We have already recapped and reviewed Star Trek: Lower Decks season 3 episode 6, “Hear All, Trust Nothing,” and discussed it on the All Access Star Trek podcast; now we take a deep dive into the Easter eggs and references that caught our eyes—but with so many this week, we focus on our favorites.
[NOTE: In some cases, the Trek connections are clear, with others it may just be our Trek interpretations; art is in the eye of the beholder. And, obviously… SPOILERS ahead]
Of course, the main event of this episode was a return to Deep Space 9, the main setting of the series Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. When we first see the station, Shaxs calls it a “tacky Cardassian fascist eyesore.” As a member of the Bajoran Resistance, he won’t soon forget the Cardassian occupation of Bajor and the station’s original Cardassian name: “Terok Nor.” When visiting the station, Boimler even noted: “It’s even more Cardassian than I imagined.”
But the station got its hero moment at the start when Ransom ordered the Cerritos to “just circle around and pretend we are in awe of the pylons,” recreating the original opening credits for Deep Space Nine, including the original theme music.
The interior of the station is just as recognizable and Lower Decks indulged in visits to various locations, including the iconic Promenade. There was even mention of a “tailor,” a reference to Garak’s tailor shop, although Elim Garak himself is likely on Cardassia helping rebuild after the Dominion War. Lower Decks actually showed off an unseen part of the Promenade which was not seen in the series but was illustrated in the Deep Space Nine Technical Manual.
Dangling like Jake
Deep Space Nine’s Jake Sisko didn’t appear in Lower Decks; however, his presence was felt. Rutherford was very excited to recreate a classic DS9 scene of Jake Sisko with Nog on the promenade, saying “I get to dangle my legs off the second story like in the holovids,” which we see him doing. When Tendi calls him away he resists, making another reference to Jake with “…but I wanted to have a heart-to-heart with a junior reporter up here.”
Come to Quark’s, Quark’s is fun…
Of course, no visit to DS9 is complete without a visit to Quark’s Bar, which has had an update in the six years since its last appearance in the series finale of DS9, starting with the new sign which matches the one on Freecloud in the future from the Picard episode “Stardust City Rag.” Franchises of Quark’s have also been seen on Qualor II and Starbase 25 on Lower Decks; this episode revealed there were 21 locations as of 2381.
Inside the bar, much remained the same from Deep Space Nine, including a certain dart board that Rutherford recognized with “Whoa, that’s Chief O’Brien’s dart board.” While Miles was not part of the episode, he was also mentioned by Mariner when she said, “Without me, they would probably get lost and end up in a Mirror Universe with Smiley,” referring to Mirror Miles O’Brien by his mirror universe nickname.
And of course, perennial barfly Morn was still at the bar, as talkative as ever.
The expansion of Quark’s can be seen as him living up to the Ferengis’ sacred Rules of Acquisition. Rule #45 is “Expand or Die” from the Voyager episode “False Profits.” The episode title itself “Hear All, Trust Nothing” is Rule #190 from DS9’s “Call to Arms.” And Quark ends the episode by confiscating a latinum tooth from Tendi, citing Rule #9:”Opportunity plus instinct equals profit” stated in the DS9 episode “The Storyteller.”
There were deep cuts in the names of drinks available at the bar. Quark served Mariner and Jennifer a Risa Colada and a Mind Meld, which were actual drinks available at the Quark’s Bar inside Star Trek: The Experience, the Las Vegas attraction which closed in 2008.
There were other alcohol-related gag references in the episode. The mission to DS9 was to deliver some Alpha Quadrant gifts to a Gamma Quadrant delegation. The gifts were made up entirely of different kinds of beverages. The ones seen being loaded were Vulcan Port (first seen in DS9 “The Maquis”), Aldebaran Whiskey (which Data served to Scotty in TNG’s “Relics.”), Romulan Ale (first seen in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan), Risian Cabernet from the planet Risa, and Galardonian Milk, produced by the Galardonian Spider Cow from the premiere episode of Lower Decks.
The Dabo King
Technically the full name for Quark’s is “Quark’s Bar, Grill, Gaming House, and Holosuite Arcade,” and Brad Boimler took full advantage of the gaming aspect as he settled in to play at one of Quark’s famed Dabo tables, complete with Dabo Girls.
While this table was a prominent feature of the episode, if you look closely you can also spot the Quark’s Tongo table in the background.
Fortune favors the Brad
This season Brad has been adopting his new “Bold Boimler” perspective to take more chances, which worked well for him at the Dabo table. Before he began his winning streak he told Mariner “Fortune favors the bold,” which is an old adage, said famously by Benjamin Sisko in the DS9 episode “Favor the Bold.” But as Brad notes they “don’t even use money in Starfleet,” so he was happy to take Quark’s Bucks for his winnings.
Brad spent his Quark’s Bucks at the Quark’s gift shop, where he picked up an assortment of items, including a classic DS9 Raktageno mug. He also got some Ferengi ears and a Quark beanie baby, both of which could be seen at the Collector’s booth in last week’s Lower Decks episode, “Reflections.”
Speaking of the gift shop, you could also pick up a Quark’s Industries model of Deep Space 9, the same kind that Tendi gave Rutherford in the Lower Decks episode “An Embarrassment of Dooplers.”
Kira plays ball
A visit to station ops saw the return of Colonel Kira, who now commands the station—and she has kept something of the previous commander in her office: She still has Benjamin Sisko’s baseball on her desk, perhaps a reminder that he will return someday, just as he left it behind as a reminder to Gul Dukat when the Cardassians took over the station in the episode “Call to Arms.” However, Kira has personalized her office as well with items like her Springball helmet. Kira Nerys was an avid player of the Bajoran game and had O’Brien make her a Springball holo program in the DS9 episode “Shadowplay.”
Kira’s playful (but intense) rivalry with her former Bajoran Resistance comrade Shaxs featured a lot of location name-dropping from DS9/Trek canon including the Haru Outpost, Vannakur, Dahkur, and the Badlands. She also referred to him as a “scarred-up old Barrowbug,” which is a type of bug mentioned in the DS9 episode “Ties of Blood and Water.”
While Kira and Quark seemed to be getting along in this new era of station Deep Space 9, Mariner brought back some of their old rivalry when she blackmailed Quark to get out of her old tab, showing him she had “a copy of that hologram with your head on Kira’s body,” referring to the disturbing program from the DS9 episode “Meridian.”
Again with the Karemma
The Gamma Quadrant delegation that was to negotiate to reopen trade were from the Karemma, who were the first confirmed race to be part of the Dominion in the DS9 season 2 episode “Rules of Acquisition” when Quark and Grand Nagus Zek negotiated a deal with them to supply Tulaberry Wine. A Karemma first appeared in the third season episode “The Search.” In Lower Decks, Quark mentioned that he had worked with the Karemma before. He actually had a near-death experience and had to work closely with a Karemma, when he disarmed a torpedo with commerce minister Hanok (played by James Cromwell) in the fourth season episode “Starship Down.”
The Karemma ship on Lower Decks was also the same kind of design as the one seen in “Starship Down.”
It’s an Orion life
Beyond the copious DS9 references, this episode also called back to some of the Trek lore regarding Orions, including the stereotype that they are pirates and criminals. Tendi had to remind Mesk that not all Orions are that way and that not all Orion women have mind-controlling pheromones (first revealed in the Enterprise episode “Bound”), having first mentioned this in the Lower Decks episode “We’ll Always Have Tom Paris.” Mesk could also be seen scratching some “pirate code” on the wall of the Karemma ship, which was in the Orion Langauge seen in the Enterprise episode “Borderland.”
There was also a classic Trek callback during Castro’s salon when Anya did an interpretive dance she called “The Kobayashi Maroon,” saying “there’s no right way to dance to it.” This refers to the famed no-win Kobayashi Maru Scenario first seen in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.
What did you see?
Spot any new Trek references we missed on Lower Decks? Have a favorite? Sound off in the comments below.
New episodes of Star Trek: Lower Decks premiere on Thursdays on Paramount+ in the U.S. and Latin America, 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.
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