Season One Recap, Episodes 1-5
Lower Decks is a rowdy, comical take on Star Trek from the eyes of the support crew, a view not often seen in previous shows. The show takes place aboard the California-class USS Cerritos, around the year 2380.
The series focuses on 4 main characters, Ensign Beckett Mariner, Ensign/Lieutenant junior grade Brad Boimler, Ensign D'Vana Tendi, and Ensign Sam Rutherford.
Mariner was the loose cannon aboard the Cerritos that sabotaged her advancement in Starfleet, by living the best life she could while also being a constant thorn to her Starfleet high-ranking parents.
Boimler was the stereotype of the overachiever who tries too hard while Mariner makes it all look too easy with her reckless behavior.
D’Vana unlike some of the other characters broke the stereotype of Orion women (until Oysaraa) by being very nerdy and into science.
Rutherford maintains a stereotype of an Engineer which leads to hilarious subplots.
Together they form an ensemble that turns on its head what a Star Trek series has been like until now.
Episode One- Second Contact
Introduced the audience to the Cerritos via a hilarious title sequence. The ship is completely incompetent. Getting caught in the gravity well that barely escapes it. It even manages to hit ice on a small asteroid. Lastly, the ship nopes out of a confrontation with the Borg, a completely uncharacteristic Starfleet move, setting the tone for the whole show.
Brad Boimler, the socially awkward Engisn who demonstrates his disfunction to interact with the crew to the point of disfunction, notes his desire to move upward to attain the rank of a top-level command officer via his “Captain’s Log”. He is caught in the closet by the explosively drunk Ensign Beckett Mariner who has several contraband items on her, mostly in a crate that is revealed later. She has already drunk most of a bottle of Romulan whiskey and wields a Klingon bat'leth she acquired swinging till she hits Boimler in the leg.
The episode shifts to Tendi arriving. She is hyper and bouncy irritating the lieutenant assigning her the orientation liaison that will acquaint her with the ship. She finds her liaison who is Boimler. Mariner suggests a tour much to the protests of Boimler. They meet Rutherford, who discusses his excitement about all things engineering when his cybernetic enhancement via his new Vulcan implant malfunctions causing his emotions to disappear.
Mariner adjusted the implant which she said will fix the emotion suppression.
On the tour they stop by the Holodeck, Mariner orders a sandy beach with Tendi, and Boimler (objecting strongly) there and introduces Tendi to a sandy Hawaiian beach. Tendi shows them, Orion. Boimler prompted to show the place he loves most, has the holodeck show the warp core. Finally, after Boimler leaves, being requested to go to the bridge. Mariner pulls up her Olympic nude gym program. Tendi’s reaction is “Wow this is a very detailed program”.
The episode switches to the monster/virus of the week troupe, splitting the foursome up with Mariner and Boimler going to the surface for a cure, leaving Rutherford and Tendi to fight off a zombie-like crew. Covering with an alien spider’s goo they all meet up with the ship’s Doctor realizing that Boimler brought back the cure. The episode ends with their efforts being ignored and the credit stolen, and with the twist of Mariner’s Mother being the Captain.
Episode Two- Envoys
The episode beings with a trans-dimensional energy creature making its way and enters the ship through the hull.
Ensigns Beckett Mariner and D'Vana Tendi are transferring some canisters to storage when the energy presents itself. Before it can produce any attack, Mariner tackles and squeezes it under her arm, and it tries to get free by offering three wishes. Mariner takes advantage and gets a Tricorder and its power cell, shrinking the threatening being from volleyball size to smaller than a marble. Leaving it, its last attempt is an attack on a passing Captain Freeman, hitting her in the chest and dissipating.
Rutherford enters a bay where Tendi is waiting. He has finished work in the Jefferies tubes realigning EPS conduits and then notes he has to recalibrate them.
Tendi is disappointed by this, saying that she thought the two of them would watch the Trivoli pulsar together at 0800. Rutherford, feeling guilty, decides that since he promised to watch it with her that he will explore new opportunities on the ship so that he won't have to spend so much time in the Jefferies tubes, and that the two can spend more time together.
Boimler is summoned to the bridge and is given a mission to escort the Klingon, K'orin, to Tulgana IV's Klingon district. Boimler enters the hangar and discovers Mariner in the cockpit making a mess. Demanding what she's doing there, Mariner informed him that she is joining him on his escort run and taking lead. Boimler is adamant that she is not taking the mission seriously. She assures him that she is before being distracted by the blast shield controls.
On the way, K’orin and Mariner get plowed by bloodwine and he passes out. They land, while Boimler continues to berate Mariner. They leave to get a cup of raktajino, Klingon coffee to help rouse Korin when he takes off in the shuttle. They move to track K’orin and run into a Taxor, which Boimler accidentally insulted it by trying to communicate in its language.
Mariner gets the upper hand having faked throwing a money bag, it runs off after what it believes has been thrown.
Meanwhile, Rutherford is failing each assignment with different branches until he tries out for security. Using his implant, he succeeds.
Hijinks on Tulgana IV continue to ensue, with Mariner tackling each one with ease, much to the chagrin of Boimler. Eventually running into a Ferengi, Boimler is triumphant and his confidence restored. Later it is revealed to be a ruse that she concocted using her Ferengi friend to help him.
Rutherford finds that each of the different positions is not as satisfying as being in Engineering. Tendi replies she just wanted company to watch the pulsar. She brings her padd into the Jeffery Tubes and is content.
Episode Three- Temporal Effect
After Captain Freeman finds out that their current mission to Cardassia Prime has been canceled she discovers "buffer time", the crew's extended time in completing tasks to allow for a bit of relaxation in completing tasks.
She implements a new work protocol eliminating the “buffer time” which results in the Cerritos crew running ragged as they try to keep up with their tightened schedules.
In a subplot, Ensign Mariner and Commander Ransom go as a pair on an away team to the planet Gelrak V where a peaceful diplomatic mission goes badly with the token being of the wrong planet.
The people of Gelrak V demand that one of the away team be their champion to defeat theirs to leave the planet with their wounded. Commander Ransom and Mariner fight over who is the champion. Finally, he stabs her foot, preventing her from being champion as he tells her that he'd rather die than let her put her life on the line and that as the commander of the Cerritos, he won't let anyone hurt his team (omitting that he was exempt from this rule by stabbing her foot, apparently.)
Aboard the Cerritos, the crew, faced with an emergency of the attacking Gelrakians get an order from Freeman as the pods approach the Cerritos, for the crew to repel all the intruders, but not to stop their tasks.
Chaos ensues as the crew is completely overwhelmed with their orders to repel and finish tasks. Boimler enters the bridge to his Captain frantically trying to run the ship by herself. He says that the crew is not all like him and need their buffer time to be their best. She recinds her order. The crew bands together and repels their attackers.
Afterward, Boimler, to his horror, is awarded a technical term for buffer time - The Boimler Effect, which is in the future, taught in school, along with honoring Miles O'Brien as the most important figure in Starfleet.
Episode Four- Moist Vessel
Captain Freeman, disgusted with her Daughter's constant disrespect for rules and her, decided to push Mariner to transfer. At first assigned to the worst jobs on the ship, such as emptying poop from the Holodeck filter, she realizes that these tasks do not faze Mariner at all. So Freeman promotes her to Lieutenant. This upsets Boimler as it's his dream to become part of the executive staff. Equally horrified is Mariner herself, having to deal with mundane jobs of mission audits, management training, and a poker game with the senior officers. Boimler decides that his leaders must value what Mariner does best and starts to act out. The ship encounters a strange fluid that starts to transform the ship and another with them on this mission. Freeman and Mariner put aside their squabbles to save the ship. An Admiral Vassery comes aboard afterward to give medals to the two when Mariner sees her chance to be demoted. Using Vassery's tendency to mispronounce words she mocks him then yawns at his rebuke. She got her wish to be demoted. Boimler seeing her back in her old uniform is angry that she threw away everything he wanted. She replies with the senior staff access card so he can have better food and her happy to be among her people once again.
Episode Five- Cupid’s Errant Arrow
The Cerritos meets up with the Vancouver, a larger Starfleet vessel, which allows Boimler to meet with his long-distance girlfriend, Barbara Brinson. Mariner doesn't believe at first that she is real. Mariner accompanies Boimler aboard to the USS Vancouver to meet Brinson in the hangar. After meeting her, Mariner has a bad feeling about Brinson. She tells Boimler that the relationship feels too good to be true and wonders if Brinson might be an alien disguised as a Human.
Visibly upset Mariner simply tells him about an experience that she had as a member of the USS Quito. While the ship was docked at Deep Space 9, she and her friends, Angie and Niko, discussed an incident that had recently occurred aboard the USS Enterprise-D, and as they laughed, she noted how Niko and Angie made such a great couple. Niko tried to say that he was nothing special but had wonderful friends, and Mariner said that he was a great guy adding he was either great or a Harvongian shape-changer. As soon as she said this, Niko transformed into a monstrous alien and ate Angie, leaving Mariner horrified.
She refuses to accept that this could happen again and swears it won't to Boimler.
She is determined to find out the truth but Boimler tells her to stop and asks her to accept Brinson for who she is, a great Human lady.
Eventually, they discover it's Boimler who has a parasite that caused feelings to develop between the two. With it removed, Brinson no longer has strong romantic feelings for Boimler. Mariner consoles Boimler that he'll find love someday without a parasite to help him fall in love.
While these hijinks are going on, Rutherford and Tendi are enamored with the Vancouver and their T88s. They complete their tasks aboard the Vancouver and are informed that they can keep their T88 as a member of the Vancouver. Tendi replies that they thought they would get to take the T88 back to the Cerritos, but Docent just begins to write their transfer orders. They argue that Docent can't do this against their will. He ignores them. Tendi knocks the PADD out of his hand and Rutherford and Tendi escape. Docent chases them. They crack his password and discover that Docent wants to transfer to the Cerritos, changing places with them. They ask for T88s in exchange for their silence. He begins to object but then Rutherford says he recorded everything with his implant. Docent says they can each have one. Later back aboard the Cerritos, Rutherford, and Tendi reveal that they each stole a bag of T88s.