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The Lower Decks Connection: Rising to the Occasion

These episodes showcase the strength of Starfleet’s officers.

A collage of images from Star Trek shows set against a background of circular designs.

Welcome back to The Lower Decks Connection, where we curate a watchlist of legacy Star Trek episodes based on the latest episode of Star Trek: Lower Decks! The humor and heart were perfectly balanced in this week’s installment, as Boimler grappled with the philosophical fallout of his transporter duplicate’s death aboard theU.S.S. Titan. This led him on a holodeck quest to find the truth of the universe and the meaning of life — Star Trek V: The Final Frontier style. He even runs into a familiar face, who offers him some sage advice.

Meanwhile, as Boimler’s existential dread threw him and Mariner off the plot, Tendi and Rutherford carried out the original script for Crisis Point 2: Paradoxus with Tendi stepping in to take command. She proved to be more than capable of rising to the occasion, leading to her pondering if she might not want to step into the role of Captain someday. In honor of her growth, we’ve curated a list of episodes that feature officers taking command and saving the day across the legacy series.

Star Trek: The Animated Series – “The Lorelei Signal”

A close up of Uhura from Star Trek: The Animated Series.

Captain Kirk and his mostly male team face off against a group of “sirens” who lure men to their planet to suck their life force away every 27 years. Who’s left to take command? Lt. Uhura, of course! It’s up to Trek’s first leading lady to command a team of all women to diplomatically negotiate a peaceful solution to the crisis, and she does so with her usual grace and aplomb. This episode helped set the stage for not only Uhura’s leadership in the TOS movies, but for Celia Rose Gooding’s courageous cadet in Star Trek: Strange New Worlds.

Star Trek: The Next Generation – “Disaster”

Deanna Troi smiles on the bridge of the Enterprise-D.

It’s an average day on the Enterprise-D when the ship is struck by an unknown object, rendering it helpless and cutting off communication between sections. While Captain Picard is trapped in a turbolift with children he must look after, Deanna Troi must step up as the highest-ranking officer on the bridge. Troi helps save the ship and prevents Ensign Ro from abandoning any potential survivors, leading into a character journey for her where she ultimately becomes a commander in Starfleet. It’s a perfect episode for Troi fans eager to see her step into a leadership role — as well as the comedy of watching Worf deliver Keiko’s baby.

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine – “The Magnificent Ferengi”

Six Ferengi look directly at the camera.

Quark is no hero. At least, that’s what he says. But when his mother Ishka is kidnapped by the Dominion and the Grand Nagus offers 50 bars of latinum for her safe return, he and Rom spring into action. Teaming up with Rom’s son Nog and a plethora of other shady Ferengi characters — including Brunt, F.C.A. — the bartender must travel to a deserted Cardassian station, organize a prisoner exchange, and even get the dead to walk. It’s all in a day’s work for the mastermind behind Quark’s Bar, and it shows us just how capable Quark can be.

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine – “Field of Fire”

Ezri Dax looks at her own reflection.

Ezri Dax finds herself in over her head when she first joins Deep Space 9 as the new host of the Dax symbiont, and this episode allows her the chance to prove herself. When an officer is murdered aboard the station, Ezri taps into the multiple past hosts inside her to investigate. As she faces off with Joran, a former host with murderous intentions, Ezri must find a way to not only solve the murders but keep herself intact. This episode shows Ezri’s mettle and allows her to grow and take command of her own destiny.

Star Trek: Voyager – “Timeless”

Ensign Kim looks up at Captain Janeway.

Ensign Kim and Chakotay are the only survivors of Voyagerafter the ship crashes following a slipstream engine technology test in their attempts to return home faster. Grieving the loss of ship and crew, Kim fights to right the timeline, even going as far as to break the temporal prime directive to ensure that Voyager survives. Featuring a cameo from the now Captain Geordi La Forge, Kim is allowed to grow and showcase just how much of an asset he is to the crew. Without him, the ship would’ve been lost, and luckily, he’s able to leave a message for his past self, which encourages him to continue his journey without letting his setbacks deter him.

Star Trek: Enterprise – “Fight or Flight”

Hoshi Sato and Jonathan Archer stand on the bridge of the NX-01.

Communications officer Hoshi Sato undergoes a trial by fire when the NX-01 encounters the Axanar. As the universal translator stops being helpful, Archer turns to her to save the day and while at first overwhelmed, Hoshi is able to bridge the language gap and negotiate peace. This episode showcased Hoshi at her finest, letting her not only experience fear but to show off her courage as well, and cemented her as being a key member of the NX-01’s crew.

What is your favorite episode where an officer steps up and takes command? Let us know on social!