“Star Trek: Lower Decks” has packed an awful lot of things in its freshmen season finale. And yet somehow, it all manages to hang together well, with the possible exception of a few cringy moments near the end. “No Small Parts” even raises some new questions for next season, which has to be a good thing for the show’s future.
No Small Easter Eggs
Never shying away from an easter egg, “No Small Parts” sees the Cerritos under attack from the Pakleds. Up to their usual stealing technology business, the Pakleds have managed to destroy the USS Solvang before the Cerritos’ arrival. The Cerritos is well on its way to the same fate, but Captain Freeman is willing to exercise different options this time. You see, Boimler accidentally revealed to the crew that Mariner was her daughter moments before.
The Senior Crew Could Use A Hand
What happens next exemplifies the only real problem I’ve had with “Lower Decks.” I understand that the show’s perspective is that the junior officers get everything done while the senior officers take all the credit. That has played well in some cases and not so great in others this season—namely, Commander Ransom. He mostly raises the question of how he got promoted, not a great look for a first officer. Sure, we’re all human, but no one likes that guy at the office. I would rather have seen Shaxs and Ransom switch places in the battle, but we don’t always get our way.
No Small Parts
We see through the course of the season that Starfleet is missing out on Mariner. It’s a nice touch that even Freeman starts to come around to her usefulness in the end. Hopefully, that is something that we’ll see in the next season should there be one. I’d rather we know how this develops than have them work Boimler back into the show. I mean, ok, he’ll pop up if we get appearances from a particular crew which I’ll get to later, but that would be enough. Like Ransom before him, he counts on promotion while not doing anything to deserve one. The show is way more interesting with Marnier, Tendi, and Rutherford.
The Big Event
And now, let’s dig into real spoiler material. Not that there haven’t been spoilers already, but these are the big things, so look away if you haven’t watched yet. Can we talk for a moment about Shaxs and Rutherford’s saving the day? We didn’t get to know much about Shaxs, but it would be nice to see him back though we never will now. I wouldn’t have been surprised if Rutherford died alongside him. Having a neural implant ripped out would hurt at the very least, but brain damage wouldn’t be unheard of either. The twist in the saga of Rutherdi or Tenderford (you shippers get to decide) could make next season enjoyable, though, unless you were rooting for Billerford or Rutherups.
Then, there is the appearance of the USS Titan, and the “Star Trek: The Next Generation” theme in all it’s glory. Sure, it could have been more exciting to see the Enterprise-E swoop in, but who would be captaining it at this time? The creative team might not want to bring Jean-Luc Picard to an animated show and ‘cheapen’ his character when there is more “Star Trek: Picard” to come. Riker, on the other hand, apparently was a fair game. He doesn’t exactly do anything out of character, and the call back to his jazz is … funny? Or cringy, depending on how you look at it. It wouldn’t be the first time Riker was cringy, though, I suppose.
The End For Now
All in all, “Star Trek: Lower Decks” is a fun watch. There is enough of a hook for those who have become accustomed to the threads prevalent in today’s streaming world. It’s also a nice throwback to the days where you could tune in whenever and know what was going on. And it does it all without making Starfleet look too silly, which is better than some Star Trek series have done.