The exciting thing about “Star Trek: Lower Decks – Envoys” isn’t it’s reverence for the past. Of that, it shows plenty. We’ve seen more throwbacks to previous entries in the series in two episodes than we have in years. That’s a good thing because it’s the kind of thing that will likely keep the ‘fandom’ on the quieter side.
What is different is the “Star Trek: Lower Decks” crews’ attitudes—especially Ensign Mariner, the defacto smart-ass of the bunch. At first, her disposition might be jarring to longtime ‘Star Trek’ fans. Accustomed to crewmembers who spend a lifetime training for ship duty and will do anything for a promotion, Mariner will be challenging to swallow.
That attitude, at least to me, is somewhat refreshing. Yes, there will be those who argue that Starfleet is a military institution, and she has no place in it. But seeing the way she acts speaks to who I am, and who I know many people to be. Life is rules and regulations, and Mariner wants nothing to do with any of it. Sure, some of her rebellion comes out of serving directly under her mother, but I don’t think she’d be that different on another ship. She speaks loudly to anyone who has ever thought, “I can do this – let me do it my way.”
And for those who don’t love Mariner, well, there are so many Easter eggs going on that you’ll probably not even pay attention to her. I mean, a Vendorian Shapeshifter? You have to go back to “Star Trek: The Animated Series” for that reference. And that is the only other appearance in the show’s 54-year history. Apparently, “Star Trek: Lower Decks- Envoys” wants to go deep with that nostalgia, and I am here for that too.