What would you do if you forgot who you were and had to relearn your identity every day? Star Trek: Strange New Worlds‘ latest episode, “Among the Lotus Eaters,” finds our Enterprise crew dealing with forgetfulness during a mission to Rigel VII, both on the planet and in orbit. Thankfully, some good ole-fashioned resourcefulness wins out, with everyone emerging from this ordeal with their memories intact.
The outing seeks to fill in the blanks regarding Captain Pike’s fated mission to the planet in Star Trek: The Original Series. Additionally, it provides ample opportunity for characters like Lt. Ortegas and Dr. M’Benga to snag the spotlight. Ortegas, in particular, finally gets the chance to shine. All in all, it’s another solid episode for the season that boasts terrific performances (guest star Reed Birney is a force of nature). It’s a mind-bending experience.
In honor of today’s unforgettable (Get it?) episode, here are my favorite quotes from “Among the Lotus Eaters.” Energize!
M’BENGA: “I’ll take my burdens if it means I can heal people.”
Dr. M’Benga (Babs Olusanmokun) is such a kind soul. His inherent compassion already puts him leagues ahead of other doctors. Even when he loses his memories on Rigel VII, M’Benga knows he’s a healer at his core. He merely wants to heal people regardless of how encumbered he is.
LUQ: “You are guided by your emotions. They are your truth.”
Luq (Birney) is a tragic character in that he doesn’t discover until the end of the episode just how much he’s lost. He’s had one too many Forgettings. I found this line he says to Captain Pike (Anson Mount) particularly moving. Luq decides to join Pike and M’Benga in their mission to save La’An (Christina Chong) by returning to the castle so they regain their memories. Here, Luq understands the power of emotions and how they represent our truest selves.
ORTEGAS: “I’m Erica Ortegas. I fly the ship.”
Melissa Navia gets some fun material to work with in “Among the Lotus Eaters.” Ortegas is a consistently delightful character, but she’s often relegated to the “pilot comedic relief” role. Great pilots are always cracking jokes, you know. Thankfully, this outing and Navia’s fantastic work add nuance and complexity to Ortegas. Even Starfleet’s best pilot suffers from occasional low self-esteem. But guess what? She’s Erica Ortegas, dammit. She flies the ship.
ORTEGAS: “I’m the pilot. Just trust me. I feel like I know how to do this. And I’m the only one who can.”
Mortegas! I love the above dialogue, which Ortegas says to Spock (Ethan Peck) before maneuvering the Enterprise through rocky territory. It’s an empowering pep talk that reminds Ortegas of who she is and how important she is to the crew. She may not get to participate in missions requiring a ground crew, but what she does is crucial. Don’t sell yourself short, Ortegas.
LA’AN: “Maybe some memories are worth the pain of others.”
Something tells me La’An is referring to her time with James Kirk (Paul Wesley) in last week’s episode. If anyone holds onto painful memories, it’s our girl. From her trauma-laden and grief-riddled past to experiencing romance with Kirk in an alternate timeline that ends in tragedy, La’An is no stranger to pain. She makes a great point here. We cling tightly to whatever makes us happy, even if it means living with fragments of suffering. It’s a trade-off.
LUQ: “The story of your life … the details … they matter.”
After Luq’s memories are restored, he realizes how essential the details are. Despite the unrelenting pain of knowing what happened to his family and how he wound up on Rigel VII, Luq wouldn’t trade this knowledge for the world. As he mentions above, the details matter. Our life stories matter. That may be all we have when we’re old and gray.
What are your favorite quotes from “Among the Lotus Eaters”? Sound off in the comments below!
Star Trek: Strange New Worlds streams new episodes every Thursday on Paramount+.