The show gradually ramped up the quality over the season. I'm a sucker for fan service, so sue me, but it meant I really liked Ep 8 - "Veritas". The one with the "trial" and all the disjointed flashbacks. It was so gloriously soaked in Canon Star Trek.
Then "Rise Of Vindicta" was just such a home-run. In 22 minutes they managed to lampoon the common Star Trek movie tropes, stick a subtle middle finger up at JJtrek, give all four main characters something interesting to do, and simultaneously create an exciting and HILARIOUS film-style episode with gorgeous visuals... and on top of all that, they went deep with Mariner's exploration of self in a super interesting, thoroughly Star Trek way.
It was magic. I instantly declared it the best Star Trek production in at least 20 years.
Then the finale gave it one hell of a run for its money. A shocking tonal whiplash in the intro, some sustained character development, and then INTENSE action with plenty of laughs... and an ending that just filled me with joy and has had me sighing contentedly all week. And "No Small Parts" is a genius title.
From a rocky start, LDS has become the Star Trek show I've been waiting for. It's so depressing that Discovery has me dreading "new Star Trek day" again now. I may not bother with season 3. Roll on Lower Decks season 2!