Few shows make me laugh out loud so frequently as Lower Decks, and that was especially so in “I Have No Bones Yet I Must Flee,” the second episode of the latest season of Star Trek: Lower Decks. This episode does what Lower Decks does best: pays homage to classic Trek while also poking fun and subverting its tropes.
“I Have No Bones Yet I Must Flee” sees Mariner freshly promoted to Lieutenant Junior Grade–a rank she has attained before, but always loses. On purpose. This time, First Officer Jack Ransom is determined to have Mariner keep her rank, no matter how insubordinate she acts - something Ransom discusses with Shax while wearing skimpy workout clothes, an obvious homage to the famous Crusher and Troi stretching scene from Star Trek: The Next Generation. Mariner overhears the conversation and thinks Ransom is determined to demote her–so she gladly obliges. And as usual, antics ensue.
Ransom, Mariner and a new character named Ensign Gary are tasked with freeing a couple of humans who were “accidentally” captured into a Narj’s Miraculous Menagerarium, a typical “menage” situation as Ransom calls it. However, once one of the creatures escapes, Ransom, Mariner, Gary and Narj have to run from a predatory creature known for “drinking bones.” This is extremely hilarious situation that's funnier on screen than I can describe without spoilers.
There are also a couple of B plots going on in this episode that meet up with each other occasionally. Boimler, after his recent promotion, is struggling with finding a room that is suitable for habitation, while Rutherford attempts to earn a promotion to catch up with his friends who are all Lieutenants now. There are some great character moments in this episode, and it really shows off Lower Decks' fantastic ensemble cast.
Obviously, the episode title is an homage to late, great sci-fi author Harlan Ellison, as it's a riff on “I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream,” Ellison’s most famous work. But among trekkies he’s probably best known for the time traveling episode of Star Trek the original series “City on the Edge of Forever.” Ellison famously hated what Roddenberry did to his screenplay. However, despite sharing a name and a few tropes from the original Star Trek, “I Have No Bones and I Must Flee” is an homage in name alone.
Looming over this season is a threat that has yet to be identified. While the mysterious ship encountered at the end of the episode isn’t anything we’ve seen before, it vaguely resembles a clown head to this author–or maybe the head of a Ferengi. It doesn’t have any visual indication of being a Ferengi ship, however–and it's still quite possible his new threat is something we haven’t seen before. It remains to be seen, and we look forward to finding out more.