This article contains Star Trek: Lower Decks episode 7 spoilers.
One of the weirdest moments in Star Trek: The Next Generation was when Jean-Luc Picard randomly abdicated command of the USS Enterprise to a random dude played by Ronny Cox, better known to sci-fi geeks as one of the bad guys in RoboCop. The newest episode of Star Trek: Lower Decks — “Much Ado About Boimler” — starts with that reference, and then kicks the Easter eggs into trans-warp drive. From shout-outs to really obscure early TNG episodes, to the return of a very familiar alien species from The Animated Series, this episode might be the most stuffed episode of Lower Decks, yet.
Get ready to for all the Easter eggs and references (that we caught) in Star Trek: Lower Decks episode 7, “Much Ado About Boimler.” Beam me up! Or Boim me up. You know what I’m sayin’.
The all-black outfits from “Chain of Command Parts 1 and 2”
In the TNG Season 6 two-parter “Chain of Command,” Picard, Worf, and Crusher are temporarily re-assigned away from the Enterprise to participate in a top-secret mission for Starfleet intelligence which requires them to clandestinely cross into Cardassian space. For some reason, this also puts the trio in all-black body-stockings, complete with a weird black super-tight hood.
The start of “Much Ado About Boimler” features a log entry from Jack Ransom stating that he, Captain Freeman, and Lt. Shax or training for a top-secret mission that apparently involves botany.
This really seems like a cover-story, right?
Mariner complains about a “sub-captain” being a “Babysitter Jellico-type.” This also references “Chain of Command,” because the Captain who took over the Enterprise while Picard was on the secret mission was Captain Edward Jellico, who busted-out an annoying catchphrase; “Get. It. Done.”
As mentioned above, Jellico was played by Ronny Cox, who appeared in RoboCop alongside Miguel Jose Ferrer (Star Trek III: The Search For Spock), Kurtwood Smith (Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country), and RoboCop himself Peter Weller (Enterprise and Star Trek Into Darkness).
Kurtwood Smith was been slated to appear in a later episode of Lower Decks sometime this season.
“Still an Ensign”
Captain Ramsey’s crew is utterly baffled why Mariner is still an Ensign, despite the fact that she went to the academy with their captain. This joke probably references the idea that Harry Kim was an Ensign throughout all seven seasons of Star Trek: Voyager.
Boimler’s weird phasing effect isn’t described or explained exactly, but it does seem to reference the TNG episode “The Next Phase” in which Geordi and Ro are presumed dead after being transported incorrectly. Transporter accidents lead to other strange “phasing” which is vaguely similar to what happens to Kirk in the TOS episode “The Tholian Web.”
“The Time Travel Police?”
When Boimler is told that he’s going to be handed over to “Division 14,” he’s worried that means he’s going to be taken by the “time travel police.”
This likely refers to The Department of Temporal Investigations, who most famously appears in the framing of the Deep Space 9 episode “Trials and Tribble-alations.” The “Time Travel Police” could also refer to temporal agents like Daniels, who appeared throughout Enterprise and attempted to “win” the Temporal Cold War.
Gorn Doll is one of Freeman’s “Captain’s Trinkets.”
While Mariner is playing with some of Captain Freeman’s stuff (who is her mom) we briefly see a Gorn doll in a case behind her. Coincidentally or not, Freeman is the second new-ish Star Trek Captain to have secret Gorn stuff.
In Season 1 of Star Trek: Discovery, Captain Lorca had a full Gorn Skeleton in his research lab. And, the exact same week this episode aired, Tawny Newsome (Mariner) interviewed Ben Stiller on the Star Trek Podcast — The Pod Directive — about the fact that Stiller owns the original Gorn mask from “Arena.” Further, both Discovery Season 2 and Picard Season 1 contained numerous Gorn-centric Easter eggs.
Division 14 Medical Specialist is a huge alien-call back to The Animated Series
In the 1973 animated Star Trek series, the Enterprise was given a new navigator named Arex; a three-armed orange alien. In some ‘90s novels, this alien species was known as Triexian, but information released by Gene Roddenberry’s Lincoln Enterprises in 1974 calls Arex an Edosian. Most contemporary Trek material, including the mobile game Star Trek Timelines, use the designation Edosian, as do the IDW “Year Five” comic books.
Captain Ramsey says her Vulcan officer kicked some Borg butt with “Vulcan Jiu-Jitsu.” This probably references the Vulcan martial art Suus Mahna, which was introduced in the series Enterprise.
More recently, Michael Burnham practiced Suus Mahna throughout Discovery Season 1, notably in the episode “Lethe.” The penultimate episode of Star Trek: Picard Season 1 also featured two Synths practicing Suus Mahna.
Stealing an old special car
Mariner brags about stealing a Professor’s “old special car” and driving it into “the bay.” The bay she’s talking about is likely the Golden Gate since that’s the only bay near Starfleet Academy. Stealing an antique car seems to reference the 2009 Star Trek reboot in which young James T. Kirk stole a 1965 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray and drove it off a cliff.
“Equal Parts Accelerated Growth and Reverse Aging”
The ringleader of the Division 14 patients has his body equally divided between one half that has “accelerated growth” and another that is affected by “reverse aging.” This makes him half old-man and half little-kid.
The accelerated growth thing references the TOS episode “The Deadly Years” and also the TNG episode “Unnatural Selection.” In both episodes, crew members age rapidly, way ahead of their time.
The “reverse aging” effect references the TNG episodes “Too Short a Season,” and “Rascals.” In “Too Short a Season,” a Starfleet Admiral rapidly de-ages during a big mission, while in “Rascals,” Picard, Ro, Keiko, and Guinan are all rematerialized as 12-year-olds. (the Lower Decks character says he has to live out his days as “half a rascal”).
Finally, the TAS episode “The Counter-Clock Incident” saw nearly all the classic crew turned into babies.
At least two Division 14 patients have been “exposed to Delta Radiation,” and are encased in the same survival pods that Captain Pike had in the TOS episode “The Menagerie.” In that episode, Bones describes the exposure as “Delta Rays.”
Space slug from Voyager
One patient named “Anthony” looks exactly like the slug version of Janeway and Paris from the Voyager episode “Threshold.” In that episode, Janeway and Paris revert into these unlikely creatures because they tried to go past Warp 10. It’s a shortlist, but “Threshold” is generally considered one of the worst Star Trek episodes ever.
Like the Cerritos, the Rubidoux is another California-class starship. It’s named for a neighborhood in Riverside County, California. Unlike the gold trimming of the Cerritos or the blue trimming of the USS Mercet from Episode 4, the Rubidoux has red-trimming. In theory, this means its missions are more command-centric, whatever that means.
Mariner has a tough time operating her gravity boots in this episode. This could reference the infamous gravity boots in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. But, Picard also famously deactivates his gravity boots to evade Borg drones in Star Trek: First Contact.
Giant Space Jellyfish
After the crew figures out that the Rubidoux has been infested by a large alien lifeform, it eventually unfurls into a large blue jellyfish-esque creature. Captain Ramsey says that they don’t know what kind of creature it is, but that they believe it is “peaceful.”
This references the ending of the first episode of The Next Generation, “Encounter at Farpoint,” when its revealed that a mysterious space station, was in fact, a large space-dwelling alien lifeform all along.
Ramsey takes down Ransom
The episode ends with Ransom offering to buy Captain Ramsey a drink, but when he puts his hand on her, she flips him over onto a table instantly. This seems to reference the very first episode of Deep Space Nine, “Emissary.” When Quark makes a similar pass at Major Kira, she says, “If you don’t take that hand off my hip, you’ll never be able to lift a glass with it again.”
In theory, during the time of Lower Decks, Kira is probably still in on Deep Space Nine itself, very possibly, running everything.