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Star Trek: Lower Decks, Terminal Provocations, Is The Series At Its Best

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BY February 14, 2021

When we reviewed the premiere episodes of Star Trek: Lower Decks we said that it’s not going to be everyone. Some of the jokes they poke at Starfleet may rub fans the wrong way, especially those who feel the franchise is failing to live up to Star Trek ideals. The latest episode of Star Trek: Lower Decks, called Terminal Provocations, is thus far the best of the series. And it finally shows the potential this series has to tell Star Trek stories and be funny. The episode also features an incredible guest appearance by 30 Rock alum Jack McBrayer as a character based on everyone’s (least) favorite paperclip from the Microsoft Office suite of programs.

There are three stories at play in Terminal Provocations, all of which fit nicely in the Star Trek: Lower Decks tone. The first is that the ship, the USS Cerritos is engaged in a stand-off with some unintelligent scavengers and try to resolve the conflict without violence. The second is Tim Robinson’s Fletcher, a buddy of Jack Quaid’s Boimler, is a likeable person but horrible Starfleet officer. Finally, Noël Wells’ Tendi and Eugene Cordero’s Rutherford get into some holo-deck hijinks. While everyone is silly, what makes this episode of the series stand out is that none of the major screw-ups happened because of our lead characters.

The episode also shows some much-needed growth in Boimler’s and Tawny Newsome’s Mariner. Some fans may go the shipping route here, and it’s probably designed that way. However, even if it results in Mariner treating Boimler with a little more respect, it will improve the dynamic of the series. This episode helps audiences understand why Mariner and Boimler would be friends, and the way these misfits still fit in to Starfleet. (Also, Q is coming soon.)

Star Trek: Lower Decks episode six, Terminal Provocations, is available to stream today on CBS All Access.

What did you think of the episode? Share your thoughts about this episode and the series as a whole in the comments below.

Featured image via CBS All Access


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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.

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