The Star Trek: Lower Decks Season Finale Teases The Grand Return Of Two Supporting Characters

This post contains spoilers for the season finale of "Star Trek: Lower Decks."

Another season of "Star Trek: Lower Decks" has come and gone, leaving fans with another batch of high-energy episodes that further showed the adventures of the USS Cerritos and its quirky crew of misfits. Perhaps more than in any other season thus far, our favorite Beta Shift crew members were put through the wringer throughout season 3 — especially in the last few episodes.

With Ensign Beckett Mariner (Tawny Newsome) kicked off the starship for her suspected disparaging remarks to a journalist that tanked the reputation of the Starfleet vessel and its crew, our tightknit lower deckers have been left to flounder without their unofficial leader. The finale taps into this tension by heightening the stakes even further, adding the threat of obsolescence for all California-class ships through Vice Admiral Buenamigo's (Carlos Alazraqui) AI-operated Texas-class prototype and tying together the ongoing subplot of Ensign Samanthan Rutherford's (Eugene Cordero) artificially repressed memories.

By the end of the action-packed episode, Mariner has returned to save the day and is reinstated with the Cerritos crew, the entire fleet of California-class starships have all proved their worth, and the threat of those destructive, malfunctioning prototypes have been vanquished. All in all, it was a neat and tidy finale ... but it wouldn't be "Lower Decks" without throwing in some teases for the future.

The closing moments of the finale (re)introduce two supporting characters who may have much bigger roles to play in season 4: the illogical Vulcan T'lyn (Gabrielle Ruiz), last seen in season 2, and a post-credits scene involving the sinister villain Badgey (Jack McBrayer), the murderous sentient Starfleet badge (it's ... complicated). Let's recap.

T'lyn returns

The USS Cerritos has a brand-new member of its crew and nobody's happier about it than Ensign D' Vana Tendi (Noël Wells). After a job well done in following Starfleet protocol to the letter and helping the Cerritos come out on top in its impromptu race against Admiral Buenamigo's fully autonomous ship, Tendi's actions are rewarded when a new science officer is brought on board for training. It isn't just any random officer, either. The Vulcan T'lyn cautiously boards the Cerritos and quietly endures all of Tendi's enthusiasm, but this isn't the first time we've seen this particular character.

Back in season 2, the episode ""wej Duj" broke from the show's usual point-of-view structure and portrayed other lower deck equivalents on a Klingon Bird-of-Prey as well as a Vulcan cruiser. In this latter storyline, we meet T'lyn — a capable and determined lower decker whose ambition and dependence on intuition puts her at odds with her far more logic-obsessed coworkers. Ordered to seek out meditation and purge herself of her "outbursts," the Vulcan grates against her suffocating work environment. Nonetheless, her forward-thinking helps save the day for both her ship and the Cerritos through her reliance on her own emotions. Resigned to being sent back to Vulcan, T'lyn is instead transferred to a Starfleet vessel where she would likely be put in a position to succeed alongside similarly emotional beings — humans.

The season 3 finale of "Lower Decks" finally ties up that dangling plot thread, bringing the Vulcan on board the Cerritos. Needless to say, pairing a Vulcan (even a less buttoned-down one!) with the always-outgoing Tendi could easily add another fun and hilarious dynamic to the series in future episodes to come.

Badgey's back

The "Lower Decks" season 3 finale comes this close to ending on a triumphant note ... until its much more ominous post-credits scene points the way towards the next recurring villain of the series. After the credits roll, we return to the sun-scorched locale of the Kalla System, which we last saw in the season 1 finale "No Small Parts." Here, Badgey seemingly met his end when the unhinged hologram's attempts to murder his creator and "father" Rutherford ends in failure. Seemingly destroyed in an explosive self-destruct sequence, the post-credits scene of the season 3 finale reveals the shocking turn of events that Badgey has somehow survived and has been recovered by an unknown ship.

But let's backtrack a bit. Badgey, an amusing riff on the infamous "Clippy" assistant from Microsoft Office (kids, ask your parents), first appeared in the season 1 episode "Terminal Provocations." Originally designed as a holographic training program, the anthropomorphic combadge happily offers to teach Tendi how to perform a space walk in the safe confines of the holodeck ... until a glitch causes Badgey to malfunction and turn against his creator in hilariously over-the-top fashion. After a series of murder attempts spanning all sorts of holographic locales, Rutherford and Tendi manage to reset the program and leave a still-malicious Badgey intact within the holodeck, where he waits until his next appearance in "No Small Parts."

The season 3 finale's post-credits scene picks up some time after the events of "No Small Parts," depicting a mysterious spaceship using a tractor beam to recover Badgey from the Kalla system debris field. Is it a Borg vessel or any number of other Starfleet enemies? We'll have to wait until season 4 to find out