When Mariner and the other lower deckers discover that Boimler has created a holodeck simulation of the entire ship’s crew so that he can cheat during a performance review, Mariner reprograms it into a big budget action adventure movie and casts herself as the villain.
What follows is a hilarious, loving lampoon of the original Star Trek movies and the Kelvin movies with everything from time consuming starship porn to lens flare… all in good fun, none of it judgemental.
That’s what I really love about this show: Yes, it makes fun of Star Trek, but it does so from a place of affection.
There is so much working for this episode. Seeing Rutherford and Tendi, for example, try to inhabit ruthless characters who are so unlike themselves and continually failing at it. Boimler playing along with the program, still trying to get the information he needs for his review, and Mariner hamming her way through her mommy issues with Captain Freeman.
On top of all of that, I’m very much in awe of how cinematic this entire adventure actually was. While it no doubt borrowed heavily from The Wrath of Khan and Star Trek Beyond, it did feel like a big screen Star Trek adaptation and never lost that illusion, even when the lower deckers broke character.
I did think Mariner was a bit much at times and, while I get that the point of the episode was that Mariner was using the program to work out her own psychological issues, I actually think that her villain side shone through a little too brightly and made herself look like a complete psychopath, almost to the point that I almost expected the holographic hero Mariner to be revealed as the real one.
Still, another fantastic and highly enjoyable episode of this unexpectedly great series that more people should be watching.