“Forget Me Not” is the title of Star Trek : Discovery S03E04 and despite its best intentions feels like a stop-gap episode. Or maybe that’s the whole point of Star Trek : Discovery S03E04? A moment of pause to properly introduce new character Adira Tal (Blu Del Barrio).
Much has been written about actor Blu Del Barrio and their identification as non-binary. Which is strange background to the episode as Adira is described as “she” in the dialogue? That confused me but would not have if not for the aforementioned background.
Perhaps that’s the defining emotion of Star Trek : Discovery S03E04. The confusion of not knowing who (or what) you are? This episode deals very much with identity – not gender per se although that functions as a backdrop – as Adira is the human host of a Trill symbiont. The Trills and their symbionts were introduced in The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine series.
“Forget Me Not” postulates a scenario where Adira as a rare human host is unable to connect with the memories of previous hosts, which is a standard characteristic of a Trill host.
In the episode, while Adira and Michael Burnham visit Trill to resolve Adira’s problems, Adira suggests to her that Burnham’s only investment in Adira is Adira’s connection to Admiral Senna Tal and Starfleet/The Federation.
Ultimately, Burnham is able to make the point that there are no distinctions because they all share a mutual interest and commitment and the need to separate different identities is futile and self-defeating.
This thematic concern is echoed in what goes on back on Discovery where there are psychological stresses within the crew as they confront their alienation from the current timeline. This alienation begins to translate into community fractures within the crew as they begin to fully appreciate the state of affairs they find themselves in.
So while superficially, there is a sense of a pause in the narrative, as previously stated, I believe that it is a necessary story device that allows Adira to be the enabler of the quest of Discovery and its crew.
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