Wow! What a finale for Star Trek: Lower Decks season 3! Episode 3×10, “The Stars at Night” really delivers on several storylines, ties up some loose ends, and even gives us a fantastic, “OH NO!” moment in the end. We’ve got a lot of ground to cover in this episode. Here are my thoughts on episode 3×10 of Star Trek: Lower Decks, “The Stars at Night.”
Texas-class vs. California-class: John Henry Style
Okay, let’s get the earworm from the title out of the way before it drives us all crazy.
The stars at night
Are big and bright
[clap clap clap clap]
DEEP IN THE HEART OF TEXAS!
But there’s something else lurking deep in the heart of Texas: EVIL A. I. WITH DADDY ISSUES! But before we get into that, let’s talk about this second contact race. The John Henry-style story of man vs. machine we have here is rather poignant. John Henry won the contest against the rock drilling machine, but he died after he won because his heart gave out. This contest in episode 3×10 is made even more poignant by the metaphor. Instead of the Cerritos winning and then dying, the Aledo wins, goes mad, then tries to kill the Cerritos by saying, “I will burn your heart in a fire.” Those are some serious daddy issues, Texas-class.
Rutherford’s Origins Revealed
Back in episode 3×05, “Reflections,” we learned that the Rutherford we know and love wasn’t always this happy-go-lucky, easy-going, cinnamon roll. He had worked on a top-secret project, got himself blown up, and while he was saved through his cybernetic implant, his memories of everything that lead up to that point were wiped. What we didn’t know was who gave the order. Who was in charge of the project? As long as we waited to get an answer regarding what happened to our guy, I wasn’t expecting to get an answer this season! I’m glad to have that piece of the puzzle resolved and what a double-whammy that it was Admiral Buenamigo!
What I also love is that Lower Decks tries to give an explanation about why there are so many “badmirals” in Starfleet. “You hit a wall! You have to work so hard to be noticed!” Yeah, well, better to be noticed for the right things, rather than the wrong ones, Buenamigo. And unfortunately, he paid the price for his hubris.
No One Messes with…the California-class?
You thought I was going to say Texas, right? Not today! Cali-class more than proved their worth today in “The Stars at Night”, episode 3×10 of Star Trek: Lower Decks. First up, I love Mariner’s heart here. I would’ve expected her to rush in, phasers a blazing, but I definitely didn’t expect her to call for backup. And how fitting that she called in all the California-class ships. Someone at Memory Alpha is going to be busy today, writing up stub articles about all of the different Cali-class ships that showed up to help! The Cali-class showed up and SHOWED OUT! Not only does it prove that the drone ships can’t provide the human touch necessary to do proper second contact, but it also reminds us that the Federation is about interpersonal connection. You can’t do that with a drone.
Fun Moments and Satisfying Endings
There are lots of funny moments in episode 3×10 “The Stars at Night.” I LOVE the Dr. Migleemo line of, “That’s CAN’Taloupe talk. I want to hear CANaloupe talk!” Mariner’s run from the Ferengi looks straight out of the Atari 2600 game, Pitfall!. Take a look! I was fully expecting her heels to get snapped at by some gators.
Boimler doing all his impersonations is a lot of fun too. Also, Shaxs FINALLY got to eject the warp core! But most of all, this is an episode with heart. Mariner said it in episode 3×09, “Trusted Sources,” “If you go by heart, this is the strongest ship in the fleet!” And man, that heart about got me choked up when all the Cali-class ships came to save the day. This feels like not just a satisfying ending, but a closing chapter in Lower Decks. We’re leveling up and moving forward. Well done, Mike McMahan.
Finally, we’ve got a couple of pieces in play that I’m sure we’ll touch on more in season four. The first is what Mike McMahan mentioned in my interview with him a few months ago about us getting more T’Lyn in season four. I’m quite happy that we see her joining the crew of the Cerritos. I’m even more excited that she’s apparently going to be buddied up with my gal Tendi! T’Lyn’s Vulcan stoicism paired with Tendi’s enthusiasm and exuberance is the Starfleet equivalent of a buddy cop comedy that I didn’t know I needed. CAN’T WAIT!
If your Paramount+ app is set to autoplay, you might have missed the post-credits scene! Take a look back if you missed it because it’s important! This last sequence took me by surprise. So much so that I went back and watched the finale of season one to refresh my memory, making sure I had all my facts straight. The remains of Rutherford’s old implant are still out there in the Kalla System. Who beamed them up?
My first thought was Peanut Hamper, but then I remembered she’s in Sentient A. I. Robot Jail unless of course she’s broken out. My next thought is one of two things–the first is that there’s another Texas-class ship floating around out there. The next is that eerie green glow of the tractor beam was from none other than the Borg. If that’s the case, I don’t know if it’s a good or bad thing that the Borg have now obtained and likely assimilated Rutherford’s old implant with the corrupted code, a virus, and frickin’ Badgey! Badgey will either destroy the Borg ship or take it over. If it’s the latter, we are in BIG trouble.
That’s a wrap on Lower Decks for season 3! But I’m not done talking about Star Trek here. Star Trek: Prodigy is back and I’ll be keeping my ear to the ground for all the latest Star Trek news in the meantime. Keep your hailing frequencies tuned here to Fangirlish for all the Star Trek coverage you could want.
What did you think of the season finale of Star Trek: Lower Decks episode 3×10, “The Stars at Night”? Leave me a comment and let’s talk Trek.
All episodes of Star Trek: Lower Decks are streaming now on Paramount+.