HERE THERE BE SPOILERS
“Hear All, Trust Nothing” is a lovely Lower Decks homage to Deep Space Nine that incorporates the much-loved nostalgic elements without sacrificing the irreverent tone that characterizes the series. Ultimately, “Hear All, Trust Nothing” is a true Lower Decks story that embraces the backdrop of DS9 while still keeping the focus on the Lower Decks characters. Striking this balance is not something the franchise has always done well. However, “Hear All, Trust Nothing,” which is the sixth episode of the third season, is a tremendous amount of fun, even more so if you’re an ardent DS9 fan.
The Cerritos is en route to DS9 to deliver some lavish Alpha Quadrant gifts to be presented to the Karemma delegation while Captain Nguyen negotiates a trade agreement and ceasefire. However, Starfleet calls Nguyen away for a more critical mission, leaving Freeman alone to negotiate, a task for which she had not prepared. Boimler, Tendi, and Rutherford opt to go onto the station, but Mariner, claiming to dislike the station, remains aboard where she will meet Jenny’s friends at a “salon.”
Having left Boimler to indulge in Dabo at Quark’s, Tendi and Rutherford wander around the station where they meet up with Mesk, another Orion who happens to be in Starfleet. He prods Tendi with talk of the “pirate lifestyle,” much to Tendi’s obvious distress. Eventually, the Cerritos crew are called to load the gifts onto the Karemma ships, and Tendi leaves with a sigh of relief.
Back aboard the Cerritos, Mariner arrives a bit late to this mysterious “salon” only to discover that it’s as obnoxiously self-important as she’d worried. There’s some discussion about speaking her truth that drives Mariner to the booze cart to clear them out of Aldebaran whiskey. Suddenly, the power goes out, causing the doors to Castro’s quarters to close. Everyone panics, and they notice the room becoming somewhat stuffy due to the type of candles they’ve been burning. Mariner, who has been struggling to be so nice to Jennifer’s friends, gets frustrated, and Jennifer tells her to go all out. She’s been looking forward to having Mariner tear her friends a new one for quite some time. Mariner gleefully begins stunning the officers to conserve oxygen, and she and Jennifer share a sweet kiss before Mariner stuns them both.
On the station, Freeman and the Karemma delegation have made it to Quark’s, where the Karemma discover that Quark’s new replicators have been made with ill-gotten, proprietary Karemma components. They kidnap Quark and beam to their ship, which then leaves DS9 posthaste. However, Tendi, Rutherford, and Mesk, who has gotten himself assigned to help, are still aboard. They notice the problem, and Mesk bemoans his lack of real Orion life skills as he was adopted by humans from Cincinnati. Tendi, however, comes from a Syndicate family and goes full pirate, managing to take control of the ship in time to stop it from going through the wormhole.
DS9 captures the ship in a tractor beam,and brings it back to the docking ring. Freeman rescues Quark and then convinces him to give the Karemma 75% of his revenue in damages. Boimler exchanges all of his latinum Dabo winnings for a gift card good for Quark’s merch. Mesk calms down, and Tendi comes to accept that being a pirate is just part of her with Rutherford’s help. Shaxs and Kira keep arguing about who has saved whose life the most.
Y’all, it’s more than time for us to get a real Tendi story, and I love how her arc works throughout the episode. Tendi has done everything she can to separate herself from her piratical roots because that’s, frankly, not what she wants out of life. We know she’s happiest when Doing Science, but this season has been about characters revisiting past versions of themselves, literally and figuratively. Mesk’s whole everything forces Tendi to face that past and recognize that, well, it’s a useful skillset if nothing else. Moreover, we get a fantastic moment with Rutherford in which he basically tells her that her pirate side is a part of her, and he’ll cherish it as much as he cherishes her science geek side. That’s pure Rutherford right there folks.
However, the thematic through line in this season doesn’t stop with just forcing characters to confront their pasts. Rather, these confrontations force the characters to accept truths about themselves, becoming more comfortable with who they are and where they’re going. For Rutherford, that was facing his more reckless younger self and finding the grace to accept him anyway. Tendi gets to incorporate her piratical half into her Starfleet identity, and I’m really looking forward to seeing how that plays out.
Mariner is very much still working on things. She tries so hard to be the good girlfriend for Jennifer, worried that as her friends expected, her bossy and slightly domineering manner will alienate Jennifer’s friends. Mariner’s concern that she’ll alienate her girlfriend’s friends is not only precious but also a sign of growth. Her relationship with Jennifer matters enough to Mariner that she’s willing to be on her best behavior, which means dampening all the things that make Mariner herself. Jennifer, however, accepts Mariner for who she is, bossiness and all, and doesn’t expect Mariner to change to suit her friends, furthering the episode’s theme of acceptance.
Despite the obvious plug, “Hear All, Trust Nothing” gives us a small view of what life has been like on DS9 without the Lower Decks elements getting sidelined for the nostalgia. It’s a great episode, and one only made better by the return of both Nana Visitor and Armin Shimerman.
Five cups of Earl Grey Tea
The Egg Hunt
- There’s no way I’m going to manage to get all of these listed. However, we’ve seen the Karemma before.
- Love that Kira still has Sisko’s baseball on her desk.
- Garak’s tailor shop is still on the station.
- It’s not a DS9 episode without Dabo.
- Morn has a cameo.
- Rutherford wants to dangle his feet over the promenade as Jake and Nog used to do.
- It’s also not a DS9 episode without gold-pressed latinum.
- There are so many more…