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Star Trek: Lower Decks Season 1, Episode 6 recap: Terminal Provocations

Meet Ensign Fletcher on Star Trek: Lower Decks Episode 6.

We’re halfway through with Star Trek: Lower Decks Episode 6, and this show does not hold back on being as bonkers as possible.

In this episode, we are introduced to Ensign Fletcher, an old classmate of Boimler’s. Unlike Boimler, Fletcher is fun, funny and a team player. He gets Mariner out of a sticky situation with Dr. T’ana, and even offers to complete the long and tedious task fixing isolinear cores.

Does he sound a little too good to be true? It’s because he is! Listen, this is Star Trek, nothing good can come of a random new character being too helpful.

So, while Captain Freeman is trying to avoid armed conflict with an alien race trying to make of with Starfleet scraps, as she’s staving off Shaxs’ endless requests to blow said aliens to smithereens, Fletcher, Boimler and Mariner get into one scrape, while Rutherford and Tendi contend with another.

Star Trek: Lower Decks Episode 6 – Attack of Badgey

You know how important Holodecks are to Star Trek shows—but they’re usually shown to be an entertainment medium, as Rutherford states in detail in this episode.

Related Story: Star Trek: Lower Decks Season 1, Episode 5 recap

However, the Holodeck is useful for other reasons as well, including for educational purposes. When Rutherford learns that Tendi never completed her space walk at Starfleet Academy, and is terrified that she may be called on to go on one soon, Rutherford invites her to the Holodeck.

He’s created an interactive program called Badgey (it’s a talking Starfleet badge), that is supposed to help Tendi find her space-legs. And it should work fine, but unbeknownst to these two, a system malfunction (which we’ll come to shortly) corrupts Badgey’s programming.

At first, Badgey is slow to load scenarios, but when Rutherford insults the program it takes it personally. Suddenly Badgey’s tearing up Rutherford’s spacesuit and threatening to kill him. The Holodeck’s safety protocols go off, as well, which means if they get injured or die in the program, they stay dead.

Rutherford changes the scenario but Badgey just gets worse. He’s ripping people apart and coming up with more inventive ways to kill Rutherford. It’s scary.

Finally, Tendi realizes that Badgey is being affected by the program just like they are—he’s exhausted from climbing steps. So, Rutherford changes scenarios again and freezes Badgey.

In the Badgey ends up in the arms of his ‘father’, begging for forgiveness, before Rutherford snaps Badgey’s neck.

Suffice to say, no one’s trying that program again any time soon.

Star Trek: Lower Decks Episode 6 – Worst. Ensign. Ever.

Jack Quaid as Ensign Brad Boimler and Tim Robinson as Ensign Fletcher, Tawny Newsome as Ensign Beckett Mariner on STAR TREK: LOWER DECKS Episode 6

Jack Quaid as Ensign Brad Boimler and Tim Robinson as Ensign Fletcher, Tawny Newsome as Ensign Beckett Mariner on STAR TREK: LOWER DECKS Episode 6

The franchise has had its fair share of terrible officers, but I think Star Trek: Lower Decks Episode 6 might have given us the worst.

Remember Fletcher from up top? Last we saw of him he was changing cores while Boimler and Mariner were enjoying a Chu Chu show. They return to find Fletcher unconscious in the core. He claims someone clocked him from behind and made off with one of the cores.

At first, Mariner and Boimler believe Delta shift was messing with Fletcher, but soon find out those guys were at the show as well. Fletcher surmises it’s an intruder and goes as far as to point fingers at the alien scavengers.

But something doesn’t add up. Boimler and Mariner do not want to go to the captain with insubstantial evidence.

And it’s a good thing too. The core is found on Fletcher’s bed. He was bored and decided to use the core to make himself smarter. But then the core imported part of his brain and it’s become an evil entity in itself.

All the problems on the ship (including Badgey’s homicidal tendencies) are down to the missing core and its newfound sentience. You would think this would be a cause for concern, but all Fletcher can think about is how to save himself. He’s the worst. Did we mention that already?

Mariner and Boimler finally shoot the core out the airlock and it heads straight for… the alien scavengers!

The day is saved, but Ransom wants to know what is going on. Should Mariner rat Fletcher out? Nope, she has a better idea.

Fletcher is made out to be a hero who modified a core to get rid of the scavengers. He gets a promotion and a transfer to the Titan, which happens to be Boimler’s dream gig. Poor thing. But anything’s better than keeping Fletcher onboard.

The promotion doesn’t last. Six days after his transfer, Fletcher is fired from the Titan for dumping trash in the warp core! Are you kidding me? Stay away from the warp core, that thing is sacred. Anyway, looks like Fletcher isn’t going to be destroying any Starfleet ships in the near future.

Star Trek: Lower Decks Episode 6 – Final Thoughts

I’ll start my conclusion by saying I found myself swaying to the theme tune during this episode. That has to be a good sign.

This episode was a lot of fun, but maybe it tried too hard to be crazy. I almost wish we’d concentrated more on Captain Freeman rather than Rutherford and Tendi.

Usually, I’m all for watching these two adorable nerds, but today’s episode leaned into the boring old trope of a guy messing things up because he wants to impress a cute girl. I was rooting for these two to be buddies. Did it have to become romantic?

What I want is more of Captain Freeman—she may be animated, but she has so much personality and charisma. I love this character and wish this show was about her. Or at least a little more about her. I hope the writers keep up the good work because she’s smart and courageous. Captain Freeman deserves to be written well all the time.

Next: Episodes to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Star Trek: Voyager

Where do you rank Star Trek: Lower Decks Episode 6 among all the episodes you’ve seen so far? Let us know in the comments below.

New episodes of Star Trek: Lower Decks are available every Thursday on CBS All Access.