Star Trek: Lower Decks Season 3 Finally Lets The Holodeck Get Weird

This article contains spoilers for "Star Trek: Lower Decks" season 3, episode 4. 

Life on the final frontier isn't easy. There are really no limits to the kinds of existential torture a Starfleet officer can go through, as evidenced by the entire life of Chief Engineer Miles O'Brien. Seriously, the man endured everything from being trapped in a mind prison for decades to having his wife possessed by a Bajoran cave demon, and yet he kept on trucking. Thankfully, most Starfleet vessels are equipped with holodecks, which means that everyone can get some rest and relaxation, time away from home, or stress release without ever having to leave the ship. 

While some holodeck hijinks were definitely hinted at in "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine," the crew of the Enterprise on "Star Trek: The Next Generation" mostly used their holodeck to solve old murder mysteries or go hiking in the mountains. That's great and all, but there are a million pervy and potentially problematic uses for the holodeck that some enterprising Starfleet officer had to have tried at some point! 

In episode four of the third season of "Star Trek: Lower Decks," two of the characters use the holodeck in a way that's hilarious and relatable: for sex and violence. Who wouldn't want to let loose without repercussions every once in awhile?

One horny holodeck hook-up

After dealing with a bunch of different emergencies (including Captain Freeman getting taken over by an alien mask), Bajoran Chief of Security Shaxs (Fred Tatasciore) and Caitian Chief of Medicine Dr. T'Ana (Gillian Vigman) decide to get hot and heavy in the holodeck to let off some steam. On the live-action shows, characters usually use the holodeck for some historical escapism by pretending they're Sherlock Holmes or playing baseball, but Shaxs and T'ana end up roleplaying as famous 20th century gangsters Bonnie and Clyde. They rob a bank in a black and white world, like an old movie about the dastardly duo, but things get out of hand when T'ana shuts off the safety protocols. Shaxs asks her what's going on and she tells him that they're going to have sex in front of the hostages after they kill the Feds, much to the nearby lower deckers' chagrin. Also, the doctor's "kinky sex name" is apparently Diane. 

The pair are doing what I always imagined people would use the holodeck for: unleashing the darker, nastier side of yourself in order to maintain a squeaky clean Starfleet image everywhere else. To hell with hiking in the humid hillsides of Cardassia Prime or pretending to be a private eye — the holodeck is a place to go wild. 

No kink-shaming on the Promenade!

The crew of the Enterprise may have never used the holodeck to get down and dirty or partake in a little of the old ultraviolence, but Quark's holosuites aboard Deep Space Nine definitely saw some action. Some of the crew were all about innocent fun, like Captain Sisko's (Avery Brooks) baseball games, but others had slightly more perverse programs in mind. The ship's doctor, Dr. Julian Bashir (Alexander Siddig), has his own holodeck program where he pretends to be a James Bond-esque secret agent in the episode "Our Man Bashir," and while they don't show him getting hot and heavy with a hologram, it's more than hinted at. 

"Star Trek" has always been a series that didn't take sex and sexuality all too seriously, and it's a joy to see "Lower Decks" embracing the hornier side of the franchise. Now if you'll excuse me, I have a whole lot of holodeck fan-fiction to write. 

New episodes of "Star Trek: Lower Decks" premiere Thursdays on Paramount+.