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L-R Gabrielle Ruiz as T'Lyn and Jack Quaid as Lt Brad Boimler appearing in episode 3, season 4 of Lower Decks streaming on Paramount+, 2023.
Photo: Paramount+

Television

‘Star Trek: Lower Decks’ season 4 episode 3 review: Boimler the inspiring leader or annoying micromanager

The Star Trek: Lower Decks crew are settling into their new positions following their promotions.

This piece was written during the 2023 WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes. Without the labor of the writers and actors currently on strike, the work being covered here wouldn’t exist.

Last week, Star Trek: Lower Decks returned for its fourth season. After the premiere, we find the young ensigns in a new place. They are no longer ensigns and are gradually making their way up the Starfleet ladder. In “In the Cradle of Vexilon,” some must come to terms with their new position while others realize not much has changed.

The biggest development is the growth of Boimler as a leader. He has always shown he can rise to the occasion before, but now he has the added pressure of being in charge of his first mission. Though the situation is played for laughs, we see an individual unable to put his trust in others. He micromanages his underlings and prefers to carryout tasks himself. The deep realization that he holds his subordinates’ lives in his hands with every decision weighs on him.

T’Lyn continues to be a good addition to the bunch. Here she serves as a voice of reason, and the Vulcan in her provides instant credibility when she provides her opinion. She also knows the right time to step in for support or when to hold back serving as a good complementary piece. T’Lyn fits right in providing a more serious perspective even though she’s only been with Starfleet a short period. Boimler learns a valuable lesson in when to lead and when to take a more hands on approach.  

On the complete opposite side is Rutherford, Tendi, and Mariner. Despite their promotions, they are still treated as if they are from the lower decks. The trio are hazed by senior officers to remind them of their place. As always, there are amusing Star Trek references from previous series such as the Betazoid gift box and game of Chula that fans can enjoy. As much as the experience is supposed to be humbling, it also brings out their rebellious side against authority so there is still fight in them.

It can’t be an episode of Lower Decks without a bit of danger. It’s funny how the show can take something as arbitrary in our everyday life such as updating your devices, and take it to a ridiculous level such as the end of the world. It plays to the comedic strengths of the series while adding stakes to the narrative.

“In the Cradle of Vexilon” has the comedy and Star Trek references we expect. But it also sees the group step into their new positions, especially with a moment of growth for Boimler as he develops into a great leader.

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

L-R Gabrielle Ruiz as T'Lyn and Jack Quaid as Lt Brad Boimler appearing in episode 3, season 4 of Lower Decks streaming on Paramount+, 2023.
Star Trek: Lower Decks S 4 E 3 review: 'In the Cradle of Vexilon'
"In the Cradle of Vexilon" has the expected comedy and Star Trek references we expect. But it also sees the group step into their new positions, especially with a moment of growth for Boimler as he develops into a great leader.
Reader Rating0 Votes
0
Boimler's journey and growth as a leader.
The contrasts in storylines between the Lower Decks crew that highlight the positives and negatives of their new positions.
Boimler from the first half of the episode is annoying and probably a chore to work under.
7
Good

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