The Star Trek: Lower Decks team reunited last week when Boimler found his way back to the USS Cerritos. Although the band is back together, the most recent episode sees the group split up to pursue their own missions, official or otherwise.
In “We’ll Always Have Tom Paris,” the dynamics are mixed up with Tendi and Mariner heading out on an errand for Dr. T’Ana. It’s a girls’ trip and as you can expect, things get out of hand quickly and the pair travel the galaxy trying to repair T’Ana’s family heirloom. The two ensigns set out on a journey and it takes their relationship to another level. They realize early that they are more work colleagues than friends since they know nothing about each other.
But the whole experience brings them closer, especially when Mariner tries to take all the blame. We know Mariner has a checkered past but it was nice to dive deeper into Tendi and her backstory. We learn why Orion’s have such a reputation and we are exposed to a whole different side of D’vana. The duo have an amusing adventure and they go through all the trouble for something so arbitrary but fitting for someone who looks like a cat.
The title of the episode references the helmsman from Star Trek: Voyager. He visits Lower Decks and Boimler is a huge fan. He hopes to have a commemorative plate signed and goes to great lengths to receive his autograph. Boimler’s subplot is fun and ridiculous and plays to the Star Trek geeks out there with the different references. It also shows the difficulties of the young ensign transitioning back to the ship. It’s as if he has a small price to pay for leaving the Cerritos.
Rutherford has his loose thread from the season one finale tied up in the episode. He’s been missing some of his memory and lives with the guilt of Shaxs’ sacrifice so he could live. The appearance of someone from his past gives him the answers he’s looking for. It comes with some dark secrets (he was warned though). There is also a new (old) status quo with regards to the crew that in Star Trek fashion, will probably not be mentioned again. For a live action series, it might not work but the animated and comedy centric Lower Decks can pull it off.
“We’ll Always Have Tom Paris” builds new relationships and dynamics for the characters all while creating a new (old) status quo and bringing in a familiar face from the 90s.
New episodes of Star Trek: Lower Decks are released Thursdays on Paramount+.
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