Star Trek: Lower Decks: Kayshon, His Eyes Open
August 19, 2021 7:30 AM - Season 2, Episode 2 - Subscribe

Our Lower Deckers have trouble bonding with Ensign Jet Manhaver, who has been assigned Boimler's bunk and shift duties. Meanwhile, we get a glimpse of Boimler's life on the U.S.S. Titan, which is more intense than he thought it would be.

Memory Alpha, its obligatory Tamarian parody:

- So, communal showers a la Starship Troopers, huh? Hmm.

- Easter eggs galore in the collector's collection! Top marks to the, uh... giant Spock skeleton? Shouldn't he have had the same life span as the OG Spock? Disturbing implications.

- Speaking (ahem) of Tamarian, I get the feeling that Kayshon got puppetized so that they wouldn't have to keep writing more Tamarian phrases; could have been fun if they did, but I get it.

- So that's the solution to the Boimler problem. I hope that they don't forget about William and we see him as he gets more Titanized.

- Coincidentally, we also get a space collector ep in the MCU's What If? this week.
posted by Halloween Jack (17 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
 
Jonathan Frakes sounds like he's having such fun playing Riker again on this show!
posted by h00py at 7:49 AM on August 19 [12 favorites]


So far in the collector's, uh, collection I've spotted the Perseverance Rover, a flag of the Terran Empire from the mirror universe, a kadis-kat board (totally had to look up how to write that word!) as seen on Voyager, the mind control game thingy from that episode of TNG where the plot was super implausible but Wesley Crusher had a decent part for once. A salt vampire, Odo's bucket, and of course a couple cases of Chateau Picard. Gonna have to spend some quality time with the freeze frame for more.

Oh! And this collector has the same markings on his temple as the other guy that kidnapped Data from that original episode. This attention to detail is, if nothing else, very Trek-worthy.

I hope to see more of Kayshon in the future and would really rather enjoy having a few more phrases and metaphors added to the Children of Tama language, just for flavor.
posted by traveler_ at 6:25 PM on August 19 [4 favorites]


Den of Geek has what looks like a fairly comprehensive list of references / easter eggs.

I think this might be my favourite Star Trek series ever.
posted by garrett at 6:16 AM on August 20 [1 favorite]


I was disappointed that the Tamarian language didn't figure in the resolution of the crisis. It was just a callback for the people who remember Darmok fondly.
posted by zadcat at 7:38 AM on August 20 [3 favorites]


I'm in the minority with this episode, which was a miss for me--season 2 so far has been meaner, and the characters more reflexively 2-dimensional, than season 1 (like, at this point, S2 Mariner is just really problematic, I wouldn't want to serve with her at all). The nerd in me loves how full of Trek stuff and lore the episodes are, but the show-watcher part of me notices the undesirable changes (again, so far) from season 1. And I'm not finding it as funny, either.
posted by LooseFilter at 7:59 AM on August 20


Den of Geek missed at least one: the automated defense system was presumably a reference to DS9: "Civil Defense," which I now want to go rewatch.

Was Boimler's description of life on the Titan a dig at Discovery? It had to be a dig at something.

(like, at this point, S2 Mariner is just really problematic, I wouldn't want to serve with her at all). [...] And I'm not finding it as funny, either.

I do seem to be laughing less than I did in S1, but at least S2 so far feels like it has more weight and substance than early S1, which is as it should be. And while it did strike me as strange to have two consecutive episodes about Mariner and Freeman's professional shortcomings, I'd be very surprised if very many subsequent episodes were also about that. OTOH, they may be setting up some Boimler/Mariner conflict arising (in part) from Boimler's time on the Titan, which the show needs to pay off somehow so it doesn't feel like a storyline dead-end that they went with just to get some Frakes in.
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 11:27 AM on August 20


I think William Boimler is going to have a much more successful career than Bradward.

Interesting how quickly they've walked back the most interesting changes from Season 1. Mariner's relationship with her mom is reset, Boimler is back, at this point I'm fully expecting Shaxs to come back to life.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 5:11 PM on August 20 [2 favorites]


Was Boimler's description of life on the Titan a dig at Discovery? It had to be a dig at something.

"Eh, it was a bunch of complex characters thrown into heavily serialized battles which always ended in mind-blowing twists and made me question the basic tenets of my reality." Mmmmaybe? That could also be DS9, at least the latter seasons. (Speaking of nu(er)Trek, there's a teaser for PIC S2 that played before this.)

OTOH, they may be setting up some Boimler/Mariner conflict arising (in part) from Boimler's time on the Titan, which the show needs to pay off somehow so it doesn't feel like a storyline dead-end that they went with just to get some Frakes in.

Since the ep already went meta, with the bit above that you noticed, I think that the commentary there might be on any random Trekkie's dream spinoff show, which often seems to be made up of a) ship that appeared in one or two episodes or might have been mentioned but not actually seen in alpha canon; b) character who didn't have their own command in canon; c) crew that's varied in ethnicity/species, but doesn't really have much personality beyond general badassery. That seems to be more like what Bradward actually experienced, versus what he described above, which sure is interesting.
posted by Halloween Jack at 9:45 PM on August 20


I was disappointed that the Tamarian language didn't figure in the resolution of the crisis. It was just a callback for the people who remember Darmok fondly.

Same! I saw the title of the episode and was like "ohhh SHIT this is gonna be good, there's SOOO much to do here", modern meme culture has basically turned a broad swath of Online people into honest to god Earth-Tamarian-speakers ("Pikachu, his mouth open" is something I have uttered IRL with my actual face multiple times) and I've been waiting for Lower Decks to mine this rich vein for awhile. It was a disappointment to have this opportunity wasted this way.

I'm so glad they got Frakes. I agree he seems to be having a good time.
posted by potrzebie at 11:25 PM on August 20 [3 favorites]


Interesting how quickly they've walked back the most interesting changes from Season 1.

I thought the same thing. I'd love to know the reasoning behind that. (Of course, one of the most interesting changes (happily) seems to be long-term: Pakleds as a genuine interstellar threat.)

Mmmmaybe? That could also be DS9, at least the latter seasons.

That fits the "heavily serialized battles" part better than DISCO, but DISCO seems to fit the "mind-blowing twists and made me question the basic tenets of my reality" part better. This is gonna bug me now! Oh wait: maybe it's BSG.

modern meme culture has basically turned a broad swath of Online people into honest to god Earth-Tamarian-speakers [...] and I've been waiting for Lower Decks to mine this rich vein for awhile. It was a disappointment to have this opportunity wasted this way.

Very true, but since Kayshon didn't die, maybe they will tap into that comic vein in upcoming eps? As just kind of an out-of-nowhere running gag? Ya know, "Steinbrenner, on Seinfeld."
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 5:04 AM on August 21 [1 favorite]


at this point I'm fully expecting Shaxs to come back to life.

I knew that I was forgetting something: I mentioned the recent episode of What If? above, and in that ep's thread on the purple [spoilers], there's some discussion of why Dave Bautista was one of the very few people not voice-acting their character from the live-action movies; Drax was instead VAed by... Fred Tatasciore, who is still in the LD credits for this ep. Small multiverse! (And, since this series is so trope-rich, they could always have Shaxs replaced by a younger brother who maybe has the scar on the other side of his face or something.)
posted by Halloween Jack at 9:54 AM on August 21


I’m still giggling over the Pakleds using a circular saw as a battering ram.
posted by schmod at 7:43 PM on August 22 [3 favorites]


Den of Geek also missed Data's clay Masaka mask from the episode Masks.
posted by obol at 10:52 PM on August 22 [1 favorite]


I've really liked these last two episodes!

Problem is that I didn't really like the Odd Couple routine between Boimler and Mariner, so now they're back together I think I'm going to like it less. I don't think it really works when the Uptight One is still popular and the Reckless Slob doesn't suffer any consequences for being disorganised and unhygenic. There isn't really any tension, and the partners don't really offer each other any benefits.

(It worked better with Rimmer and Lister in early Red Dwarf as both characters were dysfunctional in different ways).

I really like having an optimistic, utopian Star Trek again though. Grimdark Trek just brings me down. I'm currently stalled halfway through the first series of Picard because I just can't be bothered going into the world again.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 1:12 AM on August 23


While I haven't seen it suggested elsewhere, I think there's a strong implication in this episode that any sufficiently overcharged sonic shower is indistinguishable from an agonizer booth. This dovetails nicely with the often bath-centric portrayal of the MU, and I'm tickled by the idea that skimping on ablutions is somehow a bridge too far for the Mirror Universe's reliably evil hedonists.
posted by lumensimus at 11:00 AM on August 23 [4 favorites]


heavily serialized battles

I haven't read more than one or two novels, so maybe those?

But I'm reading it as a dig at TNG episodes and the TNG movies with naval engagement-heavy scenes for "tension" purposes.

Love the callback to transporter clones with the implication of many-worlds but less the spontaneous divergence (otherBoimler likes life in Naval Trek versus originalBoimler's preference Exploration Trek - for no experiential reason*).

(The real) Boimler feels more like a technocrat/ explorer/ lover than a fighter/ suckup.

Stylistically, I'd have preferred if ST:LD explored Tom Riker instead of Will Riker as captain of the Titan, though. But, whatevs.

Digging the "Infinite Diversity" stuff and the inclusion of a Kelpian (? but they didn't do the recurvatum knees) mentioned on Memory Alpha, but is the 15% Homo sapiens actually shown?

*Tom Riker actually had (lots of) realtime experiences (?) after the point of divergence, before meeting Will? otherBoimler had essentially no differences than originalBoimler before originalBoimler was transporter recovered - other than receiving a single bout of praise and originalBoimler had to go through [unspecified hell] to get on a shuttle to escape (in an unrealistic timeframe).
posted by porpoise at 11:14 PM on August 26


@potrzebie exactly!

It's no secret around here that I'm a huge fan of Darmok, and I was giddy with glee when I saw the title of this episode. But it was such a disappointment. We waited 28 years for Star Trek to revisit the Tamarians and this was the best they could do?
posted by automatronic at 4:39 PM on August 27 [1 favorite]


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