Two Captains Log: “Star Trek: Lower Decks” S4E8 “Caves” Review

It’s time again for a look at the Lower Decks episode. This week features a trope among Star Trek, which is if an away mission is in a cave there’s a good chance there will be a cave-in. The Lower Decks gang is trapped with a green moss that seems to devour things. It prompts each to tell a story of when they’ve been trapped in a cave, but not with each other. This also leads to some disunifying since they haven’t told the stories to each other previously. Boimler is trapped with a conspiracy theorist who believes their cave-in is caused by Vendorians. It turns out it is, and Boimler causes judgment of death by them because he told off his comrade. But, that lieutenant saves them because of his vast knowledge of Vendorians, and they think him a fan with his friend. Then, Rutherford tells the tale of how he becomes pregnant with a clone of a cave guide after she is killed by a creature in the cave. In the brief time he and Dr. Tavana are trapped, they start to raise the child and he is able to program a tricorder to translate the creature. It turns out the creature is protecting its child, and ends up showing them the way out. Mariner tells about how she was trapped with Delta shift and stumbles on an aging field, but this ends up bonding her with the shifters. Tendi isn’t allowed to tell her story because it’s a turbolift one instead of a cave, but the green goo is sentient and says she can before they get out. She explains how their being trapped together for four hours plus is one of the best days of her life because it bonded them as great friends. As they’re being stuck longer but now with the green goo as their friend, it’s revealed in a distant corner that this was all a ruse by the Vendorians.

And here we go with our thoughts…


Mr. Daps: “I will admit it, Star Trek: Lower Decks is turning around my opinion on its soundtracks. I really enjoyed this week’s score. I think it accompanied the story in a very appropriate way. I also thought it felt very Star Trek.”

Murray: “A pretty decent score for the episode with a lot of ups and downs musically to fit the scenes. I think they did a great job at making it feel like a usual Star Trek episode despite the goofiness of it.”


Mr. Daps: “This week’s designs kind of remineded me of the old Star Trek: The Animated Series. The main design was that of the Vendorians and they were just fine and reminded me of classic Trek. The other aliens were interesting as well, albeit more on the simple end of things. I wouldn’t mind seeing any or all of them in live-action form.”

Murray: “There was not a lot of advanced designs. The Vendorians seemed cartoony, but perhaps this was to make them seem even more far-fetched. It also had some generic looking aliens otherwise, and I wish there had been a bit more thought. Yet, I’m going to contradict myself a bit and that the generic looks made it feel like a season one or two TNG episode, which did work.”


Mr. Daps: “I thought this story was interesting enough. It was definitely full of Star Trek tropes and brought back moments that were seen in other series. I wouldn’t say this is the most ground breaking story in any way but it did do what it needed to do. I think everything worked and it also was a nice hat tip to lots of other Star Trek series.”

Murray: “The episode facing a lot of flashbacks worked for it. It’s reminiscent of the TNG episodes that follow various crew members in their day to days, or even some of the other series that repeated. It also made light of some tropes that have been throughout Star Trek, like being stuck in a cave or strange alien pregnancies. In all, it worked as a device to also bond the characters again since we’ve been seeing them apart a lot in the season.”

Hit or Miss?

Mr. Daps: “This week was a hit for me. I enjoyed the episode. I thought it was funny. I also thought it honored Star Trek series that came before Star Trek: Lower Decks. I also felt like this episode felt almost more like a Star Trek: The Next Generation Episode than others. I thought that was a good thing for sure. I’m really liking the love of Star Trek that is shown in this series and am always looking forward to more episodes!”

Murray: “I think it was a hit, but I had to think that through. It helps that it hits some tropes in a humorous way. So, it fit in that classic Trek style yet gave some humorous ways of exploring them.”


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