Star Trek: Lower Decks "Envoys" A Fun Departmental Tutorial: Review

Star Trek: Lower Decks - Envoy
"Envoys" answers two questions: Why aren't there more drunken joyrides on a Star Trek show? and Why specialization matters when you are an ensign in Starfleet. It's a fun expansion of Biomler (Jack Quaid) and Mariner's (Tawny Newsome) dynamic and how both contrast each other and it also highlights the id of Rutherford front and center trying and how he fits in. Not as chaotic as the premiere, but definitely worth the watch.

The second episode of Star Trek: Lower Decks focuses on another away mission for Boimler (Jack Quaid) and Mariner (Tawny Newsome). This time it's escorting Klingon general K'orin (Jess Harnell) to the Federation Embassy on Tulgana IV. Mariner and K'orin are already familiar with each other as they share their wild partying ways of getting drunk and causing destruction and mischief along the way. Meanwhile, the neurotic Boimler tries to corral them to focus while finding out how inexperienced he is when tasked to improvise.

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"Envoys" Photo Cr: Best Possible Screen Grab CBS ©2020 CBS Interactive, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Grand Tour of How Star Trek Departments Work

The second arc of the story is on the U.S.S. Cerritos where Rutherford (Eugene Cordero) tries his hand in other Federation departments transferring from engineering to medical and then to security, which goes about as well as you might expect for the most part. The sequences are a joy to watch seeing how they just randomly throw him in there without seeing if he's even fit. His scene in sickbay was an episode highlight. Written by Chris Kula and directed by Kim Arndt, "Envoys" sound a little more grounded in "reality" even if it's in an animated sitcom. I mean of all the live-action canon, it's amazing how not once a Star Trek alien on a bender wasn't ever a regular thing on escort mission episodes.

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"Envoys" Photo Cr: Best Possible Screen Grab CBS ©2020 CBS Interactive, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

I remember watching an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation when a Klingon attempted to bond with Lt. Commander Data (Brent Spiner) by head butting him and nearly gets knocked out, Those were the little moments I missed from live-action Trek we haven't really seen from recent shows. I would argue the subtle and comedic moments of levity are just as important to shape a series as the core content. The four ensigns are starting to really grow on me as Star Trek: Lower Decks is clearly becoming far more about the characters than just the scenarios they're in. The series airs Thursdays on CBS All Access.

About Tom Chang

I'm a follower of pop culture from gaming, comics, sci-fi, fantasy, film, and TV for over 30 years. I grew up reading magazines like Starlog, Mad, and Fangora. As a professional writer for over 10 years, Star Wars was the first sci-fi franchise I fell in love with. I'm a nerd-of-all-trades.

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