Star Trek Guide

Lower Decks: How Q Returns to the Star Trek Universe

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Star Trek: Lower Decks Season 1, Episode 8, "Veritas," now streaming on CBS All Access.

On Star Trek Day, it was revealed actor John de Lancie would return as fan-favorite Q in an upcoming episode of Star Trek: Lower Decks. A member of a race of all-powerful beings from another dimension called the Q Continuum, Q first appeared in the series premiere of Star Trek: The Next Generation, where he developed a fascination with Jean-Luc Picard and the crew of the Enterprise. Following that episode, Q returned sporadically throughout the rest of The Next Generation before also appearing in episodes of Deep Space Nine and Voyager.

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Here's why Q returned in "Veritas," the latest episode of Star Trek: Lower Decks.

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In "Veritas," the Command crew of the U.S.S. Cerritos are given high honors by the Primes of K'Tuevon Prime after the successful rescue of one of their leaders. In celebration, Boimler, Mariner, Rutherford and Tendi are brought in to tell their versions of the events that lead to the daring rescue, but none of the quartet can provide a full account because, being members of the lower decks crew, they aren't privy to all the information of the Cerritos' missions. Not only do they not know all the details, Boimler also says that even the Command crew makes mistakes. He gives an example of this by telling the story of one of the times Q showed up on the Cerritos.

The episode then flashes back to Q challenging Captain Freeman and her Command crew to a human-sized version of chess. Here, Q appears in his floating chair, wearing the classic costume from when he appeared on The Next Generation's "Encounter at Farpoint" episode to put Picard on trial as a stand-in for all humanity.

In Lower Decks, Q is just as eccentric and comical, and his abilities to alter all of reality are on full display yet again. His return in the flashback is brief, and it's more of a joke than anything else -- but he does appear once again at the end of the episode. This time, Q appears in the present, challenging Ensign Mariner to a duel. However, Mariner doesn't have any time to deal with him, so she tells him to go visit Picard instead. Sadly, Q reveals that Picard isn't all that interested in his games anymore either.

Q's return in Star Trek: Lower Decks didn't have a large impact on the overall story of "Veritas," but it's still bound to make longtime Star Trek fans happy.

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