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Star Trek Lower Decks: Envoys

The Agents of Doux are covering Star Trek: Lower Decks with "discussion reviews." Mikey starts us off.

Mikey Heinrich: A little over half way through this episode, the Universe reached out personally to the Agents of Doux and gave us the most important moment to occur on a Star Trek show ever.

Namely, the shapeshifter that Boimler inadvertently helps to escape from the Andorians is clearly the same species of shape shifter that was played by Ted Knight in the Animated Series episode, "The Survivor." A detail that I would never in a million years have been aware of if we hadn't just watched those. Direct confirmation from the universe that we made the right choice to go directly to discussing Lower Decks after doing The Animated Series. Thank you, Universe.

I think the thing I liked best about this episode is what it tells us about Mariner. To be specific, I love the reveal at the end that she had set up the whole Ferengi "mugging" just to give Boimler a win so that he felt better about himself. Not just the kindness of what she did, although that is certainly a very sweet moment. No, the thing I really like about it is that we get the reveal immediately after the sequence of Boimler doing everything he can to humiliate her in the mess hall as he relays over and over again the story of how she "screwed up." And during that sequence, Mariner gives us all the appearance of being irritated by the public humiliation, but then immediately after we see that she isn't bothered by it in the slightest. It was just part of the act to give Boimler his moment.

Mariner literally could not care less what the other people on the ship think of her, and she used that to help a friend. I like that a lot.

In the other plotline, I'm really starting to love Rutherford. He's just so endearingly sincere. It does seem a little odd that security wouldn't push harder to keep him after what he did to the smorgasborg simulation, but that would have gotten in the way of the running joke they were working with, so I get it.

Oh, and the total dismissal of the standard "extradimensional glowy light intruder enters the ship" trope in the cold open was hysterical. Was "like I would ask for something that didn't come with batteries" supposed to be a double entendre?

And with that I pass the Chat'leth.

Samantha M. Quinn: I totally agree with you that Mariner's actions were very sweet, boosting Boimler's confidence and giving him a moment in the spotlight really works. She's kind of turning out to be my favorite character. I'm not quite as sold on Rutherford. Yes, doing what he did for a friend was very self-sacrificing and I loved that he didn't tell her the reasons. What I did love was how supportive the rest of the ship was regarding Rutherford wanting to explore his career options. Makes me like the people on the ship beyond our main cast. Also, he seems very adaptable, to the point where I can't see him staying a grunt for terribly long. Actually all four of them might be slightly green (no pun intended), but they are very competent, even Boimler.

Billie Doux: Yes, I really loved the "You want to explore your career options? We'll help you in any way we can!" They didn't go for the depressing cheap joke – they went for what would be realistically positive and Starfleet-like.

This one was mostly about getting to know Mariner, Boimler and Rutherford a lot better, and that worked for me. Turns out Mariner is one of those messy, loud, super-talented people who goes through life playing it by ear and succeeding, while Boimler studies his butt off and has trouble pulling off anything. It said a lot for Mariner, what she did for Boimler.

Mikey Heinrich: It feels unfair to blame this episode for it, but we really need to retire the "Captain, what's your catchphrase going to be when we start the ship?" joke. We just got it in Strange New Worlds, we had it in Picard.

Again, this one predates the other two, so it feels churlish to fault them. It just stands out since the other two were so recent.

CoramDeo: As someone whose experience of those jokes came in the order they were aired, it’s definitively got diminishing returns. I loved it when I first saw it here, and yikes. It made me roll my eyes hard in SNW last week.

Samantha M. Quinn: I actually felt the opposite, I thought the SNW joke was very in character for everyone present. Sure they probably shouldn't do it again, but in SNW and Picard both were fairly important moments for the character in question.

Billie Doux: The SNW bit made me laugh like a loon. I guess I'm not that sophisticated. :)

Joseph Santini: I admit that this episode is pure Trek comic relief for me. When the energy creature appeared I kept thinking of poor pregnant Troi back in TNG and that started what I saw as a sly takedown of so many Trek conventions.

Boimler’s the annoying kid in class who’s constantly trying to answer all the questions right. Mariner’s the kid who waits for her moment then totally disrupts the class and escapes. The whole moment with buying drinks for her enemies and making them her friends? I’d buy her five rounds myself.

I have to say I think Rutherford has awesome potential but I’m in love with Lt. Shaxs! I love how he calls the security team the bear clan – it was adorable.

Mikey Heinrich: I immediately thought of pregnant Troi as well.

CoramDeo: This episode is much better than the premiere in my opinion, and it’s not even scratching the surface of the show’s potential. I really love the way it straddles the line between real people and the ideals of Federation society. Frankly, it might do a better job of that than any other Trek show IMO. We get to see that in Rutherford’s career exploration storyline, on both Rutherford’s end and the rest of the crew’s. And Tendi’s, too! Boimler and Mariner may be half of the cast that gets the most attention, but I think that Rutherford and Tendi don’t get enough credit for what they bring to the show.

Billie Doux: So – do we want to do ratings? I'd go with three out of four... were there actually pooped out tricorders?

Mikey Heinrich: I'm going with eight out of ten drunken Klingons. This one was a lot of silly fun.

The energy being in the cold open transmuted part of its mass into a new tricorder for Mariner. I'm okay with thinking of that as pooping.

Billie Doux: I might still be thinking of The Animated Series when the Enterprise was trapped in that small intestine.

Mikey Heinrich: It was a good time in the small intestine. #SentencesIDidntExpectToTypeToday

Joseph Santini: It was poop.

Tricorder and battery poop.


  1. These were fun while they lasted. Any chance of more reviews? I’m currently catching up on season 4.

    1. Måge, in a word, yes. We're working on it. Thanks for asking. :)


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