The thing I most was worried about upon hearing that a Rick and Morty executive producer was doing Star Trek was that the show would be mean-spirited. This week, at least, those fears are realized as the show’s fifth episode is all about the meanness. My take on the Star Trek: Lower Decks episode “Cupid’s Errant Arrow.”
The entire A-plot depends on Mariner being incredibly awful, even by her already-low standards. We learn that Boimler has a girlfriend, Lieutenant Barbara Brinson, a science officer on the U.S.S. Vancouver, whom he met a few months earlier. Initially, Mariner assumes that Boimler made her up, and suspects that their “date” will be on the holodeck, but Boimler insists that she’s real.
When they meet in the Vancouver shuttlebay, the first thing Mariner says is, “Computer, end program,” and after that, she devotes a ridiculous amount of energy to proving that Brinson is some kind of shapechanger or alien creature in disguise or something, anything other than a woman who is interested in Boimler as a boyfriend. Because she doesn’t believe that Boimler could have a girlfriend.