In the “Lower Decks” episode “Reflections” (September 22), Ensigns Boimler (Jack Quaid) and Mariner (Tawny Newsome) are given the unenviable task of manning a Starfleet recruitment booth at some kind of futuristic jobs fair. They must stand under an awning, yell at passers-by, and sell them on the idea that Starfleet is a pretty nifty organization. Everyone who walks past is seemingly indifferent or, odd for “Star Trek,” uninformed (“Do you guys do engineering?”). Neighboring Boimler and Mariner are tents occupied by much more exciting, sexier professionals, each one collecting more signatures on their clipboards. Being a roguish archaeologist is certainly more fun than wearing uniforms and taking orders. Even the collectors and board game enthusiasts giggle at Starfleet.
Boimler, with each jibe, grows increasingly furious. When someone steals his rank pip and throws it on the ground, Boimler cracks and begins screaming obscenities.
The outburst, however, is one of passionate defense of Starfleet. He wails that Starfleet is about mapping quasars and exploration and their missions of battle are not what they live for. He screams that structure is preferable to ass-scented collector’s warehouses. It’s a hilarious moment of release, but it also reveals how deeply devoted Boimler — and “Lower Decks” — is to Starfleet ideals.