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Ensign Bradward Boimler may not always get what he wants, but he always gets what he needs. Season 2 of Star Trek: Lower Decks began with him having landed his dream posting on the USS Titan, but he ended up back on the Cerritos thanks to yet another transporter malfunction. It's for the better, because that's where his true family is.
Boimler continued to receive tough lessons for the rest of the season, culminating in a banner-making finale. The man behind Boims, Jack Quaid, talked with SYFY WIRE about his arc this season, as well as why making banners is key for an officer going above and beyond.
***WARNING: There are spoilers ahead for the Season 2 finale of Star Trek: Lower Decks. If you have not watched yet, warp away now.***
How would you sum up Boimler's arc in Season 2?
Oh man. I think it's been really great for him. I love the fact that we saw him initially, you know, not through failure, but get demoted, which is basically his worst nightmare. He sacrificed himself for the good of the group on the Titan, and then we see him get demoted in a very interesting way, just because, you know, some Boimler out there is still a senior officer. But it's really interesting to see him in the beginning of the season, deal with failure and, you know, going back to where he started. And then watching him come to grips with the fact that he loves the Cerritos. A lot of people say that often you have to lose everything in order to gain some ground, and I think he definitely does that this season.
I think things go pretty bad for him in the beginning, and so there's no other lower place to go. He basically just resigns himself to love where he works. And in doing that, he gains confidence. He starts to get joy out of life. And I think we've really seen him become a stronger officer because of it. Because he went through some hardship. Yeah. This is a lot more of a confident Boimler. This is a Boimler that can think on his feet a little bit quicker. He is still neurotic and he's still a goofball, but I really like the growth he's had this season.
One of the moments that really showcased that growth is in the episode where he stops trying to impress Commander Ransom and instead starts to mentor a young cadet. Is there a lesson to be learned there?
Yeah, I think there is a lesson to be learned there. Basically, the lesson in that episode was you need to be true to yourself, because I think that that was also a really great moment for Ransom because Ransom is the one who sent the young cadet over. You could tell that Ransom was actually really impressed with Boimler and how he's been this season. So much so, that he wanted to recommend him to this young cadet who just was yearning for answers. I feel like the lesson of it is just be true to yourself… don't try to change to fit the box that you want to be in. Just be your own box, and it'll do a lot more for you than trying to warp yourself into something that you're not.
Speaking of more towards the neurotic side, as you said, how traumatized do you think Boimler is by the end of Captain Freeman Day and being hit with the "to be continued?"
He probably doesn't like cliffhangers at all. I think that was such a gut punch because what was so cool about that was that we got to see, right before [Captain Freeman] got arrested, we got to see both the lower deckers and bridge officers hanging out. They just accomplished this impossible task. We really get to see them bonding in a way that I don't think we've really seen before.
We come from such a high and then to be hit with Captain Freeman being carted off like that. It really does come as a devastating blow. I think he's a little bit disappointed that the captain never knew that he drew the banners before she was taken away. But also, I think he really genuinely loves the captain as much as he's trying to suck up to her. I think he really, really respects her and really wants her to be his friend and thinks that she's a great captain. It's probably not as devastating as it would be for Mariner, but I think Boimler really gets hit hard by that.
I'm sure he's ready to step up and be there for Mariner, I guess the question is whether she'll let him?
We'll see. I love the two of them so much and I think they really did mend a lot of their burning bridges this season. I think they really did heal their friendship in very interesting ways this season.
You mentioned the banner. He needs everyone to know that he made this banner, but he doesn't need anyone to know about his huge sacrifice play at the bottom of Cetacean Ops. That seems like a much bigger deal.
You're very right.
Is that who Boimler is, right there?
Yeah, I think so. We see a lot more of a confident Boimler this season, we see that confidence in the fact that he doesn't need everyone to know that he sacrificed himself for the good of the ship. I think in his mind that's just what a person in Starfleet does, but I think he thinks that going above and beyond is making the banner. He wants everyone to see that, to see how much he cares about the captain and the ship. I think like that's more or less like a thing you definitely should do if you're in Starfleet kind of a thing. He wanted to go boldly and he doesn't really need the credit. He did it himself and he's proud of himself.
Everyone makes the sacrifice play, but not everyone makes the banners.
Exactly. And I don't know if you saw those banners, but they're pretty tip-top. They got high marks, I think.
Did the nickname "Boims" come from the script or is that riffing from Tawny Newsome?
I think that's Tawny Newsome. It sounds like a Tawny Newsome thing. "Bradward" was definitely the script, which I think is so funny to this day that his full name is Bradward. I think "Boims" is a Tawny Newsome original. I wouldn't hesitate giving her credit for that because that definitely sounds like her.
Any teases as to what's next for Boims in Season 3?
I can say that I think you see a little bit more growth from him, even more. And I can just say that so far, what I've recorded in season three has been really incredible. Some really great, you know, Trek-y episodes. Some really great, really funny bits. The first episode has my favorite line I've ever said, and I can't say what that is, but when I read it in a script. I read something and I was gasping for air laughing. I can't wait for you guys to see what I'm talking about. And there's also some, you know, there's some real gut-punch emotional moments in season three, which I'm really excited for people to see. You get all that to look forward to.
Star Trek: Lower Decks Season 2 is streaming on Paramount Plus right now. This article was edited for length and clarity.