Star Trek: Lower Decks review, Episode 409: “The Inner Fight”

Image: Star Trek: Lower Decks/Paramount+
Image: Star Trek: Lower Decks/Paramount+ /

The season finale of Star Trek: Lower Decks is upon us (the first part of it, anyway), and there are several questions that must be answered: What happened to the destroyed disappeared ships? Will Tend-erford happen? What’s up with Mariner? Several of these questions will be answered and more will be raised in the penultimate outing for the Lower Decks crew this season, “The Inner Flight.”

Mariner appears to be on a bit of a kamikaze mission of late. She’s been acting strange since Ferenginar, but I suppose there wasn’t much room for righteous danger in the caves last week. Here, we see her first move is to single-handedly prevent a Jurassic Park situation involving Venemous Tremble Lizards. It’s either an epic act of heroism or evidence of a death wish. Later, during a time-out in the midst of a battle-to-the-death with a Klingon, we finally hear Mariner’s inner turmoil in her own words.

She tells a story about a friend from the Academy who was on board the Enterprise, but who was made a spy during the Dominion Wars and died at the hands of a Cardassian. Mariner joined Starfleet for the sake of exploration and science, not to be a soldier. Being promoted to Lieutenant junior grade, which means she could be in a situation where she’d have to order her friends into danger, is what’s driven her to get demoted in the past, and now drives her to put herself in danger.

It’s good to know that Mariner hasn’t been falling back on insubordination just out of habit. It was starting to seem like she was incapable of character growth, but in fact she’s been wrestling with herself all of this time. (Just like Badgey/Goodgey a couple episodes back; I see what you did there, writers!) Mariner’s inner struggle is indicative of what the whole Federation has been doing ever since the Dominion Wars. This was especially evident in the final season of Star Trek: Picard, where the Federation took on much more of a military vibe.

Who is disappearing starships on Star Trek: Lower Decks?

Meanwhile, the crew finds themselves trapped on a strange planet along with a few Orions, Ferengi, Romulans, Binar, a Klingon, and a couple of Cardassians. While Mariner fights the Klingon, the other species are all at each other’s throats. However, after their conversation in the lightning/knife storm, the Starfleet instincts kick back in, and Mariner attempts to rally the aliens against their common enemy: whoever or whatever abducted them and left them to fight amongst themselves. (Speaking personally, my money is on the Vendorians.)

With regard to Tend-erford? Nothing conclusive in this episode. Tune in next week!

Next. Star Trek: Lower Decks review, Episode 408: “Cave Stories”. dark

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