Star Trek: Lower Decks S1E07 – Much Ado About Boimler Review
The references are strong with MUCH ADO ABOUT BOIMLER although while he might be the title character of this STAR TREK LOWER DECKS episode, he’s not the one with the best sgtoryline.
When Captain Freeman and her command crew are temporarily assigned to a top-secret mission, command of the USS Cerritos falls to Captain Amina Ramsey, an old academy friend of Mariner. Meanwhile, when Rutherford’s transporter experiment goes wrong, Boimler is thrown out of phase and sent to a secrure Federation recovery facility, alongside Tendi’s attempt to genetically engineer a dog.
There’s virtually no incarnation of the STAR TREK franchise left untouched in this expertly crafted and well-balanced episode which showcases everything that LOWER DECKS is capable of. Freeman’s mission is a satirical take on TNG’s CHAIN OF COMMAND deadly pathogen trap while Boimler’s trip on the Division 14 ‘ship of the damned’ packs in a whole bunch of sight gags referencing episodes from THE ORIGINAL SERIES, THE NEXT GENERATION, DEEP SPACE NINE and VOYAGER. There’s even the first appearance of an Endosian since Lieutenant Arex back in STAR TREK THE ANIMATED SERIES.
While Boimler and Tendi’s journey to the fabled (or is it fictional?) ‘farm’ world where Starfleet officr s who have experienced bizarre or incurable injuries are cared for is played mostly for laughs and parodic swipes at the series’ illustrious predecessors, Mariner’s storyline plays out in a much more intriguing way.
Once again STAR TREK LOWER DECKS is leading the current crop of Trek series in showing how to tell compelling science fiction stories while simultaneously developing characters in an organic and satisfying way. MUCH ADO ABOUT BOIMLER brings a great deal of depth and clarity to Lieutenant Mariner’s behaviour and motivations, providing a satisfying explanation for the continued contradiction between her capabilities and her attitude.
It’s a great looking episode, with a great mix of ideas and action and a final scene which evokes fond memories of the excitement and potential of those heady days in the late 1980s when ENCOUNTER AT FARPOINT showed us that STAR TREK was properly back. Maybe STAR TREK LOWER DECKS is doing the same thing now.