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With Three Ships, Star Trek: Lower Decks Raises The Bar Again

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BY October 18, 2021

Last week’s “I, Excretus” from Star Trek: Lower Decks was an episode with a lot going on. (Some might say too much.) Still, it was an episode that allowed them to hit a lot of popular Star Trek themes, tropes, and references. From the central alien being from Star Trek: The Animated Series to the various scenarios the USS Cerritos crew had to endure, it was a lot of fun. Yet, the storytellers keep finding ways to improve and impress. This week’s Star Trek: Lower Decks is titled “Three Ships,” and the episode premise is right there in the title. We follow the Lower Decks crew from three different ships, the Cerritos, a Klingon vessel, and a Vulcan ship. Thus, we have a unique perspective of how differently these ships are run, through the eyes of their respective crews.

Ultimately, these ships all meet up in the same place at the same time, and things get interesting. We also get some series “mythology” advancements as well, because the Pakleds show up again. This is the penultimate episode of the season. Even if the season finale is a complete stinker, the second season of Star Trek: Lower Decks is an unquestionable success.

Spoilers for the episode to follow.

Three Ships, Three Species, Same Sh*t.

wej Duj Star Trek Lower Decks Three Ships Image via CBS Interactive

My favorite part of “Three Ships,” is the way that the lower decks crews on each one are similar to our characters, yet also distinct. In fact, one of the characters from the Vulcan ship, Talynn, appears headed to the Cerritos. The Vulcan story is perhaps the most interesting because Talynn approaches problems in a unique way. In the Vulcan ranks, however, her uniqueness is seen as a defect rather than a feature. A great gag throughout the episode is that her calm retorts are chided by other Vulcans as “emotional outbursts.” Her unorthodox thinking saves the Cerritos and her own ship, but nonetheless she is “punished” at the end of the episode with a transfer to Starfleet.

On the Cerritos, we see the characters taking some downtime with their friends. Of course, Boimler doesn’t have a command-level buddy. So, he spends the episode trying to make connections. He almost does, in a group of people who are all lying about being from Hawaii. And while it looks like he strikes out, it’s shown that the command staff does think highly of him. This season, Boimler’s growth has been the starkest. He’s gone from being an adventuring careerist to finding his place on the Cerritos, and finally feeling worthy of his friends.

The Klingon ship is mostly what you’d expect, However, we learn that they were behind the Pakleds’ aggression. Yet, one of their Lower Deck-ers challenges the captain and takes control of the vessel. It will be interesting to see if these characters pop again, possibly next season. Either way, “Three Ships” is a fantastic episode of Star Trek: Lower Decks, possibly the best in season 2.

wej Duj Star Trek Lower Decks Three Ships Image via CBS Interactive

Star Trek: Lower Decks debuts new episodes Thursdays on Paramount+.

What did you think of the episode? Which lower decks on the three ships was your favorite? My favorite gag this week was the under-the-credits scene of the Borg cube’s lower decks.

Featured Image via CBS Interactiveparamountplus

Featured Image via CBS Interactive

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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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