TL;DR – A beautiful episode about coming together through the pain of the past
Forget Me Not Review –
Throughout Star Trek, there has been a long history of letting events happen, but to not really explore the aftermath. However, The Next Generation’s Family as well as, Deep Space Nine’s It’s Only a Paper Moon, both show that this can be some of the best the show can make. This week’s episode also knew this lesson and was the better for it.
So to set the scene, so far this season, Michael (Sonequa Martin-Green) got trapped in the future alone for a year, the USS Discovery crash-landed on a planet with ice that eats you, and last week we found out that Earth had become an isolationist power and the Federation had left 100 years ago. All of this is leaving a toll on the crew because there has been no time to process what has happened to them appropriately. Things are starting to fray, which is understandable given the circumstances, but who will be the first to break. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.
This episode is split into two stories, and while I will talk about the Trill in a moment, I’ll first start with the plotline that starts and finishes the episode. We begin with Dr Culber (Wilson Cruz) narrating as he walks through the ship taking readings of the crew. Everyone is ‘physically fine’ but not healthy. While we have seen that with Detmer (Emily Coutts) before, but this week we start to see it with other parts of the crew. Long gone are the parties of Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad, and instead a sad normal has replaced it all.
Well, how does Saru (Doug Jones) approach this? Well, he takes some advice from the computer (Julianne Grossman) … well not just the computer (Annabelle Wallis), and decides to give everyone the night off and then also through a dinner party for the command crew. Besides an excellent opportunity to show off the new Captain’s Ready Room, which is beautiful, this gave everyone a little moment to shine. That is until Georgiou (Michelle Yeoh) lets slip a haiku which inadvertently derails the entire evening. This was such an odd moment, but it did make sense on reflection, everyone was so busy pretending that it was all fine that it was a balloon on the floor just sitting there waiting for someone to stand on it by accident and set it off.
Everyone did leave in a huff, but it was what they needed because at that moment they all realised that something was wrong. It is here where the healing starts to begin; it was also the moment that tears started falling down my face. I had this big fear this season that they were going to turn Detmer’s struggle into some weird sci-fi bullshit, like Control was in there somewhere, which would have been such a bad option. To bring it back to a human struggle made it land so much harder, and to let it be that human connection between her and Culber be the moment of catharsis in the episode was the right move. All of this was brought to a final catharsis with the whole crew watching a movie together in the shuttle bay and taking that moment to bond together.
Last week the crew picked up Adira (Blu del Barrio) on Earth who at the end of the episode revealed that she was holding a Trill Symbiont inside her but that she could not contact it. That Trill was the former host of Senna Tal (Kenneth Welsh) the Starfleet officer whose message Michael picked up. She was struggling to connect with her previous hosts, which is understandable given that Trill Symbionts have only been able to connect with non-Trill for short times in the past. So the only thing to do is to go to Trill and see if they can help. Everyone on the planet is happy to hear a Symbiont is coming home because they were hit particularly hard with The Burn. But this joy is short-lived when they find out the Symbiont is in a human. Guardian Xi (Andreas Apergis) the spiritual leader breaks with tradition and takes Adira and Michael to the Caves of Mak’ ala to help her reconnect with her past hosts.
We last visited these caves in Deep Space Nine, and while this is a much more swish version being able to employ better effects and budget, it still tracks to what we have seen. Here, Adira and Michael get dragged into the pool by the other Symbionts that use their power to help unlock Adira’s connections with her past host but also her past lives. She does not know why she has a Symbiont, only that she entered into this willingly. While it is a struggle for Adira, she is brought back to her past life where we meet Blue (Ian Alexander), and you will probably see where the outcome was heading from the start. It is a sad story of loss, but that moment when Adira connects with all her past hosts and is accepted for who she is, I mean you can’t help but feel. The whole episode I was wondering where I had seen Ian Alexander in before, and it was the delightfully odd The OA.
In the end, do we recommend Forget Me Not? Absolutely! This has been the best episode this season and hit some real moments of emotion. It also ended with the promise of them finding The Federation making me want next week’s episode right now.
By Brian MacNamara: You can follow Brian on Twitter Here, when he’s not chatting about Movies and TV, he’ll be talking about International Relations, or the Solar System.
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Credits – All images were created by the cast, crew, and production companies of Star Trek Discovery
Directed by – Hanelle M. Culpepper
Written by – Alan McElroy, Chris Silvestri & Anthony Maranville
Based off – Star Trek created by Gene Roddenberry
Created by – Bryan Fuller & Alex Kurtzman
Production/Distribution Companies – CBS Television Studios, Roddenberry Entertainment, Secret Hideout, CBS All Access & Netflix.
Starring in Season 2 – Sonequa Martin-Green, Doug Jones, Anthony Rapp, Mary Wiseman, Wilson Cruz, Rachael Ancheril with Michelle Yeoh and Ian Alexander, Andreas Apergis, Karen Robinson, Andrew Shaver, Annabelle Wallis, Kenneth Welsh, Blu del Barrio, Emily Coutts, Patrick Kwok-Choon, Oyin Oladejo, Ronnie Rowe Jr., Sara Mitich, Raven Dauda, David Benjamin Tomlinson, and Julianne Grossman