Star Trek the Next Generation Episode Review: "Lower Decks"

by StevenHelmer

A review of the season 7 television episode that first aired in February 1994.

Synopsis: A group of junior officers struggle to maintain their friendship as personnel evaluations are conducted. Adding to their stress is the Enterprise's current mission, which is taking the ship dangerously deep into Cardassian territory for reasons that are known only to the Enterprise's senior officers.

Review

My wife was busy helping my daughters clean their bedrooms when I was home for lunch today so, since I had the living room to myself, I sat down to watch some TV. I ended up watching this episode.

I've seen this one in the past and, as I watched it today, remembered most of what was going to happen. Despite this, I still ended up watching the episode again and found I enjoyed it as much as I did the first time I took the time to watch it.

When I first saw this episode, I wasn't really sure if I would enjoy an episode told from the perspective of minor officers/guest actors. However, this perspective added quite a bit more to this episode than I originally thought it would and it ended up being much more memorable as a result of that.

For one, the fact the junior officers were kept out of the loop resulted in an intriguing mystery. Through overheard bits and pieces, we learn some basics about what is happening. But, since the information is sketchy at best, it's hard to figure out the big picture. The best I could do, the first time I watched this episode, is guess and hope I was at least close.

I also liked the overall perspective of the junior officers, who were vying for promotions in various departments on the ship with different results. Their voices and opinions gave the ship a little more depth than you normally would expect to see from this series, especially since the Enterprise supposedly has hundreds of people on board but you only ever really hear from a few of them each episode.

Final Opinion

As I said, this is a well-written episode that I have enjoyed each time I watch it. The mystery, combined with the voices/opinions of the junior officers, makes it much more memorable than expected and is an episode that is worth taking the time to watch.

My Grade: A

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Updated: 08/29/2016, StevenHelmer
 
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