TV SERIES Review: Star Trek: Lower Decks S1E5 – Cupid’s Errant Arrow ½

Season 1
CBS All Access
September 2, 2020

Episode 5 – “Cupid’s Errant Arrow”

Why am I watching this instead of at the movie theater seeing what Tenet has to offer? Have no good answer to that question. Well, yeah, am tired from working and didn’t want to drive the 30 miles to the theater tonight. Hopefully will catch that tomorrow.

But in the meantime, let’s dig that errant arrow out of my eye.

No pre title screen action for this episode, it starts with the title opening … why? Maybe that’s something considered creative to immediately start out with the title opening? Star Trek has an established formula: start with a small hook usually involving someone giving the star date, then the opening title sequence, then the first act, second act and third act and end with the customary and often humorous coda. No such format in this Lower Decks episode. Most of them so far through five episodes haven’t followed any sort of convention, really. I suppose that’s more Rick and Mortyish, but it’s not working here.

To date we’ve tried to make these reviews spoiler-free, but this one is going to be difficult not to spoil because not a lot happens beyond the basic story that is summarized below. Didn’t take any other screenshots, because why bother? If you want to take a chance on an episode that our rating deems unwatchable, the worst possible rating we can give anything except 0 stars, that’s cool. A half star rating follows along with an impossible not to spoil spoiler, you’ve been warned.

After the title opening, a diplomatic argument occurs on the bridge over the failure to detonate a moon. Beckett Mariner next meets Boimler’s new girlfriend and thinks she must be an alien. I mean, how can anybody love someone as pitiful as Brad Boimler? And so begins a Star Trek episode about a lower decks crew member, chasing around the girlfriend of another trying to expose her as something other than human.

I guess the only suspense here is … that. Argh. There is that other substory about whether or not to detonate a nearby planet and the associated diplomatic angst. Unfortunately that story happens on the main deck with the officers and is a very secondary focus of this episode. That story had more potential. At least in some of the other Lower Decks episodes there has been more crossover between the two.

For those brave few watching this episode, maybe or not you’ll find out if the planet is detonated and if the girlfriend is human.

Summary

This episode is the worst of Season 1 so far. Easily. I’m quickly nearing the frustration experienced with Picard (see: Done Watching and Reviewing Star Trek: Picard).

Not here to watch an unwatchable TV show. Will give this one more episode next week to see if something more entertaining happens (let’s get back to the excitement, although cliched, of the first episode).

So many, many great stories could have been told about the red shirts, the lower decks and this week we get a story about jealousy of a crew mate? If Mariner had feelings for Boimler maybe there would be more excitement here, but she’s supposed to be a friendly crewmate. I don’t like Becket Mariner’s character and Boimler? He’s not much better. I’d rather see Ransom get some more screen time, or that crazy security officer or, heck, how about different lower decks characters? Are we going to spend every episode with Mariner and Boimler? I’m not excited enough about either of these characters to spend five more episodes with them.

An abysmal episode. Don’t waste your time. Last week’s episode review was one of the lowest viewed posts ever on this site, so it doesn’t appear many readers care that much about this show, or at least reading what we think about it here. We won’t care either if they roll out another episode this lousy.

Episode rating: ½

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