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‘Strange New Worlds’: Thanks for the memories

"Among the Lotus Eaters" is an uneven but somewhat intriguing story about the role of memory in our lives and personalities. It features some interesting ideas that are packaged into a middlebrow adventure plot that must work its way from start to finish while meeting a certain action quota. I wish it could’ve evaluated those larger ideas a little more thoroughly in the process of solving its central storyline, but this episode does at least live up to the series’ title of showing us a Strange New World.

Captain Pike, fresh off a breakup with Captain Batel (Melanie Scrofano) — who was passed up for promotion because of her relationship with Pike in light of his role in the case of Una’s falsified records — is assigned to revisit Rigel VII, a planet the Enterprise visited five years earlier on a botched mission that resulted in the deaths of three crew members at the hands of the local population, the Kalar. They now discover their visit resulted in cultural contamination: A large Starfleet logo in a garden within a palatial compound is clearly visible from orbital photos. They must determine the cause of the contamination and mitigate it.

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