Synopsis: ‘Where Pleasant Fountains Lie’ develops the character of Lieutenant Andarithio Billups (Paul Scheer). And, it does so in an interesting, yet , hilarious manner. The plot involves the scheming of his mother, Queen Paolana (June Diane Raphael) of Hysperia . . .
Star Trek doesn’t shy away from sex. It had a pretty big presence in TNG, that’s for sure. But most episodes tended to skirt around it, and weren’t good examples of representation. In fact, they were far from it. ‘Where Pleasant Fountains Lie’ took a fresh approach, and made “anti-sex” the central theme. There were some great jokes, and the more adult theme established that Lower Decks isn’t just a throwaway kids’ cartoon. Just so that things weren’t solely based around sex, we got another cool plot involving Mariner (Tawny Newsome) and Boimler (Jack Quaid). Their having to outsmart super-computer, Agimus provided some fine comedy moments, too.
Voices & Characterization
In a similar vein to last week’s episode, ‘The Spy Humungous’, ‘Where Pleasant Fountains Lie’ made great use of guest stars. June Diane Raphael as Queen Paolana really impressed. Perhaps basing some of her character on the wonderful Lwaxana Troi (Majel Barrett), Raphael provided enough presence to be powerfully effective. Furthermore, crucially, she was very funny in her role, too.
Something that should be credited to Lower Decks is the sheer attention to detail that’s present in the animation. For example, the planets scenes look like they are the old style matt drawings, but animated. It’s this sort of nuance and finesse that helps viewers to recognize, and so acknowledge the show as Trek. It always helps when you can see familiar things within a franchise you’re used to.
A smart and well-penned episode, and one that used Trek ideals smartly. A good, and important, choice not to focus on the sexualization of women in ‘Where Pleasant Fountains Lie’. A really original story, and a good way to represent masculinity differently. There will be those who resent this statement, but they should remember that Star Trek is supposed to challenge conventions. The medium of animation for allowed that, in a way that might not have worked as well in live action. So, in that way it very boldly went . . .
At some point during the run of Season Two of Star Trek: Lower Decks, May The Verse Be With You will run a thematic special . . .
- Voices and Characterization9.0
- Incidental Music8.8