Racquetball

Lower Decks’ “Least Dangerous Game” – Multiversity Comics

Space, the ultimate frontier. With the Cerritos back in action, things have gotten pretty dire for Beckett Mariner, as her greater or lesser rival is in charge of every element of her daily life. With his Starfleet career on the line, Mariner must toe the line no matter how dire the situation, for better or (more than likely) for worse. But still, Starfleet’s job is never done, so grab your phaser and join us as we give you five thoughts on “The Least Dangerous Game”.

1. Downtime on the Cerritos

If you are a fan of star trek, you know downtime tends to be a key part of most shows. From leaves on the ground (where everything goes wrong) to holodeck simulations (where everything goes wrong), these shows show what their crews do when there’s nothing to explore. The jokes tend to come from how stuffy these off-duty activities are, from string quartets to reliving your favorite Sherlock Holmes mystery. But we are on the Cerritos! Their downtime tends to be a little more relatable, and “The Least Dangerous Game” punches my staff Trek bingo cards, Starfleet D&D.

Or, in this case, the Ferengi bootleg game “Bat’leths and Bihnuchs,” featuring everyone’s favorite Klingon Chancellor Martok. Although a fun visual, watch our cosplayed Ensigns throw d20s and react to the video screen. It’s also a fun callback to 90s video board games. Anyway, “The Least Dangerous Game” reminds us that the Cerritos isn’t like the Enterprise, with board games instead of adventures holodeck. It’s fun to see our favorite brands let off steam.

2. Boimler says “Yes!” to life (and faces unintended consequences.)

To say Bradward Boimler is regimented is an understatement. Man has a plan for practically everything, and those plans tend to be as conservative as possible. Even in a game like “Bat’leths and Bihnuchs”, Boimler takes the safer path, failing to learn the game’s lesson that sometimes the path of least resistance can still lead to bad consequences. What kicks things off for Boimler is the revelation that a former ensign, whom he didn’t have much regard for, became captain simply by taking advantage of every opportunity that came his way. “The Least Dangerous Game” gets Boimler thinking about the plan to have multiple planes and leads to the realization that it may be limiting his success in Starfleet.

What follows is a fun montage of Boimler saying yes and realizing that putting himself forward could lead to opportunities he might have missed. First, Boimler plays racquetball, which gives him the chance to join Shaks’ funeral choir, earning him a favor from a senior officer. Then he agrees to pose for a life painting class and realizes that a colleague he was afraid of is actually a nice person. “The Least Dangerous Game” shows Bradward that life shouldn’t just be about following a path but about taking risks. But saying yes can have unintended consequences, like falling prey to an alien.

3. A strange couple leads to a tense mission.

After last week’s premiere, Mariner responds to one person, Jack Ransom. While it’s a fun setup, it creates quite a bit of tension in a seemingly routine mission. For seemingly no reason, the engineering team is on the planet to keep the natives happy, and Mariner and Ransom are assigned to fix the space elevator. Unfortunately, while most of “The Least Dangerous Game” involved Mariner desperately trying to resolve a rapidly changing situation on the surface of the planet, it becomes frustrating over time.

Look, I know this is a comedy show, and odd couples usually work well, but Starfleet people’s lives are at stake. That makes Mariner and Ransom’s arguments even more stupid. While this leads to some funny moments, especially Mariner making her way to the top floor of the space elevator after defying Ransom’s orders, it shows just how dangerous their arguments are. It’s not as fun as Ransom and Mariner’s back and forth in “Temporal Edict”, mainly because they have more control over the situation in “The Least Dangerous Game”. Again, this led to good humor, but there seemed to be something more to it.

Continued below



4. K’ranch pushes Boimler to his limits.

Meanwhile, as the situation unfolding on the planet continues to evolve, Boimler is truly fighting for his life as K’ranch, an alien seeking a ritual hunt, proves to be an enemy more terrible than expected. “The Least Dangerous Game” is, of course, a play on the similarly named short story, with Bradward proving to be a coward at every turn. Again, this provides callbacks and funny moments as Boimler rushes through the ship. It works well here for two reasons. One is Boimler’s call. He didn’t expect it to be as intense as it turned out. Second, the episode gives us plenty of hints that everything will be fine.

While Boimler eventually musters up his courage and stands up to K’ranch, throughout “The Least Dangerous Game” he seems to be a bit of a pushover. However, he is a gentleman who loves brunches and has quickly formed a good relationship with the crew. While the episode’s eventual conclusion seems pretty well telegraphed throughout, it’s still satisfying.

5. So, is anything going to happen to Ransom?

The least satisfying conclusion to “The Least Dangerous Game” is the storyline conclusion of Mariner and Ransom. Ransom eventually admits to mishandling the situation in hopes that Mariner would defy his orders and he could punish her. But here’s the thing, shouldn’t that mean Ransom gets punished? It would be one thing if the mission outside wasn’t so out of whack, but it was borderline irresponsible on Ransom’s part to let it go this far. Again, it’s a comedy with a fun resolution, but it seems crazy that Ransom let it get so out of control. Mariner has every right to break his orders!

Maybe they’re setting up a story of Ransom’s betrayal or Ransom being demoted. Who knows? But if “Least Dangerous Game” is any indication, putting him in charge of Mariner is bad for both of them and could be bad for the crew.

With more adventures, it will be interesting to see how Mariner and Ransom’s feud affects the ship. What did you think? Sound off below and see you next week!