Created by Rick & Morty writer Mike McHMahan, Star Trek: Lower Decks features the voices of Tawny Newsome, Jack Quaid, Noël Wells and Eugene Cordero as the support crew serving on one of Starfleet’s least important ships, the U.S.S. Cerritos.
The animated comedy series follows the support crew on one of Starfleet’s least important ships, the U.S.S. Cerritos, in 2380. Ensigns Mariner, Boimler, Rutherford and Tendi have to keep up with their duties and their social lives, often while the ship is being rocked by a multitude of sci-fi anomalies.
Nearing the mid-point in its second season Star Trek: Lower Decks is continuing to shake up its core cast with new and interesting stories. After pairing Tendi (Noël Wells) and Mariner (Tawny Newsome) last week, this week it’s the turn of Rutherford (Eugene Cordero) and Boimler (Jack Quaid) to spend some quality time together.
The story revolves around an away mission on which most of our lower deck officers are sent. Whilst the mission is action-packed, it’s inconsequential to the character drama. After learning that Mariner may be a black ops spy, Rutherford and Mariner are convinced of her betrayal. Following her to the planet they get caught up in a plot featuring some early-TNG era Ferengi.
Of course the whole thing is a set up used to make Mariner look cool amongst her peers. But prior to the punchline the story allows the male leads to spend some time together. The vulnerability to both their characters is a welcome change from generic alpha males.
Back on the ship Tendi is tasked with performing physicals on a number of the crew who have so far refused. Working through her list gives the episode a much needed montage on hilarious scenarios. It also leads to an equally hilarious conclusion when the final patient is the ship’s doctor, T’Ana (Gillian Vigman). It leads to a literal cat-and-mouse chase around the ship which feels perfectly Lower Decks.
There’s little merit to discussion the series’ animation style. At fourteen episodes in the series looks great and has really stuck to its unique visual style. When the stories are so outlandish it’s great to have a consistent visual language to rely on.
Lower Decks continues an impressive run of strong episodes with yet another hilarious away mission.
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