Warning: SPOILERS for Star Trek: Lower Decks Season 3, Episode 8 – “Crisis Point 2: Paradoxus”Star Trek: Lower Decks‘ sequel to their Star Trek movie tribute “Crisis Point” hilariously concedes a problem with the franchise. In “Crisis Point 2: Paradoxus”, it’s Boimler’s turn to create his own holodeck simulation of a Star Trek movie, and it doesn’t work out as he originally planned. When he receives word that his transporter clone William Boimler has been killed, he spirals into an obsessive search for meaning that turns his exciting Star Trek movie into what Mariner describes as “an uneven slog that totally ignores the successes of the original“.
Mariner’s criticism of Boimler’s more philosophical movie is a thinly-veiled dig at Star Trek V: The Final Frontier in which Spock’s brother Sybok commandeers the Enterprise to find the supreme being. It’s one of many comic references to Star Trek movies in the “Crisis Point” sequel that sends up everything from Star Trek: Generations to J.J. Abrams’ 2009 Star Trek reboot. While Mariner and Boimler take part in the search for a supreme being, Tendi and Rutherford continue Boimler’s original sequel movie which is a thrilling combination of Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home and Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, which proves a long-held criticism of the Star Trek movie franchise.
Crisis Point 2 Perfectly Reveals Star Trek’s Movie Problem
In splitting the Lower Deckers between the “uneven slog” of Star Trek 5 and the time traveling, conspiracy theory excitement of Star Trek 2 and 6, Lower Decks proves the old adage that every odd-numbered Star Trek film is bad. Although this adage was proved wrong when the 10th movie, Star Trek: Nemesis killed the franchise, Lower Decks has a lot of fun with the gulf in quality between odd-numbered and even-numbered Star Trek movies.
Tendi and Rutherford’s subplot has speeder bike chases, time travel, super intelligent cephalopods, a fight with some Australian punks and an assassination attempt. Meanwhile, Boimler’s quest for the meaning of life involves a Neroesque religious zealot, a tattooed star chart, and a disappointing god made out of rocks. It’s a comment on how difficult it can be to find meaning when you’re obsessively seeking it out, culminating in Boimler passing out from exhaustion. However, the difference between the two movie plots is also a perfect distillation of the considerable dip in quality that the Star Trek movies experienced between The Voyage Home and The Undiscovered Country.
Lower Decks Honors All Star Trek Movies
Because Lower Decks creator Mike McMahan and his team all clearly love Star Trek, these digs at The Final Frontier and J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek multiverse come from a place of deep love. There are many jokes at the expense of the William Shatner-directed Star Trek 5 including the moment where the location of the supreme being is revealed to be the Third Moon of Shatanari. However, “Crisis Point 2” is also fully aware of the value of Star Trek movies to fans, and acts as an affectionate tribute to the whole canon of Star Trek movies.
When Mariner discovers what’s happened to William, she rejoins Boimler to take part in his bad story. When Boimler tries to end the holodeck program, Mariner delivers an uplifting speech about the importance of Boimler finishing his movie, and coming to terms with his loss. It’s a poignant speech that may as well be talking about the importance of Star Trek movies to the fans: “It’s a Starfleet movie, which means it’s worth doing.” It’s another in a long line of examples of Star Trek: Lower Decks‘ deep love for the whole Trek canon.
Star Trek: Lower Decks Season 3 streams Thursdays on Paramount+.