Lower Decks Season 4 Ep 5 is the fifth chapter of the fourth season of an American adult animated science fiction television series created by Mike McMahan for the streaming service CBS All Access (later rebranded as Paramount+). It is the ninth Star Trek series and debuted in 2020 as part of executive producer Alex Kurtzman’s expanded Star Trek Universe. The franchise’s first animated series since Star Trek: The Animated Series concluded in 1974 and also its first comedy, Lower Decks follows the low-ranking support crew of the starship Cerritos in the 24th century.
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Entitled “Empathological Fallacies”, Lower Decks Season 4 Ep 5 has the hedonistic outlook of a Betazoid delegation infect the crew. Roughly translated means, loads of partying and booze!
Lower Decks Season 4 Ep 5 exploits the above zany premise as much as it can, within the confines of an animated series. Betazoids have already been established in Star Trek lore as wild and uninhibited, so to witness the Cerritos regulars let their hair know (so to speak) is primed for hilarity. Of course, when a starship crew is drunk and disorderly, there is a genuine threat that belies the humour, which provides an effective undercurrent of tension. In this case, the ship crossing over into Romulan territory. This is best reflected in Ensign T’Lyn’s attempts to protect the ship.
That all said, while the spotlight on T’Lyn is welcomed again as a foil for her other characters, the ultimate revelation that the lack of self-control amongst the crew is actually caused somehow by T’Lyn suffering from Bendaii syndrome, makes little sense. After all, the syndrome has only affected Vulcans aged over 200 years in Star Trek lore, and T’Lyn is in her 60s, so….? It really felt like a twist for the sake of a twist, with everybody expecting that it was due to the Betazoid delegation. Bit of a letdown in the end.
Generally good fun once again but the writing could have been stronger, overall.
… still there’s more …