Hi, everyone, Justen again, and we are back with Ep. 3 of Season 3 of Star Trek: Lower Decks, Mining the Mind’s Mines! This week, we start with an older scientist who is exploring some glowing rocks. The rocks…start to project a hallucination of a teacher that this scientist had as a crush. When he touches the image, he turns to stone!
After the credits on the Cerritos, Ransom leads off his briefing with a rant about the researchers on the planet, Jengus IV, and rues that these scientists are always getting eaten, murdered, or manipulated by omnipotent aliens. The Cerritos is there to help establish a base and remove the psychic rocks.
Tendi, meanwhile, is not going on the away team as she is starting her senior science officer training. Her mentor, as it turns out, is Dr. Migleemo, the food metaphor-obsessed ship’s counselor. The away team, meanwhile, beams down, where the Cerritos gang is assigned to remove the psychic rocks. They also find out that the crew from the Carlsbad are not so keen on them. Mariner starts to think that maybe the Cerritos has a bad reputation through the fleet.
As Tendi and Migleemo start to talk, the counselor reveals that being a senior science officer isn’t as much about knowledge as it is being able to make sure that the captain listens to you. As such, she’ll be following the Captain on detail today.
On the planet, meanwhile, psychic rock removal has started, and Rutherford has started to hallucinate about Dr. Leah Brahms, who seems to be the lust object of all engineers in Starfleet. Mariner rues on the fact that the Carlsbad doesn’t like them, and they decide to rub it in their faces by getting their job done faster. Boimler hallucinates an Admiral asking for his help, while Mariner starts to hallucinate Ensign Sh’reyan in a swimsuit talking about how annoying Ransom is.
On the ship, Tendi tries to bring up a point about the native Scrubble when the representatives from them and the Federation researchers. The Scrubble ambassdor offers a gift, and Captains Freeman and Maier argue about who should get the gift.
The away team is hurrying along, but Commander Stevens scolds them for trying to rush. Mariner suggests that the Carlsbad crew have been making digs on Ransom, which gets Stevens excited. He accidentally knocks over the container for the fantasy rocks, which cracks them and releases a fantasy dragon, which turns Stevens to stone. The rocks are now releasing nightmares including a huge Borg snake and…Clown Klingons with bat’leths for arms?
They take refuge in a cave, which, as is normal for Starfleet, means that comms are blocked. Mariner expresses regret at rushing and causing this, saying they were rushing because the Carlsbad crew were moving so fast. As it turns out, the Cerritos is something of a legend among other ensigns for their wild missions.
On the ship, the arguments continue over the gift rock. When Captain Freeman insists it’s a normal rock, Tendi scans it and says there’s some anomalous readings, but Freeman ignores her. Tendi, frustrated, goes to sickbay where Doctor T’Anna tells her she needs to learn how to make a mess sometimes.
The away teams of the two ships start to look at the hallucinations, which don’t really seem to be nightmares but more just…things gathered from their random memories. They look furter into the cave, and find a door with an access panel. Inside is a storage device which is storing all of their memories. More importantly, it’s linked to federation technology. The two groups of ensigns break out with crystals, with Mariner commenting that the Carlsbad‘s crew are getting the full Cerittos experience.
They beam back up to the ship, and the gang rush into the conference room, where Maier and Freeman are still arguing. Tendi then breaks the rock, revealing a Federation power source. It’s revealed the researchers and Scrubble were working together to create an espionage device.
Dr. Migleemo congratulates Tendi on her accomplishments, and for learning a lesson. The ensigns of the two ships hang out, and it’s revealed that scuttlebutt through the Fleet is that Boimler is actually a tiny robot, much to his distress. Overall, a very fun episode, and it’s nice to get a look into the progression of some smaller plots like Tendi’s science officer training and Mariner’s anxiety over her relationships!