The galaxy is a weird and wonderful place filled with mysteries that are beyond even the science of Starfleet, and exploring those mysteries is exactly what Starfleet is all about. In the past, the crew of various Federation starships has come in contact with such mysterious entities as The Traveler (Eric Menyuk) and the Q Collective. In the preview for the next episode, it looks like the crew of the USS Cerritos are attempting to come into contact with beings of this very caliber — and D'Vana Tendi (Noël Wells) has a front-row seat on 'Moist Vessel'!
The preview for the next episode sees the ever-eager Ensign Tendi attending something called an Ascension, the mention of which cases Sam Rutherford (Eugene Cordero) to namedrop the Q Collective and the Traveller. Both cosmic entities are vastly powerful beings that have most often come into contact with the crew of the USS Enterprise in 'Star Trek: The Next Generation'. They possess formidable powers, able to alter reality on a whim, and have a higher understanding of the nature of the cosmos. The crew member leading the Ascension appears to be gathering all his focus on attaining that higher understanding — but it looks like Tandi's enthusiasm might just be a mite too distracting for the ritual to smoothly commence.
In the meantime, tensions between Beckett Mariner (Tandy Newsome) and her mother Captain Carol Freeman (Dawnn Lewis) rise as Mariner is assigned one of the worst jobs on the ship — cleaning out the Holodeck waste disposal, a task that even Brad Boimler (Jack Quaid) finds distasteful. Ever resourceful, however, Mariner somehow finds a way to make this work assignment more fun, as we see her with more crew from the lower decks using their phasers to scrape gunk off of walls of machinery.
It's another bending of the rules that has infuriated her mother, who calls Mariner in for a reprimand. Several sarcastic Vulcan salutes later, however, prove that Mariner is not one to take well to reprimands.
We've seen that Carol is looking for any excuse to kick her daughter off the USS Cerritos that she can find, and as tensions rise this episode, she might finally have the excuse to do it. Unless that is, Mariner can find some way to prove that she's an irreplaceable member of the crew, and knowing Mariner's hidden depths of competence, that might not be the tall order that Carol expects it would be.
This episode of 'Star Trek: Lower Decks' airs on August 27 on CBS All Access.