The Cerritos gets a visit from Billups’s mother, who is the Queen of the Renaissance Festival Planet. Meanwhile, Boimler and Mariner go on a mission that goes horribly wrong, and, surprise surprise, it’s Boimler, not Mariner, who saves the day. Plus, Jeffrey Combs! And Boimler shoots Mariner! My take on the latest Star Trek: Lower Decks episode, “Where Pleasant Fountains Lie.”
“Where Pleasant Fountains Lie” is a veritable treasure trove of Trek clichés and it’s delightful.
We’ve got the aforementioned world-running computer (“Return of the Archons,” “The Apple”), named Agimus and voiced by Combs, who keeps trying to inveigle the organics into plugging him into some system or other. Combs, a veteran voiceover actor, is absolutely brilliant here.
We’ve got the shuttle crash on a deserted planet with our heroes trying to find a way to technobabble themselves off. (“The Galileo Seven,” “Power Play,” “Final Mission,” “Paradise,” “Gravity,” “Innocence,” and about fifty other Voyager episodes…)
We’ve got the visit to a character’s homeworld and get introduced to its weird customs (“Amok Time,” “Sins of the Father,” “Family Business”), complete with an overbearing mother who visits the ship regularly (all of TNG’s Lwaxana Troi episodes). In this case, it’s Billups, the chief engineer, who comes from the human colony of Hysperia, a world filled with dragons, and which is populated by Renaissance Faire types. This, by the way, is my favorite part of the episode—I adore the Ren Faire planet where all the citizens dress up in “period” clothes and refer to all science in magic-y terms and shout “Huzzah!” a lot.