Star Trek: Lower Decks S1E08 – Veritas Review
In vino, veritas they say and in VERITAS, STAR TREK LOWER DECKS finds its most eloquent expression yet of the fondness the series has for the franchise’s triumphs and follies. With our gang abruptly thrown into a cell, they find themselves witnesses at the trial of the USS Cerritos’ command crew on the world of K’Tuevon Prime.
It’s another reference heavy episode, with an early nod to the Klingon trial scene from STAR TREK VI: THE UNDISCOVERED COUNTRY in the episode’s setting. The episode is structured as an anthology as Tendi, Boimler, Mariner and Rutherford are compelled to offer testimony through the Horn of Candor (itself feeling like a sly swipe at STAR TREK: PICARD’s ABSOLUTE CANDOR).
It’s a smart exploration of how the high-falutin adventures of the command crew wpould be perceived and remembered by the lower ranks who aren’t in the need-to-know loop and just play their small parts. Rutherford’s testimony in particular is a hilariously bowdlerised version thanks to his implant constantly rebooting. As the testimonies continue it becomes clear that the USS Ceritos has been engaged in some kind of covert operation against the Romulans.
The idea that Starfleet’s senior officers are the best of the best is exploded in a series of wry observations on episodes from STAR TREK, STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION and even a deep cut from STAR TREK: THE ANIMATED SERIES in a way that at least doesn’t feel like a mea culpa for the ineptitude of the crew of STAR TREK: DISCOVERY.
It’s basically a Star Trek version of RICK & MORTY’s Interdimensional Cable, and the scattergun approach to storytelling opens the door to a wonderful cameo by John De Lancie as Q, suggesting that it wasn’t only Picard and Janeway who had to put up with his hijinks on a regular basis.
VERITAS is another strong episode from a series that is rapidly staking out a claim to have a Trek’s best first season ever.