After a generally strong start to its third season, Discovery falters a little with a uneven ep that features a strong primary plot and a well-conceived but unconvincing secondary one.
Title: “Forget Me Not”
Directed by Hanelle M. Culpepper
Written by Alan B. McElroy, Chris Silvestri, Anthony Maranville
Doug Jones as Captain Saru
Sonequa Martin-Green as Michael Burnham
Blu del Barrio as Adira
Anthony Rapp as Paul Stamets
Mary Wiseman as Sylvia Tilly
Wilson Cruz as Dr. Hugh Culber
Emily Coutts as Keyla Detmer
Michelle Yeoh as Philippa Georgiou
Rachael Ancheril as Cmdr. Nhan
Sara Mitch as Lt. Nilsson
Oyin Oladejoas Lt. Joann Owosekun
Patrick Kwok-Choon as Lt. Gen Rhys
Ian Alexander as Gray Tal
Kenneth Welsh as Senna Tal
Raven Dauda as Dr. Tracy Pollard
Karen Robinson as Leader Pav
Andrew Shaver as Commissioner Vos
Andreas Apergis as Guardian Xi
David Benjamin Tomlinson as Linus the Saurian
Julianne Grossman as Discovery Computer
While Burnham escorts Adira to the Trill homeworld to resolve her difficulties with the symbiont, the rest of the crew engage in histrionics over dinner.
Visually, the show continues to use its budget and the advanced special effects to create incredible sights. What “decimation” (insert language nitpick here) the Trill homeworld has undergone, it looks great, a bucolic alien world where I know I’d like to be about now. At the same time, it feels like a classic Trek world. As Gray Tal says, “Still me. Just more me.”
I felt the actors in the Trill plot acquitted themselves beautifully, and I actually cared about their ill-fated and very resonant genius teen romance. It is exactly the kind of character understanding required to make, say, the secondary plot work.
I understand what they hoped to accomplish with the secondary plot, and it fits their new context. The crew would be processing unimaginable stresses, whatever their training, and I think the show was wise to address this fact. The medical log set a foundation for this storyline, and created some interesting parallels with the main plot. However, the Holiday meal that goes awry did not work for me as I think they intended it. It felt forced and a little shallow. The conflict between Detmer and Stamets, for example, required a slower development. It feels arbitrary, when so many past emotional threads might have formed the basis of their conflict. Culber and Tilly’s spat felt like an after-school special. These are good actors with a good premise, and it didn’t feel so much bad as wasted.
Originality: 3/6 Crews have undergone stress, but we haven’t seen a Trek ep quite like this one before.
Acting: 5/6 The acting remains strong.
Story: 5/6 I address my feelings about the plots elsewhere. I know that many people will disagree.
Jett shows wisdom in not landing at this dinner party.
Emotional Response: 4/6
Overall: 4/6 The apparent changes to the data-sphere/computer and to Adira likely will have implications for the remainder of the season, at least.
In total, “Forget Me Not” receives 33/42