Star Trek #1529: An Embarrassment Of Dooplers

CAPTAIN'S LOG: There's a big Starfleet party to go to, if only the crew can escape duplicating aliens.

WHY WE LIKE IT: The ending.

WHY WE DON'T: A few Dooplers go a long way.

REVIEW: Despite the title, Dooplers are not really what's important to this episode. They're backdrop and give the side characters - and yes, I unfortunately also mean Rutherford and Tendi in this case - something to do. Dooplers are one of those silly races that could only really work in a cartoon - when they get embarrassed, they duplicate, and there's nothing more embarrassing to them than duplicating, so the Cerritos is quickly overrun in a tribble kind of way. It's just an okay gag that goes on for far too long, but the show knows which corner of the Trek-verse it's operating in, using several aliens from the original Animated Series over the course of the story. A creature like Em/3/Green from "The Jihad" acts as bouncer at an exclusive party, and there's a gag involving Aurelians from "Yesteryear".

The ship's emergency allows Mariner and Boimler to sneak off to a space station, but meanwhile, Tendi and Rutherford have a minor subplot involving building Star Trek models and how it's their nerdy escape from the world. Cute and fits the friendship theme of the episode, but minor.

No, what we're really here for is the Mariner-Boimler adventure, in which they try to sneak into a big Starfleet VIP party using William Boimler's credentials (not a bad way to use Brad's transport clone), dressed up as a hero's journey where the pair must negotiate with a ruthless smuggler, and escape security in a car chase evoking The Blues Brothers. Great "inflatable Data" from Insurrection bit in there as well. Ultimately, though Brad gets into the party, Mariner can't be his +1, and though it's fun to see Shelby made it to captain, and Okona to Outrageous DJ, it's just no fun if he can't share it with a friend. They end up in a memorabilia bar where they discover many of Starfleet's best also ditched (or were kicked out of) the party, including... wait for it... Kirk and Spock. When Captain Freeman and her crew are also denied entry - there's more snobbery than you'd think in Starfleet - they end up at that same bar too and there's a real sense of a crew that enjoys spending time together, yes even with their lower decks subalterns. It's a sweet ending that harks to the closeness shared by the other brand-name crews.

LESSON: It's not where you go, it's who you're with.

REWATCHABILITY - Medium: The Doopler plot is silly fluff, but the core of the episode leads to a heartwarming finale.

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