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Star Trek LD - Season 1 - Episode 02

Star Trek LD - 1x02 - Envoys

Originally Aired: 2020-8-12

Synopsis:
After a high profile mission goes awry, Boimler is further plagued with self-doubt when Mariner proves herself to be a more naturally talented sci-fi badass than he. Rutherford quits his job in engineering and explores other departments on the U.S.S. Cerritos.

My Rating - 5

Fan Rating Average - 6

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Problems
None

Factoids
None

Remarkable Scenes
- Mariner: "All Klingon names sound the same, like they all have an apostrophe for some reason."
- Rutherford's ridiculous command training simulations.
- Rutherford's awful bedside manner in sickbay.

My Review
Another mixed bag with some effective comedy and some less effective comedy. While overall enjoyable, this episode featured some unfortunately problematic content as well. First, the opening scene with the energy life form had a number of conceptual problems. For one, why didn't Mariner or Tendi report an apparently hostile alien encounter to security? Also it seems not terribly in the spirit of Star Trek for Mariner to attempt to exploit its life force to replicate tools. And lastly, what happened to it when it collided with the captain? Did it possess her? Did it die? It's entirely unclear, but since it's not followed up on by the end of the episode, we have to presume it's either dead or this is a long term plot thread that will be followed up on in a future episode. Either way, it was a pretty tasteless joke to start the episode off with.

Another wrinkle is Rutherford's implant continuing to be a source of annoyingly unexplained superpowers. It now apparently imbues him with exceptional fighting skills which further compounds the question of why does he have the implant, why aren't more people getting them if they're so awesome, and so forth. But the writers apparently have no interest in that question thus far. The most annoying detail though was the little one liner at the end of the speed walking scene when Boimler quipped that "Section 31 does this." On the surface it may seem like an innocent jokey canon reference, but we have to remember that this show takes place only about five years after the Dominion War. Prior to that, Section 31 was a secret, shadowy organization that nobody knew about. Presumably in the ensuing five years Bashir and O'Brien have blown the whistle, so people knowing about Section 31 now is not nearly as problematic as Discovery's portrayal of Section 31, but similar to Discovery's problematic portrayal of Section 31, Boimler felt it was entirely appropriate to name drop them as though they were some kind of admirable organization; this admiring reference being made a short time after they attempted to commit a genocide against the founders of the Dominion. Like the energy life form scene, this too is in poor taste.

Annoying wrinkles aside, there is much to love about the main plots of this story though, not the least of which is the first authentic portrayal of Klingons since Star Trek: Enterprise. General K'orin looks, sounds, and acts like the Klingons we know and love from previous Star Treks, avoiding the rebooted downgrades we saw in the Kelvin films and Discovery. Mariner's affinity for him and her overall consistent success with thinking on her feet and fitting in with diverse groups of people with ease was a delightful running gag especially contrasted to Boimler's inferiority complex and overeagerness. The staged Ferengi encounter to make Boimler feel better at the end was quite touching and nicely done, as were Rutherford's rotations through different crew assignments for the most part with the bedside manner scene perhaps being the highlight of the episode, though the command training simulations might be a close second. While it would be nice if they would cut back on the canon references a bit if they aren't willing to use them more carefully, this is another solid episode of what's shaping up to be a consistently charming show.

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