Star Trek Guide

Star Trek: Lower Decks Names Mariner Number One (Briefly)

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Star Trek: Lower Decks Season 1, Episode 7, "Much Ado About Boimler," now streaming on CBS All Access.

At the start of the latest episode of Star Trek: Lower Decks, "Much Ado About Boimler," the U.S.S. Cerritos' main command trio -- which is comprised of Captain Freeman, Lieutenant Shaxs and Commander Jack Ransom -- are called away for a special mission. Therefore, a temporary replacement crew is tasked with taking command of the ship, much to the dismay of Ensign Mariner.

However, Mariner changes her tune when she meets acting Captain Amina Ramsey, one of her best friends from Starfleet Academy. The two get the chance to reconnect, and Ramsey ends up making Mariner an important offer: while she is in charge of the Cerritos, she would like Mariner to act as her Number One.

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When Mariner is offered the position of temporary First Officer, she accepts so as to help her friend get better acquainted with the U.S.S. Cerritos and its crew members. However, she rapidly proves to be incompetent in her new position: She forgets to do basic things, makes mistakes and doesn't listen properly.

At first, Ramsey lets these things slide, but eventually she has enough. During a rescue mission on the U.S.S Rubidoux, Ramsey tells Mariner that, back at the Academy, she used to be one of the most steadfast and competent people she knew -- part of the reason she was so eager to offer her the First Officer position. But Mariner avoids the subject, and she focuses on the mission instead.

It's only when the crew of the Rubidoux reveals they are under attack by a space vessel lifeform that Mariner suddenly stops being incompetent. She kicks into action, taking charge of the rescue mission and making sure everyone gets home safe. Ramsey is confused, only for a moment, until she realizes that Mariner has been making mistakes on purpose. All this time, she was sabotaging herself to appear terrible at her job.

When Ramsey asks why she purposefully underperformed, Mariner answers that she knew that if she proved herself as resourceful and competent as she truly is, Ramsey would offer her a position on her own ship, the U.S.S. Oakland. But she doesn't want a promotion. She wants to stay where she is, and be the best Ensign she can be, with all the freedom that comes with it. If she ever were to become Captain herself, that freedom would be lost.

For the time being, Mariner is perfectly content working as an Ensign. But how long will it be before she gets promoted again? Next time, it could end up being permanent -- whether she likes it or not.

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