(written from a Production point of view)
This page contains information regarding Star Trek: Lower Decks, and thus may contain spoilers.
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.
Commander Jack Ransom welcomes Ensign Brad Boimler back aboard the USS Cerritos, 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 Andy Billups. Boimler thanks him, and gets in line to use the mess hall's replicator, ordering some hot pupusa. The replicator, however, does not recognize Boimler, and does not 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 a hot dog. Rutherford is shocked that Shaxs is alive after he saved his life from the Pakleds, though Mariner pays it no heed. 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, since he's so hungry, and kicks the replicator, which replicates a bonsai tree. Boimler, annoyed, hesitantly takes the bonsai and leaves the line.
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 Rutherford and Boimler leave the repair bay, Tendi enterrs 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 declines. Unable to get into the turbolift, he enters the Jefferies tubes, and begins to climb to the bridge.
Mariner and Tendi arrive at Qualor II, and Mariner notes how exciting the planet is, saying that one could 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 units, a Caitian is a bit confused at the request, since the storage units have not been accessed for years, though Tendi shows him her authorization. Tendi recognizes the music the Caitian is listening to as Gik'Tal, a Klingon acid punk rock band, and Mariner is surprised she's into such music, though Tendi notes how she talks to Rutherford antly. The Caitian returns with a large box.
Mariner and Tendi carry the box back to the Yosemite, and Mariner is curious to what's in the box, and suggests opening it up. Tendi is reluctant to open the box, 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 notes how Caitians have to be intimate once a year, or their hormones drive them crazy. The two have a small laugh over it, before they realize that it's probably not the cleanest thing to be touching, and rush to try and put it back in the box, but in their rush, they accidentally drop it, and the head breaks off, much to Tendi's horror.
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 Deep Space 9, having always assumed that the Cerritos was her first ship she served on. 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.
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 get in touch with Mariner's contact, who says he can repair the damage to the post, but that it will cost them fifty strips of latinum. Mariner agrees, but Tendi notes how they can't afford that price. Mariner enters a game of dom-jot with a group of Nausicaans to win the money, but as the game progresses, the Nausicaans accuse her of cheating, since she claimed she was only a beginner. Mariner has Tendi take a shot, but the Nausicaans believe that Tendi will use her pheromones to cheat them, which Tendi takes issue with. Nervous, Tendi begins to take the shot, though one of the Nausicaans tries to attack her. Mariner intervenes, and the attack causes Tendi to make a lucky shot which wins the game. Enraged, the Nausicaans refuse to pay the winnings and shatter the head of the libido post, mortifying Tendi. The Nausicaans surround them, but Mariner throws the latinum in their faces, and runs away with Tendi.
On the Cerritos, Boimler has reached the top of the Jefferies tube, and is almost to the bridge, noting how it should be a simple trip from here on out. 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. With the engines starting, Boimler has to rush to leave the tubes as the corridor is filled with fire. Boimler tries to initiate an emergency shutdown, but the computer fails to recognize his authorization. A moment later, the engines die down, and Boimler resumes his journey, and retrieves his plate, which has survived, unscathed.
Dr. T'Ana contacts Tendi, 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 in a pirate outpost in a nearby 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.
At the Orion Pirate Outpost, Tendi and Mariner (now in full Orion attire) leave the shuttlecraft with the post. Tendi says that Mariner's false green disguise won't last very long, and that they need to find D'Onni quickly. Locating him, 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 seemed to be around Boimler. 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 strikes him and demands him to do as she tells him, making him submit to her demands. Mariner asks about it, and Tendi notes how the behavior is specific to Orions, and that she's very uncomfortable about it. Tendi demands that D'Onni repair the libido post, and D'Onni complies, referring to her as the Mistress of the Winter Constellations.
Mariner is impressed with this side of Tendi, though Tendi is seemingly unsettled by this part of her. 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, 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 that D'Vana was her name, despite serving with them for a year, the two get into an argument that the two didn't know one another as much as they should have, but Mariner's disguise wears off, and the other Orions attack her.
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, and 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 lift, but note that it is heavily guarded, and 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 are climbing up the lift, when the bag they're carrying the libido post in rips in half. As pieces of the post fall out, the Orion guards spot them, and resume their attack. Tendi reaches a door and opens it before helping Mariner up. As they grab hands, one of the Orions severs the rope that Mariner is climbing, making Mariner nearly drop her half of the bag. Unable to pull both Mariner and the damaged post up, Tendi drops the half of the post, and saves Mariner. They reach their shuttlecraft and fly off before an Orion Guard can catch them.
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 Shaxs tells him that Rutherford was not at fault for his death, and that it was his duty to save him. Rutherford realizes that Shaxs can't tell him how he came back, since he's likely 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 the rest of their days. Rutherford doesn't seem put off by this and asks Shaxs to tell him how he came back. Shaxs begins to tell him about what happened, but as he gets further into detail, Rutherford begins to get 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, noting how whenever she opens up about her life, people tend to get promoted and leave, and that she prefers keeping things bout her vague, rather than opening up, only to constantly lose friends. 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. Mariner asks what she intends to tell T'Ana about her post, and Tendi tells her 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, and orders the shuttlecraft 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 shuttlecraft collides with the ship's shields, and bounces harmlessly off, causing no damage.
In the hangar, Ransom is scolding Mariner for the collision, and Mariner blames the incident on a bee that flew in her face. While the two go at it, Tendi apologizes to T'Ana for the destroyed libido post, and tries to take responsibility, but T'Ana simply grabs the box, and empties the shattered remains of the libido post onto the ground, saying she never cared about the post, and that all she needed was the box. She takes the box to her office in sickbay, and crawls into the box, experiencing instant relief.
Mariner is sent to the brig for the collision, and Tendi is playing her and Rutherford some more Klingon acid punk, and Boimler enters the brig, revealing that the ship finally recognizes who he is. He has a black eye from the beating that Paris gave him, but as a small apology, he's invited Boimler for a drink, and a chance to finally sign Boimler's plate. Boimler excitedly leaves for the bar, only to mistake a wall with a seam as a door, before finding the door. Tendi asks Rutherford if he ever found out how Shaxs came back, and Rutherford immediately denies knowing, saying that he's 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.
"What up? We doing sci-fi stuff today?"
- - Mariner
- - 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
- The title was announced on StarTrek.com on 23 August 2021. 
- 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.
- This episode marks the return of Shaxs, and explores the "return from the dead" phenomena that often appeared in the franchise, with discussions alluding to James T. Kirk's Nexus experience (Star Trek Generations), Spock's rebirth (Star Trek III: The Search for Spock), Neelix being revived by Borg technology (VOY: "Mortal Coil"), and the appearance of K'mtar/Alexander Rozhenko from a future alternate timeline (TNG: "Firstborn"). A later hallucination experienced by Rutherford depicted Shaxs in the aforementioned forms, as well as other means that franchise characters returned, including a mirror Shaxs (coupled with an earlier reference to the mirror universe), Shaxs as a Borg drone, Shaxs emerging from a Dyson sphere (TNG: "Relics"), Shaxs dressed as Neelix (again, from "Mortal Coil"), and as James Moriarty (TNG: "Elementary, Dear Data", "Ship in a Bottle").
- The episode also reveals that Mariner served aboard Deep Space 9 before the USS Quito, overlapping with Worf's assignment aboard the station (2372~2375). In addition to Worf, Mariner also references Odo, and walks past a Quark's Bar franchise while on Qualor II.
- Qualor II previously appeared in TNG: "Unification I" and TNG: "Unification II".
- In addition to the appearance of Tom Paris and artwork of USS Voyager, additional references were made to Kathryn Janeway, Chakotay, Harry Kim, the Kazon, and the time Paris broke the transwarp threshold and was turned into a salamander, a process apparently defined as a "celerity-induced accelerated somatic mutation rate" (VOY: "Threshold").
- This episode marks the second time a show's abbreviation has been spoken by a character, with Boimler referring to Voyager as "Voy". It also marks the second time Boimler has canonically hummed a theme to one of the shows, with him briefly humming the theme to Voyager.
- On Voyager, Tom Paris held the rank of lieutenant junior grade (excepting his temporary demotion to ensign). Here, he has been promoted to full lieutenant.
- Although there is no official stardate within the episode itself, a log by Tendi on the "Star Trek Logs" Instagram account dated the episode to stardate 58018.7. 
- Beckett Mariner is confirmed to be pansexual.
- 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. 
- StarTrek.com celebrated this episode as the 800th episode of Star Trek.  Memory Alpha's count refers to releases and thus differs, because it includes "The Cage" and the thirteen Star Trek films, and also counts the ten feature-length episodes (i.e. TNG: "Encounter at Farpoint", "All Good Things..."; DS9: "Emissary", "The Way of the Warrior", "What You Leave Behind"; VOY: "Caretaker", "Dark Frontier", "Flesh and Blood", "Endgame"; and ENT: "Broken Bow") as single episodes. (StarTrek.com counted each of those as two episodes based on their production numbers.)
Links and references
- Tawny Newsome as Beckett Mariner
- Jack Quaid as Bradward 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
- Gillian Vigman as T'Ana
Special guest stars
- Eric Bauza
- Marcus Henderson as Jet Manhaver
- Tom Kenny as
- Lauren Lapkus as Jennifer
- Paul Scheer as Andy Billups
- Characters with unidentified voices
- Andorian at Bonestell
- Caitian couple
- Humans at Bonestell
- Klingons on Qualor II
- Klingons at Bonestell
5; acid punk; acid punker; Addix's species; Akstin; allergies; alternate timeline; Andorian; apparition; arch; Ariolo; art; autopilot; Baby Bear; babysit; bar; bee; beginner; Benzite; biceps; bile; black eye; black mountain; Bonestell; bonsai; Borg; Borg Collective; Borg drone; bowl; bride; bridge officer (bridge crew); brig; Bynar; Caitian; Cali-class; Captain Proton; catwalk; cave; Caves of No'Mat; celerity-induced accelerated somatic mutation rate; Chakotay; cheater; chorus; Christmas; claw; collect; collision course; "coming back from the dead"; concussion; cousin; creator; cure; date; Deep Space 9; Delta Quadrant; dom-jot; "Dr. T"; Dyson sphere; engineer; Escher; Fair Haven; false green; family heirloom; father; fixer; flashback; Fontaine, Vic; forgery; french fries; fur; Galardonian; gender nonbinary; Genesis Deviced; Gik'Tal; girls' trip; grav stabilizer; great-grandma; "Gre'thor Paradise"; hair; handshake tour; hormone; horny; hot dog; Human; hypospray; Intrepid-class; Janeway, Kathryn; Jefferies tube; Jeremy; katra; Kazon; ketchup; Kim, Harry; Klingon; latinum; libido; libido post; lieutenant junior grade; lower decks; mastermind; mek'leth; microscopic civilization; mirror universe; Mistress of the Winter Constellations; morale; muffin; multiverse; Nausicaan; Nexus; Odo; omnidirectional restraints; Orion; Orion cargo vehicle; Orion Pirate Outpost; Orion Syndicate; Pakled; panel; pattern buffer; pet; pheromone; pirate; pirate outpost; plate; poison; pon farr; promotion; proxy; pupusa; Qualor II (Qualor); Quark; Quark's Bar; Quito, USS; racket; racquetball; ramming speed; recalibrate; rejotted; Rozhenko, Alexander; rung; salamander; scientific depravity; sci-fi; sector; security protocol; Sequoia; serve; sex toy; signature; slushie; son; spicy kiwi; Starbase Earhart; Starfleet Academy; static diffuser; stellar cartography; storage unit; strip; supervisor; switcheroo; syndrome; taste bud; Tellarite; Terellian Death Syndrome; thief; thieves' den; 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; vase; VISOR; Voyager, USS; "Voy"; Voyager plate; Vulcan; Worf; Yosemite (Shuttle 4); Zebulon Sisters
"Kayshon, His Eyes Open"
|Star Trek: Lower Decks