Boimler is unexpectedly phased, thanks to a transporter mishap and is forced into the custody of Division 14, a shadowy Starfleet medical organization that deals with crew who have been turned into freaks.
Meanwhile, Tendi creates a dog named The Dog who… well… isn’t quite right, but since Tendi has never met an Earth dog, she has no idea that she’s created a little hellhound.
Also meanwhile, Mariner’s friend from the academy shows up to serve as a guest captain and makes the eternal ensign her first officer and Mariner seems to be cracking under the load.
Also also meanwhile, Rutherford is there.
This show seems be setting or at least matching its own high bar week after week. “Much Ado About Boimler” is another classic, with an abundance of jokes and physical gags, the majority of which land perfectly.
Without a doubt, my favorite ongoing gag was The Dog. Tendi is such a bright and optimistic person and, to see her give creation to something so hellish and Lovecraftian and for her to be completely obvious to it was just so amazingly funny.
The Division 14 story was also a hoot, with so many amazing callbacks to all eras of Star Trek, including the animated series. Come on, a main character was an Edosian! We had a callback to that awful salamander. Warp 10 episode of Voyager! This is a show that knows Star Trek and respects Star Trek, but isn’t afraid to get out the photo album and show you embarrassing pictures from Star Trek‘s past.
As for the Mariner storyline, it was my last favorite, but still relatively amusing. I think the shift in Mariner’s character was too dramatic, too clumsy. Yeah, we learn that she’s faking being incompetent because she doesn’t want her friend to transfer her to her friend’s ship, but I just felt it could have been better handled.
I will say though that I did enjoy it when Mariner was faced with a true threat, that she immediately dropped the act and became a professional. The alien threat was wonderfully realized and the action was pretty exciting. I really enjoyed the alien creature erupting from the Rubidoux like an egg, little pieces of the ship still clinging to it. It was appropriate that, once everyone was to safety, Lower Decks treated this creature as an object of awe and beauty… a most definite Star Trek thing to do.