We’re rolling right through this season of Star Trek: Lower Decks! While the crew of the Cerritos keeps getting handed the jobs no one wants, from both the lower decks staff to the bridge crew, they just keep on persevering. Episode 2×06, “The Spy Humongous” zeroes in on a few good things though–dealing with impossible people, doing your best in challenging situations, and a demonstration of what real leadership looks like. Here are a few of my thoughts on “The Spy Humongous.”
How Thick Can You Get?
We all know those people. I don’t like to use these sorts of pejoratives, but there are some people who are…simply…rather dense. Pakleds are the embodiment of that one dumb person you knew in high school that was so dumb that thought they were smarter than everyone else. They are impossible to reason with and it’s frustrating and infuriating to try to do so. Now imagine that person is effectively a very strong orc that’s out to get you and you’ve got a Pakled.
Captain Freeman and Shaxs are stuck dealing with these ridiculous Pakleds and I’m so frustrated on their behalf, I facepalm just about every time a Pakled speaks! The Pakleds are basically a YouTube comments section’s worth of banality with every bit of dialogue, and the writers do a great job of not only making their characters frustrated but their viewers too! As annoyed as I get with Pakleds any time they show up on my screen, it impresses me at how well-written they are. It would be easy to make them just simplistically dumb. They instead are infuriatingly dumb! Here’s hoping this is the last we see of them.
Hyper Overachievers, FTW!
I have expounded at length in my reviews of Star Trek: Discovery of my adoration for Sylvia Tilly and her joy, hyperactive tendencies, and exuberance. I am starting to feel the very same way about D’Vana Tendi. Tendi’s proclivity for positivity, even in the dirtiest of jobs is admirable. And while I can’t blame Rutherford and Mariner for being bummed out about having ACD duty, their negative outlook really put a damper on their work. Tendi’s positivity is refreshing and it’s great to see that affirmed, rather than derided.
Actions Speak Louder Than Words
Boimler still really wants to rank up, but after his conversation with Mariner in the last episode, I was surprised to see him quickly run off to join “The Red Shirts.” Of course, even people who don’t watch Star Trek know what happens to “red shirts” on Star Trek, so the name is laughable on a very meta-level. However, Boimler quickly learns that real leadership is much more than a glow-up and Picard-esque inspirational speech. Boimler’s ability to diffuse the anomaly collection gone awry with humor and care shows real leadership ability. Even though his methods are unorthodox and a bit humiliating, he is able to set Tendi back to her old self with ease.
The affirmation he gets from Commander Ransom means much more than 2 seconds in the acting Captain’s chair. Good job, Bradward. Your hair is cute AND I would follow it into battle.
There’s much to love in this episode of Lower Decks. The character development we’re getting in “The Spy Humongous” is giving me the warm fuzzies, just as many of the episodes have all season. There’s also a lot that’s made me laugh, particularly the Pakleds constantly referring to Captain Freeman as Captain Janeway. I also couldn’t help but think of the theme song to The Fairly Oddparents when Boimler put in his final order at the replicator in his attempts to stop the Tendi scorpion. Finally, “prank calling” Armus is a stroke of genius, and a real TNG deep cut.
What are your thoughts on 2×06, “The Spy Humongous”? What are you anticipating for the rest of season 2? We’re now past the halfway mark for this season and I’m sure there are more laughs and relatively low-stakes fun to be had in this quadrant of the Star Trek universe. Leave me a comment and let’s talk Trek.
The next episode of Star Trek: Lower Decks will air on September 23, 2021 on Paramount+.