Warning: SPOILERS for Star Trek: Lower Decks Season 4, Episode 5 - "Empathalogical Fallacies"

Summary

  • Star Trek: Lower Decks Season 4, Episode 5 reverses Star Trek: Strange New Worlds' map fix of the Romulan Star Empire, showing a map that aligns with the original series episode "Balance of Terror."
  • Lieutenant T'Lyn's emotional turmoil inadvertently affects the USS Cerritos crew, almost causing the ship to enter the Romulan Neutral Zone and potentially instigate a war.
  • The Romulan Star Empire's days are numbered, as their sun will go supernova in 2387, destroying Romulus and Remus, which will have significant consequences for the balance of power in the Beta Quadrant.

Star Trek: Lower Decks season 4, episode 5 showed a map of the Neutral Zone and the Romulan Star Empire that reverses Star Trek: Strange New Worlds' fix of Star Trek: The Original Series' map. The Romulans debuted in the classic TOS season 1 episode, "Balance of Terror," which introduced the Neutral Zone, a fortified border separating the United Federation of Planets in the Alpha Quadrant from the Romulan Star Empire in the Beta Quadrant. A map shown in "Balance of Terror" identified the twin worlds of Romulus and Romii, the latter of which has since been determined to be a star system in the Beta Quadrant.

In Star Trek: Lower Decks season 4, episode 5, "Empathalogical Fallacies," Lieutenant T'Lyn (Gabrielle Ruiz) was unaware she was broadcasting her emotional turmoil via Vulcan telepathy to the rest of the USS Cerritos. Suffering from a form of Bendii Syndrome, T'Lyn's frustration boosted the emotional outbursts of most of the Cerritos' crew, including three visiting Betazoid Intelligence agents posting as socialities. During the chaos, the Cerritos nearly entered the Romulan Neutral Zone, but Captain Carol Freeman's (Dawnn Lewis) starship turned back in the nick of time from inadvertently instigating a war with the Romulan Star Empire.

Related: Star Trek: Lower Decks Cast Guide - Who Voices Each Character In All 4 Seasons

Star Trek: Lower Decks Reversed Strange New Worlds’ Romulan Map Fix

Lower Decks Romulan Map

A member of the USS Cerritos' Security team pointed to a map of the Romulan Neutral Zone in Star Trek: Lower Decks season 4, episode 5, that's a fun Easter egg and callback to the map of Romulan and Federation space in Star Trek: The Original Series' "Balance of Terror." The map has the same graphics design as in TOS, and identifies the planets Romulus and Romii in the Romulan Star Empire. Trouble is, Star Trek: Strange New Worlds season 1's finale, "A Quality of Mercy" fixed the map by noting the twin planets Romulus and Remus, as well as Romii.

Romulus and Remus are the recognized planets orbiting each other. Romulus has been seen many times throughout Star Trek, while Remus and the Remans were finally seen in Star Trek: Nemesis. Outside the maps in TOS, Strange New Worlds, and Lower Decks, Romii hasn't actually been seen in any Star Trek show or movie. Strange New Worlds' map retconned TOS' map; however, since Strange New Worlds is actually a prequel to TOS, it's also possible the map seen in "Balance of Terror" is actually the revised, correct map, chronologically, and remains so in Star Trek: Lower Decks' 24th century.

Romulans Are Doomed In Star Trek: Lower Decks’ Era

Lower Decks Reman-1

The Romulan Star Empire is still in power in Star Trek: Lower Decks' timeframe, circa the early 2280s. Despite Shinzon (Tom Hardy) and the Remans overthrowing the Romulan Senate and Praetor in a coup in Star Trek: Nemesis, the Romulans seem to have taken revenge on the Remans following Shinzon's demise. However, the clock is ticking for the mighty Romulans because their sun will go supernova and destroy Romulus and Remus in 2387. In just a few years, the balance of power in the Beta Quadrant will undergo a permanent upheaval after the Romulans lose their homeworld.

Star Trek: Lower Decks season 4 is starting to brush up against major events described in the backstory of Star Trek: Picard season 1. In 2385, Admiral Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) will lead the Federation's effort to rescue the Romulan Empire from the supernova, which will eventually be abandoned, resulting in a disgusted Picard quitting Starfleet in protest. The Mars Attack of 2385, orchestrated by Commodore Oh (Tamlyn Tomita), who is secretly a Romulan general who infiltrated Starfleet, will force the Federation to ban artificial lifeforms in the Alpha Quadrant. A Romulan ship will also encounter a Borg Cube that becomes disabled, leading the Romulans to take over Cube and turn it into the Artifact, the site of the Romulan Reclamation Project. The map of the Romulan Empire seen in Star Trek: Lower Decks is fated to become outdated soon.

Star Trek: Lower Decks season 4 streams Thursdays on Paramount+.