Two Captains Log: “Star Trek: Lower Decks” S4E10 “Old Friends, New Planets” Review

We’ve reached the season finale of Lower Decks! When we last left them, Mariner was beamed aboard Nick Locarno’s ship.

We pick up where things left off, and Locarno explains how he has built a Nova Fleet to be independent, and a sort of revenge for getting kicked out of Starfleet. Mariner remembers how he got her friend Sito Jaxa in trouble because of the squad too.

Meanwhile, Starfleet won’t let Captain Freeman go and rescue Mariner at risk of starting interstellar wars with the other aliens with Locarno. Freeman decides to go against orders and find a way past Locarno’s Trynar Shield.

During a quadrant wide communication from Locarno, Mariner steals his threatening Ferengi made Genesis Device and grabs a stolen Federation ship. As she is pursued by lower decks from other planets, she keeps pointing out how they’re taking orders from Locarno, yet they insist that they are all on equal level. She is able to hide for a time, but finds her way into a nebula. Locarno goes in to pursue her alone when he orders others to pursue, and they desert him.

Meanwhile, the Cerritos travels to Tendi’s home to ask for an Orion battleship. The only way is through combat and it seems Dr. Megleemo, who Tendi puts up to fight, is going to win. It’s because the Orion combatant is allergic to down and Megleemo fluffs a storm up. But, the combatant falls on Megleemo and wins. The original losing cost is the Cerritos but Tendi offers herself instead and the Cerritos gets their battleship.

The Cerritos splits up with Boimler at the helm of the main ship. They are towing the battleship since they found out it was powerless. It’s now a battering ram, and it breaks through the shield so that the captain’s yacht can get through with Freeman at that helm. They rescue Mariner as Locarno goes aboard and the device is activated by Mariner. He thinks he can disarm it, but when he’s left alone he finds that the only way is through a Ferengi paywall, so dies in the explosion of a new planet forming from the nebula.

Everyone is reunited, but Tendi must leave for Orion immediately. This is just as T’Lyn decides she wants to stay on the Cerritos.

Now that we’ve gotten through this packed summary, it’s onto what we thought of this episode!

Music

Mr. Daps: “This week’s score was easily my favorite to come from Star Trek: Lower Decks. It was a wonderful combination of homages to other Star Trek musical moments while still also sticking to the Lower Decks music at its core. I loved the nods to Star Trek: The Next Generation but loved even more the nod to Star Trek: The Wrath of Kahn. This is a score I would definitely enjoy listening to by itself.”

Murray: “I really enjoyed the music this episode. It was cinematic and had some amazing homages. It had the right amount of high stakes TNG type music to fit the vibe of the Locarno plot. And then there was the great callback to Wrath of Khan battle music that made this an amazingly epic episode.”

Design

Mr. Daps: “This was a bit week for design. There was a LOT going on. I really enjoyed seeing all the different vessels that became a part of the Nova Fleet. I also liked getting to see more of the Orion ships as well. Overall, I thought this week’s design was really quite solid and did a solid job of supporting the story that was being told.”

Murray: “This is where I had some problems. There was so much happening and so many ships it was a little hard to tell some things apart. The shield breaking was great, but I couldn’t tell exactly what was happening to the battleship. Still, I liked the idea of the repainted various ships in the Nova Fleet. It made the lower decks group seem like teenagers trying to play adult.”

Story

Mr. Daps: “This week’s story really was one of my favorites. It did a wonderful job of resolving things that have been going on this season with different characters. There were also some really good growth moments and payoffs during the course of the episode. Overall, it was a wonderful exclamation point for the end of season four and I can’t wait to see what happens next season!”

Murray: “This was definitely a part two. Even though you needed the first episode, it was such a great way to call back some moments from throughout the season. It also had a great focus on Mariner to really show how far she has come as a character. There were some other great payoffs, too, like Boimler being at the helm of the Cerritos. Plus, a TNG flashback! Sorta. It was nice to see Nova Squadron at the Academy and how some of that went down.”

Hit or Miss?

Mr. Daps: “This week’s episode was definitely the biggest hit for me. It felt like it could have been a movie if they had wanted it to be. As the episode ended I found myself thinking, ‘this is just an animated show but I want a movie!’ I loved how things moved forward. I loved how they built on the past, and also referenced even further back in the past. Overall, this was such a solid ending to the season. I can’t wait to see season five, and hopefully even more beyond that! This is great Star Trek!”

Murray: “Instant hit for me. It was very cinematic, like any of the good Trek films. I mean, it made great use of the Khan nebula fight homage. It was well done and had that great Lower Decks twists to it. For it setting up the next season, I’m getting impatient already! It was a great end to a good season!”


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