Guys, I feel really weird saying this, but... I think this is the best episode of all New Trek so far. I thought it was that good.
Mariner liberates a planet of lizard people from being ruled over by rodent people, only for Freeman to beam down and yell at her for violating the Prime Directive. Mariner gets sent to counseling (which is "so 80's").
At the same time, Boimler has an interview with the captain that he's trying to prepare for, so he creates a simulation of the Cerritos and the entire crew, somehow even getting into their personal logs. Mariner doesn't think its awesome enough, so she reprograms it into a movie with herself, Tendi, and Rutherford as the villains.
And the movie references are glorious. Lots of lens flares from the Kelvin Timeline movies, an overly long flyby of the Cerritos ala TMP... It's like one of Weird Al's stylistic parodies.
We get a lot of unexpected characterization for Tendi, who is cast as the stereotypical female Orion. It's clear she's uncomfortable with the role, and finally goes off on Mariner as she tries to push her into playing the part more. It's also the perfect setup to one of the best jokes in the series: "I'll have you know that most Orions haven't been pirates for over FIVE years!" Genius.
Boimler and Rutherford are there too, but don't get too much focus. Boimler's still trying to get pointers on how to suck up to the real Freeman, and Rutherford's too much of a nice guy to avoid actually helping out the holo-Cerritos crew.
Mariner spends a good chunk of the "movie" working through her anger towards her mother by disintegrating the Cerritos crew one by one. But things really get good when she comes face to face with holo-Freeman and then her holo-self. The fact that holo-Mariner loves her mom and her crew so much that she self-destructs the Cerritos to stop the real Mariner finally snaps the real deal out of her anger issues.
And we get a major plot development when Boimler decides to resume the program to keep finding ways to suck up to Freeman. The program resumes as holo-Freeman is giving a eulogy for holo-Mariner, and reveals that the two are mother and daughter. Boimler is so broken by the revelation that he bombs his interview.
This was just superfun all around. It could have easily been the season finale with the cliffhanger being Boimler discovering Mariner's secret.
-------------------- "Kirito? I killed a thing and now it says I have XPs! Is that bad? Am I dying?"
-Asuna, Episode 2, Sword Art Online Abridged
Registered: Mar 1999
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Easily the best episode of the season for Lower Decks!
The flying credits bumping into the characters told me all I needed to know. Then there was a freaking Phase II reference to Xon!
They managed to poke fun at the movie franchise in all the best ways: overly dramatic lines and catch phrases, the drawn out scenes, the exaggerated character traits, the over the top villain (seriously, there’s not a lot of difference between Vindicta, Nero, or Khan) who quotes Shakespeare. And the lens flares, of course!
And the best part was that they managed to do it with some good character development for Mariner. There were always jokes about working out your anger issues on the holodeck, but Mariner fighting herself really takes the cake. So well done.
-------------------- “Those people who think they know everything are a great annoyance to those of us who do.” — Isaac Asimov Star Trek Minutiae | Memory Alpha
Registered: Nov 2000
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