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An accident while investigating a time portal sends Ensigns Beckett Mariner and Bradward Boimler through time from the 24th century, and Captain Pike and his crew must get them back where they belong before they can alter the timeline.

Summary[]

Teaser[]

"Ensign's log, stardate 58460.1. The Cerritos has just entered the orbit of Krulmuth-B, home of the Krulmuth-B portal, one of my all-time favorite portals. We're taking routine portal readings and making sure the portal area is free of any portal problems."

In 2381, the USS Cerritos arrives on the planet Krulmuth-B, home to a portal discovered by Captain Pike and the USS Enterprise. Ensign Brad Boimler, a self-described "history buff", is excited at the prospect. His friend Beckett Mariner is less so, saying it will just be like any other portal, they are only there to run routine scans, and it hasn't done anything in 120 years. Boimler's enthusiasm is undampened, expecting that perhaps something will happen, and imagines what it would have been like to be part of "Those Old Scientists", saying it would be the closest they would get to Spock or "Numero Una" (which Mariner says no one called her), and standing in the same spot as Uhura. Mariner admits she thinks Uhura "cool as hell", mainly because she had a life outside of work, and suggests Boimler try it. Sam Rutherford shows a similar enthusiasm for "scanning teleron radiation", saying he enjoys scanning new things for his collection, and shares a high-five with D'Vana Tendi for "science". Mariner urges them to head down, and she will brief them on the way; Commander Ransom has placed her in charge of the mission, because he figured it would "bum [her] out" because she finds portals boring.

Beaming to the surface, Mariner points the away team to the "ancient inactive thingy" and tells them to check that it is still non-functional. Boimler and Tendi begin arguing its origins; while Boimler stands by its being discovered by the Enterprise, Tendi insists it was actually found by an Orion science vessel, and her great-grandmother had been a member of the crew. Boimler questions whether the Orions were actually "doing science stuff" in the 23rd century, inadvertently offending Tendi with the implication that all Orions were pirates. "Some Orions might surprise you," she says with a glare before walking off. Mariner suggests that maybe Boimler, despite knowing "everything about everything", should listen to Tendi. Rutherford gets their attention by detecting traces of horonium, an element not recorded for centuries. Boimler points out that the NX-class used horonium in its hull, which gave it the "right shade of gray". He imagines Spock standing in front of the portal, and earns an unwanted laugh from his impersonation of the famous Vulcan. Mariner tells him to try "living in the now", but Boimler wishes he could have lived in that era. Mariner thinks otherwise, saying it's "no big deal" with disappointing people in their current time, but in that era, she would be disappointing Uhura. Boimler thinks that would be "cool", and Mariner emphatically does not. Rutherford asks Boimler to do his best "Spock pose" for a picture; as he does, the portal unexpectedly activates, pulling Boimler through.

Boimler is thrown out of the portal, right at the feet of Spock, Una, and La'an. Looking up at them, he tells them they look "very realistic", before passing out. Una calls the Enterprise and reports they might have a problem.

Act One[]

"Captain's log, stardate 2291.6. En route to deliver a crucial shipment of grain to a colony on Setlik II, we encountered something more pressing: a time traveler."

The Enterprise is conducting a routine survey of Krulmuth-B on its way to deliver food supplies to Setlik II. Una shows Boimler's combadge to Pike, explaining that it is also a communicator as well as insignia. Pike thinks flipping open the communicator was the best part, and Una agrees she likes theirs better too.

Upon seeing Pike standing over him as he comes to in sickbay, Boimler calls for the computer to end the program, thinking he is in a holodeck simulation. When nothing happens, he reaches out tentatively to poke Pike on the shoulder, and realizes it is not a simulation; he is actually aboard the Enterprise, speaking to the real Pike. He asks for the stardate, and upon hearing the lower number, tries to give some kind of evasive answer to mask his actual origin, but Pike reveals to Boimler's relief that they already know he is from the future. He explains he is from 120 years in the future, to which Pike jokes he doesn't look a day over one hundred. Boimler laughs hysterically at the idea of a "funny captain", then all but jumps off the biobed when Una hands him his combadge, staring at her in shock. Pike introduces him to her and to La'an, the latter of whom escorts him through the ship. Una wonders about the "weird" reaction, thinking he knows something about her future. Pike begins to give a negative answer, then stops, unsure himself.

Boimler excitedly notices the classic S/COMS operating system of the ship's computer, but La'an stops him from pushing any buttons before reminding him of temporal protocols: Firstly, no getting involved in past events; secondly, no sharing knowledge of the future (Boimler promises not to reveal any further information, "Worf's honor", then realizes what he just said); and thirdly, no making attachments. Boimler is unfamiliar with the last, wondering if it is a new addition. La'an admits it is more from her own time travel experience. A small change wouldn't be noticable to them in the present, but it could alter Boimler's future.

Boimler paces in Pike's ready room, seeing the saddle from Pike's horse. He muses to himself that touching it can't possibly change the future. After laying his hands on it, he decides to do the "Riker Maneuver" to haul himself up into it. He looks up to see Uhura looking at him curiously, and he soon realizes who she is, mentioning that Mariner would be "freaking out" at that. Uhura is unsure what to make of this, but says only she needs the space to work to decipher an entire ancient language. Just then, La'an calls Boimler to the transporter room to return to the surface.

Down below with Spock and Dr. M'Benga, Boimler cannot help but stare at men who are legends in his time, and Spock happens to notice. Boimler also notes M'Benga's "classic" tricorder and asks to hold it. Boimler marvels at how they never truly improved on the design in his time, the only differences being that the kind he was used to was smaller and less likely to explode (which worries the doctor somewhat). Spock calls their attention back to business, asking what Boimler was doing when the portal activated. Boimler moves to where he had been standing, explaining how Rutherford had found horonium traces, which Spock confirms; Rutherford had taken a holo-image with his camera, which emitted radioisotopes that activated the portal, which makes him think it was "dumb luck". To his absolute shock, Spock laughs at the idea, considering the idea of assigning intelligence to chance "ridiculous". Boimler quietly asks M'Benga if Spock always laughs, or if that was new, to which M'Benga tells him it is definitely new.

Pike then calls from the ship, saying there is a situation; an unidentified ship is closing in, and he wants the landing party back aboard and summoned to the bridge. Ortegas thinks the ship might be Orion, and Pike calls for yellow alert, shields up. Una reports that the Orion ship's shields are still down, weapons inactive, though La'an knows some Orion ships are designed to fool sensors. Just then, Spock, Uhura, and Boimler step out of the turbolift. Boimler becomes incredibly excited at standing on the bridge of the Enterprise, "NCC-1701-dash-nothing" (leading La'an to wonder what would come after the dash). As Boimler reaches for the controls on Pike's chair, the captain stops him and has him stand by the nearby railing. Seeing the vessel on screen, he instantly recognizes the ship as a "classic" Orion scout ship, having built one as a ship in a bottle. Uhura reports no response to hails, and Boimler becomes alarmed when Pike orders a photon torpedo spread. Remembering what Tendi told him, he tries to convince Pike it is in fact a science vessel, and that he "happens to know" the ship is peaceful. The Orions finally hail them; it is Captain Harr Caras of the science vessel D'Var. Pike explains they have come to the sector to aid Federation colonies attacked by Orion pirates, and Caras agrees that the pirates give Orions a bad name. Just then, however, Spock detects a transporter signal – the Orions have beamed up the portal. Caras says the science officer is mistaken, but cuts the communication… and the D'Var then goes to warp.

Pike turns to glare at Boimler, who looks distinctly embarrassed.

Act Two[]

In his ready room, Pike confesses to Una that he may have made a mistake in listening to Boimler, admitting that it was rare to meet someone who was a fan of his. Una thinks Boimler is terrified of her for some reason, but for Pike, seeing someone looking at him like Boimler made his future not seem so bad (knowing full well what his future will be), but with Boimler now altering time, he feels like he's "trying to stop a toddler from knocking over the furniture". He asks where Boimler is now.

At that moment, Boimler is in the crew lounge, picking up a PADD to input some warp field equations, when he is approached by Ortegas and Nurse Chapel, who startle him. Ortegas jokes that she hopes he is not inputting any future knowledge, before making clear she is joking. Chapel asks whether he is at the point of "uncontrollable vomiting" from exposure to chroniton radiation, but Ortegas' barely-suppressed laughter makes it clear that they are both joking with him. Ortegas asks what the future is like, like if they had jetpacks – which Chapel points out they had in their time, but Ortegas wonders if they were smaller. Boimler turns the tables by asking what life is like on the Enterprise, if it is non-stop excitement, meeting new alien races that are actually "alien" to them. He calls their time the "golden age of exploration", and is jealous of the fact that they got to live it. Chapel asks about where Uhura is, and Ortegas notes she is probably working as usual; she didn't even attend their movie night. Ortegas suggests Boimler attend the next one. Boimler wonders if this is something for Pike's birthday, mentioning that in the future, Pike's Birthday is a United Federation of Planets holiday, before again realizing what he said and asking them not to tell La'an. Ortegas and Chapel, however, are taken with the idea of giving Pike a birthday party, and promise to give Boimler all the credit. Chapel rises to leave, and Boimler looks up to see Spock in the doorway… with a big smile on his face.

Boimler chases Chapel down the corridor, saying he needs to tell her about Spock. The Spock he's read about is "legendary" for never smiling, laughing, or joking, and he is concerned he did something because he made Spock laugh, and is worried about something he might have done. As Boimler babbles on about what he knows about Spock's history, Chapel stops him short and assures him that it is not his fault; Spock was acting that way before Boimler arrived. Boimler wonders if it is just a "phase" and he would be back to his "real, serious" self soon; the look on Chapel's face makes him realize that it was she who was influencing him. Chapel realizes that Boimler is implying that her relationship with Spock will not last. Boimler is mortified, and knows he has to get off the ship before he creates any more problems.

On the bridge, Spock explains that he is unable to track the Orion ship, but Boimler offers his assistance. He knows he is not supposed to provide future information, but suggests that he does so, but they just "don't look". Una laughs incredulously at the idea, but exchanging looks with the others, she wonders if maybe they can… and they proceed to do just that, with Boimler at work under the science panel. He successfully brings the Enterprise to the location of the D'Var. Taking a risk, Boimler pleads with Pike for a diplomatic solution, and reveals what Tendi told him about her great-grandmother being a member of the D'Var's crew; any hostile action could possibly erase Tendi from existence. He knows diplomacy is one of Pike's many strengths, along with patience, forgiveness, benevolence, and "really great hair".

Mustering his aforementioned patience, Pike orders hailing frequencies to the Orions. Spock warns the D'Var is charging its warp coils, and Una orders La'an to lock phasers on their engines. Caras answers, calling it a "remarkable coincidence" for them to be meeting there. Pike explains they may have "accidentally" beamed an ancient portal onboard, and requests its return. Caras makes clear he will not be made to negotiate with weapons locked on his ship, and Pike orders La'an to stand down phasers. Caras wants Pike to "persuade" him to return the portal, and Pike asks how he would like to be persuaded. The Orion asks for a moment to consider, before closing the channel. Pike asks for ideas, immediately shooting Boimler down when he is the first to offer. Boimler speaks in a low voice to Spock, telling him to suggest offering a trade, which Orions would recognize as a gesture of respect, but Pike can hear him clearly despite the span of the room. Spock reports the D'Var is scanning their cargo bay. Then Caras is back on screen, mentioning that he has detected a cargo of tritriticale grain in the Enterprise's hold; giving it to him would be "persuasive". Pike glances over at Una, who gives a slight nod of her head. Pike agrees, to Boimler's relief.

Boimler, Pike, Spock, and La'an return with the portal to Krulmuth-B. Spock's scans show it is nearly depleted of horonium, but has enough for one more trip. Boimler admits the situation didn't turn out to be ideal (indeed, potentially reality-threatening), but he considers meeting them one of the greatest experiences of his life. Pike concedes it had been an "unexpected day" for all of them, but advises for the sake of the future that he not come back. As he steps onto the portal, it activates, and he looks back one last time at the legendary figures. But just as he prepares to step through, Mariner barrels through it and right into him, having leapt through the open portal from the other side to try to rescue him. Remembering what Spock just said about being only enough for one trip, Boimler is horrified. But Mariner, much like Boimler had been when he first came through, looks excited as she realizes she has just traveled through time, seeing the old uniforms, and asking if Uhura is actually there. An exasperated Pike pulls out his communicator, calling for five to beam up.

Act Three[]

Back on the Enterprise, Boimler tells Mariner that if she had waited just one more second, he would have come through on his own. She, however, was more concerned about him (particularly that he got "sucked through a vortex" on a mission she was leading), and worried he had gotten killed or trapped in a dystopian San Francisco. Una notes the specificity of their references to Spock. Mariner, meanwhile, admits she was unprepared for how "hot" the younger Spock would be. Boimler, still unnerved by what he has seen in Spock since he came aboard, says simply Spock is "full of surprises". Pike brings them all back to business despite the "recent complication", which also needs a solution. La'an considers one time traveler a security threat, and Una considers two a disaster. Mariner questions Boimler on the Enterprise crew's attitude, as she thought he said Pike and his crew were "cool"; Boimler says they were, but this is serious. Pike asks about the portal; Spock reports it is still functional, but without horonium they cannot activate it. Una adds there have been no sources of horonium in that quadrant for a hundred years. Mariner suggests they just "cook some up". To her surprise, "Hot Spock" (as she calls him) agrees that they could use the matter synthesizer, but at great risk; if it went wrong, the blast would destroy half the ship, and the synthetic material night not work. Una offers a second option: the ancient text on the portal, which Uhura has been locked away in her quarters working on since they arrived. Mariner says she has some linguistics training and offers to help. Pike's better judgment tells him he shouldn't, but he decides to gamble, wondering how much more harm they could do, and so agrees. Boimler questions Mariner's "linguistics training", and she admits she lied, but wouldn't miss the chance to meet Uhura, warning him not to mess it up for her. She then suggests pairing Boimler off with Spock, mentioning that Boimler had taken an elective in material synthesis at Starfleet Academy. Boimler says it had just been "for fun", and thinks Spock doen't need his help. Spock, however, welcomes the extra pair of hands – if Boimler doesn't mind losing one of them. Spock's smile unnerves Mariner just as much as it did Boimler, and Boimler tells her to just go with it.

Catching up to Mariner in the corridor, Boimler asks why she paired him off with Spock. Mariner scoffs at his protests, thinking working with Spock was one of the "weird boxes" he checked off, but Boimler had worked with Spock, and it hadn't gone the way he hoped. He admits he wanted to see this time for himself, but now he doesn't want to get stuck in it. He joined Starfleet to help make history, but if they are stuck in the 23rd century, they will be forced to live in hiding, "off the grid", and not make history at all. Mariner doesn't like that idea at all, saying she thrives on "grid". As they speak, Una approaches from behind Mariner, causing Boimler to panic and quickly make his exit. Una wonders why the people from the future are looking at her like she is doomed, to which Mariner says it was because of who she was – and that Boimler has a poster of her pinned on the wall next to his bunk. Una digests this information, then realizes she doesn't want to know, and emphasizes that fact as she walks away.

In Uhura's quarters, Mariner is having much the same reaction to being next to her hero as Boimler had with his, admitting she has always admired Uhura as being both carefree but also a "grade-A translating space adventurer". Uhura finds it unusual that she knows anything about her at all, and is briefly curious about what Mariner does know – then decides maybe not. Mariner refers to her as both a hard worker and fearless in the face of danger (even against threats she hasn't actually met yet), but at the same time one who knew how to have fun. Uhura admits to feeling the pressure now; she is just 22 years old, and has barely done anything worth admiring yet, while at the moment having trouble with a basic translation. At the same time, Ortegas is urging her to have more fun, yet she wonders how she can when she has to become "this universally-known, super-translating, unflappable, hard-working badass". Mariner suggests they take a break. Uhura is not one for taking breaks, which Mariner obviously notices before mentioning Starfleet's labor codes – specifically Section 48 Alpha-7, mandating meal breaks at regular intervals, jokingly threatening to put Uhura on report. Uhura is surprised Mariner knows Starfleet codes. Mariner admits there are a few that let one "slack off a ton", and urges her to come along.

In the crew lounge, Mariner makes Orion hurricanes for herself, Uhura, and Ortegas, though she admits she had to improvise because there is no Orion delaq onboard. Ortegas has taken a liking to Mariner, calling her a "good bad influence", and ponders inviting her to Pike's surprise party if she is still onboard when it happens. Mariner is all for it, provided she can take pictures and "weird out" her mother with a history book; she then says she was joking, "sort of". Even with a drink in hand, Uhura is still looking over her language studies. Uhura wonders why everyone is obsessed with her taking breaks, believing it isn't the time. Ortegas tells her about her time during the Federation-Klingon War, when one never knew when they would be able to rest, so they took their breaks when they could; her work would still be there in five minutes. Uhura finally gives in and sets her PADD down, but Ortegas spots something she recognizes. On Starbase Earhart, someone tried to trade her an ancient dom-jot set, with markings similar to what she sees on Uhura's PADD. Uhura is not familiar with the game, but both Ortegas and Mariner are, the latter recalling it was a game Nausicaans like to bet on. Uhura realizes Ortegas is on to something: the script is similar to an ancient Nausicaan dialect.

In the science lab, as they work on the synthetic horonium, Spock tells Boimler that Chapel was upset about something Boimler said to her about Spock's future, and wonders if he should know. Boimler tries to stay mum at first, but Spock can obviously see that his experiments with Human emotions bother him, and the future that Boimler knows is one where Spock minimizes his emotions. Boimler finally admits this to be so, that the universe needed "Vulcan Spock" for things to be as he knows. At the same time, Spock must stay true to the path he has chosen at that time; if Boimler sways him, his future might be altered. Boimler agrees that this would, unfortunately, be the logical way to see it. Spock then asks if he is ready to activate the synthesizer. Boimler is nervous, wondering if he might indeed lose a hand, and Spock says that they are separating fissile isotopes at high speeds, and puts the chance of an explosion down to a coin flip, mentioning that he has become curious about chance… and asks, with an unnerving smile on his face, if Boimler feels lucky. Boimler most certainly does not, and is even less so as sparks begin flying from the synthesizer. Screaming hysterically, Boimler ducks for cover as the synthesizer explodes. As the smoke clears, Boimler looks at the damage. "I've ruined everything," he laments.

In engineering, Boimler is alone with his thoughts when he is approached by Pelia, who comments on the soothing nature of a properly-calibrated warp core, before identifying him as one of the "future kids". Boimler replies he might now be one of the "stuck-here kids"–and he's a grown man. He asks if they found more grain for the colonists on Setlik II. Pelia tells him that "more" was never on the table; what the Enterprise was carrying was all they had, specifically made to grow in their biome. Boimler is horrified when he realizes the colonists, who had lived there for generations, will have to be relocated, and wonders if there is anything they could do. Pelia sarcastically suggests finding a time travel device to stop him from "messing everything up", which does not help his mood. He admits he looked up to everyone on the Enterprise, but doesn't feel like he belongs there, wondering how he can fix everything he has done. Pelia tells him she is a Lanthanite, and has lived for thousands of years, and most of the heroes she had known were pretending half the time. One in particular told her that he had always pretended to be someone he wanted to be, until finally he had become that someone.

Boimler sneaks into the shuttlebay, intending to steal a shuttle and make contact with the Orions to get the grain back from them, and is shocked when he spots Mariner in the cockpit. Mariner and Uhura have struck out; the ancient script on the time portal said simply "this is a time portal". Boimler is intending to trade the portal back to the Orions for the grain to help the people on Setlik, saying he is "done" with worrying about the future. Mariner knows the shuttles have separate communications arrays that would make it easier to bypass security and contact the Orions, and compliments "sneaky Boims" on his ingenuity… but also knows he is not one for breaking Starfleet protocol, and so needs an accomplice who won't get caught. Her assessment proves to be wrong, as La'an comes up behind them, phaser in hand; Uhura had been monitoring local communications and blocked the signal.

La'an escorts them to Pike's quarters, where he informs them he is confining them to quarters until they return to Starbase 1. He then asks La'an to let him speak to them alone. Pike points out that for someone who wanted to follow the rules, Boimler broke quite a lot of them, and that Mariner, for all that she was trying to save her friend, was making his situation worse. Mariner takes responsibility, adding that she didn't think Boimler could handle being thrown in the brig by a man he dressed up as for Halloween, which momentarily wrong-foots Pike. He then confronts Boimler about encouraging members of the crew to throw him a surprise party. Boimler justifies it by saying one never knows how many birthdays one has left, thinking on what they know will happen to him in the future. To their surprise, Pike reveals he does know, but his insistence against the party is not about that. He confesses that he and his father had never gotten along – in fact, there were times he "hated his guts" – but this was the first year that he would be older than his father had been when he died. That said, he admits he wishes they could have one more argument, and that his original plan was to finish the mission, spend the day at a fishing cabin on Setlik II's ice moon with a bottle of whiskey, and "have that talk". Boimler is apologetic about Pike's relationship with his father, but asks the captain, when the time comes and he is not there anymore, how many people on the crew will wish to have another day to talk to him? Pike is left momentarily speechless, thinking it over. Boimler admits it was hard to visit the past, and Mariner agrees, saying she didn't want to be there at all. Pike can see how hard it was for them, and idly wonders what it would be like if he were to be sent back in time to Jonathan Archer's Enterprise. Mariner knows that would also "freak out" Boimler, but Boimler has another thing in mind, remembering something he had said to Rutherford, and tells Pike he knows how to get them home.

Act Four[]

Boimler begins by explaining he had come with expectations of them from the future, which were unfair to who they were now, and offers an apology… with a limerick. Una tells him to get to the point. Boimler and Mariner explain when they went to the Starship History Museum to visit the Enterprise NX-01, Boimler had been enthralled about the grapplers they used before tractor beams (La'an, deadpan, adds that she also loves grapplers). They mention the use of horonium alloys in the NX class ships' hull. Ortegas wonders if they have to find an NX class in mothballs, but both Boimler and Mariner, as well as Pike, know they don't have to; it is a shipbuilding tradition that starships use pieces from namesake vessels in their construction, meaning that there is a piece from the NX-01 onboard their Enterprise. When Spock asks if they know where it is, it is Mariner who answers, adding that she had in fact been paying attention during the tour, something Spock has come to know she did not do often.

The portion in question is beneath a deck plate in engineering, over Pelia's protests about being careful with "her" floor. Ortegas takes in the fact that they have been walking over a piece of history for so long, admitting to an admiration for Travis Mayweather, the NX-01's first pilot; her middle school gym was named for him. Uhura feels similarly about Hoshi Sato, the communications officer, who spoke 86 languages; she wrote three papers about Sato at the Academy. They both realize they sound a lot like Boimler and Mariner, both of whom have smiles on their faces as they see the same thing. Spock agrees, calling it "exhausting".

In the transporter room, Mariner admits to Una that she may have given the wrong impression about the poster Boimler kept of her: it was a recruiting poster, because Una is the "poster girl/woman" for Starfleet in their time. Una thinks she should have led with that part, and asks Boimler if it is true. Boimler confirms, saying that she was a major reason he joined Starfleet. "Ad astra per aspera," he quotes. Una is stunned by this, but goes into professional mode by admonishing them for violating temporal protocols… then thanks them, all the same. Pike and La'an enter and step onto the transporter pad. Spock offers Boimler a Vulcan salute and a parting "live long and prosper". Pike looks amused at Boimler's flustered expression as he orders them to beam down.

On the surface, they encounter Caras and his crew at the portal, having received Boimler's message. Pike explains the message was unauthorized. Caras does not like having his time wasted, and both Boimler and Mariner take the blame for it (with La'an's full support). Boimler sent the message because he didn't want the colonists on Setlik II to starve; Mariner adds they were having a "quarter-life crisis" about meeting their heroes, then comparing themselves to said heroes. As they babble on, Pike brings things back to order by explaining that the device is a time portal, Boimler and Mariner are from the future, and they have to use the portal to send them back. Boimler adds it is to a future where it was offensive to consider Orions as pirates, mentioning that one of their best friends in Starfleet is an Orion science officer, although they mention her using the title "Mistress of the Winter Constellations". That gets Caras' attention; Astrea Tendi, one of his science officers (and D'Vana Tendi's great-grandmother), uses that title. He asks how they could know this, and Boimler and Mariner point out, again, that they are time travelers. Pike speaks up, saying that all they wanted was to use it to send the two future officers home, and as far as history would be concerned, it was discovered by Orions… specifically, Orion scientists. Caras is moved by this, saying it was all he ever wanted. Taking the horonium from the NX-01 portion, Boimler activates the portal. Rutherford and Tendi see them from the other side and prepare to come over, but Boimler and Mariner (and Pike, who has had enough time travel for that day – or ever) call them off. Mariner tells Pike it was good to meet him, before stepping through. Boimler looks back one last time, then follows her in.

As they return to their own time, the portal closes. Boimler tells Tendi she was right about Orions discovering the portal, mentioning her great-grandmother Astrea. Back aboard the Cerritos, Boimler looks at the recruiting poster of Una and thanks Mariner for coming back to the "TOS era" to go get him. Mariner knows he picked that phrase up from Ransom, wondering why he always called it that. Boimler mentions it stood for "Those Old Scientists", but they didn't seem quite so old to Mariner. Just then, Ransom walks by and sees the poster of "Numero Una", the "hottest first officer in the fleet", and mentions how he had never seen Mariner so eager for a mission before; it was originally intended for the cadets. Boimler realizes that Mariner fought for the mission so Boimler could go along, but Mariner outright denies it.

USS Enterprise crew drinking Orion hurricanes

Happy Birthday, Captain Pike

Back on the Enterprise in their time, Una notes Pike didn't seem very surprised at his surprise party. Pike replies that he knew, and that was why he cancelled his fishing trip, because someone suggested he spend the day with his friends. Uhura mentions that the next movie night might be an Andorian comedy. Ortegas notices that the secret of getting Uhura to relax is to make it feel like work. Spock thinks La'an will be Ortegas' next project, and she is less than enthused about that. Chapel wonders what they've been drinking for the past hour. Ortegas had made Orion hurricanes, as Caras had given them a bottle of real Orion delaq. Pike notes the "interesting flavor", and Una wonders if anyone else feels strange. Uhura asks why everything feels so two-dimensional. Spock knows his arms are not supposed to be so flexible, and Ortegas' eyes feel "huge" to her. "What the hell is in these things?!" M'Benga screams.

Memorable quotes[]

"You guys look… very realistic."

- Boimler, upon seeing Spock, Una, and La'an


"Look, I recognize this future knowledge is so boring, the chances of it changing history are low, but let's review temporal protocols regardless, okay?"
"Mm-hmm."
"One, no interfering with past events."
"Got it."
"Two, no sharing –"
"No sharing knowledge of the future."
"… future, yes."
"Definitely won't happen again. Worf's honor… dang it!"

- La'an and Boimler


"Is that a classic TS-122 tricorder???"
"It's a 120."
"Do you mind if- can I- can I hold it? Just- Thank you so much! Oh my God! They never improved on these. I mean, yeah, they got smaller, and more powerful, and arguably less likely to explode, but design-wise..."
"Explode, you said?"

- Boimler and M'Benga


"We took a holo-image with our camera that emitted radio isotopes which seemed to set it off, so I guess it was just dumb luck."
"Ha ha ha!"
"... you just, uh... you just... laughed?"
"Yes. The thought of assigning intelligence to chance struck me as ridiculous."

- Boimler and Spock


"Okay, not to be ungrateful, but if you had just waited like one more second, we wouldn't be stuck here."
"Do, do you know how worried I was? You disappeared in a vortex while I was in charge. For all I knew, you were dead, or stuck in a dystopian San Francisco in the middle of a riot."
"Have you noticed that their references are weirdly specific?"
"Indeed."

- Boimler, Mariner, Una, and Spock


"I joined Starfleet so I could be a part of history but if they can't find a way to get us back home we're gonna have to go live somewhere off the grid where we can't affect history at all."
"No no no I'm not living off the grid anywhere. I thrive on the grid. I require grid."

- Boimler and Mariner


"Erica, you're brilliant!"
"This is true! I am. …why?"

- Uhura and Ortegas

"Holy Q!"
"Don't yell Q! They haven't met him yet. They had a kind of a Trelane thing going on."

- Boimler and Mariner


"Look, it was all me, okay? I just…I don't think Boimler can handle getting thrown in the brig by a guy he dressed up as for Halloween."
"No he…really?"
"Yeah he had to contour the hell out of the jawline, too."
"It was a process."

- Mariner, Pike, and Boimler


"Okay so one time Boimler dragged me to the Starship History Museum…"
"Dragged? You ran up to the door!"
"No I didn't. It was boring. I hated it. Anyway, um, so they had the NX-01 there. Archer's Enterprise!"
"Yeah! Yeah, classic design, plus it had the grapplers."
"Skip that part. They don't care!"
"I love grapplers."

- Mariner, Boimler, and La'an


"Turns out the secret to getting Uhura to relax is making it feel like work!"
"I believe you are going to be her next project, Lieutenant."
"God help me."

- Ortegas, Spock, and La'an


"Does anyone else feel strange?"
"Why does everything feel… two-dimensional?"
"My arms don't normally do this."
"My eyes feel huge! Do my eyes look huge?"
"WHAT THE HELL IS IN THESE THINGS?!"

- Una, Uhura, Spock, Ortegas, and M'Benga

Log entries[]

Background information[]

Production[]

  • 22 July 2023: Premieres at 2023 San Diego Comic Con. [1] Subsequently, the episode was given its world premiere at 4 p.m. Pacific/7 p.m. Eastern the same day on Paramount+ and Crave. [2]

Title[]

Cast and characters[]

Continuity[]

  • This is the first Star Trek episode to open with a log entry from the perspective of a main character of a different series.
  • The stardate given by Boimler at the start of the episode places this episode immediately after LD: "Hear All, Trust Nothing".
  • It also takes place prior to LD: "Twovix", due to Mariner referencing the events of this episode.
  • This is the second episode of Star Trek to feature both animation and live action together in the same episode, following the post-credits scene in ST: "The Trouble with Edward".
  • The opening credits for this episode use the same animation style as Lower Decks. As a further nod to that show, the larval space creature often seen attached to the port nacelle of the USS Cerritos in the show's opening credits is attached to the starboard nacelle on the Enterprise. An image of a koala also appears.
  • This is the second Star Trek episode to feature 24th century Starfleet officers traveling back in time to the original USS Enterprise, the first being DS9: "Trials and Tribble-ations". In that episode, the crew of the USS Defiant generally try to hide their presence aboard the Enterprise, while Boimler and Mariner do not.
    • Mariner comments that "Young Spock" is more attractive in person, similar to Jadzia Dax's observations in "Trials and Tribble-ations".
  • Boimler mentions that the Enterprise is "NCC-1701, dash nothing", the second time that the lack of hyphenated letters in its registry number has been referred to as a mark of distinction and admiration, the other time being in TNG: "Relics", when Montgomery Scott asks the USS Enterprise-D's holodeck to recreate Kirk's original Enterprise – "NCC One Seven Oh One. No bloody A, B, C, or D."
  • The Enterprise is on a mission to deliver tritriticale grain to a Federation colony at Setlik II, similar to the mission it undertakes to Sherman's Planet (with quadrotriticale grain) in TOS: "The Trouble with Tribbles". Both these missions were complicated by unexpected factors (the time portal and tribbles, respectively) and both were interfered with by time travelers (as depicted in this episode and DS9: "Trials and Tribble-ations", respectively).
    • Like Sherman's Planet, Setlik II is home to a Federation colony near the border with another civilization. While Sherman's Planet is near Klingon space, the Setlik system is near the Federation-Cardassian border, as established by TNG: "The Wounded". The nature of Federation-Cardassian relations in the mid-23rd century is unclear, though Uhura having access to Cardassian language data in "Subspace Rhapsody" suggests the two powers are at least aware of each other. Furthermore, Uhura's PADD mentions both Bajoran and Cardassian languages during the bar scene, suggesting an awareness that both peoples were nearby.
  • This is another Star Trek production to feature a Starfleet captain, Pike, celebrating a birthday at an age comparable to their deceased father's age. James T. Kirk also celebrated a similar birthday in Star Trek Beyond.
  • When discussing the consequences of time travel, Mariner mentions the possibility of ending up in a "dystopian San Francisco" in the middle of a riot. This "weirdly specific" situation, as Number One puts it, is a reference to the events of DS9: "Past Tense, Part I" and "Past Tense, Part II".
  • Ortegas mentions an ancient Nausicaan dom-jot set at Starbase Earhart, elements that were all first introduced in TNG: "Tapestry", an episode in which Picard ends up serving on the lower decks of the Enterprise-D.
  • Commander Ransom refers to Number One as the "hottest first officer in Starfleet history". This is likely a reference to the fact that Jerry O'Connell, who voices Ransom, and Rebecca Romijn, who portrays Number One, are married in real life.
  • This episode reveals that, under Starfleet shipbuilding tradition, any starship sharing the same name as its predecessor is constructed with a piece of that vessel, assuming it shares that name at that time. It is not indicated whether the piece of the NX-01 was returned to its original location after being used to return Boimler and Mariner to their own time. A similar tradition is indicated in SNW: "Spock Amok" when La'an and Number One sign the last remaining piece of the NCC-1701's original hull. As the NCC-1701 is destined to be destroyed in orbit over the Genesis Planet, it's unlikely the NCC-1701-A would have a piece of it.
  • When Boimler invokes the name of Q, Mariner admonishes him, indicating that Starfleet hasn't met him yet, as they had this "whole Trelane thing going." While not an unambiguous confirmation of the longstanding fan theory that Trelane (TOS: "The Squire of Gothos") was a member of the Q species, it is the first time such a thing had been hinted at in a canonical story.
  • Boimler invokes several names of TNG-era characters. Other than the Q, he also makes reference to Worf (whose name, like that of Q, has been incorporated by him in an exclamation) and William Riker. In the case of Riker, Boimler demonstrates knowledge of Riker's distinctive way of mounting a chair; Boimler briefly served with Riker aboard the USS Titan, so likely witnessed this, though as in the animated series, it's not explained as to how or why characters like Worf or Q are legendary enough to Boimler to justify him using names in exclamations.
  • When the time portal first activates, Boimler shouts "Remember me!" as he is lifted off his feet and pulled in horizontally. This alludes to Beverly Crusher nearly being dragged into a similar-looking blue vortex in the same pose in TNG: "Remember Me".

Links and references[]

Starring[]

And

Special guest stars[]

Guest starring[]

And

Uncredited co-stars[]

Background characters[]

Stunt doubles[]

References[]

2237; 22nd century; accomplice; "ad astra per aspera"; alien; Andorian; Andorian comedy; Archer, Jonathan; arm; "aye"; badge; bathroom; Bell Riots; billiards game; Billups, Andy; biome; birthday; body; "Boims"; book; bottle; bridge; brig; butterfly effect; button; cadets; California-class; camera (holographic imager); captain; captain's log; career; cargo hold; century; Cerritos, USS; Cerritos cadets; Cervantes; chance; chroniton; chroniton poisoning; collection; commander; communications array; communicator (clamshell design; combadge); complication (aka disaster, problem); computer; confined to quarters; Constitution-class; contouring; "crap"; crew; D'Var; D'Var-type (aka Orion science vessel, Orion scout ship); damage; "dang it"; dash; dialect; digits; doctor; dom-jot; drinking; "dumb luck"; dystopia; ear; elective; en route; energy; ensign; ensign's log; Enterprise; Enterprise, USS (schooner); Enterprise, USS (starship); Enterprise-encountered planets; experience; exploration; eye; face; fanboy; father (aka dad); first officer; fishing; floor; Freeman, Carol; friend (best friend); furniture; future; girl (aka woman); Golden Age; grain; Grant, Cary; grappler; gray; great-grandmother; gym; Halloween; hand; head of security; hell; hero; history; history buffs; holiday; holo-image; honor; horonium; hour; Human; hybrid; Illyrian; instructions; intelligence; jawline; job (aka work); kid (baby; toddler); Klingon; Krulmuth-B (aka "Crumhat-D"); Krulmuth-B portal; Krulmuth-B's system planets; language; Lanthanite; laughing; lieutenant; lieutenant commander; life; limerick; linguistics; "live in the moment"; logic; lurching; man; material synthesis; Mayweather, Travis; middle school; minute; miss; mister; Mistress of the Winter Constellations; mom; month; mothballs; mouth; movie night; name; Nausicaan; Nausicaan language; Number One (aka "Numero Una"); nurse; NX-class; "Oh, my God"; "okey-dokey"; orbit; Orion; Orion delaq; Orion hurricane; PADD; pair; party; past; percent; picture; Pike's Birthday; Pike's father; pilot; pirates; portal; pose; poster (pin-up poster); "profesh"; Q; quadrant; quarter-life crisis; quarters; radiation; radioisotopes; rank insignia; recruitment; references; relaxation; Riker, William T.; riot; saddle; San Francisco; Sato, Hoshi; Sato's learned languages; scans; scientist; second; sehlat (I-Chaya); Setlik II; Setlik II colony; Setlik II settlers; settler; shade; shields; ship in a bottle; sir; sleeve; smiling; Spacecraft Operating & Management System (aka S/COMS); sparks; speed walking; Stamets-type shuttlecraft (unnamed); Starbase 1; Starbase Earhart; stardate; Starfleet; Starfleet Academy; Starfleet delta; Starfleet labor codes; Starfleet uniform (2250s-early 2270s); Starfleet uniform (early 2380s); starship; Starship History Museum; stuff; symbols; tachyons; teleron radiation; Tendi, Astrea; thing (aka "thingy"); time travel; timeline; TOS era; translation; transporter; Trelane; tricorder (TS 120 tricorder; TS 122 tricorder); trip; tritriticale; tunnel; turbolift; two-dimensional; type 2 phaser; VISOR; Volis' species; vomiting; vortex; Vulcan (planet); Vulcan (species); Vulcan salute; warp core; "What the hell"; Worf; year; yellow alert

S/COMS references[]

analysis; Bajoran language; Cardassian language; coordinates; database; day; glyph; hour; kilogram; library; M-class; operations; planetary data; revolution period; rotation period; sensor; solar year; surface temperature; trajectory; warp field mechanics

Opening title sequence references[]

koala; larval space creature

Meta references[]

Riker Maneuver

External link[]

Previous episode:
"Lost in Translation"
Star Trek: Strange New Worlds
Season 2
Next episode:
"Under the Cloak of War"
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