Star Trek: Lower Decks: Envoys
August 13, 2020 7:47 AM - Season 1, Episode 2 - Subscribe

Boimler has a very important escort mission that he's done an awful lot of work to prepare for and that he absolutely can't mess up under any circumstances; then, he tells Mariner about it. Smooth move, purple hair! Also, Rutherford considers other jobs.

Memory Alpha is busy getting its jamaharon on:

- This was the first episode in the entire franchise in which one of its main characters was seen wearing all three colors of uniforms within a single episode, in this case Ensign Sam Rutherford, as he transfers from engineering gold, command red, medical blue, then back to gold for both his brief stint in the security team and back to engineering.

- This episode featured the first appearance of a Ferengi since ENT: "Acquisition".

Poster's Log:

Welp, based on a sample size of two episodes, I think that LoDe isn't going to be known for plot twists that you can't see coming a light year away; since most of the ep is based around Mariner being much more wise about the ways of the galaxy than most people, let alone Boimler, it's not even remotely plausible that she'd mistake a Ferengi for a Bolian (aka The Other Blue People). On the other hand, it speaks pretty well of her that she is willing to call in a favor to give him a win. (Not so much for Boimler's "You can't trust a Ferengi." Really, guy? There's a certain lieutenant over on DS9 who might have something to say about that. Now, a Ferengi might take you halfway there and then ask you for money if you didn't get your terms in writing before you started, but that's different.) It was still fun, regardless, as was Rutherford trying out other departments; my favorite was the bridge simulation, which made the Kobayashi Maru scenario look like docking practice. "No, no, no, now the pre-K is gone!" is probably my favorite line of the ep.

Poster's Log, supplemental: Den of Geek has a list of Easter eggs.
posted by Halloween Jack (15 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
The appearance of the Vendorian thief made my TAS-and-Easter-egg-loving heart grow three sizes.

Boimler's inability to see that Mariner's "I think that's actually a Bolian" is super ham-fisted writing.
posted by hanov3r at 10:01 AM on August 13, 2020 [3 favorites]

I was in stitches right away with this one. This is clearly the best thing to happen to Star Trek in _years_.

Also I totally ship Rutherford and Tendi now.
posted by SansPoint at 10:44 AM on August 13, 2020 [4 favorites]

posted by Marticus at 7:33 PM on August 13, 2020 [3 favorites]

Not sure when this episode was written, but cyborg-guy pulling out the Borg's eye in the simulation test was... kind of gauche depending on the timing?

Feels like it's leaning a lot on fandom, massive shortcuts to the punchline.

I got a bit of early 'Tripping the Rift' nostalgia from this, though. But I think that I'd enjoy this a whole lot better if it wasn't explicitly set in the Star Trek universe.

And it'd probably get better jokes outside of the constraints of ST.
posted by porpoise at 10:49 PM on August 13, 2020 [2 favorites]

I agree about the scripts being not quiiite there yet. There are at least a few Rick and Morties with more involving and less predictable stories, and even one or two Orvilles.

But I will give them this: though I knew Rutherford would go back to "the tubes" (love the tube lines), the fact that he also turned out to be a combat badass was unexpected and hinted that the B-story might take a turn. And it's a good character wrinkle for him, and he needed one.

Boimler's reference to Section 31 suggests that someone, likely Bashir, went around publicizing their existence and activities post-Dominion War, within Starfleet at least if not actually publicly. And the fact that Boimler's remark was admiring in tone suggests that Section 31 responded by embarking upon some sort of public image campaign, which, yeah, I could totally see them doing.

Don't remember if PIC referenced 31 at all, but if they haven't yet, I bet they will. One wonders whether LOW will eventually break continuity enough to get de-canonized the way TAS was.

And it'd probably get better jokes outside of the constraints of ST.

I see why you say that. Can't really disagree, but it is early yet, too.

It occurred to me toward the end that it's a little strange to have, what, two? three? different shapeshifting-species gags in the same episode, but now I'm wondering if that wasn't a smart and quick way to prepare LOW's audience for the stranger corners of the Trekiverse that it plans to go to. OTOH, did LOW need to establish more normalcy before getting batshit in that Mortyesque way? E.g., does the Cerritos need a few more by-the-book officers than it seems to have (just Boimler)? Or has prior Trek already established sufficient normalcy—and if so, is LOW really intended only for people who've seen a lot of Trek?

Speaking of all that, I can't wait to see what they do with their first Badmiral.
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 4:16 AM on August 14, 2020 [3 favorites]

Boimler's reference to Section 31 suggests that someone, likely Bashir, went around publicizing their existence and activities post-Dominion War, within Starfleet at least if not actually publicly.

In the hypothetical Season 8 of DS9 pitched by the original writing staff as part of the What We Left Behind documentary, Bashir eventually becomes the leader of Section 31, but not in a "let's reform it and make it good" way but a "I understand now why we do the dark things we do" way. Pretty sure that's not canon to the franchise but it's an interesting idea.
posted by Servo5678 at 6:04 AM on August 14, 2020 [3 favorites]

Incidentally, the first ep is available to watch without a subscription, for a limited time, on YouTube.

Not in the UK it seems (unless the "limited time" ran out already).
posted by EndsOfInvention at 6:17 AM on August 14, 2020

Not in the UK it seems (unless the "limited time" ran out already).

No broadcast rights for this show outside of the U.S./Canada at present and for the YouTube episode, U.S. only.
posted by juiceCake at 3:32 PM on August 14, 2020

I think they could be doing better with Boimler than having him be fully a straight-laced loser. Despite being relegated to the B-plot two episodes in a row I feel like both Tendi and Rutherford have had more interesting characterization than Boimler, just by being competent and happy doing their jobs.

Boimler seems to genuinely dislike his life, and at this point it's really not clear what Mariner sees in him. Maybe Mariner was like Boimler back when she first got to the fleet? They really need to do something with him beyond "boring uptight straight man."
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 4:32 PM on August 14, 2020 [4 favorites]

I literally can’t believe this show is real.

Kurtzman Trek is 2 for 3 as far as I’m concerned.
posted by Automocar at 7:02 PM on August 14, 2020

For some reason, when I watched this episode last night, it began with the same teaser scene that I saw with Ep 1 (Mariner and Tendi subduing the light-energy being in the corridor and forcing him to make a tricorder). Was there a different teaser?

The scenes between Boimler and Mariner are way too talky and spend too much time dropping Trek references. I could see this in the first episode, because they were trying to establish the setup, but it's old after just two eps, and I hope they move on. Meanwhile, I thought the B-story with Rutherford was great and probably could have been an A-story in its own right. It was definitely more interesting that Boimler and Mariner's nattering.
posted by briank at 3:59 PM on August 15, 2020

It may be just me, but does anyone who watched The Awesomes get a similar vibe here?
posted by bartleby at 8:07 PM on August 15, 2020

The other thing I like about the Rutherford story is it's a subtle tour of the various departments on a Starfleet vessel. For folks like my kids who haven't shown any interest in Star Trek prior to this show it's very useful knowledge that a lot of long-time trekkies take for granted.

The only thing they missed is a non-medical science department, which is probably for the best because it could have been tricky trying to demonstrate why Rutherford wouldn't fit in there.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 10:23 PM on August 15, 2020 [5 favorites]

We are Trek fans and Rick & Morty fans which I guess makes us squarely the target audience being pandered to here but so far I've been really enjoying these. They're silly and Mariner is a bit too much of a self-assured cool kid whose schemes always go off okay despite her intoxication at the time (in a word, a "Rick") but I do feel like there's genuine Trek sweetness coming through so far and a lot of laughs too.
posted by potrzebie at 7:02 PM on August 17, 2020

« Older Podcast: My Brother, My Brothe...   |  Movie: James vs. His Future Se... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments