So far this season we have seen the real life of the lower decks officers on Federation Star-ships.  While they might be slackers to a point, they are still the best at their jobs or they simply wouldn’t be in Star Fleet to begin with right? I mean, they do vet for competence right?….right?

The Episode:

Ensign’s Log Stardate.…how do I calculate this again? 5766…errr carry the 1?….no that’s not right….nevermind, Terminal Provocations. 

As the Cerritos deals with aliens trying to claim salvage rights on an old Starfleet Vessel we meet Ensign Fletcher. Fletcher might seem like the rest of the Ensigns but Boimler and Mariner soon discover that he really doesn’t belong.  Meanwhile, Tendi and Rutherford try to get some zero G practice in only to run afoul of a killer anthropomorphic Delta symbol on the holodeck. 

Is it a ‘Good’ Episode?

This episode was, as usual, an absolute blast.  From the primary story dealing with an Ensign that makes Lt Barclay look like a pro to what boils down to a killer Microsoft Clippy, everything about this episode works even when it really shouldn’t.

Lets talk about the secondary story first before we dive into the incompetency that is Ensign Fletcher.  It has been clear since nearly episode one that Rutherford and Tendi should be a couple.  They are practically written for one another and I really hope they finally figure this out.  So, when the ship comes up against a salvage ship trying to claim Federation property it falls to Tendi and Rutherford to possibly spacewalk out and collected some of the salvage….only Tendi can’t Spacewalk.  So, what does Rutherford do?  He introduces her to a program to help her learn how.  What ensues is a fantastic holodeck malfunction when Rutherford’s creation, Badgey, gets tired of being abused.  This malfunction happens to tie in with the A story, of course, and really manages to not only be a joy to watch but also brings Tendi and Rutherford closer together, as they should be.

You know…you’d think there was a warning label for this kind of thing…

The primary story   deals with Boimler and Mariner as they trust their ‘new’ crew-member Fletcher with a key project only for him to completely mess it all up. After telling his friends that the problem with the project was due to an unknown attacker, they soon discover that Fletcher is not on the level and is in fact a complete screw-up who has somehow managed to fall up in his incompetence. We all know the type and, of course, when Boimler and Mariner discover the truth things get even more interesting.  Let’s just say that we see how one bad decision after another can just make things worse or, as Shakespeare put it, what a tangled web we weave when we practice to deceive. 

Overall, this is yet another highly enjoyable entry that just makes me want more.  I do hope the series gets picked up for a second season and we get some serious crossovers in the future.  I mean, come on, who doesn’t want Picard or Captain Worf to make an appearance?

Gleanings, Questions and cool bits: (slight spoilers here)

  • The Q are mentioned in this episode as a great excuse to use if something goes wrong.  Interestingly, it has been confirmed that John DeLancie will be returning as Q in the second half of the season.
  • We meet the Drookmani and their Captain who happens to be voiced by General Martok himself J G Hertzler!
  • The debris is from starship NCC 502 which, according to Memory Alpha was an Antares Type ship last seen in the original Animated Series More Trouble More Tribbles.  This once again brings that original animated run more into canon than ever before. 
  • Fletcher ultimately gets promoted and assigned to the USS Titan.  The Titan happens to be the ship Captained by none other than Will Riker.  Yeah, that doesn’t end well.
  • We learn that the Cerittos has a Captain’s Yacht which was also an existing thing on The Enterprise D but never shown. Although we do see the E version.
  • Badgey is voiced by Jack McBrayer who you might know from 30 Rock. 

As usual, some bits from next weeks ep…. until then!

Thanks for reading the SciFi TV Review  I look forward to discussing the rest of the series with you!

If you would like to read more reviews I have a weekly series called Key Movies Of My Life that comes out every Thursday and for more retro TV goodness check out the rest of the Retro TV Reviews here.

As always,  please feel free to comment below and share your experiences with these episodes as well. If you just happened by, tell me what you think! Don’t Forget To Follow me if you like the blog!

Late To The Game 9/13/2020

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