On Star Trek: Lower Decks, Boimler Saves Mariner For A Change
In the latest episode of Star Trek: Lower Decks, titled “Where Pleasant Fountains Lie,” the show continues to impress how they can maintain their formula while still letting characters grow. This is episode is a big deal because Jack Quaid’s Ensign Boimler finally saves Tawney Newsome’s Ensign Mariner. Yet, one might argue that it’s an even bigger deal because it also features a member of Star Trek royalty. No, this is not like when Q or Tom Paris from Voyager came to Lower Decks. Viewers with keen ears will recognize that sentient computer Agimus is voiced by none other than Jeffrey Combs. He’s played many Star Trek characters (including two different ones in the same episode) across many series. My favorite of his roles is Commander Shran, the Andorrian on Enterprise who called Captain Archer “pink skin.”
In fact, the appearance of sentient computer Agimus leads to perhaps my favorite joke in the series. The other great thing about this episode is that it shows that Star Trek: Lower Decks can still work even when the characters grow. In fact, I’d argue that the entire show up to this point has been leading to the moment when Boimler finally saves Mariner.
Spoilers to follow
Why It Matters That Boimler Saves Mariner on Star Trek: Lower Decks
Image via CBS Interactive
The first season of this show worked very hard to establish who the characters are. The most frustrating thing about this was that Mariner’s character flaws felt one-dimensional. She is the ultimate Starfleet badass, and it seemed that her only flaw, so-to-speak, was that she had a problem with authority. Yet, in the season 1 finale of Star Trek: Lower Decks, we got a new clue about what drives her. She takes Boimler leaving for the Titan with Captain Riker very hard. It turns out that what made her so great, her bluster and bravado, was also her greatest flaw. It kept her from truly being close with people.
The first episode put her and her mother on good terms, working together. Yet, they quickly reverted to their old patterns and relationship. I worried that this might happen on the series as a whole after last week’s episode was a return to form of sorts. But, this episode was truly great because it played on our expectations and then subverted them. If the show followed its usual format, the careerist Boimler would screw things up in the face of Mariner’s cynicism. After earlier saying that she didn’t think Boimler was “ready” to go on a dangerous mission, it seemed that Boimler would predictably make mistakes because he was mad at her.
Instead, Boimler cleverly used that dynamic to trick both the audience and Agimus into helping them. It shows that his time aboard the Titan (and working with Mariner) has made him a capable Trek hero.
Image via CBS Interactive
Star Trek: Lower Decks debuts new episodes Thursdays on Paramount+.
What did you think about this episode of Star Trek: Lower Decks where Boimler saves Mariner for a change? Do you like how the characters are growing and changing? Share your thoughts, theories, and reviews in the comments below. Also my favorite joke in the series is that Agimus ends up in a room with a bunch of other sentient computer boxes shouting out promises of world domination.
Featured image via CBS Interactive
Joshua M. Patton is a father, veteran, and writer living in Pittsburgh, PA. The first books he read on his own were comics, and he's loved the medium ever since. He is the greatest star-pilot in the galaxy, a cunning warrior, and a good friend. His book "What I Learned: Stories, Essays, and More" is available in print from Amazon and from all electronic booksellers.