TV REVIEW: We won’t get sufficient STAR TREK: LOWER DECKS season 4

Whereas this text avoids spoilers, eight episodes of Star Trek: Decrease Decks season 4 had been watched for assessment.

Jerry O'Connell as Commander Jack Random and Tawny Newsome as Ensign Beckett Mariner appearing in episode 2, season 4 of Lower Decks streaming on Paramount+, 2023.
Pictures: Paramount+.

In Decrease Decks season 4, the crew of the California Class USS Cerritos return for a fourth batch of adventures. But despite the truth that the collection has confirmed its core idea 3 times over, Decrease Decks season 4 will not be content material to relaxation on its narrative haunches, as a substitute pushing additional into collection (and Franchise) themes and digging deeper progressively deeper into each Trek and Decrease Decker lore.

Past Daring Boimler

In Decrease Decks season 3, Ensign Bradward Boimler (Jack Quaid) pushed himself to be extra “daring.” In Decrease Decks season 4, there’s a transparent effort by the collection to increase its boundaries in an identical method. 

Whereas Decrease Decks season 2 concluded with a cliffhanger, Decrease Decks season 3 closed on a comparatively steady state of affairs. This included Ensign Beckett Mariner (Tawny Newsome) rejoining the crew of the Cerritos on the conclusion of the season finale, “The Stars At Night time.” Moreover, whereas Ensign Samanthan Rutherford (Eugene Cordero) confronted the true origins of his implant over the course of the third season, he elected to retain it in “The Stars At Night time.”

Noel Wells as Ensign Tendi, Gabrielle Ruiz as TíLyn, Tawny Newsome as Ensign Beckett Mariner and Jack Quaid as Ensign Brad Boimler

By opening on these comparatively steady character conditions, Decrease Decks season 4 is free to launch Beta Shift and the Cerritos crew at massive into unusual, new conditions. Constructing on the primary three seasons, the present is ready to confidently throw its characters into some unusually weird conditions (even by Star Trek requirements). This yields memorable, partaking, and entertaining outcomes.

Far Past the Cartoons

Decrease Decks season 4 additionally continues a pattern the collection has been leaning into since its first season finale: the unabashed integration and exploration of beforehand established Star Trek canon. This contains visitor stars and episode plots that closely draw upon earlier reveals, falling into the vein of episodes like season 3’s Star Trek: Deep House 9 crossover, “Hear All, Belief Nothing.”

There’s additionally a continued exploration of certainly one of Trek’s oldest-yet-arguably-least-developed alien species, the Orion. As one of many first Orion officers in Starfleet, Ensign D’Vana Tendi (Noël Wells) has supplied an more and more complicated depiction of a person who’s working in opposition to individuals’s preconceived notions. This has afforded Decrease Decks the chance to extra totally flesh out the Orion, with implausible thematic outcomes.

Noel Wells as Ensign Tendi and Gabrielle Ruiz as TíLyn appearing in episode 1, season 4 of Lower Decks streaming on Paramount+, 2023.

The enlargement of established Star Trek aliens can be current by way of the inclusion of Provisional Ensign T’Lyn (Gabrielle Ruiz). Decrease Decks followers already fell in love with T’Lyn when she appeared in season 2’s “wej Duj,” and her switch to the Cerritos in “The Stars At Night time” gives one other narrative springboard for the collection to launch off as quickly as season 4 begins. Earlier glimpses of Vulcan characters on Decrease Decks have already confirmed to be extremely entertaining, and T’Lyn’s extra distinguished presence solely permits for these to extend.

Lastly, along with mining the broader Trek canon, Decrease Decks season 4 additionally digs deep into its personal continuity. This contains components starting from particular person characters (as revealed by the season 3 commentaries and season 4 trailer) to the return of Trek species first launched by the collection. Not solely do these present narrative fodder as fertile as the opposite included Trek components, however they are going to depart the viewer wanting ahead to what is going to hopefully be many further seasons of Decrease Decks, in order to discover these components additional nonetheless.

Decrease Decks season 4

The performances of each actor concerned on this season are wonderful and embody impeccable and surprising deliveries of many traces destined to change into well-quoted classics. Along with the Beta Shifters talked about above, the Cerritos bridge crew continues to steal the present.

This contains the unimpeachable Captain Carol Freeman (Dawnn Lewis), the underrated First Officer Jack Ransom (Jerry O’Connell), the hilarious Shax (Fred Tatasciore) and Physician T’Ana (Gillian Vigman), the quotable Kayshon (Carl Tart), head engineer Andy Billups (Paul Scheer) and ship counselor Physician Migleemo (Paul F. Tompkins).

And naturally, there are additionally many further Cerritos crewmembers that seem over the course of the season. As befits its long-standing central idea, each character in Decrease Decks season 4 feels fleshed out, even when they solely converse just a few traces. 

That is one other batch of top-notch character-based sci-fi tales. It’s no marvel Trekkies can’t get sufficient Decrease Decks.

The fourth season of Lower Decks premieres on Paramount+ on Thursday, September seventh, 2023. 

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