Star Trek: Lower Decks S03E05 Review: It's a Rutherford Revolution

This week's episode of Star Trek: Lower Decks focuses on Eugene Cordero's Samanthan Rutherford as we get a better idea on the source of random glitches he has to deal with throughout the series in the episode "Reflections." There's also a much more grounded adventure with Tawny Newsome's Mariner and Jack Quaid's Boimler as they're stuck at an intergalactic career fair promoting Starfleet at their designated recruitment booth. This is your minor spoilers warning.

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"Room For Growth" – Ep#305 — Eugene Cordero as Ensign Rutherford of the Paramount+ series STAR TREK: LOWER DECKS. Photo: PARAMOUNT+ ©2022 CBS Interactive, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Mariner and Boimler spend the bulk of the episode being the butt of the joke for the galaxy, primarily from random individuals passing by and an archaeologist (who happens to be former Starfleet) taunting them each way while thumping her chest from the fresh independence she still gets to enjoy. On the Cerritos, Rutherford finds the implant on the side of his face is malfunctioning more than usual, depriving him of valuable sleep due to his recurring nightmares. Tendi (Noël Wells) resets his cache, which triggers a takeover by an alternate personality that's been repressed.

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"Room For Growth" – Ep#305 — Jack Quaid as Ensign Brad Boimler and Tawny Newsome as Ensign Beckett Mariner of the Paramount+ series STAR TREK: LOWER DECKS. Photo: PARAMOUNT+ ©2022 CBS Interactive, Inc. All Rights Reserved **Best Possible Screen Grab**

As much of the series is about nitpicking the ethics of the Federation and logic of the Star Trek franchise, "Reflections" is actually one of the most nuanced episodes because of the focus on Rutherford and how he's portrayed in a new light. He's also the only character in the series we actually got to dig deep into his past since we haven't explored Mariner, Boimler, or Tendi during their time at Starfleet Academy before the Cerritos. It's serious for Lower Decks but not to the level of deeply-rooted trauma that brings about monumental change, and it works because of its relatability. Directed by Michael Mullen and written by creator Mike McMahan, this is easily Cordero's best performance as Rutherford and his psychological doppelganger. I hope we get more episodes like these in the future where we can get similar exposition into the characters' pasts.

Star Trek: Lower Decks S03E05 Review: It's a Rutherford Revolution
"Room For Growth" – Ep#305 — Noel Wells as Ensign Tendi, and Eugene Cordero as Ensign Rutherford of the Paramount+ series STAR TREK: LOWER DECKS. Photo: PARAMOUNT+ ©2022 CBS Interactive, Inc. All Rights Reserved **Best Possible Screen Grab**
Star Trek: Lower Decks Season 3 Episode 5 "Reflections"

Star Trek: Lower Decks S03E05 Review: It's a Rutherford Revolution
Review by Tom Chang

8.5/10
Paramount+'s Star Trek: Lower Decks churns out its best Rutherford-centric episode yet in "Reflections," with Eugene Cordero owning this episode in every way possible. Creator Mike McMahan and director Michael Mullen hit a home run with one of the best in the series yet.
Credits

Director
Michael Mullen

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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 Fangoria. As a 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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