Star Trek: Lower Decks recap: Episode 7, ‘Much Ado About Boimler’

Eugene Cordero as Ensign Rutherford and Jack Quaid as Ensign Brad Boimler on STAR TREK: LOWER DECKS Episode 7
Eugene Cordero as Ensign Rutherford and Jack Quaid as Ensign Brad Boimler on STAR TREK: LOWER DECKS Episode 7 /

A transporter accident introduces audiences to the darker side in Star Trek: Lower Decks episode 7. Meanwhile, Mariner is visited by an old friend.

Star Trek: Lower Decks episode 7 is full of Easter Eggs. You’ll spend more time pointing at the screen guessing where you saw that creature than enjoying the episode. This one is not the show’s best.

It had to happen—this episode fumbles its humor and underserves its emotional storyline as well. In an effort to be as Star Trek as possible, Star Trek: Lower Decks episode 7 forgets to embrace the ethos of the franchise.

There are two distinct storylines in this episode; the main story is Boimler dealing with the aftermath of a transporter accident, while Mariner takes on a command role when an acting captain comes aboard the Cerritos.

Star Trek: Lower Decks episode 7 – Division 14

We know that Tendi and Rutherford are both nerds who geek out over science stuff. They never stop working, as evidenced by Tendi’s side project in Star Trek: Lower Decks Episode 7—creating a Terran dog.

Related Story. Star Trek: Lower Decks Season 1, Episode 6 recap. light

Since she’s an Orion, dogs are a novelty. Except, she makes a monster, not a dog. That thing is every nightmare come to life.

On the other hand, Rutherford attempts to speed up the transporters, except he needs a guinea pig to prove it works. Guess who volunteers? Boimler, of course. He’s gearing up for the temporary bridge crew who will be taking over in Captain Freeman, Commander Ransom and Shaxs’ absence.

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Unfortunately for Boimler, Rutherford’s experiment leaves him semi-transparent. The only people who can fix him are Division 14.

Boimler is joined by Tendi and her demon-dog on his trip aboard the division’s ship. It’s horrifying to look at and full of Starfleet’s forgotten people. These are officers and civilians who are injured or transformed, changing their lives forever.

Division 14 is supposed to take them to paradise, but they’ve been stuck on this ship forever. One of the ‘freaks’ tells Boimler that they’re Starfleet’s dirty secret. It’s no wonder that they decide to mutiny and get off the ship, they’ve been trapped for months.

These folks don’t account for goody-two-shoes Boimler, however. He blabs to the commander, who locks the patients up. What did Boimler think was going to happen? His fellow patients turn on him, but lo and behold, Division 14 keeps their promise and takes the patients to a paradise planet.

For a moment there I was certain the show was going to double-down on its narrative of real-world discrimination faced by people with disabilities and disfigurements. While I appreciate that the writers subverted that trope, the entire episode still plays into the trope of other as horror.

Do you know what would be really novel? Showcasing the full life that people on the periphery of our knowledge live. Move beyond gimmickry and shock value, and appreciate the humanity of people who are different.

Star Trek: Lower Decks episode 7 – The New Number One

Toks Olagundoye as Capt. Amina Ramsey, Tawny Newsome as Ensign Beckett Mariner, Vanessa Marshall as Lt. Ottessa Warren and Maurice LaMarche as Lt. Drew Prachett on STAR TREK: LOWER DECKS Episode 7
Toks Olagundoye as Capt. Amina Ramsey, Tawny Newsome as Ensign Beckett Mariner, Vanessa Marshall as Lt. Ottessa Warren and Maurice LaMarche as Lt. Drew Prachett on STAR TREK: LOWER DECKS Episode 7 /

While the senior staff is away (ala the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode ‘Chain of Command’) Captain Amina Ramsey (Toks Olagundoye) and her colleagues Ottessa Warren (Vanessa Marshall) and Lt. Drew Prachett (Maurice LaMarche) arrive to take over.

Ramsey and Mariner were in the Academy together and have plenty of stories to share. But while Ramsey captains her own ship, Mariner is still just an Ensign. How did their paths diverge?

Ramsey immediately appoints Mariner her Number One, a job that we, the audience, know Mariner will excel at. Except, she doesn’t.

Mariner messes up constantly; leaving tricorders behind, accidentally triggering the Red Alert alarm instead of opening long-range communications, etc. She’s a walking disaster and a far cry from the superb officer we know her to be.

Eventually, even Ramsey notices this. While Ramsey, her team and Mariner are attempting to rescue another Starfleet crew from a ship-eating monster, Ramsey confronts Mariner about deliberately sabotaging an opportunity to take command alongside Ramsey.

While this makes sense, considering we saw how much Mariner hated the one time she was promoted on the Cerritos, it’s a stretch to believe she’d work so hard to unlearn her place to work alongside Ramsey. I mean, it’s not like Ramsey could poach Mariner that easily.

The best part of Mariner is that when the occasion calls for it, she’s unmatched at problem-solving and saving the day. Every time she messes up, Mariner does it on purpose. At what point is this contrivance too much? Star Trek: Lower Decks Episode 7 proves we’re already over it.

Star Trek: Lower Decks episode 7 – Easter Eggs

We’re doing something a little different in this recap because there were plenty of Easter Eggs in Star Trek: Lower Decks Episode 7. While every Star Trek property has its fair share of Easter Eggs, this episode really threw the kitchen sink at it.

We see the stealth outfits worn by Picard, Dr. Crusher and Worf on The Next Generation, and a planet similar to the pleasure planet Risa.

Transporter accidents are a dime a dozen in the franchise, most notoriously in connection with Lieutenant Reginald Barclay. On Star Trek: Voyager a transporter accident once merged two characters into one. So yeah, Boimler’s transporter accident is par for the course.

Body transformations are also a mainstay on the television shows. There was that time when a bunch of Enterprise crew turned into little children and the other time when they evolved into animals. And let’s not forget Voyager’s episode-that-shall-not-be-named (‘Threshold’) where Tom Paris and Captain Janeway turned into space salamanders.

Without a doubt, Anthony in Star Trek: Lower Decks Episode 7 is a shout out to the salamanders.

We also see one of the patients on Division 14 suffering from delta radiation, which all Trekkies know is the inevitable fate of Captain Christopher Pike.

Those were some of the throwbacks to previous properties, but there were plenty more that we won’t spoil in this recap.

Star Trek: Lower Decks episode 7 – Final Thoughts

There’s a lot to love about Star Trek: Lower Decks, its irreverent humor being high on the list. That being said, I always find myself enjoying and pondering the deeper side of each episode.

Star Trek: Lower Decks Episode 7 is no different. While many will enjoy the freakier side, I found myself wondering why we were meant to be horrified by these characters, when in fact that A-plot should have been full of empathy.

Irreverence is one thing, but Star Trek, of all shows, needs to be cognizant of people’s differences. Labeling anyone who looks different as a ‘freak’ is schoolyard bullying. I think that the entire arc was much too dark and not remotely humorous.

What I liked was that these characters were given a new lease of life and the promise of comfort, but again—the hot nurses are only women? Just because the show is set during the same time period as Star Trek: The Next Generation, doesn’t mean it has to adopt the latter’s 1980s sensibilities.

The highlight of this episode was, unsurprisingly, Mariner. I’m not completely on board with her fear of success. There’s a deeper reason she doesn’t want a promotion and it is high time that aspect was explored.

I chalk up this episode as one bad day and can only assume Star Trek: Lower Decks will return to form in Episode 8.

Next. Episodes to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Star Trek: Voyager. dark

New episodes of Star Trek: Lower Decks are available every Thursday on CBS All Access.

Which Easter Eggs did you catch in Star Trek: Lower Decks Episode 7? Let us know in the comments below.