What They Say:
The Cerritos ensigns must assist a caretaker on the voyage of a historically significant starship.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The return of Lower Decks is most welcome, especially after the crossover with Strange New Worlds earlier this summer. That was the kind of thing that played out better than expected in a lot of ways and has me curious as to how this series will roll from it because they are good at using such events to prod the characters along in interesting ways. The cold open for this is pretty solid as the Cerritos arrive at a system where the whole mission is classified, which leads to some amusing speculation down on the lower decks. Just the nod that holodeck duty is the dirtiest of jobs to deal with is amusing, but I like that Ransom checks in on him and lets him know that he’s pretty much got a lock on for a promotion – as long as he doesn’t screw up. Which is setting the table in the bluntest way possible but it’s just perfectly done.
t they’re there to handle bringing home the restoration of the Voyager ship is extra sweet, especially since Mariner’s probably more excited than Boimler will be. The problem that comes into play here is amusing as we get a transporter malfunction that brings us Billups and T’Ana merging together in the same way that the Voyager crew had it happen – and as we see play out easily enough. With a skeleton crew on the ship heading back to Federation space, it’s like all the old ghosts of the ship start crawling out. And poor Boimler is just trying to downplay everything so that he can get his promotion. Of course, everything is lined up as a historically bad situation that will just go badly for him. There’s a lot of humor in this – Ransom has some great lines – and watching Boimler just try and not make things worse does exactly as you’d expect – makes things worse.
The layer of constant jokes and references for Voyager fans is overwhelming and I got a lot of them, though I’ve only seen the series once. It’s a lot of fun and a nice balance to the simpler yet darker thing going on with the Cerritos and the transporter problem. Watching as more hybrids are being put together is hilarious as there are some truly disturbing ones and it lets Tendi and her Vulcan “friend” work together in some amusing ways. Running that alongside what’s going on with the Voyager as Boimler finally gets shaken back into just doing what he always does instead of worrying about his promotion is great, especially as it lets him and Marine have a good heart-to-heart moment in their own way. The resolution to everything is handled well if obvious but the show is almost always about the journey more than the destination. Though this one at least involves some new pips.
The end of the opening episode provides a look at what’s to come this season with a journey into Klingon space that goes badly but that has me pretty wary as to what it could be. The main episode itself is a lot of fun as we get some merged body antics with the Cerritos side, which is a pretty standard but very fun thing to try and manage, while the gang on the Voyager deal with pretty much all the big problems that crew had to face in comical form. Not without some danger, but it’s still just a lot of fun. I imagine fans of the original show have a ton of references to find throughout it and it’ll definitely deliver what they’re looking for. It was a lot of fun even for a casual viewer like me and just seeing the progress of the team while still sticking to their lower deck roots is a hoot.
Streamed By: Paramount+