I’m going to geek out for a moment here and own the fact that Edosians have become my favorite Starfleet alien species.
Star Trek: Lower Decks Season 3 Episode 4 marks their third appearance in the series, with the first being the unnamed Division 14 medical specialist on Star Trek: Lower Decks Season 1 Episode 7 and the second a fleeting glimpse of photographs of Star Trek: The Animated Series’s Lieutenant Arex behind the bar on Starbase 25 on Star Trek: Lower Decks Season 2 Episode 5.
See? Geeking out. Edosians are freakin’ awesome.
Of course, Taas’s role aboard The Dove is far more straightforward and transparent than the deliberately sinister medical specialist aboard the Division 14 ship.
It’s interesting to note that The Dove crew recognizes that individuals like Klingons may choose to relax with aggressively violent activities but have difficulty understanding that the engineers are most relaxed when working.
Meanwhile, Freeman’s orders for the engineers to relax may have been a subconscious cry for help as Taas diagnoses when she realizes that the captain is the one truly buckling under repressed stress.
It’s a clever tie-in to the seemingly arbitrary homage to Star Trek: The Next Generation Season 7 Episode 17, “Masks,” we begin with.
Mariner: Oh boy, we’ve got an ancient mask situation here.
Tendi: A what now?
Mariner: This is like the third time it’s happened. STOP TOUCHING MASKS!
To be fair, even before being repeatedly possessed by ancient deities housed in random artifacts, Freeman was already low on spoons, what with being arrested for genocide and put on trial. And then discovering her daughter had stolen a ship. And then going toe-to-toe with the much younger Captain Maier.
So it’s not surprising that she needs intensive relaxation. Getting it under cover of caring for her overworked engineers seems like a Freeman sort of strategy.
Now, who’s ready for the most relaxing mandatory vacation of their lives?
For the engineers to be so non-compliant with the mandated holiday is understandably frustrating when all Freeman wants is to see green wristbands to validate her standing as a good captain.
The engineers’ remorse at driving their captain over the deep is genuine.
They may be compulsive workaholics and incredibly inept at reading social cues, but they excel at recognizing a problem when it finally arises.
Freeman: The whole point of this trip was to stop working!
Billups: We know, Captain, but it turns out for us there is no greater stress relief than engineering a solution to a problem.
The deus ex machina of them engineering the ultimate relaxation device in less time than it takes for puppies to have an effect on Freeman isn’t much of a stretch from them restoring the ship’s molecular structure in a week while in space.
(At least on Star Trek: The Next Generation, when the mask deities return to their slumber, everything just naturally reverts back to its original form.)
Long story short, the Cerritos’s engineering department is way better than a Cali-class ship deserves.
The Lower Decks shift teams, on the other hand, are exactly the petty squabblers you’d expect.
For Delta and Beta shifts to be so antagonistic, one has to believe they interact way more than we’ve ever seen on the show. Either that or some third party is deliberately sowing animosity between the teams. Feels like a Ransom tactic somehow.
Mariner: After all the times we’ve been cheated, we’ll just be evening thing out.
Boimler: And if we don’t do something, they will!
Tendi: Oooh, I’ve always wanted to explore an ethical gray area!
Mariner: Yes! Let’s go gray area the sh*t out of Delta Shift.
The entire race to the air-gapped terminal to rig the room lottery is a ludicrous notion. Nothing about it makes sense.
Why would there be a room lottery? It’s a military organization. They’re not going to randomly award quarters.
Why is there an air-gapped terminal on the ship? Why is it so hard to access? What other purpose would it serve besides being the MacGuffin of all MacGuffins?
It makes sense that they’d send Rutherford off with the engineers for this plot since one might assume his cyborg enhancements would make it unnecessary to traverse the nitrous-oxide flooded swamp space or wait for a timed vent to open.
Beyond exploring the strange zones inexplicably built into a tiny second contact ship, the race against Delta shift is quite the kitchen sink narrative.
Not only do we have the team-building perilous escapades and moments of affectionate camaraderie, but there’s also the traumatic encounter with T’Ana and Shaxs and the hint of titillation around the doctor’s tail loss.
When was the last time you asked me about my dreams? Or how my mission went? I died and we never even talked about it.
Apparently, Bold Boimler is still a thing (from time to time) and a thing that bugs Mariner for some reason. Could it be she appreciates the old Boimler with his hang-ups and hyper-cautionary approach?
We’re only going to be lower deckers for so long. In no time, Tendi’s going to be a bridge officer. I’ll probably get drummed out of Starfleet for calling Ransom a piece of sh*t. And Boimler, you’ll be dead because of the whole BEING BOLD thing.
The irony of handing Delta shift exactly what they wanted secures our Beta shift heroes the title of ultimate underdogs. Even when they get ahead, they manage to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.
Let’s not forget Ransom’s churro bride doll. That’s a lot of details to cook up just for the Lower Deckers to bond over.
I find it hugely amusing that Taas thinks preferring kittens over puppies is deviant behavior. I’d love to see her survey the Cerritos crew to gather data on more eclectic relaxation pursuits.
The puppy playpen is one of our most popular offerings. For the more deviant among you, we also have kittens. No judgment.
T’Ana and Shaxs’s foreplay rituals would probably blow her mind. And Ransom would be the churro-shaped nail in her coffin.
It’s super Care Bear-nice that Beta shift feels their team is more important than winning better quarters. Still, it would be really satisfying to have Delta shift trash their quarters with their housewarming party and get kicked back down to corridor bunks before their next shift rotation. Jerks.
Random thought: How were Tendi and Mariner able to turn their uniforms into a tether and still be able to wear them afterward?
Also: Why wasn’t an alarm triggered when the three of them stepped into the deflector shield generator?
These are the questions that keep me up at night.
Mariner: Why do we even have a swamp onboard?
Tendi: We’re under the hydroponics bay. It’s great for bio-medical research. Or just for flower fans.
Mariner: What kind of weirdo signs up for a job in outer space just to garden?
Tell me, Fanatics, which plot holes are driving you nuts? What were the moments that snapped your suspension of disbelief?
Hit our comments with your best and most bizarre!
Diana Keng is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.