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Star Trek: Lower Decks S3E09 Review: “Trusted Sources”

Ornara You Glad to See Us?

Starfleet has finally approved Captain Freeman’s proposal for Project Swing By, checking in on planets the Federation hasn’t visited in a long time. The admiral sends reporter Victoria Nuzé to accompany the Cerritos for the first mission.

Nervous about looking bad with the reporter onboard, Freeman changes duty rosters, cancels social events like the pie-eating contest that lower-deckers were psyched for, and closes the bar. Most of all, she wants to keep Victoria away from Mariner, who makes several friendly advances to the reporter, all foiled by the captain.

Project Swing By’s first destination is Ornara, a planet of drug addicts forced to quit cold turkey when Captain Picard cut off their supply. Chaos reigned for 10 to 14 years, but now they’re all fitness nuts. They don’t need anything from the Federation, which doesn’t look good for Freeman’s pet project. She calls an audible and sets course for the neighboring “pusher planet,” Brekka.

Speak No Evil

While the Cerritos is en route, Mariner goes to the reporter for an interview, despite not being on the list of approved personnel. Then Victoria excoriates the captain for the crew’s many misadventures. Freeman assumes that Mariner spilled the beans to sabotage her mom. The captain harshly denounces her daughter. She transfers Mariner off the Cerritos to Starbase 80, the ass-end of Starfleet.

Unfortunately, the rest of the crew follows the captain’s lead. Mariner gets no support from her colleagues. Her girlfriend isn’t interested in hearing her side; Jennifer dumps her. Even her three best friends muster only lukewarm support. She leaves.

More Like Breenka, Right?

Brekka seems to be deserted. Ransom finds a local person who is immediately killed. The Breen have invaded the planet! The away team escapes by emergency transport. Breen fighters disable the ship and attempt to board. The Cerritos is saved by a new Texas-class autonomous ship.

Victoria’s FNN report is a hit piece on Captain Freeman. Most of the crew blabbed embarrassing stuff. Mariner was one of the few whose words were wholly complimentary. Freeman tries to call Mariner at Starbase 80 to apologize, but she already quit.

Beckett has joined Petra Aberdeen, the independent archaeologist/thief she met at the Federation job fair. They warp away to find Vedalan mummies, which hopefully will not dig up themselves.

Penultimately Serialized

This story is not very satisfying on its own. Its job is to set up the finale, placing the relevant plot threads and pushing the conflict between mother and daughter to its climax. We’ll see how well it pays off next week.


  • “Seriously? So now it’s our job to check in on a whole planet that Picard left cold turkey?”
  • “You better be ready to shovel some fucking pie, Marty! Your whole division’s going down.”
  • “See, there’s the Enterprise leaving us with no drugs, and here’s all of us freaking out. We were in a bit of a bad place for the first, oh, 10, 14 years, but we figured it out! Once we shook the old demons out, we focused on healthy diet and fitness. You could say we’re addicted to that now.”
  • “You know, my little saying goes, ‘Glutes are cute, but obliques are for freaks.'”
  • “Is it true that your first officer turned into a giant head that tried to eat the ship like a hamburger?”
  • “Your head of security was turned into a puppet, you let spear-wielding aliens take over the ship, you got Quark kidnapped, then there was the whole thing with the exocomp, and I’m seeing a lot of stuff about Q.”
  • “I feel like I’m going crazy. I’m — I’m losing my mind. Is this a — Is this a ‘Frame of Mind’ thing? Am I gonna wake up with a neural drain on my head?”
  • “The goodbyes are the worst part, so let’s just — let’s not say anything.” “Mariner, you can’t leave the Cerritos.” “Yeah, I can. This always happens.” [fade-away Vulcan salute]
  • “Orders, sir?” “Yes. Initiate a subspace communication link to my meema. I want her to see her special boy being the captain!”
  • “Fire torpedoes, full spread!” “They covered the spread, Captain!”