We’ve reached the penultimate episode of Star Trek: Lower Decks season 3. While we still have quite a bit of our usual comedic fare, Star Trek: Lower Decks episode 3×09, “Trusted Sources” raises some questions that I had at the start of the season. Should we really trust the system of Starfleet? Is Project Swing By an opportunity to do some good with Starfleet or is it all a rouse to greenlight the Texas-class ships? I’ve got questions. Let’s see if we can get some answers today in our discussion of Star Trek: Lower Decks episode 3×09, “Trusted Sources.”
A Victoria Nuzé Exposé
As much as I respect journalistic integrity and the need to get the scoop and tell the truth, Victoria Nuzé really only seems interested in making the Cerritos look bad. “Trusted Sources,” indeed, Victoria. And let’s be fair, the crew didn’t really help matters much in that respect either. Even so, the exposé clearly took comments out of context. It seems even the bright future of the Federation isn’t immune to sensationalist journalism. This smells like a setup to me. I don’t think Admiral Buenamigo is what he seems. I’ve got other thoughts on that as well, but for now, he remains on my suspect list.
The premise of the Texas-class ships introduced in “Trusted Sources” isn’t a bad one. You could theoretically send them to check out places like Brekka that haven’t had a visit in a while and avoid the threat of human casualties. You could also send ships like the U. S. S. Aledo into the fray, as was done in this episode, and again, take the human casualty element out of it. You also avoid the risk of human error, assuming these ships are controlled by autopilot, not another person. All that being said, it seems like an entirely too convenient time to test these ships when the Cerritos is under attack. As I said, Admiral Buenamigo is a bit suspect right now, and unfortunately, I think Carol is being set up.
Mariner and the Independent Archaeologists Guild
Mariner saving Petra Aberdeen’s contact info was a bit of a Chekov’s Gun from episode 3×05, “Reflections.” And you know what, if I were falsely accused, transferred embarrassingly and unceremoniously to Starbase 80, I’d quit and join up with the Independent Archaeologists Guild too! It sounds like Mariner is doing well there, or at least is getting along well with Petra. Will Captain Freeman be able to make amends and get Mariner back? I sure hope so, but I think it might be a little more complicated than just being able to resolve this in one episode.
This is a great action-packed episode of Lower Decks. I think “Trusted Sources” has done a good job of playing with our expectations of our characters, particularly Mariner. I think they’ve also done a good job of playing with our expectations about Starfleet. If you’ll recall, in my review of episode 3×01, “Grounded,” I expressed my suspicions that we weren’t done with the idea of “Trust the system.” It seemed too neat and tidy. Someone here is out for Captain Freeman’s downfall and I think it’s Admiral Buenamgo. The Cerritos is an easy scapegoat because, as it’s been said, Starfleet up-and-ups don’t seem to give as much respect to the California-class ships. Not to mention, it’s crewed by a few goofballs, but hey, those are competent goofballs! I hope we get a good resolution about this in the next episode. Please don’t make me wait until season 4, Mike McMahan!
What did you think about Star Trek: Lower Decks episode 3×09, “Trusted Sources”? Leave me a comment and let’s talk Trek.
The finale of Star Trek: Lower Decks season 3 will air on October 27, 2022, on Paramount+.