“Star Trek: Lower Decks” has leaned into the slacker mentality so far, but “Moist Vessel” shows things differently. For the first time, we deal with Beckett Mariner and her mother, Captain Freeman. We don’t know much about their relationship. Freeman is disappointed that her daughter got demoted for insubordination. Mariner thinks her mom (and her senior crew) are boring Starfleet robots.
Let’s talk first about the crew performances. Seeing the crew gathered to watch one of their ranks perform was a staple of “The Next Generation.” So much so that it never even occurred to me that maybe the people weren’t all that excited to see Riker play his trombone. Or Data’s string quartet. I know I’d be much more likely to show up for Mariner’s guitar work, but that’s just me. The moment nicely highlights the problem with “TNG”‘s performances, though. They made it seem as though the galaxy had decided the only acceptable forms of music were classical and light jazz.
Slacker / Workaholic Healing
Musical choices are not what the episode is about, though. We spend most of the time thinking there might not be any healing of Freeman and Mariner’s wounds. Freeman believes her daughter is reckless, and Mariner views her mother as overly cautious. It’s not until they need to rescue the ship (and prevent a moist vessel) that they see themselves in each other’s qualities. Somewhere along the line, Freeman forgot that her daughter was smart. Mariner has gotten a bit lost in her wild-card behavior and sees the need for some order in her mother. It’s a nice place to get to with these characters. It may not show up for the rest of the season – You can’t have the show’s bad girl go good with six episodes left, but it was nice to see.
A Moist Vessel Shouldn’t Be Taken Lightly
I could have dealt without making fun of the way Admiral Vassery pronounces the world “sensors,” though. Think “sense” plus “oars,” and you’ve got it. I know there is a lot of discussion about political correctness these days. I don’t find a lot of humor in making light of the way people mispronounce things. Wouldn’t a better way be to quietly mention it to them, rather than purposely trying to humiliate? The attitude also assumes a superior position, which we all know is frequently not the case.