Star Trek #1510: Crisis Point

CAPTAIN'S LOG: Mariner participates in a therapeutic holo-movie version of the show.

WHY WE LIKE IT: Exciting!

WHY WE DON'T: Mariner still talks too quickly.

REVIEW: Cartoons can certainly create more bizarre aliens than love action for the same amount of money, but I don't necessarily like it when those aliens are as obviously silly as the bird-like counselor Mariner is sent to. Speaking of strange aliens, the inciting incident involves the Anticans and the Selay (or at least a similar species that would explain the Selay's treatment) from "Lonely Among Us". They were a bit stiff in that episode and the inter-species cannibal subplot was treated as a big joke, which I found distasteful on TNG, but is quite amusing here. It does show Captain Freeman as a competent diplomat, and that's good. Also, as someone who needs therapy just as her daughter does; the family resemblance is emotional.

Mariner's actual therapy is created on the holodeck, when she hijacks Boimler's "butt-kissing program" and turns a crew simulation into a high-octane movie filled with Trek movie references (I love the credits and the front and back of the program, as well as the long loving flyby of the Cerritos and the crash of the ship; there are Kelvin lens flares and jokes about rickety catwalk fights; and do I detect greenscreen auras?!) starring perfect replicas of the crew as they were designed to give Boimler an advantage in his upcoming interview with the captain. While Boimler is part of the "hero cast", Mariner, Rutherford and Tendi play the villains, Vindicta and her pirate cohorts. Sam really seems to enjoy himself, but can't help bonding with his boss' hologram, while Tendi gets to address on-screen that she's not your typical Orion (looks like they may have joined the Federation and changed their ways in the last five years only) and she doesn't appreciate being cast as a slave girl. The show just keeps making me want them to explore her background much more than they're doing.

As for Mariner in this scenario, she's just disintegrating everyone at as furious a pace as her dialog. There are a lot of exciting set pieces, but it gets therapeutic when Vindicta faces off against Freeman, and then what is meant to psychologically be a copy of Mariner herself. Talk about a love/hate relationship. Mariner gets to play both sides of the coin. Self-exploration, catharsis, and the revelation that it's all a front... And because everyone is based on their personal logs (someone needs to tighten up security), Boimler accidentally finds out Freeman is Mariner's daughter. We've been living with this knowledge so long, I was actually surprised he didn't know. Nice personal cliffhanger for the finale!

LESSON: Don't eat the neighbors no matter how delicious they are.

REWATCHABILITY - High: Cerritos - The Movie is a lot of fun, uses the whole cast, and has important implications for the future.



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