The second season of Star Trek: Lower Decks came to a conclusion last week. Following the season finale, showrunner Mike McMahan did a few interviews and he dropped a few hints about what’s next for the animated comedy. We have cultivated some of the highlights, so SPOILERS ahead.
Tying up the Klingon/Pakled conspiracy
Speaking to io9 Mike McMahan explained why he chose to end season two with a classic “To be continued…” cliffhanger.
Well, “wej Duj” didn’t end. The Klingons leave and they’ve got a new boss, right? There’s obviously things that aren’t quite finished with that story which do get addressed in season three. So, I knew I wanted that. Also, we’re always trying to find these themes of finality, but also the story’s not over. So, so much stuff is wrapped up that, it really just felt like that story’s not over—and I don’t want people to wait until next season to know the story’s not over? So, the promise of the stuff they’re going to be seeing in season three is why the end on this.
The showrunner also revealed to Syfy there isn’t more to the Klingon/Pakled conspiracy revealed in the penultimate episode:
The events of all the Pakled/Klingon stuff, the reason the Pakleds have Klingon disruptors, that does culminate in what has happened to Captain Freeman and is continued into the next season… But there is not a “villain in a villain” here. It’s really Pakleds, Pakleds being manipulated by one Klingon, and then them getting bigger and stronger than you could believe they could.
This will include a return to Pakled Planet:
We get to see a little bit more about the Pakled homeworld and how Freeman is embroiled in the detonation and destruction of it.
Rutherford’s backstory revealed
The season two finale added a whole new mystery about Rutherford’s cybernetic implant, and Mike spoke to ScreenRant about where that is going:
There’s an episode in season 3 that answers a lot of questions about the implant. A lot of things that Rutherford thought he knew that weren’t right. There’s a lot of stuff that ties together. Like, you see the implant malfunctioning a lot in the first and second season. There’s something about the implant that hasn’t been discovered yet.
And remember, this is Rutherford’s second implant. He lost his first one at the end of the first season. So it’s not only part of the implant story but it’s about Rutherford himself and why he needed the implant. Because nobody else has those. There’s a reason [Rutherford has it.] It’s a little of my Julian Bashir, kind of, backstory. Not one-for-one but that’s kinda what got me excited [about Rutherford’s backstory].
The episode “wej Duj” introduced two new characters: the Klingon Ma’ah, and the Vulcan T’Lyn, who was reassigned to Starfleet at the end of the episode. McMahan talked to ScreenRant about her future:
You will see T’Lyn again, but her story does not take her to the Cerritos any time soon.
Mariner and Jennifer dating
The season finale saw Mariner and Jennifer the Andorian finally bury the hatchet and begin to form a friendship. Speaking to io9 McMahan revealed there is more to come between the two:
In the third season, [Mariner] and Jennifer are seeing each other and there are stories we tell about that. What I would say is it’s not easy to date Mariner, and this show really is not about Mariner’s romantic relationships. It’s about how she sees herself, and how she treats friends and colleagues more than romantic partners. So, it was important to me—from the point of view of Star Trek, having these people in your life and seeing where these stories go. Mariner’s sexuality to me has always been… she seems like the kind of character who can run into a villain and awkwardly Mariner had dated him or her before. Those are the kinds of stories I really get excited about. With Mariner, there’s these historical sort of things you see with her, so… you will see Mariner and Jennifer dating, and see how that affects her, but really the tectonic shift that’s going into [Mariner’s arc in season three] is, right when she opened herself up and everything was going great, it all gets taken away from her. How does that affect somebody who doesn’t like it when people leave her or are taken away?
Shax and T’Ana get spicy
And on The Ready Room McMahan revealed that things with Shaxs and T’Ana are just getting started:
First season, Dr. T’Ana does say she wants to snag Shaxs with her coital hooks, which is a delightful appetizer to the growing sensual meal of their relationship. You see some of it coming in second season. And I can say third season you might want to loosen that collar pre watching the episode… it gets a little spicy third season.
Characters find their own path
Mike also talked to io9 about cameos and character arcs for season three:
… as we start up [season three] there’s going to be some interesting cameos, some fun callbacks, but we’re also starting to mix in cameos and callbacks to our own episodes a little bit more. We’ve seen a lot of Mariner and Boimler and then Tendi and Rutherford, and we’ve seen them mixed up a bit. Season three we get to see them start their own paths a little bit more while still being friends.
And if you are worried about Captain Freeman, his discussion with The Ready Room made it clear she is going to be just fine back on the Cerritos:
You saw captain Freeman all season [two] wanting that bigger and better and then in the finale she catches up to what the audience already knows which is: The Cerritos is already amazing. We are not done with these families and telling these stories. We have all been working on season three and it’s really fun to see that the Captain has got to a place where she is really proud of the Cerritos and her crew. She doesn’t need a bigger ship with crazier missions.
Production on the third season of Lower Decks is already underway, but there is no official target for a release date.
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