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Star Trek: Lower Decks S3E02 Review: “The Least Dangerous Game”

Boimler

We begin with the gang playing B&B (Bat’leths & Bihnuchs). Mariner is called away by an overbearing Ransom. Boimler is shocked and dismayed to learn that former crewmate Vendome has become captain of the Inglewood. Tendi says it’s because he was open to new experiences.

Boims is unconvinced at first, but later Tendi gives him another nudge, and he begins to say yes to new things. He plays springball, joins Shaxs’ Bajoran dirge choir, and models for an oil painting class. Throwing Tendi’s caution to the wind, he even agrees to be hunted by a big alien named K’Ranch. After a bit of panic and running away (Jack Quaid doing some high-quality comedy screaming), Bradward gets a pep talk from the B&B game master, Martok. He goes on offense! But gets speared. K’Ranch ends the hunt by snapping a photo with the Predator’s selfie stick.

Boimler: I’m Bold Boimler from here on out.
Tendi: I’m not sure that was the lesson to learn today. Y’know, uh, how about moderation?
Boimler: Old Boimler was into moderation. Bold Boimler is into boldness. [rolls dice] I confidently walk into the bar and demand bloodwine.
Martok (game master): The bartender rips your arm off and kills you with it. It is not an honorable death, since technically, you have died by your own hand.
Boimler: Ah, whatever. I’m still gonna be bold.

Mariner

Meanwhile, Mariner is stuck repairing a space elevator orbital lift with Ransom, who let the engineers go to the surface to hang out with the locals. Rutherford and Billups have a great time, but eventually they violate some belly-button-related taboos and are sentenced to be sacrificed in a talking volcano. Mariner goes AWOL to save them, suiting up and diving off the platform, but partway down Ransom comms and says he has changed his mind. She climbs back up just in time to fool him, and they suit up and dive again. On the surface, Ransom’s physique and his rousing words save the day.

I feel like this undercuts last episode’s Mariner story. People kept telling her to trust Starfleet and do what she was supposed to be doing, and they were right. This time, Mariner is right about everything.

Ransom does have a grudge against her. He did send the engineers away to dare her to break ranks. She tells him the engineers could have finished the job “hours ago,” which means he has inconvenienced all those stranded passengers as well as endangering Rutherford’s and Billups’ lives. Maybe this is the beginning of a character arc for Ransom, because for Mariner it seems like step backwards.

Gags

  • “Ambush by House Darmok! You beg for your life like a bihnuch, and live out the rest of your days — not as a warrior — but as a dentist!”
  • “Look, our B-buttons are out and about!”
  • “Ensign, we have to respect his culture. And didn’t you give him your word?” “I want my word back!”
  • “Their leader is either an ancient god or a telepathic baby; they’re kinda dancing around it.”
  • Mariner naps in freefall.
  • Volcano to Ransom: “Wow, your lava tubes are perfect.”