it was too slow-moving and boring. The heathens). It’s slow, methodical, and while the stakes aren’t as high, there’s much more tension and drama. Wrath of Khan is a game of chess, while modern Trek is “let’s see how many chess tables we can kick over in the next 10 minutes, but we’re out of money, so lets make all the chess tables look exactly the same, but from different angles”).
This stuff is ingrained in my life, and for those three series and Enterprise after, they all followed the same rough pattern (and continuity). An episode had a beginning, middle and end. Occasionally there would be a two or three-parter. Often an episode would refer to events that occurred before. But if you missed an episode, you were okay and could catch a rerun (this was, of course, pre-DVR).
Recent Trek has broken this mold. Hell, I loved Game of Thrones and Walking Dead too. Serialized television is a sign of the times. And to an extent, it’s okay. Provided the story makes sense and respects what came before. The last three seasons of new Star Trek haven’t done that very well, and the cliffhangers just leave you hungry for answers that we realize may never come. When you have a group of mostly highly-intelligent, passionate people speculating on what’s going to happen, nine times out of ten, the groupthink idea will be better storytelling than what eventually happens. So they subvert expectations in a way that violates some aspect of established canon, and congratulate themselves that we never saw it coming. Because stuff like that is not supposed to happen in Star Trek.
The Orville is the most “Trek-like” show on TV right now. The episodes are contained. We know who the characters are. We feel as if this group is a team, and there are interpersonal relationships. Tell me one thing about Bryce in Discovery. Even in the show, he’s addressed as “random communications officer man”, because that character has received zero development in two years. The most we know about him is that he has a middle name, and he’s a BRIDGE OFFICER. That is not how I define Star Trek. Star Trek is about a diverse team working together and using their distinct skills to solve problems that are bigger than them. Star Trek is not about one person barking orders to people that outrank her because she knows she’s the only one who knows what she’s doing. (Burnham, Tilly, Soji, Mariner… they can’t break out of their own broken mold.)
Lower Decks has promise. It’s irreverant, but fun. Even the little things, like using the appropriate sound effects for the era (Discovery, which happens maybe 100 years before TNG, is using variations of TNG sound effects, as opposed to variations of TOS sound effects, as they should. Again, we see a scrappy rule-breaking lower ranked (because they were demoted) person “knowing better” than people who have been doing this for a decade or more. I can excuse it to a degree, because she’s more likeable than Burnham, but the lack of originality is bothersome and hopefully not a portent of things to come. This week’s episode knocked me down from my happiness last week. Last week’s episode was Star Trek. This week’s episode was “New Trek”. That’s the difference. We’ll need to see if the show is an homage or a parody. But even a well-done parody is preferable to a half-assed homage.
My dad was a Trekkie so I grew up with TOS and the first four movies and Star Trek Insurrection (the only TNG movie we had). I agree with everything about Wrath of Kahn. It’s still my favorite piece of Trek and I wish directors would understand what makes Star Trek battles so interesting. As much as I love the Kelvin films the space battles are over the top and distracting.
Maybe it’s because I was never introduced to it, but TNG just never took. Stories like Tapestry, All Good Things, I Borg and Yesterday’s Enterprise are all amazing, but as a whole the series didn’t stick like TOS. That could be just because I wasn’t raised in it like TOS.
I agree that modern TV is moving more and more towards flash and bang over substance which is a shame because TOS still shines to this day, but I feel like shows like Discovery got ruined because it tried to be different and fans were upset.
Season 1 of Discovery for me was what I really wanted from a new Star Trek show. It was a dark gritty show like GOT, but unlike GOT it wasn’t completely hopeless.
I appreciated it being so gritty as it was reflective of the world around me, especially in my home. I understand a large portion of the Trek audience doesn’t want gritty shows that matches a gritty world, but for me that was the draw as the optimism in old isn’t relatable. People trying to survive and maintain hope in a darker time is.
The level of backlash ruined Discovery for me as the show took a 180 and became something different….and odd. Don’t get me wrong there are a lot of issues with season 1 and the tech advances were out of place, but it felt like a fresh start.
Lower decks is silly, but I guess in my case that’s all I’m really looking for. It’s got more heart than I expected so that’s an added bonus.
I was on board with Picard initially, but it felt disjointed. And it’s finale…… (back to The wrath of Khan bit) I’m tired of thousands of ships vs thousands of ships.
I appreciate your insights!
I didn’t mind Discovery was ‘gritty’ it just wasn’t very good in my eyes that was the main issue. I mean I love both The Expanse and new Battle Star Galatica and they were much more grittier and darker than Discovery.
In fact DIS felt like it was trying to emulate those shows in a lot of ways…but poorly.
DS9 is actually my favorite Trek show and it’s definitely the darkest one by a mile. I like seeing a darker side of the Federation and the kinds of conflicts it presented as more realistic even if it was ‘paradise’ to most people…but it still wouldn’t be to everyone. In fact I argued it made sense to see that in Picard as well because so much HAS changed in that universe and not for the better. But I still had issues with that show too. So that’s never been my issue with Discovery, it’s a lot more issues than that.
Honestly, I was fine with a “dark and gritty” version of Trek. They didn’t need to have “gotcha” moments but I was totally fine with a new and modern take on Trek. Sadly, that is not what we got. I’m not going to go into all the failures of STD again. Most of us already know where it came up short. Which is too bad because I really wanted to see this kind of Trek.
Picard was a little better but as you said it felt completely disjointed, it tried to do too many things. And it just wasn’t mapped out well at all. The Enterprise Xindi arc was over 20 episodes and it was mapped out a million times better.
Like you I connected more with TOS than TNG. I liked TNG just fine but I never felt it was overall a good Trek show. For me, what it had going for it mainly was it was “new Trek” and it didn’t suck. But like you this might be because TOS was my first Trek and I was raised with it in the background.
Yours too, my friend. Seems like we are of like mind!
I think my TNG thing is just because of my age at the time, and my mom was a massive Trekkie and had trained me, and when I found out TNG was happening, I told her and she freaked out. We watched the first episode together and Dr. McCoy came on and we just lost it.
I was 14. Didn’t really have any drama-critic standards in me. And looking back, I agree, the lion’s share of TNG episodes were… iffy. Especially in the first couple seasons. But they’re “home” to me. Even if you grew up in a shack, if there was love in the house and you were happy at the time… That’s where I want to run.
Newer Trek is like bulldozing that shack and putting in a gentrified shopping district. Yes, it’s flashy and there’s lots of plate glass and water features, but it ain’t home.
“I mean no offense if you love TNG, but good lord it’s hard to get through a lot of those episodes though most fans seem consider it sacred cinema. DS9 and Voyager are very much the same. They are pockets here and there with some quality stories, but I get the impression fans are using a handful of episodes to define Star Trek and condemn anything new.”
You can say that about ALL of Star Trek lol. I can only watch a few dozen episodes of TOS these days and I grew up on it. My nephews can’t even watch an episode because in their teenage eyes its like watching something from the 1930s. It’s laugh out loud comical to them. But they don’t love TNG or anything. It too look outdated but not comically outdated like TOS and they can watch them no problem. But its not something they can really get into either. It just proves everything is subjective and it will probably depend on your age or generation. Or what you just started watching first.
And yes the new shows are the same. And we know it takes time for people to accept the new shows. Today Enterprise seem just as accepted as the other classic shows but that clearly wasn’t the case when it started. But you can say that about TNG and DS9 as well. Which is another odd thing, it just seems like time is a big factor too. And while I think TOS has become mostly outdated for me for some reason the other shows has aged really well for some reason. I watch them all weekly and still enjoy them as when they aired and shows like Enterprise even more today.
But I wasn’t born when TOS aired, so I will admit it always LOOKED outdated to me, but I never cared. But now as I’m much older oddly it’s become much harder for me to watch or get into sadly.
Young fans have the attention span of belly button lint , don’t give a shit about lore or history, and need everything to be spoon-fed to them. This show is for you.
this is pretty ignorant.
did you sleep through the last 20 years of Harry Potter? and that is just one example of “kids with attention spans of belly button lint not caring about their lore”.
Wow, and just last week you told us it was the Best. Star Trek. Evah.
Maybe he has a split personality?
Ah, changing our minds now and then makes life interesting…Almost forgot: whoever’s committing that offence can now quote “Yeah…complicated, thank you!”
I call this episode the Star Trek 5 of Lower Decks. Yes, some of the things done were kinda stupid but it did have a real TOS vibe that I actually enjoyed.
Seriously, it’s taken you three weeks to figure out that this show is “bending Star Trek”? Quick studies, we are. :)
Yet again they’re hyping the most obnoxious character imaginable (at least Ransom put her in her place, for once). I’ve never been a great fan of workplace comedies, but this series has ben *all about* portraying people in Starfleet as “stupid and dumb”; indeed, that’s all the captain and Mariner have never been. Why does the Enterprise even need Geordi, when they could send Slacker Mariner (TM) right over, adult beverage in hand?
And it’s insulting and degrading that the characters who most embody this problem are both Black. The few that don’t, like Shaxs, are mostly White. McMahan seems to be oblivious to the structural racism he’s depicting. Bringing Black characters front and center isn’t woke if they’re all slackers, incompetent, nepotists, or constantly facing anger management issues.
Yet again we’ve seen the heroes of Starfleet — which was supposed to be an honorable organization, one that we’d aspire to joining — portrayed as a bunch of nincompoops, stuck-up squares, and outright incompetents. The big reveal is that Sometimes, It’s Miller Time. This is news?
And again: none of it is particularly edgy or funny. MARRIED WITH CHILDREN is far more edgy, and it’s 25 years old. Take off the Star Trek patina and this series doesn’t survive the pilot episode. McMahan seems to think that having his main characters shout and holler all day long is funny, which was also his modus operandi from Rick and Morty. It’s not. “Sometimes, It’s Miller Time” is about as edgy as being asked what your weaknesses are in a job interview and responding “I work too hard.”
And even if it *were* edgy…it doesn’t mesh with real Star Trek, like TMP or TWOK or Darmok or whatever. If this is your style of humor, then play in a different sandbox: that’s why Family Guy and Galaxy Quest parodied Star Trek and Star Wars so well. They were out-of-universe. Oil doesn’t mix with water.
I’ve given LOWER DECKS three episodes. It’s all ultimately trash, neither highbrow nor lowbrow humor. It’s just an insulting celebration of incompetence and obnoxiousness, reifying a Millennial stereotype of wanting to be CEO after one day on the job, because spunk. Who needs a captain, when Slacker Mariner (TM) is on the job? A MacFarlanesque chuckle or two here and there (“you look like a scratching post”), plus a shitload of Easter eggs, doesn’t redeem it.
I’m cancelling my CBS All Access subscription until Discovery’s new season premieres. Those of you who enjoy it, drink up those on-duty Margaritas; I suspect this turkey of a show won’t be around very long, once CBS has its Han Solo moment of rethinking the all-Trek-all-the-time strategy.
Bending Star Trek? It’s close to breaking it.
Yeah Lower Decks is not that great. Discovery is more entertaining than this.
A matter of perspective. Discovery has been a complete train wreck for two seasons. Lower Decks has its flaws, some rather major, but it’s STILL the best Trek Secret Hideout has made to date.
Faze Ninja said this was one of this top Trek shows and said it was his favorite since TNG literally yesterday. I like the guy but you can’t really take what he says too seriously because he’s all over the place most of the time.
I’m guessing next week if he likes the episode it could be the best Star Trek show that’s ever been made….we have to wait to see how it goes first. ;)
Understood. I often react to the comment rather than the writer. Save for a few. ;)
Some of us beg to differ when it comes to Discovery. Please don’t phrase your opinions as fact. Because that is exactly how it came across.
First, it’s a pet peeve of mine to require someone to say something is subjective when it is painfully obvious that it is. Such things do not need to be said. If someone says, “coffee tastes like dirt mixed with fly larvae” it is obvious it’s an opinion. There is no need to add a disclaimer announcing this. It’s repetitive.
And next, I DID say it was a matter of perspective up front anyway. You seem to have missed that.
In op-ed pieces, newspapers generally edit out phrases such as “I believe that” or “I think that” for conciseness, because most readers are adults and can distinguish between fact and opinion on their own.
I don’t particularly agree with ML31’s take on Discovery — but surely that principle applies here, too.
Agree completely. I mean… guys… they’re using the right sound effects for cryin’ out loud. That’s gotta be worth something. I’m a biased sound designer. These things matter.
Well you gave it a shot and it wasn’t your thing. All you can ask for. Maybe you’ll change your mind in the future or hate it more lol. But yes if you feel this strongly about it now, then you should cancel.
This is one of the problems though now that we are paying for Star Trek full time. Normally I would say just try and watch a few more, but when you’re paying for something but not feeling it NOW, then I certainly can’t argue you should keep paying for it, especially when everyone’s financial situation is different (and especially these days). Why I don’t blame people who cancelled when they didn’t like Discovery or Picard early on either. And it’s a lot harder to get those people back vs the old days when Star Trek just ran on TV and you can just turn on a random episode to see how you feel about it if you hated it before. Now it’s a much bigger commitment.
Also why I don’t think these shows will ever get the type of audience size the old shows did, even including Enterprise. Sure you have a lot of hate watchers now, but not all will continue watching shows they think sucks if they are paying for them, especially after the newness/curiosity factor wears off.
In a case like this you can always try and watch more later when you subscribe again for something else and its completed. Assuming you want to give it another shot.
Since you pay a month at a time if they started the service when the show started they are going to get at least 4 episodes to sample. They can quite but they will still be paying for the service for more than a week. May as well give the 4th episode a shot…
Well you’re assuming that’s when he subscribed to the service when this show started. He could’ve had it longer before then and maybe his payment cycle ends this week.
Or maybe he just really hates the show that much and don’t want to tune in even if he still has the service. That’s fine too.
I wish I had that kind of will power. I can’t even cancel the service when there ISN’T new Star Trek on because I keep telling myself ‘well I might want to rewatch DIS and PIC’ although I haven’t lol. BUT for some reason I been rewatching tons of classic Star Trek there even though I still have them three other sites. But that’s been my go-to place to watch TOS-ENT the last few months. So I feel I’m getting my money’s worth more now.
True but I did qualify it with if they started paying when the show started.
I will watch TOS from time to time but I watch on my BD’s. So I don’t NEED to pay for a service to see Trek I like. I have started rewatches of the Berman shows thanks to Netflix but if I didn’t have access to that service I wouldn’t feel like I was missing anything.
Funny how different people are. I have not watched a DVD or Blu Ray in probably 5 years now. Maybe even longer. I actually have a few TNG and DS9 seasons on Blu ray but I still watch them on streaming because its just more common and easier. If there were no other options of course I would watch them through a disc but today I just never even think about watching anything that way. I’ve become too spoiled lol.
Didn’t mean DS9 on blu ray, just standard disc there.
Rutherfurt is not portrayed as incopetent at all…
I really liked how it showed his strengths and weaknesses. Proficient in Engineering and Security, not so hot at Command or Medical. He’s still a badass, but has limits, unlike some people.
Again, more character development in 25 minutes than in three years of other new Trek.
Well, no, and neither is Tendi; and I believe I noted that these two characters were a saving grace of the show, if there are any. But they’re distinctly secondary characters to Slacker Mariner (TM) and Boimler. Moreover, this week the senior command crew, especially the captain, got as much airtime.
Cancelling until Discovery? Because that’s the standard of quality? Good Rod.
I had strong feelings in a positive sense for Lower Decks but this episode is rubbed me the wrong way. Discovery is the only Star Trek show that is worth watching and that’s sad.
Lower Decks could have been special but it’s not trying hard enough. Instead, Lower Decks relies on fan service and Star Trek refrences to the point that you roll your eyes and say yeah sure.
Faze Ninja, man, you have some of the craziest whip lash posts I have ever seen on the internet…ever. You wrote a post yesterday, literally just yesterday, where you said this was the best show since TNG. And now you are saying, after just the third episode, this show is now not even worth watching anymore??
I responded to a post where you said this show is what you look forward to watching every Thursday and thought it was an odd thing to say since only one episode had literally aired (and another poster got on my case about). So do you now not feel that way anymore?
I’m certainly not trying to tell you how to post your thoughts (I use to have people here tell me how I should express my thoughts at times and fortunately they are all banned or just left the boards ;)) but MAYBE thinking in complete absolutes (and seems to be episode by episode) is why there is a lot of confusion and head scratching with some of the things you say, this post being the perfect example when you been outright praising the show as some of the best Star Trek ever, which is not even a month old. But now it’s not Star Trek enough?
You also said you thought the Pike show is already the best show since TOS and not a single frame has been shot. This is what I mean. Maybe its best to watch a few of ANYTHING first before making huge sweeping declarations. SNW can be a great show or it could be the worst thing ever made. Being fans we are all hoping for the former obviously.
As far as LDS, for me I’m really enjoying it and I really liked this episode although I agree with most its the weakest of the three. But most of us isn’t going to know how we feel completely until the first season is over (but if people already feel the show is just not for them that’s obviously fine too). I learned that watching both Discovery and Picard where I praised them in the beginning (season 2 with DIS) only to feel pretty disappointed by the end. But still think they were OK seasons overall, just nowhere near as great as they felt out of the gate.
In Faze Ninja’s defence opinions can change with retrospective. There was a time I was so desperate for Trek I watched TNG only to eventually grow up and recognize it as boring and nonsensical (adults playing holodeck?). Believe it or not I found it really hard to accept, even forcing myself to watch horrid episodes of Voyager and pretending it was good.
I like Lower Decks because it recognizes the TNG universe is pretty much comedy not to be taken serious. This might be hard for some fans to accept.
This happened was well to me with Into Darkness. It had Kirk, Spock. I came out the theatre going “that was ok” trying to like it.
Then my younger brother went “what? Poor Kahn just wanted his family back? Can can fire torpedoes at the Klingon home world from the neutral zone? You can beam across the universe. The big E lasts 20 seconds in combat, what is this TNG?” Then I had to face reality, despite a great cast, setting and characters the movie was terrible.
Yes but ‘retrospective’ implies longer than last week. ;)
Again its the EXTREMES I’m talking about. Its fine to like or hate any individual episode which we all do. But its another thing when you declare something the BEST Star Trek show last week and this week you don’t even consider it real Star Trek anymore. Maybe just maybe its best not to make big declarations about a show that’s not even a month old yet? People can still like or hate it, but after 50 years, 7 shows and 13 films we all know that its going to take a bit of time to know how we ultimately feel about a show. With something like this, we probably have to wait until the season is over (and that’s just ten episodes) to determine its a success or failure.
But I will stress again if you don’t like it now, that’s FINE, but that view can change later obviously as it has probably changed many times with these shows. But no one has to keep watching to determine that either, especially when paying for it.
And most fans have no issues with making fun of the 24th century, that’s not what the complaint is. Sadly, you’re trying to paint it that way of course but they just think this type of comedy is beneath Star Trek in general. I don’t personally because they aren’t trying to turn Star Trek into a parody just poke fun at its tropes, which fits into ANY era of the show man, seriously.
And I take the 24th universe very seriously as millions of others. But I also don’t treat Star Trek like its real life either. I think its funny you think the TOS era is more ‘realistic’ when it comes off just as silly and unrealistic to me as the TNG era. Transporters and traveling in hotel size space ships isn’t anymore realistic than holodecks are. It all falls into the same category. For me, most of what Star Trek does is mostly sci if hokum, but its well written, entertaining and thoughtful hokum at least and why I love it so much.
But ironically I like LDS because it feels more Star Trek than Discovery and Picard has for me. Just exploring and doing Starfleet stuff like diplomacy, scientific endeavors, etc is fun to see again. That and its the most in canon show since Enterprise IMO. But yes if you can’t accept the comedic aspects of it then it’s a problem for some.
We agree STID was bad but I didn’t hate it as much as others and ironically I watched that movie the most out of all the Kelvin films.
I left Into Darkness thinking “well, I am happy I got to see the Big E”. I remember smiling even at the scene with Kirk dying as a “tribute” to TWOK. It was the parking lot no less than 2 minutes later talking with my bro when I realized how truly tragic and horrid the movie was. I still find it devastating – waiting decades for Trek to be truly rebooted only for them to nonsensically crash it into San Francisco.
It was almost as horrifying as the moment I grew up an realized I had been trying to force myself to like the bland nonsense that was TNG. That took a decade I am sad to admit.
I’m glad you made through those perilous times.
I’m 47 and I play VR every chance I get. Don’t knock it.
And after Into Darkness… I nearly left the theatre before the credits rolled. And I killed a bottle of scotch when I got home. That movie messed me up emotionally. And Star Trek really hasn’t been the same since.
What’s wrong with adults playing in the holodeck? Please, explain this to me “commander.”
As a man in his 30’s I’d love to play on the holodeck.
Yep… in a universe of unknowns with resources at your finger tips we can not only just play games but watch other people play games… that is TNG for you (as most of TV is today).
I remember this one show where the message was take your time, explore reality, push boundaries, embrace challenges, solve problems, learn the unknowable, no time for games. It’s a different cup of tea than TNG but I highly recommend it.
I don’t think that answers my question bro, what is wrong with playing games on your off hours? You realize that Spock and Kirk played games too when off duty (3D chess)
This guy has been moaning about a show he’s watched every episode of 20 years ago. Don’t try to understand it.
Nothing wrong with it but I sure hope it isn’t the most exciting/important part of my day that forms the focus when I could be out exploring the galaxy or solving problems to better humanity.
Yeah sure but they’re relaxing/playing during their off duty time, they can’t just go do random exploring on their own, they go where the ship goes. However on that note they can explore new worlds(to them) through the holodeck.
And Tiger2 I know and I agree, I’m just trying to understand why this guy has such a problem with adults having fun while off duty, but unfortunately I don’t think I’ll get a solid response.
I actually think they are trying TOO hard to not offend hard core fans. They really need to ignore us and try to be as funny as they possibly can even if it means doing something us Trekkers would not think was very “star fleet”. I personally think they have done this already and they are still holding back. The jokes are very soft. I’d like to see a much harder edge in the humor. If a show is going to have a frantic pace like this one has, the jokes really have to land else the frantic nature of the characters really grates on the viewer. Many of these jokes haven’t landed.
I really enjoyed this episode, but I do agree with the review it was probably my least favorite out of the three. Some of it just didn’t make a lot of logical sense. For one thing why is Captain Freeman not concerned her ship has just been boarded by crazy loons but not telling everyone to fight these people off but expecting them to keep performing their tasks?? Yes its a comedy but it’s also just common sense.
And this didn’t REALLY bother me but I am confused why the Cerritos just couldn’t go to Vulcan to continue the peace talks? If they were involved with them on Cardassia wouldn’t they still be involved? Or I guess the Vulcans themselves would now lead it? But I laughed when they said the Cardassians were freaking everyone out. It’s been 25 years and finally someone just said it. ;)
But overall I really liked it and laughed a lot. I love the relationship they set up between Ransom and Mariner and its not just Freeman she has trouble with, but probably every senior officer lol. And Ransom is interesting. I thought he was going to be the type that was overly self confident and cocky but everyone else thought was actually an . And he’s only a first officer because his dad is the head of Starfleet or something. But he actually has a few layers.
Running head first trying to plead with the Galrakians was not exactly a great idea. But how he handled himself from that point on was great. And man he curb stomped Vindor on a level we haven’t seen in years lol. I haven’t seen an whoopin like that since whoever was the last person to get into a fight with Major Kira. And man I’m LOVING the Kirk fu!! It’s not just Mariner with those moves I see. Please keep that coming. That’s classic TOS in all its glory. It’s cheesy but still so fun to watch.
Oh and love that O’Brien is now the most important person in Starfleet history. I imagine he’s called ‘The O’Brien’ by then though. Would love for Burnham and the Discovery gang to get to the 32nd century just to see huge statures of him behind his transporter station on multiple Federation planets, Zefram Chocrane style. Let’s make this as official as possible ;D
Okay, not in the majority here – but this is what I was hoping for! I grew up on TOS, I was a latchkey kid and Kirk, Spock, McCoy and the Enterprise were my constant companions. And when my mom got home and we had to have dinner before the episode was over, I fretted about whether or not they’d get out alive. But hey, I was nine! Been a fan ever since, and like all fans enjoyed some versions of Trek more than others. I wasn’t sure what to expect from Lower Decks – but I cringe-watched the first 2 eps. It was painful viewing. The show felt like it was trying too hard. Trying too hard on crack.
This episode struck the right balance. The scrappy “wackiest ship in Starfleet” McHale’s Navy in space, call it what you will but if they keep this up I will keep watching!
This one was my favorite so far
I felt that this episodes was the strongest in characterization of both Boimler and Mariner so far… the first two episodes played them without much depth and here we kind of see both of them in a different light. Also, their interactions with the command crew were great.
This episode feels the most like Trek in terms of characterization and setup, but weakest on plot, which I think is why you get some people lauding this episode and others panning it.
At the end of the day, I can deal with dumb plots if I am entertained and care about the characters. In this respect I feel like it will succeed if they can be funny while also maintaining heart.
I found this one to be a bit of a regression. It was still funnier than the opener but the 2nd one still contained more laughs. 3 episodes in and Mariner is still irritating and as frantic as hell. And yes, Boimler is still way too much of a dweeb. There are only 10 episodes so there is not much time to allow these characters to learn things and grow a bit. 30% in and there has been zero growth.
The funniest jokes were in the open with the Klingons being annoyed with the bass. But the closure of the joke was not funny at all.
And the other really funny gag was the coda with Miles O’Brian being the most important person in Star Fleet history. The only way that could be funnier is if they opted for Harry Kim!
The rest of the episode was still rather pedestrian and the jokes are still very soft overall.
The review focused on things that I honestly either didn’t see or I didn’t think really mattered all that much. I mean, if one is going to complain about how the characters were supposed to be sharp but make mistakes then why didn’t they complain about the Homer Simpson level idiocy of Boimler last week? Among other things…
At any rate, this still in spite of how pedestrian it mostly is is STILL the best Trek Secret Hideout has ever been involved with.
I liked it. It made me smile.
One definitely gets the feeling that the writers are testing things out. There’s unevenness certainly, but the episodic format is more forgiving. And it’s on track to be better than TNG season one.
Still think this will be beloved.
I will admit, so far I really just laughed out once, I think, at the opening credits.
BUT as you say, I catch myself grinning most of the time, sometimes even cheering for a gag I found kinda smart.
Comedy is not all about keeping you “rofling”. I rather have a whole episode making me grinning from start to finish than an episode that makes me laugh out loud once and being left cold by the rest of it.
Some use the sentence “I did not laugh once” as the ultimate knock out.
If I want to laugh constantly for 10 minutes with nothing else of interest happening, I watch a fail compilation or some bs on YT XD
A valid point. However when someone says “I didn’t laugh once” and the program is supposed to induce laughs, I still think of that as a failure. It does not need to be wall to wall gags. But it does need at least a few gags to really work. I think this show is going more low key comedy yet the frantic pace telegraphs that it sorta wants to be a gag a minute kind of comedy. It seems like they want to be both but are intentionally holding back on the real edgy stuff that is more in line with the frantic tone they are setting.
On my first viewing, I didn’t like it. On the second viewing, I enjoyed it much more. Taking a day to breathe helps loosen me up, I guess.
Still totally onboard with the show.
This felt more like a TOS episode than a TNG one. Apart from Ransom saving the day by taking his shirt off, getting into a fight, and giving a speech, it also felt more like the TOS version of the Federation. TOs had a whole bunch of Federation members that the crew knew very little about, and who didn’t seem to share the democratic and non-violent ideals of the Federation.
I love the Kirk Fu action in this episode too lol! Agreed, it definitely felt a lot more like TOS but I think McMahan is really highlighting Trek all across the board; but this is the era he is most comfortable with and truly loves. But this show feels like a love letter to Star Trek in general and not just the TNG era thankfully.
You can never have enough Kirk Fu for sure!!!
Note to the editors: You got the credits wrong! This episode was written by Dave Ihlenfeld & David Wright and directed by Bob Suarez.
As for the episode itself, I agree it was a little over the top, and yet still somehow less of a farce than Star Trek Into Darkness! My favorite nod to TOS was actually the fight sequence between Ransom & Vindor. Just like Shatner, Ransom sure did lose his shirt awful fast! And the music had a great Amok Time feel to it, too!
You are correct. The article has been updated. Our review was based on an early version provided by CBS to reviewers, which has some elements which aren’t final. Apparently the credits were one of those unfinal things.
Perhaps CBS’ difficulty in figuring out *who actually wrote the damned thing* is indicative of the creative effort being put into it.
Hmm… interesting. Now I’m wondering if CBS made a mistake or if the final credits hadn’t been figured out until this week. I know that a lot of times WGA arbitration is required if there was a dispute about who wrote what. As showrunner, I’m sure Mike McMahan works on all the scripts. Perhaps he did a re-write of it that he thought was significant enough to warrant sole credit, but Ihlenfeld & Wright disagreed? If so, there’s probably a NDA involved, so I guess we’ll never know unless a tell-all book is written about the making of the show someday. I know from reading These Are the Voyages that Gene Roddenberry himself would often take credit for other writer’s work.
I had a lot of Fun with this episode. The show started to feel familiar and this is a good thing.
I just had one weird Moment: When Rutherfurt agrred on how good Buffertime is, I was suprised. In my mind he was a very hardworking guy. But overall I liked that a lot.
Ah. and one thing… they keep mentioning the enterprise and how work there is. I get it, the Enterprise is THE Ship, but it would be nice and richer, if they would mentioning some other ships and shows.
Don’t forget. Scotty was a hard worker too, and he probably INVENTED buffer time.
This has bothered me. He really didn’t. I saw it as more like a joke. “But you don’t have 8 weeks so I’ll do it in two.” There was nothing to suggest Scotty constantly added time to his estimates. It was obviously a bit of a joke and Scotty was smiling when he said it. Also, he revealed the ploy to his captain! Foolish if it was truly a real thing.
Then the writers of TNG grabbed on to that as if it were a real thing and suddenly Scotty on Relics was all about “buffer time”. It has always bugged me when someone picks up on some innocuous comment or action that really doesn’t mean anything overall and runs with it into some MAJOR Trek characteristic that must be included in all future incarnations. Like one line on Journey to Babel means that Tellerite society is based on arguing. I find that ridiculous.
Rutherford is also quite a laid-back guy I believe. But then there’s also a hardworking side to buffer time, as it’s actually a prudent management principle to include buffer time into estimates to account for unforseen developments, plus taking breaks helps preserve the strenght of the crew and work satisfaction
I’ve commonly padded my estimates to account for unforeseen delays and whatnot. From time to time I have told people that have needed stuff from me “It will be X hours/days if nothing interferes with it.” That estimate is the correct one. No one has ever had an issue with either.
That sounds like you did a great job!
I thought this episode was more entertaining than the last one. Overall I really enjoy the series so far. It is just fun!
I enjoyed it. I was entertained. The only thing that rubbed me the wrong way was Ransom stabbing Mariner if the foot. It was just not acceptable behavior from someone you expect to be a good guy.
I did like how she didn’t file charges for stabbing her, and then he filed charges for insubordination. :)
So I didn’t get the criticism for this episode at all.Is the reviewer trying to say that Star Trek shouldn’t be pure, unadulterated, turn off your brain fun anymore? Should it always contain some sort of message or philosophy even in its comedic forms? I think we need to relax a bit when analyzing this show and just enjoy it for the pure fun of it. I am really starting to believe that this modern generation forgot how to have fun.
I do think that there were messages/lessons in there about good management principles (don’t micromanage, show trust in the competence of subordinates); Starfleet values (even when pushed to a violent response always keep looking for the constructive solution).
It may be the way we are shown TNG values and management skills that will be different, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t present.
“As for the Gelrakians, there is simply no way a warlike, undemocratic, racist species like that would ever be invited into the Federation.”
on a planet of crystals? wanna bet there’s Dilithium there?
Ohhhh now I get it!
Maybe like TNG season 1, they should have been a bit more sledge hammer about this, named the Galrakian leader “Xuddum Hoo’Sein” and let one of the senior officers say: “He is a bastard, but he is our bastard”
And… like… Andorians? Maybe? Founding members? Been mentioned a few times? Racist against their own people, the Aenar? Calling people “pinkskins”? Paranoid as hell? Settle disagreements with death battles?
I think the Gelrakians will be fine.
Finally got around to this EP, verdict: GOLD
Loved it for many reasons, great character building keeps rolling here too :)
This was more of a Star Trek parody. Out of the three episodes, I enjoyed it the most. It had a Simpsons or Hitchhiker`s kind of vibe, a little bit absurd.
The facial animation was very good throughout the episode (with the exceptions of the aliens who were over the top).
I like how this episode was all about what my dad has christened the Scotty Principle (a.k.a. Buffer Time).
I liked how little Boimler was the cause of both desaster and then glory, and found himself outrageously misunderstood. And I’ll forgive them who send up corporate efficiency that it makes the captain look dumb.
For those who feel that problem solving by way of force isn’t Trek, pretending the whole episode is a nightmare running through Boimler’s (or Mariner’s…) head could work… I’ll pretend this for the “far future” part, because that really would be a strange addition to canon.
On another note: After this episode, I guess that Mariner is the real deal, showing off her scars. Which would make her kind of a wunderkind, having that much experience at her age. Now this is pure unfounded speculation, but do you suppose Mariner could feature in Star Trek: Prodigy, too, and have been part of that bunch of teenage rebels?
I still enjoyed it immensely, but it’s hard for people to draw the line between parody and real Star Trek. Some fans seem far too inflexible to enjoy anything but what they’ve already seen. I’m not taking this seriously and I’m getting a huge kick at how well the writers know the tropes of this universe. It’s incredibly fun to see such a detailed understanding of this franchise, I feel like I’m watching something created by people who watched the show right alongside me for the past 30 years. I will admit that making the Captain stupid and punitive is a hard one to swallow since Captains are always held up to high standards on Star Trek. I get why people don’t like that.
I, for one, am willing to give this show quite a bit of “wiggle room” for lack of a better word. Being a lighter tone than the more serious fare it is perfectly acceptable analyze this with a different level of scrutiny.
I loved it. I have never seen a series explaining “Buffer time” at all. Thinking about the purpose of letting humans some space in their agendas is important in our times as workers get more and more micromanaged. I also think a deeper look to “Not everyone is a Boimler” gets interesting. Why can he handle it so well? Is he a danger? Is he a true starfleet cadet, or the others? Does starfleet need both? Hasnt that anything to do with starfleet at all?
I also think this is comedy and because of its animated I am way more foregiving then in a real episode. I dont care much if the planet they picked is part of the federation and if it can be or not. I think that only matters for people who always think of the canon. I always pick my own “canon”. And all Star Trek transporting good values and asking good questions is in my canon. So this episode is too. The whole Picard series or Disco doesn`t give me something to think about in 10 episodes as Lower Decks does in this episodes.
Hi Wehmut, these are fun questions. Here are my guesses:
-Boimler has the motivation: gets off on being an achiever and fulfilling expectations (which is a self-esteem thing that can be dangerous in the long run both health-wise or command-wise), he wants to be noticed. Boimler is competitive and smug enough about his own achievements that he does not mind standing out as an overachiever, but actually enjoys it. Possibly he enjoyed it so much, because for the first time on this ship he found that he did better than say Mariner / everyone else. Possibly he enjoys exam-like situations because he knows that he performs well in those.
-Boimler has the ability: He (or his bosses if they set the required time) must be exceptionally good at estimating the required time of a task. He might also have cleverly picked tasks that suited him. He responds to time pressure by actually calming down, where it concerns tasks that he feels competent about and where there is low uncertainty. (Remember on the other hand last episode, where his self-esteem crumpled when faced with situations where his book-knowledge did not help and he found himself a fish out of the water.) On the other hand, in two stressful situations he demonstrated leadership qualitites (taking on the Ferengi, and pointing out a different way to the captain in this episode). This shows that, while being a rule-follower who admires and dreams of rising in rank, Boimler also possesses the ability of regarding facts as a greater authority than rank.
So all in all, yes I think Boimler is a great addition to starfleet due to his performance-orientation and ability to perform well with time pressure, though he will probably need to learn how to improvise and deal with uncertainty, and possibly need to develop the part of his self-esteem that is not performance-oriented. Even though he possibly wants to be the best, he fits in well with the team of ensigns.
So far the characters have been presented as being driven by different things, Tendi excitement & experiencing, Rutherford tech-love, Boimler success-driven, and Mariner probably adventure-driven. Also an interesting question what makes different people tick.
Loved one and two; felt three was mostly lame. And since O’Brien would struggle to crack my top fifty among Trek characters, that weird bit at the end did not land with me at all.
“And since O’Brien would struggle to crack my top fifty among Trek characters”
And that is what makes it a joke. But not every joke lands for everyone.
Mike McMahan said “it was a priority to never have somebody in Starfleet be stupid or dumb.” And yet the captain has now been established as dumb and stupid and dumb. Thus making the show a farce. Which could be OK, if it was funnier. But referencing past Star Trek or Death Race is not inherently hilarious.
But Boimler has been WAY dumber than the Captain. Boimler is off the charts dumb. Homer Simpson dumb. Phillip J Fry dumb. Which I wouldn’t have too much of a problem with but that causes me to question McMahan’s comment. I think producers would say it’s more naivety than dumbness. But that is not how he has been presented. He comes across as more dumb than naive.
For me this was the third enjoyable episode in a row! I really dig this show, although it’s tough to swallow as “canon.” There was gross negligence/incompetence throughout this episode, not to mention the Cerritos being a truly toxic workplace. For me as a viewer, it’s entertaining, but seems impractical for the universe it’s set in. I guess Starfleet has had some bad apples before (Captain Pressman killing his entire crew, for instance?) but to this degree is what sort of decanonizes the series in my mind.
BUT I still loved it and thought it had a lot of genuinely funny moments in it for once, like the One Week Later transition which made me lol in its execution, and the In the Far Future ending gag. Also Mariner is still so attractive to me, even though I thought her playing rock music at the beginning was a cringe way to start the episode. But her and the first officer in the brig – that was one of the most entertaining exchanges between Star Trek characters I’ve witnessed in a while. Well written, well drawn, well done! 👏