Boimler and Mariner in a vineyard

Star Trek: Lower Decks S3E01 Review: “Grounded”

Plot

The crew is grounded while the Cerritos is in dry dock for repairs and Captain Freeman is on trial for blowing up the Pakled capital. Mariner gathers her friends and searches for exonerating evidence. Eventually, she steals the Cerritos, intent on tracking down the Klingons who supplied the bomb.

Starfleet stops the ship, space blobs start mating all over the hull, and then Freeman shows up as a free woman. The trial is over. Starfleet sorted it all out without help.

This is technically a deus ex machina, but everyone except Mariner thought this outcome was likely, so it works.

Character

This is Mariner’s episode. It explores two of her biggest flaws: impatience and drastically underestimating others’ competence. I rather liked that Mariner created all these complications herself, and in the end they didn’t matter. Feels very Lower Decks.

There’s not much indication that she learned her lesson, so I expect this theme to return.

BECKETT: Wow. Wow. Starfleet really came through. Who would’ve thought?

ADM. FREEMAN (DAD): Me, Beckett! I told you from the start to trust in the system. I said it this morning. Bet your friends told you just as much.

BECKETT: Well, they might have said… I mean, whatever. All that matters is that you’re free, right Mom? All’s well that, y’know, turns out fine.

Gags

  • “No one drives anymore! What do you need a bridge for? This planet is wack!”
  • All the plants’ pots have computer screens on them.
  • Boimler’s family vineyard makes raisins, and he hates it. (Compare to Picard’s family’s wine vineyard, and how much he enjoys it.)
  • Mariner gets so excited about Boimler’s logs that she punches him in the face, and he has nothing to say about it.
  • Sisko’s Creole Kitchen
  • Lots of First Contact references. Zephram Cochrane hologram.
  • “You think we’re dressed okay for court?” “I mean, my shirt could be a little more asymmetrical.”
  • The migrating space organisms need a place to have an orgy. Which they do on the hull of the Cerritos.
  • “a classic Pakled Samaritan snare”