Star Trek: Lower Decks: Caves
October 19, 2023 8:45 AM - Season 4, Episode 8 - Subscribe

Cave missions: when you need to do a bottle episode but don't want it to seem like one, there's always the cave set. [pause] But LD is an animated series... it doesn't use--never mind.

I almost peed again when Memory Alpha jumped in like that:

- The cave set has been a staple of Trek since the very beginning; part of the original pilot "The Cage" takes place in an underground cavern on Talos IV.

- Levy, the 'ritos' resident conspiracy theorist, appeared previously in "No Small Parts", "Trusted Sources", and "Minding the Mind's Mines".

"I think this was actually one of the best days in my life."
"Uh, you mean, with the zombie outbreak, then getting stuck in here and peeing in a corner?"
"Well, I didn't love peeing in a corner."

--Tendi and Mariner

Poster's Log:

Lampshading the franchise's heavy use of cave sets could have turned into just another reference-fest, but the LD writers sidestepped that a bit and made it into a sort of anthology that made the point that Beta Shift (or, as they also made a point of saying, former Beta Shift) have other little adventures on their own. And another cliche averted was that Tendi's turbolift story didn't turn out to be the secret key to getting out of the cave on Grottonus (nice pun there, although at first I thought that it was "Grotendous"), but was just her remembering what happened after they first met and how nice it was to sort of Breakfast Club it. (Getting stuck in a turbolift isn't as common as a cave-set episode, but it's happened a few times before as well.) In a way, they all had the key to getting out of there; friendship is magic.

Poster's Log, supplemental: Mysterious Little Ship didn't appear this episode; I'd guess that the last two eps this season will be a two-parter about that.
posted by Halloween Jack (14 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
The real cave is the friends we made along the way.
posted by kyrademon at 10:23 AM on October 19, 2023 [6 favorites]

I shit you not, in the last thread, I was gonna make a remark about how we felt due for a fake clip show, but I deleted it on preview. Get out of my heaaaaad Lower Deeeeecksss
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 10:43 AM on October 19, 2023 [8 favorites]

This was my favorite episode so far this season. It was just perfect and even made me tear up a bit.
posted by wittgenstein at 2:36 PM on October 19, 2023 [2 favorites]

This show continues excellent and raises the bar for other trek and/or animated comedy.
posted by Marticus at 2:45 PM on October 19, 2023 [3 favorites]

Rutherford's "natural stairs" was the only Star Trek cave reference I needed.
posted by audi alteram partem at 6:53 PM on October 19, 2023 [3 favorites]

Extreme nitpick: when Tendi starts her story, the flashback view of the Cerritos has the second-season arrangement of alternating red and green navigation lights, as the production corrected the arrangement for the third season. I guess they didn’t want to go back to the actual, color-light-free look of season one (Navigation Lights in Star Trek on Ex Astris Scientia).

Also, the way Levy and Rutherford flutter their fingers when they say “Vendorians.”
posted by channaher at 7:39 PM on October 19, 2023 [3 favorites]

This was a perfect episode. I loved it. No notes.
posted by schmod at 8:08 PM on October 19, 2023

Yo I heard I heard you like clip shows so I put some clips of cave episodes in your clip show episode, also about caves. Also you've never seen the clips before! We're through the looking glass, people!

I felt like the cave that they kept reusing was an amalgam of the Hellworld cave set from TNG and some of the tunnels from TOS. All that was missing was a bunch of rock-carving Hortas!

Shax opening the turbolift doors was such a great character moment—love that guy.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 10:24 PM on October 19, 2023 [1 favorite]

In case their appearance didn't make it obvious, Vendorians are from TAS. A Vendorian also appeared in LDS season 1 episode 2, "Envoys."
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 3:08 AM on October 20, 2023 [1 favorite]

This was a good episode. I loved Rutherford's nonchalant "I had a cave baby." That might have been one of the best lines in the show. The moment when it was discovered the Delta Shift team member's leg wasn't going to heal properly was awful...funny, and that it ended by falling off was just golden. I hope that they could actually grow it back, since, you know, Nog's leg wasn't quite as replaceable.

The real cave is the friends we made along the way.

Including the cave.

This show just comes in like the best warm spring breeeze and vanishes just as quickly. Meh.
posted by Atreides at 6:48 AM on October 20, 2023

Not to randomly throw out a possible spoiler for a two-year-old movie, but was the way Asif's leg "healed" (and maybe the idea behind that whole segment) a reference to M. Night Shyamalan's 2021 movie "Old"?
posted by hanov3r at 7:44 AM on October 20, 2023 [1 favorite]

Maybe, but Trek has had its own rapid-aging stories.
posted by Halloween Jack at 9:51 AM on October 20, 2023 [1 favorite]

Holy shit, Rutherford just casually tossing out having a “cave baby” was funny enough, but then starting off that story with “it was a few weeks back” somehow was one of the funniest things ever.
posted by Navelgazer at 11:14 PM on October 22, 2023 [5 favorites]

>>The real cave is the friends we made along the way.

>Including the cave.

The real friend we made along the way was the cave.
posted by The Tensor at 3:03 AM on October 25, 2023 [3 favorites]

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