The season finale of Lower Decks is finally here. It felt like these first ten episodes went by in a flash. Thanks to Mike McMahan and the entire team, Lower Decks has been a whole lot of fun. The finale, “No Small Parts,” directed by our friend Barry Kelly, was a good one as well. It was a great story, and just incredible how they pulled so many parts of the Star Trek Universe together into one last show.
The story begins on Beta III, the same planet featured on the TOS episode, “Return of the Archons.” Seems that the populace has gone back to worshiping Landru since Starfleet paid them a visit.
NOTE: They snuck in what might be the coolest thing… a cameo of Kirk and Spock, as drawn by Filmation. WOW! We’ll never have to wonder what these two iconic characters should look like as Lower Deckers. They look just like they did on The Animated Series.
Anyhoo, Captain Freeman, was able to straighten out most of the inhabitants. She and Ransom beamed back aboard the Cerritos. As they walked through the corridors, Ransom told Freeman:
“It’s always weird visiting planets from the TOS era.”
“TOS?” asked Freeman.
“That’s what I call the 2260s,” said Ransom. “Stands for ‘those old scientists,’ you know, Spock, Scotty. Those guys.”
NOTE: THAT IS HILARIOUS! Just too funny. When I heard that, I thought the same thing as Freeman. TOS? What are they doing here?
“It’s always weird visiting planets from the TOS era.”
“Seems like they were always stumbling on crazy new aliens every week back then,” said Ransom. They stepped onto the turbolift and discussed how Starfleet drops the ball on visiting some of these societies.
“I just hate seeing perfectly good society get destroyed by a Gamester of Triskelion or whatever because Starfleet has a policy of some intervention,” said Freeman. She gave orders to leave orbit and head to Starfleet 77, but they learned that there was still Cerritos crew on the surface.
Turns out, it was Mariner and Boimler who were giving out school supplies to the children. Boimler enjoyed that he was not following orders either, just like Mariner. Boimler took off his uniform, and it activated his combadge. The bridge listened as Mariner teased Boimler, but then he revealed that he knew Mariner was Freeman’s daughter. She told him to shut up, and Freeman beamed them straight to the bridge.
As he made kissy faces and made fun of Mariner, he saw Freeman’s face and squealed.
We then join the U.S.S. Solvang in the Kalla System, with the captain and crew of the old U.S.S. Rubidoux (which was destroyed in “Much Ado About Boimler.”)
Captain Dayton would not allow shoes on the bridge and fussed when someone took the cellophane off her chair’s control panel. Out of nowhere, the ugliest ship in Trek history appeared and attacked the Solvang. The bad guys launched a giant claw that grabbed onto the Solvang’s nacelle and destroyed the ship.
Back on the Cerritos, Tendi was assigned to work with a new recruit. Rutherford had a new button on his implant, called his “attitude selector.” These modes changed the way he acted (optimistic mode, sexy mode, British mode, etc.). The new recruit was an exocomp, a small floating robot, first seen on the TNG episode, “The Quality of Life.”
This exocomp had a female, sassy way of talking. The three got to know each other, and thanks to his implant, Rutherford started talking like a cowboy.
In her ready room, Freeman complained that the crew knew that Mariner was her daughter. Mariner pushed back.
“Well, Wesley Crusher worked with his mom… maybe everyone will be cool about it,” said Mariner. Ransom walked in and called Mariner “captain’s daughter.” He said that he wanted Freeman’s input on the candidates for the Sacramento promotion. He also started kissing Mariner’s butt.
“From now on, I’ll be sure to give you special attention,” said Ransom to Mariner.
“Be as hard on her as you normally are!” Freeman told Ransom. That broke down into a little bit of potty humor, which embarrassed Ransom. Mariner stormed out, and the crew whispered about her as she walked past them. She ran into a guy she dated a while back (who said “Wolf 359” was an inside job), and he asked her to share some of his ideas with Captain Freeman.
NOTE: Wolf 359 was the colossal cliffhanger battle between the Borg and the Federation between TNG seasons 3 and 4.
She ran into Dr. T’Ana, who asked if she could find out if the cat could date Shaxs.
On the bridge, the crew picked up a distress message from the Solvang. They told Freeman that the U.S.S. Titan was supposed to be in the area, but Freeman decided to respond.
As they relaxed in the bunk area, Billips stopped by to give Mariner some “hand pies,” which seem to be like the apple pies one can buy from McDonald’s. She got upset over that.
“Yesterday, he literally didn’t know my name,” said Mariner. “He called me Jen. Who here is named Jen?”
NOTE: The Andorian she shoved on “Cupid’s Errant Arrow” was named Jennifer!
Even Boimler tried to have Mariner sign his letter of recommendation to the Sacramento. Mariner realized that she would be a “nobody” on the Sacramento, and she immediately started acting differently. She rolled down her sleeves and adjusted her hair. She even called Boimler, “sir.”
Elsewhere, Tendi gave the exocomp a tour of the ship and asked the robot what she’d like to be called. The robot said she wanted to be called “Peanut Hamper,” which she calculated to be mathematically the perfect name. Tendi loved it.
Boimler and Mariner went to see Commander Ransom to discuss the transfer to the Sacramento. Ransom said that Boimler’s record was spotless, but Mariner was the captain’s daughter.
“Yesterday, he literally didn’t know my name. He called me Jen. Who here is named Jen?”
“Boimler! You’re so promotable! But I’d like to serve the captain,” said Ransom. He then kicked them out so he could think and lift weights.
Peanut Hamper and Tendi went to see Rutherford, who was working on the shuttlecraft Sequoia. Rutherford was still acting erratically due to his attitude button. Tendi was worried that Peanut Hamper would not be able to hack it in the medical bay. But when they arrived, Peanut Hamper assisted Dr. T’Ana spectacularly well using lasers to graft skin.
Later, Boimler confronted Mariner about the promotion. As they were fighting, the Cerritos dropped out of warp to see both asteroids and all of the debris leftover from the Solvang. They watched the unknown ship pull part of the Solvang’s saucer section up into its own hull. Freeman ordered evasive maneuvers, but they got trapped in a tractor beam. The claws then grappled onto the Cerritos.
Ransom ordered warp speed, but Freeman counters, saying that Captain Dayton probably tried the same thing, and she wound up dead. So, the port nacelle was ripped off its pylon, away from the rest of the Cerritos.
Mariner and Boimler arrived at the bridge when it was revealed that the Pakleds were behind this attack. The Pakleds were featured on the TNG episode “Samaritan Snare.” They are thought to be dumb, and they use technology from other races to improve their ships.
“We want your ship pieces to add to our ship pieces,” said the Pakleds commander, who thought the Cerritos was the Enterprise.
Freeman tried to negotiate, but the Pakleds did not want to. They launched more attack claws at the Cerritos. Ransom said the Pakleds were supposed to be a joke, but Boimler said they had weapons from over 30 different species.
The Pakleds started to use giant phasers to cut the Cerritos to shreds. Freeman had no options, so she turned to Mariner to come up with something.
“We want your ship pieces to add to our ship pieces!”
“I need a dangerous, half-baked solution that breaks Starfleet codes and totally pisses me off!” she told Freeman. “That’s an order!”
Mariner got Rutherford to come up with a virus to take out the Pakleds’ ship. He ran to the holodeck, and he started up the evil Badgey (as seen in “Terminal Provocations”).
Rutherford asked Badgey to create a virus, and Badgey said that he needed the safety protocols to be disabled. Rutherford hesitated, after what happened before. Badgey made three viruses that would work, but they must be loaded from inside the Pakled ship.
Pakleds started to beam onto the Cerritos, the crew fought back. Mariner revealed that she had a hidden cache of weapons for these sorts of occasions. The reveal of this was not unlike when Dwight K. Schrute showed off his weapons on The Office.
The group fought their way to sickbay, where the captain got some treatment. They decided that Peanut Hamper should take the virus to the Packled ship. Peanut Hamper declined, saying that she joined Starfleet to “piss off her dad.” She beamed off the ship into space. Rutherford decided that he should deliver the virus himself. Shaxs agreed and tossed him over his shoulder.
Shaxs and Rutherford got into the shuttlecraft and zoomed over to the Packled ship, blasting everything in sight. This might have been Shaxs finest hour, allowing him to beat up Packleds on the Cerritos, in space, and on their ship.
When they arrived on the Packled ship, Shaxs attacked. Rutherford deployed Badgey, who turned the tables on his “father,” forcing Rutherford to remain on the vessel until it blew up. Shaxs pulled Rutherford away from the computer — ripping his implant out in the process. He threw Rutherford onto the Sequoia and pushed the shuttlecraft back into space.
Badgey then set off a giant explosion. BOOM!
Mariner took command of the Cerritos, but before they could escape, three more Packled ships arrived. They launched their grappling claws at the Cerritos and began tearing the ship apart.
And just when you thought it was the end, Captain Riker and the U.S.S. Titan zoomed in and saved the day! Commander Troi was alongside her husband, a Saurian (just like Linus from Discovery and the original Saurian from The Motion Picture).
NOTE: We at Trek Report made sure that we pointed out that Riker saved the day in both Picard and now Lower Decks on the final episode. We figure that somehow, he’ll arrive in the far, far future and save Michael Burnham and her crew aboard the Discovery. Maybe.
We learn that Mariner and Riker know each other, and Riker said that now they were “even.” The Titan made short work of the Packleds, who thought this was “another Enterprise.”
NOTE: This scene was glorious. As the Titan swooped in, we heard the original TNG theme. It was sooooo nice! Also, just to let you know, the Titan was the ship that Riker transferred to after the end of Star Trek: Nemesis.
In spacedock, Freeman said that she wanted them to fix the Cerritos back to “almost” the way she was and not add any new features or colors. Fascinating!
When Rutherford came to, Tendi was at his side in the hospital. With his implant gone, he’d lost all his memories too. Tendi didn’t seem to mind, saying that they’d learn to be best friends all over again. Aww. Don’t you just love Tendi?
The crew held a funeral for Shaxs, saying that he was “with the prophets now.” Later, Freeman brought up all the charges against Mariner (like the giving away of crayons on Beta III, the weapons cache, and even a Tribble). Mariner pointed out that she basically saved everyone. Freeman agreed and suggested that they work together.
“It might be nice to have the captain on your side and not up your ass for a change,” said Freeman. They shook on it and walked to the mess hall.
The Lower Deckers were waiting for Mariner, and Riker was waiting for Freeman. He picked her up with a big hug, and she thanked him for “the assist.” Riker said that he was Freeman’s mentor, but she said that was not so. He then said that she was his “cha’DIch,” a Klingon term position of honor for formal legal matters.
NOTE: This was a hilarious nod to the TNG episode where Picard served as Worf’s cha’DIch (Season 3, Episode 17 “Sins of the Father”).
Meanwhile, Ransom asked Troi if she could hook him up with some Betazoid friends. Troi told him that he was masking an “ocean of insecurity.” He said that he could make that work with Betazoid ladies.
The four friends caught up, and Boimler said that Mariner was his mentor and that he’d quit obsessing over rank. Riker walked up and told Boimler that he did a good job and that Ransom said he was “one of his best.” Riker threw a PADD down in front of Boimler and walked off with Mariner. He’d been transferred to the Titan.
We next see Boimler on the Titan, straightening out his uniform and his pips. He’d been promoted to Lieutenant Junior Grade. As he did, Mariner screamed out a message on a PADD in his room (like a 24th Century answering machine).
Two Titan crew came to get Boimler to escort Troi to Tulgana 4, a place that Boimler knew well (as seen on “Envoys”). They were impressed when he told them that he knew the area. They also said that his PADD was blowing up.
“She’s just an old friend,” said Boimler. “She kinda got mad when I took the promotion here. Ah… she’ll get over it.”
We now see Mariner yelling messages into her PADD for Boimler.
“You can’t keep ducking me forever!” she said. “It is a really small galaxy out there! Sooner or later, I’m going to run into you, and I’m gonna feed you to an Armus!”
NOTE: This is the evil, nasty, oil-slick of a creature that killed Tasha Yar on the TNG episode “Skin of Evil.” FUNNY!
Someone in the bunks closely told her to quiet down, and Mariner yelled at her too.
“Oh shut up, Jen!” Mariner yelled.
On the Titan, Riker walked onto the bridge. He apologized for being late. He said he was watching “the first Enterprise on the holodeck.”
“You know, Archer and those guys?” said Riker. “What a story.”
NOTE: This is so funny! Everyone hated the final episode of Enterprise, saying that it was an ending not worthy of the show. More on that here.
Riker ordered them to go while snapping to jazz. Troi covered her face. As the Titan warped away, we could see Peanut Hamper floating through space. Funny!
TREK REPORT SUPPLEMENTAL:
This one was great. Written by the creator (Mike McMahan) and directed by the incredible Barry J. Kelly, “No Small Parts” was no small feat. They topped themselves in every way. They referenced every other Trek series and many of the films. Well done, folks. Well done.
But, this was almost a cliffhanger. They gave us the following changes that must be followed up on:
- Will Boimler stay on the Titan?
- Will Rutherford get a new implant, or will he be all-natural from now on?
- Will Mariner become the new Security Chief?
- Will they bring Shaxs back, in a Star Trek III sorta way? Remember, they said that he’s with the Prophets now. Perhaps Sisko will help him back to the ‘real world.’
All things that must be resolved. Good thing that they’ve already confirmed that Season 2 is in the works!
RATING: 5 out of 5