Star Trek Guide

Star Trek: Lower Decks Just Introduced Its Own Version of... Ultron

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Star Trek: Lower Decks Season 1, Episode 6, "Terminal Provocation," now streaming on CBS All Access.

In the latest episode of Star Trek: Lower Decks, "Terminal Provocation," Boimler and Mariner have to deal with a semi-sentient isolinear core that gets bigger the more machinery it can wrap its tendrils around. It threatens the lives of everyone on board, and to save the U.S.S. Cerritos, they have to throw the living machine out of the airlock.

While the two Ensigns clash with a dangerous machine that could kill everyone on board the spaceship, two other Starfleet officers end up in a similar situation. In fact, on the Cerritos' holodeck, Rutherford and Tendi are being chased by a villainous artificial intelligence program named Badgey -- a character who shares a lot in common with Marvel's Ultron.

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In "Terminal Provocation," Tendi reveals to Rutherford that she never finished the proper space-walk training. In order to help her, Rutherford leads her to the ship's holodeck where he introduces Tendi to his latest invention: the artificial intelligence program Badgey, an anthropomorphic version of the Starfleet badge. Badgey is essentially Star Trek's answer to Microsoft Word's Clippy, the paper clip that used to assist users with the program.

At first, Badgey helps Tendi go through her space-walk training, but it isn't long before he starts to malfunction. When that happens, Badgey falls into a murderous frenzy. With his sole intent now to kill, Badgey pursues Tendi and Rutherford through various simulations inside the holodeck, and the villainous A.I. becomes more unsettling and violent by the minute.

What's more, he even recognizes Rutherford as his father, and one of his new goals is to eliminate him. Meanwhile, Rutherford sees Badgey as his son, so it pains him when he has no choice but to shut him down.

It certainly seems like Badgey is Lower Decks' take on the Marvel villain, Ultron. After all, Ultron was an artificial intelligence program created to help others that also turned evil. Not only did he develop murderous tendencies, he also saw his creator as his father (whether that was Hank Pym in the comic books, or Tony Stark in the Marvel Cinematic Universe).

Sure, Badgey may not have built a body to walk out into the real world, but he still poses a similar threat. What's more, as the episode comes to a close, Badgey has been stopped, but Rutherford still keeps him alive and seemingly fixed inside the holodeck. Yet, Badgey clearly shows he isn't fixed in the slightest -- he's ready to keep hunting.

Therefore, in further episodes of Lower Decks, Badgey could once again return to pose a significant threat -- whether in the holodeck or on the Cerritos itself -- if he is ever able to build himself a body.

Star Trek: Lower Decks stars Tawny Newsome as Ensign Beckett Mariner, Eugene Cordero as Ensign Rutherford, Jack Quaid as Ensign Brad Boimler, Noël Wells as Ensign Tendi, Dawnn Lewis as Captain Carol Freeman, Jerry O'Connell as Commander Jack Ransom, Gillian Vigman as Doctor T'Ana and Fred Tatasciore as Lieutenant Shaxs. The show premiered on CBS All Access on Aug. 6.

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