Star Trek #1508: Much Ado About Boimler

CAPTAIN'S LOG: Mariner gets to work with an old friend who has become a captain. Boimler is caught in a transporter accident. Tendi genetically engineers a dog.

WHY WE LIKE IT: The salamander who evidently went to Warp 10 as per that stupid Voyager episode.

WHY WE DON'T: That whine.

REVIEW: It took seven episodes before they teamed Boimler up with someone other than Mariner, but Rutherford is still on the sidelines despite being the cause of Boimler's malady AND the solution to the episode's space adventure plot. There are definitely still decks lower than others, let's say. Mariner, in fact, gets back to upper decks, scoring a field promotion to first officer while her school friend and CAPTAIN takes over the Cerritos during a bridge crew black ops mission (I love this because it mocks Chain of Command in the best possible way, giving three members of the crew a weird specialty that makes them uncharacteristically leave the ship). Her pal, on the track everyone thought Mariner was on, expects her to be the badass she remembers, but Mariner soon starts to screw up, until real danger kicks in and she reverts to super-competency. See, she still has things to work out in lower decks and doesn't want to be offered a higher post in Captain Ramsey's command. Much of the humor here is typical sitcom stuff where people expect each other to be like they were in college. The long-term problem is that if they keep investing in Mariner like this, she actually WILL work things out and have to leave the cast.

Boimler's story is a take on the ol' transporter (or other science) accident. He gets trapped in phase, transparent and making that strident transporter noise (that, at least, gets fixed before the audience throws something at the screen). Don't worry, Division 14 is on the case, designed to be the most sinister thing imaginable (Section 31 would go hide under their beds), but only as a joke. You meet them in stormy nebulae, the ship looks dark and creepy, the guy in charge has a diabolical laugh (whoo an Edosian, classic animated Trek species!), and the various freaks all going to a medical spa dubbed "The Farm" have been waiting for so long as the ship collected victims that they've lost all hope and are ready to mutiny. Long enough for the main mutineer to be wearing the previous Starfleet uniform, can't blame them. But the Farm IS real, and Boimler's phasing wears off before he can enjoy the facilities (good thing because Rutherford uses the same tech to save the crew of a ship destroyed by one of those giant jellyfish aliens from Encounter at Farpoint-ish).

The C-plot tells us there are no dogs on Orion (man, I really want MORE about Orion from this series), which is why Tendi created one, and why it only LOOKS like a dog, but is really a crazy shapeshifter (cue vibes from The Thing). Looked like a teaser joke, but it keeps going, and she has to take "The Dog" to "The Farm" (add a dog and yes, that name does suddenly seem more sinister). Better as a series of visual gags than a story - when the dog starts to talk, it just felt like Simpsons-brand silliness - it at least means the cast is differently distributed. Not that there's MUCH in the way of interpersonal dynamics. They all seem to be friends because they have adjacent bunks and that's about it. Part of the problem may be that Tendi and Rutherford are essentially the same over-enthusiastic character.

LESSON:
Patience, grasshopper creature.

REWATCHABILITY - Medium:
Some fun takes on Star Trek tropes, though jokes are eked out from contrived circumstances.

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