Lower Decks brings some “Strange Energies” to the Final Frontier

Is it strange to admit that I think Star Trek: Lower Decks is the most highly consistent Star Trek series of all time? This silly animated half hour comedy has defied all of my expectations and solidified itself as one of my favorite Trek series and I say that without a hint of remorse or regret. Lower Decks loves Star Trek and loves poking fun at it even more.

Picking up a few months after Boimler left the Cerritos to take a promotion on the USS Titan, Mariner and Captain Freeman are working as a mother/daughter team and loving it… allegedly. This is getting under the skin of Commander Ranson who feel like he’s on the outs now that this new dynamic duo has formed, but when he is hit by “strange energies” and morphs into a godlike being, Mariner and Freeman’s newfound teamwork is put to the test. Meanwhile, Tendi is afraid that Rutherford’s new implant is changing his personality and she’s determined to fix him no matter how much he protests.

While the Tendi/Rutherford story was, at times, a little cringy, the episode was a lot of fun overall. It took a classic Star Trek trope and had merciless, loving fun with it, the concepts and story getting more and more big and ridiculous every minute.

Ransom as a god was boisterously funny and Becket, T’Anna, and Freeman desperately trying to figure out how to deal with him was a gas. I’m not overly fond that the resolution basically erased the character development that we got in last season’s finale, but Lower Decks doesn’t seem overly concerned with huge character leaps, especially since it looks like Boimler is coming back to the Cerritos soon.

I did say that I found the Tendi and Rutherford story a little cringy, mostly due to the fact that Tendi seemed a little too psychopathic during the chase, but it had its moments. Watching the two run through the corridors, blissfully unaware that a gigantic Ransom head was floating outside and attacking the ship was inspired comedy and basically captured what this show is.

I do love this series. I actually think I’ve been waiting for this new season more than I have any other… except maybe Strange New Worlds. Maybe.

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