The Funniest Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Easter Egg On Star Trek: Lower Decks Is A Hilarious Deep Cut

This post contains spoilers for the latest episode of "Star Trek: Lower Decks."

Not only are the cast and crew behind "Star Trek: Lower Decks" major "Star Trek" fans, but some of the characters on the series are as well. While we're getting excited over fictional stories, some of the lower deckers of the U.S.S. Cerritos are just serious Federation history nerds, eager to celebrate all things Starfleet. In the season 3 premiere, the gang visited historic Bozeman, where Zefram Cochrane (James Cromwell) had once made first contact with the Vulcans and ushered in a new era of civilization on Earth. Now it's a theme park, complete with souvenirs and a hologram of Cochrane voiced by Cromwell himself, and Tendi (Noël Wells), Rutherford (Eugene Cordero), and Boimler (Jack Quaid) are beyond excited to experience all that it has to offer. 

In episode six of the third season, the crew gets to visit another very famous "Star Trek" location: the space station Deep Space Nine. For fans of "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine," this is as good as it gets, but it's also pretty exciting for some of the crew of the Cerritos as well. Rutherford really seems to like Jake Sisko (Cirroc Lofton), and he manages to sneak in one of the episode's best deep-cut jokes, all about the captain's son.  

Deep Space Nine's mischievous pair

While visiting Deep Space Nine, Ensign Rutherford gets incredibly excited to see everything on the promenade. In fact, he even tells himself that he needs to "tone it down" because his excitement is so overwhelming, but he's acting exactly how I would if I ever got to walk the promenade, so his joy is infectious. Tendi is unfortunately sidelined by a fellow Orion who wants to talk about pirating, which distracts her from both Rutherford and the fact that she's on Deep Space freaking Nine. When she pauses for a moment, Rutherford rushes off, telling her, "Wait right here I gotta dangle my legs over the second story like in the holovids!"

Rutherford is referring to the many times that Jake and his best friend Nog (Aron Eisenberg) would sit on the second level of the promenade and dangle their legs over the side while they watched whatever was going on below. Usually they were just looking for pretty women, but their perch also gave them a pretty good view of where new arrivals to the station would first enter, meaning they were up to date on who was onboard. While "Star Trek: The Next Generation" had some serious issues with its main child lead, Wesley (Wil Wheaton), Nog and Jake were a fun pair who ended up becoming truly compelling characters as they aged. As for why there might be holovids of Jake and Nog's youthful adventures in-universe? Jake's a writer, and could have very easily published memoirs which became holovids, and I can guarantee Rutherford's seen and read them all.

Jake rules and Lower Decks knows it

Tendi eventually calls for Rutherford to get down because they have to go help the Captain with something, and poor Ruthie is bummed because he wanted to do one last thing. He tells Tendi, "But I wanted to have a heart-to-heart with a junior reporter up here!" She tells him to get down anyway, and he does so begrudgingly. Rutherford is a huge Jake Sisko fan, because not only does he know a fair bit about him, but he also wore one of his trademark ugly sweaters. While some "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" fans were frustrated with Jake because he's indecisive, butts heads with his father, and sometimes stood up against Starfleet, I absolutely adore him. Watching the character grow from a slightly spoiled, mischievous boy into a thoughtful young journalist with integrity and grit was just one of the many wonderful long-term joys of "Deep Space Nine." 

While the majority of Jake's moments on the upper level of the Promenade were with Nog, he also had some good talks with others up there, including Security Chief Odo (Rene Auberjonois), marking it as his special place on the station. So Rutherford's desire to "have a heart-to-heart with a junior reporter" is not only sweet and in-character, it's also a great (and funny) little "Deep Space Nine" deep cut

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