The Latest Holodeck Episode Of Star Trek: Lower Decks Is A Treasure Trove Of Star Trek References

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

"Star Trek: Lower Decks" is a lot of fun whether you're a seasoned "Star Trek" fan or new to the franchise, but nearly every episode has Easter eggs and references for the franchise faithful to sink their fake Ferengi fangs into. There's a little something for everyone, whether you're an original series die-hard or just go gaga for "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine." The Easter eggs can be a few lines of dialogue, a story beat, or even just some fun background decor, but nearly every episode is guaranteed to have some fun extras in store for "Trek" fans to devour. 

The episodes that allow for the most ridiculous fan-service and the most Easter eggs, however, are the holodeck episodes, where our intrepid team of Ensigns can let their freak flags fly and explore every corner of the "Star Trek" universe. In the most recent episode, "Crisis Point 2: Paradoxus," Ensign Brad Boimler (Jack Quaid) attempts to create a movie sequel via holodeck program to the hologram program movie he and Ensign Beckett Mariner (Tawny Newsome) had created in season 1. Because Boimler is a massive Starfleet fanboy, his movie is loaded to the brim with references to events from other parts of the franchise, and it's an absolute blast. 

How do you do, Mister Sulu?

There are so many Easter eggs and references in "Crisis Point 2" that it's just about impossible to catch them all. Boimler is a Starfleet die-hard, the kind of superfan that knows everything there is to know about the documented exploits of the Federation. (Mariner, by contrast, knows everything there is to know about the undocumented or less-than-savory stories, because she's also a geek in her own, rebellious way.) His version of a super-cool Starfleet adventure references quite a few of the "Star Trek" films, digging deep into the cinematic lore of the franchise. In one of the best moments, he goes the Kirk's version of Heaven from "Star Trek: Generations," but instead of Kirk, he meets Sulu (George Takei). 

Boimler is struggling with the knowledge that his transporter clone was killed, and he's trying to come to terms with the randomness of the universe. Sulu gives him a pretty great pep talk about the mundanity of mortality, and it's a great reminder that even though "Star Trek" is set in a far-off future with terrific technology, sometimes bad things still happen to good people for seemingly no reason. Then Boimler gets bitten by the horse, which causes him to wake up. Surprise! The holodeck adventure turned into a weird lucid dream, but Boimler learned from it regardless. 

Boldly going back where we've already been

"Star Trek: Lower Decks" is honestly a work of creative genius, because the animation allows for the creators to dive into just about any part of "Star Trek" without have to worry about budget constraints. If the ship's former chief of security and head of medicine want to bone down in a 1930s bank robbery scenario in the holodeck, they can. If they want to depict holographic training that depicts a "Naked Now"-style orgy among the entire crew? They can. If they want to show Boimler coming to grips with his grief by talking to the God rock from "Star Trek V" in a holodeck/lucid dream? They can. 

There are plenty of opportunities for the "Lower Decks" creative team to serve up some fun, timeline-appropriate Easter eggs in every episode, but the holodeck allows them to travel to the franchise's past and future, which makes for a much bigger basket of eggs to choose from. Without having to worry about costumes, makeup, sets, or budget, the possibilities are endless, and the eggs just keep coming. "Lower Decks" makes me want to be a better "Star Trek" fan and watch the parts of the franchise I've missed just so I can re-watch "Lower Decks" and catch more jokes. Now that's a "Star Trek" show. 

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