Life on the USS Cerritos seems to have settled into a semblance of normalcy. For instance, we finally get to see one of the most fabled acts of Trek lore: the sonic shower. After a long night, Ensigns Mariner (Tawny Newsome), Rutherford (Eugene Cordero), and Tendi (Noël Wells) head to the showers before their shift. They run into the dashing Jet Manhaver (Marcus Henderson), who informs them that he’s been reassigned to Beta shift. Mariner declares herself the official, unofficial leader, and Manhaver is clearly put off by the notion.
The Cerritos has been assigned to assist the Collector’s Guild in relocating the contents of a deceased Collector, with a cephalopod named Siggi. Capt. Freeman (Dawnn Lewis) agrees to help, declaring that the mission would be a great opportunity to introduce their new security officer, Lieutenant Kayshon (Carl Tart), the first Tamarian in Starfleet. Freeman opts to reflect on her command methods as she awaits the results for her evaluation from Starfleet Command. The ensigns speculate on how Boimler (Jack Quaid) would react to the mission.
Speaking of Boimler, a quick cut to the USS Titan show us that Boimler isn’t enjoying his new assignment as much as he’d hoped. After defeating the Pak’led threat, Capt. William Riker (Jonathan Frakes) and his crew celebrate the swift victory, but Boimler looks more stressed than usual.
The Cerritos away team, lead by Kayshon and consisting of Mariner, Rutherford, Tendi, and Manhaver, get to work moving the contents of the gallery to their loading areas. There’s a veritable gold mine of Easter eggs in the Collection, so much so that only a pause button will enable viewers to see what made it.
Back on the Titan, Capt. Riker builds an away team (Boimler included), tasked with neutralizing the new Pak’led veruvian mining operation. Boiler is still stressed, but gets assigned to the undercover mission anyway.
Back on the Gallery ship, somebody in the Cerritos’ away team triggers security protocol, and a mysterious ray turns Kayshon into a puppet. Since he’s out of commission, Mariner and Manhaver bicker over whose plan is best, Tendi and Rutherford look awkward about the exchange.
As the Titan’s away team takes a shuttle to the Pak’led mining colony, Boimler defends the achievements of the Enterprise-D from the flippant critiques of his crewmates. On the Cerritos, Capt. Freeman stresses about the results of her command assessment.
The Cerritos team dodges more booby traps and stumbles upon a chamber of remains, including the bones of Giant Spock. Siggi triggers more defense protocols and the ensigns barricade themselves into an exhibit to buy some time. Mariner and Manhaver work out their issues amidst the peril, leaving Tendi and Rutherford to come up with a plan to get off the gallery ship.
On the mining colony, Boimler and the rest of the Titan’s away team narrowly escape death by Pak’leds, only for Boimler to assert that he joined Starfleet to explore, not get into dangerous, life-threatening missions. He goes off on a tangent, recounting Riker’s exploits on the Enterprise and realizes the similarities in both their present condition and that time Riker accidentally got transporter cloned. Working quickly, Boimler abruptly figures out how to get them off the planet, and clones himself in the process.
Meanwhile, interpersonal conflict aside, the Cerritos’ away team works together to get to the gallery ship’s escape pods. Alarmed at the use of the pods, Freeman finally checks in with the team, and flips out upon hearing her new chief of security has been turned into a puppet. On the Titan, Riker informs the Boimlers that Starfleet Command has determined that one of them can stay on board, but the other must return to the Cerritos as an ensign.
Back on the Cerritos, Mariner, Rutherford, Tendi, and Manhaver are bonding at the bar. It looks like Manhaver is settling into his new friend group, until Boimler returns, much to Mariner’s glee.
It’s a strong second episode in this sophomoric season of Star Trek: Lower Decks. The bickering between Mariner and Manhaver got tedious eventually, confirming that interpersonal conflict does nothing to further the story. The sheer volume of obscure objects on the gallery ship prove the vastness of the Trek mythos, a flex any true veteran fan should love, and acts as a treasure map of lore, something new fans can use as a guide to diving deep into the Star Trek universe.