Though the title has an apparent Shakespeare reference, “Much Ado About Boimler” has nothing to do with anything written by the Bard. But we do get to see a new shade of the young ensign, which could have ended in tragedy.
The show opens with Tendi showing off her new genetically engineered dog to the team after a hard day’s work. She said that she edited the genome during her bathroom breaks. Rutherford was confused as to why she made an average dog instead of something else. Tendi was excited to show Rutherford her documentation and left the bunk area. When she did, the dog’s eyes glowed, and it grew spidery legs. Boimler and Rutherford got upset, but Mariner rolled over.
“Wake me up when it turns into something that I need to care about,” said Mariner.
Later, we learn that Captain Freeman, Shaxs, and Ransom are going on a secret mission, which involved the three of them wearing ninja-type suits and planting something. While they are gone, the Cerritos will be under the command of a visiting captain.
In the bunk area, Mariner complained about getting a “babysitter” captain and the fact that they were now on the way to a bog planet for a second mission. Boimler said that her attitude was “very unscientific.”
“You’re just excited to kiss a whole new butt, aren’t you?” Mariner asked.
“I don’t want some babysitter Jellico type hovering over us when we’re already going to a bog planet,” she whined. FUNNY! A reference to the guy who took charge of the Enterprise on the TNG episodes “Chain of Command, Part I and II.”
But, Boimler was excited about working with a different crew and working with a new captain.
“You’re just excited to kiss a whole new butt, aren’t you?” Mariner asked. He did not deny it.
Boimler went to ask Rutherford about possible new hairstyles (which was the most promotable look) as Rutherford worked on upping the speed of some transporters. He asked Boimler for help testing them.
“OK — ’boim’ me up,” said Boimler.
Boimler agreed, and Rutherford was able to send Boimler back and forth with increased speed. But on the second try, Boimler would not stop “phasing,” or looking like he was still being transported.
Rutherford said that this was just a small glitch and that Boimler was off by “one mili-Cochrane.” Boimler freaked out when he realized that he was making the transporter noise as well. Rutherford said he hardly noticed the noise.
NOTE: The mili-cochrane is a reference to Zefram Cochrane, the creator or warp drive for humanity. Cochrane appeared in the TOS episode “Metamorphosis,” on Star Trek: Enterprise’s “In a Mirror, Darkly,” and played by James Cromwell in Star Trek: First Contact.
On the bridge, Mariner waited for the new captain to board. It turns out to be an old friend of hers from the Academy, Captain Amina Ramsey (voiced by Toks Olagundoye), who was in command of the Oakland.
As they hugged, Ramsey’s team judged Mariner (not in a good way). They were a Vulcan (Durga), a Trill (Warren), and a cool looking purple guy with yellow eyes (Pratchett).
Durga asked why Mariner was only an ensign, while Ramsey was a captain. Speaking of ensigns, Boimler walked in, and he was still glowing and very noisy. Ramsey ordered him to sickbay.
Dr. T’Ana said that he looked like a “goddamned science project,” and she had no idea how long he’d look phase-y. Rutherford rushed in and used the tricorder to make Boimler’s noise stop, but he was still glowing.
As Boimler whined, T’Ana said that she’d notified Division 14, who handles “unsolvable space illnesses and science mysteries.”
“They can make me a real boy again?” Boimler asked. HAHA! A Pinocchio joke!
She assured him that they would fix him at the medical spa on Endocronimus V, which everyone calls “The Farm.” T’Ana said Boimler would be taken care of, and so would Tendi’s dog.
By the way, the dog, Tendi named “The Dog,” opened its head upon from the jaw, and its eyes turned into bats. Rutherford and Boimler both jumped, and Tendi said that there are no dogs on Orion.
“They can make me a real boy again?” Boimler asked.
Ramsey made her log entry in Freeman’s ready room, and Mariner messed around with trinkets on Freeman’s shelves. Ramsey asked Mariner if she’d seen Ransom’s “photon torpedo,” and Mariner yelled, “BARF!”
Ramsey offered Mariner the first officer position while she was in command of the Cerritos. Mariner accepted.
Soon, the Osler (NX-75300) emerged from a cloud in space to meet with the Cerritos. The Osler may be the strangest ship in the Federation. It fit the scene, which means it was meant to look sinister and mysterious, but it looked like a ship more suited for Count Dooku than Kirk or Picard. Here’s a conversation by Trekyards on what the Osler may or may not be.
Anyhow, from the Osler stepped an Edosian (voiced by Maurice Lamarche), three-limbed aliens, first seen on The Animated Series, and later in Trek comics published by DC. He introduced himself only as a medical specialist. He told Tendi, The Dog, and Boimler that they would be surrounded by strange folks on this journey. He also said that “the Farm cures all” and gave a classic bad guy maniacal laugh as the doors to the Osler closed.
On the Cerritos, Mariner, Ramsey, and her team prepared to go to the bog planet. Ramsey told how she encountered the Borg (and how they smell like old trash bags). They shared a few stories from the Academy days, and a few got embarrassing. Mariner mentioned that she recently put a scorpion in Ransom’s bed, and Durga asked is Mariner always disrupted missions. Awkward!
The beamed down to Khwopa and made contact with the amphibian-like natives, and got to work on the filter. It soon became clear that the filter was going to give them trouble. Everything started to back up, and Durga asked for the tricorders, which Mariner was responsible for. Mariner accidentally left them on the Cerritos!
Warren used a sonic took to clear the blockage, but everyone scowled at Mariner.
Back on the Cerritos, Freeman checked in with her ship. Ramsey reported that all was well, and they were going to rendezvous with the U.S.S. Rubidoux (NCC-12109).
Aboard the Osler, Tendi, and Boimler walked into a quarantine room full of beings in need of special attention — which included a person in a Captain Pike-style wheelchair, two people who were beamed into each other, and “Anthony,” who looked like the creatures made famous in the Voyager episode “Threshold.”
They started talking to a person who was half old man, half young man. He told them that these people were stashed away by Starfleet, and there was no “Farm.” He said the Farm was the Osler.
The Cerritos finally found the Rubidoux, which appeared to be drifting in space. Ramsey said that the crew of the Rubidoux was probably waiting to be rescued by Ramsey — like they were “last time.”
Ramsey, Mariner, and the rest of the team beamed over in spacesuits. They found that all power, environmental controls, and gravity was off. Ramsey ordered Durga to restore power, as she and Mariner would find the Rubidoux crew. The team turned on their magnetic boots and started walking around. Mariner turned hers on and made a spectacle of herself. Ramsey had begun to lose patience with Mariner.
Meanwhile, the old/young guy was stirring it up on the Osler. He told the rest of the ‘freaks’ that they should revolt by chanting “freaks fight back.” Boimler went along with it until he was able to tattle on them to the Edosian. The medical specialist grabbed a phaser rifle and went to squelch the planning. When they arrived, he stopped the mutiny and told them all that Boimler told him everything. The Edosian ordered them all to their quarters.
Ramsey and Mariner walked through the Rubidoux looking for its crew. They quarreled as they walked, eventually finding the unit hiding in the cargo bay. They found Captain Dayton, who warned that the “thing was still out there.”
Mariner said there was nothing, but Dayton said they were inside of the creature. Dayton explained that they shut everything down because “it feeds on electricity.” Ramsey tried to contact Durga, so she would not restore power, but it was too late.
As soon as power and gravity came back on, strands of glowing blue started pushing at the seams of the ship, crushing walls and walkways. Captain Dayton started to lose her cool, so Mariner punched her out… and took charge of the evacuation.
Ramsey wondered where this attitude had been all this time, and Mariner said it was because she knew that Ramsey was trying to recruit her to serve on the Oakland. Ramsey agreed to stop trying to recruit Mariner, and Mariner decided to help save the Rubidoux crew.
Boimler ran through the halls of the Osler, with the mob of freaks chasing him. They cornered him at an airlock and opened the door. Boimler expected to die as the air blew out of his lungs, but he landed on the soft grass and felt the warm sun above. It turns out that the Farm is a real place after all.
The Edosian apologized for making the trip so creepy and said that he might add some lights, so the Osler isn’t so scary.
At last, Tendi had to say good-bye to The Dog, who could talk and fly. So, the Dog was a real abnormality, and she belonged at the Farm. Boimler watched and was just about to be taken care of by two attractive nurses, when the old/young man spoiled it for Boimler, revealing that he was not a “freak” anymore.
“I have acid reflux… that’s kind of freakish!” Boimler said. He and Tendi boarded a shuttle, and he whined the whole way.
Rutherford used his new transporter tech to beam all of the crew from the Rubidoux onto the Cerritos just seconds before the creature took over the ship. Everyone who beamed over was still glowing, but Rutherford assured them that it was only temporary. Everyone cheered.
Moments later, a jellyfish-like creature erupted from the Rubidoux. Yes, it was the same kind of space being that was featured in the very first TNG episode — “Encounter at Farpoint.”
In the mess hall of the Cerritos, Boimler begged Rutherford to “mess him up again” in some way that would allow him to go back to The Farm. Rutherford said he had been fiddling with some plasma. Tendi greeted an average dog, assuming that the animal would speak as The Dog did. This dog did not. Instead, it licked her face.
Ramsey and Mariner enjoyed an ale together, and the captain offered the ensign a job aboard the Oakland. Mariner declined, saying that she still had some things to finish. As they chatted, Ransom slicked his hair back and came over to impress Ramsey. She flipped him onto a table.
“Sorry, Ramsey. Instincts kicked in,” said Ramsey. “I’ll take a pass on that drink.”
TREK REPORT SUPPLEMENTAL:
Really nice. I enjoy when Lower Decks animation can take advantage of things that are too costly for live-action, like zero gravity. Of course, Discovery changed all that. Though this episode was named after Boimler, Mariner was the real star. She is the one who sets the tone for the show, and everyone swims in her wake.
And Mariner whining in her bunk at the start of the show, was just hilarious!
RATING: 4 out of 5