One of the overlooked ensigns of the Cerritos, Peanut Hamper the exocomp (Kether Donohue), gets her time in the spotlight in Star Trek: Lower Decks season 3 episode 7: “A Mathematically Perfect Redemption.” The episode was written by Ann Kim and directed by Jason Zurek.
A “previously on” sequence returns to the third act of season 1 episode 10, “No Small Parts.” The Pakleds attack the Cerritos. Ensigns Samathan Rutherford (Eugene Cordero), Beckett Mariner (Tawny Newsome), Bradward Boimler (Jack Quaid), and D’Vana Tendi (Noël Wells) have devised a plan involving a computer virus.
The catch: someone must deliver the virus to the Pakled ship. The beta shifters agree that Peanut is the perfect candidate. But she says she “joined Starfleet to piss off her dad, not to be a virus bomb.” Peanut beams away, leaving the Cerritos crew to fend for themselves.
From her vantage point in space, Peanut watches the rest of the events of “No Small Parts.” She witnesses the death of Shax (Fred Tatasciore) and has no regrets about opting out of the suicide mission. After the Titan fails to rescue her, she assures herself someone will soon be by to scan for non-organic life.
Peanut drifts through the debris field as an alternate version of the Lower Decks theme song plays. Rutherford’s old cybernetic implant can be glimpsed. Its eye screen flickers.
Lower Decks: “A Mathematically Perfect Redemption”
Some time later, Peanut traverses a darkened debris field. She mutters to herself about the events of “No Small Parts.” She declares her hatred for Starfleet as she marks another line on a crowded tally wall.
Peanut has been constructing a ship. Some of her ranting is directed towards Cynthia, a crude Wilson-style exocomp “doll” made from debris. Peanut tells Cynthia she’s scraped up enough dilithium to “juice” a salvaged nacelle up to warp factor .02 or .03.
In a comment directed at Cynthia, Peanut explains that she can’t send a distress signal to Starfleet. She’s worried she’ll be court-martialed for going AWOL. The nacelle activates and Peanut loads Cynthia into the ship, telling the doll it has a friend for life.
But then Drookmani scavengers warp into the debris field. Without hesitating, Peanut sacrifices Cynthia. Peanut activates the nacelle and takes off at an extreme speed. A few moments later, the ship falls to pieces. Peanut is flung towards an unidentified Class-M planet.
Peanut hamper regains consciousness as she reboots in a hut. Several young owl aliens notice she’s awake. Soon, she is greeted by an elder: Kaltorus (Jamies Sia) of Aireor. He begins to scrape Peanut off, which she enjoys.
Kaltorus wheels Peanut around in a cart. The other Aireor are fearful of her. Peanut learns that the planet is not part of the Federation. There’s no chance a ship will be by to rescue her.
Peanut reacts to a child giving her a gift by replicating a candy—the Aireor gasp. The crowd begins to turn against her. However, Kaltorus defends her. His son, Rowda (Harry Shum Jr.), appears. He is skeptical of Peanut.
In a personal log, Peanut reasserts her desire to refrain from contacting Starfleet. She’s afraid she’ll be put in a penal colony. Rowda arrives and tells her they’re going to begin the day’s work.
Peanut learns that every animal on the planet has wings. She mocks Rowda for still using straw for roofing. He shields her from a “sky-snake.”
Later, Rowda and Peanut are milking flying goats when they learn Kaltorus has been attacked by a sky-snake. Rowda says no one has ever survived a sky-snake attack. But Peanut easily saves him using her Starfleet medical training and replicator.
The opinion of the Aireor has soon turned in favor of Peanut.
On the Wings of Love
In the next scene, we see that Peanut’s presence has improved the lives of many of the Aireor. They now embrace her presence.
In the hatchery, Rowda laments that many of the eggs will not hatch. But Peanut uses technology to ensure all of the eggs hatch immediately.
Rowda carries Peanut through the air. He sings her an abrasive song of romance.
Above a waterfall, Rowda and Peanut survey the forest. They bond over their respective fathers’ expectations for them. Rowda tells Peanut she’s welcome to stay with them. Soon, the pair are engaging in some Aireor/exocomp copulation.
Later, Rowda tells Peanut that she makes him feel alive. He says he feels as though he’s been lied to his whole life, and tells her he must show her something.
An entrance concealed at the base of the waterfall leads to an underground cavern. Rowda explains that the ancestral Aireor were spacefaring. However, technology brought them misery in the form of endless wars with alien species. The ships were warp-capable (so Peanut says she hasn’t been breaking the Prime Directive). The ancient Aireor subsequently outlawed tech and literally buried their ships underground.
Peanut laments the fact that she abandoned her crewmates. But she tells Rowda that now she knows organic life is precious in spite of being fragile. Peanut says she can’t go back. Rowda distracts her with romance.
Lower Decks Crisis
Several seasons pass. Soon, Rowda and Peanut are engaged in a nuptial ceremony. Peanut wears a prosthetic beak.
But the ceremony is interrupted by the arrival of a ship. Peanut identifies it: Drookmani scavengers. She says they must have tracked her from the debris field.
The Drookmani dispatch a shuttle. Several scavengers disembark. They lay claim to the ships beneath the planet’s surface. One of the Aireor notes that removing the ships would destroy the trees upon which they’ve made their home. Nevertheless, the Drookmani claim salvage.
Rowda screeches and leaps at one of the Drookmani. They declare that the primitives resist and beam away. The airborne ship activates a tractor beam. An Aireor ship rises out of the ground as the trees begin to shake.
Rowda says the ancients were right. Technology has doomed their civilization. But Peanut says that’s wrong: she can do something.
On the bridge of the Cerritos, Mariner receives Peanut’s distress signal. Boimler says it’s coming from the planet Aireolus, a pre-warp civilization. Captain Carol Freeman (Dawnn Lewis) orders a course be set for the planet.
Meanwhile, an Aireor ship is dragged towards the Drookmani ship by the tractor beam. Peanut realizes she’s the perfect candidate to disable the Drookmani ship. Rowda protests. Peanut says the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. Rowda protests that she isn’t a few, she’s just one. But Peanut declares, “No. I’m Starfleet.”
The music swells as Peanut boards the abandoned Drookmani shuttle. It takes off and heads toward the skybound Drookmani ship.
The Cerritos arrives in orbit. Commander Jack Ransom (Jerry O’Connell) correctly recognizes that the Drookmani are attacking the Aireor. Freeman orders Shax to activate phasers, but he points out the shuttle. Boimler’s scan reveals Peanut is the pilot.
Peanut navigates the shuttle into the Drookmani craft. She hacks into the ship’s computer and overloads its engines. Released from the tractor beam, the Aireor ship falls to the ground.
As the Drookmani ship explodes, Rowda screams a lamentation for Peanut. However, Kaltorus spots the shuttle flying away from the explosion. It lands and Peanut disembarks.
Rowda embraces her. The Aireor cheer her as a hero.
Later, Freeman, Shax, and Tendi beam down. Freeman apologizes for the violation of the Prime Directive. The Aireor begin to defend Peanut against being taken to a penal colony. But Freeman says they witnessed Peanut’s selfless act. They’re not here to arrest her. They’re here to celebrate her.
Peanut says the Aireor are to thank for teaching her about love and sacrifice. She says she needs to rededicate her life to Stafleet. Freeman says they can give her another chance.
Rowda asks if he can join Peanut on the Cerritos as a loving husband.
Drookmani Strike Back
But then the fallen Aireor ship activates. The Drookmani beamed aboard before their ship was destroyed. The Aireor ship is operational. Plus, it has weapon systems like Ransom has never seen.
Ransom opens a channel to the Drookmani and tells them they’re violating Starfleet protocol. The scavenger says he was tricked by Starfleet lies. He states that he was summoned to the planet by a message from a “prissy little robot.” When Peanut denies having sent such a message, the Drookmani plays a recording.
Peanut still tries to deny responsibility but eventually admits it. She says she called the Drookmani to the planet so she could prove to Starfleet she was a hero and be welcomed back. The functional ship ruined her plan.
Peanut callously breaks Rowda’s heart. Then she mocks his tears. Tendi says Peanut can still be a hero but Peanut just leaves. Again.
Drookmani vs. Lower Decks
In orbit, the Drookmani use the Aireor tech to deal serious damage to the Cerritos. From Engineering, Andy Billups (Paul Sheer) reports the shields are at 16% and falling.
Burning debris falls on the panicking Aireor. That’s when a larger Aireor ship rises on the horizon. Tendi wonders if it’s piloted by Peanut, but we see that Rowda is in the cockpit. “For the flock,” he declares.
Rowda uses the larger ship to incapacitate the ship stolen by the Drookmani. The latter ship falls to the planet as the Cerritos bridge crew celebrates their rescue at the hands of Rowda.
Later, Rowda addresses a crowd. He says the Aireor can live how they desire. They will no longer be fearful.
Peanut emerges from some debris and attempts to claim partial credit for the victory. Rowda says she’s no longer welcome on the planet. Peanut calls the Aireor the “poor man’s Aurelian” and then attempts to rejoin the Starfleet crew. But Freeman says she’s not coming aboard the Cerritos again.
Peanut says they’re just jealous of her advanced intelligence. She says she’s going to call the Borg and get everyone assimilated. Tendi pushes her antenna back down when she attempts to send a message. Shax does the same thing a moment later, ignoring the exocomp’s protests.
Self-Aware Megalomaniacle Computer Storage
Jump cut to: the Self-Aware Megalomaniacle Computer Storage facility at the Daystrom Institute in Okinawa, Japan. Peanut is sealed in a cell in a wall filled with computers in identical cells. She is soon finding herself annoyed by conversation directed her way by 10111, the dimwitted computer in the cell to her left.
But then the computer in the cell to her right addresses her. It’s Agimus (Jeffrey Combs). He was imprisoned in the facility at the conclusion of Lower Decks season 2 episode 7, “Where Pleasant Fountains Lie.”
Agimus introduces himself to Peanut: “I think you and I could do awful things together.”
Both computers begin cackling. When the others imprisoned in the wall join in, Peanut issues futile commands ordering them to stop.
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