Everyone, get yourself ready for the most entertaining episode of this first season of Lower Decks. I argue that Crisis Point is so good that it should not have been animated, but rather, saved as a Trek film, which would have starred Chris Pine as Kirk against some villain. I think it could still happen. I think Ben Rodgers should allow this episode to get completely ripped off for a Trek film.

STARDATE: UNKNOWN

We join the story as Mariner just helped start a revolution between the rat-like Anticans and a race of sentient lizards. 

NOTE: The Anticans were seen first on The Next Generation episode “Lonely Among Us.” However, these lizards do not appear to be the enemies of the Anticans, who are known as the Selay. These look like a different race of lizards.

The Anticans on TNG (left) and the Anticans as seen on Lower Decks. Courtesy of CBS / Paramount
The Anticans on TNG (left) and the Anticans as seen on Lower Decks. Courtesy of CBS / Paramount

Anyhow, Captain Freeman beamed down just after the lizards pulled down a statue of an Antican. She said that Starfleet had no right to interfere with their internal culture. Mariner got upset.

“Screw the Prime Directive!” Mariner yelled at Freeman. They argued back and forth, and Freeman told Mariner that if Mariner was not her daughter, she’d be off the Cerritos. Mariner retorted:

“If I wasn’t your daughter, you wouldn’t be such a bitch all the time!”

Freeman said that after they went back to the Cerritos, Mariner would be going to therapy. Mariner was shocked. 

“You’re a loose cannon,” said Freeman. “I don’t care how many lizards you save, you need professional help.”

Mariner started to lose her cool.

“Dr. Migleemo? He’s the worst counselor in the fleet! He just tosses out nonstop food metaphors!” Mariner whined. She then beamed up.

Freeman went to the Anticans and asked them to stop eating the lizards, promising food replicators. The Anticans asked if they could make nutrient pellets. Freeman screamed, “YES!”

Later, Mariner sat down with Dr. Migleemo, who looked like a giant parakeet, who went over the guidelines. The captain, he said, wanted to “marinate” Mariner into the officer Freeman knew she could be. Mariner was belligerent. The doctor said that she needed to find an outlet for all the rage.

“You’re a loose cannon,” said Freeman. “I don’t care how many lizards you save, you need professional help.”

On the holodeck, Tendi and Rutherford were skeet shooting with Leonardo da Vinci, as Mariner sat in a chair, scowling. Boimler walked through the control arch and asked if he could use the holodeck. It turns out that Boimler programmed the holodeck to create a simulation of the entire ship, so he could determine the best way to interact with Captain Freeman. 

He wanted to practice with the simulation of Freeman so he would know how to respond for his advanced diplomacy interview, which he had scheduled. This simulation was based on seven years of entries from the crew’s private logs. 

They switched from the skeet-shooting to the Cerritos bridge. Mariner congratulated Boimler of his “butt kissing” simulation, but then went to the control arch and reprogrammed the simulation. She created a ‘movie’ which they were now all a part of — “Crisis Point: Rise of Vindicta.”

NOTE: This was just too funny! We got opening credits like The Next Generation (Seasons 3-7) and music almost exactly like opening fanfare from The Wrath of Khan (which Lower Decks’ Chris Westlake whipped up music in the style of the late James Horner)

“That’s OK,” said Mariner. “You were kind of a Xon. You probably weren’t going to make the final cut.”

As the four commented on the credits and effects, Boimler complained that he did not want to be a part of the film. 

“That’s OK,” said Mariner. “You were kind of a Xon. You probably weren’t going to make the final cut.”

NOTE: WOW. That was a Star Trek: Phase II reference. For those of you who are not aware, Phase II was going to be a new Star Trek series in the mid-70s. The entire TOS crew was supposed to come back, except for Leonard Nimoy. Xon was a new Vulcan character that was created to replace Spock. This never happened because Paramount made The Motion Picture instead of a new Trek series. Xon was going to be played by David Gautreaux, and he actually did appear at the start of TMP. A call-back to Phase II was just amazing!

Fun for the captain's birthday. Courtesy of CBS
Fun for the captain’s birthday. Courtesy of CBS

The “movie” began on Kabba Lake, which was supposed to be a command retreat. The five Cerritos bridge officers were on jet skis (or as they called them “hydroscoots”), celebrating Captain Freeman’s birthday. Boimler appeared and started asking questions for his research. Freeman got a message and looked up.

“Vacation’s over,” she said as she squinted.

Inside Douglas Station, Admiral Vassery (who Mariner harassed at the end of “Moist Vessel”) filled Freeman in. Apparently, a ship claiming to be the U.S.S. San Clemente checked in on the planet Idlocana VI. They said the second contact went well, but Starfleet has no ship called the San Clemente.

Boimler gasped, saying that this was a mystery. Vassery asked, “whose boy is this?” The others ignored Boimler, and Vassery told Captain Freeman to get in, find out what happened, and get out. Freeman said that the Cerritos just had some upgrades, and the ship was up to the task.

The crew (with Boimler) then boarded a shuttlecraft and flew to the new, upgraded Cerritos inside Douglas Station. 

NOTE: This scene was hilarious, as they made passes above and past the Cerritos, in a silly way, to poke fun at how the crew viewed the Enterprise in Spacedock in TMP and The Wrath of Khan. It was laugh-out-loud funny.

The crew arrived on the bridge, where every window and light created massive lens flares. 

NOTE: Again, so good. This was a poke at the J.J. Abrams’ Kelvin Trek series.

Freeman said, “warp me,” and the Cerritos blasted into the light. Very similar to how the Kelvin Enterprise entered warp too. 

At Idlocana VI, the Cerritos encountered a Klingon ship (named the Vin-pocolypse), whose captain was Mariner.

Vindicta! Courtesy of CBS
Vindicta! Courtesy of CBS

“I am Vindicta, vengeance personified!” said Mariner. This was Mariner being a Khan-style bad guy. She introduced her crew, which was composed: 

  • Tendi: A “savage warrior queen who comes from a long line of thieving Orion pirates.”
  • Bionic-5: “Half man-meat, half robot-meat — all pain!” This was Rutherford. 
  • Shempo: “I was supposed to be played by Boimler!”

This was funny! Tendi did not like being referred to as a “thieving Orion.” Shempo was a pudgy Boimler look-a-like, which Boimler complained about.

Freeman asked Vindicta what she wanted, and Vindicta said she did what she wanted. 

“You’re nothing but a propped-up errand girl, Free-man!” said Vindicta. Shempo brought Vindicta some tea, but it turned out to be coffee instead. Vindicta used her disruptor to kill Shempo.

NOTE: This was much like in Star Trek III when Kruge killed one of his henchmen for the “lucky shot.”

While the crew reacted to Vindicta killing Shempo, she launched a small shuttle, which clamped onto the Cerritos’ hull and began to slice a hole. Ransom realized that Vindicta was quoting from Shakespeare’s The Tempest. Freeman soon realized that this was all a ruse, as the Vindicta speech started to hiccup and repeat. 

Vindicta, Tendi, and Rutherford smashed into the Cerritos, and Vindicta started shooting the crew. Tendi started to tell Vindicta that she didn’t like the whole “Orion pirate” name. Still, as she spoke, Ransom and a new group of officers came to confront them. 

“This isn’t my first overpowered space-lord, and it won’t be my last,” said Ransom. Vindicta shot him, and as he lay hurt, Boimler came to his side. Boimler asked Ransom which cookies Captain Freeman liked best, but Vindicta reshot him — and Ransom vaporized before he could answer. 

“I love how you program subroutines!” said Rutherford. “It feels so good to say it!”

Before he died, Ransom was starting to tell Boimler what kind of cookies Freeman was allergic to.

Meanwhile, Rutherford stormed into engineering, looking for Billups. Another officer fired at Rutherford and hit a pipe that released gas. Billups had the place evacuated, and Rutherford told Billups that he was the best engineer in Starfleet. 

“I love how you program subroutines!” said Rutherford. “It feels so good to say it!”

They worked together to vent the gases.

“Wow, for a random space marauder, you really know your way around a starship,” said Billups.

Back with Vindicta and Tendi, Shaxs had a gigantic canon of some kind.

Shaxs and his new cannon. Courtesy of CBS
Shaxs and his new cannon. Courtesy of CBS

NOTE: I contacted the person who creates the props on Lower Decks, Shay Lurie, who said that this “weapon … was storyboarded specifically for this episode.” Meaning that this gun was not a cartoon-version of a weapon seen in earlier Trek. Cool!

“When you get to hell, tell the Pah-wraiths that Shaxs sent ya!” Shaxs yelled as he fired the giant cannon. The Pah-wraiths were the false gods of the Bajoran religion, so another well-timed reference to Deep Space Nine

Vindicta used a Borg’s head to shield herself and Tendi. She triggered the Borg’s personal shield to block Shaxs’ blasts. She then tossed the Borg head to Shaxs, and it exploded. Shaxs and the other two security folks were blasted to bits. Vindicta picked up the Shaxs’ Bajoran earring and tried to get Tendi to wear it.

She refused and told Vindicta to stop bringing up Orions being pirates. Vindicta apologized, but then suggested that they “torture the cat doctor.” 

“Her name is Dr. T’Ana!” yelled Tendi. “You’re way too into this!”

Tendi left the program.

Vindicta appeared on the bridge and started killing the crew around Freeman. He said that Vindicta would “never” get the Cerritos. Vindicta said she did not want the ship — she wanted Freeman to stop treating her as if she was the bad guy.

“No, it’s a movie! You can do all sorts of beaming stuff in a movie!” Rutherford said.

“You are the bad guy!” Freeman yelled. They argued a bit more, and then Vindicta used a remote control to make the warp core on her ship explode. This walloped the Cerritos, causing it to crash into parts on the planet below. 

With the Cerritos heavily damaged, Freeman ordered the evacuation of the ship. But Vindicta was there watching and taunting her. 

In engineering, Rutherford told Billups that he used the transporter to get most of the crew off the Cerritos before the ship crashed. Billups said that this was impossible.

“No, it’s a movie! You can do all sorts of beaming stuff in a movie!” Rutherford said. This was probably a reference to when Kirk and Scotty beamed onto the Enterprise at full warp, as seen in Star Trek (2009). Funny!

On the bridge, which was now sideways, Vindicta and Freeman climbed over the seats and consoles fighting each other. Vindicta said that Freeman had been a “jerk” to her since she was 8-years-old. 

Just when we thought Vindicta would kill the captain with a metal shard, the Mariner holographic simulation showed up. And the music changed, too.

“Get off my mom, you bitch!” Mariner yelled. She kicked Vindicta into some glass. Mariner beamed Freeman off the bridge and turned to fight Vindicta. 

“Thanks for ruining the awesome captain murder this was all building too!” said Vindicta. They fought each other, trading insults. Vindicta got the upper hand, and thew Mariner onto the viewscreen.

Meanwhile, the crew regrouped outside of the Cerritos. Rutherford and Billups hugged. Billups asked Rutherford if they could run away together and “buffer the phase coils” and “fix the warp engines on our time!” 

“It would be an honor, sir,” Rutherford said, as a tear rolled down his cheek. T’Ana watched them walk away.

“Godspeed, ya crazy [BEEP]s,” she said.

Boimler, still trying to use this opportunity to figure out the best way to butt-kiss, offered Freeman a plate of chocolate cookies. Jet tackled him, saying that the captain was allergic to chocolate. 

“Great work, Jet,” said Freeman. “That’s the type of assassin tackling that will land you a promotion!” FUNNY!

On the Cerritos, Vindicta was moving in to kill Mariner. 

Mariner vs. Mariner. Courtesy of CBS
Mariner vs. Mariner. Courtesy of CBS

NOTE: This is a bit strange. Killing yourself must be surreal. Even if it is a hologram.

Mariner said there was one thing that Vindicta didn’t know about her. Vindicta said that it was probably just another snarky comment.

“I may hate protocol, but I don’t hate this ship!” said Mariner. “I don’t hate the crew. I work with my best friends. The captain’s my mom. I would do anything for her.”

“You complain about her nonstop!” said Vindicta. “It’s your whole thing!”

Mariner agreed but said that if Freeman kicked her off the Cerritos, she’d be done in Starfleet. Mariner said that Freeman was watching over her in the “overbearing mom way.”

Vindicta still did not believe all of this. Mariner laughed and asked Vindicta why she allowed herself to get beat up to allow enough time for the self-destruct timer to go off. The saucer section of the ship exploded. The program ended, and Vindicta (Mariner), Rutherford, and Boimler appeared on the holodeck.

“Wow. I can’t believe that I just got my ass kicked … by myself,” Mariner said. She realized that she did like working on the ship. “Therapy works!” 

Later in the mess area, Mariner and Rutherford talked about the ‘therapy session.’ Rutherford said he felt great too, but wanted to tell the real Billups how he felt. Mariner said he ought to tell Billups, who was sitting alone, sipping soup. 

“I wouldn’t want to bother him,” said Rutherford. “Dude’s stone-cold badass.”

Mariner apologized to Tendi for the “Orion/pirates” talk. Tendi accepted, but added that most Orion are pirates, but not her. Tendi, Rutherford, and Mariner left together to look at the warp core. Freeman passed them in the corridor, and Mariner apologized to the captain. Freeman looked shocked.

Freeman went to see Dr. Migleemo to get some insight on Mariner’s new attitude and what she was “up to.” The bird said he could not share what the crew said to him in therapy sessions. Freeman got upset and kicked a table. 

Boimler went back to the holodeck to figure out what he should wear to his interview with Freeman. When he restarted the program, he arrived at Mariner’s funeral. Freeman was giving a eulogy, and in it, she mentioned that Freeman was her daughter. Boimler was shocked.

“If someone had ever found out that she was my baby girl, then I don’t know what I would have done,” said Freeman. “Probably kicked them off the ship!”

Boimler ended the program. Mariner, Rutherford, and Tendi opened the holodeck door and asked if he wanted to stare at the warp core. Mariner noticed that Boimler looked upset and asked him if he was OK. Boimler squeaked out a “yes.” 

In the interview, Boimler freaked out and accidentally said that Mariner was “hot.” He then screamed and ran out of Freeman’s office. The captain noted that Boimler did not prepare for the interview. 

Back in the movie, there sat a torpedo (just like at the end of Star Trek II), and Vindicta popped out of it.

“REVENGE,” she said. But Leonardo da Vinci shot her dead. 

The audience was then treated to signature-style ending credits, exactly like what the TOS actors did at the end of Star Trek VI. Funny!

TREK REPORT SUPPLEMENTAL:

Like I said at the start of this review, I think this episode could make a great film. If someone attacked and took over a ship, and Kirk had to fight them how Mariner and Vindicta fought (on a sideways bridge), it would make for an incredible fight sequence. While poking fun, they came up with many great things that could be plugged into a new Trek film. If there will be new Trek films…

RATING: 5 out of 5

CREDITS

STARRING

Tawny Newsome
Jack Quaid
Noël Wells
Eugene Cordero
Dawnn Lewis
Jerry O’Connell
Fred Tatasciore
Gillian Vigman

GUEST CAST
Paul Sheer
Paul F. Tompkins
Ben Rodgers
Gabrielle Ruiz
Gary Cole
Nolan North
Marcus Henderson

Music and Theme by … Chris Westlake

Original Star Trek theme by … Alexander Courage

Based upon “Star Trek” created by Gene Roddenberry

Created by Mike McMahan

Executive Producers … Alex Kurtzman, Mike McMahan, Heather Kadin, Katie Krentz, Eugene Roddenberry & Trevor Roth

Co-Executive Producer … Aaron Baiers, Chris Kula

Supervising Producers … Chris Prynoski, Shannon Prynoski, Ban Kalina,

Producers … Dave Ihlenfeld & David Wright

Co-Producers … Robyn Johnson, Brad Winters

Edited by … Todd Raleigh

Supervising Director … Juno Lee

Line Producer … Benjamin Kaltenecker

Written by … Ben Rodgers

Directed by … Bob Suarez

Executive Story Editors … John Cochran, Ben Joseph, Ann Kim
Story Editors … Ben Rodgers, M. Willis
Staff Writer … Garrick Bernard

Casting by …Ruth Lambert, C.S.A., Robert McGee, C.S.A.
Art Director … Khang Le

Animation Produced by … Titmouse, Inc.

Supervising producer for Titmouse Canada … Jennifer Ray
Line Producer … Melissa Beery
Production Manager … Megan Trevino
Writers Assistant … Ben M. Waller
Writers Production Assistant … Kayla Pavia

Production Coordinators … Zoey Boyadjian, Jeffrey New, Serena Ng, Claire O’Malley, Vyvy Tran, Adam Wilson

Storyboard Artists … Adam Ford, Brittany McCarthy, David Reilly, Gary Ye
Storyboard Revisionists … Ross Bradley, Marvin Britt, Dante Buford, Will Heff, Derek Lamastus, Aki Yun Lee, William Rowe, Fabien Tong, Stanley Von Medvey

Character Designers … Zan Czyzewski, Stephanie Liaw, Marisa Livingston

Assistant Character Designers … Robby Cook, Erica Feld, Michael Magilo

Color Designers … Angela V. Llerena, Oliva Pecini

Prop Designer … Shay Lurie

Background Designers … Howard Chen, Derek Kosol, Joseph Martinez, Joey Mccormick, Kip Noschese, Sunny Shah, Bobby Walker, Robinson Wood

Background Painters … Richard Chang, Yudi Chen, Crystal Yoori Son, Robinson Wood

Background Layout Supervisor … Ivan Louey

Production Paint Supervisor … Heather Arm

BG Layout Artists … Antonio Caggiano, Guanyu Cheng, Soeun Choi, Francis Dooley, Nicolas Ky, Seonkyu Lee, Luke Smith, Ben Szabo, Evan Terlesky

BG Paint Artists … Kat Brechtel, Breanna Cheek, Ivy Chu, Vincent Cosenzo, Anka Do, Hayley Kallberg, Reina Kanemitsu, Shay Klassen, Tai Marie

Animation Director … Bel Oh

ANIMATORS
Alyssa Alvarado
Derek Anderson
J. Alan Baker
Marie Beaudoin
Jhonny Bezerra Gomes
Tico Bolpas
Bryan Capik
Angela Cheng
Leah Clementson
Jesus Colon
Danial Darabi
Flavio Dos Santos
Josh Dresner
Abby Duel
Darcy Dureau
Maureine Good
Emily Gossmann
Michelle Ikemoto
Mack Johnson
Addison Johnston
Cassandra Lau
Matheus Serpa Machado
Raphael Maltais
Alison Mcleod
Tommy Levi Morenos
James Nguyen
Nathan Pangilinan
Braden Poirier
Carla Ravina
Leah Reddington
Carlos Rossell
Afshin Sabouki
Flavio Santana Do Nascimento
Liz Syrnick
Alanna Train
Jazmine Valickis
Steve Vitale
Daisy Wang
Austen Williams
Karen Wood
Lisa Yan

FX ANIMATORS
Michael Chang
Naoki Araiza Tokumasu

Post Supervising Director … Barry J. Kelly

Composite Lead … Matt Gilligan

COMPOSITORS
Jordan Barnes-Crouse
Edward J. Chichik
Scott Coleman
Vincent Cosenzo
Kevin De La Cruz
Gilad Gamliel
Steve Kellener
Marcela Mac
Nicolas Mermet
Eddie D. Moreno III
Mike Newton

CG Generalist … Allan Douglas Parker
CG Modeller … Brad Kotris

Retake Animators … Jesus Colon, Robby Cook, Mack Johnson, Cassandra Lau

Retake Background Painters … Heather Arm, Ivan Louey, Bobby Walker

Scene Set Up … Mike Gilbert, Louis Leung

Builds Supervisor … Travis Wall

Animation Builds Team … Andrea Carroll, Tommy Ho, Jessica Yang

Animatic Editor … Judy Yang
Assistant Picture Editors … Jason Albrecht, Paul Mazzotta
Dialog Editor … Paul Mazzotta

HR Director … Sharon O’Donnell
HR Manager … Peggy Liu
HRR Coordinator … Debbie Lemus
Financial Controllers … Rod Akizuki, Jason Lucas
Production Accountant … Richard Honig
IT Director … Steve Wolstrup
IT Support … Merrel Davis, Michael Douglas, Kashan Khan, Hani Sadjadi, Vanessa Tumlos

Assistant to A. Kurtzman … Monica Shapiro, Aviel Mann Ballo
Assistant to M. Mcmahan … May Darmon
Assistant to H. Kadin … Claire Mathiot
Assistent to K. Krentz … Joe Barrasas
Assistdrt to A. Baiers … Maggie McFarren
Assistant to C. Prynoski … Becky Bellavia
Assistdht to B. Kallna … Alyssa Feller
Consultant … David Mack

Music Editor … Amber Funk
Scoring Mixer … Oren Hadar
Orchestrators … Jim Honeyman, Gary K. Thomas, Carl K. Thomas
Scoring Assistants … Maria Vertiz, Matthew Bobb
Music Librarian … Rob Skinell

SFX Editors … Jeff Halbert, James Singleton
Foley Editor … Michael Britt
Production Sound Services … LA Studios, Smart Post Atlanta
Post Production Sound Services … Margarita Mix Hollywood
Re-Recording Mixer … Konrad Pinon
Supervising Sound Editor … James Lucero
Recording Engineers … Oleg Belogorsky, Chris Cirino, Bobby Garza, Dave Wilson
ADR Mixer … James A. Moore, Mike Greenberg

The persons and events in the program are fictitious. Any similarity to actual persons or events is unintentional

Copyright © MMXX CBS STUDIOS INC. All Rights Reserved This program Is protected under the laws of the United States of America and other countries. Unauthorized duplication, distribution, or exhibition may result In civil liability and criminal prosecution.

STAR TREK® and STAR TREK: Lower Decks™ Is a Trademark of CBS STUDIOS INC