The surprise release of Short Treks episode “Q&A” last Saturday at NYCC was a treat, now another has beamed down for Trekkies. “The Trouble With Edward” has embraced the experimental stage that the Short Treks platform offers with full force.
Captain Pike (Anson Mount) has a minor cameo in this episode. For the small part, he played, it made me realize how much I would love a Pike centric series. His captain’s log at the start, with an excellent render of the USS Enterprise, was simply beautiful. Pike’s joined by a newly promoted science officer, Captain Lynne Lucero (Rosa Salazar).
Captain Lucero receives her first command, the Magee-class USS Cabot. As a starship fan, it’s great to see more of the background ships. The last time we saw a Magee-class was in the season 1 episode of Star Trek: Discovery, “Battle at the Binary Stars”.
Personally, throughout this episode, I find that Rosa Salazar shines in her role. Being a Trek captain is difficult, but Salazar brings to life the adventures of a young and inexperienced officer. If she was to pop up again in the Trek universe, honestly I’d love it.
The mission for Captain Lucero and the crew of Cabot is to save the planet of Pragine 63 from a food shortage crisis. Obviously there is a slight catch, the planet is close to Klingon space. The science crew of the starship has developed a few solutions and this is where our other main character, Edward Larkin (H.Jon Benjamin) enters.
Larking, who reminds me of Lt. Barclay from The Next Generation, awkwardly suggests using Tribbles as a food source. The crew brings up the moral and ethical questions as Larkin compares hairless Tribbles to meaty scallops. I think my reaction to hearing this was the same as the crew on screen, um…ew.
Obviously, as Larkin goes on the crew express their concerns about this idea, compared to other methods. I did think to myself it was funny to find this officer who has been eating Tribbles. The cute furry creatures are now standard on Starfleet vessels? No?
Larkin even suggests genetically modifying the Tribbles so they reproduce faster, you can tell where this is heading.
The comedy of “The Trouble With Edward” presents itself in this scene, especially with Edward’s bold ideas. Funny comments about the intelligence of the Tribbles also come to light and remind me of Kirk’s reactions to the creatures.
Sadly for Larking, Captain Lucero stops him in his tracks and reassigns him to another research division. The camera pan on his face clearly suggests that he does not take this well and realistically who would. Edwards’ response to this is to disobey orders and experiment with the Tribbles one last time.
The following scene between Edward Larkin and Captain Lucero is a funny one, as I imagine some viewers will connect with it. Lucero informs Edward that due to his behavior onboard, as well as sending false comments to Starfleet Command about her, she is transferring him off the Cabot. Of course, Edward does not take this week, I can’t imagine him taking anything well in this universe, to be honest.
The scene which sticks out to me is when Lucero tries to end the conversation with Larkin. Obviously this is a comedy sketch in a sense, so there is no point digging too deep into it. Captain Lucero dropped the comment about how Larking managed to get his career in Starfleet, which comes across as unprofessional. Though at this point with Larking, I wouldn’t blame her.
Sometime later, Larkins tinkering with the Tribbles comes to light in the form of a lab breach. We the viewers are informed at the same time and awkwardly dressed Larking is. Seriously, this is not what I imagined I would see in a Short Trek today, but hey.
Tribbles are loose and we know what happened next. Captain Lucero and crew are on the scene to see Tribbles breading quicker than you can say the title of the episode. Larkin arrives with the bombshell of a comment, “Who did this”, which surprises no one.
The futile attempt by the crew to clean up the Tribbles is covered by a musical montage set to Bing Crosby’s Johnny Appleseed. Two moments of this montage stuck out to me. One, Larking putting the Tribbles in a large cooking pot, compared to what the crew are doing. Two, a Starfleet officer walking around with a backpack-mounted Trible vacuum. Honestly, the whole Short Trek could have been on this guy.
Eventually, things get way too out of hand and the Tribbles overrun the entire starship. Luckily our new captain and her crew escape, well almost everyone does. Though Larkin decides to boast how good his experiment is but ends up getting engulfed by a wave of Tribbles.
The episode title, “The Trouble With Edward” really stands out here.
Captain Lucero ends up before a board of Starfleet Admirals who are not pleased about the Tribble outbreak. It turns out the creatures have crashed on the planet of Pragine 63 resulting in the civilization being evacuated. To make matters worse, the Tribbles had found their way into Klingon space and we all know how well that goes.
Obviously, the admirals want to know what happened with Larking and the outbreak.
The conclusion you ask? Captain Lucero blames it on Larking stating, “He was an idiot”. This to be was an interesting response and clearly outlines the tone/purpose of this Short Trek. Obviously many would ask, why would a Starfleet captain call an officer her died under her command an idiot?
Personally I think it’s important to remember that the Short Treks platform serves as a testbed for CBS. It was only a matter of time until a comedy centric story would appear. “The Trouble With Edward” episode deliveries us Trek comedy mixed with lore at the same time. It makes me wonder if the upcoming animated comedy series, Star Trek: Lower Decks, will be similar to the writing of this episode.
While the comedy in this episode made me laugh at certain points, others made me sit back and wonder what I was watching. Viewers might be surprised by the change of tone in this Short Trek. We’ve gone from Star Trek: Discovery’s darker theme and tone to now a light and bouncy comedic story.
Overall this episode is funny and straightforward, but also gives us extra canon bits with how the Tribbles excessive breeding came to be. I particularly like the attention to detail with the mention of Tribbles now in Klingon space.
As I mentioned earlier in this review, Rosa Salazar had done a great job as a captain in Star Trek. While her character may be an inexperienced young officer, Rosa does a fantastic job of portraying that on screen. H.Jon Benjamin really brings forth the feeling of an awkward annoying employee with his character of Edward Larkin.
One thing I need to mention is the end credits scene in this episode. While it’s obviously a parody, I can see why some might be confused or off-put by it. This sequence sports a funny tongue in cheek advertisement for a new breakfast cereal called “Tribbles”. I personally found it hilarious as it sums up part of the episode is a nice funny way.
“The Trouble With Edward” is now streaming on CBS All Access for America and Crave for Canada. International viewers may have to wait a while, as there is still no confirmation on when they will be released as of yet.
Click here for our video breakdown and review.
The next Star Trek: Short Treks episode, “Ask Not”, is due to release on November 14th.
You can check out our review of the previous episode, “Q&A” right here.