TV SERIES Review: Star Trek: Lower Decks S1E6 – Terminal Provocations ⭐️⭐️½

Badgey says crazily, “I’m gonna wear your skin!”

Season 1
CBS All Access
September 9, 2020

Episode 6 – “Terminal Provocations”

An opening scene before the title sequence is back and it’s about the lower decks crew, Mariner, Boimler, Fletecher and others whistling sounds of what they think other Star Trek ships sound warp cores sound like. Ransom comes around the corner and attacks thinking their strange behavior is hostile. No stardate log, just that attempt at humor that has zero to do with the rest of the episode and falls severely flat.

Then we get to see the entertaining, well done title sequence. Can we see that Borg cube ship battle, please?

That’s the story Trek fans want to see — and yes, it could be done with all kinds of humor. Why can’t we get that? Normally, the title sequences of a TV series will showcase actual episodes somewhere in the series. Not recognizing any of the title sequence from any of the series so far, but maybe that will change.

After the title, a stardate log from the bridge explains there is a conflict with salvagers who want to claim access to space debris. The Cerritos is there to protect Federation property. They are trying diplomacy first, but are prepared for things to escalate.

Somebody has knocked out Fletcher and stole an isolinear warp core chip.

Meanwhile, the conflict over the space cargo is heating up. The enemy ship is launching debris at the Cerritos.

Safety protocols in the holodeck go haywire and create a situation for two lower deckers and a fight with Badgey, a vengeful creature based on an officer badge. I kind of chuckled at this violent yellow badge personified. This should be a series regular, way more interesting than Mariner and Boimler.

Will the Cerritos go to war with the enemy salvage ship or solve the crisis without a fight? Will Badgey go off on the safety-protocol off holodeck? You’ll need to tune and watch to find out the answers.

Summary

Not a very good or funny episode, but it’s a significant improvement story-wise over the last two episodes and features a catchy character (Badgey!) complete with some holodeck shenanigans (old school TNG, dig it). The salvage conflict was interesting and engaging. The formula for this show, when it works, is to have an exciting bridge crew conflict — the real Star Trek, if you will — cut to some lower decks crew side stories. Any episode that downplays Mariner and Boimler activities, two of the most unlikable main characters I’ve ever seen in any animated show, ups the rating.

From the initial batch of characters, I had hoped we’d see more Ransom (voiced by Jerry O’Connell) and the security officer that’s like Worf with a severe itchy trigger finger. Although those are officers, it wouldn’t have made sense to follow them too much, but they seemed to be wasted up on the bridge out of the storylines except for brief interludes. Maybe in the final episodes we’ll see more of them.

This episode is OK and close to a recommend. It’s fun in parts and reignites some renewed interest in this animated series heading into episode 7. After the last two weeks, I was very ready to bail on this series, but this one shows there is a glimmer of hope that they can get into some better stories and (start!) having some fun.

Episode rating: ⭐️⭐️½ 

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