In this episode of Star Trek: Lower Decks, Boimler takes the LD crew on a Holodeck adventure of his own design. However, unexpected news sends Boimler and Mariner way off course. Meanwhile, Tendi takes a leadership role and attempts to keep the story on track, but a relaxed Rutherford makes it tricky. All that and more in this episode of Star Trek: Lower Decks, “Crisis Point 2: Paradoxus”
We’ve got a pretty solid episode here. It instantly grabs your attention with the Cerritos being attacked by a Romulan ship. The age-old rivals of the Federation make easy work of the Starfleet vessel, stealing an important piece of new technology in the offing. However, the ship is saved upon the arrival of the Wayfairer, captained by Boilmer and bridged by his LD friends.
It’s a nice opening because it make you wonder what the heck is going on here. More experienced Trekkies start thinking, “Alright, what do we got here? Alternate dimension? Timeline anomaly?” Fool that I am, I didn’t even think to consider a Holodeck fake out.
Boimler learns that life can’t be scripted
From the start, we see that Boimler is very excited to go on this scripted Holodeck journey, but an unexpected summons from Commander Ransom deflates his good mood. There’s a layer of mystery throughout the episode over what could have impacted him so much. SPOILERS, but it turns out that a clone of Boimler who was stationed in a far better ship and a far better position met an untimely death.
I really liked how this development helped us see Boimler from another angle. We know Boimler cares deeply about upward mobility in Starfleet. He wants command and adventure, which is a very relatable feeling. And when your life feels out of control, it can be comforting to think of it as one big scripted story, where in the end we will inevitably get where we’re supposed to go. The Holodeck allows those fantasies to come true, but fantasies they remain; life is much more messy.
Boimler is depressed as he works his way through this, becoming more interested in background characters and sudden shifts in direction than the version of himself he had all scripted out. All of this makes for a satisfying emotional arc for the character.
Tendi and Rutherford hold up the B plot on Star Trek: Lower Decks
On the other end, you have Tendi and Rutherford. While I appreciate the meta humor of the main storyline suddenly being downgraded to the B plot, the fact of the matter is that I can’t really feel the stakes of a story I know to be made up fiction by the characters. The main interest here, besides the ludicrous progression of the plot, is that Rutherford is not taking the adventure seriously, and Tendi does. This upsets her, because it turns out that she really enjoys playing the part of captain, and this holodeck quest has helped her realize that.
Final note: I enjoyed the attention to detail and animation this episode. As a loving parody of old Star Trek episodes and movies, the animation and writing team really delivered on the fine touches, from romances with never-before-seen women to the texture of the images. Bang up job, guys.
And that’s all for this week on Star Trek: Lower Decks. What developments can we expect now that Boimler and Tendi have had their revelations? Only one way to find out!