Star Trek: Lower Decks: Grounded
August 25, 2022 8:30 AM - Season 3, Episode 1 - Subscribe

[Season Premiere] AKA "Naked Came the Starship"

Memory Alpha likes the bridge:

- With this season, LD has more seasons than Star Trek: The Animated Series, which had an abbreviated second season.

- Les Buenamigo is voiced by Carlos Alazraqui, probably best known for Reno 911! but also for a lot of stuff on Nickelodeon. His daughter, Rylee, is the voice of Rohk-Tahk on Star Trek: Prodigy.

Poster's Log, unedited:

Shoulder seemed to hurt a bit less today; I hope that that's a sign that it's going to get better on its own. Starting to regret that I looked up "rotator cuff tear." Had a good meeting last night; looking forward to the cookout this Saturday. Also glad that I don't have anything pressing to do tonight so that I can watch She-Hulk at my leisure. What else, what else... oh, LD, right. OK. At first I was kind of underwhelmed by this episode, but then decided that the ending was probably deliberate in subverting the whole Star Trek III, sometimes-the-needs-of-the-few-outweigh-those-of-the-many groove that ended up being a headfake; sometimes the system does work. The Pakleds blowing up their own planet as part of a plot to demand that the Federation give them a new one is totally on brand for them; I was also amused by the faked "evidence" bearing a suspicious resemblance to a particular plot point in Captain America: Civil War. I could go through and point out all the easter eggs, but why should I have all the fun? Well, anyway.

Poster's Log, supplemental: OK, maybe just one. In the news chyron, Admiral Jellico is banning the Zebulon Sisters; I wonder if that's a reference to this Steely Dan song.
posted by Halloween Jack (26 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
What is the new ship seen in the opening credits battle?
posted by 1970s Antihero at 9:25 AM on August 25

Not sure; I noticed the crystalline entity, though.
posted by Halloween Jack at 9:31 AM on August 25

This was a fun cliffhanger resolution, esp. the lampshading of how everything important was off-screen.
posted by Etrigan at 10:12 AM on August 25 [2 favorites]

"What the Tag Saw" LOL

This ep caused me to wonder what ketracel white tastes like. I'd be lying if I said I never wondered that before. Not lately, though.

The queue area for the Phoenix ride looks almost exactly like the queue area for the Disney World Avatar ride. And bringing back Cromwell was delightful—he has the right sort of voice for queue instructions.

I went into this one really curious about how they would handle the cliffhanger without becoming more serial/serious than the show seemed meant to be. The offscreen op was maybe the perfect way to do it. (Kudos also for finding a way to bring back Cpt. Bateson without bringing back Kelsey Grammer.)

What is the new ship seen in the opening credits battle?

You may be referring to Pakled ships, which were added for season 2.
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 12:25 PM on August 25 [5 favorites]

I loved hearing the "First Contact" theme when they beamed to Montana.
posted by Roger Pittman at 2:59 PM on August 25

"You're not here to tie me up and steal my transporter to beam to a top-secret facility, are you?"

Hope we see Denny and his bowl of butterscotch candy again.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 10:26 PM on August 25 [3 favorites]

I'm so delighted that Boimler is from a raisin-farming family!!! I'm from raisin farmers too and I have to say I never expected to see the most humble of the grape farming professions represented on Star Trek. When he said he was a raisin farmer I was like "no WAY, where from? Selma? Tulare??" and went and looked it up and dude is from Modesto. In case any of you were wondering.

The Bozeman theme park was awesome.
posted by potrzebie at 10:50 PM on August 25 [18 favorites]

That said this episode felt very short. I was thinking it would have behooved them to release a second one this week as well to feel like we're getting into the season instead of just tying up last season.
posted by potrzebie at 10:57 PM on August 25

You might also want to look up “shoulder labrum tear”… I had one for two years before it got diagnosed
posted by sixswitch at 11:20 PM on August 25 [1 favorite]

I got the Sun-Maid Bonnet reference; but the rest of the raisin babes batting their eyes at Boimler is a joke I didn't get?

It took me a minute to realize that the shuttlecraft are all named after California state parks.
posted by bartleby at 12:08 AM on August 26

I wish they all could be California parks.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 5:50 AM on August 26 [5 favorites]

Maybe they're all warm for Boimler's form because he dyes his hair purple?

I have never seen First Contact so much of the Bozeman stuff was lost on me. I should probably remedy that.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 12:20 PM on August 26 [1 favorite]

I have never seen First Contact so much of the Bozeman stuff was lost on me. I should probably remedy that.

I was initially puzzled by this as there is a brief mention of Morgan Bateson, captain of the USS Bozeman*, but that is from a fifth-season TNG episode called “Cause and Effect” while “First Contact” was a fourth-season episode guest starring Bebe Neuwirth, his onscreen (ex-)wife throughout the eighties and nineties.

But yeah: First Contact is by consensus the best of the TNG films, which probably makes it the best Trek movie in the last several decades. This so a series that repays knowledge of odd bits of canon.

*Bozeman, Montana is the hometown of terrible Trek producer Brannon Braga, if you are wondering why it appears so often in my first paragraph there.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 7:02 PM on August 26 [3 favorites]

terrible Trek producer Brannon Braga

Man, when did this become accepted wisdom?
posted by crossoverman at 4:04 AM on August 27

The decontamination gel scene in the Enterprise pilot, if we’re being honest.
posted by thecaddy at 4:44 AM on August 27 [8 favorites]

I found this episode underwhelming, to be honest. They've made the most boring possible choice, throwing away almost all interesting plot and character development, just as they did at the beginning of season 2. It feels like the show is terrified of taking any risks.
posted by kyrademon at 8:11 AM on August 27 [1 favorite]

Man, when did this become accepted wisdom?

Even before ENT, the fact of Braga's being promoted to his level of incompetence became clear as he got more control over Star Trek: Voyager. I've already posted this link multiple times in different threads, but it's still relevant: Ron Moore did an interview in which he (among many other complaints about his relatively short time on VOY) talks about the difference between working with Braga on previous Treks and working with him on VOY. On ENT, he and Rick Berman were in charge from the get-go, and had no one to blame but themselves for the many missed opportunities and embarrassing crappy episodes; they had a decent fourth season by virtue of putting Manny Coto in charge, but finished it off with this execrable piece of work, which didn't so much bury the TNG era of Trek as dump it into an overflowing sewer and run away.
posted by Halloween Jack at 10:13 AM on August 27 [2 favorites]

This so a series that repays knowledge of odd bits of canon.

Fuck the retcon, I remember the original timeline, where Cochrane isn't from Earth in the first place.*

* Star Trek Spaceflight Chronology (1979) by Stan Goldstein and Fred Goldstein, illustrated by Rick Sternbach
posted by mikelieman at 3:56 PM on August 27 [1 favorite]

After SNW S1 and The Orville S3 trying to plug that "excellent episodic sci fi" hole in our hearts with this episode is just a recipe for sadness. Maybe after a few weeks I'll forget how well I liked those shows and be able to engage with LD on its own level.

I could especially have done without the "women are attracted to Boimler (and he's clueless)" gag, I didn't need it a total of 4 (?) times. And I'm not sure what I think of the "on the nose anti-Picard-ness" of having a family raisin business. Probably mostly since it made me think back on how disappointing PIC S2 was.

I could go chasing all the other references in this episode but... why? that's not what I want. I want to see characters I care about in interesting situations. Even better if what they did mattered to how the story turned out.
posted by the antecedent of that pronoun at 6:07 AM on August 28 [1 favorite]

terrible Trek producer Brannon Braga

Man, when did this become accepted wisdom?

It’s hard to choose a single event as the defining moment, but there is an argument to be made for finding out you are being removed as show runner at the end of the season so you leave the next guy with a cliffhanger about time-travelling alien space Nazis. “You fix it.”
posted by ricochet biscuit at 6:41 AM on August 28 [1 favorite]

Of course, there were some blameless actors who got shoehorned into this. I can imagine them spending an afternoon on the Paramount lot being fitted for full-head prosthetics and an SS uniform, thinking, “Man, I should have accepted that coffee commercial gig.”
posted by ricochet biscuit at 6:44 AM on August 28

I was also amused by the faked "evidence" bearing a suspicious resemblance to a particular plot point in Captain America: Civil War.

I would have said it has a resemblance to what Sisko and Garak pulled off from “In The Pale Moonlight”, myself.
posted by The Pluto Gangsta at 12:23 PM on August 28 [1 favorite]

That comment about SNW and Orville hit home for me. Lower Decks was fresh because it was light episodic sci-fi, a genre that was nearly absent on TV. But now we've got other shows executing that well. So what's left that's unique about Lower Decks is the animation and the goofy humor. Sometimes that works for me, sometimes it doesn't. I thought the raisin girls hitting on Fry Boimler were hilarious, not so much for the gag itself but because it was a parody of that kind of gag. But a bunch of other jokes didn't land for me. Eh.

Thanks also for the comment highlighting the raisin / California connection. I got the raisin gag just as a parody of Picard in his vineyard. Didn't realize it dovetailed with all the ongoing Planet Southern California jokes the show also makes.
posted by Nelson at 7:37 AM on August 30 [1 favorite]

I put this in the Strange New Worlds thread a while ago but I think that it belongs here too.

Anson Mount First Thought the Strange New Worlds-Lower Decks Crossover Would Be Like Roger Rabbit
posted by ActingTheGoat at 10:17 AM on August 30 [1 favorite]

The New York Times Critic’s Notebook from Saturday has special attention for the two animated series: “Catching Up With ‘Star Trek,’ the Quiet Franchise” (non-paywall edition).
posted by channaher at 3:12 PM on August 31 [1 favorite]

Anson Mount First Thought the Strange New Worlds-Lower Decks Crossover Would Be Like Roger Rabbit

It is difficult to express how extremely here for that I would be.
posted by uncleozzy at 10:48 AM on September 6 [3 favorites]

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