Kobayashi Marie continues its adventure into the third season of Star Trek Discovery with Episode 4 – Forget Me Not
When we find the Federation …
These five words underpin the Discovery’s crew issues this week – the search for the elusive Federation is top priority as it’s the only link they have to anything resembling ‘home’ in their new environment. Otherwise, they’re adrift. This definitely has shades of Voyager about it, striving to get back to something they know.
The big story this week is Adira’s (Blu del Barrio) quest to connect with her Trill symbiont. This will hopefully unlock her memories as she can’t even remember how she became a host. It could also provide Discovery with vital information in hunting down the Federation. We also find out that the planet Trill has also been devastated by The Burn (there it is again), and perhaps Adira could be salvation for them too.
In this episode, we also meet another new character who has been heavily discussed in the pre-season coverage and appears to be pivotal for Adira. Gray (Ian Alexander) is the symbiont Tal’s previous host and has one of those frustrating introductions which is becoming something of a tradition for Star Trek Discovery – he is killed off minutes after we meet him. Remember all the way back to S1Ep1, when most of us were excitedly awaiting a bridge collaboration between Captain Georgiou (Michelle Yeoh) and Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green)? And then they just decided to immediately kill off Georgiou (until they found a way to bring her back)? Or how about Admiral Cornwell (Jayne Brook) who we were led to believe was dead, and who then miraculously recovered. The same with Hugh Culber (Wilson Cruz). It’s not amusing to build up a character then kill them off so swiftly, especially combined with some highly convenient method of resurrecting them again. What’s even more frustrating about Gray is that, as it stands at the moment, it looks like only Adira can see him. Which does not present very many options for getting to know the character any better; being trapped as an imaginary boyfriend is not helpful to the narrative.
But let’s try to find something more interesting about Forget Me Not. For example, there were very distinct reminiscences of The Next Generation at several points. “Adira’s life takes precedence” is an extremely Picard utterance, surely? Arriving on a new planet with amazing colourful flora was very retro, as was the bridge crew dinner around the captain’s table – even if it did end in a family squabble. Because now more than ever, that’s what this group of people has become. They are no longer just work colleagues, they are each other’s family. And although Discovery doesn’t have an official Ship’s Counsellor, it has a couple of people who are trying to fulfill this role in their own way. Culber has the medical approach, whereas Tilly (Mary Wiseman) is all empathy and instinct. However, I’m not sure a good chat with the doctor is the thing that Keyla Detmer (Emily Coutts) needs. Or if it is, then viewers will have been short-changed in terms of interesting storylines again.
A quick passing reference was made to how they would navigate the spore drive if Paul Stamets (Anthony Rapp) became incapacitated again. Surely there’s no need to mention it if it’s not going to crop up, and we need to enlist the assistance of Book (David Ajala) and his connection to nature? (I’m not letting this one go, you can tell.)
And the computer appears to have developed a personality of her own mid-sentence now – something which doesn’t seem to bother Captain Saru (Doug Jones) at all. It’s clearly the same voice as the one in the Star Trek Short called Calypso. In that story, she entertains her sole crew member with the film Funny Face. Here she’s decided that the works of Buster Keaton are just what is needed to help the crew face their new situation. She clearly has a penchant for classic movies.
And did you notice that Georgiou and Linus (David Benjamin Tomlinson) were seated next to each other quite a lot? They appear to be developing their little secret relationship. And my favourite small touch was Georgiou leaving the abandoned dinner table but taking the carafe of wine with her. A girl after my own heart!