Logline

Who knows? They never released one.

Edit: They finally released one - how novel to release the actual episode first!

Captain Freeman assigns the Lower Deckers an overly safe mission to try and keep a self-destructive Mariner out of danger.


Written by: It’s a secret (it was Mike McMahan)

Directed by: We’re not tellin’ (it was Brandon Williams)

  • @OpticalDataM
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    316 months ago

    This may be Lower Decks finest penultimate episode yet. I definitely feels at this point like McMahan has a five season plan. At least for the OG Lower Deckers.

    Definitely an episode that plays the emotional fiddle for TNG fans with the Sito reveal as well. Currently weighing up whether to get my partner to watch First Duty and Lower Decks before we watch it together later.

    Laughed out loud at the Endor Moon base inexplicably being on this random insane weather planet.

    Great to have Robbie McDunc back as Locarno as well. If nothing else this may finally kill the urban myth that they didn’t use Locarno in Voyager due to royalties once and for all. I can but only hope.

    I also like that they’ve let Freeman come into her own as a Captain more than previous this season. She’s really demonstrating not just top tier tactics and diplomacy but also actually clearly keeping tabs on her crew and addressing out of character behaviour. With that said, Rutherford felt included just for an excuse to follow Freeman which was a shame.

    Billups as the masked pilot surprised me. I expected it to be Locarno.

    The fake out Balok puppet had be howling.

    • @eva_sieve
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      176 months ago

      Rutherford hanging out with Freeman is presumably setup for the finale, giving us three perspectives without compromising the focus on the main gang. He did feel a little tacked on though.

    • @StillPaisleyCat
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      156 months ago

      It’s not an urban myth at all that Tom Paris was a renaming of Nick Locarno.

      Kirsten Beyer (now a senior producer in the Secret Hideout shows) verified this point with Jeri Taylor (creator of Voyager) back when Kirsten was writing the Voyager Full Circle Treklit books. It’s covered in an afterward. Doubt that would have been cleared for publication if not true.

      That said, whatever the meta situation, onscreen canon can be whatever the current EPs want. So, I’m curious where they’ve decided to take this.

      • @CeruleanRuin@lemmings.world
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        66 months ago

        Given the mention of Thomas Riker, I wondered if they were going to reveal that Locarno was a transporter clone and Paris’ dadmiral covered it up. But that would also mean Beckett kept quiet about it, and that seems like something she would have mentioned when they interacted with Tom Paris.

        • @StillPaisleyCat
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          36 months ago

          Secret information is shared on a need to to basis, not as background on a visiting officer.

          She may absolutely know this.

    • @jalanhenning
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      6 months ago

      I felt like Freeman included Rutherford because his “gee whiz! lookee there!” naïveté added to her misdirection.

    • Prouvaire
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      116 months ago

      Great to have Robbie McDunc back as Locarno as well. If nothing else this may finally kill the urban myth that they didn’t use Locarno in Voyager due to royalties once and for all.

      I don’t understand the reasoning here. Why would Locarno’s return for one or two episodes kill the theory that Paramount didn’t want to pay Moore and Shankar ongoing royalties for seven years?

      • @Jaccident@lemm.ee
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        66 months ago

        That isn’t a theory, that’s true isn’t it? Original show notes were for Paris to be Locarno, but it was going to be far too expensive for them over the years (total cop out IMHO). Think of Locarno coming back as this; Moore and Shankar are finally getting some of that skrilla

        • Prouvaire
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          86 months ago

          I think the official explanation is that they thought about it and judged Locarno as irredeemable - “a bad guy in the guise of a good guy” whereas Paris was supposed to be “a good guy in the guise of a bad guy”. But I tend to agree that money was the determining factor, as it so often is.

    • @inappropriatecontent
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      6 months ago

      “Robbie McDunc”? Really? 1

      Billups as the masked pilot surprised me. I expected it to be Locarno.

      I thought that was a well-executed fake-out, and enjoyed the heck out of it. I thought it really made the B-plot work–Freeman is very rarely at her best when around Mariner, which means we see her screw up a lot, so I was very happy to get a reminder that she’s the sort of officer Starfleet would give a command to.

      “Robbie McDunc”? Really? 2

      1: see 2.

      2: it's a question worth repeating.

    • @triktrek
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      26 months ago

      Currently weighing up whether to get my partner to watch First Duty and Lower Decks before we watch it together later.

      Both. The answer to that is both. Two of the finest TNG episodes.

    • @triktrek
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      36 months ago

      Mariner always has the funniest way of being annoyed or angry

  • @AetherWill
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    226 months ago

    Talk about absolutely crushing it. I was blown away with the huge reveal. 4 seasons of buildup to “Why is she this way?”

    It was Seito all along. Crushing emotions across decades with a masterclass of buildup. Bravo.

    • @CeruleanRuin@lemmings.world
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      116 months ago

      Sito Jaxa, the original lower decker no less! We met her in an episode before TNG’s “Lower Decks”, which killed her off. It’s fitting that her loss shaped the trajectory of the show that took that name.

  • @Lydia_K
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    216 months ago

    I know no one is reading this anymore, but Wa’ah helping Marriner with her issues is clearly a callout to the way the community has responded to that line in TNG “No one would suggest that a Klingon would make a good counselor” and the memes that have been created with Klingons being GREAT counselors! Incredibly straight forward, obsessed with defeating any obstacles in their way, there is no more honorable combat than against one’s own challenges.

  • @eva_sieve
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    196 months ago

    Dunno why they didn’t bother promoting this episode, it was great. I was initially skeptical that it was just going to be a “Mariner is angsty” episode without much of a payoff, but they finally revealed everything. And they gave Ma’ah screen time doing it!

    The confirmation of how the Dominion War scarred Mariner wasn’t much of a surprise, but the tie back to the Lower Decks of old was. What an absolutely crushing reason to lose the optimism in what Starfleet can be. Props to Tawny Newsome for some good voice acting for an emotionally vulnerable moment.

    Minor complaint/discontinuity: in this episode Mariner seemed surprised that T’Lyn was present at the fight against the Pakleds and the Klingon BoP in Wej Duj, although I seem to recall T’Lyn explicitly referencing that incident to her in Empathological Fallacies.

    Speculation about next week: I’d hazard a guess that Locarno is a thematic version of what Mariner could become if she isn’t careful. He’s a Starfleet ace gone bad, and also Sito’s former friend, so he’s presumably got a lot to sell her on the troublemaker’s life.

    God, I typed a lot and didn’t even get to Freeman’s misdirection this episode. It was good, watch it!

    • @khaosworks
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      146 months ago

      T’Lyn did mention an “encounter” with a Klingon and Pakled ship to Mariner, but Mariner may not have connected that with the Cerritos.

  • @SpaceScotsman
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    176 months ago

    Knife Rain? Wasn’t expecting an adventure time reference on star trek, but I’ll take it!

    There’s a lot of references linking back to nova squadron here, but I’ve got no idea how it all fits together. Looking forward to the finale.

  • Hogger85b
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    176 months ago

    Imagine the Kolvoord Starburst you could do with a klingon, romulan, ferengi, binar and cardassian ship

  • @barkokba@lemmy.world
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    166 months ago

    Pretty clear “Star Wars” fan fun in the animation this episode. Tatooine-ish planet visited by Freeman’s crew, even arriving in a land speeder shaped shuttle. Mariner and Ma’ah hide in Yoda’s house. The transmitter looks like the imperial base on the moon of Endor, and Lorcano lives in a home inspired by Jabba’s palace. Love it when my nerd interests collide.

    • Corgana
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      66 months ago

      Yes! I noticed all this too. My first thought was “What, did get run out of Trek refrences and are now dipping into the Wars?”

  • @Jaccident@lemm.ee
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    166 months ago

    There were loads of overt Star Wars references in this episode which was fun.

    • Music queues were distinctly more John Williams-y.
    • Scene transitions hidden behind ships travelling past the screen.
    • Scariff style forcefield over one planet.
    • Tatooine like architecture.
    • Tatooine cantina shape and style to the bar.
    • A masked bounty hunter with an unintelligible language is actually an undercover ally.
    • The weather station is reminiscent of the Endor shield array.
    • Attacking a technological foe with sticks and war cries was similar to the Ewok battle in RotJ.

    Some folks had a good day when they signed all that off.

  • @williams_482A
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    6 months ago

    This episode was okay, I guess? It feels very strange to be sitting on one half of an obvious two parter from this show, and recent Trek shows have left me with an instinctive suspicion of mystery-related plots. This is a good writing team so I have hopes they’ll carry this rather bizare setup into a satisfying resolution that actually makes sense, but I’m much more nervous than I usually am.

    To play it all out: why the heck is Nick Locarno flying around in a little ship capable of disabling the systems on larger warships, transporting(?) the ships and crews to some planet while leaving wreckage behind? If this turns out to be another figurative Kelpian dilithium tantrum I’m not going to be pleased.

    I like what they were trying to do with Mariner in this episode, but for whatever reason it didn’t land quite right with me. Her whole pivot into even-more-than-normal overtly reckless behavior three episodes after the supposed precipitating event felt very abrupt, and the scene where she talks it over and appears to resolve her issues with Ma’ah felt rushed, almost forced. The Sito Jaxa makes reasonable sense as a backstory component, but I found it distracting and it does add to the “small universe” syndrome that expanding IPs risk falling into. Further, the “your dead friend wouldn’t want you to have emotional problems” bit is a cliche that rarely lands with me, and this time was no different: these aren’t problems that people can typically resolve simply by recognizing that their emotional reactions are irrational, so being won over with a rational argument isn’t very convincing. It speaks well of Mariner and Rodenberry’s future humans that this worked, I guess, but it does make it less relatable.

    Maybe I’ll be sold more easily on rewatch. We’ll see.

    The B-plot with Freeman and her deception was decent, although as noted elsewhere Rutherford’s presence feels oddly tacked on. I guess they wanted an engineer around, just in case?

    The Jaxa connection does give us a better shot at nailing down Mariner’s actual age, which was presumably somewhere between 17 and 22 (and likely on the later end of that range) at the time of the Nova Squadron incident in 2368. That puts her in her early- to mid-thirties, and lines up well with her service record. We can also confirm that Mariner was not a young child aboard the Enterprise-D, which launched when she was in her mid to late teens.

    • Lockely
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      6 months ago

      To play it all out: why the heck is Nick Locarno flying around in a little ship capable of disabling the systems on larger warships, transporting(?) the ships and crews to some planet while leaving wreckage behind?

      He’s not. He’s making deals with the lower deckers of those ships to make it look like his ship can do all that. They say in the episode that the lower deckers of the kidnapped crews are disabling the shields and weapons. Then he makes off with the crews and some of their technology for reasons yet unknown, abandoning the command staff on planet Knife Rain to fend for themselves.

      • @inappropriatecontent
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        186 months ago

        Oh, man, I totally missed this when I watched the episode…I remember bumping a little when I heard the line “I was betrayed by my crew,” but just being confused instead of grasping the implications. The whole thing makes way more sense now. Thank you for spelling it out for me!

        I’m so glad StarTrek.website is here for this kind of thing–it made my life better today!

    • Prouvaire
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      106 months ago

      Her whole pivot into even-more-than-normal overtly reckless behavior three episodes after the supposed precipitating event felt very abrupt, and the scene where she talks it over and appears to resolve her issues with Ma’ah felt rushed, almost forced.

      Agreed. It’s tricky injecting serious notes into an all-out sitcom and I’m not sure it worked as well this episode as it might have.

      The Sito Jaxa makes reasonable sense as a backstory component, but I found it distracting and it does add to the “small universe” syndrome that expanding IPs risk falling into

      Again, agreed. Lower Decks has as much (more even) blatant fan service as Picard season 3, although because it is a comedy I find it more forgivable and less grating than I did in the other show. That said, “Lower Decks” is my favourite TNG episode, so appreciated the Sito Jaxa callback for that reason (and it was a nice way of connecting this series and the episode it was named after). As long as they’re not foreshadowing her return. That would be very very bad. They thought about bringing her back on DS9 but wisely refrained. Keep your hands off Sito Jaxa’s corpse McMahan!!

      • @inappropriatecontent
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        96 months ago

        Lower Decks has as much (more even) blatant fan service as Picard season 3, although because it is a comedy I find it more forgivable and less grating than I did in the other show.

        Agree with your agreement here. If I unloaded my feelings about all the fanboy moments in Terry’s Picard, it would actually be unpleasant to read…so I won’t. How about I just say that you’re super right about Sito Jaxa, too. I thought the connection to that episode was very sweet, and really enjoyed hearing Mariner talk about how much the Dominion War sucked, too. It made sense to me that she’d be more comfortable getting that out with a stranger than her friends, at least when I think about the guys I was in the Navy with.

      • @triktrek
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        6 months ago

        Lower Decks, the TNG episode was an amazing episode. I almost cried at the end - it was so sad and poetic as well and I agree that reviving her now would undo the beauty and weight of the TNG episode.

  • @Wooster
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    86 months ago

    Hmm… according to Freeman’s intel… the Mystery ship was seeking out Lorcano… but as far as I can tell… he’s the mastermind.

    Why would he want to find himself?

    • @Odo@lemmy.world
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      96 months ago

      The intel was “someone’s targeting ex-Starfleet officers”. The dialogue then suggests Starfleet command put together the list of former officers. They didn’t necessarily pull those names from the intel.

      • @CeruleanRuin@lemmings.world
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        66 months ago

        With Seven on the list, I wondered if this might be the origin of the Fenris Rangers. By collecting ex-Starfleets and lower deckers, Nick Locarno is gathering castouts who were ignored or underserved by their own people. Sounds a lot like the Rangers to me.

    • Value SubtractedOPMA
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      66 months ago

      Hiding in plain sight, perhaps?

      Alternatively, maybe he built the ship, but it’s being used by someone else.

      • @Wooster
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        46 months ago

        But the mystery ship is already built… implying they’ve had him for quite a while now. Why search for something they already have?

        • Value SubtractedOPMA
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          46 months ago

          No idea - I was just digging for a possible alternative explanation. I don’t really buy it, myself.

  • @Richard
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    56 months ago

    Really strong episode, although I am skeptical about the Locarno reveal, I could’ve imagined cooler things, but we’ll see where they’ll take it from here

  • @Stormygeddon
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    36 months ago

    I’m not sure what to think of this episode. The interweaving of the plotline with TNG’s Lower Decks eponymous episode feels off and some of the plot beats generally too contrived but not so much that I can point to something and say “this is bad.”

    I might need to simmer on it for a bit, or see how the second part goes.