Star Trek: Lower Decks Season 2 Episode 5 Review: An Embarrassment of Dooplers

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As we hit the season's midpoint, Star Trek: Lower Decks Season 2 Episode 5 hits us over the head with a fun romp through a starbase, populating the background with every alien species they could think of.

Captain Freeman once again gets her own back with a clever karmic redeployment, similar to how she resolved the scam-artist situation on Star Trek: Lower Decks Season 2 Episode 4.

Meanwhile, the Lower Decks crew do their usual pair-up -- Rutherford with Tendi and Boimler with Mariner. Both pairs get chased, escape successfully, and everyone ends up in the bar, so ... WOOT!

Crashing the Party  - Star Trek: Lower Decks Season 2 Episode 5

The Doopler diplomat (should that have been the "Doop-lomat" was a fun Tribble-esque complication for Freeman and the bridge crew.

Isn't it interesting that no one had tested Dooplers before to see what would reverse the doop-lication process?

If Freeman ever published her experience, she would've probably been guaranteed entry to the next Captain's Convention after-party if she hadn't doop-sixed it this year.

Richard Kind was the perfect guest voice for the Doopler emissary. He pretty much sounds like Anxiety, so kudos to the casting.

Dooplers on the Bridge - Star Trek: Lower Decks

"Doopler duty" sounds so much dirtier than it actually is but might be considered a more prestigious task than is usually assigned to the Cerritos.

Such a delicately dance of diplomacy while still being incredibly onerous.

Reeling off all those insults to anger him into combining again must've been hugely cathartic.

But again, you'd think Dr. T'Ana, at very least, would have some idea of how to prevent the emissary's multiplicity.

Or, better yet, couldn't they have escorted him in stasis?

Dining with the Captain - Star Trek: Lower Decks Season 2 Episode 5

Science fiction tech so often holds the answers to its own dilemmas.

Case in point, if pre-brainwiped Rutherford just wanted a perpetual model-building project, he could've easily programmed it to pop apart into its individual components once the last piece was placed.

Also, the after-party's location was a big secret that even a low-level Bolian (? correct me if you know for sure) like Melvis knew.

But, rather than getting into a high-speed chase over some bubble bath and illegal weapons, couldn't Mariner have just gotten the information from her mom before leaving the ship? Or tricked Ransom into leaking it? Or even messaged her dad?

Melvis - Star Trek: Lower Decks Season 2 Episode 5

But the goal of all the shenanigans was obviously NOT about the party's location.

It was to have Boimler and Mariner zipping all over the space station so that we could see all the visual easter eggs in the background as they nearly run down a Gorn and actually run over a pod(?) of Antedians.

Assuming that Melvis IS Bolian (because he's not Andorian), his lackey is a Tellarite, and there's even good diversity in the corrupt starbase police force.

Star Trek has always been about representation, after all.

Tellarite Informant - Star Trek: Lower Decks Season 2 Episode 5

Three plots is a little bit much, as usual, but Lower Decks is never going to be accused of being stingy with the messaging.

Since the premiere, Boimler's return to the Cerritos and Mariner's hurt over his transfer to the Titan has been a recurring issue that never really gets solved.

Boimler: I didn't mean to hurt your feelings. I didn't even know you had feelings.
Mariner: Of course, I do! I just don't show them to everyone. I don't know why I make an exception for you.

One can hope that this will put that to bed (without actually having the two end up in a romantic relationship because... nope)

Meanwhile, Rutherford's insecurity about being less than who he was before having his implant yanked and losing a buttload of memories has also recurred.

Rutherford's Down Time - Star Trek: Lower Decks Season 2 Episode 5

As with Mariner's issues, I sincerely hope this is the last time Tendi has to convince him that he's fine and that their friendship will see them through.

As an aside, how cool is a model starship with a functioning warp core? Absolutely terrifying but freakin' cool at the same time, right?

Rutherford: We can escape through the maintenance hatch.
Tendi: It was sealed off months ago. Don't you remember?
Rutherford: No, Tendi, I don't remember, and that's the problem. My whole deal is repairing starships. If I can't fix this little toy, then I don't even know who I am anymore.
Tendi: You're still Samathan Rutherford.
Rutherford: Am I? The old me was better. I can't figure out his notes and I'm like a year behind being friends with you. It's like I'm competing with my own ghost.

Despite being Lower Decks, I'd argue that Freeman's dilemma was the most interesting of the three plots.

It had a real kick-in-the-skant level of motivation, a cataclysmic level of peril for the ship (reminiscent of the Star Trek: Short Treks Season 2 Episode 2: The Trouble With Edward), and a proper Star Trek captain soul-stirring speech too.

Our ship might not be the biggest, and we might do the missions nobody else wants, but we are still Starfleet. My crew deals with just as much **** as Picard's or any other. We might be California class, but we are the best at what we do. I'm Captain Carol Freeman. This is my crew. And you are letting us into that party!


Also, meat on a stick. Nothing beats seeing people in the future chowing down on street food.

As pointed out earlier, the Cerritos crew throws their own shindig in the Kirk & Spock vandalized bar, and that really is indicative of how this crew rolls.

It's never going to be the Titan (although Boimler seems prone to scream often no matter what ship he's serving on), and there's probably a little voice in Freeman's head that is kind of okay with that.

Taking the Cerritos into dangerous exploration or a battle would be like bringing a knife to a gunfight.

And not a big, sharp knife. A little utensil-kit butterknife.

Starbase 25 - Star Trek: Lower Decks Season 2 Episode 5

They do clean up well and have an unexpected level of survivors' luck, and it's not like Starfleet can afford to bench a perfectly functional second contact ship, so it's pretty certain that we'll see them stumble into some new adventures to great effect.

Speaking of which, take a look at the mid-season trailer they dropped at yesterday's Star Trek Day festivities.

We have some Borg to look forward to!

Also, it looks like Tendi is due for some character development. Or maybe it's personal evolution?

What did you think? Are you sticking with this underdog for a few more weeks?

Hit the comments with what you're looking forward to seeing the most!

An Embarrassment of Dooplers Review

Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.9 / 5.0 (19 Votes)

Diana Keng is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She is a lifelong fan of smart sci-fi and fantasy media, an upstanding citizen of the United Federation of Planets, and a supporter of AFC Richmond 'til she dies. Her guilty pleasures include female-led procedurals, old-school sitcoms, and Bluey. She teaches, knits, and dreams big. Follow her on Twitter.

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Star Trek: Lower Decks Season 2 Episode 5 Quotes

Melvis: I should disintegrate you for stranding me on Ceti Alpha IV which, I'll have you know, is much worse than Ceti Alpha V!
Mariner: I don't strand people!
Boimler: She stranded me on Rubicon III.
Mariner: You stranded yourself.
Boimler: Pfft. What about on Axelus?
Mariner: Ok, yeah, I stranded you there.

Boimler: Woah. I've never been on a station this old. It's like a whole city.
Mariner: Yeah, it's great, but it kind of smells like pee sometimes.