The issue is that the rogue A.I. created by Fletcher creates a second, unintended rogue A.I., created by Rutherford. In what can solely be described as an outdated reference to the Microsoft Workplace paperclip “Workplace Assistant,” Rutherford has made a program known as “Badgy” who seems as a Starfleet badge with arms, legs, and a face. Badgy is annoying earlier than issues go incorrect, however when issues do go incorrect he’s even worse. When the holodeck safeties are disabled by Fletcher’s unintended A.I., this causes Badgy to show homicidal, which we’re alleged to consider is as a result of is program is left operating on a regular basis, form of like Moriarty in The Subsequent Era.
If you wish to see an anthropomorphized Starfleet badge rip individuals’s limbs off, till blood gushes from their our bodies, properly, then that is your episode! However, by having the literal image of Starfleet additionally flip right into a holodeck character who kills individuals, it looks as if Decrease Decks is form of asking for its harshest critics to get upset. To place it one other manner, you possibly can’t think about Badgy’s homicide rampage being in any of the trailers. Clearly, the thought of Badgy going loopy and making an attempt to homicide individuals mocks all the opposite holograms-gone-bananas tales from the ‘90s Trek heyday. And, on paper, Badgy murdering individuals can be effective, so long as it was humorous or had one thing to say. The difficulty is, that this hologram-gone-nuts story is each much less humorous and much less fascinating than say, an objectively unhealthy TNG episode that had the identical premise, particularly, “A Fistful of Datas.”
In case you forgot, in “A Fistful of Datas,” Worf, Troi, and Alexandar get caught in an Previous West Holodeck simulation gone berserk, and each single character they meet appears like Information. This notion is form of what “Terminal Provocations” is sending-up, however the issue is, this episode doesn’t enhance upon the supply materials, it solely makes you nostalgic for a authentic holograms-try-to-kill-everyone story from Voyager, TNG and even, DS9.
To place it one other manner, an excellent episode of Decrease Decks — like final week’s “Cupid’s Errant Arrow” — can take an outdated Trek trope, make enjoyable of it, and make it slightly bit new. Watching “Cupid’s Errant Arrow” didn’t make me want to rewatch “The Man Entice,” however getting the references made the episode that a lot better. However, with “Terminal Provocations,” all I wish to do is to rewatch “A Fistfull of Datas” or “Our Man Bashir,” if solely to see how blatantly tacky and absurd Star Trek is finished properly.