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(written from a Production point of view)

For the TNG episode with a similar title, please see "We'll Always Have Paris".

Mariner and Tendi team up for a mission to retrieve an heirloom for Dr. T'Ana. Meanwhile, the Cerritos is visited by Lieutenant Tom Paris, much to the excitement of Boimler, who is hoping to meet him. While all this happens, Rutherford is haunted by the mystery surrounding the reappearance of a familiar presence on the Cerritos.

Summary

Teaser

Commander Jack Ransom welcomes Ensign Brad Boimler back aboard the USS Cerritos as the enter the mess hall, and informs him that since his departure, they've had to tighten security measures across the ship, and if he has any issues to report them to Lieutenant commander Andy Billups. Boimler thanks him, and gets in line to use the replicator, ordering some hot pupusa for breakfast. The replicator, however, reports "User not recognized," and won't give him the food. Boimler unsucessfully tries to have any food replicated as the line behind him grows impatient.

At a nearby table, Ensign D'Vana Tendi is rushing through her meal. When Ensign Sam Rutherford asks why, Tendi replies that she wants to get a head start on her shift, and Rutherford realizes that the recent promotion of Ensign Escher is bugging her. Tendi complains that she does more work than Escher, and should have been promoted instead, and Rutherford tells her that Escher just got lucky after curing Captain Carol Freeman's Terellian Death Syndrome. Ensign Beckett Mariner joins Rutherford as Tendi leaves to start her shift, and Rutherford's attention is suddenly taken when he hears a familiar voice. He turns to see Lieutenant Shaxs standing at the replicators, getting condiments for a hot dog. Rutherford is shocked that Shaxs is alive after he saved his life from the Pakleds, though Mariner pays it no heed and only comments on Shaxs' strange flavor choice of ketchup. Though Rutherford knows his memory isn't fully restored, he explicitly remembered Shaxs saving his life, and asks if they will get told how he survived, but Mariner says that it's best not to think about it.

As the two leave the mess hall, they walk past Boimler, who is still struggling with the replicator. He begs the replicator to give him anything as he's very hungry, and kicks the replicator, which replicates a potted bonsai tree. Boimler, annoyed, hesitantly takes the bonsai and leaves the line.

Act One

In sickbay, Tendi is wiping down the tables, when Doctor T'Ana calls her into her office. T'Ana is visibly agitated, and aggressively scratching herself, and tells Tendi that she needs her to pick up a family heirloom from a storage unit on Qualor II. Tendi is honored to be chosen for this request, but T'Ana says she just needs the lowest ranking officer who will ask the fewest questions. She tells her this request is personal, to do it fast, and keep it private. Tendi leaves as T'Ana's agitation seemingly grows.

In the repair bay, Boimler (who is still having trouble with the security measures) excitedly talks to Mariner and Rutherford that he will be meeting Lieutenant Tom Paris, as he's visiting the Cerritos for morale. He's hoping he will sign his collectible Tom Paris edition Voyager plate, noting that he has autographs of the other officers of the USS Voyager, and mentions that he overheard about his visit from Shaxs. Rutherford is still uneasy that Shaxs is back with no explanation and decides he will ask him. Boimler warns him that bridge crew don't like it when people ask how they come back from the dead, but Rutherford is determined to find out. As Boimler tries to leave the repair bay after Rutherford, the doors close on him then won't open for him, and he annoyingly notes that it's been happening all day. Mariner explains that the security increase was due to the Pakled attacks and that he should have Billups put him back in the system, but Boimler tells her he already is, and instead of contacting Billups, insists it should work. He is only able to leave when the doors open for Tendi, who enters and tells Mariner of her mission, and invites Mariner to come along, since the two of them have never had a mission together. Excited at the prospect, Mariner happily accepts.

Boimler heads for a turbolift, but the doors don't open for him. He tries to override the doors, but is unsuccessful. Seeing his struggle, Ensign Jet Manhaver offers his assistance, but Boimler stubbornly declines. Unable to get into the turbolift, he enters the Jefferies tubes, and begins the 200 rung climb up to the bridge.

Mariner and Tendi arrive at Qualor II, noting how strange it is that they've never paired up for a mission before after all that time, as Mariner always ends up with Boimler and Tendi with Rutherford, with Mariner commenting that it's like "a glaring ommission". As Tendi parks the shuttlecraft Yosemite, Mariner notes how exciting the planet is, saying that one can get any drink in the form of a slushie. Tendi, remembering how insistent T'Ana was about getting the heirloom fast, replies that they should probably focus on getting that, but Mariner convinces her that it can wait a little bit. When they do get to the storage unit facility with slushies in hand, a Caitian manning the front counter is a bit confused at the request, since T'Ana's unit has not been accessed for years, though Tendi does provide him the proper authorization. Tendi recognizes the music the Caitian is listening to as Gik'Tal, a Klingon acid punk rock band, and they briefly discuss a live performance by Gik'Tal that the employee attended on Akstin before he goes to retrieve T'Ana's item. Mariner is pleasantly surprised she's into such a genre, though Tendi notes how she talks to Rutherford about it constantly. To their surprise, the Caitian returns dragging a large wooden box.

Mariner and Tendi carry the box back to the Yosemite, and Mariner is curious to what's inside, and suggests opening it up. Tendi is reluctant to open it but Mariner convinces her, saying it could be a secret between the two of them. Tendi reluctantly agrees, saying a small peek won't hurt, and they open the box up to reveal a Caitian libido post. Tendi explains how Caitians have to be intimate once a year or their hormones drive them crazy, comparing it to the Vulcan pon farr. The two have a small laugh over it as Mariner picks it up and makes silly voices, before Tendi points out that it's probably not the cleanest thing to be touching with one's bare hands. In Mariner's repulsed rush as they try and put it back in the box, she looses her footing and accidentally drops it; the head breaks off, much to Tendi's horror.

Act Two

Mortified at the damage of the post, Tendi believes she'll be fired, but Mariner tells her that she knows a way they can have it repaired, noting a time when she ran over Worf's mek'leth when she served on Deep Space 9 and had it fixed before he knew it was even gone. Tendi is surprised she served on DS9, having always assumed that the Cerritos was her first posting. Mariner says she knows someone on Bonestell who can fix anything, and that it will be little more than a quick diversion before they head back to the Cerritos. As they take off, it appears that the two are unsettled at how little they actually know about each other.

Back on the Cerritos, Shaxs enters engineering, and approaches Billups to invite him to a match of racquetball after the Tom Paris event. Billups asks him if he's up for that, and Shaxs is enthusiastic about it. Rutherford approaches them, readying himself to ask how Shaxs survived, when a junior grade lieutenant, named Cody, beats Rutherford to the question, asking how Shaxs came back to life after his death. The question shocks all of engineering, and visibly disturbs Shaxs. Billups scolds Cody for the question, ordering him to his supervisor for reassignment. Cody tries to apologize, but a crying Shaxs just tells him to go. Seeing this reaction, Rutherford decides to drop the subject.

Mariner and Tendi go to Starbase Earhart and meet up with Mariner's contact, Addix, in a bar, who says that for his "old friend", the work will cost them double, at fifty strips of latinum. Mariner agrees, but Tendi notes how they can't afford that price. Explaining that they just need to find "the biggest, dumbest guys in here," Mariner enters a game of dom-jot with a group of Nausicaans to win the money, but as the game progresses, the Nausicaan she's playing against accuse her of cheating, since she claimed she was only a beginner. The establishment's Tellarite owner heads off the brewing brawl and insists they only continue the game with proxy players. Mariner has Tendi take a shot, but the Nausicaans believe that Tendi will use her pheromones to cheat them; Mariner acts offended, before quietly asking if Tendi actually could "just juice it a bit", which Tendi takes issue with. After being settled down by Mariner, Tendi nervously begins to take the shot, though the Nausicaan player pulls a knife and tries to attack her. Mariner intervenes, and causes him to knock into Tendi and sets the ball rolling, resulting in a lucky shot which wins the game. Enraged, the Nausicaans once again accuse them of cheating, refuse to pay the winnings and shatter the head of the libido post left sitting on the side of the dom-jot table, mortifying Tendi. The Nausicaans surround them, but as Mariner warns them that while the ensigns don't look like it, they have been trained to fight, she spots a small stack of the Nausicaans' latinum on the table out of the corner of her eye. Not finishing her sentence, she suddenly sweeps it from off the table into their faces, and runs away with Tendi and the broken head. The Nausicaans start picking up the fallen latinum off the floor instead of pursuing them.

Tom Paris is welcomed aboard the USS Cerritos.

On the Cerritos, Boimler has reached the catwalk above the grav stabilizer's static diffusers. Almost to the bridge, he notes how it should be a perfectly safe as there is no reason for the static to be purged right then. On the bridge, Tom Paris is welcomed by the senior staff of the Cerritos, and Freeman agrees to let Paris have the conn for a bit as he has not yet had the opportunity to try out the engines of the California-class. With the engines starting, Boimler is forced to dive through a hatch into a Jefferies tube running alongside the catwalk before the corridor is filled with fire. Boimler tries to initiate an emergency shutdown, but the computer once again fails to recognize his authorization, although he snaps that it doesn't need authorization for emergencies. A moment later, the flames die down; Boimler resumes his journey using the Jefferies tube and retrieves his plate, which has survived the heat unscathed.

Dr. T'Ana contacts Tendi in the Yosemite, demanding to know where she is, and Tendi tells her they're on their way back. T'Ana yells at them to hurry. Tendi is frustrated at their current situation, angry that she failed T'Ana, and Mariner tries to reassure her that mistakes happen all the time and that she will be alright. Tendi however notes that as an Orion, it was harder for her to join the Academy and that there is still a lot of stigma around Orions, noting that most Humans still see them as nothing more than thieves and pirates. This gives her an idea however, as her cousin, D'Onni, actually works in a thieves den at a pirate outpost in the same sector, and might be able to help them out. Tendi notes however that as these are bad Orions, they would kill Mariner on sight, and begins to temporarily transform Mariner's skin to resemble that of an Orion.

Back on the Cerritos, Rutherford is trying to focus on his work, but the situation with Shaxs' return is actively on his mind. Numerous possibilities perplex him, from Shaxs possibly having returned through the mirror universe, or having been put back together with assistance from the Borg Collective, or having survived in the Nexus. Unable to take the mystery anymore, he rushes to find Shaxs.

Mariner wearing false green

At the Orion Pirate Outpost, Tendi and Mariner land at the top level of a parking tower for small ships and (now in full Orion attire and Mariner with green-tinted hair) leave the Yosemite with the post wrapped in a large cloth. As they take a lift down to ground level, Tendi says that Mariner's false green disguise won't last very long, so they need to find D'Onni quickly. Locating him at a booth work area, Mariner is a bit surprised that D'Onni is rather good looking. Tendi is surprised she has a thing for bad boys, and Mariner notes how she is always dating bad kinds of people. Tendi says she never noticed this since Mariner always seems to be around Boimler, of which the idea of dating him Mariner finds disturbing. D'Onni sees Tendi and notes how if the Orion Syndicate catches him talking to her, there will be trouble. Before he can finish his sentence, Tendi punches him in the gut and demands he does what she tells him, to which he immediately submits and kisses her boots. On Mariner's surprised questioning, Tendi explains that the behavior is specific to Orions and that she's actually very uncomfortable about it. Tendi demands that D'Onni repair the libido post so she can "rip someone off", and D'Onni complies, referring to her as the "Mistress of the Winter Constellations".

Mariner is impressed with this side of Tendi, though Tendi asks her to not tell anyone about her title as she left that name behind long ago. As they speak, Mariner's disguise starts to wear off, and D'Onni notices, demanding Tendi tell her what is going on. Tendi simply kicks D'Onni in the face, telling him to focus, though Mariner is confused that D'Onni called her "D'Vana", wondering if it was another title for her. Realizing that Mariner didn't know her first name despite serving together for over a year, the two get into an argument that the two don't know one another as much as they should, but Mariner's disguise completely wears off, and the other Orions close in on them.

Act Three

Tendi flips a table in D'Onni's booth at the crowd to slow them down. Grabbing the post, Mariner and Tendi make their escape as the Orions charge them. They hide, and Mariner asks why Tendi won't just demand them to stop, but Tendi says that it won't work on an angry mob. Tendi is frustrated that Mariner knows so little about her, and realizes that the two were never that close as friends. The two make their way to the parking tower but find that the lift to their parking level is heavily guarded. Taking note of a small indigenous animal using cables to get to the tower and climb it, they realize they will have to climb to make their escape.

On the Cerritos, Boimler is crawling through the Jefferies tubes, and is suddenly trapped by the ship's computer. Lamenting his recent loss of position aboard the USS Titan, and realizing the ship no longer knows who he is, he feels out of place. At that point, his Tom Paris plate comes to life and encourages him not to give up, and that he's been in tougher situations before. Boimler thanks the plate, and opens up a panel to make his escape, while the Tom Paris plate notes that fumes are likely affecting Boimler's head.

Back at the outpost, Mariner and Tendi have successfully made their way to the tower above the heads of the mob and are laborously climbing up the two lift cables with the wrapped libido post strapped to their backs between them, when the cloth rips in half. As pieces of the post fall out, the Orion guards spot them, and resume their attack. One starts chopping at the cable Mariner is on, causing it to start whipping about; she loses her grip but manages to catch herself further down. Tendi reaches the door to their parking level and opens it, unstrapping her top half of the post before reaching back down to help Mariner up. As they grab wrists, the chopping Orion finishes severing Mariner's cable: the sudden shifting of weight makes the strap for Mariner's half break, but Mariner catches the broken strap with her other hand. Unable to pull both Mariner and the bottom half of the post up, Mariner hands Tendi the post and urges her to flee, but she refuses to leave Mariner behind. As the Orions down below climb the remaining cable towards them, Tendi sacrifices the bottom post half by dropping it directly over the climbers, knocking them off the cable, and pulls Mariner up. Grabbing the remaining top half of the post, they reach their shuttlecraft and fly off before an Orion guard can hit Yosemite with a thrown axe, instead striking a barrel that causes a liquid to spill out under pressure. A fiery explosion can be seen as the Yosemite leaves the outpost behind.

Back on the Cerritos, Shaxs enters the turbolift, and Rutherford rushes to catch up with him. Finally alone with him, Rutherford tells him that he knows he shouldn't ask, but he feels guilty that Shaxs gave his life to save his, and if he knows how he came back, he won't feel as guilty anymore. Shaxs halts the turbolift, and tells him that Rutherford was not at fault for his death, and that it was his duty to save him. Rutherford assumes that Shaxs can't tell him because he's just an ensign, but Shaxs says that the only reason they don't tell is because they'd rather spare everyone the dark truths about scientific depravity that would haunt them for the rest of their days, and cautions that the knowledge will change Rutherford forever. Rutherford doesn't seem put off by this and asks Shaxs to tell him how he came back. Shaxs acquiesces and begins to tell him about what happens after death, which is the first step, but then asks if Rutherford knows about "the black mountain". He clarifies that it is a spirital battleground where the soul goes and forced to fight three faceless apparitions of one's father, after which killing two, the survivor forces the soul to eat their own heart. As he gets into even further detail, Rutherford becomes more and more disturbed.

Exhausted, and in a torn uniform, Boimler tries to do a personal log, but the computer fails to record it as it doesn't recognize him. Frustrated that he's going to die because of a plate, he smashes the plate against the panel, which causes the panel beneath him to open up. He falls onto the bridge with his plate (that has survived), much to the surprise of the bridge crew. Boimler sees Paris, and excitedly tells him how much he adores him, but Paris mistakes Boimler for a Kazon, and attacks him on the spot.

Mariner and Tendi are making their way back to the Cerritos, and Mariner thanks her for saving her life. She also tells her not to feel too bad about not knowing much about her, as she tends to keep her personal life vague on purpose. Whenever she opens up about her life, people tend to get promoted and leave, and that by not opening up, she won't end up losing a friend when they do leave. Tendi was hoping the trip would be a way for them to bond, but notes how Mariner likely doesn't know much about her because she's always busy trying to make others happy and doesn't open up much herself, but notes that Mariner now knows more about her than Rutherford does. They conclude that they're glad to know more about each other. Mariner asks what she intends to tell T'Ana about her post; Tendi says that she will be truthful, and that it'll be interesting to get in trouble for once. Mariner tells her she's a great person, but that her plan sucks. Taking the Yosemite off auto pilot, Mariner proclaims that they started out that morning as coworkers but are now friends, and orders the computer to ram the Cerritos.

Paris is still beating up Boimler on the bridge when the conn officer alerts Freeman to the imminent shuttlecraft collision. However, the Yosemite collides with the ship's shields and bounces harmlessly off, causing no damage. "That was weird," a perplexed Freeman comments.

In the hangar, Ransom is scolding Mariner for the collision, which has damaged the front of the Yosemite, and Mariner blames the incident on a bee that flew in her face but otherwise accepts it was pilot error on her part. While Ransom points out that the scenario of a bee getting inside a spacecraft while it's in outer space is ludicrous, Tendi apologizes to T'Ana, who is scanning her scraped knee, for the destroyed libido post and tries to take responsibility, but Mariner calls over that her piloting was at fault and apologizes instead. However, T'Ana simply grabs the box and hauling it onto her shoulder, tells Tendi not to worry about it. Emptying the shattered remains of the libido post onto the floor, T'Ana explains that she never cared about the post, and that all she really needed was the box. She takes the box to her office in sickbay and crawls into it, experiencing instant relief. Nurse Westlake and another officer turn back to their work and do their best to ignore her.

Mariner is sent to the brig for the collision, and Tendi is showing her and Rutherford some more of her Klingon acid punk collection on some PADDs when Boimler enters the brig, revealing that he's finally fully authorized. He has a black eye from the beating that Paris gave him, but as a small apology, he's invited Boimler for a drink later. Although he does consider a black eye from Paris to be much cooler, he'll also finally have a chance to get his plate signed. Boimler excitedly leaves for the bar, only to mistake a wall with a seam as a door before finding the door, noting that he may have a concussion. Tendi asks Rutherford if he ever found out how Shaxs came back, and the disturbed Rutherford immediately denies knowing, saying that they probably are just likely sparing them horrible details. Mariner denies this, saying the bridge crew are just jerks, before Tendi puts a song on about a Klingon who eats his own hand.

Memorable quotes

"What up? We doing sci-fi stuff today?"

- Mariner


"Guess who I get to meet today! The creator of Fair Haven himself, Captain Proton himself: Lieutenant Tom Paris!"
"No way! That's awesome! Is he still a salamander?"

- Boimler and Mariner


"Dr. T'Ana's gonna know I violated her trust! I'm gonna get fired!"
"Hey, no. Stop that. No one's getting fired over Jeremy, okay?"

- Tendi and Mariner


"Computer, emergency shutdown!"
"Authorization not recognized."
"You don't need authorization in an emergency!!!"

- Boimler and the Cerritos computer


"In the Nexus, it's always Christmas."

- Shaxs (hallucination)


"Tendi, you gotta warn me if we're gonna be meeting up with a sexy bad boy, that's my type. Well, one of my types."
"You have a thing for bad boys?"
"Oh, I'm always dating bad boys. Bad girls, bad gender-nonbinary babes, ruthless alien masterminds, bad Bynars..."

- Mariner and Tendi


"You are Brad Boimler, and you've been in tougher spots than this. Now open up a panel and start figuring out a solution."
"You're right. Thanks, Tom Paris."
"I am a little worried about the fumes in here though. You know, since you're talking to a plate."
"I don't know. I kinda like 'em."

- Tom Paris (plate) and Boimler


"This is how we kick ass in the Delta Quadrant! Ki-ya!"

- Tom Paris

Background information

Title

  • The title was announced on StarTrek.com on 23 August 2021. [1]
  • This episode is the thirteenth episode or film to feature the name of a character played by a member of the series' regular cast in its title, in this case, the name of Tom Paris.

Continuity

Merchandising

  • Boimler's commemorative Tom Paris plate is a reference to the Star Trek commemorative plates released by The Hamilton Collection. The Hamilton Collection did not release a Tom Paris-specific plate; however, in conjunction with this episode's release, Star Trek Unlimited released a plate identical to Boimler's Tom Paris plate. [3]

Release

Links and references

Starring

Special guest star

Guest cast

Characters with unidentified voices

Background characters

References

5; acid punk; acid punker; Addix's species; Akstin; alien; allergies; alternate timeline; Amarie's species; Andorian; apparition; arch; Ariolo; art; attacks; audio device; autopilot; babes; "Baby Bear"; babysit; bad boys; Bajoran; bar; bee; beginner; Benzite; biceps; bile; black eye; black mountain; Bonestell; bonsai; Borg; Borg Collective; Borg drone; bowl; bride; bridge officer (bridge crew); brig; burrito; Bynars; Caitian; Caitian language; Cali-class; Captain Proton; catwalk; cave; Caves of No'Mat; captain; celerity-induced accelerated somatic mutation rate; Chakotay; cheaters; chorus; Christmas; claw; collect; collision course; "coming back from the dead"; commander; computer; concussion; cousin; creator; cure; date; Deep Space 9; Delta Quadrant; doctor; dom-jot; "Dr. T"; duty; Dyson sphere; engineer; ensign; Escher; explosion; Fair Haven; false green; family heirloom; father; fault; Ferengi; first name; fixer; flashback; Fontaine, Vic; forgery; french fries; fumes; fur; Galardonian; gender nonbinary; Genesis Deviced; Gik'Tal; girls' trip; grav stabilizer; great-grandma; "Gre'thor Paradise"; hair; hallucination; handshake tour; hormone; horny; hot dog; Human; hypospray; Intrepid-class; Janeway, Kathryn; Jefferies tube; Jeremy; katra; Kazon; ketchup; Kim, Harry; Klingon; last name; latinum; libido; libido post; lieutenant; lieutenant commander; lieutenant junior grade; lower decks; masterminds; mek'leth; microscopic civilization; mirror universe; mirror universe switcheroo; Mistress of the Winter Constellations; morale; muffin; multiverse; name; Nausicaan; Nexus; Odo; omnidirectional restraints; Orion; Orion cargo vehicle; Orion Pirate Outpost; Orion Syndicate; Pakled; panel; pattern buffer; pet; pheromones; pictures; pirate; pirate outpost; plate; poison; pon farr; promotion; proxy; pupusa; Qualor II (aka Qualor); Quark's Bar; Quito, USS; racket; racquetball (object); racquetball (sport); ramming speed; recalibrate; rejotted; Rozhenko, Alexander; rung; running; salamander; scientific depravity; sci-fi; sector; security protocol; Sequoia; serve; sex toy; signature; slushie; son; spicy kiwi; Starbase Earhart; Starfleet Academy; Starfleet insignia; Starfleet uniform (2140s-early 2160s); Starfleet uniform (2250s-early 2270s); Starfleet uniform (2370s-early 2380s); Starfleet uniform (early 2380s); Starfleet uniform (late 2360s-early 2370s); Starfleet uniform (mirror); static diffuser; stellar cartography; storage unit; strip; stuff; supervisor; switcheroo; syndrome; talking; Tamarian; taste buds; Tellarite; Terellian Death Syndrome; thief; thieves' den; threshold; time ribbon; Titan, USS; T'Pol; transporter; transporter accident; transwarp barrier; turbolift; Type 6A shuttlecraft (unnamed 1 and 2); Type 15 shuttlepod (unnamed); undercover op; user; vase; VISOR; Voice; Voyager, USS; "Voy"; Voyager plate; Vulcan; Worf; year; Yosemite (aka Shuttle 4); Zebulon Sisters

Meta references

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External links

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