15. “Twilight” – Star Trek: Enterprise
This isn’t a horror episode, and it’s not meant to be scary, so much as it is thought-provoking and heart-breaking. Basically, Jonathan Archer suffers an injury while protecting T’Pol that causes him unable to develop new memories. The weapon the Xindi is building is launched some months after the injury and Earth is destroyed. The reminders of humanity are on a small settlement, and T’Pol, who is now “with” Archer, join up with Phlox to try and rid Archer of the condition that is hindering his memory.
Archer spends the entire episode, waking up and not remembering what happened. As the episode progresses you see the tole it’s taking on not just him but those who care about him. Archer begins suggesting things over and over again as a way to contribute to the crew. His mind failing him, even though his spirit is strong.
It’s not a classic horror theme, but if you’ve ever had a family member suffer from Dementia, then you know that this isn’t just a horror trope, but a very real situation many find themselves in. The creeping dread that you may one day be without your facilities at no fault of your own is a crippling fear that many deals with.
Dealing with a person who’s losing their mind and memory is heartbreaking, and knowing that you may be in a direct path of the same disease at some point in your life makes it even worse. Anyone who has ever had anyone suffer from memory issues will tell you how scary it is to watch someone lose themselves. That’s what Archer did for years, lose himself. It’s haunting and gut-wrenching.