Published Sep 5, 2023
Where We Last Left Off with Star Trek: Lower Decks
Make second contact with the animated series before Season 4 debuts this week!
By Christine Dinh
The misadventures of the U.S.S. Cerritos returns this week with the fourth season premiere of Star Trek: Lower Decks. But before we go forward, let's take another survey mission and make second contact to ensure we're all up-to-speed on where we last left off with the Cerritos.
With the automated Texas-class ships having gone rogue (they were running on the code of the glitchy yet murderous Badgey), it seemed like the fate of the Cerritos would follow that of the Badmiral Les Buenoamigo, who was not buen-an-amigo, when his own creations turned on him.
Thankfully, the defected Mariner returns with the entire California-class cavalry to aid her former crew from near annihilation.
Following Ensign Beckett Mariner's unsanctioned rescue mission of the Cerritos' captain (and her mother) in the Season 3 opener "Grounded," Captain Carol Freeman and her father Admiral Alonzo Freeman gave her one last chance to prove Starfleet was where she wants to be. Despite shaping up and mending her relationships, when Federation News Network (FNN) puts out an exposé on the Cerritos, questioning its crew and purpose, the entire ship automatically assumes it was Mariner's doing. Reassigned to Starbase 80, Mariner resigns and enjoys civilian life as an enterprising partner of Petra Aberdeen and the Independent Archaeologists Guild. After coming to the Cerritos' aid with the California-class fleet, Mariner has a change of heart and wants to return to Starfleet and the Cerritos, which they all welcome her back. Reinstated, she requests for Commander Jack Ransom to be her mentor.
Ensign Brad Boimler aka Bold Boimler takes it to the max this past season. Worried that he'll be an ensign for life, he takes Tendi's advice to be more assertive to the extreme. He signs up for springball, joins Shaxs' Bajoran dirge choir, and even willingly lets himself be hunted as prey for K'ranch. While showing off his holo-movie sequel, Crisis Point II: Paradoxus, Boimler learns of the demise of his transporter duplicate, William Boimler, who took over his position on the U.S.S. Titan under Captain Will Riker, which sends him in a depressive spiral. While trying to understand the meaning of life, as well as meaning in the randomness of death, a hallucination of Captain Sulu reminds him, "The randomness of death is merely a reflection of the unexpected joys we find in life." If he spends his life worrying about meaningless deaths, he'll never find joy.
Our science-loving Ensign D'Vana Tendi worked hard to change the stigma around Orions, proving there's more to them than just thievery and piracy. Proving her mettle to Dr. T'Ana and Medical, Tendi commits to her new opportunity with the senior science officer training program, under the guidance of ship's counselor, Dr. Migleemo, as his first science officer trainee. She just needs to accept that on the path to success, there will be risks of failure; things will get messy and that's okay. During the pitting of the California-class Cerritos and Texas-class Aledo second contact showdown, Tendi has the away team halt installation of an outpost as she double checks for the possibility of microscopic life in a planet's soil. Blaming herself for the Cerritos' loss, she's reminded that she was upholding the Prime Directive
Plagued by nightmares, and his long-term memories stuck in his implant's buffer, Ensign Sam Rutherford uncovers the source of his implant's glitches due to an accident he sustained as a cadet at the Academy. Feeling like he's competing with his past self, Rutherford faces his reflection, literally, in his mind as his older, aggressive personality tried to reclaim its authority. Still beleaguered by the possibility of being an unwilling tool to spy on the Cerritos, he discovers who was behind his unnecessary implant — Admiral Buenamigo — who used the code he wrote while at the Academy for the Texas-class prototypes, which was also the glitchy code he used for Badgey. It's this discovery that reveals how Buenamigo has been sabotaging the Cerritos the entire time to phase out the California-class ships in favor of his Texas-class program, which sought to remove the need of crews for the good of the many. Despite the destruction of Buenamigo and his Texas-class ships, his ripped out implant, which contains a still active Badgey, was recovered at among a Pakled clumpship debris-field.