Star Trek Guide

Star Trek: Lower Decks Flashes Back to an Important TNG Episode

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Star Trek: Lower Decks Season 1, Episode 5, "Cupid's Errant Arrow," now streaming on CBS All Access.

In the latest episode of Star Trek: Lower Decks, "Cupid's Errant Arrow," we learn that Ensign Boimler has been in a month-long relationship with the smart and beautiful Barbara Brinson, a Starfleet officer serving aboard the U.S.S. Vancouver -- and we're just as surprised by the news as Ensign Mariner is. In fact, at first, Mariner doesn't believe Barbara is real. No matter what Boimler says about her, she believes Barbara's just a figment of his imagination at first.

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Even when Barbara and Boimler are reunited and showing their all-too-real love for another, Mariner isn't convinced. While Barbara is proven real, Mariner's next possible explanation is that she is actually an alien or some sort of parasite in hiding. And, as a matter of fact, she's got just the story to prove this may be the case.

While Barbara is away working, Mariner explains to Boimler her suspicions that his new girlfriend could actually be an alien disguised as a human only waiting for the right time to strike. While he dismisses the idea as crazy, she tells him a story from her past, back when she served aboard the U.S.S. Quito.

The episode then briefly flashes back to Mariner's U.S.S. Quito days, when she and her crew were at the Deep Space 9 station. There, a younger Mariner enjoys drinks with her friends, Angie and Niko as Angie fills them in on an incident that just went down with the U.S.S. Enterprise-D crew. She explains that Data's brother Lore joined forces with the Borg and that it was a whole big thing.

Fans of Star Trek: The Next Generation will know that here, Angie is referencing the events of the two-part episode "Descent." The first part of this episode served as the show's Season 6 finale, while the Season 7 premiere delivered the concluding chapter.

Therefore, this scene takes place shortly after the events of The Next Generation's Season 7 premiere, and places Ensign Mariner in context with that crew. It's now clear that during the series' final season, she was still serving aboard the Quito.

Following the series premiere of Star Trek: Lower Decks, it was understood that the animated series took place only a few years after the events of The Next Generation. And now, with this flashback, an even more concrete timeline is established.

Star Trek: Lower Decks stars Tawny Newsome as Ensign Beckett Mariner, Eugene Cordero as Ensign Rutherford, Jack Quaid as Ensign Brad Boimler, Noël Wells as Ensign Tendi, Dawnn Lewis as Captain Carol Freeman, Jerry O'Connell as Commander Jack Ransom, Gillian Vigman as Doctor T'Ana and Fred Tatasciore as Lieutenant Shaxs. The show premiered on CBS All Access on Aug. 6.

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