This put up comprises spoilers for season two, episode 10 of ‘Star Trek: Decrease Decks.’
Final week I posited that seasons one and two of Decrease Decks collectively would make up one story arc of the present. Given this week’s finale, it seems to be like we’ll be coping with the implications of the Pakled risk for only a bit longer. However when an episode is that this good, I’m completely superb with being improper.
Particularly when this installment simply encompasses so a lot of my favourite issues about Star Trek. It’s not simply the pleasant look by Captain Sonya Gomez — you would possibly bear in mind her because the ensign who spilled sizzling chocolate on Captain Picard means again in season two of The Subsequent Technology. And it’s not due to the primary on-screen look of cetacean ops, an idea hinted at in numerous blueprints however by no means truly talked about with any actual seriousness.
It’s the final plot of the episode, the place your complete crew should work collectively to avoid wasting the day. I’m an actual sucker for teamwork scenes, like the ultimate battle in The Undiscovered Nation or, extra just lately, when the crew of the USS Discovery needed to disguise themselves as their mirror universe counterpart. Star Trek has been described as “competence porn” by many on-line, in the way it depicts people who find themselves insanely good at their jobs and work collectively nicely.
The primary two seasons haven’t all the time showcased the crew at their best. We’ve seen Boimler and Mariner lose the Klingon diplomat they had been purported to be escorting, Freeman get right into a pissing match with the captain of one other Starfleet vessel, and the crew fail its (rigged) evaluation take a look at spectacularly. At instances the present could be very very similar to The Workplace, extra within the private lives and antics of its workers than the precise enterprise at hand.
Nevertheless, even The Workplace would sometimes remind you that the workers of Dunder Mifflin had been good at their jobs, significantly Michael Scott. Michael was a horrible supervisor, however one hell of a salesman. And this episode of Decrease Decks put the highlight on Carol Freeman, whose superb work over the previous two years is being rewarded with a promotion to a greater ship. The USS Cerritos is a California-class ship, an actual workhorse of a vessel that doesn’t get numerous respect. That the Cerritos even turned vital in any respect is totally as a consequence of circumstance in encountering and surviving the newly empowered Pakleds. Nevertheless it’s given Freeman numerous time within the highlight, together with her tasked a couple of episodes in the past with negotiating a cease-fire with the Pakled authorities. (It was a ruse, however that’s not her fault.)
Final week I assumed this episode would wrap up that storyline, on condition that we now know the Pakleds had been getting assist from a Klingon captain, one who’s now not alive because of the actions of a lower-decker. As a substitute, this episode focuses on Freeman’s attainable promotion, her senior workers’s response to it, and the futures of our decrease decks ensigns.
That is all occurring in opposition to the backdrop of a primary contact mission. The USS Cerritos largely makes a speciality of second contact missions — we’re informed this within the very first episode. Which means they arrive in and deal with all of the annoying administrative stuff after flagships just like the Enterprise are available in and set up preliminary relations. Now, the Cerritos will get to participate within the extra vital first impression, however solely as backup to the USS Archimedes.
Sitting on the bench finally ends up serving the Cerritos nicely when a photo voltaic flare plus an unstable planetoid finally ends up disabling the Archimedes and placing it on a crash course with the planet under. Freeman is able to sacrifice herself with a view to save the opposite ship, however Rutherford and firm have a greater plan, one that may stop fatalities on each vessels. However they’ve solely obtained 20 hours, so the entire crew has to chip in. Which means Ransom piloting, Billups supervising the hull removing, and Tendi giving Mariner a much-needed pep speak. The latter won’t be essential to the functioning of the ship, however you will need to the present as a result of it pushes the 2 girls towards the emotional decision they want.
We additionally get to fulfill the crew of cetacean ops, two beluga whale lieutenants named Kimolu and Matt. Nevertheless it’s Boimler who has to avoid wasting the day, as a result of the clamp they should launch isn’t made to be turned by flippers. (I actually respect the accessibility joke right here, as a result of Starfleet has typically been cited over the many years as an OSHA nightmare.) Evidently, the crew succeeds (this isn’t a film, in spite of everything, so we’re not shedding the ship). After the bravery proven by your complete crew of the Cerritos, significantly Boimler and Rutherford, it’s exhausting to think about that season three gained’t begin off with a couple of promotions.
However first, there’s the matter of Freeman’s switch, which she has determined to say no in favor of staying with a crew that has confirmed itself able to being really wonderful. Sadly, that Pakled storyline involves chew us all yet another time, main us into the present’s very first cliffhanger, and the very first season-ending cliffhanger within the new Kurtzman-era of Trek packages.
Star Trek: Decrease Decks had lots to show when it debuted final yr: It was the primary animated present because the ‘70s, and the franchise’s first try at a primarily comedic sequence. It additionally needed to overcome the preliminary impressions of it as being akin to Rick and Morty or Household Man. The standard of the primary season began a bit tough however improved as time went on, ending on the unbelievable action-packed episode, “No Small Elements.” Season two’s “First First Contact” ups the sport in a number of methods, not simply in its ingredient of hazard but additionally in how the present is keen to make use of huge storylines to push the characters ahead because the seasons progress.
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