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Star Trek: Strange New Worlds - S2 E4 - Among the Lotus Eaters

  
By:  Dig  •  last year  •  8 comments


Star Trek: Strange New Worlds - S2 E4 - Among the Lotus Eaters
 

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From Collider

July 6, 2023

'Star Trek: Strange New Worlds' Season 2 Episode 4 Recap: Memories Worth a Thousand Cuts

"Among the Lotus Eaters" delivers an action-adventure mystery that dredges up tragic memories for Captain Pike and gives Ortegas her superhero moment.

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By Samantha Coley

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds Season 2 delivers its fourth episode with an action-adventure story featuring high stakes and a fascinating concept that scrapes the surface of the potential emotional depths within. "Among the Lotus Eaters" sees Captain Pike (Anson Mount), La'an (Christina Chong), and Doctor M'Benga (Babs Olusanmokun) stranded on a pre-warp planet and struck with the loss of their memories. With a mystery rooted in lore from the original series and a ticking timer engulfing everyone on the planet and in its orbit, Pike must face some demons buried in his past in order to live in the present.

Written by Kirsten Beyer and Davy Perez, and directed by Eduardo Sanchez, "Among The Lotus Eaters" picks up a thread from the unaired Original Series pilot, "The Cage." In that episode, Pike mentions a mission that went horribly wrong on Rigel VII, in which he lost a yeoman, and multiple people died after he found himself trapped and forced to fight one of the planet's warriors. The impossibly high standard that Pike holds himself to is very telling, and this episode both allows the Captain some emotional introspection and pushes him to let himself get close to people.

"Among the Lotus Eaters" opens with Captain Pike preparing a delicious-looking pasta dish with his mother's sauce recipe in anticipation of a cozy night in with his on-and-off romantic partner Captain Batel (Melanie Scrofano). Their two ships are working together to map a binary star system and while it's quiet they try to sneak in some personal time with each other. Almost immediately, their date night is interrupted by various inquiries from both of their crews, but it's nothing urgent so they settle in. She's brought him a gift from an archaeological dig, a token to "bring lost sailors home," and he's ready to show her his appreciation when they're interrupted again by a call from the Admiral for Batel.

Continue recap on Collider




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Dig
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1  author  Dig    last year

I didn't realize this episode was rooted in Pike's mention of Rigel VII in "The Cage" until I read it in the recap. That's really cool.

I thought this was a decent episode, but I also thought there were a few plot holes:

  • Nobody seemed to care that Batel tried to ruin Una's life two episodes ago?
  • Why didn't they just beam down instead of taking a shuttle? They didn't even mention the transporter. 
  • If the asteroid giving off the memory-blocking radiation had been on Rigel VII for thousands of years, how could there have been any civilization there at all?

BTW, that memory-blocking radiation has some serious military potential, but we've never heard of it before (in the future, of course). That's something every bad alien race bent on conquest would want. Imagine what it could do to a potential target planet or ship. Looks like the writers did it again — they added a plot device with huge consequences to the canon, and probably just expect it to be forgotten.

Still, a decent episode, IMO.

As a bonus, the final scene gave us a zoom-out from Pike's quarters, so now we know exactly where they are — port side, on the edge of the saucer section, right next to what I think is the centrally-located mess hall.

Pike's quarters are circled, and the arrow points at those three running lights on the bow, indicating the center of the ship.

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sandy-2021492
Professor Expert
1.1  sandy-2021492  replied to  Dig @1    last year
Nobody seemed to care that Batel tried to ruin Una's life two episodes ago?

She didn't really show much enthusiasm for the assignment.  I see this as being sort of like nobody resenting Riker for when he was forced to argue for Data's disassembly in Measure of a Man.

If the asteroid giving off the memory-blocking radiation had been on Rigel VII for thousands of years, how could there have been any civilization there at all?

Pike asked the question, but I never felt it was adequately answered, either.

 
 
 
Dig
Professor Participates
1.1.1  author  Dig  replied to  sandy-2021492 @1.1    last year
I see this as being sort of like nobody resenting Riker for when he was forced to argue for Data's disassembly in Measure of a Man.

Ah. Great comparison.

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
Professor Expert
2  sandy-2021492    last year

I felt like this episode illustrated one of our stranger tendencies as humans - the tendency to become angry when it is revealed to us that we have been fooled.  When Pike learns that his memories aren't actually contained in a casket in the palace, as he's been led to believe, he becomes enraged and unstable.  He has clung so tightly to the lie that he can't face the truth.

 
 
 
Dig
Professor Participates
2.1  author  Dig  replied to  sandy-2021492 @2    last year
He has clung so tightly to the lie that he can't face the truth.

Fiction reflecting reality for many in present society. Unfortunately, the enraged and unstable part is probably part of it, too.

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
Professor Expert
3  Perrie Halpern R.A.    last year

I always look forward to reading what everyone else saw or didn't see, because it brings up stuff that I never think of. 

I felt like this episode illustrated one of our stranger tendencies as humans - the tendency to become angry when it is revealed to us that we have been fooled.

I think that this is an essential emotion and what separates us from our Vulcan guides. 

Can someone here remind me what Rigel VII is known for in later shows?

And why was the ep call Among "The Lotus Eaters"? Did I miss something?

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
Professor Expert
3.1  Perrie Halpern R.A.  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @3    last year

Ugh, nevermind... Now I feel dumb.... re: Rigel VII.

 
 
 
Dig
Professor Participates
3.2  author  Dig  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @3    last year
And why was the ep call Among "The Lotus Eaters"? Did I miss something?

I looked it up. Apparently the phrase comes from Greek mythology. 

From Wikipedia: 

In Greek mythology, the lotus-eaters (Greek: λωτοφάγοι, translit. lōtophágoi) were a race of people living on an island dominated by the lotus tree, a plant whose botanical identity is uncertain. The lotus fruits and flowers were the primary food of the island and were a narcotic, causing the inhabitants to sleep in peaceful apathy. After they ate the lotus, they would forget their home and loved ones, and only long to stay with their fellow lotus-eaters.

The title seems to be a reference to the loss of memory among Rigel VII's inhabitants.

 
 

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