Star Trek: Lower Decks "Moist Vessel" A Neurotic Promotion: Review

There's something to be said about resting on one's laurels on how we take for granted the routines we wrap ourselves in. This isn't more so the case than in the Star Trek: Lower Decks episode "Moist Vessel". The primary story for the episode is Ensign Mariner (Tawny Newsome) is hitting on Capt. Freeman's (Dawnn Lewis) last nerves. In a battle of wits, Freeman tries to do everything to get Mariner to transfer or resign. Initially, it's by giving her the worst possible jobs on the ship. When that doesn't work, she decides to promote her the ensign to lieutenant, which offers itself its own set of responsibilities. Mariner finds out its way more than she could ever bargain for.

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"Moist Vessel" (Photo Cr: Best Possible Screen Grab CBS ©2020 CBS Interactive, Inc. All Rights Reserved)

The second story is Tendi (Noël Wells) ruins the ascension of another crewmate, who gets angry driving the ensign crazy due to her "eager to please" attitude. The third minor story is the crisis of the week when the U.S.S. Cerritos tries to tow a larger vessel with another Starfleet ship. The episode obviously is designed to highlight the contentious relationship between Freeman and Mariner, which brings another level of context. It also creates a kind of conflict of interest the Star Trek franchise never really explains when it comes to family serving alongside one another on ships.

Credit goes to Newsome and Lewis for going all out in their performances. I hope given their chemistry together, they have more episodes involving the two in their own arcs. Wells also brings her own neurotic performance as Tendi from her perfectionist attitude trying to make things right and inability to let go. Directed by Barry J. Kelly and Juno Lee and written by Ann Kim and Garrick Bernard, "Moist Vessel" did a great job building both Freeman and Tendi providing the depth they lacked in previous episodes.

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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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