Spoilers Star Trek: Lower Decks 3x06 - "Hear All, Trust Nothing"

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I give this episode an 8. Why? Well, it had a lot of stuff that I liked, from character development with our main protagonists, to having Nana Visitor and Armin Shimerman reprising their roles from DS9. However, the problem for me was that IT WAS TOO MUCH. It's like eating your favorite desert everyday for about a week. Sure, it's starts out nice, but, eventually, you'll either get bored with it, or, worse, sick of it. This episode gave me too much "fan service" for me to really appreciate it for its nostalgia. By the end, I was just bored with it. Still, I did like the callbacks, and I did appreciate what the producers were trying to do. For me, had they dialed back the content to a proper A/B plot, which means I could do without "Bold Boimler" and "Mariner/Jennifer Shipping", I would have given the episode a higher score.

Anyway, onward to the next episode, I guess...
This one gets a 9 from me. It was so great seeing DS9 again and to catch up a little with a couple of characters. The best part was probably that Shaxs and Kira are old resistance comrades. So great. Liked the ending to the Mariner story with her tearing them a new one. And it was perfect that Boimler, rightfully, cared more for the Quark-themed gifts than the latinum.

One thing I didn't understand was the Ferengi bartender's response to Boimler saying Starfleet doesn't even really use latinum. I couldn't figure our what the "what?" was supposed to mean. The Ferengi should know that the Federation doesn't use money. Is he surprised by that? Is he surprised that Boimler doesn't want the latinum anyway? Is it implying that maybe Boimler didn't have any latinum in his "clutch" to start with? (seems unlikely as he did walk away with the gift card.) Was the Ferengi embarrassed because Boimler probably would have just kept betting "for the fun of it" since he didn't care for the money, and thus would have eventually lost to the house and the Ferengi just talked the "house" out of the equivalent of double winnings? Anyone have thoughts?

It feels like they are really building toward good character development for our 4 leads this season. Last week we had strong momentum with Rutherford and the stuff with Mariner and the archeologist. Boimler is growing with the bold Boimler bit: the time in the brig in the previous episode, and hopefully eventually something with all this female attention will lead to something. Tendi's science officer training was good, but hasn't returned since that one episode - maybe they could have integrated that into this episode a little? The only thing that probably brings this episode down from being a 10 was that Tendi's story, while cool, wasn't much of an addition to what we already knew of her. It was a nice story beat to have the other Orion be a pretender and come to a reveal/understanding about that, but again, not really groundbreaking.

So who's ready for an animated DS9 revival show?
It was great to revisit DS9 and see Kira, Quark, and Morn again. Got goose bumps when the DS9 theme played. I was a bit underwhelmed by the story though. I had hoped for something more epic.

The Kira/Shaxs interaction reminded me of her scene with Bashir in "Apocalypse Rising".
Loved it. I felt like I got to visit old friends I haven't seen in twenty-three years. :)

Things this episode seems to establish... I'm not clear if this episode is set in 2380 or 2381, but:
  • Five or six years after the Dominion War, Starbase Deep Space 9 appears to still be under Col. Kira's command. So apparently, the Federation is okay with operating one of their most important starbases as a joint base under a Bajoran Militia commanding officer.
  • I wonder if this means the executive officer is Starfleet? That's what the DS9 Relaunch novels went with before Bajor joined the Federation in that continuity. (This episode contradicts that continuity in quite a few ways for the record, but that was all dealt with in the Star Trek: Coda trilogy.)
  • The presence of Bajoran Militia personnel strongly implies that the Bajoran Republic has not yet joined the Federation given the reference to the Militia being "absorbed" into Starfleet if Bajor joined in DS9 "Rapture."
  • No word on whether Bashir, Ezri, or Nog are still stationed on DS9, or whether Jake is still a station resident. (Of course, sadly Aaron Eisenberg has passed, so they wouldn't have been able to feature Nog in a speaking role if he were.)
  • The Karemma were part of the Dominion during DS9. The fact that they were reopening trade negotiations with the Federation implies that either they've achieved independence since the last time we heard from them -- or, that Odo's mission of liberalizing the Dominion as part of the Great Link is succeeding. I'd like to imagine it's the second option, and that this is a first step towards eventual regular diplomatic relations. (No explicit word on Odo's role in the Great Link, though -- unsurprising given Rene Auberjonois's passing.)
  • I wonder if the Defiant-A is still stationed at DS9? The only Federation starship we saw was the Cerritos.
  • We also don't see any Klingon ships; I wonder if DS9 is still an Allied command post?
  • Loved the idea that Mesk was from Ohio. We don't see enough diversity of species on Earth TBH.
  • Morn!
Once again, Mariner learns no lessons and has her shittiest qualities validated.

Sigh. What a poorly-conceived character.

As for the rest, it was....okay. Not as offensive or embarrassing as it might have been, given it was pairing one of Trek's weaker series with its best.

But it seems like Lower Decks this seasons is trying extra hard to make its episodes low stakes and this one felt very low stakes indeed.

For all the "geeking" out the characters were doing on Ds9, I expected more (or at least better) easter eggs and fan service.

I would have liked at least some acknowledgment of Sisko. maybe a portrait on the wall? An appearance by Jake? Or Ben and Kasidy's kid?

Maybe cameos (even non-speaking ones) by Bashir and Ezri? Ds9 felt a bit empty with only two familiar faces in there.

as an episode of lower decks, it was typically bland and predictable. As an homage to DS9, it was fair, but could have been so much more.
season 1 was set in 2380, so I’d expect this to be set in 2382. It’s not automatic, though.

I'm just not sure when it's set per se, because at least one LD writer insisted that part of S2 was still set in 2380 and that one season did not automatically equal one year in-universe.
There was a discussion on Twitter with some of the writers/producers who said they developed a calculator for stardates, that didn't quite match up with the xx000 = 1 calendar year that was commonly used in fandom, but did account for some of the discrepancies with stardates over the years, like "Homestead" that shifted the final season of Voyager into 2378. They've said that S1E01 was set on January 1st, 2380 (stardate 57436.2), and that the DS9 episode was the first episode in 2381 (stardate 58456.2). So everything up until last week has apparently been 2380.

So I guess their calculator has the calendar years starting somewhere around xx430 instead of xx000?
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There was a discussion on Twitter with some of the writers/producers who said they developed a calculator for stardates, that didn't quite match up with the xx000 = 1 calendar year that was commonly used in fandom
Good. I've never liked that one anyway. It doesn't account for the three month gap between some seasons. I prefer to imagine that they somehow vary depending on where you are and maybe even what speed you're traveling.
I'm mostly positive on the episode, but I think Mariner's storyline was kind of a waste and it just ended on a weird note with her phasering everyone like it's just normal to do that. I'm sure Geordi wanted to phaser Barclay sometimes but, you know.

I'd bet a few of Geordi's dates would have happily stunned him in order to run away.
Memory Alpha don't seem keen to change their dating system, so have S3 as 2382, which doesn't even make sense using the 1000 stardates = 1 year system as it would still only be 2381 working it out that way.

They seem to be following 1 season = 1 year, despite the producers saying otherwise, and despite neither stardate system lining up with that train of thought.

I'd be interested to know if the writers' new system lines up with the other known stardate/calendar year matchups from the previous shows, like "The Neutral Zone" being 2364 and Voyager's numerous references to 2371 in the first season and the ship being launched in that year ("Future's End"), but I can't be bothered sitting trying to work it out. :)
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