Boimler is assigned to accompany a Klingon general to a planet-side conference, and Mariner tags along because reasons. Hijinks ensue when the drunken Klingon makes off with their shuttle and leaves the two stranded in the city's Klingon district to get into mischief and bar fights and so forth. Meanwhile, Rutherford decides to leave his engineering post and cycle through a bunch of other jobs aboard the ship in order to ... free himself from a shift so he can hang out with Tendi, I think?
"Envoys" is marginally less madcap than the premiere, but only marginally. The characters are still too exaggerated, too loud, and too generally obnoxious, particularly in the Mariner/Boimler scenes. (Mariner's exuberance over the shuttle's blast shield, which she turns into an annoying song, is especially embarrassing, as is her drunken bro-down with the Klingon; better are the in-jokes that don't insist upon themselves, like Mariner aptly pointing out how all Klingon names have needless apostrophes. Not hilarious, but astute.)
These scenes are too transparent in the way they show Mariner's effortless ability to improvise Adventure Things while following no rules, while the officious Boimler observes all the fine print only to find all his best efforts thwarted. (I understand this is a cartoon, but Boimler's breakdown where he cries buckets of tears and announces his intention to resign over his perceived failures is the type of caricatured excess that does this show no favors.) This show really needs to slow down and stop constantly shouting at us. Volume doesn't equal funny.
The bit with the Ferengi, hired by Mariner to make Boimler feel better about himself, is an okay example of Mariner trying to be a friend in her convoluted way — but the way Boimler then uses it to publicly ridicule Mariner is, again, doing the characters no favors. (Granted, Mariner deserves to take just as she gives, but it might be better if there wasn't so much tomfoolery involving everyone in general.)
Rutherford's subplot fares considerably better because it observes the rules of animated comedy without feeling the need to pummel us with obnoxiously over-the-top behavior in the process. He bounces from engineering to command to medical to security and finds extreme failure in some (command, medical), success in another (security), but mostly just wants to go back to his engineering job where he can crawl through Jeffries tubes.
All of these scenes have setups and payoffs that are constructed logically and adequately, and the plot overall has a throughline for the character, which brings him full circle back to the start where he actually wants to be. Sure, it's an obvious arc that's not especially hilarious, and I don't understand how an ensign can simply cycle from job to job and pick what he wants to do on a ship that presumably would give crew members set assignments — but whatever; it at least exists in a somewhat grounded comic reality that makes some sort of sense. Baby steps.
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