In Review: Star Trek Discovery – Forget Me Not (S.3 Ep.4)

"Forget Me Not" sees tensions rise, aboard the ship. Saru (Doug Jones) must find ways to help the crew manage stress and strain they're under
Forget

Synopsis: “Forget Me Not” sees tensions rise, aboard the ship. Saru (Doug Jones) must find ways to help the crew manage stress and strain they’re under. Adira Blue del Barrio)  suggests turning to the Trill people, to help access memories of former hosts. They make contact. Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) accompanies Adira to the Trill home world. A dramatic encounter ensues . . .

 

Story

“Double A Side” Plots

A strong focus on the entire crew, this week. Doctor Culber (Wilson Cruz) shows why a starship needs more than just pilots, engineers and technical crew. The story helps to deal with sometimes overlooked aspects within Star Trek. Being aboard a ship, in space. Not even the unique position of the crew of the U.S.S. Discovery. Just the concept of not being on a planet. The recent events are dealt with realistically, in “Forget Me Not”. A throwback to the early days of Voyager. With this problem must come a solution. Saru turns to the computer for help. This is a great device in itself. It further cements Saru’s character traits. He has done this before. It also helps to show how he must work through difficulties. Away from the crew. Saru must present a strong and calm image, in adversity.

The other plot this week isn’t so much a “B-plot”, but one that runs alongside events on the ship. Adira must interact with Admiral Senna Tal, a former host of the trill residing within. The Admiral is key to finding the current headquarters of what remains of Starfleet. Adira doesn’t know accessing his memory is so hard. They emerge, in this episode. Partly, it’s because Adira wants to forget painful experiences. Also, the some of the former hosts haven’t accepted Adira yet. In order for this to happen, they need assistance of the Trill people. They are a peaceful race, but like everyone in the future, were greatly effected by the events leading to “The Burn”.

Trill Home Planet

Michael Burnham has been in the future an extra year. Due to this, Dr Culber suggests Burnham’s best suited to assist and accompany Adira, who feels alone and frightened. We already predicted that Burnham’s status would lead to her being a unique guide. Our article Burnham and The Burn deals with the significance of this, at length. Additionally, Burnham is assigned to protect Adira. When Burnham and Adira touch down on Trill, they are warmly greeted, but this soon changes when the Trill learn Adira is a human host. They argue amongst themselves, with some declaring that Adira visits the sacred caves of Mak’ala. There, she can communicate with former hosts. Their leader disagrees and orders that both Burnham and Adira leave. Burnham heads towards the caves anyway, with Adira. Some of the Trill attack them, but Burnham overpowers them.

At the caves, Adira enters a sort of Trill spirit realm. We see her experiences, and find out why the trill is in Adira’s body. It’s a love story, but far from a typical one. Adira fell in love with Gray, a former host. An accident meant that Gray was dying, and a decision had to be made quickly. The onboard medical technology stated that the “squid” as Adira calls it, could be transferred to Adira. this is why Adira has the memories of Senna Tal, another former host. Upon emergence, the former hosts accept Adira now, who gives Burnham the location.

Back on the Ship

Saru’s plans don’t quite go as he wanted them to. Lt. Detmer (Emily Coutts)  and Lt. Commander Stammets (Anthony Rapp) clash. Though hesitant, Saru lets things play out. Tilly (Mary Wiseman) steps in and acts as the voice of reason. Following the incident, the crew are all called to the shuttle bay for a surprise. Taking the advice of the computer, Saru plays an old Buster Keaton slapstick comedy film. This helps Detmer and Stammets forget all about their spat, and the entire crew share a moment of joy. Powerful stories, this week, well written.

Acting

Wilson Cruz as Doctor Culber shone in this episode. Amongst a strong cast, he gave the sort of performance which was required. The episode needed to focus on the human condition. On loss, fear, anger and other emotions that can come to dominate those in difficult situations. Cruz used his character’s journey to be the guide only he could be. His standpoint felt like it came from his time in the mycelial network.  Cruz’ gentle observation cast him a Guinan type role, which suited him. carefully acted, with smart delivery.

An important week for Blu Del Barrio. The trauma of remembering was at the heart of the portrayal. Some very touching scenes which Del Barrio gave gravitas by being convincing as dealing with so much at once. This whole story arc could have been less meaningful if it wasn’t for Del Barrio’s poise and commitment to the role. The reverse is true. Del Barrio ensured that “Forget Me Not” was the episode that  established Adira as an important character in Discovery, as well as in the Star Trek franchise as a whole.

CGI & Effects

Quite simply, stunning. The look of the Trill home-world was incredible. The subtle uses of colour, of the foliage and the environment. This is what makes Star Trek. The show seems to have realised that now the technology is available to build such worlds, that’s what they should do. Details matter, and they were badly lacking any attention in season one. Less so in season two, but still irksome, at times. It felt as if the Trill world was an intergalactic version of a tropical island. Importantly, it looked “organic”, too, not made from cardboard like the old days, or too ridiculous. It was more like the world of Avatar, and the warm hues and textures worked a treat. Especially in the “spirit world”. The way the view from Adira’s mind was managed was haunting and ethereal, adding to the emotional impact of the story. The scene with the ghost of the former hosts also held resonance due to the considered design of the CGI.

The shuttle they used to get to Trill also looked more like those of The U.S.S. Enterprise 1701. More crucial evidence that ret-conning matters. The shape was the same, meaning it matched the era that it ought to, as Discovery is set around ten years before TOS is.

 

Overall

In “Forget Me Not”, Discovery had a strong week. Perhaps it’s best yet. In any season. The shows heading in the right direction, and has really started to feel like Star Trek for today. Many fans were giving Discovery one last chance to add to the Star Trek franchise, and not embarrass it. Understandable. It could have become the series to forget, but no . . . The writing has improved dramatically, and the characters feel more genuine and real. They were good characters in the first place, just not very well managed by their dialogue and direction. That’s changed. Great to see a dark side to the crew, as Detmer starts to lose it. As mentioned, the set up slightly reminiscent of Voyager. The key difference is that this crew did choose to be together. Despite that, they’re still finding it hard, because all they have is one another. An interesting take on the all-important theme of family, unity, and strength in one another, so key to pretty much everything in Discovery. 

Fantastic to see the return of Trills. A wonderful choice of species to further explore, and original use of them. Their depiction in this episode helped to continue to show just how bad things are without The Federation. Some were hostile, having been turned that way by desperation to survive. Crucially though, their turning back was possible. This should be similar to Trek traditionalists, who have been listened to. There are plenty of reasons to start to believe Discovery really is an important part of the future of the Star Trek Franchise. Furthermore, it may also become a much-loved part of the legacy of the show. It’s slowly shaping up to be finally.

 

9.5
In Review: Star Trek Discovery - Forget Me Not (S.3 Ep.4)
  • Story
    9.5
  • Acting
    9.4
  • CGI & Effects
    9.6
  • Overall
    9.5
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