Star Trek: Lower Decks Season 2 Episode 7 Review: Where Pleasant Fountains Lie



Trek sex is such a weird niche genre. And I’m not even talking about the non-canon, porny stuff.


Star Trek: Lower Decks Season 2 Episode 7 is a perfect exemplar of how having an infinite number of off-shoot Earth cultures can result in the oddest cultural norms. Not that I’m judging, but Queen Billups’ obsession with getting her son laid is SO sketchy-ew.


To balance out the “Um, ick” of the Hysperian (spelling corrections welcome) storyline, Boimler and Mariner’s working relationship undergoes a significant shift as they contend with surviving their crash on a barren planet AND Agimus, Landru’s chatty distant cousin.


As always, I look for a unifying theme to the two narratives presented, and, surprisingly, it was pretty easy to find here.


Billups suffers from a domineering and incredibly persistent mother. The latter is determined to see him lose his virginity to force him, by Hysperian law, to take the throne as king.


Meanwhile, Mariner can’t see Boimler as anything but the wet-behind-the-ears doofus who has lots of book smarts but no street skills.


Both female characters are sure they know what is best for their respective sons/proteges. Neither is open to listening to the guys in question.


The difference is that Queen Billups is unchanged by her failed plot, while Mariner, we can assume, has her eyes opened a bit.


Of course, plotholes abound with the Hysperian situation.


Billups states that he abdicated his royal role when he joined Starfleet, following his heart to become an engineer.

Rutherford: Hysperia? That’s the planet with the dragons that got colonized by all those Ren Faire types! Did you grow up in a castle?
Billups: Yes. But a life of mythical adventure can’t compare to working on the old impulse engine.


Then why would he still be bound by Hysperian law?


Also, if the Cerritos computer could track Rutherford’s implant signal, why wasn’t it able to track his communicator badge?


Wouldn’t SOMEONE have noticed the sudden point-to-point transport of everyone near the ship’s engine?


And how did the Hysperians get point-to-point transport technology anyway?


But plotholes aside, what a (purposefully) stupid law. Does that mean any hormonal teenage prince who manages to get himself laid can ascend the throne immediately?


I think Billups would make a fantastic king, but obviously, it’s not what he wants to do.

Mother! If you’re planning on tricking me into intercourse, think again. The only lady I love is two decks tall and pumped full of dilithium.

Billups


Since the show is subtitled Lower Decks, it’s only fitting (and potentially contractually necessary) that Rutherford get tangled up in the Billups saga.


It does kind of feel like kicking a puppy, though when Tendi is left feeling like she inadvertently caused Rutherford’s death by encouraging him to try something new.

Tendi: So you’ll really turn down working on a whole new engine?
Rutherford: Well, it would be nice to see how the other half channels their antimatter.


(Oh, wait, if Rutherford hadn’t been aboard the Hysperian ship, Tendi wouldn’t have had to search for his implant signal, and then the queen’s plot would never have been revealed. Clever.)


In the spirit of Star Trek: The Next Generation’s “Angel One” (ST: TNG S1E14) and the Edo of “Justice” (ST: TNG S1E8) — interesting how many sexually open cultures were introduced in Season 1, isn’t it? — the Hysperian culture is one where sex is an accepted part of life, freely discussed and invited. And governance, too, apparently.


Some of the situation’s humor is the fact the planet was reportedly colonized by Renaissance Faire “types,” a demographic not commonly known for their sexual exploits. Well, not until Game of Thrones came along, I guess.


The other prong of the humor equates Billups’s love of engineering with a lifetime of celibacy.


(I know this stereotype is quite erroneous with many good friends in the engineering fields, but Billups represents an extreme version of that tech-obsessed archetype.)

Queen Billups: Raise a glass to King Andirithieau who, at this very moment, is destroying his virginity.
Rutherford: What? No, Billups loves his virginity. I mean, he loves being an engineer.


Of any of the bridge crew backstories, I suspect that Billups will be the most likely to be revisited in the future, if only for the minstrels and dragons.


And the sex-obsessed guards, of course.

Queen Billups: Son, are you saying the problem is beyond your engineering acumen?
Billups: No, no, okay no. We’ll just have to run a full diagnostic from the bottom up.
Guard: You can run your full diagnostic along my bottom up, my liege.


Now, our primary Lower Decks adventure down on the unnamed uninhabited planet — sidenote: Agimus’s planet was also unnamed here. Oversight or purposeful vagueness? — where Mariner and Boimler crash land is more relevant to our core cast and long-arc character development.


As noted in the final scene, Agimus is not unique in the Star Trek experience.


For example, on Star Trek: Lower Decks Season 1 Episode 10, they revive the villainous A.I. from Star Trek: The Original Series’ “Return of the Archons,” Landru.


Initially, in the opening scene, I thought we were revisiting Landru, which may have been the writers’ intention.


Guest star Jeffrey Combs voices Agimus, but this is by no means his first Star Trek foray. He has portrayed no fewer than nine different roles across Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Star Trek: Voyager, and Enterprise.


As Agimus, he gets one of the meatiest guest star roles so far in the series. The computer’s constant scheming is so obvious that it becomes an instrumental element in Boimler “Boim” ing it.


But the critical interplay is between Mariner and Boimler.


Boimler’s time on the Titan, as short as it was, did give him some time to grow in ability and confidence. No, he’s never going to be the badass ninja ensign that Mariner is, but he’s interested in expanding his experiences.

Mariner: I’m okay. It’s just a fracture. [shoves it back into place]
Boimler: Just!?! Ugh, I can’t even look at it.


Mariner’s blinders are on, and, being Mariner, she’s out to keep her friends close. And safe. And did I mention close? And that’s on Mariner. She’s admitted that her greatest fear is having people leave.


Unfortunately, standing in the way of growth is a sure-fire way to get left.

Boimler: Mariner, drop the computer.
Mariner: Nope, you are on time-out until you stop siding with the enemy.


Happily, once Boimler saves the day (by stunning her), Mariner seems ready to give him his due.


I should take a moment to acknowledge that the title, “Where Pleasant Fountains Lie,” is from William Shakespeare’s “Venus and Adonis,” which is in keeping with the Trek tradition of using Shakespearean references.


So I’m acknowledging it, but if y’all want to know what it means, look it up for yourself.


(Hint: It has more to do with the Hysperian culture than Agimus and nothing at all to do with the licorice fruit. At least, I hope not. Oh, double ick.)

Mariner: Good thing the replicator’s still intact. Computer, iced tea, splash of lemonade, cold.
Computer: Licorice, dry.
Mariner: Great. The least nutritious food that tastes the most like poison.


So how did all the helicopter parenting sit with you?


Do you see Mariner giving Boimler a proper push out of the nest soon?


Will Billups ever regret his decision to follow his heart versus his heritage?


Can Tendi handle the dangers and uncertainty of Starfleet life?

Tendi: I guess there’s just going to be times every now and then when it seems like you died, huh?
Rutherford: Heh, that’s Starfleet.


Remember, just before she went all scorpion on Star Trek: Lower Decks Season 2 Episode 6, she was ranting about wanting to return to Orion. Is that a possibility? What will Delta Team do without her?


Any thoughts about how the season will resolve the Pakled situation? Hit the comments with your best and wildest theories!

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Diana Keng is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.

You can view the original article HERE.

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