Review: ‘Star Trek: Lower Decks’ Comes Home In “Grounded”

“Grounded”

Star Trek: Lower Decks Season 3, Episode 1 – Debuted Thursday, August 25, 2022
Written by  Chris Kula
Directed by Jason Zurek

SPOILER-FREE REVIEW

In a welcome return to form, Lower Decks goes big on the laughs and the heart in a strong season debut.

Dawnn Lewis as Captain Carol Freeman

WARNING: Spoilers below!

RECAP

“Take that, conservative military court”

The fallout continues from Captain Freeman’s arrest at the end of season 2 and Mariner is not handling her impending trial well, taking it out on all the screens and breakable objects at Admiral Dad’s home. Somehow there is now video proof that Carol did the deed to Pakled Planet. With the Cerritos impounded and the crew grounded (Episode Title Alert), Mariner ignores her father’s faith in the system, deciding she is the one to exonerate Carol. The Admiral sees she is not acting rationally; I mean, she was even badmouthing the Golden Gate Bridge (“big dumb red thing”)—who does that?

With Dad no help, Mariner seeks out Boimler, miserable and oblivious at the family vineyard—which turns out to be a raisin vineyard, of course. Brad is feeling as “shriveled and hopeless and stuck on earth” as those raisins and jumps at the chance to save the captain, suggesting they use his suckup fanboy personal copies of the senior officer logs. If only they knew an engineer who could tell them where the Cerritos is. Rutherford! He is with Tendi, doing some Earth sightseeing at a familiar New Orleans restaurant, and the team hatches a cunning plan to get to the ship, which requires them to sneak into a secure Starfleet facility and deal with a “psycho badass” in charge of the encrypted transporter. The good news is that badass is just a sweet old “buffer buff” who would love to help but can only offer butterscotch candies and soup as some migrated space blobs are disrupting the transporters. If only they had some kind of ship… but something Tendi says about a missed stop on her Earth tour gives Mariner an insane idea.

Noel Wells as Ensign Tendi, Eugene Cordero as Ensign Rutherford, Tawny Newsome as Ensign Beckett Mariner and Jack Quaid as Ensign Brad Boimler

“Hello, explorers and welcome to the 21st century.”

Welcome to historic Bozeman, site of the best Star Trek film of the ‘90s. The ensigns find a lot more than a giant statue of Zefram Cochrane reaching out to the stars, as it seems the events of that movie have inspired an awesome theme park celebrating humanity’s First Contact, although the Vulcans may raise an eyebrow at their scout ship being turned into a kiddie slide… which Tendi adorably calls “logical.” After getting matching hats and some churros, they focus on their objective. The gang boards a replica of the original Phoenix and gets ready to take it to the Cerritos, although due to extra seats, a nervous rando named Gavin is coming along for the ride, which is piloted by a hologram who likes to rock and roll just like the original. With apologies to Mr. Cochrane, Rutherford reprograms the ship to take them right to the drydock, leaving a newly confident Gavin in command to begin a new adventure trekking across the stars. [Spoiler alert: he reluctantly gets “rescued” at the end, so don’t worry.]

They soon find Boimler’s super-detailed logs for the mission to the Laap system, which is nowhere near Pakled Planet and should clear Carol. However, Brad just had to Boimler all over the logs with a series of embarrassing asides including issues with excess gas, dropping his tricorder in a toilet (again), and his habit of sniffing the captain’s chair. Becket loses it, saying this “blooper reel” can’t be played in court, but the team convinces her it’s worth trying… or so they thought. She tricked them into a shuttle programmed to return to Earth, leaving her to go full Kirk in Star Trek III and steal the ship. Her new crazy plan is to find the Klingons that made the Pakled planet bomb, but her friends (thanks to Brad’s quick thinking) return before she can end up on the short end of a bat’leth. After some fighting and bonding and a bit of an emotional breakthrough for Beckett admitting to just how much she needs her mom, they agree to return to Plan A with Boimler’s embarrassing but exonerating logs. And then some Starfleet Security ships show up. Come on guys, they were having such a nice moment.

Noel Wells as Ensign Tendi, Eugene Cordero as Ensign Rutherford, Tawny Newsome as Ensign Beckett Mariner and Jack Quaid as Ensign Brad Boimler

“I’m your momma now”

Things look grim and Mariner prepares to take the fall for her friends, but now it’s Tendi’s time to shine. D’Vana shows it was no fluke that she was transferred to the Science Officer track, with an epic bluff about surveying the Verugament (those space blobs) who are now having a “mass reproductive event” (aka an orgy) on the hull of the USS Cerritos. The security guys come aboard and Tendi sets the gang to work in the shuttle bay doing some truly gross and painful work to help help the blobs procreate. Her enthusiasm for science truly inspires the security guys so this bluff is totally going to work… until they simply ask for the name of the commander who authorized the alien orgy-helping mission. Dramatic pause. Enter Captain Freeman along with Admiral Hubby and the whole bridge crew gang. Carol confirms it was she who issued that order, saving her daughter’s butt one more time.

After the hugs, it’s time for Freeman to explain how she got out of that legal jam with an epic montage full of major name-dropping detailing how an elite covert Starfleet squad got to the truth of the bombing of Pakled planet. Turns out it was the Pakleds themselves, because of course it was. In a “classic Pakled Samaritan Snare,” the smart guys framed Freeman so they can get the Federation to give them a nicer planet. Who would have thought Starfleet would come through… actually everyone except Mariner. And so now it’s time for Freeman to deal with her well-meaning but way-too troublesome ship-stealing daughter. Since the Cerritos was already Mariner’s last chance to stay in Starfleet, Captain Mom and Admiral Dad admit they can’t be the ones to discipline her with real consequences, so they bring in a ringer: Enter a very willing Commander Jack Ransom, who is all too happy to handle Becket’s double secret probation, and if she screws up one more time, she will be wearing her cool civvies full time. Hello, stakes for season 3—and welcome back Lower Decks!

Eugene Cordero as Ensign Rutherford, Tawny Newsome as Ensign Beckett Mariner, Dawnn Lewis as Captain Carol Freeman, and Phil Lamarr as Admiral Freeman

 ANALYSIS

Welcome back

Lower Decks returns strong with one of its funniest episodes yet. But even with some classic Lower Decks gags like Boimler getting slimed, the humor feels more character-based for this third and perhaps more mature season. Overtly evoking classic Earth-based Treks like TNG’s “Family,” we were reintroduced to our core four characters, learning new things about each and resetting the ensigns’ arcs for the new season, giving a double meaning to the episode title “Grounded.” Although Boimler’s vineyard being for raisins was a great gag, the other running gag of his obliviousness over the hot girls in Daisy Dukes fawning over him seemed a bit of an out-of-place throwback.  A standout performance from Tawny Newsome takes us on a journey as Mariner keeps us laughing with her escalating freak-out, but then tugs on the heartstrings as she breaks down admitting just how afraid she is for her mom.

As in a classic sitcom, Mariner leaned a lesson, in this case that maybe she should trust the Starfleet system (at least sometimes), something everyone else around her tried to tell her but she just wouldn’t listen, which was both on brand for her, but also subverts some of the show’s own expectations by reminding us the senior officers aren’t the out-of-touch adversaries of our lower deckers; they actually know what they are doing because they are worthy Starfleet officers, so of course they do. And the lower deckers themselves each had their own moments, showing how smart they are and that they, too, are worthy of Starfleet, never requiring the idiot plot to keep the show or the humor going.

Jack Quaid as Ensign Brad Boimler, Eugene Cordero as Ensign Rutherford, Tawny Newsome as Ensign Beckett Mariner and Noel Wells as Ensign Tendi

It was smart for the show to quickly resolve the season 2 “To Be Continued…” cliffhanger quickly and in an unexpected way. That, along with the quick resolution to the Gavin storyline, shows how Lower Decks is sticking to its core competence and format of tight self-contained episodes, which of course was the staple of 1990s Star Trek that inspired the show. But still, we now can see some arcs developing including a new confidence for Brad Boimler, a science-focused Tendi, and of course a new dynamic for Mariner and her minder Ransom, with these storylines offering some promising hijinks and character development.

Jerry O’Connell as Commander Jack Ransom, and Tawny Newsome as Ensign Beckett Mariner

Ensigns on some kind of Star Trek

Lower Decks is known for its callback and references, and this episode delivers on that and more. There are the deep cuts like the Ketracel White Hot sauce, and there were some deeper cuts in the FNN scroll, all of which will be explored in our usual follow-up Easter egg analysis. But the trip to historic Bozeman was a new kind of thing for the show, with a full-on celebration of a given Star Trek outing, which fit in well with the Earth-based theme of the episode. And you can’t help but be delighted by the indulgence from Jerry Goldsmith’s classic score to the amazing James Cromwell returning to voice a different kind of Cochrane, taking us on a magic carpet ride (if we finish our food and beverages from “Thirst Contact” before boarding the Phoenix). This along with the epic Starfleet mission montage bodes well for a new level of connections to Trek for season 3

There is a curious canon question here of when and how this theme park was developed. In First Contact, the 24th-century Starfleet crew didn’t have a full understanding of the true Cochrane, but this park had him down, including his goofy hat and love for Steppenwolf. This is set years later, so it appears that Picard’s crew updated the historic record. I like to think Reg Barclay worked as a consultant, maybe with some entrepreneurial Ferengi, to develop this updated historical attraction.

Tawny Newsome as Ensign Beckett Mariner, Jack Quaid as Ensign Brad Boimler, James Cromwell as Zefram Cochrane, Noel Wells as Ensign Tendi, and Eugene Cordero as Ensign Rutherford

Final thoughts

Lower Decks is back with more of the same, which is a good thing, but also ups the ante as the show feels like it is maturing, adding more depth and character-based humor. This all bodes well as it kicks off its third season, which holds the promise of being the best yet.

Jack Quaid as Ensign Brad Boimler, Noel Wells as Ensign Tendi, and Eugene Cordero as Ensign Rutherford

MORE BITS

Random stuff

  • The capital of Pakled Planet was Big Strong City.
  • Beckett Mariner did not grow up on Earth.
  • For the record, the Golden Gate Bridge is painted orange.
  • Boimler’s family having a vineyard outside was established in “wej Duj.” It was outside Modesto, CA, which is where much of California raisins are grown.
  • Thanks to his implant, Rutherford was able to recall the 19-digit coordinates of the dry dock.
  • Chief Carlton “Denny” Dennis and “Captain” Gavin were voiced by Bobby Moynihan, best known for his work on Saturday Night Live, which included playing “Spocko” in a Star Trek skit with Chris Pine.
  • Admiral Buenamigo (and one of the security guys) was voiced by Carlos Alazraqui, father of Rylee Alazraqui (the voice of Rok-Tahk on Prodigy).
  • The shuttle that crashed back into the Cerritos was The Joshua Tree, but it didn’t look to be destroyed.
  • You only have to be 100 centimeters (3 foot, 3 inches) to “Ride The Phoenix.”
  • The Cerritos still had the hull plating stripped off, removed during the events of “First First Contact.”
  • Boimler said his logs go back to 58018.7, which would be around the time of episode 203 (“We’ll Always Have Tom Paris”).
  • Among his admissions, Brad revealed he dyes his hair purple and no one knows his real hair color.
  • The Starfleet Security team were stationed at a Regula 1-type Starbase, which deployed Federation Attack Fighters.
  • Captain Bateson’s team used an Akira-class vessel.
  • The forger they tracked down was a Zakdorn.
  • Admiral Freeman’s first name was revealed to be Alonzo. His wife shortens it to ‘Zo.
  • FNN reported a “little boy” solved Fermat’s Last Theorum, which was actually solved in 1995. The TNG episode “The Royale” refers to it being unsolved, but the DS9 episode “Facets” references the proof by mathematician Andrew Wiles.
  • The Pakled Queen was seen arrested during the epic montage.
  • Yes, I know The Undiscovered Country came out in the ‘90s… still say STFC is better. Come at me!

Bobby Moynihan as Denny

Laugh lines

  • Get the fuck out of our way! – T’Ana.
  • Nobody drives anymore, why do you need a bridge? This planet is whack. – Mariner.
  • She was saving another ship for Kirk’s sake. – Boimler
  • Want to test the sweetness of my bushel? – Genevieve.
  • Don’t let the door hit ya where the big bang split ya. – Denny.
  • We can’t tie this guy up, he’s like the sweetest old man in the world.
  • We hope you enjoy yourself and make a first contact, with fun! – Hologram Zefram Cochrane.
  • All right, buckos, prepare for your trek amongst the stars. – Hologram Zefram Cochrane.
  • Oh oh, they are dressed like the 21st It’s just like post-World War III! – Rutherford.
  • My shirt could be a little more asymmetrical. – Rutherford.
  • I guess they were in search of a breeding ground and we’re it. So magical. – Tendi.
  • Even covered in alien sploof, there is no place I would rather be. – Boimler.

Jack Quaid as Ensign Brad Boimler, and Tawny Newsome as Ensign Beckett Mariner

More to come

Every Friday, the TrekMovie.com All Access Star Trek Podcast covers the latest news in the Star Trek Universe. The podcast is available on Apple PodcastsSpotifyPocket CastsStitcher and is part of the TrekMovie Podcast Network. On Saturday, we’ll post our weekly analysis of Easter eggs and references for this episode.


New episodes of Star Trek: Lower Decks premiere on Thursdays on Paramount+ in the U.S. and on CTV Sci-Fi Channel in Canada, where it’s also available to stream on Crave. It is available on Amazon Prime Video internationally on Fridays. It debuted in Latin America on Paramount+ in September.

Keep up with all the news and reviews from the new Star Trek Universe on TV at TrekMovie.com.

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“It was smart for the show to quickly resolve the season 2 “To Be Continued…” cliffhanger quickly…”

I disagree. They could’ve played it out over half the season. It would’ve giving them the chance to change it up a bit before getting back to ‘more of the same which is good’.

Yea, that was a huge set-up for multiple eps, and I was grudgingly looking forwarding to bitching about them stealing the ship…lol

I disagree with your disagreement. The show is about the Lower Deckers. They aren’t supposed to be the ones solving the big problems. Leave that to the higher ranked officers to resolve.

Yeah, I will give McMahan credit for not going that route and having the Lower Deckers actually steal that starship. That would’ve been nuts — LDS “jumping the shark” totally!

This is perhaps a sign finally that there there are limits to how crazy this show gets regarding how bid the stories can get when it’s just some supporting crew on a secondary starship. Good move, LDS.

That being said, I would actually not be surprised if the original draft of this ep had them stealing the ship, but then Kurztman stepped in and said, “no, that’s just going to far,” — given that this is first time I have seen some signs of restraint in the craziness of how big the stories are getting.

I was disappointed at first with how nothing Mariner and co did helped to free Captain Freeman- but then I realised- just as you said: they’re Lower Deckers who aren’t there to solve the BIG problems. So I agree with you disagreeing with Remco’s disagreement!

The cliffhanger and the promotion of Season 3 were herrings. They were never about them uncovering a vast conspiracy or thwarting it. It all happened to a) make Beckett realise just how much she had come to care for her mother and b) that she’d found a group of friends/chosen family that she could truly trust in. She’d started to realise both of these points in the last couple of acts of “First First Contact” and that arc resolved itself when she finally broke down on the bridge and found comfort with Boims, Tendi and Rutherford.

I think it really shows that there is a depth to the writing that goes beyond the jokes about women hitting on m Boimler (hilarious by the way) and him not getting it- or callbacks and Easter eggs (ditto). This show is as much about who these people are just as much as it is about a tender lampooning of what make Trek so marvellous.

On a (much) lighter note… I need the official Star Trek store to release a version of Rutherford’s Jake Sisko sweater. To quote Tendi: “i LOVE it!”

Sorry, but there’s no universe where this needed to be dragged out more then twenty five minutes.

Given they are just supporting crew members on a secondary starship, I could not agree more.

I’m glad they solved it quickly. I want this show to be as episodic as it gets…

Im also happy, they resolved that Arrest/Trial plot so quickly. But whats more I’m really happy at the way they did it. All of Kurtzman Trek has this weird fetish of portraying the Federation as this weird corrupt dystopian thing even if we’re not in an alternate timeline. And while it does continue – especially – TNGs precident that Admirals just have to be evil, it’s worse in a serialized show, where it starts to feel systematic and undermine the vision that actiually sets Trek appart from most other SciFi properties (which you CAN do, it just devaluates the IP)

Long Story short: it’s nice, that the Solution was basically “trust in the system, the federation ist run bei integer people and the justice system functions” … which is something a young hot show ensign might actually have to learn. The live action shows could really learn a lot from the writing in this show.

All of Kurtzman Trek has this weird fetish of portraying the Federation as this weird corrupt dystopian thing even if we’re not in an alternate timeline.

Trek deals with what is going on in today’s world. And because of Trump in the past 6 years and the post-911 era of American overaction in foreign policy before that, this needed to happen to work all of that into the Trek message.

We don’t have to like it, but I certainly understand why it’s necessary.

No. Government officials were way more corrupt and downright evil in the 60s or 80s than they are today. Nixon openly had his aides look into executing journalists for example. The point of Trek was always to show what humanity could be if just found a way to get along.

And you can tell great post 9/11 stories without having having it devolve into conspiracy theories. One of the best episodes about 9/11 in any TV show is DS9s Homefront/Paradise Lost. And that one was made 2 years before it even happened 😁

What Trump gas to do with any of this is unclear to me but I don’t want to get into a political discussion and the mods wouldn’t let us have one anyways. 😁

For the obvious reason of not wanting to get into politics here, I am just going to leave it that I am 100% comfortable with what I said in my original response to you here on this. IDIC

In a welcome return to form

I’m not sure what you mean by that. That phrase means something has been restored to a previously established standard of excellence or brilliance. The use of the saying here implies Lower Decks had experienced a drop in quality but is thankfully back. If that’s what you mean, it’s surprising, as season two was fantastic.

Indeed, especially as this episode is good but IMO not quite a match for the terrific last few episodes of last season (much like how last season’s opener, “Strange Energies”, is itself good solid fun but also IMO not quite as good as the first season’s amazing final triad of “Veritas”, “Crisis Point”, and “No Small Parts”).

But I had fun, as always. I loved the gags, the visuals, and the love and care our lower deckers are exhibiting for one another. I’m so glad this show is back, and I’m hoping the upcoming Star Trek Day brings an announcement of renewal for Season 5.

Same here. I actually think this was just “fun,” whereas the back half of season two was a lot better.

The back half of Season 2 was- and still is- top tier Trek. 2×09 is easily one of my all time favourite episodes already.

I was going to say the same thing. Season 2 was knocking it out of the park by the end. wej Duj is the best episode they’ve ever done.

I really enjoyed this one! I remember watching LDS 2×01 and thinking, uh oh, I don’t like this, but happily S3 hits the ground running. Can’t wait to see Martok in the next episode!

Fun, but didn’t like how they resolved the Captain’s story off-screen and we just got a quick recap montage. I guess this is Lower Decks so we focus on their stuff, but it did feel like last season’s cliffhanger ending as well as the overall storyline for this episode with Mariner and co. were ultimately pointless.
I feel cheated out of seeing that more interesting storyline unfold, and from seeing Tuvok back in action etc.

Strange way to go about wrapping up a storyline that they spent a good deal of time building upon and focusing on.

Well, that’s the punchline. They ARE lower deckers and important stuff happens without them. I liked the resolution!

Exactly. They got it right for once!

Fun, but didn’t like how they resolved the Captain’s story off-screen and we just got a quick recap montage. I guess this is Lower Decks so we focus on their stuff, but it did feel like last season’s cliffhanger ending as well as the overall storyline for this episode with Mariner and co. were ultimately pointless. I feel cheated out of seeing that more interesting storyline unfold, and from seeing Tuvok back in action etc.

Yea, but these are supporting crew members on a secondary starship. They are not suppose to be doing the plot “the adults” on the main Trek series do. They actually got it right for once, and now I am suddenly more interested in trying to enjoy this series. You wanted to them to jump the shark, but I am glad that they did not.

Yeah I definitely wanted them to jump the shark, thanks for putting words in my mouth.

No, if we’re going to focus on the lower decks stories I want them to be fun and not pointless.

Maybe I’ll change my mind on the second watching, but this left me kinda flat.

“Beckett Mariner did not grow up on Earth.”

She says not there and her father clarifies Earth. I figured it meant that apartment.

That’s what I thought too. Or San Francisco.

With both her parents officers in Starfleet I would assume she spent the majority of her childhood on various starships and colonies. She might have only visited Earth for vacations or whenever her parents had to report to Starfleet HQ for some reason.

Anthony Pascale, I agree, you probably misinterpreted this scene. ☝️🧐

UDC > FC, though FC is the best of the TNG movies by far.

So, you’re wrong. Just stand there in your wrongness and be wrong and get used to it :)

They are both good, but not great movies. I put them at roughly equal. Both were better back in the day, but neither has aged very well.

Exactly. First Contact would be the greatest Trek Movie if Undiscovered Country didn’t exist though.

For me it’s still and probably always will be TWOK (but I know that’s low hanging fruit for most fans).

Curious why my post has disappeared… am I on the naughty list?

No, it probably included a word that caught the site censors. It happens to me all the time. They will probably release it when they see it but if not, just rewrite it but a good trick is to just write one word, post the comment but then reedit it with your entire original message. You should have no problems.

I am just glad to see that “gay” is okay to write again.

I spent the whole day at Disneyland yesterday and was excited to know when I got back this episode would be waiting for me! And it was more fun to see them parody the First Contact site as its own theme park in the future lol. I loved it! The episode, per usual, was so much fun and hit all the right notes. I nearly teared up hearing the FC score play in the episode. What’s wrong with me???

But I laughed so much in this episode and loved how it played out. I see people are divided on how quickly they resolved Freeman’s plight and I had the same issue. It would’ve been nice to see it play out more directly instead of just wrapped up so quickly. But it’s not a huge deal to me either. And when you only have a 10 episode season and roughly 25 minutes an episode you have to choose your battles. They probably could’ve continued it for one more episode but McMahan wanted to keep it as a traditional 2 part Trek episode, so I’m fine with it.

But it’s great to see LDS back and firing on all cylinders. I think we’re in for another amazing season!

I liked this ep, and really appreciate the restraint shown by McMahan and company in not going through with a “jumping the shark” move like having supporting officers, fueled by nepotism, stealing a freaking starship. This restraint gives me hope that I can finally relax a bit on my concerns and try to enjoy S3.

Well they DID manage to steal it, but the others came to their senses obviously and stopped Mariner.

I think this season is going to be better than last season and that’s saying a lot. So can’t wait to see how it all plays out, but starting off on a strong note.

You people are crazy. Last season was brilliant

I LOVED last season! Wej Duj is one of the best Trek episodes in the franchise IMO. I’m only saying is this season could be even better! ;)

Am trying to watch now but Paramount Plus is down (according to DownDetector.com). Some people are thinking it’s a DDoS. Who knows.

I linked these reviews on another thread but thought they would get more eyes here. But basically these reviews all saw the first 8 eight episodes of the season and all saying the show gets better and bolder than the first two! There are no major spoilers in any of the reviews.

https://www.slashfilm.com/972037/star-trek-lower-decks-season-3-review-the-animated-series-is-as-funny-and-adventurous-as-ever/

https://www.inverse.com/entertainment/star-trek-lower-decks-season-3-review-no-spoilers

https://www.cbr.com/star-trek-lower-decks-season-3-review/

I guess no one has to grow a beard for this show but Ransom has always had one so that probably explains it. ;)

Wow, that’s great! I am so jazzed for more of this show.

If you don’t mind my asking, where / how did you find out those critics had all seen the first eight episodes? It’s clear from these reviews they’ve all seen more of it than we have, but not exactly how much. Was that reported elsewhere?

Hi there,

It’s stated at the very end of the first link posted. It’s literally the last line of the review:

“Star Trek: Lower Decks” season 3 premieres August 25 on Paramount+. New episodes arrive weekly. This review is based on the first eight episodes.

The other two didn’t say it for the record but from precedence anyway studios send out the same number of episodes to everyone for their reviews. And it’s pretty obvious in the reviews they all seen more than the first few episodes. And another review I didn’t post also stated they were given 8 episodes upfront in their review here:

https://www.comicsbeat.com/star-trek-lower-decks-season-3-review/

That review is also very positive about third season too!

Oh, cool! I somehow missed that, even despite looking for it. I must have phased out at seeing the premiere / streaming info.

Yes, I’d certainly expect they’d give multiple critics advance access to the same number of episodes, based on what I understand of industry practices. I wouldn’t necessarily expect it to be 80% of the season, but there you go…

The fact they gave them 8 episodes says a lot! It shows just how competent they feel of the season and knew the reviews would reflect that!

Now I wonder why they didn’t just let them view the entire season lol. I’m guessing the last two episodes might have some crazy spoilers or story twists in those.

I can only imagine that must be it. Note how each of the previous season finales both brought back legacy characters with their original performers, as well as delivering things fans had wanted to see many years of not decades (Riker and Troi on the Titan, Cetacean Ops), plus big, dramatic, suspenseful and exciting starship action, and big emotional moments from shock to poignancy. Can MM and the team deliver three times in a row? I think they can…

Yes. First Contact is much better than TUC. Much, much better. I love how this episode had a huge loving homage to that First Contact movie, I actually had some tears. It’s cool how each of the four lower deckers had something to do, reminds me of Star Trek III when the characters all had a thing to do.

Great stuff.

My biggest takeaways:
The Golden Gate Bridge has been rebuilt!
The Crystalline Entity added to the opening credits.

We knew that the Bridge had been rebuilt at some point because it features prominently in an establishing shot in the first episode of Picard.

I loved all the FC references and James Cromwell but I think there should have been more TSFS nods when they stole the Cerritos instead of that stupid bridge brawl.

I definitely like Denny (no in-canon Spocko please, Denny is a great character). Great start for the season. Now on to DS9… I can’t wait for it!

Solid premiere. I’ll admit that I’m so used to season long arcs by now that it kinda threw me for a loop to see Freeman’s trial be resolved so quickly. But then again, since this series is a return to the episodic format of TNG and Voyager, I shouldn’t be surprised. Took me a second to remember that Morgan Batesman is Kelsey Grammar from “Cause and Effect”.

Loved all the First Contact stuff and that James Cromwell voiced the sanitized Zephram Cochrane hologram. And am I the only one that was bummed that Boimler’s purple hair is a dye job? With his purple hair always in a cow lick, I like to think of Boimler as the son Fry and Leela from Futurama never had. And I’m holding out hope that one day we’ll see Boimler’s parents and that they’re voiced by Billy West and Katey Sagal.

YES on that Futurama reference — Make It So!!! 😆👍

This was a great premiere. I was really looking forward to it and it did not disappoint! They’ve really gotten good at hitting all the fanboy buttons without it seeming too heavy-handed. I agree that the Captain Freeman story could have been stretched out for at least one more episode to maximize the drama a bit more, but I wasn’t too bothered that they resolved it quickly either. They can leave the long story arcs to Discovery and Picard.

One small correction in the review that also appeared on the podcast…Kelsey Grammer’s character’s name is Morgan Bateson, not Batesman.

https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki/Morgan_Bateson

Agreed! I really liked it and rewatched it two times already. Yes they could’ve done more with the Freeman plot but I was fine with it ultimately. But that’s part of the problem when a show ends off a cliffhanger and off the air for nearly a year the expectations gets higher the longer its gone. If it was the very next episode in a season I don’t think anyone would’ve been bothered.

I wasn’t bothered! It made total sense

It seems that some people have gotten so used to serialized storytelling that they are now surprised or even disappointed when things get resolved within an episode ;-)

Boom Lower Decks is back and already killing it!! 😂😂😂

Loved the episode and our Lowey Deckers (almost?) saving the day! Can’t wait for more! 👍

Re the note that Beckett Mariner did not grow up on Earth, I don’t think that’s correct. When her dad referred to being home, and she said I did t grow up here, she was likely referring to San Francisco, and not earth. The fact that her dad then said “I was referring to earth” suggests that earth is “home” for her.