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The Ending Of Star Trek: Lower Decks Season 2 Explained

Another season of "Star Trek: Lower Decks" has boldly gone too soon. After a tumultuous first year, the crew of the USS Cerritos returned to the warm embrace of the familiar — Boimler from his brief but trombone-heavy stint aboard the Titan, Rutherford from the cloudy weirdness and memory loss associated with getting his bionics ripped out, Ransom from an unfortunate brush with TOS-adjacent floating-head godhood.

Not everybody seemed completely content to get the band back together, however. Captain Freeman's enthusiasm for finding a new command shifted from a low background hum to a constant, difficult-to-ignore buzz. Her goals finally seem within reach when, during the season two finale, Freeman is tasked with assisting the USS Archimedes on a first contact mission, theoretically as a last hurrah aboard her California-class starship. As a result, a healthy mix of interpersonal drama and — Beckett's favorite — sci-fi stuff starts muddying the narrative waters.

That's not even the best news, either. "Lower Decks" also gives fans possibly their deepest cut of "Star Trek" obscurity to date, all while keeping the audience distracted from an enormous third-act twist.

Season two of Lower Decks gets even weirder

The Cerritos winds up forced to take control when the more advanced Archimedes, captained by "TNG" alum and nefarious milk spiller Sonya Gomez, is sucked helplessly into the gravitational pull of the planet it's meant to be making contact with, drained of power after a run-in with a plasma wave. Our heroes are forced to take a white-knuckle trip through a cloud of sci-fi stuff, minus the comforts that most space travelers take for granted, like, for example, a hull.

Rutherford is forced to dump his triple-backed-up memory files, which he first started collecting after losing his memory at the end of season one in the hopes of not losing his memories of Tandi again. In the process, he accidentally shakes loose a previously unseen glimpse into what sure looks like a body horror nightmare. Shadowy figures in the vision discuss how he'll remember his procedure as having been voluntary before dropping an upsetting amount of drill bit into his eye. Section 31? The Tal Shiar? Lore with a soldering iron? Only season three has the answer.

Meanwhile, in deep cut territory, Boimler teams up with a pair of belugas in Cetacean Ops, calling back to an obscure detail in a technical manual for the Enterprise-D from thirty years ago. Every once in a while, fans get a subtle callout to the aquatic section of Starfleet vessels, but this marks the first time that whales have made an appearance in-uniform, and the first known instance in which they've tried so desperately to get a fellow crew member to take off their clothes. It's a weird show, you guys.

Lower Decks ends on a dour note

Through a healthy Federation can-do attitude and a heaping helping of sci-fi stuff, the crew of the Cerritos manages to save the Archimedes in dramatic fashion, complete with near-miss treacherous spacewalks. Boimler is drowned for just long enough to see the koala at the other end of existence, first glimpsed during season one thanks to an unfortunate transcendence. It's best not to talk about the koala.

For a moment, it looks like everything is going to turn out alright for the Cerritos crew, with Captain Freeman even announcing, with the help of a higher-than-usual BAC, that she won't be leaving the ship. But in a third act twist that nobody saw coming, it's revealed that the captain is under arrest. It seems that the Pakled Planet has been decimated, and that the evidence points to collusion between Freeman and the Klingons. While Freeman has faith that the facts are on her side, things certainly look bleak as the series fades to that old, familiar "to be continued" title card.

What happens next? How will Mariner respond to the wrongful arrest of her mom and captain? There's good news and bad news. The good news is that Paramount has already ordered a third season of "Star Trek: Lower Decks." The bad news is that it could be a while before we see it — at the moment, season three has yet to secure a release date.