The Cerritos crew oversees the transport of the USS Voyager to Earth, where it will take permanent orbit as a museum exhibit. (This is presumably before it gets transferred to Geordi's museum starbase, where it will reside by the time of Picard's third season.) But while aboard the ship, history repeats itself in the form of a Tuvixification transporter accident that merges T'Ana and Billups into a single cat/human hybrid lifeform who calls himself "T'Illups" and declares, "I love being alive!" — which is a nice way of lampshading the fact the story can't just murder him like Janeway maybe murdered Tuvix.
What to do about T'Illups? Freeman declares that she'll do what Janeway did, because Janeway is a famous and heralded captain who faced the same dilemma. I enjoyed that this episode full-on acknowledges the controversy of Janeway's decision — which has loomed so large in the decades since "Tuvix" — to the point where Mariner notes about Freeman's initial intention, "She knows that Janeway straight-up murdered Tuvix, right?"
"Twovix" is an entertaining romp that shows what Lower Decks has become as it starts its fourth season — which is essentially the same show it was in its first season, but more refined, balanced, restrained, and effective at doing what it does. In setting this episode aboard a museum-ified Voyager, the writers allow themselves to plunder the archive for as many Voyager references they can fit in.
The setting allows the inclusion of everything from the macroviruses (which get upgraded with Borg nanoprobes), to mechanized replicas of the "Threshold" salamanders, to every possible Voyager holodeck nightmare — including that Irish dude from "Fair Haven," the clown from "The Thaw," and Chaotica from the 1930s space serial. Also, Boimler's line, "The ship was damaged by cheese," which brings me back to "get the cheese to sickbay," which is an all-timer when it comes to hilarious Voyager lines delivered unironically. The action here is your typically silly Lower Decks comic mayhem; nothing to get excited about.
Deep down, I guess I was hoping the writers would figure out how to "solve" the moral dilemma of "Tuvix" in a new and interesting way, since murdering T'Illups wasn't going to be a viable solution this time around. But the writers sort of cheat their way out when T'Illups decides to start making a "Tuvix army" by transporter-merging as many crew members as possible into hybrid combinations as a proactive defense against being un-Tuvixed. Then T'Lyn, the newest and most deadpan member of the Lower Deckers, accidentally combines all of the hybrids into a giant mass that Tendi hilariously describes as a "non-sentient blob of meat." Undoing the "Tuvix-y meatball" kind of washes away the moral dilemma.
But "Twovix" is the right blend of zany animated absurdity, Trekkian sci-fi, and sincere characterization. There's a decent character core here, where Boimler is up for promotion but doesn't want it to jeopardize his friendship with Mariner the way it did when he was transferred to the Titan. As it turns out, Mariner recommended Boimler for the promotion. And by the end of the episode, all four of the original Lower Deckers are promoted to lieutenant J.G. (except for Rutherford; more on that in the next episode), which shows that this series is willing to let the characters grow a bit, even if that growth means nothing truly needs to change. (Indeed, one mild disappointment here is Mariner's complete lack of any desire to be promoted. Even after three full seasons, she still occupies the same space of perpetually arrested development.)
In an isolated closing scene aboard a Klingon vessel, a mysterious ship emerges, fires a beam at the Klingon ship and destroys it in a single flash of light. Serial alert!
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