An evil light being hitches a ride inside the captain. Boimler gets excited about escort duty. Mariner roasts him for being such a nerd. Tendi is excited about some nerd stuff, but Rutherford? THIS nerd loves him some Jeffries Tubes. …no, you don’t understand, he loves them. But when Tendi reminds him that he agreed to observe a nearby pulsar together, Rutherford offers to QUIT HIS JOB to free up enough time to keep his promise. Sound a bit extreme? Just wait, because Envoys is just getting started.
In this second episode, two of our Fave Four show us their extreme capacity to sacrifice their own comfort for the sake of their crew members. Rutherford literally quits his job in engineering, a position that he loves, so that he could rearrange his schedule in time to geek out with Tendi. Because a Starfleet officer never breaks their word. In his quest to find a new vocation, we discover the subcultures within crew ranks and develop new respect for the skill required to run a starship.
Meanwhile, concerned for her new charge, self-appointed command mentor Mariner decides to tag along with Boimler’s escort mission, roasting him for wearing his dress uniform upon sight. When the Klingon General Kor’In and Beckett end up being old friends, Boimler trudges on with the mission, trying desperately to just…do his job. Upon arrival on Telgana VI, Kor’In steals the shuttle, stranding the ensigns in the Klingon district.
After a surprisingly supportive send-off from his home in engineering, Rutherford joins Cmdr. Ransom in the holodeck for command training. Ransom drops the ensign directly in an advanced simulation, where after Rutherford’s command to maintain course, everyone is bleeding, everything is on fire, and everyone dies. After managing to kill the entire crew, Ransom suggests the Janeway Protocol. Rutherford, like the rest of us, asks what the Janeway Protocol is, to which Ransom replies, “Ha! Good one.” Switching to an easier setting, Rutherford’s crew asks what they should do about a small incoming asteroid. He suggests the Janeway Protocol, and suddenly everyone is bleeding, everything is on fire, and everybody dies. (…no, really – what’s the Janeway Protocol??)
Back on Telgana VI, Mariner proceeds to rescue Boimler from a wide assortment of dangerous situations as they search for the shuttle and the renegade Kor’In, who’s still due for his drop-off at the Federation outpost. Each rescue leaves Boimler feeling more and more dejected, and he decides to resign his commission upon their return. After crossing paths with a scuzzy-looking Ferengi that Boimler confidently handles, the pair recover the stolen shuttle with Kor’In passed out inside it, and drop the general off on the steps of the outpost before peeling off back to their rendezvous with the Cerritos.
It’s a clear ego boost for Boimler, who roasts Mariner about mistaking the Ferengi for a Bolian when they get back. Mariner gracefully bows out to her bunk, calling her Ferengi friend to thank him for his performance, proving herself to be an effective command mentor after all.
After a disastrous performance in medical and a bad-ass combat miracle in tactical (Bear Pack FTW!), Rutherford realizes he belongs in the tubes and prepares himself to break his word to Tendi. She instantly understands, resolving to watch the pulsar from a tablet next to Rutherford as he calibrates subroutines in his beloved Jefferies Tubes.
Boimler and Rutherford show us that they are willing to go about and beyond for their fellow crew members, even if it means sacrificing their pride and their comfort for the sake of their friends’ needs. It’s almost wholesome enough to forget about the energy being that implanted itself into Captain Freeman. Not quite, but almost.
(Seriously: WHAT IS THE JANEWAY PROTOCOL?)