Lower Decks – Season #4

Fresh from their triumphant appearance in Strange New Worlds, our favorite ensigns are back in action, and the first thing that happens to them is that they all get promoted.

This was presumably inevitable. There are only so many jokes that you can tell about a group of people who are on the bottom rung of the officer corps of a starship. Bumping them up to junior lieutenant means you can give them more responsibility, put them in different situations, and find new jokes. Inevitably, Boimler gets put in charge of a group of ensigns and is so overcome by anxiety that he makes a total mess of being a leader. He’ll learn.

The one of our heroes who is least happy about the promotion is Mariner. The obvious assumption is that she doesn’t want the responsibility because it means she can’t goof about and be irresponsible any more. First Officer, Jack Ransom, seems to have her number, and is determined not to let her sacrifice her career. We don’t find out the truth about Mariner’s reaction until the final double-part episode.

Someone else who has a lot of story arc to get through is Tendi. We knew at the start of the episode that her family were Orion pirates. We did not know that Tendi was heir to one of the richest and most powerful families on Orion. She, of course, just wants to do science, but no one on Orion believes that, least of all her hugely competitive younger sister.

Rutherford doesn’t have quite as much to do in this season, but he’s not left out. There are return appearances for the dangerous artificial intelligences, Badgey, AGIMUS and Peanut Hamper. Oh, and he has a baby.

A new addition to the group this season is T’Lyn, a Vulcan. She makes a fine foil for the rest of the group, who are way more excitable.

This season also has an overall story arc. In each episode, a mysterious alien starship is seen attacking and destroying another vessel. It targets all the well known spacefaring species of the Star Trek universe. When we finally learn who is in command of it, and what it is up to, we fall into a rabbit hole of Trek history, and in particular the origins of Lower Decks as a series. As such it makes a fine finale for the season.

Well done, Lower Decks, keep it up.