Star Trek: Lower Decks is pulling us in for a bigger story this week with episode 2×09, “wej Duj.” If those words don’t make sense to you either, it’s because they’re in Klingon. When that title card came up for the episode, I laughed out loud and had assumed what Paramount+ had put down for the title was the result of trying to put in characters instead of text. As it turns out, “wej Duj” is the translation of those characters, meaning “three ships.”
The three ships we encounter give us a perspective we’ve not really seen before in any Star Trek. We get a peek at how the lower decks operate in Vulcan and Klingon ships. Even the cool logic of the Vulcans and the robust emotion of the Klingons are not immune to the bureaucracy of the lower decks. Here are a few of the things I enjoyed about 2×09, “wej Duj,” and a few of my thoughts on the potential finale of this season of Lower Decks.
Pakled Party: The Redux
These Pakleds just won’t stay away this season. Adding in the Klingon conspiracy is an interesting thread that I didn’t see coming. Last week, I was fortunate to join Ian Buckley on the Rarely Going podcast where we discussed 2×08, “I, Excretus.” Ian rightly speculated that we would get more Pakled action for the season’s end, and in retrospect, I realize that I should have seen it coming. Like many Starfleet officers before me, I underestimated the Pakleds. They may not seem too bright, but that doesn’t mean they are not a threat, as we can see in this episode.
There’s something greater at work here. I’m curious to see what sort of conflict their involvement with the Klingons may cause.
New Vulcan Officer?
T’Lyn is an interesting representation of Vulcans. She’s routinely chastised for her reliance on instinct and gut feelings which she uses as much as she uses logic. I wouldn’t say that she is illogical, but her crewmates treat her hunches with a healthy dose of skepticism. Even though she is proven right with each hunch, that’s not good enough to appease her Captain. Her recommendation for reassignment to Starfleet will be a good fit for her. I get a certain vibe from T’Lyn that I’ve not seen in another Vulcan character since T’Pol in Star Trek: Enterprise. T’Pol was working under tremendous expectations and stress. Her emotions, while largely withheld, still were clearly bubbling just below the surface. While I think T’Lyn has not faced that kind of stress (yet), she clearly has more going on than meets the eye. Also, take a look at this next gif and tell me what you think.
Does anyone else get a certain Captain Freeman vs. Mariner vibe from this exchange? Would you expect your commanding officer to tell you that you’re behaving like a child? This seems to me to be a much more intimate response than I would expect from my Captain, especially a Vulcan. We’ll see if my hunch proves logical.
Klingons Gone Wild!
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen a Klingon rebel against the Empire’s affiliation with the Federation. This is a frequent occurrence in Next Generation and Deep Space Nine. But the way that Ma’ah assumes power and then uses it in a very not-Klingon way, retreating, is quite interesting. Obviously, he knows that Captain Dorg’s decisions would be considered an act of war against the Klingon Empire, but also against the Federation. He takes a much more balanced approach to leadership than the stereotypical fiery Klingon we often see. It’s refreshing to see a Klingon who obviously does not lack skill in battle, but also seems to have a cooler head.
We’ve been set up for a very interesting finale next week. I’m anticipating the following.
- Klingons in conflict.
- T’Lyn joining the Cerritos.
- Boimler stepping up into a major leadership role.
- Mariner finally doing more than just the bare minimum and really leading.
- Pakleds doing more stupid and extremely dangerous things.
- Rutherford and Tendi will make me either squee, swoon, or clutch my metaphorical pearls. No more neardeath experiences, thank you!
What are you anticipating for the season finale? Leave me a comment and let’s talk Trek.
The final episode of Star Trek: Lower Decks season 2 will air on October 14, 2021, on Paramount+.