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Boimler tries to find a bridge buddy while the USS Cerritos crew has down time during a long warp trip.


Act One[]

"Captain's log: the Cerritos is beginning a 12-hour warp, en route to a planetary survey in the Kontaran system. With little to do in this vacant stretch of space, I've approved some much needed R and R for the crew."

In the mess hall, the lower deckers are discussing what to do during their free time. Brad Boimler finds out that Beckett Mariner, Sam Rutherford, and D'Vana Tendi each have plans with senior officers: Mariner can no longer put off plans for "mother-daughter time" with Carol Freeman now that there's plenty of time for it, Rutherford is to try a soup recipe for Andy Billups then attend a pottery session with Shaxs, and Tendi has been invited by Dr. T'Ana to go to the holodeck together. Boimler laments over his lack of socialization with senior officers, as such relationships can be an important factor for promotion, and Tendi suggests he make use of the time to make such a new friend. He wonders about serving on ships with built-in social structures, such as those belonging to Bynars or Klingons. Mariner expresses skepticism that Boimler would enjoy serving on a Klingon ship, although he believes that their Lower Decks are nicer than one thinks as the Klingons have traveled using warp drives for centuries.

Meanwhile, aboard a Klingon Bird-of-Prey, the IKS Che'Ta', a Klingon lower decks crew is getting ready to head for breakfast before starting their own duties, discussing about what they will be doing. Punched awake and then helped up from the deck by a friend after falling out of his hammock, Ma'ah expresses hope that he will be able to impress their captain, Dorg, noting that first officer Togg has been undermining Dorg as of late. Realizing that Togg should likely be killed for this, Ma'ah, as he's been assigned to the helm that day, is hoping being present will make him Dorg's "logical" choice for the new first officer. One of the Klingon lower deckers laughs at the statement, comparing it to something a Vulcan would say and teases Ma'ah that he should cut his hair and serve on a Vulcan ship.

In another part of space, the Vulcan lower decks crew of the Vulcan cruiser VCF Sh'vhal are focusing on their work. Lower decker T'Lyn forgoes her duty to monitor the tertiary impulse systems, and instead works to enhance the long-range sensors with algorithms she developed, which leads to the detection of a surge of metreon particles in System 7743.8. Criticized by another officer for not sticking with her assigned duty, T'Lyn at first begins saying that she "wanted to", then corrects herself and says that instead of monitoring a redundant system, it's more logical for her time to be better spent improving their sensors. Another of her crewmates looks at her reading and says that the metreon readings are within acceptable parameters. T'Lyn agrees, but notes that the system has never produced such a large reading of anomalous energy, and that something about it "feels off." Another officer, T'Gai objects to her judging with her feelings and that she's been spoken to about it before, though T'Lyn says it is illogical to ignore these readings, and leaves to inform their captain. The others remark that she has lost control of herself.

Back on the Che'Ta', Ma'ah enters the bridge, to a fight to the death between Dorg and Togg. Togg calls Dorg dishonorable, and charges him with a knife, but Dorg manages to take the knife from him, and stab Togg in the chest, killing him. Dorg addresses his bridge crew and says that Togg forgot what it meant to be Klingon, and that he will need a loyal first officer who doesn't spit in the face of duty, offering the position to the officer who impresses him the most. After Dorg orders the disposal of Togg's corpse, Ma'ah volunteers for the job and drags the body away (albeit with some difficulty).

Back on the Cerritos, Boimler approaches Kayshon in the lounge, hoping to socialize with him, gives him a drink, and impresses Kayshon with his knowledge of the Tamarian language. Kayshon continues to speak with him, but when Boimler attempts to respond, he unknowingly makes a statement about Kayshon's weight, and offends Kayshon in the process. Kayshon leaves angrily, while Boimler tries to apologize.

Boimler then decides to join Rutherford, who is with numerous other officers, and Shaxs as they make pottery. Boimler is impressed with Shaxs' skill and asks if he learned to make pottery on Bajor. However, after he asks this, Shaxs gets infuriated and says that while he lived on Bajor, he had little time for anything, other than fighting the Cardassian Occupation of Bajor in the Bajoran Resistance. He then rushes to attack Boimler, but Rutherford holds him back and yells at Boimler to run. As Boimler runs out of the room, Rutherford manages to calm Shaxs down, and Shaxs sits back down, intending to make an ashtray for his incense in the shape of a puppy.

Back on the Che'Ta', Dorg is feeding his targ, and Ma'ah compares it to Kor's hound at the Battle of Klach D'kel Brakt. Dorg is surprised that he knows of the battle at such a young age, and Ma'ah asks if they may sing a song about it, before he is head-butted by another officer who demands him to go and get another barrel of bloodwine.

On the Sh'vhal, T'Lyn's captain is asking why she modified the long-range sensors when that is not a part of her duties, and she responds that she had a "gut feeling" that improving their sensor range would prove illuminating. She further clarifies that the reading she picked up originated in a region of space that has never experienced a comparable phenomenon, and that ignoring it would be illogical. Relenting, the captain orders the helm to adjust course to investigate the reading as the corner of T'Lyn's mouth quirks upward but lowers again when he warns T'Lyn that his decision is not an endorsement of her behavior, and orders her to spend the next two days in meditation. T'Lyn tries to object, saying that she is near completion of a personal project, and the captain remains firm, saying her outbursts are not acceptable. She tries to explain her project's objective, but he interrupts that by relying on her beliefs, feelings, and instincts, her behavior is comparable to that of a child.

On the holodeck, Tendi is rock climbing with T'Ana, and while she takes in the sight, Boimler flies up, using a pair of levitation boots, asking if he can join them. However, as he asks, his boots fail, and he starts to fall a great distance. After he falls, Tendi is thankful that the holodeck safety protocols are online but asks if they are on, to which T'Ana says: "Yeah, sure. Whatever." Boimler falls onto the branch of a tree. His boots give off a short burst of power, smacking his head into the trunk.

Act Two[]

Mariner and Freeman on the Phaser Range

Mariner and Freeman's "mother-daughter time" on the phaser range

Boimler continues to look for someone to join on the Cerritos and comes upon the phaser range, which is in use by Freeman and Mariner for some target practice. Hoping to join them, he enters the range, only to see them in a heated argument with one another during their target practice. Oblivious to his presence, they continue to bicker with one another while Boimler, uncomfortable with the situation, tries to get out of the room quickly, though has a bit of difficulty doing so at first.

Distraught, Boimler enters the turbolift, where Commander Jack Ransom is with a lieutenant junior grade, and a Benzite ensign, talking about Hawaii. Boimler joins in on their conversation, and they ask him if he is also from Hawaii. Boimler hesitantly says that he is, and Ransom is shocked that another Hawaiian is onboard, before inviting him to the holodeck later to go to the beach.

On the Che'Ta', Ma'ah has brought a new barrel of bloodwine to the mess hall, but as he drags it in, an overweight Klingon passes out and falls on him. The other Klingons laugh at him, and leave the mess hall, ignoring his demands for assistance. Dorg approaches him and orders him to walk his targ, as the animal ate one of Togg's legs and needs to pass it or he'll have gas, once Ma'ah's "done fooling around." Ma'ah acknowledges, and the targ happily approaches Ma'ah, licking his face as he resignedly sighs.

On the Sh'vhal, T'Lyn is alone in the meditation room as she sighs a long exhale with her eyes closed, but her nearby PADD chirps and she picks it up, doing more work on it. The other lower deckers enter the chamber with two other officers to meditate and note that she is working when she should be meditating. T'Lyn says she is nearly finished with her project and will meditate when it's complete. She is told that her rebellious nature will only lead to punitive spiritualism, and T'Lyn rebukes the statement, saying that she isn't rebellious, is only enjoying her project, and had hoped to have it finished by the end of the day. She then says that if they didn't just strictly follow rules, they would also realize that there is more for them to learn and achieve, offering to become her confidant, noting of the cha'DIch concept of the Klingons. T'Lyn is told that they are not Klingon, but she responds that they are also not Borg drones, and do not have to blindly follow orders, quoting that "Logic is the beginning of wisdom, not the end." Her friend says that the Vulcan High Command would be interested in learning more about her relaxed attitude, and T'Lyn asks if she intends to have her reported. The others tell her that she is clearly unstable and that the entire crew has noticed her behavior, though T'Lyn is unconcerned with what the crew thinks of her.

On the Cerritos, Boimler is fretting about the upcoming hangout on the holodeck, and Rutherford asks why he didn't just say that he wasn't from Hawaii, and Boimler responds that it just happened too fast for him to do anything about it. As they talk, Freeman calls Mariner to report to her quarters for "hanging out," and Mariner moans about how this trip is the longest of her life. As she leaves, Tendi and Rutherford recommend Boimler to be truthful to Ransom, saying that it's better to be true to himself than to simply have a friend who is a commander, to which Boimler agrees.

Ultimately, Boimler dresses in a Hawaiian shirt, and reports to the holodeck with Ransom, and is given a Mai Tai.

Act Three[]

Dorg is sitting in his quarters, listening to Klingon opera, when Ma'ah enters, having finished walking his targ. Dorg throws a bottle of bloodwine at his screen, which is displaying a map of the quadrant, and expresses frustration that the Klingon Empire no longer controls the quadrant with fear and power as it once did. Ma'ah assures him that the Empire is as fierce as ever, but Dorg only replies that with Klingons joining Starfleet, and studying at Bajoran academies, they've lost their respect for tradition. Ma'ah agrees that it is troubling to see a proud caste of warriors lose their lurDech, which impresses Dorg. He says that Ma'ah has a warrior's spirit, despite being weaker, smaller, and slower than his other officers (a comparison the lower decker is not thrilled with), and says that he could be captain of his own ship one day. At that moment, the Che'Ta' is hailed, and Dorg has it sent to his quarters via a private channel. A Pakled named Rebner appears onscreen and asks if they are ready to give them presents. Dorg says that they will discuss their "transaction" in person, and that he will beam over with Ma'ah, whom he declares to be his new first officer.

As they leave Dorg's quarters, Ma'ah expresses disgust at the Pakleds, as they have no honor, and asks if they are planning to commandeer their ship. Dorg responds that as cowardly and foolish as the Pakleds are, they still have their uses. Dorg sees that the Pakleds have an insatiable hunger for power and intends to use that. He reveals that he has been giving weapons and information to the Pakleds so that they can throw the quadrant into disarray. Ma'ah is confused why Dorg is helping the Pakleds, and Dorg notes that the Federation is getting destabilized, which will allow the Klingon Empire to claim the region. Ma'ah protests, saying that Klingons do not rely on others to fight their battles for them, and Dorg replies that it's precisely why the Federation has no clue that they are being manipulated as such. They then beam off the Che'Ta'.

On the Cerritos, Mariner and Freeman are playing a game of Clue, when an officer contacts Freeman that they've detected an anomalous energy reading and asks if they should investigate. Eager for a change of pace, both Mariner and Freeman quit their game, and get ready to return to duty, but before Mariner leaves, Freeman tells her that she had a great time with her, and Mariner says the same.

USS Cerritos faces off against the Che'Ta' and Pakled

The Cerritos against the Pakled and Che'Ta'

Dorg and Ma'ah beam to the Clumpship, Pakled, and Rebner greets them, saying that they need another "boomer." Dorg refuses, saying that they gave them one Varuvian bomb, and that one is enough. Rebner tells them that they already used it by testing it on a big asteroid, and that afterwards, it stopped working. Dorg frustratingly tells them that bombs can only be used once, but reluctantly contacts his ship to transport another bomb onboard. Ma'ah advises Dorg that a Varuvian bomb emits high amounts of metreon particles, and that other ships may come to investigate. As he says this, a "red alarm" goes off. The Cerritos drops out of warp to see the Pakled and the Che'Ta' beside one another, and Dorg orders for their communications to be blocked, and that they need to take out the Cerritos.

Freeman is surprised to see the Pakleds, and assuming they're attacking the Klingons now, and has the Cerritos hail the Bird-of-Prey. Getting no response, Freeman asks them if they are in need of assistance, but as she asks this, both ships power up weapons, and Freeman orders for the shields to be raised, going to red alert. The Che'Ta' and the Pakled open fire on the Cerritos, and throughout the ship, all off-duty officers rush to their battle stations. Freeman has the Cerritos return fire, targeting the weapons. Ransom leads Boimler, and the other "Hawaiianers" to their stations, when they are trapped by falling debris. As the deck continues to take damage, force fields are activated to seal the area, trapping them, and Boimler expresses that he doesn't want to die in a Hawaiian shirt, making everyone look at him weirdly. Boimler, realizing he's been caught, sits down and admits that he isn't from Hawaii, and that he's from Modesto, California. He confesses that he just wanted a friend who worked on the bridge, and apologizes, not wanting to die a liar. As he says this, the Benzite and junior grade lieutenant admit that they are also not from Hawaii, and that they just wanted to impress Ransom. Ransom says that none of them had to pretend for him and that he liked them for who they were, before admitting himself that he isn't from Hawaii either. He made it up as an ensign since his former commanding officer was from Honolulu. Ransom admits that he actually grew up in Tycho City on Luna, causing the junior grade lieutenant to express that she did as well, growing up in Luna Bay. The Benzite also joins in that he grew up on B-9-3, Benzar's third moon. Hoping to connect, Boimler likens Modesto as a moon to San Francisco, but they take offense to his comparison.

On the Che'Ta', Dorg revels as he watches the Pakled continue its attack on the Cerritos, but Ma'ah expresses that their actions feel wrong, and that there is no honor is having the Pakleds fight their battles. Dorg strikes him as he protests and tells him not to speak to him about what is honorable. Ma'ah responds that other Klingons have tried to sabotage peace before, with no success, and Dorg only responds that he will not fail.

On the Pakled, four Pakled lower deckers are sitting in front of storage containers full of mushfroot, and one laments how hungry he is. One suggests that he should eat, and the other replies that he is smart.

As the attack continues, Freeman orders evasive maneuvers, but the shields fall to 17%, however, as Shaxs tells Freeman that they can't last much longer, the Sh'vhal drops out of warp, and intercepts fire from the Pakled. The captain of the Sh'vhal orders shields raised to maximum power as the Che'Ta' and Pakled open fire on them. As the Che'Ta significantly weakens their shields, T'Lyn reveals that the project she had been working on is a regenerative shield amplifier and believes it can help them. The captain is hesitant to try it since it hasn't been tested and could damage the shield coupling, leaving them unprotected. T'Lyn urges that it is logical to use it since they have no other alternatives, and her instincts tell her it will work. Without options, the captain orders her program to be implemented.

Dorg continues to revel in the battle, saying that the destruction of two enemy ships will bring him glory. Ma'ah once again protests saying that the Federation ships are not their enemies, demanding to know if the Klingon High Council is aware of his actions. Dorg responds that the Council lacks foresight and will change their minds when the battle begins.

On the Sh'vhal, T'Lyn's program is transferred from her PADD and has been implemented, and the shields are significantly raised to 120%. The captain orders to have the Pakled disabled.

Dorg orders for them to target the Cerritos, but Ma'ah belays the order, much to the anger of Dorg. Ma'ah says that this needs to end, and issues a challenge of command to Dorg, who finds it laughable due to their differences in experience. Ma'ah demands that the captain stop the attack. Ma'ah's friends enter the bridge with Dorg's targ, to see Dorg try once more to have the Cerritos destroyed, and Ma'ah intervenes, pulling the weapons officer away from the console and punches Dorg. The two engage in a brutal fight, as the crew looks on. As they fight, Dorg's targ growls at the sight. After flooring Ma'ah, Dorg picks him up from the deck and slams his back to a console, pinning him there and choking him, then pulls out his dagger. Before he can finish Ma'ah, his own targ lunges at him and bites him in the forearm, causing him to drop his dagger in surprise before being pulled away from Ma'ah. Dorg angrily punches and kicks the targ aside. Ma'ah manages to recover and jumps onto Dorg's back but is thrown and bounces off the top of the command chair as he sails across the bridge. Seeing Ma'ah lying on the deck with his back to him, Dorg chuckles and pulls out a knife as he approaches to finish him off, but Ma'ah has landed nearby Dorg's dagger: he suddenly rolls to his feet with the dagger in hand and lunges his full weight behind the weapon at Dorg, ramming the blade through his chest. Dorg laughs breathlessly before collapsing to the deck, dead. As he lets the weapon fall from his hand and takes a contemplative moment to catch his breath, one of the bridge officers asks Ma'ah what his orders are, addressing him as captain. Ma'ah looks up at the officer in slight surprise and then to his friends, who smile and nod. He takes his place in the command chair, and orders for a course to be set for Qo'noS, intending to let the Council decide what to do with the empty shell of the biHnuch, and tell them of Dorg's actions. Dorg's targ affectionately offers his head to be petted, apparently claiming Ma'ah as his new master.

The Che'Ta' turns away, entering warp, and Freeman has the Cerritos intensify its attack on the Pakled. With the combined fire of the Cerritos and Sh'vhal being too much to handle, the Pakled enters warp, and retreats. Freeman hails the Sh'vhal, and thanks them for the assist, but before she can say more, the captain of the Sh'vhal asks if they are in need of assistance. Freeman declines, and the captain cuts communications, saying that further communication is no longer necessary. Freeman orders for the crew to begin to assess the damage and begin repairs, before she ponders the revelation of the Klingons helping the Pakleds. Shaxs finds it strange that they broke off their attack and retreated, noting how Klingons typically like to die in battle. Freeman wonders if they realized this wasn't their fight and intends to brief Starfleet Command about what happened.

On the Sh'vhal, T'Lyn's captain commends her for her program, saying that if she hadn't been following her instincts, it isn't likely that they would have survived their encounter, but that her inability to control her emotions has become too much of a liability and is removing her from duty. T'Lyn begins to protest, but the captain responds that her perceived victory will only fuel further impulsive behavior, and that there's no place for that behavior on his ship. T'Lyn accepts this and is prepared to gather her belongings and return to Vulcan, though to her surprise, the captain says that is not where she'll be going. Instead, he is recommending her for reassignment to a Starfleet vessel, noting that her instinctual behavior may be a better fit to serve with Humans. T'Lyn is not happy with this recommendation, as she considers this to be a punishment that far outweighs her actions and asks the captain to reconsider, but he, in turn, replies that her outburst is exactly how he came to his final decision. As T'Lyn leaves his chamber, she sarcastically salutes him, with a noted emphasis on "Sir."

In the Cerritos lounge, Boimler is sitting with Mariner, Tendi, and Rutherford around a table, and laments how close he was to becoming friends with Ransom, but Mariner cheers him up, saying that he doesn't need a bridge buddy since he has them. She then promises that the next time they have a long-haul warp, they will all do something together. Though Boimler is appreciative of his friends, as he leaves the table to grab a drink at the bar, he's still disappointed. As he waits for his drink, a cadet nervously walks up, and tells Boimler that he's been having trouble keeping up with his duty schedule, and that Ransom told him that Boimler was the most organized officer on the ship, and a great officer. From a booth with the other officers he's been hanging with, Ransom observes the exchange with a quiet smile before turning back to his drink. Flattered, Boimler accepts the cadet's request and begins to advise him, saying that every ship depends on officers like them to keep the ship running, and that while you might often hear about the adventures of the bridge crew, the real action takes place down on the lower decks.

As the credits start to roll, we get a glimpse of the 'lower decks' of Borg Cube 90182, where four Borg drones are regenerating in their alcoves.

Log entries[]

Memorable quotes[]

"Could you imagine serving with those biHnuchs? 'Avoid death and cower.'"

- a Klingon lower decker, about Vulcans

"'Kimarnt, her head cloudy'?"
"Ah, thank you, ensign…"
"Boimler. I took a little Tamarian at the Academy."
"Oh, 'Unzak and Vhila as children?'"
"Uh, right. Um, 'Karno, in the forest with… Mira.'"
"…It is hard to lose weight when you can replicate any food you want!"

- Boimler and Kayshon

"You think I had time for anything other than resisting?! Fighting fascism is a full-time job!"

- Shaxs, when Boimler asks if he learned how to make pottery on Bajor

"Put it in the clay, Papa Bear, put it in the clay."
"I'm going to fight! I'm going to get revenge! I'm… going to make a cute little ashtray for my incense. It's going to look like a puppy."
"Ooh, a puppy!"

- Rutherford and Shaxs

"Good thing safety protocols are on. They... they are on, right?"
"I don't know. Sure."

- Tendi and T'Ana, after Boimler falls a great distance on the holodeck

"Why would you tell an entire shift I get bad cramps?!"
"You were on duty! Your commanding officers have to know any medical issues that could impact the mission!"
"Billups doesn't need to know! He's not good with that stuff, it freaked him out!"
"If I had to dance around everything that freaks out Billups, we wouldn't get anything done!"
"Cool! Then maybe I'll tell him to boost the environmental controls to help with your hot flashes!"

- Mariner and Freeman, during their session on the phaser range

"Are you attempting to insult me?"
"I merely wish for you to join me in broadening your definition of how to synthesize data."
"That sounds like an insult to me."

- Shara and T'Lyn

"Logic is the beginning of wisdom, not the end."

- T'Lyn, quoting Spock's wisdom (Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country)

"The Empire used to choke the quadrant with fear, power, but now?! We've lost our way."
"The Empire still strikes terror. Klingon blood runs as reddish-pink as ever."

- Dorg and Ma'ah

"I think it was the chef, in the biolab, with the sniper rifle that can shoot through walls."
"You always pick the chef."
"Yeah, 'cos we have replicators. Why is there a chef? That's just shady."

- Mariner and Freeman, playing Clue

"Welcome to the Pakled spaceship, Pakled. I am Rebner."
"Yes, Rebner, we've met several times."
"We need another boomer."
"What? No! One Varuvian bomb is enough."
"We already used it."
"You used it?! On what?! Why?!"
"We wanted to test it on a big asteroid, but then it stopped working."

- Rebner and Dorg

"They're all from moons! Look at them, probably talking about tides and werewolves."

- Boimler

Background information[]


  • The title was announced in a ViacomCBS press release on 5 October 2021. [1] listed the episode's title as "Three Ships" (the English translation of Klingonese wej Duj). [2] The title card presents the title in Klingon script:  .
  • This is the first Star Trek episode title to begin with a lowercase letter and the first one to be written on the title card in a non-Latin alphabet.


  • Series creator Mike McMahan originally planned to have the opening credits of this episode appear in both Klingon and Vulcan, but was unable to do so due to the time and expense it would have added. [3]
  • This is the first episode of the franchise that features a scene played during the end credits.



  • This episode was nominated for the Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation (Short Form).

Links and references[]


LD wej Duj poster

Poster for the episode

Guest cast[]

Characters with unidentified voices

Background characters[]

USS Cerritos
IKS Che'Ta'
VCF Sh'vhal


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Meta references[]


External links[]

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Star Trek: Lower Decks
Season 2
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