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star trek lower decks 3.1.1
Photo: PARAMOUNT+

Television

‘Star Trek: Lower Decks’ season 3 episode 1 review: A big lesson in trusting the system

The Star Trek: Lower Decks crew set out to save a captain and a mother.

The ensigns from the USS Cerritos return for more deep space exploration and adventures in the third season of Star Trek: Lower Decks. However, in the premiere, the entire crew is “Grounded” since their captain is under arrest for allegedly detonating a bomb on Pakled Planet. Mariner, Boimler, Tendi, and Rutherford take it upon themselves to clear Freeman’s name.

Since they are on leave, it’s amusing to see the characters in their civilian lives. Who could think the typically square Boimler would have something in common with Jean-Luc Picard. They both have family vineyards but the ensign’s product is a little bit nerdier. He is also so innocent and oblivious with regards to his fellow fieldhands. We’re exposed to a different side of him, but hey, there are different kinds of sex appeal out there.

There is plenty of the shenanigans you would expect from Lower Decks as the group tries to find evidence. It’s good to see they have a conscience when doing questionable things such as taking advantage of an old security officer. They’re not complete anarchists although there are other times when they draw innocent bystanders into their antics without a real care. Also, they demonstrate their quick ability to adapt and think on their feet turning a wildlife sex orgy to their advantage. Like I said, shenanigans.

star trek lower decks 3.1.2
Photo: PARAMOUNT+

The twist in the end serves as a humbling experience. Rather than saving the day, the four ensigns are the ones who need to be rescued. We’re also reminded that their quarters are in the lower decks for a reason. Learning how Freeman really cleared her name is such an exciting and engaging story it’s a shame we only quickly go through it via vignette. It sounds like some big Star Trek stuff but the inclusion of a certain chief of security officer seems more fan service than playing any real part in the narrative.

In addition to quickly resolving Freeman’s situation, the premiere does some good work establishing a new normal for Mariner. There will always be the thoughts of nepotism on board the Cerritos so it makes sense that she would be placed under the oversight of someone who isn’t family. It might not result in a tighter leash, but at least the optics are better. It’s also peculiar that after more than two seasons, she doesn’t trust her friends as much as she should. Mariner doesn’t always have to shield them by going it alone, and in fact, they can accomplish more together.

“Grounded” is a fun way to open a new season and quickly resolves a major loose thread so the crew can go back to space exploring adventures.

New episodes of Star Trek: Lower Decks are released Thursdays on Paramount+.

star trek lower decks 3.1.1
Star Trek: Lower Decks S 3 E 1 review: 'Grounded'
"Grounded" is a fun way to open a new season and quickly resolves a major loose thread so the crew can go back to space exploring adventures.
Reader Rating0 Votes
0
Diving into civilian Boimler.
The crazy hijinks you'd expect.
Some of the callbacks to previous Star Trek shows are more fan service than adding to the narrative.
7
Good

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