September 25, 2023
Star Trek Lower Decks Season 4 Episode 3 Review

Although this was far from the most original episode, it was a pleasure to see Star Trek: Lower Decks playing in the sandbox of the Original Series once again.

It’s time for another hilarious adventure with the crew of STAR TREK: LOWER DECKS. After last week’s hijinks, it’s back to business as usual for the crew of the Cerritos. And when a routine inspection of an alien megastructure leads to a full system shutdown of the planet’s control system, it’s up to Captain Freeman and newly promoted Lieutenant Brad Boimler to save the day. But with Boimler experiencing the first away mission jitters, can he overcome his nerves and rely on his team to get the job done?

Star Trek Lower Decks Season 4 Episode 3 Official Stills


After last week‘s sensational opening salvo, this week’s adventure slips back into gear and settles into the series’ customary rhythm. And although it cannot hold a candle to the stellar opening episode, it does harness some of the best tropes of the Original Series. And by the time we throw a few easter eggs from The Next Generation into the mix, we are left with a fun, but disposable episode that does not disappoint.


The franchise has always played with the notion of super-computers controlling entire planets. And when the system goes haywire and enslaves the planet’s inhabitants, Captain Kirk usually comes to the rescue. Failing that, Jean Luc Picard saves the day. This time, however, it’s Captain Freeman who gets to save the population from annihilation. But she’ll need Brad Boimler on top form to succeed. Sadly, he’s experiencing first-away mission jitters and is struggling to come to terms with the responsibility. But thanks to the support of his team, and the always reliable support of T’Lyn (Gabrielle Ruiz), he’s ready to rise to the challenge.  Rutherford, Mariner, and Tendi on the other hand are faced with a dilemma when they appear to be hazed by one of their commanding officers. And as always, mayhem ensues.

Star Trek Lower Decks Season 4 Episode 3 Official Stills


To be clear, I won’t be delving into spoiler territory here. But needless to say, this episode is well worth the price of admission. In classic Trek style, Boimler is whisked away on a learning curve and discovers new skills. All the while, the traditionally heroic Starfleet Captain becomes the cause of the chaos. And it’s a welcome reversal of roles. All too often James T. Kirk comes to the rescue in these scenarios. But as is always the case, Mike McMahan and his brilliant team find a way to turn the stereotypical trope on its head. The concept is far from original, but it works well for the purposes of the series.

Ben Waller is a great writer, so full credit to him for crafting a solid episode. Finding the formula to turn the classic Trek tropes on their head is always a daunting challenge. But Waller seems to have cracked the code here. And the result is a fun twenty-five-minute excursion. The Next Generation easter eggs will give us all a giggle, especially when a relic from Betazed launches into a four-letter tirade! And that is only improved by Mariner’s traditionally outrageous outlook on things.


Overall, this episode of Star Trek: Lower Decks delivered a fun little excursion. Once again, Mike McMahan and his incredible team have found a way to take the traditional Trek material and give it a contemporary polish. The comedy is sharp, the sandbox feels fresh but familiar, and Boimler is truly coming into his own. Jack Quaid as Boimler is perfect. Despite his chaotic approach to his duties, he always offers a safe pair of hands at the wheel. And that point is hammered home in this episode. Yes, the learning curve angle has been done a million times before. But the tried and tested methods are always the best. And when combined with Ben Waller’s quick and witty writing style, it just does enough to keep things fresh.

Although this was far from the most original episode, it was a pleasure to see Lower Decks playing in the sandbox of the Original Series once again. Borrowing subplots from Gene Roddenderry’s playbook has become second nature to this team. And as long as they continue to dust off the classic tropes while paying homage to the episodes of yesteryear, long may it continue. It may be far from classic Trek, but it does what it says on the replicator. So settle in, replicate some popcorn, pour yourself a Romulan Ale, and get ready to enjoy some warp factor fun!


New episodes of Star Trek: Lower Decks premiere weekly on Thursdays only on Paramount+ in the US and UK. Subscribe to our newsletter at the top of our homepage to stay up-to-date with all the latest Star Trek news and reviews from Future of the Force.






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