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Star Trek: Lower Decks S3, E5 – “Reflections”

“Reflections” is the best episode of Season Three so far. Over two and a half seasons Lower Decks has kept us intrigued with two internal mysteries simmering just below the surface. Periodically allowing one or the other to heat up with an offhand reference, or as the main plot of an episode. Last week, we got a quick reminder of Shaxs unexplained resurrection. This week, we received a major advancement in the mystery behind Rutherford’s cybernetic implant. This was some of the best writing of the series to date. Continue reading Star Trek: Lower Decks S3, E5 – “Reflections”

Star Trek: Lower Decks S3, E4 – “Room for Growth”

Episode Four is filled with more one liners than plot details, but that’s okay because it’s hilarious. The episode gives us two tracks to follow. While Mariner, Boimler, and Tendi clash with their arch-rivals, Delta Shift, Captain Freeman leads the Cerritos engineers on mandatory relaxation leave. Continue reading Star Trek: Lower Decks S3, E4 – “Room for Growth”

Star Trek: Lower Decks S3, E1 – “Grounded”

“Grounded,” Star Trek: Lower Deck’s Season Three opener, picked up the cliffhanger from last season: Captain Freeman’s impending trial for the destruction of Pakled Planet. With the Cerritos impounded in dry dock, the crew stuck on Earth, scattered and confused. The senior officers refuse to talk to the press, and the lower deckers feel helpless, especially Freeman’s daughter.
But, instead of focusing on the progress of that trial, we follow the efforts of Beckett Mariner as she sets out on yet another rogue mission to prove her mother’s innocence. Continue reading Star Trek: Lower Decks S3, E1 – “Grounded”

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds S1, E10 – “A Quality of Mercy”

In the season finale, “A Quality of Mercy,” Strange New Worlds gives us a “what if” scenario. Like “It’s A Wonderful Life,” “A Quality of Mercy” shows Pike his future if he’s able to avoid the fate that was revealed to him by the Klingon time crystal. This new future occurs during the events of a critical moment in the Federation from the classic TOS episode, Balance of Terror. It reimagines this pivotable moment in Romulan-Federation hostilities by placing Pike in charge of the Enterprise instead of Kirk. Continue reading Star Trek: Strange New Worlds S1, E10 – “A Quality of Mercy”

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds S1, E8 – “The Elysian Kingdom”

This week, we get an episode primarily focused on the story of Dr. Jospeh M’Benga. The first of its kind in the 56 year history of the franchise. Played only twice by the late Booker Bradshaw on TOS, Babs Olusanmokun has been able to flesh the character out, even introducing that he is a widower who is raising a young daughter, Rukiya, suffering from an incurable disease. Although that’s the premise we have a the beginning of the episode, “The Elysian Kingdom” provides us with a brief recess from that more serious story, and at the same time, provide us with a bittersweet resolution, as well. Continue reading Star Trek: Strange New Worlds S1, E8 – “The Elysian Kingdom”

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds S1, E7 – “The Serene Squall”

This week’s episode has the DNA of two different types of episodes. In fact, both halves of “The Serene Squall” deal with stories of deception. One half is played for laughs while the other is dealing with very serious circumstances. A semi-comical, lighter side is in the tradition of “I, Mudd” or “A Piece of the Action.” We watch Captain Pike and the captured Enterprise crew members incite a mutiny among the pirates. The more layered, side of the episode is similar to “Day of the Dove” or “Space Seed” when following the events of Spock aboard the Enterprise. The writers take a big risk with shifting the tone back and forth between the two plots, but in spite of the danger of such a challenging take, the execution is well-handled. Continue reading Star Trek: Strange New Worlds S1, E7 – “The Serene Squall”

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds S1, E6 – “Life Us Where Suffering Cannot Reach”

This week, things get gravely serious. “Lift Us Where Suffering Cannot Reach” is a sad and disturbing episode where unthinkable acts are presented as commonplace. in the tradition of “A Taste of Armageddon,” we are presented with a though-provoking episode. The story reveals the costs of maintaining a paradise for adults at the expense of our children. Continue reading Star Trek: Strange New Worlds S1, E6 – “Life Us Where Suffering Cannot Reach”

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds S1, E5 – “Spock Amok”

“Who doesn’t love hijinks?” “Spock Amok” is a lighthearted episode in the tradition of “I, Mudd,” “A Piece of the Action,” or “The Trouble With Tribbles.” Throughout the story, the story also conveys some insightful perspectives on the need for empathy. The fine performances of the entire cast prove to us that SNW is as adept at playing comedy as they have been with drama. Continue reading Star Trek: Strange New Worlds S1, E5 – “Spock Amok”