This Star Trek: Lower Decks article contains spoilers for Episode 2.
With its second episode, Star Trek: Lower Decks has shown no sign of slowing down on the endless supply of Easter eggs and deep cuts. Just like with Episode 1, catching everything in an episode of Lower Decks might require you to have the ability to slow down time, just like the Scalosian in the TOS episode, “Wink of an Eye.” But, we don’t have that ability, so we have to rely on our memories and ugly bags of mostly water human bodies which happen to contain the wetware of our brains. In other words, we don’t have Rutherford’s cyber enhancement to help us out.
In Lower Decks episode 2, “Envoys,” Mariner and Boimler go on a hilarious mission together while Rutherford tries to figure out his true purpose in life. Along the way, some of the most famous aliens in all of Trek are referenced, and at least one alien you haven’t thought of in a long time. From a hilarious Wrath of Khan reference to a tour of Klingon cuisine to a very deep cut from one episode of TNG, here are all the Easter eggs and Trekkie references we caught in “Envoys.”
Transdimensional energy creatures
In the very first scene, Mariner and Tendi are accosted by a mouthy orb of pure energy. Mariner is excited about meeting “one of those transdimensional energy creatures,” and when it starts issuing demands, she knows just what to do with it. This kind of “energy ball” alien could reference a similar type of lifeform from the TOS episode “Day of the Dove.” The creature also mentions that it will “feed on fear,” which seems to reference a similar non-corporal lifeform from the TOS episode “Wolf in the Fold.”
Discovery Spore Alien reference
After Mariner shirks the alien down to size, it seems to get itself embedded in the uniform of Captain Freeman. This could reference a small spore alien that was embedded in Tilly’s uniform in Discovery season 1, only to remerge in season 2, pretending to be Tilly’s old junior high friend, May.
“It’s warp time!”
Captain Freeman mentions she wants a cool catchphrase to signal when the Cerritos goes into warp. Obviously, Picard’s catchphrase “Engage,” is the most famous of these kinds of things, even if it was first uttered by Captain Pike in “The Cage.” In Trek 2009 Pike said “Punch It” before going into warp, in a kind of overt Han Solo/Lando Calrissian reference. In Discovery, Pike says “Hit It.”
Castro on the Enterprise
The Lower Decks gang briefly talks about someone named Castro who apparently served on the Enterprise for “like a minute.” Relevantly, at this time, in 2380, Picard is still in command of the Enterprise-E albeit without Riker and Troi. As far as we can tell, “Castro” has never been mentioned or seen in TNG or any of the films before now.
“All Klingon names have an apostrophe for some reason”
This observation about Klingon names is obviously not entirely true. In fact, most of the early Klingons — Kor, Koloth, Kang or even Worf — do not have apostrophes in their names. The preponderance of apostrophes in Klingon names likely begins with the TNG episode “Heart of Glory,” in which we learn there is K’Tinga class Klingon ship, and met a Klingon named K’Nera.
Getting married in a dress uniform
Mariner gives Boimler grief about the fact that he’s wearing a more formal dress uniform by saying, “Nice dress uniform. You getting married after this.” In TNG and Voyager, a dress uniform often appeared in wedding episodes, notably in “Data’s Day.” The dress uniform in Lower Decks is seeming incongruous with the mostly white dress uniforms worn by the Enterprise crew in Nemesis, just a year prior in 2379. That said, the uniforms of the Cerritos already represent a throwback vibe to the TNG uniforms than anything seen in the TNG films.
The shuttlecraft Yosemite has a blast shield. We know it goes up and it goes down. We don’t really know what it does. However, like the sand joke in episode 1, this might be another moment where Lower Decks is throwing in a Star Wars reference. The phrase “Blast shield” is used to describe the part of Luke Skywalker’s helmet that obscures his vision in A New Hope.
Mariner is dreaming about Khan
While Mariner is napping on the shuttle, we catch her murmuring “Buried alive, marooned for eternity.” When she wakes up she says, “I keep having this awesome dream!” She is dreaming about Khan’s famous speech in The Wrath of Khan when he tells Kirk, “I shall leave you as you left me..marooned for all eternity at the center of a dead planet…buried alive…buried alive!” This speech, naturally, is followed by Kirk bellowing “KHAAAAN!!!”
Blood wine, Gagh and Raktajino
This episode makes quick references to Bloodwine (which Mariner and the Klingon envoy drink), Gagh (when Mariner says “the man wants hot worms!”) and Klingon coffee, better known as Raktajino. Gagh originates in the TNG episode “A Matter of Honor,” in which Riker has to eat the still-live serpent worms to prove he’s a badass. Bloodwine also originates in “A Matter of Honor,” though throughout the entire franchise it’s still never been made clear if there is actual blood in the Bloodwine. The most recent reference to Bloodwine was in Discovery Season 2 when Jet Reno referred to the Klingons as “The guys who drink Bloodwine.” Raktajino, meanwhile, originates on DS9, starting with the episode “Dax.”
When translated into English, one of the signs (written in Klingon) actually reads “Little Qo’nos,” which makes sense since Mariner called this area of the planet “the Klingon district.” Qo’nos is the homeworld of the Klingon Empire, though the name wasn’t actually revealed until Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. It is sometimes spelled “Kronos.”
Boimler worries that he and Mariner will be court-martialed for losing track of the shuttlecraft, to which Mariner replies, “don’t knock it until you’ve tried it.” The formal process of court-martial does not necessarily mean one will get kicked out of Starfleet. Both Kirk and Spock were court-martialed in TOS, in the episodes “Court Martial,” and “The Menagerie,” respectively. Apparently, Mariner has been court-martialed, too. This gives her something else in common with TNG favorite, Ensign Ro.
The Khitomer Accords
Boimler is also worried that he and Mariner are “violating the Kitohmer Accords.” This references the general peace treaties between the Federation and the Klingon Empire. These peace talks began in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, roughly in the year 2293. However, because the Enterprise-C was destroyed near Khitomer in 2344, there seems to have been more than one incarnation of the Khitomer Accords.
Section 31 power walk
Boimler mentions Section 31 as he performs his absurd energy-conserving speed- walk. Because Boimler is only an Ensign, this makes it seem like Section 31 is common knowledge in 2380. In the DS9 era (mostly 2370s) Section, 31 was still top-secret.
Klingon food cart owner has a Mek’Leth
When Mariner and Boimler ask the Klingon who runs a food kiosk about the location of the general, she pulls a Mek’Leth on them. This small, curved Klingon blade was introduced as Worf’s second weapon of choice in the DS9 episode “The Way of the Warrior.” That said, it is most remembered for Worf using it on Borg in zero gravity in the film First Contact.
Kaelon II aliens from TNG’s “Half a Life”
If the distinctive blue and black jumpsuits, combined with veiny foreheads seemed vaguely familiar, that’s because these aliens were seen in exactly one episode of TNG. Mariner mentions that the stares from these aliens make it seem like they’ve never seen a Starfleet uniform. Boimler responds, “Well, they are Kaelons and Kaelons are notoriously isolationist.” In the TNG episode “Half a Life,” we learn that part of the reason why the Kaelons are so closed off from the rest of the galaxy is that they force people over 50 to commit ritual suicide. In “Half a Life,” Lwaxana Troi falls in love with a Kaelon man, only to realize that he’ll be dead very soon.
Retro Klingon disruptors
In a glass case in the Klingon marketplace, there are several old school Klingon disruptors, seemingly for sale. These are straight from TOS, specifically the kind seen in “Errand of Mercy.”
“Warm hot joystick in your hand”
Commander Ransom mentions a “warm hot joystick,” in reference to being on the bridge. This seems like he’s talking about the “manual steering column,” which Riker used to fly the Enterprise in Star Trek: Insurrection. Relative to Lower Decks, that tech is probably fairly new.
When Ransom mentions using the “Janeway protocol,” he acts like Rutherford should know what he’s talking about. In truth, we have no idea what the Janeway protocol is other than it references Captain Janeway from Star Trek: Voyager. However, because this holodeck simulation involved temporal rift, it seems possible Ransom is suggesting Rutherford should have tried to use time travel to reset everything. (Janeway does this in both “Year of Hell” and “Endgame.”) That said, Ransom shouldn’t know Janeway used time travel to reset everything, so maybe that’s not it. Chronologically, at this point, Janeway is an Admiral at Starfleet. Or, at least she was the year prior, in Star Trek: Nemesis.
One district Mariner and Boimler find themselves in seems to be a knock-off the planet Risa. There’s a giant statue of a horga’hn, and when Boimler is flirted-with, the term “jamaharon” is mentioned. All of this originates in the TNG episode “Captain’s Holiday.” In that episode, Picard vacations on Risa and learns that displaying a statue of a horga’hn means you seek “jamaharon,” which basically just means you want sex.
“I am for you”
The alien woman who tries to plant her eggs in Boimler also seems to read his thoughts and essentially, become what he needs in order to lure him to his doom. This could reference the TOS episode “That Which Survives,” in which Losira (Lee Meriweather) says “I am for you, James T. Kirk” before she kills whoever’s name she has just said.
“In the name of the Prophets!”
Lt. Shaxs is a Bajoran, so when he says “In the name of the Prophets!” it seems to indicate he’s a religious Bajoran. Lower Decks takes place after the finale of DS9, so it seems possible that Bajorians in Starfeelt are even more devout, specifically because their Messiah — Ben Sisko — not only helped end the Dominion War, but also, went to live with the literal Prophets.
A Simulation to learn about defeat
Shaxs tells Rutherford that the “Shmorgishborg” simulation was designed to be unwinnable and to teach people about defeat. This references the idea of The Kobayashi Maru—”the No Win Scenario”—in The Wrath of Khan.
The joke “Shmorgishborg” is a play on the word “smorgasbord,” which usually refers to a fancy buffet. The word derives from the Swedish word “smörgåsbord.” In First Contact, when Picard first tells 21st-century resident Lily about the Borg, she replies, “Sounds Swedish.”
Founding members of the Federation
Mariner tries to give Boimler some advice about Andorians, and he replies, “Andorians were a founding member of the Federation, you want to tell me about Tellarties too!” This references the idea that Anodrians and Tellarites are some of the earliest of Trek’s alien species. Both races were first introduced in “Journey To Babel,” and later in the Enterprise episode “United,” the 22nd-century origins of the Human-Tellarite-Anodrian alliances are made clear.
Without a doubt, the deepest cut in the episode. Boimler and Mariner briefly encounter a tentacled Vendorian, a shapeshifting alien that was first seen in a 1973 episode of The Animated Series called “The Survivor.” In that episode, the Vendorian ended-up being helpful and saving the crew. In this case, not so much.
Although the Ferengi who confronts Boimler and Mariner is eventually revealed to be a pretty nice guy, the overt reference here is to the over-the-top way the Ferengi behaved in their very first appearance in the TNG episode “The Last Outpost.” From the fur outfit to the “hand thing,” this Ferengi is designed to evoke our 1987 memory of how absurd these guys first looked. When Mariner says she thinks he’s a Bolian, it’s an obvious tip to the audience that she’s lying. Boilans are the blue-skinned folks who, are perhaps best represented by Mr. Mot, the barber on the Enterprise-D in TNG.
But. In terms of this portrayal of the Ferengi. Go back to “The Last Outpost,” and look for the “hand thing.” The recreation here is spot-on.