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The Lower Decks
Series:  The Next Generation

19 Points
1 of 10 Lists.  Highest Rank: #7 by Johnny Unusual


Four young Enterprise junior officers find their friendship strained during personnel evaluations. Two of the friends, Sam Lavelle and the Bajoran Sito Jaxa, discover that they are being considered for the same job. Joined by their friend Ben, a civilian who works as a waiter, they learn that promotions seem to be already decided on for their other two friends, Nurse Ogawa and Vulcan engineer Taurik.

Worf soon detects an escape pod inside Cardassian space, which is off limits to the Enterprise, and Geordi and Taurik work to transport the passenger on board amidst a cloak of secrecy.

Ogawa seems to be doing nicely in the evaluations as Beverly Crusher has nothing but praise for her abilities and accomplishments. She orders Ogawa not to reveal what she is about to see in Sickbay, and Dr. Crusher takes her to where an injured Cardassian has been brought on board.
Meanwhile, during a poker game, Commander Riker and Worf differ on whether Lavelle or Sito should be promoted. Captain Picard chastises Sito for her role in a Starfleet Academy scandal. She leaves the meeting exasperated, as Picard has left her without the opportunity to defend herself. Considerations of promotions are interrupted by a baffling secret mission that all but Lavelle are involved in. Left out of the loop, Lavelle becomes convinced that this is a sign that he will not be promoted.

After teaching a class, Worf tells Sito to stay and that he wants to test her. He blindfolds her and engages her in a one-on-one martial arts fight. Sito is powerless to stop Worf's attacks, adding insult to her already bruised self-esteem, but finally stands up to him, saying it's an unfair test. Worf admits that getting her to stand up for herself when she is being judged unfairly is what he intended all along. She uses her newfound confidence to confront Picard about his earlier interrogation. Picard, to Sito's surprise, admits that the purpose was to assess her personal growth, along with her readiness for a dangerous secret mission where she will pose as a Bajoran captive taken by a Cardassian named Joret Dal. He also states that he had specifically asked for her assignment to the ship so she was given a fair chance. Joret is actually a Federation operative, and he needs to get back to Cardassia. The plan is for Joret and Sito to enter Cardassian space in a "stolen" Starfleet shuttle craft that has been made to look like it was damaged from phaser fire during an escape. At the first opportunity, Joret will launch Sito back to Federation space in an escape pod. Acknowledging the risks, Sito accepts the mission and leaves to prepare.

Sito's escape pod does not return from the mission, so after waiting 32 hours, Picard orders a probe to be launched into Cardassian space, despite being warned that doing so could be considered a treaty violation. The probe detects scattered debris that appears to be the remnants of a Starfleet shuttle escape pod. The Enterprise later intercepts Cardassian communications which report that a Bajoran prisoner overpowered her Cardassian captor and attempted to leave Cardassian space in an escape pod, which was then destroyed, leaving no survivors.

Captain Picard announces the loss of a fellow crew member over the ship's general address. Lavelle receives the promotion, but he and his friends, as well as the senior crew, are downhearted. Even the emotionally distant Worf has been affected by the loss they all feel. They comfort each other, and Worf joins them as the episode concludes.

Personal Thoughts

I don't remember much about this episode.  It's a cool premise though.  Star Trek is, in a way, a workplace show.  Such shows usually feature a small group of employees among a company with dozens or hundreds of employees.  These unseen employees technically exist but the show pretends they don't.  I like the idea of stepping away from the main characters and focusing on ancillary employees.  Voyager did a similar episode entitled “The Good Sheperd”.
Sports Talk! / Re: 2018 NFL Season
« Last post by wihogfan on November 19, 2018, 08:29:19 PM »
The Cleveland Browns are interested in interviewing former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice for their head coaching job. ???
I thought this was maybe an Onion headline until I searched for it.
If you read deep enough into the 2 articles I read that treated it as serious news story, it's really just a rumor.
I did like Eddington and that episode pretty well. Didn't make my list but it was a good, solid episode. They crafted his character arc very well. He seemed like an officer who was very dedicated to the Federation so when he
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
. We did see him one last time in "For the Uniform", which I'm guessing probably won't turn up on this list.
Suggest-a-Trax / Re: Wanna Make A Suggestion?? New page up to do just that!
« Last post by God on November 19, 2018, 07:41:50 PM »
The Guyver 1991
Mystery Science Theater 3000 / Re: Season 12
« Last post by linszoid on November 19, 2018, 06:33:10 PM »
Believe me, I will do more than give it a chance! I am hoping to absolutely love the new season, But I just wish we'd go a little further back with the movies than 1979!  Half the fun of some of these movies was seeing what they thought space travel would be like prior to 1969's moon landing

Ooooh, like First Spaceship On Venus, right?

:D :D

Those are some of my favorite episodes. The ones like FSoV, Rocketship XM, 12 to the Moon etc...
Mystery Science Theater 3000 / Re: Season 12
« Last post by Iron Curtain on November 19, 2018, 05:39:23 PM »
SPOILERS GALORE (but not TOO spoilerific, they don't reveal the plot of the episodes, they just speak in generalities)!


Also, Quirk will love this:

There were some calls for the jokes to breathe in The Return, the previous season, and here it is fine-tuned and less of an issue.

OMGOMGOMG!!!! We may have another classic season on our hands!!!
Straight off the bat we have one I don't remember. I guess I was never really a fan of the Maquis stuff. They were one of the few things to tie all three TNG-era series together though. Also, is that Clarence Boddicker from Robocop? Looks a lot like him.

I haven't seen the Voyager pilot in ages. I always found Voyager to be the most inconsistent Star Trek series, sometimes very good and very imaginative, other times just flat out stupid.
Board Games for the Bored / Re: Word Association 2: The Madness Continues....
« Last post by Johnny Unusual on November 19, 2018, 04:28:41 PM »
127 Hours
Mystery Science Theater 3000 / Re: MST3K Live Tour 2018
« Last post by eegah on November 19, 2018, 04:20:53 PM »
That's a shame, because "The Brain" was hilarious.
Coming soon!!! / Re: Rifftrax live of the five doctors
« Last post by eegah on November 19, 2018, 04:18:35 PM »
Thanks for the info! I hope that I bought the right DVD version...
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