Two Captains Log: “Star Trek: Lower Decks” S4E9 “The Inner Fight” Review

It’s time again for the beginning of the end of the season of Lower Decks! This week has Mariner going off the rails on every mission and risking her life in kamikaze style. It has Captain Freeman worried and she devises a mission plan with Boimler, Tendy, Rutherford, and T’Lyn. Boimler, Tendy, and T’Lyn will take Mariner to repair a buoy, while Freeman and the rest of the Cerritos help with a mission to warn decommissioned Starfleet officers of some danger. Their target is Nick Locarno. They travel to a planet that has a seedy civilization and apparently hates Starfleet. The away team is constantly undermined to get information, while Freeman looks like she’s inept at getting it. In the end, it was all a ploy for Billups to be disguised and get what they need to find Locarno.

Meanwhile, the buoy team is nearly killed by a rogue Klingon ship, but they beam onto a planet that has high electrical storms. There they find several species all battling out for territories. It’s all the crew from the ships that were attacked by the mysterious vessel! They were beamed to the planet with no way off. Mariner faces a growth moment of nearly fighting to death a Klingon which has her admit that she doesn’t want the promotion to put her friends in danger or get killed. But, she comes to terms with it and unites everyone to send a signal out via the satellite. But, this is right before being attacked by the Klingons again, and the abandoned aliens take over the ship. Mariner is beamed away, though. Back with the Cerritos crew, they find Locarno’s home and make a startling discovery that he is the one with the mysterious ship! Mariner ends up on a ship as Locarno reveals himself to her and declares that they will stir up trouble together.

And on with our thoughts for the episode!


Mr. Daps: “This week’s episode had a very solid score. Each week I feel like the music moves more and more to classic Star Trek: The Next Generation style of music. I think this is a solid choice for this series, especially for when it fits into the bigger story of Star Trek.

Murray: “This episode had a score that reminded me of the more intense TNG episodes. And that is a good thing. It had it a bit subdued but would heighten this increasingly intense episode. The whole episode felt TNG to me, and it helped to have this type of background music for it.”


Mr. Daps: “I liked the design this week. It felt very much like the Star Trek movies of The Original Series. There were moments that reminded me of Star Trek: The Search for Spock and also Star Trek: The Final Frontier. While neither of these are my favorite Star Trek films, I liked the familiar feel. I also felt like there was some nods to The Next Generation as well. Overall, solid week for design.”

Murray: “The design of the planet Freeman and team visit felt more Star Wars than Star Trek. It was to pay homage to some of the episodes of Trek that required them to get information in Starfleet uniform, but that was usually a much darker look than this. I wish it had some sense of a planet that had many together from more advanced civilizations, as I would imagine it is. I did like the planet the Lower Decks gang was stranded on. It was much more of a Trek look, maybe more recent movie ones.”


Mr. Daps: “This week’s story I thought was very solid. I like that both the A and B storyline really end up pointing to Mariner and her development as a Starfleet officer. I liked how it all tied together especially. There were other moments that I thought were fun as well that helped moved the story along. Overall, this week was a very enjoyable story to watch and follow.”

Murray: “This was a story that was to be connected from the get-go. Like I said, it did feel like a TNG episode where one team gets information and the other is in a perilous predicament. It wasn’t too surprising in how they all tied together, but it was more about the emotion with it and growth of Mariner. I liked the twist with Freeman to have her not be an inept captain, but much more cunning than we give her credit for.”

Hit or Miss?

Mr. Daps: “This week is a solid hit for me. It simply felt like Star Trek that I grew up loving as I watched it. I enjoyed the story. I enjoyed the characters. I liked the connection to Sito. I also liked Mariner’s growth. I think this is going to be a lot of fun to see where things go. It also makes me hope we get enough of this series, or something that comes after, to see Mariner become a captain herself. I can’t wait for next week’s episode to see where things continue to go!”

Murray: “This is a hit with me, but it felt a bit on the nose in some ways. It wasn’t surprising, save for the twist with Freeman. Although it was obvious that the bounty hunter was going to be the twist catalyst. I liked how they tied it together, however, and I like how Mariner’s background really shined in the episode. There was a wonderful homage to Sito from Next Generation, which emphasized more of the feel with the episode overall. I wasn’t too reluctant at giving it a hit, but it wasn’t quite as easy as others. It was a little different of an episode than many other Lower Decks.”


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