[7.8/10] Really enjoyable episode. Another mix of very human problems with fun Star Trek adventures, and enough sci-fi weirdness for good measure.
I really enjoyed the A-story with Mariner lamenting the arrival of an acting captain while her mom/boss and other members of the senior staff are off on a secret seed-planting mission, only to discover that it’s her old buddy from the academy. It makes for an interesting dynamic, where the normally authority-bucking Mariner is suddenly buddy-buddy with the person in charge.
But that comes with a catch! Captain Ramsey knows Mariner’s capabilities and wants her to be the acting first officer! The encouragement and hug only produce a nervous smile in Mariner, who then tries to “throw” her promotion. I’ll admit that the twist went over my head. I assumed that maybe Mariner was nervous at actually having to be partly in command and screwing up under the pressure, rather than deliberately screwing up so as not to be expected to “rank up” and rise above her role as ensign.
It’s a fun turn in the story. I like the fact that there’s a snippy Vulcan, in true Star Trek tradition, and Mariner showing her true capabilities when there’s lives at stake and not just random water purification missions is a nice character moment. I also like the acknowledgement that she’s capable of becoming a captain and aced everything at the academy, but doesn’t want to. I think there’s more to that story, and I want to hear it someday. That said, I like that Ramsey, as Mariner’s friend, challenges her but respects her decision not to want a promotion. Their relationship really stands out as a good example of one founded on that sort of mutual respect and affection, while also having those sorts of real life complications.
The B-story was a lot of fun too. Boimler getting into a trademark Star Trek transporter accident and de-phasing is a good story engine. A low-key Freaks parody on a ship that’s moving out a group of similar scientific/medical malady sufferers makes for some fun visual designs and out there concepts. A mutiny on board leads to the proper comic escalation, and I love the twist that they really are being transported to a paradise planet, and the haunting/creepy setup is all just one big oversight.
I also enjoy the running gag about Tendi’s genetically-constructed dog, creatively named, “the dog.” It’s the joke that keeps on giving, with ever more absurd/disturbing behaviors that emerge with each new scene. I also really enjoy the conceptual gag that Tendi just doesn’t really know what a dog is/does, which adds to the humor.
Overall, this one was a lot of fun all around, and added a good character-revealing story for Mariner to boot!
Much better effort this week, with an episode finally not starting and ending with Beckett showing everyone what a screw-up she is. (they moved that to the MIDDLE of the episode, but, then, she was just pretending) Hopefully this is the start of a real story arc for the character, as she finally admitted to herself that she has some work to do figuring out who she wants to be. Sometimes it takes a little jealousy, and subconscious rivalry to figure out we need to make some improvements in ourselves. Seeing that her old BFF has become successful in Starfleet, while she has played the rebellious fool caused a little introspection, which, is always a GOOD thing. TOS benevolent misunderstood space monster trope......., Check!!
Yeah that certainly was the best episode so far, entertaining and quite a few good laughs. Let's hope they can keep it up like that or actually improve on it.
Great episode and love seeing Mariner pull it out the bag when she needs to. I get the nuances of her character a bit more. She's a high achiever but still figuring herself out. And that's fair.
Also bonus, the unmistakable voice of Commander Shepard herself - Jennifer Hale as the Vulcan crewmate. Love it. Hope she's voicing more characters in the show.