Wednesday, May 06, 2020

Star Trek: Short Treks -- Season 2 Episode 2 (The Trouble with Edward)

I always wondered why tribbles reproduced so quickly.  It seemed odd to have a species born pregnant.  It seems like the species would crowd out everything else.  Well, I finally have some answers.  In this 14-minute episode, we find out where that particular strain of tribbles came from

It begins with Captain Lynne Lucero arriving at her first command.  Captain Pike gives her some advice:  Not everyone operates at your level.  It’s the kind of advice that’s easy to dismiss as being kind of vague, but it proves prophetic.

One of her new subordinates is Edward Larkin.  He has book smarts, but isn’t so good at dealing with other people.  In fact, when Lucero rebukes him, he complains to Starfleet.  Even though he does it anonymously, it doesn’t take much to figure out it was him.  Captain Lucero tells Larkin that he’s being transferred off the ship.

So what does he do now?  He genetically modifies a tribble.  That’s what.  Before, tribbles were slow to reproduce.  That makes sense.  Now, they reproduce at a high rate.  That makes them perfect for farming, or so Larkin would assume.

Before long the tribbles take over the ship.  It’s almost played for comedic effect.  Even in The Trouble with Tribbles, they didn’t reproduce that quickly.  Plus, these tribbles seem to pop out of nowhere.  I’m not really sure where the extra mass is coming from.

It would seem like it’s someone’s retelling rather than actual events, which would make sense.  Lucero has to answer for the loss of her ship, which she had for only a few days.  Add to this the fact that a planet had to be evacuated and the tribbles are heading for Klingon space.

In case you’re wondering, Larkin is played by H. Jon Benjamin, who was the guy in the Arby’s commercials.  (There’s a temptation to say “We’ve got the meats…for tribbles,” but I fear that might be in poor taste.)  Speaking of which, this is the only episode so far to have an after-credits scene.  That one is worth sticking around for, especially considering how short the credits are.


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