Star Trek Guide

Star Trek: Lower Decks – Episode Guide – Season 4

Star Trek: Lower Decks season 4One stated purpose of Star Trek: Lower Decks has always been to revisit elements of previous ST series, particularly the three of the 1980s/90s. And oh my, has this never been clearer than in season four.

Nearly every one of the 10 ST:LD season four episodes is a spiritual sequel, prequel, callback or evolution of characters and stories from Star Trek lore. Herein we’ve got Betazoids and Orions, Ferengi and Vendorians. Returning characters include Badgey; Rom (a.k.a. the Grand Nagus) and Leeta (a.k.a. Mrs. Grand Nagus?); and the Nova Squadron of Starfleet Academy’s Class of ’68.

At some point between the conclusion of this season’s episode 10 and the launch of the Star Trek: Discovery season 5 premiere, the production team announced that season 5 of Lower Decks would be its last. That’s quite a shame, as season four – despite the piggybacking for plotlines – really showed Lower Decks coming into its own as a full-fledged Star Trek series, with all the world-building and feels of any other ST series.

Until then, warp me!

  1. Twovix – Potentially unpopular opinion: The Star Trek: Voyager episode “Tuvix,” the spiritual prequel to this one, is one of the most overrated of any in the franchise. But the silly premise and Janeway’s overblown “tough decision” are saved in this look back at the goofier (sometimes) classics of the Delta Quadrant gang. And any Lower Decks episode with lots of screentime for T’Lyn is worth the watch. ***
  2. I Have No Bones Yet I Must Flee – The interstellar-menagerie trope gets the LD treatment in an episode apparently based on the idea of a tribble and a Pikachu having a predatory offspring. Can cuteness kill? Sure, if it’s a bone-drinking Moopsy! Also, Rutherford attempts to get a promotion by engineering the s*** out of stuff…***
  3. In the Cradle of Vexilon – In charge of his first away mission, Boimler discovers what leadership is about while the insane malfunctioning computer Vexilon wreaks havoc on the planet. ***
  4. Something Borrowed, Something Green – Since the TNG episode “A Matter of Honor,” the Star Trek franchise has exceled in universe-building via exploration into and expansion of its dozens of major alien races: what The Next Generation did for the Klingons, Deep Space Nine did for the Ferengi and Cardassians, Voyager for the Borg, Enterprise for the Vulcans … heck, even Picard season 1 gave us interesting insights into Romulan culture. With one of the series’ main charaters an Orion, Lower Decks thereby expands upon the green-skinned (former) pirates: For the first time ever, we experience the homeworld of D’Vana Tendi and its typical lifestyle – or rather, the typical lifestyle of the planet’s rich ‘n’ famous. Meanwhile, back on the ship, Boimler and Rutherford – not to mention Captain Freeman and a disgruntled counterpat – discover the awesome power of Being Mark Twain…****
  5. Empathological Fallacies – Three hard-partying Betazoid diplomats come aboard the Cerritos and not long thereafter unleash a bout of Zanthl fever, which causes the crew to overemotionally act and react to everything. Or is this outbreak emanating from a different source altogether…? ***
  6. Parth Ferengi's Heart Place – A few years after the events of DS9 season 7, the latest Grand Nagus seeks membership for Ferengenar into the Federation. Thus Rom and his wife Leeta meet with Starfleet brass aboard the Cerriots to just … hammer out a few more details. At the same time, Commander Ransom sends our four heroes to Ferengenar to update the official Federation tourist guidebooks, which the junior lieutenants achieve with mixed results. ***
  7. A Few Badgeys More – One’s enjoyment of this episode will depend solely on one’s appreciation for the Badgey character first created by Rutherford on the Holodeck back in season 1. Drawing on the Star Trek mad omniscient god trope, at long last Badgey may have gotten closure. ***
  8. Caves – “All caves are the same,” rants Mariner early into this episode’s away mission, but the twists and turns as each lower decker tells a tale of past adventure are rife – and often hilarious. ***
  9. The Inner Fight – Things start to get a little dark here, as Mariner’s self-destructiveness comes to a head. In an attempt to keep her out of danger, the lower decks team nevertheless is soon marooned on a planet inhabited by … members of ships ostensibly “destroyed” by the mysterious force. Mariner buddies up with Captain Ma’ah (last seen in “wej Duj” of season 2) and, just as the two seem to have taken control of the chaotic situation, Mariner is beamed away to the ship of this season’s Big Bad…***
  10. Old Friends, New Planets – Now here’s some closure we never thought we needed. Against Mariner’s fight conflict with the megalomaniacal Nick Locarno and his insidious plan, she lashes back to the era of “The First Duty,” replete with cameos by Wesley Crusher and Sito Jaxa. No cliffhanger closes this season – unless you count the reassignment of the soon-to-be-back Tendi to her home planet…***