‘Star Trek: Lower Decks’ Evolves in “Twovix” and “I Have No Bones Yet I Must Flee”
Star Trek: Lower Decks is back with two new episodes that finally move our ensigns on to the next phase: middle management.
It’s Star Trek Day’s eve. Naturally, to celebrate, Paramount Plus has two episodes of Star Trek: Lower Decks. They are both very good and perfect examples of how this new season evolves our Lower Deckers. And since they’re both out on the same day, we’re going to cover them in one review.
There’s a lot to cover, so let’s get right to it!
To Boldly Recap “Twovix”
The Cerritos has a major assignment: ferry the USS Voyager (now a museum) to Earth. Ransom says, if this mission goes well, Boimler will get a promotion. Things go wrong quickly when the same orchid that creates Tuvix from Tuvok and Neelix in the Star Trek: Voyager episode of the same name, causes Dr. T’Ana and Lieutenant Billups to combine into T’Illups.
If you don’t know, in “Tuvix” Captain Janeway resolves her combined crewman problem by splitting Tuvix back into Tuvok and Neelix–despite the fact that Tuvix begs not to die. Realizing this, T’Illups takes matters into his own hands by combining Captain Freeman and Dr. Migleemo into Captain Doctor Frigleeman. And things only get worse from there.
Back on Voyager, Mariner accidentally wakes up a dormant macrovirus. The virus combines with a Borg nanite and takes over the ship, causing holograms of the evil clown from “The Thaw,” Chaotica from the Captain Proton series, and Michael Sullivan from “Fair Haven” to appear.
Long story short: Tendi and T’Lyn combine most of the crew into one blob before separating them all again. Meanwhile, Boimler and Rutherford break Voyager causing all the holograms to shut down. The day is saved. Boimler, Tendi, T’Lyn, and Mariner all get promoted to lieutenant junior grade.
To Boldly Recap “I Have No Bones Yet I Must Flee”
There are three plots in this episode. One involves Boimler having terrible luck with finding new quarters. They all either sit too close to the warp nacelles or are in between two holodecks for some reason.
Meanwhile, Rutherford does everything he can to also get a promotion. However, he is repeatedly stymied by a new ensign in engineering who does a just slightly better job than Rutherford at everything. Eventually, we find out that Rutherford turned down promotions in the past. Tendi asks Billups if Rutherford can just get a promotion now, and, thus, Rutherford becomes a lieutenant junior grade, too.
Mariner and Ransom go to a menagerie to rescue to “accidentally” captured humans. Mariner is purposefully insubordinate because she thinks Ransom plans to demote her regardless. As a result, Ransom thinks Mariner let loose an alien called the Moopsie — an adorable creature who drinks people’s bones until they die.
Eventually, Ransom believes Mariner that she is not responsible for the Moopsie attack. Ransom has Mariner knock the teeth out of his mouth so they can make a trail of teeth for the Moopsie that leads it back into its cage. In the end, it turns out that the captured humans were behind it all so Ransom and Mariner leave them in the menagerie.
Got it? Great. Now we can actually talk about the episodes.
To Boldly Review “Twovix”
There are a lot of layers that make this episode great Revisiting “Tuvix” is easily one of the best “who asked for this” sequels of all time. It’s nice acknowledging that, yes, being trapped in the Delta Quadrant does adequately explain why Janeway kills Tuvix. And it makes sense that Freeman approaches the problem differently. And silly though it is, T’Illups combining more crewmembers together actually makes a warped kind of sense. It’s funny, but also weirdly logical.
But this episode is one of the best season premieres in Trek history because of how it moves the ball. The last time Boimler collided with Voyager, he was a gleeful fanboy with a commemorative Tom Paris plate. This time he is distracted, almost sad. And his reason is, well, reasonable: he’s afraid promotion will pull the Lower Deckers apart.
Mariner being the one who recommends Boimler for promotion is emotionally satisfying. Mariner gets Boimler’s desire for promotion and they are both committed to staying close. This shows legitimate growth. Someday these people will be on different ships and rather than running from that, Lower Decks is showing it happen in real time. Lower Decks is not afraid to let things change. We don’t get permanent T’Illups, but this is the show where that could happen.
And speaking of letting things change, introducing T’Lyn is a master stroke. Star: Trek: Lower Decks needs a cool, logical character in the mix. T’Lyn will influence the Lower Deckers and vice versa. Just knowing that is exciting and makes “Twovix” all the sweeter.
To Boldly Review “I Have No Bones Yet I Must Flee”
The thing that impresses me about this episode is that it successfully fits three separate plots into a 25-minute framework. The only real flaw is that Boimler absolutely would know how to deal with the lights from the warp nacelles. He may not be an engineer, but Boimler lives on a starship. He knows how the windows work. Come on.
That being said, Rutherford getting a Seinfeld plot (complete with his own Newman) is delightful. Rarely do we see the grumpy, competitive side of Rutherford, and it’s good to see him struggle to keep cool. After all, he, like all the other Lower Deckers, is also aware that their time together is finite. But also it’s great that Rutherford gets his promotion just because he deserves it. That’s the kind of utopian future we can all get behind.
“Cute but deadly” is always a winner. The Moopsie is hilarious. But again, the strength of Mariner’s story is in her personal growth. We’ve seen her force her own demotion in the past. It’s good to see her realize she does not have to do that anymore. And it’s also cool that Ransom gets Mariner and stands by her until she figures herself out.
Star Trek: Lower Decks is always good with the references. Bringing in a menagerie is a great shoutout and the “This Side of Paradise” uniforms on the humans are a nice touch. But just like “Twovix” what makes “I Have No Bones Yet I Must Flee” great is that it moves the ball. We’re not ensigns anymore. Change is necessary.
The Star Trek: Lower Decks Plot Thickens
Star Trek: Lower Decks does do season arcs. The Pakleds are a prime example of this. This new mystery threat feels a little different. Primarily it’s because the ship that keeps destroying everyone has a distinct Starfleet vibe to it. We’ve certainly had Starfleet gone wrong plots before, but, again, this feels different. There’s a distinct vibe that suggests that the person in that shuttle is someone we know.
They’ve threatened Section 31 for a little while now. We know Transporter Clone Boimler is a part of Section 31. Odds are looking good that both Section 31 and other Boimler are coming back.
The big question is: why destroy Klingon and Romulan vessels? Will we see any Starfleet vessels get this treatment or will it only be ships from outside the Federation? If the Lower Deckers are changing, it’s safe to say their show is due for a shakeup, too. How will this season arc change the Federation going forward? And will our heroes all survive the outcome?
We shall see!