Eight out of ten episodes of Star Trek: Lower Decks season 3 had been (repeatedly) watched for this evaluation.

With the third season of Lower Decks on Paramount+, the animated comedy has discovered a brand new diploma of confidence, each in itself and in its position within the franchise as an entire. While the friendship between Ensigns Beckett Mariner (Tawny Newsome) and Bradward Boimler (Jack Quaid) continues to occupy the middle stage, this season sees the crew of the Cerritos and the California Class at giant additional explored. Looking for copious Star Trek allusions, alien sex, and surprising twists of perspective? Lower Decks season 3 has all of them!

Lower Deckers stick collectively! Sometimes actually. Photo: PARAMOUNT+ ©2021 CBS Interactive, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Character Foils in Lower Decks: Season 3

It’s no secret that Lower Decks collection creator Mike McMahan loves character foils. In Solar Opposites, the “non-Space Trek” present he co-created with Justin Roiland, it’s foils all the way in which down (for only one instance, take into account how the character arc of Alfred Molina‘s The Duke compares with that of Andy Daly‘s Tim, particularly after their position reversal over the course of the second and third seasons).

From the very begin of Lower Decks, the friendship between Mariner and Boimler serves because the driving concern of the collection. However, Lower Decks approaches the character of the dynamic between these main character foils considerably otherwise within the third season than it did in both seasons one or two. This retains the connection between Beckett and Bradward recent and fascinating. Plus, it’s a testomony to how nicely these characters have been developed that the circumstances between them might be altered fairly significantly with out both character feeling like they’ve been pushed previous the bounds of their persona.

Boim Me Up
Bradward’s face can take numerous abuse… that’s good to know. Image Credit: Star Trek Official Twitter.

Meanwhile, as hinted by the second season finale “First First Contact,” each Ensigns Samathan Rutherford (Eugene Cordero) and D’Vana Tendi (Noël Wells) every get their very own subplots this season. Furthermore, there may be an apparent effort to make sure totally different units of characters are mixed with each other from one episode to the following, resulting in the exploration of the varied entertaining dynamics. 

Building Out the Cali Class

In addition to studying extra about our 4 lead Lower Deckers, this season additionally continues the custom begun within the second season of creating second contact with beforehand launched characters or species. Sometimes, these appearances are solely a cameo. Other instances, the characters return to play main supporting roles in an episode. In both occasion, it serves to assist create a way that the world wherein the Cerritos operates is a dwelling one, the place folks every have their very own tales (and the diploma to which these tales overlap with the tales of the Lower Deckers might differ).

Lower Decks Season 3
Photo: PARAMOUNT+ ©2021 CBS Interactive, Inc. All Rights Reserved

In some circumstances, this implies the return of alien species we had been launched to within the first or second seasons of Lower Decks. While the third season of Lower Decks is full of recent Trek references, a few of these references are to earlier episodes of Lower Decks. This ensures that this go-round, even in case you are solely a fan of Lower Decks and never different Trek tales, you will get in on the “I know X from Y episode” enjoyable.

And when you are a fan of the opposite Trek tales? Then buckle up. You gained’t imagine a few of the references they obtained into this one. In episode [REDACTED], they even obtained [REDACTED] to [REDACTED] a [REDACTED], replete with [REDACTED].

Meanwhile, we proceed to study tantalizing particulars about the remainder of the crew of the Cerritos. This contains the command crew of Captain Carol Freeman (Dawnn Lewis), that includes Jack Ransom (Jerry O’Connell), Andy Billups (Paul Scheer), Doctor T’Ana (Gillian Vigman), Shax (Fred Tatasciore), and even Doctor Migleemo (Paul F. Tompkins). And we additionally get a bit extra of Admiral Freeman (Phil LaMarr).

Another Angle on Trek

Just like Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, which sought to discover different views on the Federation, Lower Decks continues to look at much less glamorous however nonetheless very mandatory corners of Starfleet operations. In addition to permitting us to see extra of how the help ships of the fleet perform within the third season, it’s clear that this attitude can be having an impact on the opposite ongoing reveals within the franchise. 

In the primary season of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, for instance, a subplot within the episode “Spock Amok” revealed that the Lower Deckers on Pike’s Enterprise participate in a sport referred to as “Enterprise Bingo.” And this isn’t the one occasion of SNW going out of its technique to acknowledge and embrace the hitherto-often-overlooked Ensigns. 


While that is partially a perform of the overflowing and equally distributed empathy of Captain Christopher “Horse Girl” Pike (Anson Mount), it’s arduous to not see the affect of Lower Decks. In truth, when you think about Mariner and Boimler might be showing in a LD x SNW crossover episode through the latter present’s upcoming sophomore season, it turns into virtually inconceivable to disclaim that the implicit level of LD is having an impact on the franchise as an entire. Every member of Starfleet has their very own compelling story, not simply these on the command crew.

Streaming Thursday

Back once I mid-season reviewed the primary season of Lower Decks, I famous that the present had “yet to have a single, exceptionally mind-blowing episode.”

“wej Duj” Photo: PARAMOUNT+ ©2021 CBS Interactive, Inc. All Rights Reserved

With season 2’s “wej Duj,” that field has been checked. Yet with nothing to show, the present reaches new heights. Lower Decks has been (and sure at all times might be) top-tier Trek. If you aren’t watching, you’re lacking out.

Now hold it shifting, Lower Decks!

The first episode of Lower Decks season 3, “Grounded,” might be launched for streaming on Paramount+ on Thursday, August 25th, 2022.

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