Thursday, November 5, 2020

REVIEW: 'Star Trek: Discovery' - Michael and Culber Support Adira as She Searches for Her Memories in 'Forget Me Not'

CBS All Access' Star Trek: Discovery - Episode 3.04 "Forget Me Not"

Burnham and Adira visit the Trill home world in hopes of unlocking the secrets trapped within Adira's mind. Back on the U.S.S. Discovery, Saru's efforts to help the crew reconnect with one another take a surprising turn.

In 2019, the television industry aired 532 scripted shows across numerous outlets. The way people consume content now is different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, it's less necessary to provide ample coverage of each episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site provides shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the next episode of CBS All Access' Star Trek: Discovery.

"Forget Me Not" was written by Alan McElroy, Chris Silvestri & Anthony Maranville and directed by Hanelle M. Culpepper

An effort is absolutely being made on character development this season instead of massive world-building. The show comments on the life-or-death stakes its characters face all the time. They feel responsible for the salvation and protection of all humanity. And yet, the grandiosity of that mission could drown out the actual character beats and motivation. As such, it's fascinating and rewarding to see this shift at the start of the third season. Sure, there is still the lingering mystery as to what caused the Burn and if Starfleet still has any remaining structure left. However, the story is just as focused on the aftermath of this massive time travel on its cast of characters. At first, the audience could have looked at this insecurity with suspicion. Detmer was physically fine after the crash landing in the future. However, the action pointed out her inability to connect with the world around her. She was disengaged. Previously, that kind of action would hint at something sinister going on that would create a new complication the rest of the crew would have to deal with. It doesn't seem to be forewarning some kind of darkness within her though. Instead, it's simply the shock that comes from the weight of this decision. The crew stands by what they did in order to save the world. But they don't feel a connection to this new time period. They are adrift. They can count on each other. But they don't even have the guiding structure of Starfleet anymore to offer them clarity. They rely on that hope in order to feel grounded in this world. Placing all of their bets in that endeavor may only doom the crew further. Culber can see how everyone is on edge because of all of this. He knows the Captain needs to lead to ensure the stability of his crew. Saru still isn't the best when it comes to making those personal connections. He has to consult the computer for how to best create bonding experiences. That too is a moment that could suggest some darkness lurking within the technology of Discovery. Instead, Saru feels relieved by the guiding message that the sphere data wants to protect this ship. It wants to ensure their safety and protection as well. It has bonded with them in a way that protects them. Saru can't take the credit for his efforts to uplift the crew. He feels it's a disaster after the dinner. And yet, that moment allows so many to admit that there has long been a problem with the way the crew interacts. Acknowledging that now can allow all of them to move forward with a new sense of perspective and purpose. That development has long been necessary and may actually make the audience believe in the love and trust these characters have for one another. That now extends to Adira as well. She was introduced as a plot point essentially. She served to point the Discovery in the direction of Starfleet. She was blocked from having that information readily available. And so, the crew embarks on a mission to help her find these answers. It's a selfish purpose on their part because they all feel unmoored without Starfleet to guide the society of this future. And yet, Adira wants to help as well. She feels a sense of importance. This is what she must do. The mental block is something she carries because she doesn't want to remember the day her boyfriend, Gray, died and she took over as a Trill host. She did so willingly. However, she hasn't been able to access all of the memories of her prior hosts. She has this profound connection with one of them. Gray meant so much to her. It's beautiful to live in these memories. They are painful as well. All of that is felt. That allows this entire story to work. Sure, it still ends in tragedy. However, it has the uplifting note of Adira and Gray reuniting. They don't know what the future brings or how this dynamic will now work. They are essentially a part of each other now. That is wondrous and beautiful. It's also about the character while still offering that sense of wonder as the Discovery heads off into the unknown for the answers they have come to seek in the future. Michael is along for this journey too. She doesn't view herself as the pillar of emotional support Adira needs at this time. However, Culber knows she has the necessary perspective to make a difference. She does exactly that while recognizing that she doesn't need to carry the burden of saving everyone all the time. That appears to be her overall journey this season. She strives to find some sense of peace that goes alongside her sense of duty. She hasn't found the right balance yet but is still capable of helping others when they need it.