(written from a Production point of view)
This page contains information regarding Star Trek: Lower Decks, and thus may contain spoilers.
In the season two finale, the USS Cerritos is tasked to aid another starship on a first contact mission.
- 1 Summary
- 2 Memorable Quotes
- 3 Background information
- 4 Links and references
- "Captain's log, Stardate 58130.6. The Cerritos has rendezvoused with the Archimedes, and my old friend, Captain Sonya Gomez, so that we can assist in her first contact of the Lapeerians."
Captain Carol Freeman is being briefed about the Laap system by Admiral Freeman and given instructions for how the Cerritos will assist Gomez in this mission. Gomez instructs Freeman that the Cerritos will be positioned outside the system, as Gomez doesn't want to intimidate the Lapeerians with the sight of multiple ships. As they complete the briefing, Admiral Freeman hands Captain Freeman a glass of champagne, saying "I've heard that congratulations are in order."
Ensign Beckett Mariner is carrying a box of contraband, when she bumps into Ensign Jennifer Sh'reyan, causing the contents to spill out. Mariner begrudgingly asks her not to tell Commander Jack Ransom about it, and Sh'reyan just walks away, not caring about the incident. While Mariner continues to clean up her mess, Freeman and Gomez walk out of a nearby room, and she overhears Gomez telling Freeman that as she will not be able to transfer her senior staff from the Cerritos as Starfleet Command like to keep a real sense of consistency with California-class crews, so she may need to make some "tearful goodbyes."
In the repair bay, Ensigns Brad Boimler, D'Vana Tendi, and Sam Rutherford are working, when Rutherford's cybernetic implant obstructs his vision with an alert. Rutherford asks Boimler if he can take over his upcoming shift in Cetacean Ops while he gets it fixed, but Boimler is too busy preparing decorations for Captain Freeman Day. Mariner walks into the repair bay and tells them that she overheard that Freeman will be getting a promotion, and while the others express excitement for her, Mariner is more hesitant. Boimler asks if Ransom would be willing to move up Captain Freeman Day to better line up for Freeman's promotion, and Mariner says that Freeman hasn't told him yet, and that once she does, he'd likely be "super pissed" about it, which gives her an idea to tell him, and she excitedly runs off to go find him, while Boimler protests. Tendi then gets called by Dr. T'Ana to report to her office, and she can't help but wonder if T'Ana is mad at her. Rutherford assures her that she's overthinking it, and this reassures Tendi.
In the mess hall, Ransom is socializing with Andy Billups and Shaxs when Mariner sits at their booth. While Ransom tries to dismiss her, Mariner tells them that she has something that they will want to hear.
The Cerritos and Archimedes disembark for the Laap system, and Freeman asks Ransom to take them out, and Ransom begrudgingly acknowledges her order. She asks Shaxs about the repairs to the phasers, and he angrily tells her that if he had an update, he would tell her. Billups then emotionally says that the ship is ready for warp, while Freeman wonders why everyone's mood seems to have soured. As the ship goes to warp, she angrily tells her senior staff to report to her ready room.
Tendi is about to enter T'Ana's office, when she sees her talking with Nurse Westlake, saying that Tendi is not cut out for being in Starfleet Medical, before deleting her profile from the medical roster. Horrified by this, Tendi runs off, while T'Ana realizes that she's nearby by her scent.
In Freeman's ready room, Freeman angrily demands to know what's going on, and Mariner admits that she overheard that she will be getting a promotion, and a new ship, and the senior staff voice their grievances. Freeman tries to say that she would take them with her if she could, but before she can say anything else, Mariner asks who the new captain will be. Ransom is confident that he will assume the role, before Freeman says that they will be bringing on someone new, which causes further anger amidst the senior staff.
In the lower decks crew bunks, Tendi rushes up to Rutherford, and tells him that she's afraid she's going to be transfered, as she saw T'Ana delete her from the system. Rutherford looks up the medical roster, and confirms that her name is no longer there, and Tendi begins to cry, as she will miss the Cerritos so much. Rutherford then gets an idea for them to visit all her favorite places on the ship one final time so that she can have a proper goodbye. Tendi is cheered up by the idea, and leads the way, as Rutherford's implant is still impeding on his vision.
In the Laap system, the Archimedes drops out of warp, and Gomez tells her helm to take them in nice and slow, hoping the Lapeerians will get a chance to notice their arrival, and scan them.
Tendi and Rutherford make their way around the Cerritos, narrowly avoiding T'Ana at the warp core, who is activly looking for Tendi. They find themselves in the exact spot in the Jefferies tubes, where they watched the Trivoli pulsar together, and Tendi once more gets emotional, saying that while they are advised not to get too attached to your ship, it is incredibly hard not to. Rutherford then admits that he loves the Cerritos as well, and they embrace one another. Rutherford then says that he has an idea of an off-limits area they should go to next.
Back in Freeman's ready room, the senior staff are still angry about the situation, and Freeman tells them that their complaints are noted, and orders them back to their stations. Freeman then takes Mariner aside, and furiously tells her that she was going to tell them all at the right time. Mariner replies that as they're her friends, they should know, but Freeman says she can't allow her personal feelings about them to impede on this kind of decision. As they continue to argue, a red alert interrupts them, and they rush on to the bridge. Asking for a report, Boimler tells them that the Lapeerian sun has emit an unpredicted solar flare, which is heading straight for an unstable planetoid.
The flare envelops the planetoid, and destroys it, sending out a wave of magnetized ionic plasma. The wave hits the Archimedes, overloading its systems, causing the ship to fall into a blackout, and go adrift.
The Archimedes' crew recovers from the plasma wave impact but finds the ship disabled, with warp core offline and backup power cells down. However, the momentum from the impact had kept the ship moving. Furthermore, the crew realizes that the Archimedes has also fallen into the gravity well of the Lapeerian homeworld, and the ship will crash into the planet if they cannot restore power.
The Cerritos' bridge crew monitors the situation and quickly realizes that the Archimedes has twenty hours until it crashes into the Lapeerian homeworld and cause catastrophic damage to the planet. Freeman initially plans to use tractor beam on the Archimedes, but Billups informs her that the Cerritos could not get close enough due to high concentration of radiolytic isotopes within the planetoid debris which has been caught in orbit between the two ships. If any piece of the debris as small as a pomegranate was to hit the shields, the Cerritos' systems would be similarly disabled. Boimler also notes that any energy field would attract the debris, making the deflector unsuitable to help. Kayshon proposes warping past the debris, but other officers berate at the suggestion. Freeman asks if there is anything they can do to help, even breaking rules to do so, but Mariner replies that she does not know. Freeman then leaves the bridge in frustration.
Mariner follows Freeman to the captain's yacht, where Tendi and Rutherford have been secretly eating ice cream cones before running to hide. Freeman intends to take the yacht through the debris to get to the Archimedes, but Mariner states that as Freeman hasn't piloted anything in years, she is better suited to fly the yacht. As they argue, Tendi wonders if Mariner and Freeman often come to the yacht to fight, while Rutherford notes the ionic plasma within the debris. Freeman and Mariner continue to argue, and Mariner says that she isn't going to let Freeman get herself killed, comparing herself to James T. Kirk. Freeman says that Mariner is not as confident as she once was, and that she gets in too many fights, instead needs to drop her defenses and make some allies. Rutherford enters yacht's cockpit and suggests that dropping defenses is how they can save the Archimedes. Freeman says that even if they lower their shields, the hull has magnetic shielding that they cannot discharge, and Rutherford suggests removing the hull. Freeman then realizes that he's referring to the removal of the outer hull, while keeping the inner hull intact. Rutherford notes that the inner hull will still protect them from the vacuum of space, and since they will not go into warp, the protection of the outer hull will not be needed.
Freeman runs the plan by Billups, who confirms that while the ship might take a beating, the plan could work. Freeman then calls all officers, regardless of their duties, to help strip the Cerritos of its outer hull. The crew begins a massive space walk and works tirelessly to strip the ship, when Rutherford's implant once again impedes his vision. Billups makes a reading and realizes that his implant's storage has maxed out, and Rutherford says that since he lost his memories of Tendi last year, he creates three backups of new memories with her in case he were to lose them again. Billups advises Rutherford that if new memory with Tendi cannot be made, it doesn't matter if old memory was kept.
On the bridge, as power down would make the viewscreen useless, it is detached from the ship, as Ransom will have to pilot the ship by sight.
Back on the Archimedes, Gomez is working tirelessly to try and get some shuttlecraft operational, but is unsuccessful. Her first officer is worried that she needs some rest, but Gomez refuses to rest while the ship remains in its blackout.
Freeman and Mariner enter the ship from their work on the hull, and while they seal off a hatch, Freeman tries to make light of the situation, in that at the very least, when she's gone, Mariner won't have someone consistently angering her anymore. Mariner gets upset that Freeman is always trying to change her, and that she is glad that Freeman will be getting transferred off the ship as she never wants to work with her again.
As the Cerritos is nearly stripped of its outer hull, Billups alerts Freeman of one last panel that cannot be released outside, and that it needs to be released manually from inside the ship. Out of time, Freeman orders the Cerritos to enter the debris field, hoping the panel can be released during the transit. Ransom activates the manual steering column and takes the Cerritos into the debris field.
Rutherford and Tendi are running through the Cerritos corridors, and Rutherford's implant once more impedes his vision, and realizing he cannot keep ignoring the problem, he reluctantly purges his backup memories. However, as he does this, he inadvertently comes upon a memory he doesn't recognize, in which he sees two people giving him his implant. After he ponders it for a moment, he calls over Boimler and Mariner, and they enter Cetacean Ops, and Rutherford calls two beluga whale lieutenant junior grades named Kimolu and Matt. Rutherford tells them the control node to release the last hull panel is deep inside hydrotube within Cetacean Ops. As the whales cannot release the panel themselves, Mariner decides to swim down herself to do it, but complains that while she would save the day, her mother would get the credit for it. Boimler angrily tells Mariner to stop, and that she's just upset that her mother is leaving. Mariner admits this, and tells them of their recent fight. While they try to tell her to go and reconcile with her mother, Mariner tells them that they don't understand her family, which causes Tendi to tell her they're her family, and that she will regret not reconciling with her mother if it's potentially their last moment together. Mariner relents, and rushes to the bridge, while Boimler gets ready to dive down to the magnetic clamps. While nervous, he gets himself ready, and dives into the water, escorted by Kimolu and Matt.
As Ransom continues to navigate the Cerritos towards the debris field, Mariner enters the bridge, and hugs Freeman, apologizing. Freeman says that she was also being a bit of a "jerk" as well, and orders Mariner to help navigate where the viewscreen was. She takes a position near Sh'reyan, and Freeman orders to get ready to cut the power. Billups warns her that the panel is still on the hull, but Mariner says that Boimler is taking care of it.
Down in Cetacean Ops, Boimler is struggling with the clamps, but finally manages to dislodge the panel. As the panel is freed, Freeman has the power cut, and the Cerritos enters the debris field. Boimler is happy he was successful but quickly realizes that as he dislodged the panel, his EV suit has been compromised, and is quickly flooding with water. Removing his flooded helmet, he swims as fast as he can to get out of the tunnel, but gets caught before he can leave the hydrotube. As he reaches for the surface, he loses consciousness.
Ransom continues to navigate the Cerritos through the debris field, while Tendi and Rutherford get worried when Boimler doesn't resurface. Kimolu and Matt are able to bring Boimler's unconscious body up, but Tendi realizes that Boimler is in cardiac arrest, and begins CPR. Tendi successfully resuscitates Boimler and he coughs up the water he has swallowed. Kimolu excitedly invites them to go skinny dipping. A dazed Boimler mentions that he saw a koala, but Tendi suggests he keeps that to himself.
Ransom continues to pilot the Cerritos through the debris field, but a massive piece of debris gets in their way. Unable to avoid it in time, the piece collides with the Cerritos, resulting in Mariner losing her position, and getting thrust out into the vacuum of space. However, before she drifts too far away, Sh'reyan makes her way onto the hull, and grabs her. However, their joy is short-lived as even more debris gets directly in the path of the Cerritos.
The Archimedes is just minutes away from entering the planet's atmosphere. While Gomez tries to give her crew the best chance of survival by ordering them to the back of the ship, they choose to stay with her. Archimedes' starboard warp nacelle is torn away from the stress of hitting the atmosphere. The Lapeerians on the surface watches excitedly not knowing about the pending disaster. Before she can plummet further, the Archimedes is tractored into stable orbit by the Cerritos, having successfully navigated the debris field.
Later, Freeman, Mariner, Ransom, and Shaxs beam down to the planet, and as they ready themselves to meet the Lapeerian leaders, Mariner commends her mother. While she's nervous, Freeman approaches the Lapeerians, and begins the greeting of first contact, but is interrupted by a friendly hug by the Lapeerian leader. He then invites them all for a drink.
In sickbay, Tendi is helping to treat injuries suffered from traveling through the debris field, and Dr. T'Ana calls her over. Tendi reluctantly approaches her, and sadly says that she knows she doesn't belong in sickbay. T'Ana agrees, and says that the way Tendi masters herself in anything she does is unsettling. She surprises Tendi by saying she's moving her from medical to senior science officer training, much to the delight of Tendi, who hugs her in appreciation. T'Ana happily returns the hug and purrs.
The Cerritos and the Archimedes are joined in orbit by other Starfleet vessels, including a Parliament-class, an Oberth-class, a Nova-class, and another California-class starship. As the crew celebrates their first first contact, Shaxs tells an intoxicated Freeman that the repairs on the Archimedes are going well. Mariner also thanks Sh'reyan for saving her life, and Sh'reyan apologizes for how she's treated her throughout the year. As the two reconcile, they commend Brad for his actions in Cetacean Ops. Freeman then offers a toast to the Cerritos. As the crew cheers, an officer contacts Freeman that a team from Starfleet Command is requesting to come aboard. Freeman has them beamed to the senior conference room. The bridge crew and Mariner all express how happy they are for Freeman, and wish her well on her new ship, Freeman surprises them and says she is turning down her transfer, saying that working so hard for her transfer blinded her to the fact that she's already happy where she is.
They go to the conference room to tell the officers of her intention to remain on the Cerritos, and are greeted by Commander Mandel. As Freeman begins to turn down her transfer, Mandel says that she doesn't have a choice. Freeman is then put in handcuffs, and arrested for the destruction of Pakled Planet to the shock of the others. Mandel informs Freeman that they have proof that she collaborated with Klingon extremists to destroy Pakled Planet by planting a Varuvian bomb in the capital city. While the others voice their objections, Freeman orders them to stand down, confident they have the truth on their side. She also doesn't want the crew to know about her arrest until they learn more, but as they leave, the entire crew has already lined up, ready to wish her well on her transfer. Their joy quickly turns to shock as she is escorted out of the hall in cuffs. They make way in silence for the officers, and watch as Freeman is taken from the ship.
The Cerritos' crew watches as the Nova-class starship to which Freeman was taken powers its engines, and goes to warp…
TO BE CONTINUED…
"Maybe everyone feels like they should know more about what's going on on the ship like need-to-know stuff that they don't know, you know?"
- - Mariner
"You're lucky I'm so spiritually centered, or I'd snap!"
- - Shaxs
"Uh, I'm okay. Please don't, it's fine."
"Don't worry about it. I've done way worse in front of much more intimidating captains."
- - an Archimedes ensign and Gomez
"Attention all hands, report to your commanding officers. The Archimedes needs our help, so we have to remove our hull one panel at a time. I'm calling on every officer, no matter what your usual duties are. We have to work together. It'll be close, people; our lives will be on the line. But we are Starfleet, and we never back down from a challenge. Now, get to work. Cerritos strong! Oh, and the ballroom dancing competition will have to be postponed."
- - Freeman, to the crew of the Cerritos
"Last year, I lost all my memories of Tendi, so whenever I make a new one, I save three copies just in case it happens again."
"Well, it's only going to get worse until you free up some space."
"But what if I forget her again?"
"Son, if you can't keep making new memories, does it matter?"
- - Rutherford and Billups
"WE ARE YOUR FAMILY! We will always be there for you and right now, we're heading right into a pile of crazy dangerous space debris!"
- - Tendi, to Mariner
"So, you guys doing anything for Captain Freeman Day?"
"No. That's for calves."
- - Boimler and Kimolu
"He's not breathing!"
"His blowhole's broken!"
- - Kimolu and Matt, about Boimler
"Nothing like saving your friend, then going skinny dipping!"
- - Kimolu
"You shouldn't be treating phaser burns. I'm moving you into senior science officer training."
"Wait, like to work on the bridge? Like Jadzia Dax?"
"Who the *bleep* is that? I don't know who that is. No, like Spock."
- - T'Ana and Tendi
"Starfleet Security. This woman is under arrest."
- - Mandel, arresting Freeman
- The title was announced in a ViacomCBS press release on 12 October 2021. 
- This is the first Star Trek episode to feature the intertitle "To Be Continued..." since the Star Trek: Enterprise fourth season episode "Demons".
- According to series creator Mike McMahan, the USS Archimedes, which features in this episode, is an Obena-class vessel, "inspired by the Excelsior-class (which is still in service), but larger with some other changes."  The Obena class is named for Lower Decks art designer Nollan Obena. 
- This episode featured the return of another character crossover from Star Trek: The Next Generation: Sonya Gomez from the season 2 episodes "Q Who" and "Samaritan Snare", performed by the character's original actress Lycia Naff. Here, she has transferred to command division and been promoted to captain.
- When Gomez helps a nervous ensign who trips, she explains how she's done way worse in front of much more intimidating captains referencing when she was an ensign, she ordered hot chocolate from a replicator and brought it into engineering, and when trying to get rid of it, she accidently spilled it on Captain Picard's uniform in TNG: "Q Who".
Links and references
- Tawny Newsome as Beckett Mariner
- Jack Quaid as Brad Boimler
- Noël Wells as D'Vana Tendi
- Eugene Cordero as Sam Rutherford
- Dawnn Lewis as Carol Freeman
- Jerry O'Connell as Jack Ransom
- Fred Tatasciore as Shaxs
- Gillian Vigman as T'Ana
Special guest star
- Phil LaMarr as
- Lauren Lapkus as Jennifer Sh'reyan
- Jim Piddock as Mandel
- Ryan Ridley as Bajoran ops ensign
- Paul Scheer as Andy Billups
- Carl Tart as Kayshon
- Characters with unidentified voices
- Jet Manhaver
- Pon Darra
- Rumdar (photo)
- Steve Stevens
- Antaran ops ens
- Archimedes Human officers
- Archimedes Tellarite officer
- Archimedes Vulcan officer
- Benzite cmd ens
- Haliian ops lt
- Human cmd lt 2
- Human ops ens 1
- Human ops ens 2
- Human ops lt jg 2
- Human ops lt 3
- Human ops cmdr
- Human sci ens 3
- Human sci lt
- Kzinti cmd ens
- Napean ops lt
- Pakled leader (photo)
- Pakled rebels (photo)
- Starfleet Security ens 1
- Starfleet Security ens 2
- Starfleet Security ens 3
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Medical Roster references
Tanowski; Teagarden; Teague; Tegtmeir; Tehrani; Te' Mpest; Tellman; Tennyson; Ter Haar; Ter' Esi; Teshime
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