Two Star Trek: The Next Generation crew members return to Starfleet duty in this week's season finale of Star Trek: Lower Decks. SPOILERS for the Star Trek: Lower Decks finale "No Small Parts" follows. The episode follows up on last week's ending, when Ensign Boimler discovered Ensign Mariner's secret, that she is the daughter of USS Cerritos' Captain Freeman. While this revelation leads to the Cerritos crew treating Mariner differently than before, Mariner doesn't have time to deal with the situation. The Cerritos flies right into a trap that could destroy the ship. Only the timely arrival of two Star Trek: The Next Generation alumni saves the ship from destruction.
"No Small Parts' sees the Cerritos responding to a distress call from a brand new Starfleet ship commanded by one of Captain Freeman's old friends. Upon arriving, Cerritos falls into the same trap as the ship they came to rescue. The Cerritos is soon under attack by a kit-bash of a vessel controlled by the Pakleds, the meme-worthy alien species first introduced in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Samaritan's Snare."
It's lucky then that two Starfleet officers who were there for the Enterprise's encounter happen to be nearby. The USS Titan under the command of Captain William Riker with his wife, Commander Deanna Troi, at his side. The Titan shows up in a hail of glory and destroys the Pakled ship. Later, we learn that Riker was Freeman's mentor and is the source of much of Mariner's hidden contraband.
Jonathan Frakes and Marina Sirtis return to voice Riker and Troi. This episode is the second time in recent memory that Frakes and Sirtis have returned to their Next Generation role. They played the roles in live-action in the Star Trek: Picard episode "Nepenthe." Frakes returned as Riker again in Picard's season finale, "Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2."
Star Trek: The Next Generation fans probably remember that Riker and Troi were leaving Enterprise for Titan in Star Trek: Nemesis. As that film was the final adventure of The Next Generation's crew, audiences never had a chance to see the Titan. That makes this episode of Lower Decks an exciting first for Star Trek fans.
What do you think of Riker and Troi's return? Let us know in the comments. The entire first season fo Star Trek: Lower Decks is streaming now on CBS All Access. The show's second season is already in development.