Lower Decks’ “A Few Badgeys More” in Review
Hang onto your backups! In this episode, we have AI threats a-go-go aboard the Cerritos… with a host of returning electronic villains.
After the opening credits sequence, a Bynar spacecraft encounters the mystery ship. The Drookmani vessel finds the resultant debris field.
Aboard the Cerritos, Rutherford is trying to fit a grappler to a shuttle, which accidentally removes Tendi’s uniform top. While the Cerritos investigates the Bynar attack, Tendi and Boimler will be going to the Daystrom Institute for Peanut Hamper’s parole hearing. Agimus claims he has vital intel about the attack which he will only tell Boimler, whom he has amusingly dubbed the “stringy ensign meat pipe.”
In the Institute’s garden, Peanut Hamper and Agimus have found life as easy to create as destroy. They intend to escape, with Peanut Hamper lying and Agimus turning his red lights to blue.
The Cerritos encounters the Drookmani ship. Its captain desperately warns about “the triangle demon” but is electrocuted by Badgey, who tells Rutherford to prepare to die.
Peanut Hamper and Agimus are brought out of a Lassie film screening. Agimus alleges that one of his drones witnessed the Bynar incident but that he needs physical access to recover the data. Persuaded by his reassuring blue lights, Boimler reluctantly agrees.
The Drookmani ship fires on the Cerritos. Badgey anticipates all their tactics. Rutherford and Mariner are captured by Badgey, who explains he can appear in person thanks to scavenged holo-emitters throughout the ship. Surprising Badgey, Rutherford hugs him, causing glitches.
On a shuttle, Agimus deploys drones to free himself and take control. He’s glad Peanut Hamper’s hearing went well, signifying their plan is working. While Badgey splits into a silver “Goodgey” and evil gold Badgey, Boimler, Tendi and Agimus land on a beach, awaiting Peanut Hamper. Tendi loves the sand, preferable to Orion’s jagged pebbles. A drone brings Peanut Hamper’s hoe, indicating that she has betrayed Agimus to conquer the planet Plymeria herself.
Badgey seizes the Cerritos’ systems and releases deadly neurozine gas. Rutherford convinces him that, logically, this won’t gain him anything, so he retracts the gas, then realises he’s been had again and spawns a bronze “Logic-y”. Badgey then rants that revenge feels good, wanting to kill the Federation’s entire populace.
Uploading his code to subspace will enable Badgey to cause disasters across the Federation. Rutherford regrets treating him more like an experiment than a son but Mariner reminds Rutherford that Tendi loves how he sticks with experiments. Logic-y announces he has a plan and re-merges with Badgey.
On Plymeria, Agimus has quickly taken over but he is depressed, missing Peanut Hamper. Tendi finds, through Daystrom’s parole database, that she’s on Tyrus VIIA, a remote research station, possibly plotting something more devious than Agimus.
Badgey pulls Logic-y out of himself and kills him, planning to take the Drookmani ship to warp 9.9 and spread his code through subspace.
On Tyrus VIIA, Agimus sees exocomps apparently enslaved and vows to free them. They include Peanut Hamper, who once enjoyed his company but realised her parole speech wasn’t fake — she’s not into world domination. Agimus feels likewise.
Agimus is returned to his cell, planning rehabilitation to join Peanut Hamper. He apologetically admits that his drones did witness the Bynar incident. The culprit has stolen the ships it has targeted, leaving fake wreckage behind so they would appear destroyed.
Aboard the Cerritos, Rutherford tries his grappler again, which still goes wrong. He reveals that Goodgey is being used as guidance, much to his friends’ nervousness…
With Peanut Hamper and Agimus both being such excellent psychotic machines previously, it was probably inevitable that there’d be a team-up… and it’s delightful. Throw in the more in-your-face Badgey — whose survival on another Federation ship is a bit unlikely — and the Bynars, and we have so many levels of computer and AI threat in a single episode. Add an actual development in the mystery ship arc, and things get really crazy…
On the more crazy side than the logical development side is the sudden notion that AI code can be spread through all of subspace and cause ascension at warp 9.9. That feels very out of left field, almost as left field as Boimler shrugging off the consequences of letting Agimus take over a planet in a couple of hours, which even he admits will be a long haul for Starfleet to undo.
It’s great to have more development of the AI characters, see DS9 and Spacedock etc, and all in an odd but pleasing robotic romance tale. After a fun roundup of all the various computer-sabotaging schemes the franchise is known for, the worldbuilding of the ascension process in the franchise gets a good recap, and that’s a lovely bonus too. Badgey’s deconstruction is both hilarious and fascinating, and it somehow seems appropriate that he would ascend, considering his father’s previous experiences. Also, Agimus’ cellmate has the most awesome name: Tyrannikillicus.
We even finally get some movement on what’s happening with the mystery attacks — now we know (collating from various episodes) that a single lifeform, co-operating with a Ferengi, is stealing ships from across the quadrant. Who could it be, and why?
Everybody’s on their top voice game. Peanut Hamper and Agimus are again played to perfection by their voice artists, with Jeffery Combs never failing to please.
This is a really good episode with both a great threat in the Badgey story and a surprisingly touching, if obvious, robotic love story for Agimus and Peanut Hamper. Just don’t ask how bad it is that Boimler let Agimus take over a planet…
David A McIntee is a writer and historian who has written for properties such as Doctor Who, Star Wars, Final Destination, and Stargate, as well as having written several adventures in the Star Trek franchise for Pocket Books. He has contributed many pieces to the magazines Star Trek Explorer (née Star Trek Magazine) and Star Trek Communicator, as well as having written nonfiction books about Star Trek: Voyager.