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Mariner is suspicious of Boimler's new girlfriend. Tendi and Rutherford grow jealous of a bigger starship's gear.

Summary

Act One

"Ensign Boimler, personal log, stardate 57601.3. The Cerritos is in orbit around Mixtus III to assist in a controlled demolition of an unstable moon. We're providing support to the Vancouver, a Parliament-class ship which focuses on complex large-scale engineering projects."

Captain Carol Freeman and Commander Jack Ransom are visiting the Vancouver, and the captain of the Vancouver welcomes them to the bridge. While Freeman says that she is humbled to be on the bridge of the Vancouver, the Vancouver's captain informs them that the scheduled controlled demolition might be canceled due to a diplomatic crisis involving the people of Mixtus II and III. Ransom and Freeman seem surprised that the people would have a problem with the demolition of the moon due to the threat it poses to the planet, but the Vancouver's captain simply replies that they don't seem to care. In the Vancouver's conference room, the people of Mixtus II and III are arguing about why the moon can't be demolished. One argues that the moon is sacred and religiously significant to them, one argues that the tides caused by the moon's gravity are crucial to their summer crops, some argue that the moon has been home to their families for generations, and one even claims that the moon can't plummet from orbit and that the whole thing was made up by the government in an attempt to control them. Freeman gets herself ready to negotiate with them.

In the lower decks crew quarters, Ensign Brad Boimler is continuing to record his personal log, and he excitedly talks about how their project with the Vancouver means that he will be able to have a lunch date with his girlfriend, Barbara Brinson. Ensign Mariner overhears him, and notes how he's been talking about her a lot lately, but she is skeptical this girlfriend of his is even real. Boimler angrily says she is real, and Mariner asks if they'll have to go to the holodeck to meet her, to which Boimler replies he doesn't do that anymore.

Ensigns Sam Rutherford and D'Vana Tendi are performing some repairs on the Cerritos when a plasma fire starts near Rutherford. Rutherford quickly extinguishes it and notes how the Cerritos is one of the older ships in the fleet and requires extra maintenance. The two begin to talk about how advanced the Vancouver is, and how the crew uses the new T88 tool.

Boimler introduces Brinson

Boimler introduces Barbara Brinson

They take a shuttlecraft to the Vancouver and Tendi and Rutherford are amazed by the interior of the ship. Mariner simply notes that it doesn't look any different than the Cerritos, a claim that both Tendi and Rutherford laugh off before heading off to check out the ship's thermal mesh. Boimler is standing in the hangar with flowers and a teddy bear, waiting for Brinson. Thinking he got stood up, Mariner begins to offer that she can hook him up with someone on the Cerritos (such as the Phylosian who works in tactical) when Brinson, a lieutenant, rushes over to Boimler and they embrace and kiss one another. Mariner wonders for a moment if they're on the holodeck and attempts to end the program, with no success. Boimler introduces Brinson to Mariner, a bit smug that she is indeed real. Brinson then offers to show them around the Vancouver.

As they tour the Vancouver, Brinson discusses her experiences on the ship, and talks about how she met Boimler, and that despite never thinking she'd get involved in a long-distance relationship, she took a liking to Boimler. At that moment, another Cerritos crewmember, Lieutenant Jet, approaches them and informs Brinson that they will be working together. The two are happy to see each other, and Boimler immediately feels threatened by his presence. Jet informs them that the diplomatic crisis with the people of Mixtus II and III has postponed the implosion of the moon, and that they have to recalibrate the containment field around the moon. Realizing that this task will interfere with their lunch date aboard the Cerritos, Brinson apologizes as Jet heads off to engineering. When Mariner asks how they know each other, Brinson replies that she and Jet used to date each other, but that Jet is nothing compared to Boimler. She and Boimler kiss again, before she excuses herself and heads to engineering as well. Mariner admits to Boimler that Brinson is indeed great, but wonders to herself if she might be too good to be true.

Tendi and Rutherford report to Lieutenant Commander Ron Docent, who welcomes them aboard the Vancouver. With new orders to look for alternative solutions to the moon implosion, he assigns them to run diagnostics on the simulation mainframe. He gives each of them a T88, and upon seeing their enthusiasm, tells them that whoever finishes their diagnostics first will be able to keep their T88.

Back on the Cerritos, Mariner has a bad feeling about Brinson, and Boimler feels like he can't live up to Jet as a boyfriend. Mariner feels that Brinson is out of Boimler's league, and Boimler begins to do push-ups to try and get stronger. Mariner simply says that his relationship feels too good to be true and wonders if Brinson might actually be an alien disguised as a Human. Boimler gets angry at that accusation.

Mariner simply tells him about an experience that she had as a member of the USS Quito. While docked at Deep Space 9, she and her friends, Angie and Niko, visited the station and discussed an incident which had recently occurred aboard the USS Enterprise-D, and as they laughed, Mariner noted how both Angie and Niko made such a great couple. Niko tried to say that he was nothing special but had wonderful friends, and Mariner said that he was a great guy, but jokingly said that he was either great or a Harvongian shapeshifter. As soon as she said this, Niko transformed into a monstrous alien and immediately ate Angie, much to Mariner's horror.

Remembering the incident, Mariner is determined not to let the same fate potentially befall Boimler. Boimler is more worried about losing Brinson to Jet, and rushes off to do something. Mariner is determined to find any abnormality with Brinson.

Act Two

Back in the conference room of the Vancouver, Freeman offers a solution to the people of Mixtus II and III. She says that they will relocate three tons of dust from the unstable moon for the people who hold it religiously significant to worship. She also says that she will have gravity systems installed for the farmers who depend on the tides for their crops. She finally says that all ancestral homes will be relocated to the sixth moon since it will soon technically be the fifth moon anyway. Satisfied with the solutions, all the people happily leave the conference room – all except one representative, who says that the moon blocks pollution from Mixtus III which would otherwise fall onto Mixtus II, and that without the moon, they will perish. Ransom counters that if they don't destroy the moon, the people of Mixtus III will perish. While the representative from Mixtus II says it's an impossible problem, Freeman says that Starfleet is all about figuring out impossible problems, but the representative from Mixtus II says that if they blow up the moon, they will be murderers.

In engineering, Brinson is running holographic simulations, and notes how each orbital platform will maintain a tractor spread to control debris from the moon. Boimler enters the room and immediately walks over to her, attempting to joke and be funny, but accidentally messes up the holographic simulation, which Jet immediately fixes. While Brinson asks what he's doing there, Mariner sneaks into the room and uses her tricorder to emit a loud tone which disturbs everyone in the room, hoping to see if Brinson is potentially an android. Since the tone, which would have disrupted an android's positronic brain, did not hurt Brinson, she concludes that Brinson is organic and she will need a sample. Boimler, however, apologizes for Mariner's behavior and tells everyone that she was just leaving. Brinson asks him to leave as well since they have a lot of work to do, and says that she will meet him later in the mess hall.

Rutherford and Tendi are having a great time running diagnostics in the Jefferies tubes of the Vancouver, and marvel at how fast the T88s are. They fantasize about how their respective departments will revel at the tool when they come back with it, and grow competitive with one another. Realizing that Tendi has finished more diagnostics than he has, Rutherford uses his implant help him to go faster.

Meanwhile, Mariner is trying to eliminate the possible alien races that Brinson might be, speculating that she might be a surgically-altered Cardassian spy, a transporter clone, or a Suliban, but Boimler tells her to stop and asks her to accept Brinson for who she is: a great Human lady. He then goes to a replicator and asks the computer to analyze the coolest people in Earth history and replicate an outfit that combines traces of each in a small size.

Cool Boimler

Boimler attempts to be cool

Boimler enters the mess hall in his new outfit and walks over to Brinson, who is sitting with Jet, attempting to one-up Jet's persona. Brinson can't help but feel like Boimler is acting weird as Boimler goes to the replicator and asks for a beer. Brinson notes that they are still on duty and asks what is going on with him. Boimler simply says that this is who he is, but trips on Jet's foot and spills his beer all over Brinson. While Brinson gets angry with Boimler, Mariner sneaks behind her and cuts off a sample of her hair. Brinson asks if she just pulled her hair, but Mariner blames it on a passing crewmember. Jet offers to help Boimler up, but Boimler rejects his help. Brinson angrily scolds him for his behavior and excuses herself from the mess hall, leaving with Jet. Boimler is upset with himself, and Mariner scans Brinson's hair sample. Mariner is certain that Brinson might be a reptoid, saying that Brinson will likely need Boimler as a male partner and will jab him with her tail and implant him with her spawn, but Boimler angrily tells her to drop it and leaves her.

As this happens, Shaxs is working with Ransom and notifies him that the orbital platforms aren't rated for low altitudes, and adds that they will need to be operated manually. They check in with Freeman, who is still negotiating with the Mixtus II representative, but don't bother her as they notice they are still in a heated argument.

In the hangar of the Vancouver, outside the Yosemite, Boimler is holding his gifts for Brinson, hoping to reconcile with her, when he overhears her and Jet, hearing them say that they will "make it fit." Worried, and believing that they are having sex, Boimler rushes into the shuttlecraft only to see that the two are not engaged in sex, but are instead just trying to push a pipe into the wall of the shuttlecraft. Taken by surprise by Boimler's intrusion, and realizing that Boimler thought she was cheating on him, she angrily takes him outside the shuttlecraft and scolds him for his behavior and his accusation of cheating. Boimler is embarrassed with himself and apologizes, and admits that he feels like he isn't good enough for her, noting that she deserves someone like Jet. Brinson tells him that nothing is happening between her and Jet, and Boimler is flustered that he may have potentially ruined his relationship with her. Brinson, however, reassures him that she still loves him, and that she loves him for who he is. She then offers to start the day over with him on the right foot, much to his delight.

As they reconcile and kiss, Mariner appears and shouts for Boimler to watch out for Brinson's tail. She leaps at Brinson and pulls her pants down, only to be shocked that Brinson doesn't have a reptoid tail as she'd suspected. Boimler has had enough, and is about to tell her off when Brinson is called to report to Orbital Platform Gamma to operate the platform. She invites Boimler to join her, and he happily leaves with her. Mariner just stands there in disbelief that she was wrong about Brinson, when she steps on the husk of a parasite. Horrified that Brinson is actually an alien parasite, she runs after them to try to save Boimler.

Meanwhile, Tendi and Rutherford rush into Docent's office, eager to report their completion of duties. They argue with each other about who finished first, and how the T88 is better for their respective departments, and as they argue, Docent enters and commends them both for their great work. He notes that since they both finished at the same time, they will both be joining the Vancouver as members of the crew. Tendi and Rutherford are confused by this, and Docent simply says that he had told them that whoever finished first would be able to keep their T88 as a member of the Vancouver. Tendi replies that they thought they would get to take the T88 back to the Cerritos, but Docent just begins to write their transfer orders, saying that since his grandma used to live near an admiral they wouldn't have to wait long for the order to be approved.

Mariner rushes through the Vancouver and asks the ship's computer to locate Boimler. The computer tells her that he already left for Orbital Platform Gamma, and Mariner unsuccessfully attempts to initiate an emergency transport to the platform. Instead, she puts on an environmental suit and begins a space walk to the platform. She reaches the platform with little difficulty and enters to find Boimler completely naked, much to both their horror.

Act Three

As the moon's orbit begins to decay, Boimler angrily demands that Mariner leave, saying that this time is for him and Brinson. Mariner, however, shows him the husk and tells him that Brinson is a parasite, but Boimler covers himself and accuses her of simply creating a fake husk as an effort to stifle the fact that she was wrong about Brinson. He destroys the husk and says that it has been a long time since he's had a lover, and that he is staying on the platform to make love to Brinson. As the two argue, however, the platform reaches a critical altitude and it's jolted, causing Boimler to hit his head against the console and knock him out cold. Mariner rushes to his side as Brinson walks in. The two see each other and both angrily demand each other to stay away from Boimler, and Brinson tackles Mariner.

Meanwhile, Tendi and Rutherford are dwelling on their impending transfer to the Vancouver. They note that the Vancouver would be an awesome ship to work on, but that the old nature of the Cerritos is just as awesome, and that it would be hard to leave their friends behind on the Cerritos. They decide to ask Docent to allow them to stay on the Cerritos. Tendi is worried this will anger Docent, but Rutherford assures her that he's a professional who will understand.

Upon asking Docent to remain on the Cerritos, he is visibly angry with Rutherford and Tendi and says that he's already written up the transfer order and just needs to send it to the admiral. Tendi tells him that he's not allowed to transfer them against their will, but Docent ignores her and reminds them that his grandmother knows the admiral. Tendi knocks his PADD from his hand, and she and Rutherford begin to pass it to each other in an effort to keep Docent from transferring them. They run from his office, and he angrily chases them.

On the bridge of the Vancouver, the representative from Mixtus II once more begs Freeman not to implode the moon, citing the Prime Directive, but Freeman simply says that it doesn't even apply in this situation. Ransom then warns her that they are running out of time and that Mixtus III is starting to experience flooding, and that the orbital platforms weren't designed to maintain the containment field as they currently are.

Beckett vs Barb

Brinson and Mariner tackle each other.

On Orbital Platform Gamma, Mariner is fighting Brinson. Mariner refuses to let Brinson hurt Boimler, and Brinson says that she's protecting him from Mariner. Brinson is unable to believe that Boimler's and Mariner's conflicting personalities allowed for them to become friends, and that she believes that Mariner is a parasite. Mariner simply accuses Brinson of being the parasite, and they continue fighting.

Rutherford and Tendi continue to run from Docent, rush into a Jefferies tube, and manage to get onto a turbolift. As Rutherford reroutes the turbolift controls, Tendi tries to guess Docent's passcode for the PADD.

Controlled Implosion

The Vancouver begins a controlled implosion

On the bridge, the representative from Mixtus II claims that the impact on the environment from the implosion of the moon would affect both him and his wife on Mixtus II. As Freeman realizes that there isn't a whole civilization on the planet, that Mixtus II is only the home to this rich representative and his wife, she orders the moon imploded, much to the dismay of the representative. The Vancouver fires a beam that begins the process of imploding the moon.

On Orbital Platform Gamma, Brinson and Mariner continue fighting; Mariner simply says that Boimler will eventually find out that Brinson is a parasite, even if it takes him a while. Brinson stops her attack as Mariner notes an incident on Sendu IV during which it took Boimler a week to realize that he was urinating in the sinks of the locals rather than their toilets. Brinson notes that Boimler said that happened to someone else, and mentions that on their second date, Boimler "shook hands" with a Lortian's egg sac. Brinson and Mariner begin to laugh together at Boimler's many misadventures and cease their fight. They continue to talk about Boimler for a while and engage in friendly conversation. Brinson notes that both Mariner and Boimler have been through a lot, and Mariner agrees, saying that while Boimler is a bit of a dork, he is her dork. They both realize that neither of them are parasites, and as an act of good faith, Brinson allows Mariner to scan her to confirm this, and Mariner indeed confirms that she is Human. However, shortly afterward, the tricorder detects the presence of a parasite nearby, much to the discomfort of both Brinson and Mariner.

In the turbolift, Docent gets the turbolift's doors open and holds Tendi and Rutherford at gunpoint. He threatens to stun them unless they give him back his PADD, which Tendi is still trying to break into. Rutherford tries to get him to give him the phaser, only for Docent to fire the phaser at his hand, making it go numb. Mortified, Docent drops the phaser, which discharges and hits Rutherford in the knee. At that moment, Tendi successfully logs into Docent's PADD and realizes that Docent had also written up an order for himself to transfer to the Cerritos. Docent admits that he was trying to swap places with them, noting that life aboard the Vancouver is incredibly epic and stressful. He notes that they often have to tow space stations, calibrate the Dyson sphere, or go back in time to kill people worse than Adolf Hitler. Docent just wants to be on a smaller ship and have a simpler life. He apologizes for his behavior and asks that the incident be kept a secret. Tendi has him delete the transfer order for her and Rutherford, which he does immediately. Rutherford then asks him to give them a couple of the T88s as well. Docent initially says he can't do that, but Rutherford reveals that his implant recorded their entire exchange in the turbolift, and that he intends to use it as evidence for Docent's court martial. Docent then immediately agrees to give them each a T88.

Back on Orbital Platform Gamma, Mariner and Brinson scan Boimler's unconscious body for the parasite and find it attached on the back of his head. While Boimler awakens and initially pleads for them not to remove it, the two successfully remove the parasite from his head and Boimler is shocked to see it.

Later, after they have imprisoned the parasite in a canister, the parasite says that it was behind Boimler's affection for Brinson. Brinson concludes that the species of the parasite reproduces by making their host chemically irresistible to potential mates, and Mariner concludes that he picked the parasite up just before meeting Brinson. Boimler asks if Brinson only liked him because of the parasite, but Brinson assures him that she would not fall for anyone based on pheromones alone. Boimler seems relieved at this, having feared that she would break up with him, but Brinson says that while Boimler is sweet, she needs to spend all her energy devoted to her job with Starfleet, specifically studying the parasite. She grabs the canister, and gives Boimler a small kiss on the forehead before leaving. Boimler is saddened by this turn of events, but Mariner assures him that he will find someone who loves him without the assistance of a parasite. This motivates Boimler. Brinson returns briefly and tells Mariner that she will see her in a month at the M'tari tournament. Boimler is confused that they made plans, and Mariner tells him that they bonded over "girl stuff" while he was out cold. She then asks if he really shook a Lortian's egg sac, and Boimler is mortified when he realizes just what exactly they bonded over.

Stolen T88s

Tendi and Rutherford with their stolen T88s

Back in engineering aboard the Cerritos, Tendi and Rutherford are happy to be back, even with the state the Cerritos is in. Tendi then says that before they left the Vancouver she managed to grab a gift for Rutherford. She then fetches a nearby duffel bag and empties out numerous T88s that she managed to steal onto the ground. Rutherford laughs and shows her his own duffel bag, which is full of T88s he stole as well. Tendi and Rutherford laugh at the situation and note that this is why they are such good friends.

Log entries

  • "Ensign Boimler, personal log, stardate 57601.3. The Cerritos is in orbit around Mixtus III to assist in a controlled demolition of an unstable moon. We're providing support to the Vancouver, a Parliament-class ship which focuses on complex large-scale engineering projects."
  • "… So the moon's decaying orbit could cause catastrophic blah blah blah blah blah– okay, okay, the real news is I get to have lunch with the coolest, smartest officer in Starfleet, Barbara Brinson, who also happens to be muh girlfriend! That's right! We met a month ago, and it's just been magical!"

Memorable quotes

"You know, I'm sorry, but I'm starting to think that Barb might not actually exist."
"Oh, she's real. She's as real as a hopped-up Q on Captain Picard Day."

- Mariner and Brad Boimler


"You know, Kula told me the Vancouver has fluidic processors that self-replicate their own silicas."
"Nuh-uh!"
"And he said they had tritanium hull brackets, and get this: T88s!"
"That can't be right. T88s aren't even out yet."
"I know."
"It's a starship, not heaven!"

- Sam Rutherford and D'Vana Tendi


"I swore I'd never do long distance, but then I met this goofball on Vendu last month. He radiates a primal confidence. I'm sure you've felt it."
"No, I try not to feel anything around Brad."

- Barbara Brinson and Mariner


"I've got a bad feeling about Barb."
"I know. I can't believe she used to date Jet! That guy's like a Kirk sundae with Trip Tucker sprinkles."

- Mariner and Boimler


"Brad, when a Starfleet relationship seems too good to be true, then– red alert, man! It probably is."
"You think she's cheating on me?!"
"No! I think she's a secret alien who's gonna eat you, or a Romulan spy, or a salt succubus, or an android, or a Changeling, or one of those sexy people in rompers that murders you just for going on the grass!"

- Mariner and Boimler


"It's an impossible problem."
"Well, we're Starfleet. Figuring out impossible problems is what we do, so let's just keep calm and, uh, try to think of a solution."
"No! If you blow up that moon, you're murderers! You'll have blood on your hands!"
"SHUT UP and let me think!"

- Mixtus II Representative and Carol Freeman


"Requesting emergency transport to Platform Gamma! Authorization, uh– Mariner Eight!"
"Request denied. Is that a made-up code? Who is this? Clear this channel!"

- Mariner and a transport officer


"Wait a second, you can't just transfer us against our will!"
"Pfft. Watch me. Do I need to remind you who my grandma's neighbor was? I guess I do. It was the admiral! And he's a psycho!"

- Tendi and Ron Docent


"First, I thought you were a rogue holodeck character, then, because of the way you were lurking around all day, I thought you were a Breen infiltrator."
"What? That wasn't lurking, that was protecting!"
"Finally I realized you're probably a parasite!"
"Bitch, you're the parasite!"
"Exactly what a parasite would say, parasite!"

- Brinson and Mariner


"The impact on our environment would affect both of us! We'd have to move our whole civilization!"
"I know, but how can– wait, 'both'? What do you mean 'both'? How many people are in your civilization?"
"Me and my wife."
"There are two *bleep* people on your whole *bleep* planet?!"
"Well, yes. We're uh, we're rich."
"… Implode the moon."
"You maniacs! We just redid the floors!"

- Mixtus II Representative and Freeman

Background information

Production history

Production

  • This is the first episode of this series to not include a teaser before the opening titles.

Cast

Continuity

Links and references

Starring

Guest cast

Background characters

References

1920s; alien; altitudes; Andorian; android (Soong-type android); Argo-type ground vehicle; authorization; Bajoran; barb; beer; blood; Borg; Bradleys; brie; Breen; brother; Bynar; Caitian; captain; captain's log; Captain Picard Day; Cardassian; Changeling; channel; cheese; Chicago; combadge; commander; computer; containment field; controlled implosion; court martial; critical altitude; cyborg; D53; Data; date; dating; Dauphin; death; decaying orbit; Deep Space 9; demo; diagnostics; dinner; Docent's grandmother; Docent's grandmother's neighbor; doctor; door; dorsal; double lattice; Dyson sphere; Earth; egg sac; emergency transport; engineering; ensign; Enterprise-D, USS; environment; environmental suit; evidence; exoskeletal husk; Fairview; farmers; Federation; flooding; floor; flower; fluidic processors; football; friend; *bleep*; girl; girlfriend; googa; grandma; grass; gravity systems; hair; hand; Harvongian shape-changer; Heaven; heck; hell; Hitler, Adolf; holodeck; hologram; homes; hug; hull brackets; Human; humpback whale; implant; implosion; inertial dampers; infiltrator; intoxication; jacket; "jerko"; killing; Kirk, James T.; kiss; Kitsilano; Klingon; knife; Kula; lieutenant; lieutenant commander; liquid; long range sensors; Lore; Lortian; lover; lunar debris; lunch; M-113 creature (salt succubus); M'tari; maniac; Marpole; marshmallows; meal; medical; medical tricorder; melting; mess; minute; Mixtus inhabitant; Mixtus II; Mixtus II settler's wife; Mixtus III; month; moon; moon dust; murder; murderers; name; neighbor; necklace; neural parasite; night; nudity; Olympic-class; orbital platform; Orbital Platform Gamma; organic; Orion; outfit; PADD; parasite; Parliament-class; party; password; people; person; personal log; phaser (type 2 phaser); pheromones; Phylosian; Phylosian tactical officer; planet; plant; plasma fire; pollution; positronic brain; Prime Directive; psycho; program; pulling; purple; Q; Quito, USS; reading; recording; red alert; relocation; replicator; reptoid; Riker, Will; rompers; Romulan; scanner; scent; second; Sendu IV; Sequoia; sex; ship; shuttlebay; sinks; size; skull; smell; sprinkles; spy; Sqill; stardate; Starfleet; Starfleet insignia; Starfleet uniform (2370s); Starfleet uniform (early 2380s); stealing; story; stuff; stun; Suliban; sundae; sunglasses; surgical alteration; T88; tail; teddy bear; tell; Terok Nor-type; "thang"; thermal mesh; tides; time; toilets; tone; tons; tractor spread; transfer; transfer order; transporter clone; tricorder (Starfleet tricorder); Tucker, Trip; tritanium; turbolift; Type 6A shuttlecraft; Vancouver, USS; Vendu; VISOR; Vulcan; walk; warp 7; wife; wink; worship; Yeti; Yosemite

Meta references

bleep; censor bar

External link


Previous episode:
"Moist Vessel"
Star Trek: Lower Decks
Season 1
Next episode:
"Terminal Provocations"
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