Star Trek: Strange New Worlds Season 2 – Episode 4 Review: “Among The Lotus Eaters”
Forgetting who you are is a real possibility, but in this case, everyone does it gradually over time. “Among The Lotus Eaters” is a solid episode of Captain Pike learning the events of a painful day that ended differently than he thought. We are diving into spoilers, or did you already forget?
Anson Mount as Captain Pike
When it comes to storylines involving memory loss, it can honestly be hit or miss. Will this have an impact on the series moving forward? Or is it just a way to have the characters go through a series situation to cause tension? Will they get their memories back? We know they will, so the execution of the storyline has to make an impact. What I think works for “Among The Lotus Eater” is the history associated with the planet the USS Enterprise goes to. Along with Una, Pike recounts a story where crew members died during a mission. The crew is now being asked to return to the planet after discovering the Starfleet symbol is being used on the planet. Starfleet considers this could contaminate the planet as it’s not advanced enough yet.
The storyline of planets not being advanced enough yet has been a common thing throughout Star Trek series. The idea is for the world to advance organically and not be affected by outside forces or other means of advancing. Starfleet is concerned with seeing images of the symbol carved on a building, that the Starfleet crew in the past mission left something behind. It is far more complicated when Pike realizes what is truly going on. One of the crew members, who was reported to have died in the planet’s ambush, is still alive. Not only that, but he is ruling part of the land the crew land on.
Christina Chong as La’an, Melissa Navia as Ortegas and Babs Olusanmokun as Dr. M’Benga
One of my favorite moments regarding these episodes is the “blending in” segment. To not draw attention to themselves, they must wear attire matching others on the planet; we often see this happening. I’m pointing this out, particularly this week, because Melissa Navia, as Ortegas, was excited to participate in this mission. Unfortunately, she is asked last minute to stay behind to help keep the USS Enterprise undetected during the mission. I felt personally bad for her, but it also gave me more information about who she is. Out of all the crew members, Ortegas is one I felt hasn’t gotten more time to develop on the show. She is fun to watch, and I hope she gets to go on a mission someday. She deserves it, honestly.
First, Pike, along with La’an & M’Benga, loses their memories after shortly arriving on the planet. They each lose time and question what has transpired from each point. I was confused about what was occurring at first, but then the mystery revealed itself. Their brains were being infected, and their memories were starting to fade. Finally, they knew something was taken from them, and they worked together even though they didn’t know each other anymore. What made things even more intense was the crew on the ship also began being affected by memory loss. They tried to fight against it as best as possible, but ultimately their efforts were null and void. After getting their memories back, they discovered an asteroid that was knocked off course and altered the planet for thousands of years. Radiation from the asteroid was causing memory loss for everyone.
Christina Chong as La’an & Paul Wesley as James T. Kirk from Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow.
I want to briefly give my thoughts on last week’s episode, as I could not get my review out in time last Thursday. Episode three follows La’an and James T. Kirk on a time travel mission to reset the timeline. This had me thinking of a favorite show of mine,The Flash, where this kind of storyline happens often. I’ll be honest. I usually don’t like time travel storylines on Star Trek; it just doesn’t always land for me. This episode is an exception, as La’an and Kirk develop in the present time essentially for us; their way distant past was fun to watch—some twists and an ending that had me smiling.
I wasn’t expecting romance between them and to throw more of a wrench into it. He doesn’t survive, but it’s okay! He’s from a timeline that shouldn’t exist, so the “death” doesn’t change the outcome of Kirk’s importance to the overall Star Trek timeline. What does matter is La’an, who is changed from what she experienced. She is deeply hurt from losing Kirk, and I do see the events of this episode following her for quite some time.
Star Trek: Strange New Worlds Season 2 Episode 3 “Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow” & Episode 4, “Among The Lotus Eaters” are available now on Paramount+