Second Union

Second Union

STAR TREK REWIND: “Much Ado About Boimler”


Transporter mishaps tend to be in short supply in the universe of Star Trek, but we do remember them. There was the time we had two Kirks, good and bad. Another time we had two Rikers, one with a shaggier beard and one with a tidier uniform. There was the time we had Tuvix, which is when you add equal parts Tuvok and Neelix and create a serious freak who is perfect, but everybody still hates him.

Something occurs to me now that I’ve seen a few episodes of Lower Decks. The show enjoys making fun of situations that were once regarded as serious and scary in shows past. Whether it’s a transporter mishap or a secret mission no one can know about yet turns out to be stupid or pedantic. Boimler (Jack Quaid) is the victim of a transporter mishap in yet another time-wasting episode of Star Trek: Lower Decks.

Rutherford is making “upgrades” on the transporter and Boimler volunteers to be his subject. The experiment goes awry when Boimler phases into a slightly different plane of existence. After five seconds of evaluation, the ship’s Doctor, T’Ana, sends Boimler (along with Tendi’s experiment, a bizarre, genetically modified dog she has “cleverly” named, The Dog) to Division 14, a place where freaks are studied.

Division 14 promises to escort him (and others like him) to a resort colony called The Farm. In the episode’s primary (I think) story, Mariner (Tawny Newsome) meets up with her old friend from the Academy, Amina Ramsey (Toks Olagundoye), who is now a captain. Ramsey is on the Cerritos to take temporary command while Freeman and Ransom are off the ship on a secret mission. This I don’t understand. Did the actors need a week off from their harrowing voice-over sessions? Ramsey (rather unwisely) makes Mariner her first officer.

Mariner proves herself incompetent to Ramsey, but it isn’t because she is incompetent. It’s because she doesn’t want to be promoted. Of course. We knew this, didn’t we? Mariner wants to stay a lowly ensign. This begs a question. If she hates Starfleet so much, why doesn’t she get a discharge? Because I guess, we wouldn’t have a show anymore, would we? If everything must revolve around Mariner, then she must be written as nothing less than a sliver of perfection.

What will the ultimate resolution of Star Trek: Lower Decks be? What will we have learned? What will any characters learn, except that Mariner is awesome and incredible, stunning and brave, and Boimler is the clown, the buffoon, the vaadwaur to use a Talaxian word. This kind of backward thinking started getting old five years ago. Imagine how horrible it is now.

Star Trek Rewind explores the Star Trek universe. From Archer to Janeway, Kirk to Picard, and Georgiou to Sisko — boldly read what no one has read before!

Related Articles