It’s time, once again, for our thoughts on the Star Trek Strange New Worlds episode of the week. In “Among the Lotus Eaters,” the Enterprise must clean up a mess made on Rigel VII. Previously they had, apparently, contaminated a planet before it had warp capability. Now the inhabitants have established a society around Starfleet. Captain Pike, Lt. Noonien-Singh, and Dr. M’Benga head down to the planet. There starts to be a ringing in La’an’s ears which results in her blacking out for a long time. When the landing party arrives at a palace, it turns out that a former officer, Zach, was left behind and thought dead. But, this former Yeoman is now ruling the planet. He explains that the Enterprise officers will have the ringing in the ears, then a headache, then fear, then they will forget who they are. It turns out to be so as Pike, Singh, and M’Benga are all imprisoned.
Back on the Enterprise, similar symptoms are occurring among the crew. Spock and Number One have the ship head to the asteroid field thinking it’s the radiation that is starting to cause the memory loss. But, upon arriving there, the symptoms get worse and none of the crew can function.
Back on the planet, the group meets a local named Luq and he helps them to find a place to belong. Luq explains that the forgetting happens every night and they mark memories on totems and ink on themselves to try to remember key things, like their names. But, those in the palace can remember. Pike stages a coup at a quarry they are working at, but Singh is injured and needs medical attention. They head to the palace to try to gain their memories because of instincts that tell them they can help her.
Over on the Enterprise, a confused Ortegas finds her way to her quarters with the computer’s help. As the Enterprise is hit by asteroids the computer shares her identity. Ortegas knows she can pilot and heads to the bridge. There she instinctively flies out of the asteroids.
At the palace, Pike fights his way to the throne room and defeats Zach, who is still mad for being left. Zach explains it’s actually the asteroid that hit the planet that causes memory loss. Pike’s should return shortly, which it does, and they are able to rescue La’an and bring Zach back. It seems the Enterprise had a similar memory regain when leaving the asteroid belt. They end up transporting the crashed asteroid off the planet for the Kalar to evolve more naturally.
With that synopsis, here’s our thoughts!
Mr. Daps: “I really liked how the music accompanied this episode. I thought it fit the eerie and the etherial nature of the episode. Overall, it really boosted the intensity of the episode and helped add to everything that was at stake. This might be one of my favorite soundtracks for Star Trek: Strange New Worlds.”
Murray: “The music had an eerie quality to it because of the nature of the episode. It really crawled up the skin in each scene, and it made to heighten the tension in the episode. It was very noticeable, moreso than other episodes. But, it almost became a character in its own way.”
Mr. Daps: “I thought the design this week was interesting. I wasn’t a huge fan of the planet itself as it was pretty basic and reminded me of previous Star Trek series that filmed on sets that were made and remade to be different planets. However, I thought there were some interesting things in terms of the palace and its design. I wouldn’t say this episode was the most unique design of the series but it also wasn’t terrible either.”
Murray: “The sets seemed rather basic to me. I know that it was a barren, snow covered planet, and the palace was reflective of a simpler civilization. But, there wasn’t a sense of how large the population or town is. I had a hard time not being distracted by its simplicity.”
Mr. Daps: “I really liked how the story developed in this episode. It had some really good surprises along the way and I like how the episode was framed. Overall, this was a fresh approach to what appeared to be something that had been done before.”
Murray: “It is a bit of a Trek trope to have a memory loss episode. But, this really had some twists. It was hard to discern how they would get free from the predicament. Of course they did, but I really wasn’t sure how things would end up, like if anyone would meet their demise. Really. It had good twists and turns for being a simple plot of memory loss.”
Hit or Miss?
Mr. Daps: “I thought this week’s episode was a hit. This episode definitely was a bit of a wild ride with quite a few surprises laong the way. I liked the character development in it. I liked the music. I also liked how creepy things were and I agree with Murray, I had thoughts of how it was like the Twilight Zone as well while watching it. This was a very enjooyable episode and I can’t wait to see where this show goes next week!
Murray: “Hit for me. It really had me engaged with the dilemma and really wanting to find out the fate of all. It had a very eery and almost Twilight Zone quality to it. A rather unique episode that fit in with Star Trek overall, and I really enjoyed that. If there’s one critique is that Loq was a little too poetic for his role. But, at least there wasn’t the other cliché of that native alien that wants to stop the crew from succeeding. So, great episode for me!”