Our third episode of Star Trek: Lower Decks season three definitely kept me laughing. It appeals to my love of Star Trek references and absurdist humor. We also get some character development for Tendi, a bit of insight into our crew’s deepest desires and greatest fears, and a bit of perspective on the Cerritos from some folks on the outside. We’ve got a lot of ground to cover so let’s dig into Star Trek: Lower Decks episode 3×03, “Mining the Mind’s Mines.”
Fantasy Gone Off the Rails!
Of all the Star Trek: Lower Decks I’ve seen so far this season, this is the episode that has made me laugh the most. I have a deep love of absurdist humor. The idea of these fantasy rocks pulling out the Cerritos’ deepest desires and greatest fears is one thing. Having them draw out a veritable potpourri of Star Trek reference absurdity out of their heads made me laugh on a completely different level. Leah Brahms, Jennifer the Andorian in a bikini, Leah Brahms and Jennifer the Andorian in a bikini looking at the warp core, and then Klingon Clowns with Bat’leth arms?! Then, of course, we have a Borg Snake and then Kukulkan from the Star Trek: The Animated Series episode, “How Sharper Than a Serpent’s Tooth!” This is a dang-near perfect amalgamation of absurdity and Star Trek deep-cuts, and it is magnificent. One thing after another just kept me in stitches the whole time. Well done, as always, Mike McMahan and the Lower Decks writing team.
“I don’t give a damn about my bad reputation!”
Support ships seem to get no respect amongst the Starfleet brass, but it’s looking like the Cerritos has a bit of a reputation among other California-class ships! The lower deckers of the Carlsbad while a bit gruff at first, finally open up, revealing that they actually admire the Cerritos. The rep the Cerritos has is actually a good one! Hey, if I can be California class legendary, then that’s a good thing as far as I’m concerned.
Assertive Tendi, FTW!
I’ve not made it much of a secret that Tendi is my favorite character. Her enthusiasm and positivity bring me great joy! I love her zest for life. I also love that when the going gets tough, she is not afraid to let everyone have it! That last bit really shines in “Mining the Mind’s Mines.” Tendi is doubting herself, afraid to make a mistake. However, she gets a little bit of encouragement from her mentor, and no, I’m not talking about Dr. Migleemo. Dr. T’Ana gives Tendi the swift kick in the pants that she actually needed. It’s nice to see Dr. T’Ana express some emotions other than surliness and feral sexuality. She’s got a soft spot in there, and it’s quite sweet to see. I’m proud of both of them for how they grew in this episode.
“Mining the Mind’s Mines” has a bunch of great one-liners in this episode, especially from Mariner. I appreciate the knowing line of, “It’s not a real day in Starfleet until comms get blocked!” and “You guys are getting the FULL Cerritos Experience today!” Mayhem and rolling up our sleeves to get the job done? That’s definitely the full Cerritos Experience. I hope we get to interact with more California class ships in the near future.
Finally, I want to wish everyone a happy Star Trek Day! Today marks the 56th anniversary of the premiere of Star Trek: The Original Series, without which I would not be here writing this review today. I’ll be doing a round-up very soon on all of the Star Trek Day announcements, coverage, and more right here on Fangirlish. Stay tuned to our Star Trek tag for more updates! Also, if you haven’t already, check out parts one and two of my interview with Lower Decks creator, Mike McMahan!
What did you think of “Mining the Mind’s Mines”? Leave me a comment and let’s talk Trek.
The next episode of Star Trek: Lower Decks will air on September 15, 2022, on Paramount+.