Here are a few spoilers for the premiere of the second season of “Star Trek: Lower Decks.”
The first season of Lower Decks was a pleasant surprise for many in Star Trek fandom. What a lot of people wrote off A family man– or Rick and Morty-Trek eventually became a good love letter to the history of the franchise. He was filled with a lot of humble humor, of course, but he also portrayed characters who genuinely cared about each other and what they were doing. Luckily, second season it is more the same.
Lower Decks it got its name after the seventh season The next generation an episode that revolved around the lives of four ensigns and the roles they played in a mission that only the bridge crew really understood the full extent. It is generally considered one of the best episodes of the franchise, which meant that anything that even vaguely pointed had anything to live for. Luckily, Lower Decks creator and executive producer Mike McMahan was a big fan with a deep knowledge of Trek. He is also a creator @ TNG_S8 parodying a Twitter account as well as a veteran of animated shows like south park,, Ax Cop and, yes, Rick and Morty.
Arrogance a Lower Decks the series was that the stories would focus on a core of four ensigns USS Cerritos: Beckett Mariner, Brad Boimler, D’Vana Tendi and Sam Rutherford, also known as the “beta shift”. There was a bridge crew, voiced by stars like Jerry O’Connell and Dawnn Lewis, but their stories would always be what’s going on in the background, and ensigns wouldn’t always be aware of what’s going on with the ship.
Unlike LPG the episode, however, even the audience was left out on many occasions, and ensigns were even forced to testify on behalf of their commanders at an unexplained trial. (It turned out to be a party in honor of senior officers, which confused our protagonists even more.)
That’s a pretty good idea for the show, which has given hilarious results. But Star Trek does not have good results in adhering to the concept. Most shows since then LPG they started out as one thing, and became something else during their runs. All shows are evolving, but the changes in Trek have been obvious and purposeful. Deep Space Nine it was supposed to be a “border post” show, showing the long-term connection between the Starfleet and one of the planets it encountered, Bajor. By the third season, they got a warship, and the fourth season brought it on LPG-Veter Worf and the war with the Klingon Empire.
Star Trek: Voyager worked on the premise “what if a Starfleet ship is lost far from home?” And it stayed that way, of course, but it still worked like any other Starfleet ship for seven seasons, and the ship remained in surprisingly good condition despite a lack of space docks for repairs – something that frustrated writer Ronald D. Moore and later prompted him to create Battlestar Galactica restart (the title ship was a wreck to the end). Eventually they re-established contact with the Federation in later seasons, which diminished the whole theme of “alone in a strange quadrant”.
Enterprise it wasn’t even called Star Trek until its third season. But while it was a show that promised to show us the early origins of Starfleet and the Federation, the first two seasons were mired in “Time Cold War,” and later episodes brought in 24th-century villains like Borg and Ferengi.
The latest switchcheroo concept was the premiere Paramount + Trek shows, Discovery. The producers advertised it as the first series in which the captain was not the main character, and the program focused on Commander Michael Burnham. In theory, this sounded great because it could show us the other side of Starfleet. In practice, however, even if Burnham wasn’t the captain, the whole universe seemed to revolve around her anyway: the mysterious “Red Angel” of the second season turned out to be her mother (and she). The show then dropped its 23rd-century environment, a journey into the 32nd century into a galaxy with the Federation in pieces. From the end of the third season, Burnham became the captain anyway. So much for anyone Lower Decks-heart perspective of that show.
Second season Lower Decks starts a bit shaky in that regard – after the events of the last few episodes, Mariner is now a BFF with the captain (who is also her mother), and Boimler is a bridge officer on USS Titan. None of them feel like a bad man anymore. At least Tendi and Rutherford are still pretty small players, though Tendi is worried about the sudden changes in Rutherford’s personality and is worried she might lose his friendship.
At the premiere, Mariner has a carte blanche to go on any side missions he wants, and in one of these authorized and unauthorized missions he accidentally turns First Officer Jack Ransom into a divine being who will take over the takeover of the planet. This last event is, at least, a pretty standard story for Star Trek. Where Lower Decks what Ransom threatens stands out Cerritos and hitting the shields, the camera cuts Tandy as he attacks Rutherford in the hallway, fearing that his new personality traits don’t mean he’s suffering from a serious illness or that she just doesn’t like him anymore. The bigger existential threat is the background color in this scene (literally, as you can see the long rays breaking through the window), while the play decides to focus on the individual struggles of these two characters.
By the end of the episode, Rutherford and Tendi are sorting things out, and even Mariner is put back in her place, with a partnership between her and her mother, and Beckett is back in jail. The only missing piece from this phenomenal four is Boimler and well, it doesn’t have a great time on it Titanium, because maybe things on the bridge are too exciting. Lower decks USS Cerritos are still the place to start, as the second season has started solidly.
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