Yes, yes… I know I’m behind on Lower Decks. I’m getting caught up, I promise!
This is “A Spy Humongous” and, in my opinion, it represents the best that Lower Decks has to offer. It’s got a hilarious premise of the Cerritos senior crew going to the Pakled homeword which they call “Pakled Planet” for peace negotiations all while keeping track of the worst spy in the galaxy while the Lower Deckers are tasked with cleaning up the crew’s dangerous trash left over from missions. While this is happening, Boimler falls in with a group of low-ranking command officers who try and teach him about what it means to be a captain.
I love this type of episode because it embraces the concept of the series. The bridge crew are doing their thing while the Lower Decks are doing theirs, completely unaware of each other until the two disparate threads inadvertently bump into each other at the end and each affect the other.
If you would have told me two years ago that I would be looking forward to Pakled episodes, I would have slapped you and told you that you were crazy but now, I actually think they are becoming my favorite guest aliens on Lower Decks. Taking an entire society of unabashed idiots and running with the concept to its fullest lunacy is so delightful. The fact that the entire planet is run by whoever happens to be wearing the biggest hat is just… so fun. Continually mistaking every ship they see as the Enterprise, mistaking every captain they see as Janeway… Mistaking airlocks for bathrooms which led to one of the best visual gags on the show to date.
What I loved most of all about this episode is that it showed characters making genuine growth. Boimler in particular as “The Spy Humongous” showed us, the crew, and even Boimler himself that he really does have the makings of being a great captain one day and no one had to teach him that… he has it in himself. Personally, the idea that Boimler isn’t just a complete idiot destined to failure, but rather, is a growing human with greatness in his future is… I don’t know… heartwarming? I could see this series ending with Boimler in command of a capital ship with Mariner as his number one, Tendi as his CMO, and Rutherford as the chief engineer.
I like that Tendi gets angry. She’s been the perpetually happy and positive person in the crew and to see her actually angered by Mariner’s non-stop complaining was refreshing. I like to see people get chipped away to their core and come back stronger. I really think that this episode was more important to Tendi than what we think.
It’s okay to admit that Lower Decks is the best Star Trek series on the air today.
Also, can we have more of that Kzinti officer? At least give him a name. I love all of the callbacks to the old animated Star Trek series and the Kzinti were some of my favorite aliens. I want more on Lower Decks!