The Shax came back the very next day. The Shax came back. He thought he was a gonner, but the Shax came back the very next day. The Shax came back. He just wouldn’t stay away!

Boimler returns to the Cerritos just in time for a chance to meet the one and only Tom Paris from the Voy, but when the ship doesn’t recognize his security clearance, simply walking down the hallway becomes an adventure on its own just to get a Trek star’s autograph. Meanwhile, Mariner and Tendi go on a mission for Doctor T’Ana which naturally goes horribly awry.

But, forget about that… Shax is back! But we don’t talk about it.

This episode was a certified hoot and a good time by all. This is one of those glorious instances where every element of the show fires on all cylinders and everything about it shines as bright as a diamond. Mariner and Tendi’s adventure, for example, was incredibly funny and showcased a cast team up that we haven’t really seen before, given that Lower Decks has primarily been the Mariner/Boimler show with a Tendi/Rutherford side plot, seeing the ladies of Lower Decks on a girrrrrrrl triiiiip was a lot of fun as the two really seem to have great chemistry together.

Boimler’s plot was a lot of fun as well and highlighted one of the aspects of his character that I don’t think I’ve every truly appreciated that that is that he has one tenacious little guy. He doesn’t give up easily once he has his mind on a goal and, really, he’s pretty intelligent and good at his job. I rather enjoyed him problem solving his way through the bowels of the Cerritos.

Finally, Shax…

I don’t care how he came back, I’m just glad he did and I loved how his return was addressed in such a low key way.

“What? Shax is back?”

“Huh. I guess so. That’s weird.”

More than that, I enjoyed how Shax has embraced Rutherford as his “baby bear.” Given that Shax’ entire character was “pissed off” in the first season, it brings him a new layer of characterization.

“We’ll Always Have Tom Paris” was a great episode that featured Lower Decks at its best.

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