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Star Trek: Lower Decks Season 1, Episode 9 recap: Mirror Mariner

Mariner’s feud with Freeman inspires her to get cinematic. Time for fans to enjoy some murder and mayhem in Star Trek: Lower Decks Episode 9. 

Can’t believe we only have one more episode to go before the crew of the USS Cerritos takes a break from our screens. In Star Trek: Lower Decks Episode 9 we see Mariner taking a break from reality when her actions push Captain Freeman to take drastic steps.

But while Mariner works out her anger, Boimler comes across a secret that could change everything.

Star Trek: Lower Decks Episode 9: Therapy

Mariner liberates some lizard people from their rat overlords in Star Trek: Lower Decks Episode 9, except she does so without Captain Freeman’s consent and in clear violation of the Prime Directive. You can’t go meddling in other species’ politics, doesn’t matter how awful it is.

Freeman lands on the planet to clean up the mess and give Mariner her final warning. The Captain has looked the other way because Mariner is her daughter, but she’s getting out of hand. So, instead of sending Mariner to the Brig (which she wants), Freeman sends her to therapy.

But the Cerritos therapist is no Counsellor Deanna Troi. This guy is more interested in making food puns and analogies than helping. Looks like Mariner will have to find her own way to work on her anger management.

Related Story: Star Trek: Lower Decks Season 1, Episode 8 recap

Star Trek: Lower Decks Episode 9: To the Holodeck!

In the Star Trek universe, when in doubt, go to the Holodeck. There’s always an answer there. Boimler has created an exact replica program of the Cerritos crew to prep for an interview with the Captain.

Mariner is inspired to use the program to create a cathartic film for herself. Suddenly, the tone of the episode changes to echo that of Star Trek films of yore.

When the lens flares show up on the bridge, you’ll snicker. But the overlong ship sequence doesn’t work. Every franchise property introduces its ship with a reverential sequence that captures every angle of the ship.

We love these moments in films and television shows because it’s a spectacle that takes up a fraction of the runtime. In Star Trek: Lower Decks Episode 9, the sequence eats into the shortened runtime.

Boimler is the only real person who’s with the Holodeck Cerritos crew, but he’s soon going to meet the rest of his friends.

Star Trek: Lower Decks Episode 9: Mirror Mirror

Tawny Newsome as Ensign Beckett Mariner on STAR TREK: LOWER DECKS Episode 9

Tawny Newsome as Ensign Beckett Mariner on STAR TREK: LOWER DECKS Episode 9

Every story needs a villain, and in Star Trek: Lower Decks Episode 9, it’s Vindicta! Vindicta is Beckett’s alter-ego in this crazy film and she has her warrior-slaves Tendi and Rutherford by her side.

Beckett’s entire plan is to blast everyone in sight and belittle her mother. But Holo-Freeman is just as brave and inspiring as her real self. She refuses to let her people down and evacuates her crew while fending off Vindicta.

And who should save Freeman but the Holodeck version of Mariner? As Mariner fights Mariner she realizes that she doesn’t hate her mother, and her real fear is to do her job as a crewman aboard the Cerritos.

Working her anger out helps Mariner and she even apologizes to the real Captain before spending the evening with her friends.

But what Mariner doesn’t know is that Boimler returned to her film for one last insight into Freeman’s tastes and now knows that Mariner is Freeman’s daughter.

Star Trek: Lower Decks Episode 9 – Final Thoughts

I’m not sure if I’ve changed or if the second half of this Star Trek: Lower Decks is less funny than the first. That being said, the characters come alive in this episode.

From Tendi standing up to Mariner about the stereotypes of her people, to Rutherford’s rather touching story arc about coming clean to his boss about how much he admires him, one can’t help but enjoy watching these characters develop. I do wonder if the creators are insinuating there’s more to the relationship between Rutherford and Billups (Paul Scheer).

The cinematic nods to the films of yore were fun, but again, overlong. I really wish they’d brought back John Rhys-Davies to voice Leonardo da Vinci as an homage to his appearances on Star Trek: Voyager.

If the finale can follow through with developing these characters, instead of getting bogged down by Easter eggs and homages, we could be in for a satisfying conclusion.

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

After watching Star Trek: Lower Decks Episode 9, what do you think will happen in the finale? Let us know in the comments below.

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