Star Trek: Lower Decks Season 2 E01 Review: Secure in Insecurities

One thing's for sure: Paramount+'s Lower Decks definitely wears its heart on its sleeve when it comes to Star Trek canon. Especially when they're blatantly spelling it out to their viewers with the second season opener "Strange Energies." The episode primarily focuses on Mariner (Tawny Newsome), Freeman (Dawnn Lewis), Ransom (Jerry O'Connell), Tendi (Noël Wells), and Rutherford (Eugene Cordero). Consider this your minor spoilers warning.

Auto Draft
Photo: PARAMOUNT+ ©2021 CBS Interactive, Inc. All Rights Reserved

The episode begins with some morning venting and exercise routine from Mariner, which for a cold opening is quite the bait-and-switch since it found a way to reintroduce Cardassians in the new canon, but oh well. Then we come to find that since the secret is out that she is Freeman's daughter, the crew is kind of dealing with the conflict of interest between the captain and ensign much to Ransom's (Freeman's first officer) annoyance. As it team goes on an away mission, tensions come to a head quite literally when Mariner's side mission puts the U.S.S. Cerritos in danger. The non-related arc sees Tendi seeing changes she doesn't like in Rutherford even if it's hardly noticeable by anyone else, particularly his like for pears. The zaniness of her obsession literally turns her into a slightly less psychopathic version somehow of Kathy Bates' Annie Wilkes from Misery trying to "tend" to his medical issues largely lacking in consent once she goes way too far.

Auto Draft
Photo: PARAMOUNT+ ©2021 CBS Interactive, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Written by creator Mike McMahan, Strange Energies does a great job condensing the revisited storyline of a mortal-turned-God that has been explored before, particularly when Lower Decks references a The Original Series character. It was also previously tackled on multiple occasions on different series like The Next Generation like when Riker (Jonathan Frakes) was given Q powers or when Lt. Barclay (Dwight Schultz) was zapped with super-human intelligence. Obviously, for a comedy and its mix of low and high brow humor, you can probably guess how this crisis on Lower Decks gets resolved. "Strange Energies" is a fun episode for all involved and a great way to kick off the show's second season. Star Trek: Lower Decks streams Thursdays on Paramount+.

Bleeding Cool TV on Instagram: For all of the stuff too random and bizarre to make the site, make sure to follow us on Instagram: Bleeding Cool TV (@bleedingcooltv).

BCTV Daily Dispatch: For a look at what's going on across the television and streaming landscape, sign up for Bleeding Cool's daily email round-up of the news you need to know here.

daily dispatch
(Shutterstock.com)
Star Trek: Lower Decks Season 2 Episode 1 'Strange Energies"

Auto Draft
Review by Tom Chang

8/10
Standout performances anchored by Tawny Newsome, Dawnn Lewis, Jerry O'Connell, Noel Wells, and Eugene Cordero gets the second season rolling as they deal with a human-turned-God and a clear conflict of interest
Credits

Director
Jason Zurek
Director
Brian J. Kelly

Enjoyed this? Please share on social media!

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.
Comments will load 8 seconds after page. Click here to load them now.