Ensign Beckett Mariner has been many things, but “Much Ado About Boimler” explains why. Of all the “Star Trek: Lower Decks” characters, she has been the most frustrating. Seemingly capable of command but only an ensign, her Starfleet career has been something of a mystery. The appearance of a friend from the academy, Captain Ramsey, only serves to make Mariner’s decisions more confusing. At first, we thought her attitude was coming from serving under her mother, Captain Freeman. We know from “Cupid’s Errant Arrow” that something went wrong aboard the Quito, but the fact that Ramsey is a captain while Mariner is still an ensign seems off.
A Super Great Ensign
If we have learned anything about Mariner over this season, she can take charge when called. It’s the minutia of Starfleet that seems to hold her back. It would be nice if the show would explore why that is. “Much Ado About Boimler” reveals that everyone thought Mariner would become a captain first in their academy days. We still don’t know what happened that makes her bristle so hard against the everyday. Did she miss a detail that led to catastrophe? We may not need to know, but I’d still like to.
Much Ado About Boimler
The B-story involves Rutherford and another experiment gone wrong. Have we learned nothing from the disaster of Badgey? Rutherford accidentally causes Boimler to be out of phase, trying to speed up transporter speeds. Tendi apparently also didn’t learn, as she creates a ‘dog’ based on what she knows of them, which is apparently nothing. Boimler and the dog are sent to recover at ‘the farm,’ a beautiful planet where Boimler is to recover, and the dog is to be studied.
The B-plot doesn’t land for me. The creation of life would still be banned by the Federation, even if it is a mostly cute dog. That doesn’t bother me as much as Boimler’s behavior. We’ve seen some growth from him this season, but “Much Ado About Boimler” takes him right back to the whiny promotion obsessed character we first met. Of course, this show only works if our four main characters remain ensigns. Still, it would be nice to see Boimler on a consistent path.