Star Trek: Strange New Worlds’ “Among the Lotus Eaters” is a bad version of Memento.
Star Trek: Strange New Worlds has had a fine second season so far, that’s not to say that every episode has been fantastic. Sadly, “Among the Lotus Eaters” was one of the weaker episodes that the show has produced in its catalog of shows. And sadly, it felt like the writers of the episode tried to do an homage to Memento.
The memory loss gimmick is just that, a gimmick and not even a good one. It sets the storyline into neutral and doesn’t advance any plot. How could it? The characters are basically just venturing through the script to return to normal.
It’s like resetting a video game mid-way through and then having to re-play everything you’ve already beat to return to where you were. Only it’s deliberate. It almost feels like this Star Trek’s version of a clip show. Essentially a clip-show episode is when the writers use flashback scenes to bolster a rather weak episode. It doesn’t really advance anything and you’re mostly just re-watching better scenes from earlier in the episode.
That’s what this feels like, “Among the Lotus Eaters” is essentially the episode that the writers’ had nothing for. Which is why it plays like a bad remake of Memento.
Star Trek: Strange New Worlds really didn’t need to do a remake of Memento
The movie Memento is a wild trip the first time through. It starts in the middle of the story, and the main character has to figure out what he’d done every step of the way, unsure of who he is or what brought him to the situation he was in.
In order to help his memory, he tattoos various things on his body so that he can remind himself of his mission. This is something that Star Trek tried to do, giving the characters the same type of amnesia that the main character of Momento had.
Only they decided to make it far less interesting. They didn’t do anything that worked in Momento, like starting the story in the middle or using tattoos to tell the story. Nor did it have any twists, like the film had.
They tried a little, specifically with a totem that told those who were forgetting who they were what their purpose was, but that was really it.
A weak villain for the episode also didn’t help matters either. Star Trek could do better with the concept, but we’d be ok if they never tried this plotline again.