“Envoys” is the second episode of Lower Decks. Many wondered if this new show would keep up the hectic pace of “Second Contact.” The first Lower Decks show featured three (or four, depending on how you count) storylines going on at once, in 26 minutes. This has not been done before on Trek — the only other short-format show before Lower Decks was The Animated Series.

It seems that the energy from Beckett Mariner is what pushes this show forward… and we’ll see more of that in “Envoys.”

STARDATE: UNKNOWN

The episode begins with an exterior look at the U.S.S. Cerritos, as a glowing orb descended into the hull. This is very reminiscent of the The Next Generation episode “The Child” or even The Motion Picture, which both had glowing creatures invade.

Inside the ship, we saw Ensigns Tendi and Beckett Mariner pushing a cart full of canisters and talking about flirting with the guys at the bar. The orb appeared before them, and Mariner said it was a “transdimensional energy creature.”

As the orb warned them, Mariner jumped on it and told Tendi to grab a canister, so they could stuff it inside.

“He’s a sentient creature,” said Tendi. “Are we even allowed to stuff him into something?”

Tendi and Mariner meet the Orb. Courtesy of CBS
Tendi and Mariner meet the Orb. Courtesy of CBS

“I shall make a feast of your misery!” the creature said as Mariner began to stuff it inside the canister. He pleaded with her, saying that he could grant wishes. Mariner asked for a tricorder with a purple stripe, which it created. As it did, the glowing orb shrunk in size.

“Where’s the power cell, dude?” Mariner asked. The orb then created a crystal (fans wondered what this was precisely… I assumed it was a small dilithium crystal) to power the tricorder. Once it finished building the crystal, the orb shrunk down to the size of a grape.

Soon, Captain Carol Freeman walked down the same corridor with a colleague, talking about the term she’d like to use at warp. As she spoke, the now tiny energy orb attempted to attack her, but it merely disintegrated on her uniform.

“Something like, ‘It’s warp time,’” said the captain. “What do you think of that? Is that good for you?”

We rejoin Tendi and Mariner in one of the Lower Decks, where various Starfleet items are strewn about in need of repair. Mariner watched a video of Vice Admiral Gibson falling off a stage during peace negotiations. We hear a Homer Simpson-like “d’ooooooh” yell come from her PADD screen. FUNNY!

“Look, all I know is that I’ll be flying down to a bustling, exotic planet while you’re stuck right here,” said Boimler. He then began to practice his formal Klingon greetings.

Just then, Ensign Brad Boimler walked in bragging to say that he got the best assignment on the ship, which was piloting Klingon General K’orin to Tulgana 4. Tendi said that she thought she’d heard of him before, but Mariner reminded her that it was because all Klingon names sound alike.

“They all have an apostrophe for some reason,” said Mariner. The ladies criticized him for bragging about a mundane assignment.

“Look, all I know is that I’ll be flying down to a bustling, exotic planet while you’re stuck right here,” said Boimler. He then began to practice his formal Klingon greetings.

NOTE: This is where the “Envoys” part of this episode plays in. Though they don’t act like envoys…

Then, Ensign Rutherford tumbled out of an access tube after fixing all EPS conduits, ship-wide. Tendi asked how long he was working on this project; he replied, “a solid week!”

“I’m Starfleet,” said Rutherford. “I never go back on my word.”

“Look — I’ve got blisters on my blisters!” said Rutherford. He then told Tendi that he had to recalibrate everything, which meant 3-4 days in the tubes. She reminded him that they were supposed to watch the Trivoli pulsar together. She said that it was fine if he missed it. He disagreed.

“I’m Starfleet,” said Rutherford. “I never go back on my word.”

He said that he would switch divisions so he wouldn’t have to be in the tubes all day. She thanked him and hugged him.

Meanwhile, Boimler reported to the shuttle bay with a ton of Klingon luggage. He walked onto the shuttlecraft Yosemite to see Mariner eating Chinese noodles. She was slopping all over the main ship controls. Boimler told her to leave, but she said that she was going too, and threw him the PADD with her orders. He read the orders.

Mariner, Boimler, and the Chinese food. Courtesy of CBS
Mariner, Boimler, and the Chinese food. Courtesy of CBS

“I’m your co-pilot?” he said. “You’re taking on more work? Just to bug me?”

She told him to calm down, as she played with the shuttlecraft’s blast shield. She even sang as she pressed the buttons. FUNNY!

In engineering, Rutherford approached Lt. Cmdr. Billups, who praised Rutherford for the beautiful job he’d done on the EPS grid. After an awkward few moments, Rutherford told Billups that he’d be “exploring other opportunities on the ship.” Billups got in his face and then congratulated him on the change. The entire engineering team cheered!

FUNNY! This should have been a moment for a “dress down,” from Billups to Rutherford, but instead, they made it a humorous moment.

On the shuttlecraft, Boimler lectured Mariner, saying that they needed to show the general respect. When he arrived, Boimler bowed and said it was an honor to escort him. Mariner attacked!

As Boimler watched and screamed, they eventually stopped and laughed. General K’orin said that Starfleet made Rutherford soft.

“Not as soft as your ngech,” said Mariner.

NOTE: We at Trek Report, believe that Mariner used ngech to mean “cleavage,” and not “valley.”

Mariner said that they knew each other, and did some “off the book gray ops stuff back in the day.”

NOTE: Wow! Another new wrinkle in Star Trek canon. Wonder what exactly “gray ops” refers to? Is that a Section 31 reference? Maybe!

K’orin threw Boimler his bat’leth and told Mariner that he needed to share the tales of all his recent sexual conquests.

“What, both of them?” said Mariner. They laughed. On the way to Tulgana 4, Mariner and K’orin got drunk and sang songs as Boimler piloted the ship.

“Boy! Land in Little Qo’noS. I want gagh!” K’orin ordered Boimler. FUNNY! Little Qo’noS? Like Little Italy or Chinatown. That’s a hilarious thought.

When they landed, K’orin was passed out, and Boilmer was pissed off. He lectured Mariner about the decision to land the Yosemite in an unsecured district and drinking with the general.

“Me and the general are blood-bonded,” said Mariner. “It would have been weird if I acted all stuffy,” Mariner said that they’d get him a cup of raktajino, and he’d be fine. As soon as she said that, the shuttlecraft took off.

“Classic K’orin,” said Mariner. “He did this on Vulcan, and on Earth. He steals a lot of things.”

Mariner said that they’d just beam up to the Cerritos and trigger the shuttle to return by remote control. Boilmer lost his cool, yelling that these things weren’t possible on Tulgana 4, due to the ion field. He started speed-walking to find the shuttlecraft, saying that this all might be in violation of the Khitomer Accords (an excellent reference to Star Trek VI).

She teased him about his speed-walking, but he said that it conserves energy and that Section 31 did this.

As they walked through Little Qo’noS, they found that he was walking north in search of “stronger ale.” Some Kaelons glared at them as they passed (you’ll remember them from the TNG episode “Half a Life”). Boimler bumped into a Taxor (a giant blue humanoid alien, with spikes on its head). He attempted to apologize in the Taxor’s native language.

“Female feces outside inside feces,” was what Boimler said to the Taxor. The alien picked Boimler up. Mariner first punched the Taxor but wound up tossing the alien’s change purse, which he went after. Boimler and Mariner escaped

Back on the Cerritos, Commander Jack Ransom took Rutherford into the holodeck for command training. Ransom told Rutherford that he was glad that he chose to join the command team.

“The bridge is where the action is,” said Ransom, who put Rutherford through a series of simulations. Rutherford failed each time. Rutherford could only muster “maintain course” no matter what was happening to the ship. FUNNY!

“In situations like that, try employing the Janeway Protocol,” Ransom advised. Rutherford asked what that was, but Ransom did not respond.

NOTE: It’s a little unclear exactly what the Janeway Protocol is, but there are a few ideas out there. The Janeway Protocol is not codified like the Picard Maneuver.

Back on Tulgana 4, Mariner and Boimler walked past a fountain with a gigantic horga’hn in the center (a direct reference to the TNG: Season 3 episode “A Captain’s Holiday”). All sorts of humanoids were relaxing and sunning themselves in this area.

Boimler whined about his failure with the Taxor, and that he’d read five books about them. Mariner said that he read too much, and he ought to read less and spend “more time letting Boimler get nasty.” She left him to use the restroom.

As he sat, a beautiful humanoid female sat down next to Boimler and began to flirt. She could sense his thoughts and knew he wanted jamaharon (which is what they call sexual pleasure on Risa). Boimler began to stammer, and Mariner hosed them off. She said the girl was really an “Anabaj,” which was a reptilian humanoid.

Yikes! An "Anabaj." Courtesy of CBS
Yikes! An “Anabaj.” Courtesy of CBS

“It’s gonna implant eggs in your throat, dummy!” said Mariner.

NOTE: I bet if the ALIEN series had the Anabaj instead of the face-huggers, they’d be a lot more successful.

Anyhow, after she got hosed off, the Anabaj hissed at them both and crawled up the side of the building. Yuck!

Boimler asked how she knew the girl was really a snake-person. Mariner said the Anabaj had an affinity for red, and are drawn to the weak-minded.

“Plus, I kind of dated one once, but only to make my mom mad,” said Mariner. FUNNY! They ran off in pursuit of the general.

In orbit, Rutherford tried his hand in sickbay but failed there too after displaying a terrible bedside manner. Dr. T’Ana made him leave.

Next, he tried security, where Lieutenant Shaxs put him in a simulation called the “Smorgasborg.” Rutherford activated something in his cybernetic implant, which allowed him to defeat the Borg attackers with ease. Shaxs was shocked.

Rutherford made short work of the Borg. Courtesy of CBS
Rutherford made short work of the Borg. Courtesy of CBS

“In the name of the Prophet, I put people in that simulation so they can learn to deal with defeat,” said Shaxs. “Ensign, you are a natural-born warrior!”

“Okey dokey!” said Rutherford.

On the planet, Mariner told Boimler to keep his head down, as the Andorians don’t mess around. Boimler scolded her, saying that the Andorians are a founding member of the Federation.

Boimler saw an older Andorian getting roughed up, and he tried to step in to save the “elder.” It turned out that the old man was a Vendorian — a shapeshifter, who promptly escaped. They said the Vendorian was a thief, and that he and Boimler must be working together. An Andorian male threw a chair at Boimler, who ducked. The chair hit A ROCK MONSTER (which was supposed to be in Star Trek V). It also looked like Morn (from DS9) was there too, or at least a member of Morn’s species.

The Rockmen live! Courtesy of CBS
The Rockmen live! Courtesy of CBS

Just as Boimler was about to get smashed by someone, Mariner saved him, yelling, “Kirk hands!” She then stood on a table, shot her phaser, and offered to buy the next five rounds of drinks. She used money stolen from the Taxor. The aliens agreed and carried her in celebration.

Boimler watched and was crushed by his failure.

“I’ve never seen you study, but you breeze in here, knowing cool plant tricks and which aliens are which — how?” he asked Mariner.

“I’ve been places,” she said. “I just pick stuff up along the way.”

He sobbed and said that he could never do that and that he was not cut out for Starfleet. She tried to pep him up, but it didn’t work. He threw his combadge in a puddle and ran off.

“When we get back — I’m done!” he said.

Back Cerritos, Shaxs introduced Rutherford to the security team, as the “newest bear in our bear pack.” As Shax rambled on, Rutherford saw someone crawl out of an access tunnel, and decided that he wanted to go back to engineering.

“My heart’s in engineering,” said Rutherford. “I’d like permission to leave the bear pack.”

Just when you thought Shax was going to destroy Rutherford, he led a cheer for the cyborg.

“Gotta be true to yourself!” Shax told Rutherford.

On the planet, Mariner took Boimler through a park. She called it a shortcut.

The Vasquez Rocks are in California… and Tulgana 4. Courtesy of CBS
The Vasquez Rocks are in California… and Tulgana 4. Courtesy of CBS

NOTE: You never thought a rock would make a cameo appearance in a show, but the Vasquez Rocks did here. In the park, the Vasquez Rocks are mixed in with the alien landscape and odd mushroom trees. Nice!

Suddenly, a suspicious Ferengi popped out of nowhere and offered to give them a ride in his shuttle.

“Greetings, Huu-mons!” he said.

Mariner accepted, but Boimler refused, saying you can never trust a Ferengi. Mariner said he was a Bolian (which are the blue-skinned humanoids with a ridge running down their face). Boimler asked for the landing code from the Ferengi’s shuttlecraft.

Ferengi “Quimp.” Courtesy of CBS
Ferengi “Quimp.” Courtesy of CBS

The Ferengi said it was right “here” and whipped out a knife, demanding their “profit.” Boimler grabbed a phaser and shot the knife out of the Ferengi’s hand. Mariner admitted that she may have been wrong, and as soon as he started to gloat, he said the missing shuttle. It was parked in front of a Federation building, covered with parking tickets.

They dragged K’orin out of the shuttlecraft and left him where he was supposed to be. A Starfleet officer walked out of her office to find him retching on the carpet. She notified the Cerritos that they finally found K’orin and that he was just in time for the peace accords.

Back in the shuttle on the way back to the Cerritos, Mariner asked Boimler not to tell anyone what happened with the Ferengi. She also returned his combadge. He agreed, saying that they were on a “shuttle of trust.” But the next thing you see is Boimler recounting the story in the bar to a laughing audience. Mariner left after being the butt of the joke, but she had a smirk on her face.

At the other end of the bar, Tendi and Rutherford talked. He said that he tried to switch divisions, but it didn’t work out. He would not be able to watch the pulsar with her.

“I belong in the tubes,” he said.

“All right! Whatever,” said Tendi. “I’ll just watch it there with you on my PADD.”

They laughed together, and she said that he wasn’t trying all the different jobs just to hang out with her… which he obviously was.

That night, Mariner contacted the Ferengi “Quimp” on her PADD. He said that he owed her one and was glad to help.

We then see Tendi watching the pulsar on her PADD, next to Rutherford in a Jeffries Tube. They each agreed, the thing they were looking at was beautiful.

TREK REPORT SUPPLEMENTAL:

Another fun show with a ton of references to all eras of Trek. I really enjoyed this one. I think my favorite part was the Ferengi at the end, who played along with Mariner’s plan to boost poor Boimler. That Ferengi was voiced by Spongebob Squarepants himself — Tom Kenny.

I also wonder about the little hints they keep dropping about Mariner’s past. I realize that this is a cartoon, but I think we’ll see some deep dives into why Mariner is such a screw up in future episodes.

A funny note, that whenever Rutherford was saying goodbye to one type of job, and you thought he was going to be killed by Shax or whomever, the screen darkened around the two just like in The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, when Gandalf was yelling at Bilbo. Fun!

RATING: 4 out of 5

CREDITS

STARRING

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

GUEST CAST
Jessi Harnell
Tom Kenny
Kari Wahlgren
Jessica McKenna
Ryan Ridley
Paul Sheer

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 … Chris Kula

Directed by … Kim Arndt

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 Directors … Antonio Canobbio, Khang Lee

Animation Produced by … Titmouse, Inc.

Supervising producer for Titmouse Canada … Jennifer Ray
Line Producer … Melissa Berry
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, Klara Woldenga

Storyboard Artists … Dante Buford, Kat Ruzics, Fabien Tong
Storyboard Revisionists … Marvin Britt, Will Heff, William Rowe, Derek Lamastus

Character Designers … Zan Czyzewski, Stephanie Liaw, Marisa Livingston, Alexandre Pelletier

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

Color Designers … Angela V. Llerena

Prop Designer … Shay Lurie, Oliva Pecini

Background Designers … Howard Chen, Liam Cobb, Brandon Cuellar, Michael Lockwood, Joseph Martinez, Kip Noschese, Sunny Shah, Kirk Shinmoto, Mark Taihei, Bobby Walker

Background Painters … Richard Chang, Yudi Chen, Peter Markowski, Crystal Yoori Son

Background Layout Supervisor … Ivan Louey

Production Paint Supervisor … Heather Arm

BG Layout Artists … Antonio Caggiano, Guanyu Cheng, Seoul Choi, Adrienne Iu, Nichalas Ky, Genevieve Lam, Forrest Molloy, Ben Szabo, Evan Terlesky

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

Animation Director … Alexandre Pelletier

ANIMATORS

J. Alan Baker
Anamika Baruah
Jhonny Bezerra Gomes
Tico Bolpas
Joao Henrique Brum
Angela Cheng
Brendan Cheong
Kyuwan Choi
Leah Clementson
Jesus Colon
Danial Darabi
Flavio Dos Santos
Deborah Dixon
Andres Espinosa
Lemma Findlay
Sara Franco
Maureine Good
Emily Gossmann
Michelle Ikemoto
Mack Johnson
Addison Johnston
Marcel Delfino Junges
Cassandra Lau
Margaret Lee Chum
Emiliane Leduc
Tommy Levi Morenos
Vic-Ely Lucena

ANIMATORS

Matheus Serpa Machado
Raphael Maltais
Alison Mcleod
Flavio Santana Do Nascimento
James Nguyen
Rebecca Noble
Nathan Pangilinan
Alexander Phan
Braden Poirier
Carla Ravina
Leah Reddineton
Liz Syrnick
Emily Terry
Alanna Train
Jazmine Valickis
Sarah Vancuren
Steve Vitale
Daisy Wang
Stephen Wedel
Riley Windrum
Karen Wood
Lisa Yan
Cindy Shaw
Yie Tong

FX ANIMATORS

Helen Ahlberg
Michael Chan
Alastair Sew Hoy

Post Supervising Director … Barry J. Kelly

CG Generalist … Allan Douglas Parker

CG Modeller … Brad Kotris

Retake Animator … Robby Cook

Retake Background Painter … Pablo Rivera

Composite Lead … Alex King

COMPOSITORS

Laine Butler
Scott Coleman
Robyn Fulbrook
Grad Gamliel
Charles Higson
Steve Kellener
Mike Newton

Scene Set Up … Mike Gilbert, Louise Leung
Builds Supervisor … Travis Wall
Animation Builds Team … Andrea Carroll, Laura Gimenes, Tommy Ho, Jessica Yang

Animatic Editor … Haley Gansert
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 Akizuku, 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, T’essence Minnitee, Aviel Mann Ballo
Assistant to M. Mcmahan … May Darmon
Assistant to H. Kadin … Megan Talmadge, Tallinn Kiefer, Claire Mathiot
Assistent to K. Krentz … Joe Barrasas
Assistdrt to A. Baiers … Maggie Mcfarren
Assistant to C. Prynoski … Becky Bellavia
Assistdht to B. Kallna … Alma Feller
Assistant to A.Canobbio … Meagan Washington
Consultant … David Mack

Music Editor … Amber Funk
Scoring Mixer … Oren Hadar
Orchestrators … Jim Honeyman, Gary K. Thomas, Carl Johnson
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
Post Production Sound Services … Margarita Mix Hollywood
Re-Recording Mixer … Conrad Pinon
Supervising Sound Editor … James Lucero
Recording Engineers … Chris Cirino, Bobby Garza
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