Star Trek #1631: Something Borrowed, Something Green

CAPTAIN'S LOG: Tendi is summoned back to Orion for a wedding.

WHY WE LIKE IT: All the Orion stuff.

WHY WE DON'T: The B-plot is kind of silly.

REVIEW: The "Orion Lower Decks" teaser made me realize the previous episode didn't cater to to the "mystery ship" subplot, but it's a good one, as it relates to the actual episode - we're going to see Orion AND it's the first time these events are acknowledged in the main story, providing justification for Tendi HAVING to go home, with T'Lyn and Mariner in tow (as a show of good faith from Starfleet). That, and the jokes - plunder sorters, riffing on the outrageous piercings seen in Enterprise, etc. - are pretty fun. I'm even a little disappointed all these designs (Lower and Upper Decks) are literally wasted.

So yes, Orion! None of the live action shows have ever been there, so this is exciting. The excuse is that Tendi's sister D'Erika is getting married and has been (per tradition) kidnapped. Will her big sister please go rescue her? The three Lieutenants are a perfect trio here, with strong contrasting personalities, but nevertheless an unwavering devotion to their friendships. Even T'Lyn, how maybe doesn't "feel" friendship the way the others might, very ethically gets rid of her report on Orion culture because she doesn't have Tendi's consent to expose just how piratey it all is, feeding the old stereotypes she fights against on the daily. Orion is an emerald planet with castles and a swashbuckler behind every door. Mostly, it's pirate and matriarchy jokes and I am there for it. Highlights include a pheromone dungeon (or "scentuary") and a murder bug drinking game, and of course, Tendi's extremely badass action persona. Whatever we find out about the planet, it takes a second seat to what we discover of our Orion protagonist. That she's from one of the Syndicate's most powerful/famous families and was raised as an assassin, but had a more scientific calling. How her choice took away her sister's, but then that being a "prime" (assassin) was HER calling, so it all worked out for the best. Tendi even gets to save the wedding by USING science (indeed, more than once). It's a big, fun adventure with plenty of stabbings (Mariner's right shoulder, mostly).

As strong as that part of the episode is, the Boimler/Rutherford (or Brutherford) subplot is really rather inane. The girls are starting to think the new roommates have developed an unpleasant closeless, but we go from "I even love your flaws" to "I hate your guts" in a 0 to Warp 9 kind of way, when they can't agree who should mist their favorite bonsai. Uhm, okay. Let's compound this manufactured conflict with a trip to the holodeck where they again argue as to who should play Mark Twain in their riverboat simulation, which leads, through polite speaking and homespun aphorisms, to a peaceful resolution. Uhm, alright. Which they then convince the captain to use to resolve a similarly pointless conflict with a Chalnoth (about who can scan a nebula before it phase-shifts), and yes, I agree with Freeman. "What made you think this would work?" Actually, right back atcha, Captain. The Chalnoth eats the bonsai and this light snack resolves the issue. I might feel sad for Little Boney (RIP) if we'd seen him/it before, I dunno. There are thematic similarities between the A and B plots, but nonetheless, the B here is strictly an F. There are a couple of good scanning jokes, but otherwise, it's dumb.

LESSON: Not all Orions, but yeah, kind of all Orions.

Do I let the subplot drag down my appreciation for this important Tendi/Orion episode? As little as possible.