This text incorporates spoilers for “Star Trek: Decrease Decks” season 3, episode 5.
“Star Trek: Decrease Decks” has finished one thing that nearly appears not possible, mixing an animated office comedy with crucial themes and classes of the “Star Trek” franchise. Whereas the sequence approaches many things with the flippant perspective needed for a comedy, it additionally handles the Starfleet of all of it with lots of love and nuance. Collection creator Mike McMahan has stated that the last word objective is to create episodes that really feel like actual “Star Trek” whereas additionally being humorous. In an effort to do this, the sequence may need to often get somewhat darkish. Okay, a lot darkish, like having the ship’s sweetest goofball discover out that his cybernetic implants weren’t elective to assist with engineering, however had been truly part of an elaborate cover-up after an accident. Followers bought a style of Ensign Rutherford’s (Eugene Cordero) previous on the finish of season 2, however in season 3’s “Reflections,” we be taught an entire lot extra.
Over the course of two and a half seasons, “Star Trek: Decrease Decks” has had just a few ongoing story arcs that play out in items whereas nonetheless serving the sitcom-style A-and-B plots, however “Reflections” hints at a future that is barely extra serialized. There’s nonetheless going to be loads of wacky hijinks, as proven by this week’s different storyline following Mariner (Tawny Newsome) and Boimler (Jack Quaid) at a job honest, however there may be some detours into disturbing territory.
Repressed Recollections Are Tough
The happy-go-lucky Rutherford has some clean spots in his recollections, however they normally do not appear to trouble him an excessive amount of. In “Reflections,” nonetheless, he retains having a recurring nightmare about some form of accident and it is holding him from getting any relaxation. A involved Tendi (Noël Wells) does a scan on him and notices some long run recollections caught in his implant’s cache. She clears the cache for him, hoping that can enhance his high quality of sleep, however as a substitute it breaks down the obstacles in his thoughts sufficient for a special model of himself to take over. This model of Rutherford is not precisely okey-dokey — he is indignant and needs to steal the Captain’s yacht. It seems that this Rutherford is the one which existed earlier than the implant, and earlier than the accident that present Rutherford retains dreaming about. “Evil” Rutherford is definitely only a youthful model of himself, with all of his recollections intact, and he needs management completely.
Shax (Fred Tatasciore) is aware of that Rutherford is not “himself” and manages to cease him from escaping the Cerritos and will get him to sick bay. Whereas in a coma, younger Rutherford and older Rutherford comply with have a race by area so as to work out who will get to hold management of their physique, since each cannot exist with out overwhelming their mind. Younger Rutherford was into unlawful area races, which baffles the Rutherford we all know and love, and it seems just like the youthful model would possibly win the race. Fortunately, elder Ruthy manages to convey imaginary variations of his buddies into his mindspace to assist, they usually win in the long run. Although the youthful model begins to fade, he does share one final little bit of knowledge: the occasions surrounding Rutherford’s accident and implant.
A Starfleet Cowl-Up
Apparently, Rutherford was concerned in some form of engineering testing program and had an accident that prompted some critical accidents. Whereas being operated on, he witnessed somebody in a Starfleet uniform telling the docs learn how to cowl things up. They’d program recollections of the implant being an elective selection, and they might wipe the whole lot having to do with this system and the individuals in it. Practically a decade of recollections had been erased, by somebody in Starfleet, to cowl up one thing they weren’t speculated to be doing.
“Star Trek: Decrease Decks” has reassured followers that Starfleet is a drive for good, typically, by displaying their functionality within the season 3 premiere. As an alternative of simply accepting the phrase of the Pakleds, Starfleet intelligence organized a covert operation to dig into the reality of things. Starfleet had been the nice guys, they saved Captain Freeman out of jail, and the whole lot was hunky dory. Sadly, life is not as neat and clear as all of that, and there’s a darker side to Starfleet, too. Not solely can people inside the group rise up to nefarious deeds, however the shady Part 31 are infamous for strategies that the Cardassian navy would possibly even discover immoral. Rutherford is probably the most harmless, candy character on the Cerritos, and giving him such a probably darkish previous hints at where the sequence would possibly go. It additionally makes him considerably extra complicated, which is an enormous a part of what makes “Decrease Decks” so nice. These characters are higher fleshed out than a few of their flesh-and-blood counterparts on live-action “Trek” exhibits, so the stakes really feel exceptionally excessive.
The Stunning Duality Of Star Trek: Decrease Decks
The primary two seasons of “Star Trek: Decrease Decks” confirmed followers that “Star Trek” may very well be actually humorous, and season 3 is displaying followers that an animated comedy can evoke simply as a lot feeling as any of the live-action exhibits. “Decrease Decks” remains to be “Star Trek,” and the franchise has at all times been keen to dive into some significantly uncomfortable territory. “Reflections” is nice as a result of it exhibits the duality of “Decrease Decks” so nicely. Boimler and Mariner get to wreak havoc and create comedy, whereas Rutherford has a very partaking sci-fi side plot. That is “Star Trek,” child. This is hoping they’ll maintain this steadiness for a few years to return.
New episodes of “Star Trek: Decrease Decks” debut Thursdays on Paramount+.
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