So, wrapping up Episode 5, I thought it was pretty fun, though I’m trying to wrap my head around the physics of the Dooplers. I’m not sure how they come up with the mass. The Ambassador character seriously needs to work on his emotional control. You’d think the first contact team would have made a note on how to insult them back into recombining.
Of course, the first contact team probably avoided that in first place.
I think the Beckett / Bradward story was the strongest of the three. While Tendi and Rutherford story involved development between their characters, I felt like Becket and Bradward’s story showed both had grown: Bradward because he was willing to go along with Mariner’s scheme with little prompting (evening complaining how his transporter clone is a “stickler for the rules”) and Becket because she allowed herself to be vulnerable and, of course, their moment at the end.
Re: the Dooplers. Granted, Star Trek has had, erm, issues when it comes to biology (see also: “Genesis” from TNG and “Threshold” from VOY) but given that the Dooplers not only duplicate themselves but their clothing, makes me wonder if we’re looking at a species that has some form of quantum duplication process going on. I suspect it’s a survival tactic (if attacked by predator, duplicate like mad - that way at least one version escapes), and might be present in a lot of life on the Dooplers’ homeworld.
Granted, “quantum duplication” doesn’t give us more mass, but it’s all I’ve got right now. shrug
Looks like Commander Shelby got her Captaincy - hopefully she didn’t take as long as Riker.
Overall, a good episode, and forward motion not just for Mariner and Boimler (whose friendship really feels solid now) but for the senior staff as well. The thing I’ve liked least about this crew has been Freeman’s ego, which has played against type for Starfleet Captains of Note, and perhaps we’ll see her balance out more going forward.
I think Freeman is trying to be the captain she admires: she speaks often of holding Federation ideals of compassion and tolerance, but her own hotheadedness gets in the way—and in the case of the Doopler, it actually helped.
I think she really does believe in those ideals, just is imperfect in their execution. I can’t really fault her for that: I’m not always the best champion for the things I believe.
Great catch that it was Shelby from Best of Both Worlds. I missed that on both viewings.
One silly thing that I was so happy to see brought back was the skant! And this isn’t the first time Boimler mentioned it. He wore one in Season 1. I rave all the time how awesome the skant is and that it got a bum wrap for being tossed when the TNG uniforms were phased out. I’m delighted it survived into the 2080s.
And I love seeing character growth and downtime. The Cerritos is kind of the loser ship and them getting drinks together speaks to a much deeper respect and appreciation than I imagine you’d find at a snooty party of mostly distant acquaintances.
Coming out of Episode 6, it seems mind boggling that the Packleds would be able to sustain a civilization, let along have an Emperor, a King, and a Queen. But what really makes me wonder is: who the heck has the patience to corral the Packleds to do anything?
Brad’s arc I feel we’ve been over a few times, though I appreciate how he was willing to make a buffoon of himself to help his friend. In fact, on a second watch he’s actually at odds with the Red Shirts most of the day, especially their attitude regarding the rest of the crew. I also appreciated how the much-coveted Acting Captain position lasted all of 5 seconds and resulted in Packled cleanup duty. A beautiful end to another fun episode.
The more I see of Teni the more I think, “wow you are literally what I had planned for Zaliel” but without the wild background (I still gotta know more about this, “Mistress of the Winter Constellation”). I can’t blame her for getting pissed at Becket and Rutherford for constantly bringing the mood down. Sometimes work sucks, but making it fun is a good way to get through it.
Also, Armus sucks. More people should prank call him.
I think they tossed in a number of joke references into that last scene. Someone over on TOR.com mentioned they thought they saw HARDAC from the 90s Batman series, and I think there might have been a Brainiac logo on one of the computers?
On a more serious note, despite Mariner and Boimler reconciling in “An Embarrassment of Dooplers”, I’m disappointed to see that Mariner still doesn’t think Boimler can handle tougher assignments. The TOR reviewer who’s been looking at the series has mentioned - repeatedly - that he sees Mariner as a horrible person outside of her Starfleet competence, and I’m beginning to wonder if he’s right. I do hope that, if that’s true, we’ll see her treat Boimler as more of an equal going forward.
That said, is Mariner a bad person, or at least a bad friend? There is a line between friendly teasing and abuse, between concern and manipulation. Has she crossed it with Boimler (or others) during the run of the series?
First up, we’ve another TAS reference with the Pandronian drill instructor! And one as reckless as Bem was in the original series, albeit for different reasons.
It was nice to see both senior officers and lower deckers appreciate each other better after all was said and done. The upgraded replicator’s a nice touch, though there has been some debate on whether replicators would be ‘segregated’ in the manner shown on the Cerritos. On the one hand, we do have “lower grade” replicators at Utopia Planitia (PIC ep 2, “Maps and Legends”), and DS9 always seemed to have issues with theirs that occasionally necessitated getting stuff by other means (e.g. Nog navigating the Great Material Continuum to O’Brien’s dismay and our amusement). On the other, most other Starfleet ships seem to have the same high-quality replicators all around.
I’m personally of the belief that, just because you have the technology for post-scarcity, doesn’t mean that you automatically get post-scarcity or keep it. Humans are still the same basic species in the 24th and 25th Centuries as they are today, but with a few centuries of near-utopia under their belts - it’s enough that the old temptations of greed and dominance can slip back in through the cracks, in this case, in a senior-officer / lower deck divide. (Ransom having to remind Shaxs that the ensigns “sleep in the hallway” was a nice touch). And speaking of divides, we get Yem’s assertions that the California class starships aren’t even known around the Federation (I suppose that might make sense - after all, without googling, who could name the class of support ships and tenders in, say, the US Navy?)
Finally, there’s the matter of those simulators. I’ll admit, they did remove one nagging anxiety I had since seeing the Season 2 trailer a couple of months back, to wit, the brief sight of Boimler as a Borg. Assimilation is a deeply invasive and traumatic process, and the fact that Boimler’s assimilation was only simulated at least sidesteps the issue of “how does a comedy deal with something so horrible?” - but not quite as much as I thought. It certainly looked and sounded like Boimler went through the more painful aspects of assimilation, and even needed a little coaxing to get himself feeling himself once they got him out of the simulator, as well as the fact that he was still feeling somewhat morose some time later.
Oh, and they got Alice Krige to reprise her role as the Borg Queen in this one! Maybe we might one day have Patrick Stewart guest-voice on the series?
My thought with the replicators is more of an artificial incentive: “work hard and rank up so you can enjoy these benefits.” I don’t think it comes from a point of greed.
There could also be a sense of energy rationing. A single lower-decker only needs a single slice of pizza at a time. The rationale goes: “Why is an ensign replicating a whole pizza at once? If they want a whole pizza, they can go to the common areas, like the lounge.”