Star Trek: Lower Decks

"Cupid's Errant Arrow"

1 star

Air date: 9/3/2020
Written by Ben Joseph
Directed by Kim Arndt

Review by Jamahl Epsicokhan

A rendezvous with the USS Vancouver brings Boimler face to face with his girlfriend, Barbara Brinson, whom he's been carrying on with over long distances, and whom Mariner doesn't believe actually exists, except maybe in a holodeck or Canada or something. When Brinson turns out to be a nice, hot, smart lieutenant (gasp!), Mariner is dumbfounded and suspicious. I mean, she can't really be into Boimler, right? I mean, look at the guy! Rather, she must be an alien lifeform using Boimler for nefarious purposes!

So ensues a half-hour of tedium in which we watch Mariner try to uncover the conspiracy here. She scans, she prods, she even cuts off a lock of Brinson's hair. Finally, she confronts the woman in a darkened room where it turns out Brinson is just as suspicious of Mariner being best friends with Boimler, because — I mean, it just makes no sense, amiright? Also, Boimler is panicked and jealous when he learns Brinson has an ex on her ship that she has lunch with and walks around with, and the guy is so much bigger and handsome-r and … oh, who cares.

This is tired and hacky sitcom material that's lazy and played out. As usual, the hijinks and volume and Trek Easter egg references are cranked up to infinity to cover up the shoddy material. There's a B-plot here involving the planned controlled destruction of an alien moon that threatens a planet while various aliens fight over whether or not it should happen. Also a C-plot where Tendi and Rutherford do work for a Vancouver crew member in exchange for a super-special-model scanner they can't get aboard the Cerritos. Really?

Again, who cares? I don't. This is not funny, it's cobbled together from a bunch of much better Trek episodes and sitcoms, I wasted my time watching it, and I'm not going to waste any more words talking about it.

Previous episode: Moist Vessel
Next episode: Terminal Provocations

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37 comments on this post

Cody B
Thu, Sep 3, 2020, 4:09am (UTC -6)
After last week’s episode being near good for what the series is, we’re back to terrible with episode five. And the previews for the next episode look like it could be the worst one yet.
Thu, Sep 3, 2020, 2:23pm (UTC -6)
>Too movie like and cinematic, and not enough character study, or philosophy/ethics like the others had? I like that Star Trek made me think.

This is exactly what I think of modern Trek. That and it's non-episodic nature.
Thu, Sep 3, 2020, 3:53pm (UTC -6)
S1 EP5: "Cupid's Errant Arrow"

I really enjoyed this one! I love it when Tendi and Rutherford team up.

Mariner was not so irritating this week. Trying to protect her friend (Boimler)

The Captain didn't come off as an idiot.

I chuckled many times. I'll have to watch it again to exactl recall a few.

3 stars. Good, fun episode.
Thu, Sep 3, 2020, 5:00pm (UTC -6)
You know what?

After digesting this episode a little bit, I'm upping my score to 4 stars.

Nothing really to dig it for.
Tommy D.
Thu, Sep 3, 2020, 5:06pm (UTC -6)

I agree. I thought it was much better than last weeks episode, which although it had its moments, I thought the first 5 minutes or so were almost painfully unfunny. This one was way more enjoyable throughout.
Icelandic Alliance
Thu, Sep 3, 2020, 9:26pm (UTC -6)
How could the pheromones have affected Barb if she and Boimler had never met in person before?
Dave in MN
Thu, Sep 3, 2020, 11:09pm (UTC -6)
Too many memberberries, too short an episode for a the content, everyone still speaks like they OD'd on caffeine and the episode title apes another (better) space show.

1.5 stars
Fri, Sep 4, 2020, 8:05am (UTC -6)
@ Icelandic Alliance
Thu, Sep 3, 2020, 9:26pm (UTC -5)

"How could the pheromones have affected Barb if she and Boimler had never met in person before?"

I believe they met (can't remember exactly where), then spent a month apart. Aparantly the exposure was long enough to snag her :-)
Boba Fett
Fri, Sep 4, 2020, 6:06pm (UTC -6)
Can we also get a post with "Jammer's plans for the review of Star Wars Episode IX" please?

Sat, Sep 5, 2020, 12:34am (UTC -6)
I tapped out after the pilot (which I thought was fine but nothing great), but then came back for episode four because I heard on a podcast that it was more like “Rick and Morty”, one of my favorite shows. How wrong that was! The person who said that clearly does not understand the comedic genius of “Rick and Morty” at ALL. Episode four was actually bad, not just mediocre like the pilot. I am definitely out now.
Sat, Sep 5, 2020, 1:54am (UTC -6)
@ Bobba Fett — I’m sure Jammer will have his review of “Rise of Skywalker” up prior to the next Star Wars movie. 🤨
Sat, Sep 5, 2020, 3:24am (UTC -6)
How would you even write a review about that movie?! I watched it with a few people and we all had no idea what had happened.
Let me try.
They needed a dagger to get to the emperor who was making a million star destroyers out of thin air, who could destroy planets and were controlled by one antenna and then the galaxy showed up and then the emperor shot them down and then... from here on I don't know anymore, something with horses and Rey channeling Jesus. I don't even remember how the emperor died.
Johnny D
Sat, Sep 5, 2020, 8:12pm (UTC -6)
I am enjoying it! (Braces for rage attacks)

Having a show with a comedic core allows them to view the Star Trek universe through a different lens, and I'm glad they are trying something new and different. Star Trek is for everyone, and if all the references to the other series get someone to got back and see what they missed, then its a win!

Its fun to see new ship designs, and all the other aspects of starship travel that never got explored during the TNG heydey. Looking forward to cetacean ops!

All the previous episodes of all the other series are still there to watch, so there is an incredibe library to view and enjoy if the new show isn't your thing.
Sat, Sep 5, 2020, 8:33pm (UTC -6)
"(Braces for rage attacks)"
Sun, Sep 6, 2020, 4:43pm (UTC -6)
Hah, I liked the homage to TMP with the whole ascension to energy being framed as both cool and mildly unsettling. There's an obvious reference to the Genesis Device from TWoK too. Lower Decks does have its moments.
Sun, Sep 6, 2020, 5:57pm (UTC -6)
Out of all the new trek still enjoying this one the most. Its basically The Orville animated series.

I agree w everyones criticisms of the show but I can still enjoy it for what it is. It doesnt offend me or disgust me like Picard or Disco often did.

Biggest thing they need to change is Mariner. Be8ng Rick lite doesnt work on this show for many many many reasons. The Moist episode is her best characterization yet though. And showing her flaws vs the Riker standin was also a momwnt she actually worked as a character
Chris Lopes
Tue, Sep 8, 2020, 12:58am (UTC -6)
"Can we also get a post with "Jammer's plans for the review of Star Wars Episode IX" please?"

If you can't say anything nice........ :)
Wed, Sep 9, 2020, 2:00am (UTC -6)
Ooo disco season 3 trailer is out!

After Picard plagiarized mass effect 3, looks like disco is taking its inspiration from that hit Kevin Sorbo show Andromeda.

The return of action hour is upon us friends. Long live the 90s
Jason R.
Wed, Sep 9, 2020, 5:34am (UTC -6)
"The Galaxy took a hard left..."

Aha! Marxism destroyed the Federation. I knew it!
Wed, Sep 9, 2020, 6:26am (UTC -6)
@ Jason
Ok ok, understandable conclusion BUT have you ever heard of the horseshoe theory? This theory proposes that the far left and the far right share certain similarities (hold you breath Trent:) and because the Federation was already far left and has now gone even further to the left then that means far right.

That's why the Federation is now xenophobic, racist and whatnot.
Wed, Sep 9, 2020, 6:49am (UTC -6)
Are they going to Sherwood Forest with Vash?
Jason R.
Wed, Sep 9, 2020, 8:43am (UTC -6)
"Are they going to Sherwood Forest with Vash?"

Step aside Romulans, Klingons, Borg, Q, Khan... Make way for the true puppetmaster, the archvillain behind everything, Trek's greatest antagonist - Sir Guy of Gisborne!
Wed, Sep 9, 2020, 12:16pm (UTC -6)
I am in the UK so note sure I am even allowed to watch this yet. All I can go on is trailers and Youtube clips.

From what I've seen, it's an abomination compared to the Star Trek I grew up with. It appears to be absurd and immature (for me to call something immature it's got to be REALLY bad). I see nothing but scenes of characters yelling at each other like a stupider and more obnoxious version of the Goonies. I see constant scenes of a black woman humiliating a wimpy, disrespected-by-all white man (the new TV trope?). I see a starship wearing Terran Empire colours.

It appears to be a failure on every level. It disrespects the source material; the canon; existing fans; human intelligence. It appears to disrespect and dislike white men. What, are we all racist, sexist oppressors? Maybe I am blanking out during these human rights atrocities I'm supposedly committing.

I really don't understand who modern Trek is aiming at. Clearly not men; clearly not long term Trekkies; clearly not people with intelligence or dignity.

I've gone back to ENT season 4 - later-season ENT is starting to look like Trek's last gasp, like an Indian summer that leads straight into the arms of a long and bitter winter.

I've gone back to BSG and will be starting The Orville soon. BSG does dark scifi without swearing or excruciating, violent horror, and inclusiveness without coming off as some kind of social justice crusade. The Orville apparently does exploration and humour without simply retreading old ground.

The best Star Trek you can see today is anything other than Star Trek.
Wed, Sep 9, 2020, 12:55pm (UTC -6)
Can we get through a single week without somebody complaining about the horrible injustices committed towards the suppressed masses of white men?
You, as you admit yourself, have only seen trailers. Maybe wait until you actually see the show before you call for UN peacekeepers.

Let's see:
- Discovery Captains are two white guys (Lorca and Pike) and gasp both are not humiliated by the BLACKS, actually the first season it is a black women who is hated by everybody.
- Picard. a white guy literally saves the galaxy in that show and again the black women on board is a drunk, a drug addict, she messed up her family and gets rejected by her son.

And why the hell would humiliating be part of a social justice crusade???

I'm setting the clock back to zero again.
Wed, Sep 9, 2020, 1:00pm (UTC -6)
@ Adam
Oh sweet crazy adam or whatever you like to call yourself here, look what I found in your comment stream
"Dismissing a show outright from a trailer is just silly."
I'm not angry, I'm just disappointed.
Wed, Sep 9, 2020, 3:18pm (UTC -6)
@ Boomer

Oh dear, I don't know what tangent you're off on, but let me clarify my point.

My comment was largely about Lower Decks. You know, this being the Lower Decks discussion. Your comments about Discovery/Picard have no relation to what I was talking about so I am going to ignore them.

A trailer is designed to give you an idea of what the show is about: its characters, its themes, its content. If you watched a terrible trailer for a film which in your opinion showed you nothing you wanted or expected to see, but which you found triggering in terms of being annoying/contrary to reasonable expectations/unfunny, what exactly is your motivation to watch that film? If the trailer trying to sell it to you is a chaotic mess, in my opinion you'd need a screw loose to reasonably expect anything better from the product. Yes, bad trailers exist for good films (cf. the entire 1980s), but the trailer failed its duty, try harder next time.

Perhaps grasp the point of my post before heading off in some other direction, please.
Wed, Sep 9, 2020, 4:01pm (UTC -6)
@ adam
Ok, let's revisit a few of your comments
"It appears to disrespect and dislike white men. What, are we all racist, sexist oppressors? Maybe I am blanking out during these human rights atrocities I'm supposedly committing."
- So if a black woman humiliates a white man that is automatically means disrespecting and disliking all white men.
- Your question is somewhat puzzling. If in a trailer a black woman humiliates a white guy then that implies all white men are racist, sexist oppressors, who commit atrocities?

"I really don't understand who modern Trek is aiming at. Clearly not men"
Clearly, maybe a few whimpy white soyboys, ey?!

"without coming off as some kind of social justice crusade"
- Again you whole diatribe is based on trailers in which you noticed that a black woman is humiliating a white man which means that the show is on a social justice crusade?

I hope my tangent is now a little bit clearer.
Let me ask you this. You talk about blanking out, do you have trouble breathing, tunnel vision and reoccurring headaches, if so then you should get checked for a stroke, mate.

And if you are ever scared again just watch this.
Cody B
Thu, Sep 10, 2020, 4:18am (UTC -6)
@Adam @Booming

Adam pointed out a white man was being insulted by a person of color and because of recent trends and direction of the Star Trek franchise voiced concerns. Booming heard the call to arms and rushed to save the world. Someone is out there not towing the far left line!!! Can only mean they are “on the right”! Only yet another cringe inducing never ending political discussion will help Booming save the world! Where Booming refuses to ever see middle ground and only puts people in convenient stereotypical boxes. I have watched all released episodes of Lower Deck I’m not a big fan but I can’t really say it’s “woke”, that’s not one of the problems. Adam I have to say you did judge this off the trailer and your assumptions were not correct. However you are not crazy for your line of thinking. Booming please calm down. Adam is not out to dismantle your world and everything you stand for.
Thu, Sep 10, 2020, 1:23pm (UTC -6)
You defending these comments is the least surprising since the nazis invaded Poland.
"Recent trends and directions of the Star Trek franchise."
Totally. It's like white genocide.

Great defense of his comments...especially considering that even you admit that what adam fantasized about was complete bullshit.

Oh and in your twisted brain you might not have noticed it but I never said anything about right or left wing or any of the other things you imagined.
But hey thanks for sharing.
Thu, Sep 10, 2020, 2:16pm (UTC -6)
and another thing.
You know cody it is starting to feel like that you don't love me more than anybody and that you are not trying to be sweet and nice. That hurts but now I can only ignore you again.
Thu, Sep 10, 2020, 2:23pm (UTC -6)
Im gonna wade back in to this hellhole to mention I wish Jammer would just post separate episode threads. No need to review or anything but it would be nice to have a place to discuss the new episodes individually.
Sat, Aug 14, 2021, 3:20am (UTC -6)
I dunno if I can take any of these new reviews seriously from someone who straight-up forgot to review the last Star Wars movie for 2 years ; )
Mon, Oct 18, 2021, 8:33am (UTC -6)
Even a tired premise such as this one could have been entertaining if it was well-written and performed.

The problem with Lower Decks (so far) is that it favors quantity over quality and OVER-THE-TOPNESS and having the voice cast SCREAM EVERY SINGLE LINE OF DIALOGUE over subtlety.

Still, I see potential for a good, perhaps even great, show here. Of course, I saw potential for Discovery as well and that never panned out.
Welsh Rat
Thu, Feb 10, 2022, 10:11am (UTC -6)
How odd. This is the episode that people really slate Mariner for but, on first viewing on DVD, it's had rather the opposite effect one me.

For the first four episodes, Mariner's been completely annoying and a total Mary Sue of a character who cares only for herself, will break any rle, endanger her own ship and can handle any situation by herself.

She does all that in this episode but three things are different.

1. We see why she's acting like she is this episode. Something that, beyond her saying 'I've seen things' - hasn't been done before.

2. She's wrong and admits it. Sorta. She's not perfect.

3. She's doing all of the crazy stuff out of concern for someone else. She knows Boimler's in trouble and is doing all this to help HIM, regardless of how it affects HER.

There's a line in the Kelsey Grammer film 'Down Periscope', where the Captain confronts the annoying slacker, who's been nothing but trouble and says he's surprised as that character DIDN'T give them away. He replies that would have been unethical as he's not out to screw the crew over, just himself. From what I've seen, this is the first time Mariner's reminded me of that. She's been seeming like she wanted to screw up everyone's chances up to now.
Wed, Feb 16, 2022, 6:49am (UTC -6)
Ok, this got the first chuckle out of me. (I fell asleep during episode 3 and therefore have only vague glimpses of episode 4). It was something about tumbling comets are just government lies. Yeah, a little lazy but still. I even chuckled once more when screw up ensign said:"computer, end program." after insecure ensigns girlfriend appeared.
Sat, May 21, 2022, 6:10am (UTC -6)
I just don't know how you can rate an episode like this so badly, yet episodes of picard so highly. It boggles my mind.
Lower decks is the only good NuTrek out there, and embodies its spirit perfectly. Yeah some episodes are far better than others, but literally all of them are miles above picard and discovery.
Thu, Dec 22, 2022, 6:29pm (UTC -6)
I don't get the one-star rating. This episode was hilarious.

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