Review: Star Trek: Lower Decks Season 4 Episode 7 “A Few Badgeys More”
Our theories about the mysterious alien vessel being a team-up of AGIMUS and Peanut Hamper are shot out the window, as “A Few Badgeys More” reveals what those two villainous robots have been up to since last season, all while another villainous non-human character makes an aggressive return.
This week, the Bynars are the ones to fall to the deadly alien vessel, and a familiar character seems to know a bit about it. AGIMUS (Jeffrey Combs), sends word to the Cerritos that Brad Boimler (Jack Quaid) should visit Earth to learn this key bit of information. Of course, AGIMUS – who can now turn his red light to a kindlier blue – has a plan to escape his confinement. Teaming up with Peanut Hamper (Kether Donohue), who is also confined to the same rehabilitation facility as AGIMUS, the pair plot to escape and rendezvous in the stars together.
D’Vana Tendi (Noel Wells) makes the trip to Earth with Boimler, as Peanut Hamper’s parole hearing is coming up, and the Orion should be there considering her and Peanut Hamper’s history. So, the two Lower Deckers go to the Daystrom Institute on Earth to hear AGIMUS, and the supercomputer convinces the duo (or so he thinks) to take him away from Daystrom so he can physically connect with the drone that witnessed the Bynar attack.
“Come on, you can trust me. You’re thinking of the old red light AGIMUS. Blue-light AGIMUS wants to help.”– AGMIUS, as he tries to fool Boimler.
The robot has a plan up his sleeve, though, and hijacks Boimler and Tendi’s shuttle to rendezvous with Peanut Hamper, as the plotting pair planned, but Peanut Hamper doesn’t make the rendezvous. AGIMUS assumes his friend already ventured to the planet Plymeria, where they planned to subjugate the population in typical Star Trek evil computer fashion. But even after conquering the planet himself in record time, AGIMUS finds Peanut Hamper is still nowhere to be seen. Thanks to Tendi, the evil robot learns Peanut Hamper is on Tyrus VIIA, which definitely wasn’t part of the duo’s plan, so AGIMUS, Boimler, and Tendi go there to confront AGIMUS’ wayward sidekick.
Upon confronting AGIMUS, Peanut Hamper admits that by writing her fake parole speech, she actually started believing the things she was saying, and that prompted her to want to live an innocent life with her family, away from the diabolical machinations she and AGIMUS planned. Realizing evilism doesn’t have to be the thing that bonds them, the robotic friends begin their new life on Tyrus VIIA.
A Fistful of Badgeys
Back on the Cerritos, Captain Carol Freeman (Dawnn Lewis) gets a distress call from a nearby ship, and when the Starfleet vessel arrives, they realize Badgey (Jack McBrayer) has been resurrected from his resting place in the Kalla system following the events of “No Small Parts,” and has taken over a Drookmani ship and its crew. Badgey is out for revenge, and that’s clear to Sam Rutherford (Eugene Cordero), who, after all, is Badgey’s creator. To save his ship from destruction due to his son’s actions, Rutherford boldly launches himself toward the Drookmani ship and to Badgey’s mercy – but not before Beckett Mariner (Tawney Newsome) tags along for the ride.
We must admit, Mariner surprising Rutherford by tagging along on his trek to the Drookmani ship doesn’t make any sense. Not only would Mariner have had to abandon her post on the Cerritos’ bridge during the engagement, but she is nowhere near Rutherford when he launches himself from the airlock. And is the airlock open to just anyone, especially lower deckers? We’ll chalk this one up to this episode needing Mariner to accompany Rutherford, but not really caring about her getting there in a sensible way.
Onboard the Drookmani ship and face-to-face with his creation, Rutherford attempts to course-correct Badgey’s evilism by offering a touching gesture: a simple hug from father to son. This act catches Badgey off-guard and severely messes with his internal programming, spawning a new version of the homicidal hologram, Goodgey. The original Badgey still exists, though, and the two Starfleet friends and Goodgey are forced to take refuge in the Drookmani ship.
Badgey doesn’t like playing hide-and-seek, so he threatens to destroy the Cerritos unless his father reveals himself. Rutherford appeals to Badgey’s computer-driven reasoning and asserts it’s illogical to kill everyone on the Cerritos. Such a logical deduction further messes with Badgey’s programming, and a third, Vulcan-esque sub-Badgey entity, Logic-y, is born.
The original Badgey, now devoid of any inhibitions, wants to up the ante by injecting himself into every ship, station, and computer linked into subspace, and destroy everyone in the Federation. Neither the Starfleet lower deckers nor the two sub-Badgeys can stop the OG Badgey from executing his plan, and he successfully spreads himself all throughout subspace.
But with his goal finally complete, Badgey has an unexpected realization: even with all this power, what is his ultimate plan? Such large-scale destruction would not fill the hole in his “soul,” and with the infinite knowledge he has gained by linking himself to subspace, Badgey decides on an unexpectedly poignant course of action. The hologram opts to evolve to the next plane of existence – and in a neat touch, we see the ever-mysterious Koala awaiting Badgey as he ascends away from the Drookmani ship and his corporeal father.
“Why did I care about any of this? I have unlimited power and infinite knowledge. I exist in the past, present, and future. I can see the creation of time and its end. Organic, synthetic, all life are strands in the fabric of reality. It’s beautiful.”– Badgey, as he realizes he has a greater calling than getting revenge on Rutherford.
Good for Badgey, but really… how did he achieve such an existential feat? This episode sure does yadda-yadda over how a hologram with access to Starfleet’s subspace network can achieve infinite knowledge and extra-dimensional existence. Dubious explanation aside, we hope Lower Decks eventually gives us a look at what universe Badgey ends up creating.
A Fond Farewell?
Taken together, “A Few Badgeys More” was a middle-of-the-road episode for this otherwise strong season. It wasn’t as laugh-out-loud funny as what we’ve come to expect from this show. More importantly, too many lingering moments of “how did he/she do that?” exist to stop this episode from elevating to Lower Decks’ usual quality. Some other such examples besides what we spotlighted above:
- Badgey was able to “salvage” and thus take over the first Drookmani he attached to, but how did he convince every other Drookmani to follow him?
- Just because Badgey knows all possible shield frequencies for the Cerritos – a fact he helpfully exposits to our heroes – how could he pick which one or ones is needed to punch through the ship’s defenses?
- Why couldn’t Badgey use his ship’s sensors to find where Rutherford, Mariner, and Goodgey are hiding? And why is the Drookmani crew so terrible at searching their own ship for the enemy?
- How could Badgey fatally break the back of Logic-y, a hologram?
In any case, this episode does important things for Badgey’s multi-season storyline in this show, and seemingly resolves AGIMUS and Peanut Hamper’s narrative. That’s no small feat for 25 minutes. If we don’t see these robotic characters again, “A Few Badgeys More” gives them a decent send-off. More relevant for this season, however, is the next breadcrumb trail in the mystery alien ship storyline. Why would someone or something capture various ships and not destroy them? The first thing we think of is how V’Ger captured ships in its path; wouldn’t it be cool if Lower Decks’ mystery ship was related to the famous vessel from The Motion Picture? There are certainly plenty of theories out there about what this alien ship is, and, more than ever, we’re looking forward to seeing what Lower Decks has in store for us.
- “The Stars at Night” contains a teaser that directly foreshadows Badgey’s return.
- The establishing shot of the Daystrom Institute in this episode mirrors the same shot from Star Trek: Picard’s “Remembrance.”
- We certainly appreciate how Jeffrey Combs can breathe so much life and energy into his motionless character. How do you bring an almost non-animated character to life? You make sure the voice actor kills the performance, and that’s what Combs does here.
- Why was Peanut Hamper surprised at AGIMUS’ arrival at her family’s station? Wouldn’t she have detected the incoming Starfleet shuttle?
- Just before ascending, Badgey says he might check out the Black Mountain. As told by Shaxs in “We’ll Always Have Tom Paris,” this mountain is a battleground where souls go after death. We briefly saw this mountain in the background during Boimler’s visit to the afterlife in “In the Cradle of Vexilon.”
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