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Star Trek: Discovery - Forget Me Not - Review

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Jumping as far into the future as Discovery has done would have an effect on anyone especially knowing that there’s no way to return. Previously the crew has been so focused on finding Earth that they’ve had a common goal to focus on, but the realisation of finding Earth and discovering that there’s not much left behind that they were familiar with doesn’t help the situation. They’ve missed birthdays, funerals, weddings, anniversaries, practically every major event since they left, which given how far they travelled into the future is a lot to take in at once. The Earth they found is different to what they knew and even the Federation is missing, having vacated the planet in search of safer horizons. The crew are breaking apart at the seams, and whilst there’s no actual statement of them being unfit for duty in the eyes of Dr. Culber, Hugh can see the effect of what not participating is having on the crew. They’re not as focused as before, and their team spirit is shattering.

There’s also a problem in that Saru isn’t Pike. He doesn’t have the effortless charm or charisma that Pike can bring to the table but he’s earned his place as a leader all the same, Doug Jones brings an effortless vulnerability to the Captain’s chair that was never really evident from the uber-confident Pike. Saru attempts to address the situation by bringing the bridge crew together with Emperor Georgiou in tow for a meal after allowing the crew time to sit back and relax, but things go badly wrong: Detmer comes up with a dark, twisted haiku about seeing Stamets’ blood everywhere in front of her, and things spiral out of control pretty quickly. Setting the ship right, he’s able to confront his own vulnerabilities without Michael and put the crew back on track, comforting them by showing classic Buster Keaton movies, whilst Hugh’s comforting presence enables the crew to feel more comfortable talking to one another. Once again Discovery delivered a top-10-worthy Discovery moment this season, knocking it out of the park when it came to the Buster Keaton scenes, that cemented the writer’s commitment to making the bridge crew feel more like real and lived-in people beyond what they do in their day job.

The expectation of not backing down is weighing heavily on Detmer and almost becomes too much for her to bear – the status as a pilot is one commonly associated with the Top Gun-Maverick type of recklessness and fearlessness, a life without compromise – and it speaks volumes about the first two seasons of Discovery that it’s willing to spend more time with its bridge crew to allow them to develop these personalities now. One of my main issues with the first two seasons was that it kept its character centric storytelling to a short group of people (Saru, Stamets, Tilly, Michael, Georgiou, Pike and Spock, and Ash & Lorca in Season 1), never really allowing anyone else time in the limelight. This much-needed focus on Detmer (whose issues aren’t Control related, thankfully) allows Emily Coutts to flesh out her character and bring the flaws into her personality that does an excellent job at making her more developed than before.The same treatement for a couple of the secondary characters wouldn’t go amiss too. 

 It does come at a cost though, Georgiou isn’t as an important player this time around as she feels more like a background cast member this time out – not to say that Michelle Yeoh doesn’t steal every scene she’s in - but I’m pretty sure it won’t be long before Discovery gives her something to do again after that second episode. The coldness from Stamets and Tilly was also something that felt unexpected this time out and shows just how different everyone’s been handling their new scenario, but that only made their interaction at the end all the more satisfying because of what they went through. 

The main focus on the episode however, was on Adira, and Blu del Barrio stepped up to the task massively as Adira and Burnham visited the Trill homeworld to find out what had happened to it after all these years. Turns out that Adira’s status as a Trill meant for a complicated encounter between their species, especially when she didn’t automatically know the names of their previous selves. As a fan of Deep Space Nine who appreciated the work that the show did with Dax, it’s nice to see Discovery paying homage to multiple of the Trek shows in turn – the quest to find Earth felt very Voyager-y, although Saru and Burnham pulled it off a lot quicker than Kathryn Janeway ever did, and now we’re in proper Deep Space Nine territory here, even revisiting the same caves that Dax once did.

Unfortunately, the Trill went hostile pretty quickly with the Trill Commission trying to remove the host from Adira’s mind in a move that could kill them, but that didn’t stop Burnham and Adira finding a solution to Adira’s mind and unlocking their memory was one of the series’ more emotional moments so far. Seeing all of Adira’s past selves talking to them recalled the scene in The Rise of Skywalker when Rey confronted Palpatine, and it worked so much better than that. The emotional gravitas needed to sell these scenes was completely believable, with the scenes between Michael and Admiral Senna Tal also playing a pretty important role. But the real highlights came between Ian Alexander’s Gray and Adira, where the audience witnessed their relationship unfold on screen with the exploration of joining a Trill to a host’s body in turn. The focus on their relationship allowed Adira to come to terms with the creature inside them, embracing their status as Adira Tal. 

What’s more is that Gray continues to stick around on the Discovery with Adira (who did receive an offer to stay on the Trill homeworld at the end of the episode), presenting room for that relationship to be explored further as the series progresses. The dynamic between Michael and Adira was established as quickly as the dynamic between Adira and Stamets, giving them good foundations to build on as the series progresses and a core connection between the old cast and the new. 

Next time: We head to the Federation! The trailer for was very high-stakes, action packed and optimistic. We still quite don’t know enough about the Burn just yet but I’m assuming we’ll find out more in the next episode. What happened to the Federation? How will Discovery’s arrival shake things up? What sort of tests will they have to undergo to prove who they really are? Dealing with the Federation is going to be a different matter entirely from dealing with Earth: and the crew may not find they are as welcome in an organisation that will have undergone multiple changes since they left, and could be near-unrecognisable. 

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