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Lower Decks S4: My thoughts so far

Short write up covering my thoughts on the latest offerings of the latest season of Lower Decks!

By Solace Tue 19 Sep, 2023 5:13 PM - Last Updated: Tue 19 Sep, 2023 6:15 PM
Warning this article will contain spoilers for the first three episodes of the newest season of Lower Decks.

Lower Decks Season 4 opened up with a double feature episode, a rare break and treat from the usual trickle feed of Trek episodes on a weekly basis.

Preamble time!
For those folks who have not had time to settle in watch Lower Decks or were turned off to the idea to this version of animated trek, don't worry I too was in the same boat when they announced the first series. I didn't think Star Trek and the team responsible for Ricky and Morty was a good match, but I'm very glad to say I was mistaken.

Although the series focuses a lot more on the hijinks and the "what else can go wrong?" elements of trekdom, its a nice break to see what life is like for the lower decker's on a federation starship. The series is set aboard the U.S.S. Cerritos, a little known California (AKA Cali Class) class vessel. The ship and crew are mostly assigned the missions nobody else wants to do, like Second Contact or cleaning up a diplomatic mess caused by the Enterprise.

The cast for the crew will quickly grow on you, I myself am particularly fond of Lieutenant Shax; the Cerritos' Bajoran tactical officer obsessed with ejecting the warp core as the first suggestion in any engagement.

Episode 1: "Twovix"
The first episode entitled "Twovix" is a heavily Voyager themed episode with many references and fun poking at the shenanigans the Voyager crew encountered during their time in the Delta Quadrant.

At this point we actually get to the see the iconic Intrepid class starship, sadly none of the actual actors from the series showed up as cameos (alas) but we did learn that by 2380 that the ship had been decommissioned and was due to be landed in San Francisco as a museum exhibit.

In true Lower Decks fashion though we are treated to a plethora of Voyager themed incidents, from Macroviruses to Dr Chaotica and other famous holograms (Michael from "Fair Haven" and the evil clown from "The Thaw") going maniacal and taking over the ship. The main incident that occurs during this whole fiasco is that Billups and T'ana are fused when organic matter infused with their transport back to the Cerritos creating T'illups.

Combining the crazy almost villainous nature of Dr T'ana and the engineering brilliance of Commander Billups learn of Janeway's solution to the Tuvix problem by killing Tuvix to saving Tuvok and Neelix. Chaos ensues and more hybrid clones are created of Captain Freeman and Dr Migleemo (Dr Frigleeman), Lieutenant Shax and Ensign Barnes (Shabarnes).

At times the first episode went over the top with the voyager gags, although funny at times it felt like they tried to cram as many Voyager references into the episode as they possibly could and ultimately felt all over the place. I mean come on, an assimilated Macrovirus? It seems inefficient since its established that everyone was inoculated against them, so I left with one question: really? Although it was nice to see Voyager on screen again with spectacular attention to detail in the set pieces, it felt a bit crammed in places.

Episode 2: "I have no bones yet I must flee"
Moving onto episode two entitled: "I have no bones yet I must flee" shows off our newly promoted Lower Decker's to LT.JG's and queue Mariners attempts at self-sabotage as she was also promoted. Most the episode is conflict resolution and respect gaining between Commander Ransom and Mariner, having realised that she had been promoted many times showing incredible aptitude in Starfleet and a promising career that would ultimately end in her demotion and transfer to another ship.

By encouraging Mariner and embracing her way of doing things, we see Mariner come to terms with her own self-sabotaging behaviour all the while they are trying to not get eaten after the "Moopsy" is released from the menagerie they are currently on to rescue some humans who had become exhibits onboard.

A much more rounded episode in my opinion and some interesting character development on Mariner's part, which in this writers opinion was needed.

Episode 3: "The Cradle of Vexilon"
The most recent offering in episode 3 "The Cradle of Vexilon" tasks the crew of the Cerritos to fix an ancient planetary computer that runs a (halo) ring structure. We see our fledgling Lieutenant Boimz struggle with the duties of being a commander on away mission. It was an interesting dive into how newly promoted officers might struggle with ordering around other officers whom they may have recently shared rank with.

He falls into the trap of not trusting himself to ensure his away team is safe during the process but thanks to T'lyn, she manages to bring Boimler around to trusting his team to get the job finished in a life or death scenario. While this episode was rooted more in traditional star trek themes with a bit of comedy here and there, it was nice to see a serious approach taken while also managing to balance the comedy.

So what next?
I am very happy with the direction Lower Decks has been going and I think the Strange New Worlds crossover event was fantastic. The progression of our lovable band of lower decks rising through the ranks only to find its pretty much the same as before except with more responsibility. I am looking forward to see what the rest of the season has to offer.

Are you still enjoying Lower Decks? What do you think of Season 4 so far? Let us know below!

1 Comment
Tue 19 Sep, 2023 8:00 PM
As I mentioned in the post on Season 4 so far I have been really enjoying it so far. A great first three episodes that introduce us to our main Lt JG's now and how they are coping with the tiny new bit of responsibility they have achieved. I am really looking forward to seeing how the series continues and how the big space laser of destruction plays out. Also just all the references, I usually only catch about half and rely on the combined effort of the Trek Culture Ups and Down Cetacean observations video and comment section which usually covers anything the video missed.

Hoping to have some more discussions on the spoiler posts about Lower Decks. I will make sure to get Episode 4's up as soon as it releases and I can see the Synopsis for it.