In Review: Star Trek Lower Decks -Terminal Provocations (Episode 6)

"Pitted against space marauders who want to salvage old Starfleet wreckage, The U.S.S. Cerritos  tries to ensure a peaceful outcome, but ensure the technology doesn't fall into the wrong hands".
Lower Decks

Synopsis: Pitted against space marauders who want to salvage old Starfleet wreckage, The U.S.S. Cerritos  tries to ensure a peaceful outcome, but ensure the technology doesn’t fall into the wrong hands. Meanwhile Mariner (Tawny Newsome) Boimler (Jack Quaid), Vendi (Noel Wells) and Rutherford are busy making engine sounds and other doing other “crucial” work (Eugene Cordero).


The Story


Boimler (Jack Quaid) and Mariner (Tawny Newsome) shared the screen time this week, and it didn’t really work well. The show’s strength has been the snappy pace, and that slowed a little this week. The writing felt a little forced and not as tight as usual, too. There wasn’t enough at stake with the ship and the aliens fighting. It might have been better if it was a rogue Klingon ship, or their opponents were heavily armed. The episode didn’t really get going and Captain Freeman’s (Dawnn Lewis) story didn’t feel like it was the main event that it needed to be. Usually the feeling of the b-plot running as the main story helps the idea of the show being about the supposedly less important ranks. For Freeman this was a big deal and a direct confrontation. The writers slipped up with this one a bit.

The holodeck story was fun, and a good way to make a reference to lots of episodes. It would have been nice to see more of it, though and maybe more “worlds”. That should really have been the main plot, and maybe all of the crew been stuck on it (with the obligatory one outside — maybe Boimler, to finally get to save the day. They could have had a lot of fun there. It wouldn’t have been hard to make as many effects as they wanted to, either. It wasn’t a disaster, but definitely not a story for an episode that made the most of things.



The Voices and Characters


Vendi (Noel Wells) and Rutherford (Eugene Cordero) grew ever closer, as they got stuck on a holodeck programme with the safety protocols off. The two actors really know these roles and how to show that their feelings for one another are developing. Both now how to play off of the other, for example when Vendi divulged she hadn’t completed space training Rutherford knew how big a deal this was, and how important it is for Vendi to always be the perfect exampe of a Starfleet officer.

Tim Robinson did a good job of voicing Fletcher, who was a good guest character. Robinson knew that he had to steal the limelight in the scenes he was in, but not be likable enough so that viewers were sorry to see him leave at the end of it. The balance was achieved well and showing the true nature of someone too scared to face up to their own actions was too. Some good work here and well controlled and considered delivery.

The Animation


There was nothing too challenging to be achieved by this week’s episodes, but again the attention to detail is impressive. Those responsible know exactly how to ensure that everything does fit into the remit of a Starfleet ship. One plus from using animation is that it does allow the retro look much more easily. That comes through well, and even the yellow grid of the holodeck looks like it did when it was first introduced on TNG. The implements and the ship’s components are also accurate. These small touches do help to make the jokes work and the many references to the show’s history. It’s so easy to draw on the show’s past when you can conjure up imagery of iconic visions, like the ship that was part of the wreckage. It was easy to identify as TOS era, or those ships of the films that came between TOS and TNG. Fans care deeply about this, so the show does deserve to pick up some points for paying homage well.


The least fun episode yet and quite dull, which was a surprise. This felt more like a filler episode. Every show is allowed to have an off day, so no need to jump the gun. The ideas were there for a solid offering, but just not followed through. That’s a shame as there are so many things that could have been done with a “holodeck” episode. Character development is absolutely primed to occur in this sort of set up. As mentioned maybe Boimler could have had a big moment, or at least been tricked into thinking he did.

Other than Vendi and Rutherford finally getting closer (even if it was by accident) nothing really happened thsi week. The show has been building nicely, revealing characters and showing the world of the least important vessel in Starfeet. That didn’t come through this week. The atmosphere was flat and the problems seemed small. definitely an off week. Hopefully things will pick up again and the snappy feel will return. It will need to, as that’s what the show has going for it, whatever else it may not.


Star Trek Lower Decks -Terminal Provocations (Episode 6)
  • Story
  • Voices and Characters
  • Animation
  • Overall
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