“No Small Parts”
Star Trek: Lower Decks Season 1, Episode 10 – Debuted Thursday, October 8, 2020
Written by Mike McMahan
Directed by Barry J. Kelly
The first season of this new kind of Star Trek show delivers on the promise of an animated comedy that is a worthy entry in the canon. “No Small Parts” brings big action, major character growth, huge surprises, and a lot of laughs along the way.
WARNING: Spoilers below!
We start with fun visit back to Beta III to find the residents no longer doing the whole Red Hour/Purge thing, but they have returned to worshipping the insane computer Landru, and Captain Freeman is not amused. This trip back to a planet from the TOS era (which Ransom slipps a note through the fourth wall to refer to as the “TOS era”… as in Those Old Scientists) is more than just a bit of nostalgia, but foreshadows what is to come for the rest of the episode and possibly even beyond. Freeman finds a flaw in Starfleet’s “some intervention” policy where they leave these once-visited “legacy civilizations” to go off the rails.
Cut to the Kalla System, which was last seen in the TNG era—if you can remember that sort of thing, which apparently the crew of the shiny new USS Solvang did not. Captain Dayton and the crew of the former USS Rubidoux from a few episodes ago were just minding their business scanning some plasma rings when they were attacked by a giant hodgepodge of a ship and literally torn apart, which is a shame as the Solvang still had that new starship smell. Oh, and everyone died. So yeah, strap in, because this episode is going to get intense.
The Cerritos answers the distress call (expecting it was just a mistake) only to find that giant ship “harvesting” the wreckage of the Solvang. Now Freeman and crew find themselves locked in a grapple with no way to call for help. Is this some new threat to Starfleet? Has some enemy come back to challenge the Federation? Well, sort of. Turns out it’s the Pakleds—yeah, the “we are smart” dimwits who kidnapped Geordi that time. And yeah, they are still dumb (they think every Federation ship is the Enterprise), but their little game of sending out fake distress calls to trick ships and steal their tech has worked like a charm during the decade-plus Starfleet has been ignoring them. Like moronic Borg scavengers, the Pakleds have cobbled together ships with some serious firepower from dozens of species, and they start to slice up the Cerritos “like a First Contact Day salmon.”
The stakes of this episode couldn’t get higher as Freeman’s comment “looks like they are not a joke anymore” has multiple meanings. With no options for escape, the captain turns to her criminally insubordinate daughter, ordering her to come up with a “half-baked solution that breaks Starfleet codes.” As the Pakleds start slowly—really slowly—boarding the ship, Mariner quickly gravitates to the Independence Day solution, and Rutherford has the key: Badgey. Oh yeah, it’s all coming together now.
As all of this is happening, Boimler is dealing with last episode’s big reveal. It turns out Brad is elated his best friend has a “Captain Mommy,” as that fits with his core desire to brownnose his way up the ranks. Unfortunately, as he explains this to her he ends up blabbing via an open com channel to the whole bridge crew. Needless to say, Beckett is not cool with it.
Now everyone wants a piece of Mariner; even the senior officers start kissing her insubordinate butt. All this unwanted attention leaves her with only one insane, radical solution. Mariner decides to do her job, by the book, including—gulp—finally rolling down her sleeves to Starfleet regulation uniform code. And to escape the attention, she starts angling for a promotion to the USS Sacramento, the same promotion Boimler’s after. Bradward doesn’t take Mariner’s transformation well. Not. At. All. Hilarious.
Not normal mode
As for Tendi, her enthusiasm meter goes one notch past “unbridled” as she bookends her season by becoming the liaison officer for a new special crewmember even rarer in Starfleet than a non-piratey Orion… an Exocomp. This episode’s exploration of Trek past’s repercussions keeps coming as this sentient floating robot life form first discovered in TNG has now apparently been woven into the fabric of the Federation. This new crewperson—delightfully voiced by Kether Donohue (You’re the Worst)—has even selected a mathematically perfect “normal” name… Peanut Hamper. Hmm, maybe Ensign Hamper needs to check her math. Tendi bonds with the clumsy robot right away, and beams with pride when Peanut surprises Dr. T’Ana with some impressive surgical assisting.
As for Rutherford, he spends most of his time struggling with some entertaining cybernetic glitches as he can’t seem to get back to “normal” mode. With everything going on, he has to face it down with his mind jumping from enthusiastic mode to sleepy, sassy, and beyond.
The storylines converge when Mariner’s virus-planting plan requires someone capable of internally storing the tech to go over to the Pakled ship, and Peanut Hamper—the obvious perfect choice—reveals her true nature: She’s kind of a jerk. Tendi takes a double punch as she watches the cutesy-turn-cowardly robot beam away only to see Rutherford volunteer as computer-virus-carrying tribute. D’Vana is convinced her best friend (and maybe more, it’s hard to tell with these two) is stuck in some kind of courageous mode. But no, this is the real Sam, and of course he is ready to help save the ship. That’s all Shaxs needs to hear as he loads the ensign on his back, bounds through Pakled-infested corridors to the shuttle the ensigns have been fixing all season, and literally blasts his way out of the ship. He is loving this!
Surprise surprise surprise
As the episode progresses past the halfway point, Lower Decks moves from comedy to catastrophe with more action than we have seen all season long. Ransom is going full Kirk Fu to repel boarders, an injured Freeman is put under the
ferociously feline gentle care of Dr. T’Ana, and Mariner finds herself in command of the ship. God help us all. Over on the Pakled ship, Shaxs is literally having the best day of his life as he mows down Pakleds protecting “baby bear” Rutherford. But to no one’s surprise, Badgey double-crosses his father, refusing to load the virus. However, the psychopathic AI helper was happy to set the Pakled ship to self-destruct, so the buff Bajoran seized on this moment to go out in a genuine blaze of glory, sacrificing himself to save Sam. That’s right, this animated comedy just killed off a main character. Bet you didn’t see that coming.
And Lower Decks doesn’t even give you a moment to ponder your own mortality as three more big bad Pakled ships show up and Captain Mariner has run out of crazy ideas short of abandoning ship. This all feels like the perfect cliffhanger moment, but “No Small Parts” has one more surprise up its sleeve: William F-ing Riker. Apparently, CBS is now required to Frakes up season finales as the USS Titan roars in on the theme to Star Trek: The Next Generation to save the day and scare off the Pakleds. And Marina Sirtis’ Troi is there too this time, masterfully lending some much-needed sarcastic wit to these serious events.
In standard Lower Decks fashion, we get an episode wrap-up cooldown in the Cerritos bar (after a somber funeral for Shaxs) as the ship gets returned to showroom condition. Of course, Riker is old friends with Freeman and Mariner. Troi is calling out Ransom’s macho over-compensation. And our four ensigns are together again, although Rutherford losing his implant has rebooted him back to episode one mode, so Tendi gets to become his best friend all over again!
Freeman and daughter Mariner have also come to a détente and even an alliance. The captain has a new private mission to deal with all these loose ends the Federation is ignoring, and her insubordinate offspring is the perfect ensign to help her do it under the subspace radar. Beckett and Brad also appear to have achieved a new friendship level after facing everything they have together. Unfortunately, this camaraderie doesn’t last as there is one last surprise in store.
Brad finally gets his ultimate dream. Ransom recommends him for promotion and transfer to the Titan. We leave it there, with a confident Lt. Brad jazzily warping off with Riker and crew and Mariner left stewing alone in her Cerritos hallway bunk. To be continued…
The Next Next Generation
“No Small Parts” moved Star Trek: Lower Decks into a whole new level. The previous episode (“Crisis Point”) parodied Star Trek movies; this episode delivered a Star Trek movie… and a pretty good one at that. All the right elements were there from the action, character moments, high stakes, a strong theme, surprises, and of course, lots of explosions. With many of the gags front-loaded, as the episode progressed this season finale felt more and more like a top-notch entry from the Next Gen era of Star Trek that inspired this animated comedy.
Even with all the nods to the past, “No Small Parts” was not a mere exercise in nostalgia, but a unique take on Star Trek. Writer and show creator Mike McMahan was even taking the franchise he loves to task, asking some tough questions about how the vaunted ideals of the Federation and Starfleet may have some unintended consequences. And while bringing in the Troi-Rikers as ringers was a guaranteed crowd-pleaser, this finale was also willing to again take risks. Killing off a major character wasn’t something expected of Trek’s first official comedy, although perhaps we should have expected to lose the Bajoran security officer in the first season of a show developed by a man obsessed with TNG.
Having Jonathan Frakes and Marina Sirtis reprise their roles from TNG was a wonderful surprise, as was finally seeing the USS Titan in action. Hearing Frakes’ patented “Red Alert!” never gets old, but this version of Riker did feel a bit more casual than the more serious officer that left the USS Enterprise-E just a year earlier. Perhaps marriage and his own command have loosed him up, but it felt like Jonathan Frakes was injected a bit more of himself into his Riker. There was also a bit more Marina in Troi as well, but it all worked.
If there is a quibble with “No Small Parts,” it comes as it takes on the trappings of a solid action-packed Star Trek finale, leaving much of the humor expected of an animated comedy in the back seat. But there are still plenty of laughs and even though there is a lot of winking to Trek, it still works organically, including Ransom’s meta-joke about the “TOS era.”
Playing the long game
Star Trek: Lower Decks has generally stuck to the episode format of Star Trek: The Next Generation and this episode could probably be enjoyed on its own. But it truly pays off in context of the whole season. All of the character dynamics at play deliver key moments for the arcs that have been building all season, especially for our four ensigns, but also for Captain Freeman. And in a way Shaxs as well, who finally got that ultimate fight he has been craving, albeit his last.
Peppered throughout the episode were callbacks to the previous nine entries of season one. These ranged from the more obvious like the return of Captain Dayton and the crew of the Ribudoux to the subtle like Mariner’s hidden contraband from episode one, or Brad talking up the Andorian bar on Tulgana IV from episode two. McMahan and company aren’t requiring us to watch every episode, but regular viewers are being rewarded for their loyalty.
And going even deeper, we can see how moments in the finale were foreshadowed, like Brad’s dream of being assigned to the USS Titan.
What a season
The bottom line is “No Small Parts” was the cherry on top of a delicious first season for this new kind of Star Trek show. It could be argued it is the strongest first season of any Trek series since the first season of Star Trek: The Original Series in 1966. Of course, it’s not perfect. There are times Lower Decks got a bit too dark, a bit too meta, or even a bit too reliant on references for the humor. But this is all outweighed by the strength of bringing us a new Star Trek family we have grown to love, a ship with its own fun personality, and a different take on the franchise that is more than welcome.
Work on the second season has already begun and hopefully, we won’t have too long to wait to see how Mariner, Boimler and everyone else get back together to have more fun adventures in the 24th century.
Today we learned
- Mariner doesn’t eat after 7 pm.
- USS Solvang (NCC-12101) was another California-class ship and third seen destroyed this season.
- USS Sacramento is presumably another California class.
- USS Cerritos holds an annual Captain Freeman day.
- The shuttle the ensigns have been working on all season is named S0equoia.
- Cerritos has a crewmember (Lt. Steven Levy) who is a conspiracy theorist.
- Seen for the first time in canon, the USS Titan has the same design and registry (NCC-80102) used in the Trek extended universe.
- The Titan has a Saurian first officer.
- The Titan crew wears Starfleet uniforms introduced in Star Trek: First Contact.
- Riker considers Freeman his cha’DIch (and himself her mentor) and reveals they used to “get in so much trouble.”
- Riker and Troi have multiple horga’hns.
- Rutherford’s implant has the following modes (in addition to normal):
- Extremely optimistic
- Holiday spirit
- Hot Take
- “Don’t make me paradox you into destroying yourself.”
- “Who wants crayons? Here you go kid, way better than the Red Hour.”
- “Changelings aren’t real! The Dominion War didn’t happen!”
- “I would love to snag that Bajoran beefsteak with my coital hooks.”
- “Kind of stuck between a rock and a kiss-ass place, aren’t you sir.”
- “Setting my fists to stun and my kicks to kill.”
- “A Pakled party and I wasn’t invited?”
- “I hate it when a ship gets repaired and comes out looking all Sovereign-class.”
- “Sooner or later I am going to run into you and I’m going to feed you to an Armus.”
More to come
Every Friday the new TrekMovie.com All Access Star Trek Podcast covers the latest news in the Star Trek Universe. The podcast is available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Pocket Casts, Stitcher and is part of the TrekMovie Podcast Network. And on Saturday we will post our weekly analysis of Easter eggs and references for this episode.
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.
wow, what an Episode.
So, more U.S.S. SPOILER and Captain SPOILER and Commander SPOILER in the 2. Season?
Mike confirmed that during the NYCC panel. He didn’t say how many episodes, but yes. More SPOILER.
Fantastic season that just got better and better in every way. Season finale was really great and goosebump inducing.
Work still needs to be done on Mariner.. She’s annoying, able to do anything and now giving orders to the captain and 1sdt officer.. Sound familiar? Tone her down please.
Please make season 2 substantially longer!
“Please make season 2 substantially longer!”
I went into this season wishing this season was longer. Now I think 10 episodes was too many. It should have only been three episodes. Only eps 1, 2 and 10 were worth anything. Yes, I know, there were a few payoffs from previous episodes but the final episode would have still worked without it.
AWESOME episode I knew they would figure out the formula of good trek just like all the series previous just takes them a minute to get past all the prolog and into human adventure lol. Cant wait for the next season!
A quibble that reflects seriously sloppy work at the production end:
As we know, Titan arrives with the TNG theme, obviously originally the TMP theme… Yet somehow they manage not to cite Jerry Goldsmith in the end credits.
Heck, they had to cite both that and Jay Chattaway’s number from ‘the Inner Light’ in the end credits of ST:P — so how do they miss it here? After all, they’re classy enough to cite Alexander Courage…
Is that too problematic for you?
What a bizarre reply.
For me, it’s about the standards they have set. What i most appreciate about the show is its respect — its respect the viewers, and also its respect for the Trek ancestry. The humor isn’t always for me, but clearly they’re not just goofing around like a bunch of high schoolers.
Part of that respect is articulated by troubling to reference Courage in the credits — even though they don’t ‘need’ to do so. Earlier references, this season, to ‘legacy’ Trek music (Fried’s ‘Amok Time’, Jones’ ‘Best of Both Worlds’, and Horner’s film scores some to mind) are momentary and not quite direct quotations.
Look, i’m a musician, not an attorney. But they end up having to cram all sorts of things into the credits nowadays. This seems like it ought obviously end up there too.
PS – A bit of a sidetrack… Chattaway appears in the ST:P credits, for instance, because, in the main title, Russo has the strings playing nearly the same melody as one of the short flute numbers in ‘the Inner Light’ (this is cited as ‘Lullaby #2’ in the ST:P end credits). This is either a quotation/adaptation, or just a happy accident (— or a mix of the two; composing music is a funny process).
At the risk of provoking some controversy, there’s an argument to be made for co-crediting Jay Chattaway with the ST:P theme; after all, the ‘Lullaby #2’ melody takes up fully half of the opening title sequence! (TNG’s main title, which obviously pastes together elements from both Courage and Goldsmith, co-credits both.)
That relates to my initial quibble pretty simply: surely they can spare the text-space, somewhere in the end credits, to drop in Goldsmith at the end of this episode! They do everything else with such care, after all.
I’m not sure that they adequately credit the TAS theme either.
It’s definitely worked into the main title theme.
I agree in that I did see respect all over the show. And that is nice. But it seems like they respected the universe so much that they couldn’t make it funny. Just making a reference to a TAS alien or some obscure TNG episode is cute, but not funny.
But I will say that respect seemed to end when it came to the characters. All those characters appear destined to become Trek Badmirals in the future.
It sounds like they actually used an existing recording of the TNG theme instead of the composer incorporating TNG elements into his composition and recording it with musicians specifically for Lower Decks. So this would be almost like them using a recording of a pop song. Could be that this means different rules apply for crediting it.
That was fun plus Riker and Troi are a sweet couple.
I love the callbacks to The Next Generation especially the USS Titan showing up. That is so cool.
Lower Decks season one was mostly enjoyable. A few ups and downs here and there but yeah it blew me away.
I howled with laughter when the Spock Space Helmet toy appeared as part of the contraband falling from the ceiling. Blink and you’ll miss it.
I saw that! I have to go back and see what else they had.
Ha! The spiked ball thing from “Code of Honor.” I wonder if that was deliberate…
And lots more. Including a tribble, of course.
Hey, that Tribble is for personal use!
They had a specific thing from a specific episode that had to be written and drawn, and you wonder if it was deliberate???
I meant did they include it because of all the discussion about thd episode lately.
Probably just coincidental, given the turnaround on animation.
Yeah, you’re probably right.
I saw Sulu’s fencing sword.
And Boimler got to use the sword as his weapon.
Who knew he had fencing skills?
Oh, man. That’s brilliant. Good eye, MJY!
Good stuff. A bit stupid as always, but overall really fun.
I loved that the picture of Kirk and Spock was TAS.
LOL that was great!
Yes… That was a nice touch. For all the shows problems I still got a bit of a charge whenever they dropped a TAS reference.
Nice tip. Does this would mean TAS is now canon?
Yes I think CBS has officially made the Animated series canon. Discovery used Spock’s mother reading him Alice in Wonderland that was mentioned in TAS. Helps with them having holograms since the TAS Enterprise had a version of the holodeck.
Seemed like Riker had WAY too much coffee for breakfast.
They talked about it in the Comic Con panel that Frakes was allowed to infuse more of his own (much more lively) personality into Riker.
“It could be argued it is the strongest first season of any Trek series since the first season of Star Trek: The Original Series in 1966.”
Since Deep Space Nine exists.. no. But it is damn close. This season has been amazing.
Some rose-colored glasses there! DS9 had the same problem as Voyager and Enterprise pre-season 3, that is was meandering with mediocre plots and guest stars (remember that awful ALLAMARAINE episode?) with only the occasional highlight, and didn’t quite know what it wanted to be. Then came the Defiant and the Dominion, and the rest, as they say, is history!
And don’t forget Rumpelstiltskin. There were some good episodes in DD9’s season 1, like Duet, but the season did have a lot of problems.
Agreed. Season 3 was were DS9 become good. Season 5- 7 were it become great.
I don’t know… Voyager got off to a decent start. Not good but certainly better than this. And Enterprise’s first season was a billion times better than this. And I’d have to say that TNG’s and DS9’s were at least on par with this show’s first season. If not a tad better. It was only better than Discovery and Picard.
I am a strong supporter of DS9, but their first season was pretty rough.
But I do think that this was by far the best season finale of any Star Trek in about 20 years!
I’ve missed a few episodes. Need to get caught up.
Seems a shame it’ll be a while to see season two.
I missed the whole season :D Now this is the one I REALLY want to see!
IMHO, this show was not something to go out of your way to see. If it is available somewhere and you happen to have a chance to see it, maybe take a look. But it is not worth buying CBSAA for. Not even close. Unless one is a Trek nerd like me and will pretty much watch any Trek that comes down the pipe no matter how bad.
ML31, did you really need to intervene on every single positive comment chain to say how much this show isn’t to your taste?
You’re generally a reasonably balanced poster, but your passionate dislike and disappointment for this show is more than a bit over the top at this point.
“But it is not worth buying CBSAA for. Not even close.”
Fortunately that conundrum does not even present itself to me :P
This is the first episode I thoroughly enjoyed. I liked em all so far but this was my favourite.
Riker’s comment to Enterprise’s series finale and their theme song was priceless!
This episode was soooooo great! I was so giddy watching the Titan show up saving the day with Riker and Deanna leading the charge. I was literally humming along with the TNG theme song lol. And clearly they will be back next season now that Boimler is on the Titan. And I’m glad someone listened to me to have Riker appear on EVERY spin off show lol! Obviously Sirtis is no slouch either since she’s appeared on pretty much every spin off show too, just minus DS9.
But overall, this was another GREAT episode to frankly a great season. Had so many great moments. Returning to Beta III was so much fun! Seeing the picture of Kirk and Spock was a geek moment. And bringing the Peklads, perfect villains to bring back! But overall, I can not believe how well they pulled this show off. It not only brought me back to the 24th century but also to the style of Star Trek we haven’t really seen since Voyager. It just feels…nice. It’s animated, it’s a comedy and yet it gets the Star Trek universe SO right, in many ways better than the new live action shows did. At least so far. And making it canon was definitely the right thing to do.
It’s still not perfect though as the article said, some things can be tweaked and as much as I love Mariner they can probably tone her down a bit. But this show is truly a love letter to hardcore Trek fans who can just sit back and have a little fun while completely being immersed in this fantastic universe again.
Spot on and very well said! I concur 1000%!
I agree with you Tiger2 also.
Fantastic finale. It’s reconciled me to the season being over…sort of.
I wish the rest of.the first season was more like this episode. It felt like they grew our universe more meaningfully in this episode rather than making constant references.
More importantly, they actually had a laugh or two rather than just a clever bit or two. This is supposed to be a comedy, you know. But yeah, episodes 3-9 were worthless. Just do 1, 2 and 10.
Well, they still made tons of references though, but yeah.
Brad Boimler got what he wanted throughout the 1st season – a promotion to Lieutenant Junior Grade, just not in the USS Cerritos now with Mariner and her mother getting along better. I don’t see Boimler getting demoted as it would defeat his whole 1st season arc. I can see him recurring at best. It’s possible we may see someone replacing Boimler in the USS Cerritos for Mariner to mentor.
Or Boiler will be back in Season Two as a starring character, back on Cerritos.
I’d honestly rather follow Boimler on the Titan. I honestly have no interest in Mariner and her mom. Never did from the beginning. It was something they never should have done.
Oh yeah… I just smiled that a ship was called the Solvang. Wonder how many people are aware of that little tourist town on the north side of the Santa Ynez mountains?
Guess I’m the only one who got a kick out of the fact that of all the cities in CA they can use they opt for Solvang of all places.
This episode even had a TAS Kirk and Spock cameo.
I had zero expectations for Lower Decks and ended up really loving it.
That was probably the better way to go into it. I had… Not HIGH expectations but I had just above moderate expectations. And was severely disappointed.
I loved this season so much. Worry about how it would all work quickly faded as I saw the actors and writers zero in on a great formula. The season finale was amazing. I also Tweeted to Mike McMahan that a soundtrack release from this season is a must.
Is it weird that I teared up when the Titan popped in? It’s not, right? Cause I did.
Would have been a good place for Riker to use the same line he did in All Good Things when he showed up in the future. Or have Worf on the Enterprise. Oh well. There’s always next season.
Good season, good episode. Best Trek first season ever! Keep at it
All I can say is that I LOVE this show like I haven’t loved a Star Trek show since TNG/DS9/VOY. I get so much geeky joy out of every minute of it and every episode is a jewel I can re-watch over and over again. This far exceeded all my expectations, I wasn’t even anticipating this show at all, and it turns out this is the show I wanted to see most of all! Thanks a Million to everybody who made this so brilliant and fun.
Agreed with everything you said. It’s coming back to old Trek that the new shows miss the mark on (although I thought Picard did it it a little better). I think having lower expectations worked great for a show like this too and why so many seem to genuinely love it…I doubt many thought they would. I didn’t.
The show is almost paradoxical, on the surface it’s exaggerated and distorted to the point uptight fans recoil in horror, but it takes advantage of the format to revel in the Star Trek universe while inhabiting it with incredible and instantly iconic characters. We could never get a live action Star Trek show this obsessed and aware of its own detailed history. The show is written with the inner voice of fans and it’s just incredible it got made, especially as a TNG+ fan. I want more so badly!
I honestly thought I would like it. I was SOOO looking forward to this show. And that was probably a mistake. Major disappointment. I was expecting the humor to work far more often than it did. Oh well… Secret Hideout is now 0 for 4. Two strikeouts, a pop up to the infield and a shallow fly ball. Not a good start. Wonder how the 5th AB will go….
This was the best Trek episode in a long time! Best episode of the season and arguably better than most if not all episodes of Picard, although it had some great scenes. I wish the series started out this way. Loved the connections to TAS and TOS and definitely Titan, Riker, and Troi. They should have added one more line in there for Riker to fix that last episode of Enterprise. The balance of comedy to everything else is improving, dare I say more like the Orville.
“This was the best Trek episode in a long time!”
Yes… Probably the best episode since Lethe. But this one episode was just not enough to save the show.
I WISH this show had the laughs The Orville had. Even their 2nd season, when they all but dropped the comedy completely, had more good laughs in it than this season.
Agreed. If they can tone down the humor to Orville season 2 level and write some serious Trek it would be 100x better. One good episode out of 10 won’t do it for me. Star Trek Picard was like the first half of a time travel episode showing why they need to go back and fix the last 20 years, except that didn’t happen. It was disappointing. Riker and Troi are what saved this season finale. They were part of what was good about ST: P, but I wish they had more of a Starfleet career first – you know retired Admiral Riker vs. Captain, although he was first officer for so long maybe he would resist the advancement. The Romulan backstory was good except the distrust of androids requires a little leap of faith and avoiding canon. Maybe not much, but some.
I don’t think we are on the same page here. I don’t want humor toned down. I want it to HAVE some! This show is supposed to be a comedy yet there were very few laughs. The Rikers didn’t save this final episode. I found them to be a distraction. What saved the episode was that it has clever bits that were entertaining and it actually contained a few actual laughs. Not so hilarious that the show needed to be paused. But some.
I’m fine with some realistic actual humor. They have tried too hard in most episodes especially early on. It just doesn’t work, to me most episodes have not been funny. I thought using the Pakleds and calling every ship Enterprise was humorous. There were some other bits. I did like seeing Riker & Troi, so I’d agree we differ there. It’s probably time though to bring in Geordi, Worf, or Wesley though. Let’s see what happened to them. I do think the characters are starting to develop better vs. just being a method of delivering poor jokes.
OK. But from my perspective I honestly don’t really care where the humor came from. As long as it had some. The entire season was pretty devoid of jokes unless one considers fan service jokes. I just got the impression this show is aimed squarely at long time Trek fans and no one else. Nearly every “joke” was essentially some sort of fan service. And it was littered wall to wall with it. I enjoy some nice fan service as much as the next guy but this was just too much. And while some were clever almost none of them were funny.
At any rate, I figured many would enjoy seeing the animated Rikers. And I get that. It just didn’t do anything for me. Partly because I have no real affinity for any TNG characters beyond perhaps Worf. But I didn’t find their inclusion to be amusing. It was merely an extension of a joke they already made in the 2nd episode. It was kinda OK back then. But merely a rerun 8 episodes later.
A few weeks back I made a post on how i was undecided on if I liked LDS and was displeased with what I had seen so far. Well, now I’m here to post that I’m glad I stuck with it. I really enjoyed this episode and the rest of the season as a whole.
Yeah… This season finale was decent but it doesn’t make up for the rest of the season. It was a wasted opportunity.
It wasn’t OFFENSIVE like most of Picard and Discovery though, was it？ Lower Standards, I know ;)
No not offensive.
There are some dark points, but the show moves quickly and is animated.
One of our kids who refuses to watch Picard after Stardust City Rag (eyeball extraction torture) gave Lower Decks a try and has now caught up and watched every episode up to the finale (which they’ll see today).
Offensiveness is relative. From what I recall (and I don’t recall some things from this series as much of it was forgettable) the only things that I think some might find offensive was Boimler getting sliced by the batleth in ep 1 and T’ana’s bleeped out mouth. And that time she used a homosexual slur that got bleeped out. It was bleeped but I was far more stunned it was used more so than the word itself. Words don’t bother me.
When I watched the pilot I had no hopes for the show, but watched out of grudging respect for Trek. And would up getting weepy when Shaxs joined the Prophets. Well played, McMahan and company. I still don’t laugh at every joke, but I guess I don’t need to – I guess I come for the stories. not the humor. Though I laughed like an idiot when Riker quoted “Faith of the Heart” (or whatever the hell they renamed it). Not bad for a show I expected to basically be Star Trek: Family Guy when I heard it announced. Looking forward to season 2.
That “Faith of the Heart” joke was kinda clever but just cause a groan on my end.
Man… I WISH it was Family Guy. At least it would have been funny. (Early FG, not recent FG)
Why do you call it a Spoiler-Free Review and then reveal, not only that a major character was killed off, but exactly who it was. Maybe pay attention instead of copy and paste. Remove that “Spoiler-Free Review” heading when it has never been.
Er, the spoiler-free part of the review was this:
“The first season of this new kind of Star Trek show delivers on the promise of an animated comedy that is a worthy entry in the canon. “No Small Parts” brings big action, major character growth, huge surprises, and a lot of laughs along the way.”
Then, you actually have to click to read more.
Then it says “Warning: Spoilers below.”
Loved this episode. Like “Crisis Point” I definitely have to watch again to see what I missed!
The early part of this season was very uneven, but I stuck with it and the last three (Veritas, Crisis Point and No Small Parts) were excellent.
Did I miss something else? What does “No Small Parts” refer to here?
OK. This was EASILY the best episode of the series. It actually had a few laughs in it. Nothing that requires pausing, of course. But yes, the Landru stuff, I’m forced to admit, was a good one. Normally I’m not huge of over doing the fan service but I guess if you throw enough darts at the dartboard one will hit within a couple circles of the bullseye.
Too bad we had to sit through 7 sub par episodes to get to this. This should have been episode three. And continue from here.
I haven’t read the comments yet but I’m guessing a lot of people were loving the Titan and Riker and Troi appearance. This did little for me. In fact, Frakes sounded like he was trying really hard to be light and comedic. It didn’t work. He did admit he’s not a very good actor. Well, he’s not a good voice actor either.
Let’s hope Rutherford loses the implants. Was never a fan of them and they were never the source of any good comedy either.
So the season ends with a decent, not great episode. Sadly, I mentioned last week that even a bang up finale will not save the show. Overall it’s still a major disappointment. I know they are getting another season but if the show never came back I honestly would not miss it. That is how badly it missed the mark. I wish they would try comedy again with a different set of writers and producers. Perhaps save for McMahon. Was this the only episode McMahon himself wrote? Because this was the best one. Maybe he should write all of them? Or is that too much to ask?
They can take their time putting the next season together. Maybe it will be better if they do….
I wonder how many times it’s been that you’ve told us the shows been a major disappointment? Seems like too much. Maybe skip season 2.
ML31 might do well to listen to the Star Trek Pod Directive podcast interview with Mike McMahan.
McMahan explains clearly why a Trek animated comedy can’t be like Rick and Morty. It intrinsically cannot, so there is no point comparing it to that or holding on to unreasonable expectations.
By the way, McMahan says that Rick and Morty is easier to write for because the characters aren’t expected to be smart and competent.
That makes no sense. What he’s saying is then is that the show can’t be funny. If that is the case then why even make the attempt at comedy? My expectations was only that it be funny. Being like something else didn’t matter. The bottom line for a comedy is “did I laugh?” No. At least not nearly enough for a show that was TRYING to make me laugh. Honestly, I’ve laughed more in shows that were dramas that threw in a comedic moment here and there. Was I entertained? In that sense the show was about as good as Picard I’d guess.
That final comment is odd because I sure didn’t find Boimler to be competent. Not in the slightest. In fact, none of the main characters seemed particularly smart or competent. In fact, the most competent people in the cast seemed to be Shrax and the 1st officer (can’t even remember his name which is telling) So if what he said was true then he did not succeed. Rick from Rick and Morty is more competent that most people on LDX.
Just looked it up. McMahon himself only wrote the first and final episodes. Or at least he was the sole credit there. So he was involved the most in two of the show’s better episodes. I think he needs to write more shows himself or get better help.
It cannot be said enough that this show was a disappointment. Sure, it could be that I was looking forward to this show the most so the lower quality bothers me more so than the others.
I think you’ve amply demonstrated that it CAN, in fact, be said enough. We get it: you don’t like the show. That horse is now a pile of hamburger.
I disagree. It cannot be said enough. It must continue to be said so often and loud enough that the writers for the next season learn that there needs to be some comedy in a comedy.
You do realize that you seem to be almost the only one who’s complaining that there is no comedy in this show? The vast majority of people here seem to find it funny. So maybe the problem isn’t the show, it’s that your expectations for the show simply mismatch what the creators set out to do. The show may have been a disappointment to you but it seems to have exceeded expectations for most other people.
I cannot speak for others but just because a few people on a message board felt that fan service jokes were funny doesn’t mean they were. In fact, it seemed very much to me this show was aimed squarely at long time fans assuming that most would be thrilled every time some obscure alien or episode was mentioned. Based on this board they seemed to have succeeded.
And yeah… I guess my expectations that a comedy be, you know… Funny… Were just too far out of line.
I honestly had a gaping smile on my face when the Titan showed up and then clapped my hands uncontrollably when Riker and Troi appeared. Such an awesome episode. May Shax forever walk with the Prophets.
“Mr Frakes, this is an intervention. You just can’t keep showing up in other peoples’ season finales. At some point, it’s just going to become an expected recurring joke, like Ray Gillette getting paralysed, or Jazz getting thrown out of the house.”
LOL, is this 3 now? TNG of course, ST: P s1, STLD s1. I had to listen to him again, I think this was rushed and could have used more takes. I wasn’t sure it was Frakes as Riker or someone else for a couple of the lines. If they were going to mention Archer’s ship on the holodeck, they should have followed it up with he’s going to watch what Trip does next and fixed that last episode.
Watching for the 3rd time now. I think I was just too excited to see Riker the 1st time that I was in disbelief that it was really him. Frakes kept this quiet. This was awesome!
Actually I understand. I knew it had to be Riker but the animated image wasn’t all that close to him and the voice sounded…. Off. So I wasn’t the only one who noticed.
There are some lines that are delivered a little fast and not as deep of a voice as usual, it does throw the performance a bit when the image is animated.
I enjoyed every episode and especially the finale. IMO, LDS is the best of the CBS-AA Trek shows, although the others have their moments. LDS handles and develops characters better than the others, I think.
That was amazing!
I didn’t think I was going to like LDS but I really enjoyed it.
So much fun – I’ve not enjoyed a Star Trek series this much in a long time!
And the way those familiar characters appeared this time was so awesome it totally makes up for the last (slightly rubbish) time they appeared.
I can’t wait for season 2 of LDS!
Now, can we please have model kits of the USS Cerritos as well as action figures like the old days? Everyone. Gets. An. Action. Figure.
I enjoyed this episode until Riker and Troi showed up. They ruined the ending of Enterprise and I hope they didn’t do the same to LDS. The “humor” in referencing Archer and the holodeck wasn’t funny at all, in fact it was “appalling”! I really hope they planted this in the episode to support a better conclusion to the Enterprise series, otherwise I am really disappointed with this episode and I hope it won’t ruin LDS’s future!
I enjoyed seeing them in the ENT finale until the story of that episode got going. Once I got over the nostalgia of seeing Riker and Troi I’m TNG garb again I was disappointed with how TATV turned out.
I was even more disappointed with their treatment in PIC, especially “acting ensign Riker” on that bland uninteresting ship. I chuckled when Mariner said “you used to be sharp” to Riker in this episode because that’s what I thought when Riker turned up on PIC!
But overall, despite very low expectations, LDS has won me over and I loved the way Riker and Troi (and the Titan!) were handled in this episode. Granted, the humour is not to everyone’s tastes but I do enjoy most of the jokes in this show.
As for the future, I think I’d prefer it if they wrap up Boimler’s time on the Titan quickly so he can come back to the Cerritos as a lieutenant – maybe he can become Mariner’s role model then…! I wouldn’t want them to get bogged down with legacy characters – the crew of the Cerritos is interesting enough, we don’t need constant cameos from the TNG cast imho. I’m excited to see what happens with this crew in season 2 – Ransom best grow out that stubble to a full on beard!!!
“Give me warp in the factor of five, six, seven, eight.” HILARIOUS “Oh, the jazz.”
CBS should now be looking into a TITAN-based animated series.
The production of this show is a bit of a mess at times. The latest sloppy inclusion is the location text in the bottom left corner. Why start it two thirds into the first season? Did they only think about doing it too late to include earlier? Why write Beta III when literally 4 seconds later Ransom says in his log they’re in orbit there. Same thing with them writing “USS Solvang” in the corner about 2 seconds after the close up of the hull tells us what the ship is.
Why would Shaxs rip off Rutherford’s cybernetic implant? His sacrifice was pointless because 5 seconds later 3 more ships show up, so that was all pretty meaningless.
The Titan showing up was cool but as with 90% of this show, it was just another reference to past Trek and relies on nostalgia. It’s all getting a bit ridiculous.