The end of Season 1 of Lower Decks. Spoilers.
I think how much you like Lower Decks depends a lot on what your tolerance for blatant fan service is like. If you don’t have much tolerance for that kind of thing I suspect that it’s pretty hard to watch.
Given that I’ve watched every single one of the 797 previous instalments, I suspect that my tolerance for it is a lot higher than others. But even then, it’s important that it be in service of something. It’s no good just making a quick callback, it needs to count for something,.
At the end of this episode we get what amounts to a mission statement for the show, where the initial joke of ‘second contact’ is turned into a real and serious mission. “Starfleet is good at observing, but bad at maintaining”. And so we have an entire setup for the show that justifies jumping hip deep into callbacks, while still having a strong story potential.
And there are a *lot* of callbacks here, from ExoComps to Pakleds. Single story things from TNG that are used, with justification, to tell a new story here. The story of the episode is a great action focused way to get to the conclusion, and builds nicely on the remainder of the season while still feeling fairly standalone. And they even manage some emotional weight with the destruction of the Solvang.
(And the cameo of the Titan and Will Riker at the end, together with full dress TNG theme tune, was fantastic).
A very strong conclusion to the season, bringing together the threads and setting things up nicely for the future.
798 down. On to Discovery Season 3 (next week!).