One of the most popular tropes in Star Trek is when a featured character gets seduced by a hostile alien threat disguising him/herself as a human. In the Lower Decks episode "Cupid's Errant Arrow", Boimler (Jack Quaid) falls in love with Lt. Barbara Brinson (Gillian Jacobs) of the U.S.S. Vancouver. Mariner (Tawny Newsome) initially scoffs at the idea not believing her to exist and when they're finally introduced to one another, the ensign thinks she's too good to be true for her best friend. Boimler naturally dismisses Mariner's paranoia and fear Barb could be some alien seducing him.
When "Star Trek: Lower Decks" Goes "Always Sunny"
The comedic range Newsome exhibits definitely allows her to tap into her inner Charlie Kelly (Charlie Day) from FXX's It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia where she gets a similar dissolved look in uniform with random photos adorned with lines crossing through to connect the "conspiracy." As if it doesn't play into Mariner's paranoia, Boimler's insecurity about his relationship has him veering off in his own direction of paranoia when Barb ends up working with a co-worker on a project. It takes a special dynamic not to lead into one giant mess, which is a credit to director Kim Arndt and writers Ben Joseph and Garrick Bernard.
The parody of the Star Trek trope hits all cylinders into its animated sandbox to hilarious results. The other subplot of the episode surrounds the "better" equipment Tendi (Noël Wells) and Rutherford (Eugene Cordero) get to worth with on the U.S.S. Vancouver. It's not a story that really goes anywhere other than providing a perspective of things that happen outside of the U.S.S. Cerritos and they're not the "top" of the line" of Starfleet. Overall, it's a lower-key episode that highlights the antics of Mariner and Boimler, exploring the lengths they'll go on their whims.