In the episode's opening scene, a Romulan ship — upon which every speaking role is depicted as a self-parody of Duplicitous Romulan Treachery — is destroyed by the same mysterious vessel that appeared in the final scene of "Twovix" and attacked the Klingons. Nothing more is done with this story thread outside of this single scene. I'm detecting a pattern.
Meanwhile in "I Have No Bones Yet I Must Flee," newly promoted Lt. Mariner goes on an away mission with Commander Ransom (who sponsored Mariner's promotion) and the New Guy, Ensign Gary, where they must secure the release of two humans who had the misfortune of ending up imprisoned in the menagerie of Narj, an amiable fellow who looks like an ear of corn and refers to himself in the third person.
Mariner, still wearing her workout clothes and not her uniform, and blatantly and purposely being insubordinate to Ransom, is trying her best to self-immolate and get proactively demoted, because she believes Ransom has it in for her and is planning to demote her anyway. (She believes this because — in predictable sitcom fashion — she partially overheard something that wasn't actually what she thought she heard.) This is a pretty stupid and juvenile starting point, but it almost doesn't matter, because the rest of the episode does a good enough job of doing all the Lower Decks things mostly right. For example, I like how, through Mariner, this series points out morally questionable alien practices (in this case, the menagerie) which other Trek shows, by virtue of the Prime Directive, are too polite to question.
This isn't as good as "Twovix," but it's close. It also has what's easily the biggest laugh of both of the first two episodes, when Boimler enters his new lieutenant's quarters only to be immediately blinded by a flood of red light because of the window's proximity to the warp nacelle. It's so Boimler. This is a clear homage to the Seinfeld gag — Kramer's apartment's proximity to the Kenny Rogers Roasters sign — and proves almost as funny. It's the kind of amusing sitcom detail that works as a perfect joke in Lower Decks precisely because it makes complete logical sense (someone would have to have a window facing the nacelle) even though it would be outside the scope of what traditional Star Trek would care about in a million years. (Rutherford's eventual solution to this non-problem is also funny, because of course that would be the solution, and Boimler just didn't know about it.)
After the red-light room, Boimler requests a transfer, but then ends up between two holodecks with apparently thin walls where he can hear all the unwelcome private hijinks happening around him. Then he transfers to a Jeffries Tube. Ultimately he gets to be bunk mates in shared quarters with Rutherford, in a change that provides just enough comfort of the familiar.
Aboard the menagerie, things go sideways when a Moopsy, a deadly bone-drinking creature that looks harmless based on its tiny size and child-like voice. (It says only one word: "Moopsy." Which is amusing in its innocent-seeming cuteness that stands in stark contrast to its lethality.) This, of course, leads to the requisite comic-action mayhem, in which Ransom's teeth — punched out by Mariner — are used as a breadcrumb trail to lure the Moopsy back into its cage. I'll allow it.
This week's character core focuses on Rutherford, who wasn't promoted alongside all his friends and feels left out, especially when it comes to his bestie Tendi. It turns out Rutherford turned down previous promotions specifically so he wouldn't get his own room away from Tendi. Now he does his best to get noticed by Billups so he can get his well-deserved promotion, which is proving difficult with the newest guy in engineering, Ensign Livik, coming in to solve every problem and getting his own immediate promotion as a reward. Rutherford discovers, however, he can get his way just by asking for it. There's a child-like innocence to all this (not to mention the usual cartoon logic) that's almost too unbelievable even for these characters, but there's something to be said for this show's unwavering focus on the devotion this core group of friends has to one another. I'm finding that when this show can strike the right balance between its sincerity and its lunacy, it works out.
Like this site? Support it by buying Jammer a coffee.