Trekathon 857: Memento Mori (SNW)

May 28th, 2022

An episode name used in The X-FIles, Stargate SG:1, The Punisher and The 100. Plus five Anime show episodes, a movie, a novel, a short story, a band, fifteen songs, seven albums, and two video games. Spoilers.

Very classic episode set up, taking a gadget to a colony. From there the episode accelerates to a break neck pace that is unusual even for modern TV. There is just a lot of things happening in the episode, such that I think it would be very easy to lose track. This maybe slightly undercuts the episode at the end of the day – the setup is very explicitly a submarine episode, but the pacing there is different. It’s meant to be more the build up of tension against an unseen enemy.

And, of course, this being modern Trek we have to have a cutaway to resolve someone’s buried trauma. At least here the resolution ties directly into action, and the trauma is better established. But seriously – can’t people in the future have a better reason for joining Star Fleet than buried trauma? I liked Hemmer’s different answer, of fighting for Star Fleet’s ideals a lot more.

The episode very quickly and effectively establishes the significance of the threat and the situation, which helps to make the Gorn appear to be a formidable enemy. Given the somewhat famous goofiness of the original costume in TOS’s “Arena” there is some work to do. My one caveat is I don’t like the idea of a sentient species being set up as purely evil and irredeemable – feels against what Star Trek stands for. But that is the POV of a character who is probably a bit biased, so we’ll see how that develops.

Quick hits:

  • Interesting pattern so far – ‘previously on’ was Uhura (episode 2, an Uhura episode), Number One (episode 3, a Number One episode) and now La’an (guessing it’s a La’an episode).

  • Nice cut from the ship to the medal.

  • Even the security officer has enormous quarters.

  • “I’m not broken, I’m fine”. Yep, definitely something someone not broken says.

  • “Those are blast marks”, yeah, sure, but is no one going to mention the many active fires? Seems more important than the blast marks.

  • Interesting echoes of the Gorn fight from “Arena”.

  • I love a submarine episode. Complete with depth charges, sonar and crush depth.

  • One thing that Strange New Worlds is doing over other recent series is really giving a lot of colour to the second tier character. Ortgeas and Nurse Chapel, for instance.

  • If that’s a communication mechanism between ships it is so breathtakingly inefficient that it makes little sense.

  • Would have liked at least a quick mention of time dilation in the black hole sequence.

  • Celebrating Uhura and Hemmer’s survival when many other unnamed people have died seems a bit ‘not in the credits of the TV show’ to me.

857 down,.