Published Oct 6, 2023
Below Deck with Lower Decks: Slug Fest!
Drink Slug-o-Cola! The slimiest cola in the galaxy!
By Dayton Ward
SPOILER WARNING: Discussion for Star Trek: Lower Decks - Season 4, Episode 6 "Parth Ferengi's Heart Place" to follow!
The Ferengi are asking to join the Federation, so you know things are going to be pretty lit for what promises to be a milestone moment on this week’s all-new episode of Star Trek: Lower Decks. Just keep an eye on your latinum. Know what I’m sayin’?
After experiencing attacks against their own vessels which emulate similar incidents involving other ships across the quadrant, the Ferengi’s Grand Nagus, Rom, has called for increased ties between his planet and the Federation. Indeed, he’s petitioning for Ferenginar to join the Federation!
It’s the first time we’ve seen Rom and his lovely Bajoran wife Leeta since “The Dogs of War,” the penultimate episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine’s final season way back in 1999! The Cerritos has traveled to Ferenginar so Captain Freeman can assist Starfleet Admiral Vassery with the negotiations. That leaves Commander Ransom to find odd jobs for his junior officers, which in this case means surveying Ferenginar in order to help update Starfleet’s official travel guide for the planet.
(The author would be remiss if he did not take this opportunity to shamelessly mention that the idea of travel guides to Star Trek worlds is pretty awesome. Someone should totally get on that for, say, the planet Vulcan, or maybe even the Klingon Empire. Just a thought.)
Bound and determined to investigate as many locations on Ferenginar as humanly possible, Lieutenant jg Boimler instead finds himself enthralled by Ferengi television programs. He ends up in a hotel room, binge-watching TV until he’s pretty much a zombie thanks to all interesting programs, to say nothing of the commercials. There are even commercials in the TV shows!
(Dear Earth-based broadcast television networks: No. Just, no. Stop. Forget you saw or read that part. It’s a bad idea. Turn around. Go back. Just…go.)
Several of these commercials highlight something Boimler and the others have already seen depicted on signage as they wandered around the planet’s capital city — Slug-o-Cola, one of Ferenginar’s most popular exports!
What’s the deal with this supposedly tasty beverage, anyway? Well, you see, it’s like this: Take Mountain Dew, then add a heaping helping of kelp. That’s right, every bottle of Slug-o-Cola contains up to 43% algae. There’s nothing quite like a drink you have to chew, amirite? Oh, and did I mention it turns your teeth green? Yeah. It’s got that going for it, which is nice.
Slug-o-Cola makes its television debut in the sixth-season Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode “Profit and Lace” as one of the many libations Quark foists upon unsuspecting customers. However, it was actually introduced nearly a year earlier in the pages of Legends of the Ferengi, a collection of stories and anecdotes revolving around the renowned (or is that “infamous?”) Ferengi Rules of Acquisition. Penned by the show’s executive producer, Ira Steven Behr, and fellow writer Robert Hewitt Wolfe, the book contains a number of bits and bobs of Ferengi lore which eventually made their way into the series, and is as close to a definitive guide into Ferengi society as we’re liable to get.
As for Slug-o-Cola, its inclusion in this week’s Lower Decks episode comes after a reference earlier this year in the second episode of Star Trek: Picard’s final season, “Disengage.” It’s here that we learn about the concoction’s nutritional value. If you haven’t yet seen that episode, then I’m here to tell you that you’re better off just eating the bottle the supposed beverage comes in. Don’t get any in you, or on you. Unless you’re a Ferengi, of course.
Seriously, just eat anti-matter. You’ll be better off.