Star Trek: Voyager


1.5 stars.

Air date: 4/22/1998
Written by Greg Elliot & Michael Perricone
Directed by Andrew J. Robinson

"If you don't get it, then I can't explain it to you." — Harry (perhaps adopting the policy of the episode's writers?)

Review Text

Nutshell: A badly plotted example of Trek romance by the numbers. Zzzzz...

I don't usually complain about stories being boring; I'm usually willing to ride a slow episode out and look for the subtleties and the larger themes and meanings of a story.

But "unforgettable," which is also the title for this week's Voyager offering, is about the last word I would ever use to describe this installment. Words that I would use, on the other hand, include "dull," "boring," and "bland." This is Trek romance at its most obvious and mundane, and it shows just how much more energy and fun there was this week in DS9's "His Way" (even though I couldn't fully recommend that episode either).

You know an episode is in trouble when you start calling out the lines in advance. Example: There's a scene in the mess hall where Chakotay tells Kellin (Virginia Madsen, playing a rather hollow love interest) that he doesn't completely trust her because he can't remember being in love with her. She stands up and turns away, looking out the window. Chakotay gets up, walks over to her and says, "I'm sorry." I groaned. It was so typical, so expected, and so unimaginative. In reality, it's a pivotal moment in the episode concerning Chakotay's relationship with Kellin, but it's such a worn-out moment that it falls flat on its face. There's more than one scene like that in "Unforgettable."

This episode—perhaps the Voyager equivalent of DS9's "Meridian" from a few years back—feels as if it were written by a computer program. This hypothetical computer program would select from other Trek episodes and other films and TV shows, insert new names into the script, build a rudimentary plot framework for the romance, and then compile these various elements of dialog and interaction into a series of events. The result is cold and detached.

I didn't buy the relationship between Chakotay and Kellin for a minute. I didn't feel like I was watching two people with any sort of emotional connection; I felt like I was watching two actors who were paid to go through the motions. Again, cold and detached.

There's no dramatic tension here; it's just a plodding story that doesn't have the slightest idea why Chakotay is taken in by this woman. That concept itself may be fine; at the end of the episode Neelix offers the notion that love can't really be explained or predicted (read: this week's obvious reflection upon this week's events). But the big problem with the story is that it has Chakotay approach Kellin with a calculated indifference—only to have him suddenly fall in love so that he can later be crushed by the story's inevitable "tragedy"—an effect which itself has no impact because of the "nothing here really matters" nature of the plot.

I simply didn't buy it—or care. I was watching events transpire that I knew were happening because they were following a calculated, pre-planned formula. (Lesson of the week: Romances don't work when they come off as calculated and pre-planned.) There was nothing intriguing about the relationship that developed between the two characters, because it was just a means to the plot's ends.

And that brings us to the plot. Or, more specifically, the "sci-fi twist on the romance angle." The gimmick is that Kellin is from a race of people who emit some sort of pheromone that causes whomever they meet to forget them within a day or so. This device maybe could've worked in theory if there were anything interesting done with it, but I have a serious problem with how the premise allows for so much incredible plot confusion and stupidity. Half the time the episode doesn't seem to play by its own rules; it changes the rules whenever it's convenient.

Kellin's entire society is based upon a "covert existence." They don't leave home, they don't allow visitors, and when one of their people attempts to flee society, they send in fugitive experts called "tracers" to find them and bring them back. (Don't ask me why a race devoted to isolation would develop space travel, or why their citizens have access to spaceships, because I don't have an answer.) Kellin is a tracer who found a "runaway" hidden on Voyager. While looking for this runaway in conjunction with the Voyager crew, she and Chakotay apparently had some sort of relationship. (The events surrounding their first meeting are told with bits and pieces of flashback thrown in—a narrative device which isn't used consistently and merely ends up being awkward.) After she left, Chakotay's memories of her faded away. But now she has returned, because she has changed her mind about her society and wants to rekindle the relationship. In the process of seeking asylum from the Voyager crew (who are unaware they had even met her before) she kills another tracer in a space battle.

Now, given the nature of the plot, Kellin strikes me as one of the most obliviously hypocritical Trek characters I can remember. (And the writers didn't even intend her to be a hypocrite; it's just a side effect of poor plotting.) Just when did Kellin—a tracer who hunts down other runaways—suddenly realize that she didn't want to be a part of the system anymore? Was it before or after she turned in the runaway that she caught with the help of Chakotay and the Voyager crew? The story doesn't even begin to acknowledge this question. If she has been struggling with this dilemma for some time—as I hope she would've in order to come to this course of action—then it seems pretty hypocritical and self-serving that she would hunt tirelessly for another runaway and turn him in. The fact that she blows up another tracer in the process of going against something that she herself was just days ago strikes me as a notable issue worth tackling. But it isn't even considered as an afterthought here. That strikes me as sloppy thinking, as if someone said, "Well, we need to blow something up this week, so let's have a battle between two cloaked ships."

Then, of course, after Chakotay and Kellin have fallen in love, there's the inevitable moment when another tracer named Curneth (Michael Canavan) appears on Voyager to take Kellin back. The way the plot details surrounding this matter are handed borders on the absurd. Curneth shoots her with a "memory eraser" or some gizmo, which wipes her memory of all things from outside her culture. Curneth is promptly thrown into the brig for no other reason, apparently, then to be later released. (It appears that Voyager's policy for the imprisonment of aliens is that you can arbitrarily lock people up for enforcing their own laws on their own people, but can let them go when a romantic situation has subsequently been resolved. Now there's an interesting interpretation of the Prime Directive.)

Meanwhile, Chakotay tries to convince the memory-wiped Kellin that they had fallen in love and that she still has the choice to leave her society if she wants to. Naturally, he fails in this endeavor. Why? Because the Star Trek Standard Romance Law™ states that guest characters involved in such romances must be gone by the end of the episode. "Unforgettable" is no exception. The end of the episode is one of those "unfortunate" examples of an individual succumbing to her society's norms. It wasn't a terrible idea, but it was a familiar one—basically ripped off from the "brainwashing" idea at the end of TNG's "The Outcast." On the other hand, the plot is sketchy about who Kellin as a person really is—it certainly doesn't say much about her if a few memories about Chakotay are all that determined whether or not she believed in her own culture.

I think I can see where they were going with some of this (as poorly executed as it was), but the complicated plot tries to build to some sort of emotional payoff that simply doesn't exist. It's a tiresome exercise with so many half-realized elements (alien intrigue, simplistic romance, fighting authority, analyzing love, pondering the virtue of uncommon attitudes, cloaked space battles, etc.) that the whole episode never comes together to be anything more than a sum of disjointed parts. And in the process it's simply dull pointlessness. I didn't find this society interesting because the story was too preoccupied with derivative romance to make sense of it all, and I didn't find the romance believable because there were too many crazy, ill-conceived plot pieces regarding the nature of this society.

You've got to hand it to the Voyager writers though: They've ingeniously come up with a plot that has a convenient, intentional, built-in reset feature. You want the reset button? You've got the reset button. It would've gone without saying that this episode wouldn't have any real consequences, but the fact that Chakotay (and the rest of the crew) will forget everything that happened (aside from a few thoughts that Chakotay scrawls down on a piece of paper), is so indicative of this series' policy of stand-alone episodic inconsequence that I couldn't help but be amused. Since none of this really happened and Chakotay's emotional stake in the matter will be wiped away within a few days, who really cares if it happened at all?

I sure don't.

Next week: Voyager is labeled a historic curse. And someone actually remembers?

Previous episode: The Omega Directive
Next episode: Living Witness

Like this site? Support it by buying Jammer a coffee.

◄ Season Index

Comment Section

91 comments on this post

    Gotta love how Chakotay was so upset about the guy who wiped her memory but when she did the same thing it was great

    This episode is full of hypocrisy. When they captured the first "runaway" it was a great accomplishment, but when Kellin is caught it's supposed to be a tragedy. Kellin caught many of her world's citizens for daring to leave (like what Communist countries do), but then feels perfectly justified in leaving.

    It would have been nice if the multiple acts of hypocrisy were confronted in the episode. That's why I would give this episode a 1.5.

    The only good thing about this episode was the conversation between Chakotay and Tuvok about what-was-her-name-agains future duties. Protect Neelix from the spontaneous outrage of others? Hilarious.

    For me, this episode marked the beginning of the end of Chakotay as an interesting character. That Robert Beltran would begin to publicly snipe at the creative staff for running his character into the ground is a perfect example of a feedback loop that would ultimately result in the virtual disappearance of Chakotay in Voyager's later seasons.
    Heck, even Neelix got a decent send-off in season 7.

    I'm glad to see "hypocrisy" being thrown around a lot in both the review and comments, because that's the thing that stood out most in this episode.

    Putting aside Kellin's own "change of heart" and doing what she captured others for doing (there's lots of "redeemed" assassins, bounty hunters, rebels, criminals, etc. in fiction), my bigger problem was with Chakotay and Voyager: C & K were celebrating MIND WIPING the last guy with drinks last time she was there?! It just doesn't strike me as something Chakotay (never mind the other crew) would be HAPPY about (even if they felt it was necessary, which it wasn't).

    Also, could Chakotay have been SLOWER on the draw when the tracer zapped his lover's mind? He waited until he was actually FIRING before even warning him? If he really cared about Kellin, he'd have stunned (or vaporized!) the guy the minute he appeared (he knew why he was there).

    Not to mention, why give the guy his weapon back and let him put a VIRUS in your computer (?!) before letting him go? Bad enough to just let him go and take Kellin, but let him wipe your records and how to detect these guys if they show up again too?!

    Also, I kept waiting for a twist to the script (Kellin's story seemed SO unlikely - "Nobody remembers us, we wipe your computers, our ships are cloaked" etc. - I thought there had to be one), but no. Everything (illogical) that she said was apparently true; those poorly done flashbacks were the proof.

    I agree with the comment that Tuvok's chat with Chakotay about security for Neelix was the one good moment. Everything else was dull and badly written.

    I came away feeling sorry for Beltran that Chakotay got this nonsense written for him.

    So, Harry "Forgettable" Kim AGAIN succeeds in not being able to transport the wounded pilot of the enemy vessel on to Voyager, so Acushla Moya takes Paris and Tuvok - that's three of the highest ranking officers onboard after Janeway - over to said vessel, which is in danger of exploding at any moment to try to save that one individual.

    A very promising and logical start. Can't wait for the remaining forty minutes of the episode...


    A biological pheromone that affects tricorders?...please.

    As mentioned by many others, the hypocrisy on display here is epic.

    Speaking of on display, in how many episodes has that image of Saturn's rungs from the Voyager mission been displayed on the monitor in astrophysics? Maybe its a homage to the namesake...

    I actually liked this episode -- until the final act. The final act destroys everything by making the characters too stupid. Kellin should have guessed that a Tracer might have gotten aboard during the battle. And as mentioned above, Chakotay had more than enough time to jump in front of Kelling to protect her from the weapon, or stun him before he fired. And EVEN THEN, they could have immediately sent the Tracer home empty-handed before Kellin had the chance to forget everything. It was all designed to make this episode as self-contained as possible - which kind of defeats the point of the story in the first place.

    It's all the more disappointing because I actually thought that the premise of aliens who can't be remembered was interesting, as were the questions raised about the relationship between love and memory. Is that all love is? Or are the feelings still there when the memories are gone? (This was explored beautifully in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind).

    All in all, it was still better than "Meridian" - Andrew Robinson's directing was pretty good, and I'm convinced it could have been a great episodde with a better script and actors.

    I thought it was decent, but I couldn't buy the gimmick at all. And, oh yes, the hypocrisy.

    You'd think they'd have 2 weeks of jacked up log entries if a virus deleted all records of her being there. Does the virus forge in the Voyager crew's own words an alibi for what else they could've been doing instead of dealing with Kellin?

    Jammer, I don't know about you, but if Virginia Madsen showed up on MY ship and said she'd fallen in love with me I think I'd return her affections just like Chakotay did. Sometimes a couple just clicks. Also, I don't quite get why you thought Beltran and Madsen's performances were dull and uninspired. I think it was just the opposite - they were excellent and they had good chemistry. I'll admit that the story was rather pedestrian, but I really liked the idea of a race of people that cannot be remembered by outsiders who encounter them to be very compelling. The writers could have done better with an idea like that. I see this episode as a well executed missed opportunity.

    Interesting that one of the comments above gives the other characters their names but ridicules the only indigenous character by mocking his language (and not for the first time).

    Wonder why?

    As for the episode itself, yes, rather unfortunate.

    I guess that comment was directed at me, so let me answer you. I mock the "indigenous" (*snicker*) Acoushla Moya because I'm a dye-in-the-wool, rabid, racist, right-wing, neocon who is only sorry that them there Injuns still survive even on reservations.

    Happy now?

    *rolls eyes*

    Frivolities aside, it's not Acoushla Moya that I mock, but the writers' idiocy. I find it nothing short of ludicrous that four centuries from now there will be people who will still believe in "spirits" or "divine" "guides." I mean, if Voyager was rocking a 7asidic Jew with his black fur hat and sideburns who was shown chanting some facocta Carlebach incantations every other episode, would you be laughing your ass off and mock it in disbelief?!

    Acoushla Moya was included in Voyager to demonstrate humanity and/or scriptwriters as "progressive." Hey, we've got a real-ass true-to-life Native American here who (1) made it to the second highest position on a starship, and (2) is in touch with his buffalo side! We're so enlightened, and Voyager is enlightened, and the human race of the 24th century will be oh-so enlightened. Sheesh...

    My own vision (and fervent hope) for the 24th century? Religions gone, superstitions gone, nations and nationalities gone, and all humanity united in the quest to improve itself. I don't think there will be Native Americans or native anything, nor will such things matter in the least.

    Of course, what will probably happen is that we'll have a bloody world war a century or so from now instead, brought about most likely by the Religion of Peace(TM). That though is a whole other story.

    I'm not a religious person myself, but I think if people are inspired or guided by their beliefs or their beliefs about their ancestors I'm all for it...

    Without those things what do we become? Some sort of Borg collective where we all uniformly strive for perfection dismissing culture as irrelevant?

    I'll phrase the following carefully, so as not to be misunderstood. It seems that you are Jewish, Michael (I think I read that in a previous post of yours) and the mere fact that you've mentioned it tends to suggest that it means something to you, even if only enough to mention it.

    Everything we do is in some way influenced by our past... the language we speak, the way we debate in a forum like this, our humour. Knowing this helps us understand ourselves and each other better, and having a variety of cultures means we can have access to different ways to approaching problems that might just help us solve them. Losing these things means that we could lose these potential solutions: As the Vulcans say, infinite diversity in infinite combinations.

    Let me open with a side-note. People being "nspired or guided by their beliefs or their beliefs about their ancestors" has been causing the world immeasurable harm for thousands of years.

    The point I made -- and successfully so, I reckon -- is that Acoushla Moya's presence on Voyager and, indeed, very existence as part of the 24th-century humankind are both extremely improbable. The inclusion of that trait on the show is indicative of two things only: (1) The writers' desire to make a jaded political statement, and (2) the writers' laziness and lack of imagination.

    As far as me, I'm ethnically Jewish, yes. "Religiously," I'm an anti-theist. The only reason I even describe myself as the former -- when asked -- is that such nonsense still seems to matter in many quarters. In the other post you allude to, there was probably some mention of anti-Semitism or such, which is the only reason I'd have spontaneously brought it up.

    As for culture and its value, yes, a culture may be a curiosity in many ways. But it can also be a massive impediment, as current events in the world aptly demonstrate. "[I]nfinite diversity in infinite combinations" only functions if cultures are compatible with one another, which they are sometimes not.

    At any rate, this is beyond the pale. Bottom line: The writers should have endeavored to contrive Acoushla Moya's character's depth by something more imaginative than having him twiddle buffalo testicles in his hands as he goes off on one of his hallucinations, sorry, "spiritual quests."


    I take it you're not a fan of the 'prime directive'? (Janeway isn't either most of the time, now that I think about it) ;)

    The whole point of the federation is to 'seek out new life and new civilizations' yada yada yada... but not change them, nor conquer them, but to study them, learn from them, celebrate diversity, increase the culmination of knowledge of the universe ect... Humans of the 24th century, as depicted by the Federation live an almost monk like existence, relying only on their well honed abilities to get the job done, without expecting remuneration in return. They are almost entirely altruistic. A key part of the ethos in the federation is tolerance and non-interference.

    In anthropological terms, ethnocentrism is shunned, while cultural relativism is embraced. The Federation (and especially the crew of Voyager) are essentially a bunch of cultural anthropologists on expedition.

    Of course, complexities arise as individual members periodically succumb to their base instincts, emotions, or other psychosis for the purpose of creating 'drama'. Religion is just one such hook.

    Au contraire, I have nothing against the Prime Directive in principle, so long as it doesn't lead to absurdities, such as preclude even self-defense for fear of unduly harming "the other." I can't remember the exact episodes or incidents that illustrate that point, but there were a few.

    And I'm all for dispassionate study of other cultures, and am against any kind of forceful change, conquest, or even interference. Nor do I have a problem with cultural relativism in that respect. I do maintain, however, that where cultures are incompatible (such as e.g. in the case of the Borg), we rightly do and should revert to maintaining and preserving -- possibly even promoting -- our own. The world is a witness to that type of conflict today, just as it was 70-odd years ago.

    As far as Acoushla Moya and his buffalo nuts, I ain't buyin' it. Why a Native American and not an evangelical Christian or even some Hare Krishna? It's sheer laziness coupled with cheap sociopolitical agenda.

    The writers of Trek just make anything happen, don't they?

    A guy can release a virus into a foreign computer system that meticulously deletes the correct data. He can do this while in custody. A pheromone can wipe long term memories (and is contrary to what we know of biology at this point, let alone in 24th century).

    Trek writing is lazy. Only a few episodes ever have real logic. A writer has a story he wants to write and he just bends all logic to make that happen. The number of logical and scientific errors are overwhelming.

    Voyager writing was always garbage. Why do you think Ron Moore left after one month?

    "Writers of Trek" isn't a singular group of people.

    I think Moore left Voyager because, as he explained, he had a hard time dealing with Braga being his boss after they had worked so closely as partners.

    That is way, way off Grumpy. He left because there was no cohesion on Voyager. No one was working together. Instead, everyone was doing their own thing and competing. The atmosphere sucked, and so did the writers.

    From Ron Moore: " I was surrounded by people that were unhappy working there, and didn’t like their own show, and weren’t pleased with the people they were working with. It’s a bad thing to work through. "

    " He will say, "I
    have very hurt feelings about Brannon. What happened between he and I is just
    between he and I. It was a breakdown of trust. I would have quit any show where
    I was not allowed to participate in the process like that. I wasn’t allowed to
    participate in the process, and I wasn’t part of the show. I felt like I was
    freelancing my own show. That was the feeling I had. I wasn’t involved in it
    enough. Part of me said, ‘So what? You’ve got a baby. You are making a lot of
    money. Shut up, enjoy it; go home early; go in late; relax. You’ve had a long
    ten years; take a break.’ But I couldn’t. It just ate at me. It was an
    integrity issue. I took a lot of pride in the work. The work matters to me. I
    took a lot of pride in what I did on TNG and DS9 and the movies. I just
    couldn’t work that way."

    " What I found on VOYAGER was suddenly it wasn’t about the work
    anymore. It wasn’t about making the best show that we possibly could; it was
    about all these other extraneous issues. It was about the politics of the show,
    and the strange sort of competition of egos within the writing staff and the
    producing staff and the management of the show. ‘Competition’ is probably a
    misleading term. The politics of the show were such that the egos of the people
    in charge of the series were threatened by the people who worked for them. To
    be blunt, [writers] Bryan Fuller and Mike Taylor were treated very shabbily,
    and it pissed me off. They took a lot of crap, and the only reason it was done
    was to keep the guys on the top of the pyramid feeling good about themselves.
    It also had the effect of keeping the writing staff from working in concert as
    a group. The DS9 staff by contrast was very tight. "

    "The environment was chaotic
    and fraught with other issues that just didn’t have anything to do with the
    work. It just became another job. That’s never what I had experienced, and it
    was very disappointing. We’re talking just about the work environment. That’s
    aside from all the reasons that I left." "


    Well, obviously Moore and Braga needed something to disagree about. My point is that it was the work environment, not a dispute over the creative direction of the show, which is how I read your comment. You said the *writing* was garbage, an opinion Moore doesn't share in these quotes (whether he thought so or not). I will concede, however, that the treatment of the writers is reflected in the quality of the writing.

    Grumpy, it *was* a dispute over the creative direction in addition to the work environment thing. There's this enormous RMD interview floating around that is very candid about all these things.

    Hm. Transitioning from this series to Doctor Who apparently makes you uglier while enhancing your abilities. (The Silence from DW are lost from your memory as soon as you lose sight of them. Incidentally, the episodes featuring them also show how to utilize a species with an ability like that - they're very well suited for paranoia/horror-type stories.)

    Also, since I'm not about to re-watch this piece of blandness any time soon: did they mention why the Doctor (ha!) would forget? Apparently that miracle virus can affect his memory engrams, too, but even so, what about the first time?

    @Ospero - In addition to having a bio-chemistry that magically erases memories of other species, even though that would not be a particularly useful adaptation on a single species planet, they have also developed a computer virus that works on all operating systems.

    "CHAKOTAY: I agree. But I think we have to make sure she doesn't have some hidden agenda. If she was here there should be some evidence of it. She said a computer virus was planted to wipe all references to her being here, but I have to believe we can at least turn up some evidence of tampering. Harry, Tuvok, Tom. Do the same with her ship. See if the navigational logs support what she's saying. "

    The episode is REALLY, REALLY stupid... but I actually like it (and I'm usually pretty harsh on VOY). Go figure!

    In a few hours I will have forgotten all about this episode as well....

    And how do her pheremones and magic virus work on the holographic doctor? All aliens on the ship? Really dumb story. Five monkeys with a magic marker could have done better.

    As Todd says, this episode made no attempt to be credible and that hurts the overall story. Trek writers really do seem to think they can say what they like in the cause of setting up a story. Some of us have higher standards and it really does kill suspension of disbelief. It's not a BAD story.... it's just executed so damn poorly.

    @Ospero: "Transitioning from this series to Doctor Who apparently makes you uglier while enhancing your abilities."

    That quote made my day. I'm still cleaning spit from my monitor.

    "The Impossible Astronaut" this ain't. Honestly, I feel this ep would have been much better if Kellin's species had just been flat out villains trying to take over the ship or something for Our Heroes to defeat, rather than shoehorning in a romance the audience knows is doomed from the first minute. And the fact that her pheromones work on the Doctor (giggle snort!) - give me a break.

    Apparently Kellin's powers really do work, as the episode was so boring that I've forgotten half the details already.

    Interestingly, Robert Beltran cited this as his favorite Voyager episode according to Memory Alpha.

    I assume the Doctor 'forgot' about her because his program is part of the ship's systems and would thus have been affected by the virus that erases all trace of their existence.
    It's not exactly credible, but then again very little in this episode is.

    The name of this episode is very ironic since I highly doubt that a lot of people will remember it at all. And why should they? Nothing actually happened. No impact was made on anyone or anything. Why even bother?

    I noticed an error in this episode the transports the first time couldn't lock onto the lifesigns but at the end they could so what is up with that?

    They seemed to go to a lot of effort to make Virginia Madsen look like Kes


    "My own vision (and fervent hope) for the 24th century? Religions gone, superstitions gone, nations and nationalities gone, and all humanity united in the quest to improve itself. I don't think there will be Native Americans or native anything, nor will such things matter in the least."

    Spoken like a true Borg, which is rather chilling.

    No nations? So you want a one world government? Gene Roddenberry's ridiculous utopia aside, a government that big and that powerful (controlling the whole globe and every region's military) would be the type of government that the biggest totalitarians in history only dreamed of. And as a small government libertarian myself, that is particularly scary to me.

    Also, there is a difference between religion and spirituality. The former can be eradicated. The latter cannot, and never will be, unless you surgically remove the right side of the brain, but that would delete human consciousness as well, leaving us as lifeless analytical left brained computers, much like the Borg.

    And as for "humanity united to improve itself," your pro-collectivist and anti-individualistic attitude once again is chilling. Improvement is a very personal thing (dare I say it - spiritual). At the very least, it is an individualistic thing. If you try to bring the entire human species into something as subjective and intimate as "moral and intellectual improvement," you will have completely destroyed the concept and will have replaced it with totalitarian conformity, much like, once again, the Borg!

    The worst part of the episode was Chakotay's conversation with Neelix. Paraphrasing, Chakotay mentioned how he wasn't fully convinced about his newfound love, finding the whole thing a bit untrustworthy. Neelix gives his trump statement, that maybe, just maybe Chakotay just doesn't trust his feelings (dun dun dunn!). And so Chakotay decides that he is going to jump into the whole relationship without a care in the world.

    Wait, what happened to his perfectly logical suspicions?

    That's the problem, it's just a typical love episode. But the circumstances don't demand a typical love episode. Chakotay had every right to be suspicious of someone who knows everything about him and he knows nothing about her except, well, that she is a highly competent special agent. And pretending to have a relationship with a senior officer of a ship could be a very useful ploy if she has some ulterior motive. Obviously that wasn't the case in this episode, but isn't it at least worth considering? Shouldn't that be ruled out first before the love story can continue?

    Instead, it's just a silly statement that allows the story to continue. Completely ignoring the plot of the episode just to move forward. Which can be forgiven if the episode was any good, but, of course, it's completely forgettable. Jammer's nutshell is 100% correct: it's just blatantly a paint-by-numbers episode.

    Let's compare it to the tail end of Season 4 of TNG, shall we? There, we had 3 different "romance of the week" episodes: Half a Life, In Theory, and The Host. And while none of them are going to end up in any Top 10 list or anything, they were all reasonably engaging episodes. Why? Because they weren't routine. They were romance with a sci-fi twist. While Trek always has the one-episode romance plot, and they're usually kinda dumb, these worked because the sci-fi elements were integral to the plots. In all three cases, the relationships were doomed to failure because of a complete clash of culture. It pained the characters involved, but they all had to choose to maintain their own culture rather than run away to something completely alien.

    Here, we have a deus ex machina to force the two apart.

    Imagine, instead, of Kellin had stayed on board. Anyone who doesn't see her for more than a day will completely forget about her. How would that feel? How would anyone have a casual relationship with her? How often would people be calling to Tuvok that there was a suspicious woman running around the ship, even if they had lunch with her the day before? How could she cultivate a relationship with anyone other than Chakotay if she has to see them every single day in order to maintain their memory? What kind of TOLL would that take on her psyche to know she is so completely alone, and all of her shared memories with others can be wiped away by one measly day? What if Chakotay has to go on an away mission for a couple days, as a senior officer? Would they need to start all over again? Does her love for Chakotay overwhelm that intense loneliness and alienation she would feel? Would she start to understand why her race was so xenophobic after living with the pain?

    I don't know the answers to those questions, but isn't that just a wee bit more interesting to explore than the yawn-inducing plot we saw?

    Actually this set up quite an interesting premise, and then spent the rest of the episode failing to live up to it. As soon as we got the first flashback it seemed to me we were getting into plot device rather than interesting story-telling.

    The romance completely failed to sell me as well, and the whole thing kind of drifted past while making no real emotional impact. Even the twist - now it's Kellin that's forgotten everything, so let's start again... - didn't really work. 1.5 stars.

    One eminently forgettable episode despite the gorgeous scintillating Virginia Madsen. I wonder why actors of that caliber do this sort of rubbish.The icecream scene is the only unforgettable bit... And Virginia's glorious legs in that shortish outfit.

    Well, I just love Virginia Madsen so I do enjoy this episode.

    One sexy lady.

    But you all are right, this episode does have it's problems.

    But I don't care :-)

    I get Virginia for an hour!

    2.5 stars.

    I found it funny that earlier this season, the crew was fighting tooth and nail to stop B'Elanna from being forced to undergo an engramatic purge - a procedure that would erase the memory of a violent thought. This time around, no one seems to really care that these aliens are essentially wiping everyone's minds. Chakotay even drinks champagne to celebrate it!

    No consistency...

    The Ramurans in this episode sound like a perspective view of North Korea, with a few run aways "hardly constituting a problem with society" etc But the general storyline of a one episode romance gone awry has been recycled since The Original Series, like "Requiem For Methuselah" where McCoy says at the end "I do wish he could forget her." etc

    Glad that others have pointed out the hypocrisy in Kellin's lack of repentance and awareness regarding her former profession and subsequent 180. I love Virginia Madsen, but this character really creeped me out. I mean Kellin came back to Voyager knowing full well that Chakotay wouldn't remember her, yet she did very little to anticipate or allay his initial discomfort and confusion. Instead of letting the re-introduction happen organically, she engages in what appears to be gaslighting, recounting stories and intimate details he can't possibly recall sharing with her. I don't know what healthy adult would respond well to that. This episode gets hard to watch in places.

    Honestly I just found this episode boring. 1 Star.
    I was sort of uncomfortable watching Voyagers crew hunt down that poor bastard in the 1st act while trying to justify why she's worth saving.

    Am I the only one who kept thinking the guest star was Victoria Jackson ... and kept expecting her to talk in that high-pitched voice?

    I know it wasn't the point of the episode and it was meant to be a one-off with a reset button, but seriously: These people use a particle beam that can pierce most shields?! Jesus Christ, screw Chakotay's love journal! Tell Harry and Seven to spend their time getting down that technology on paper so they can develop it for themselves. I doubt Voyager would become an aggressive conquering force (jokes about Janeway aside), but it sure would be one hell of a deterrent against hostile alien ships. (Run away! Run awaaaaaaaay!)

    Also, the Netflix screen still for this episode showed what's-her-face in a profile shot, which really highlighted her ears (the only "alien" part of her species) and it got me thinking about the "hard-headed-alien-of-the-week" meme. Given how often the alien-ness is established by forehead ridges, ears and nostrils, I wonder what kind of selection pressure is so ubiquitous throughout the alpha and delta quadrant to produce it. I'd love to hear the technobabble BS explanation for that.

    Yeah, pretty much quintessential generic romance of the week ep. Thing is, if you are not gonna give it some interesting twist-I know they tried with the memory thing, but it just wasn't enough-you should make it a character piece about more than just them falling in love. What made Lessons on TNG work, besides much better chemistry, was that it wasn't just about romance, it was also about Picard being willing to open himself to people. And in Rejoined, which too is about two people who fell in love doing so again but being seperated by society, the romance was an allegory for a socially relevant issue. This is an allegory for... Chakotay being really boring?

    Interestingly, this aired just before DS9's His Way, right? Man, I like that episode a lot more just for this one reminding me how difficult writing romance can be.

    I hate how they tried to turn Neelix into a wise Guinan type figure in this episode. As a loveable goofball he's tolerable, as ship's counsellor he's insufferable.

    The irony being that an episode titled "unforgettable" was the most forgettable episode of the entire series.

    Reading T'Paul way up there, almost 4 years ago to the day, trying to insinuate some prejudicial intention and then getting absolutely owned by Michael should go down as one of the most amusing (and educational) moments in Internet history.

    I know several people like that, quick to cast aspersions with the thinnest of evidence, often leaning back afterwards with a smug look and arms crossed... practically beaming with the joy of how much more enlightened they are in a sea of neanderthals.

    Oh well, what are ya gonna do. As for the episode, meh... pretty silly. Thinking I wouldn't mind some of that memory wipe technology being used on ME about now.

    I am partial to love stories, so it was no surprise to me that I enjoyed this one. The ending was frustrating for me because I wanted the woman to be able to decide her own fate. I would have understood if they couldn't be together. But, I wanted Chakotay and Kellin to be able to take charge of their lives an decide themselves what they wanted to do.

    I did see some complained about the hypocrisy of Kellin in changing her position. I don't think Kellin would disagree. I think she changed as a result of her love for Chakotay. I think that is implied in the story. With that said, it probably deserved some dialogue to state that point overtly. However, a more significant flaw in the episode is that Chakotay celebrates the man's capture initially without any apparent ambivalence. I suppose you could point to his love for her to explain his lack of internal conflict. But, it would have added some interesting complexity to the narrative to add that he did not share her satisfaction at the man's capture.

    One last thing: I know some would say she did indeed decide her own fate. But, I think she actually prevented herself from making that decision by not allowing herself to spend time with Chakotay and recover her feelings for him. She essentially went along with the social customs of her people without question.

    The effect of a pheromone on both a triquarter and the doctor seems consistent (even if it is completely rediculous).

    But how could Kellen have been on the ship for weeks, without a single log entry being entered in reference to her? Tuvoc or the captain would have mentioned it as an official record, and she would have featured in Chakotay's as well....! So dumb.

    I find it fun in some ways to trash episodes I don't like, so I want to say ahead of time that I mostly think season 4 of Voyager is an improvement on previous years, and I'm just going to come back to the better ones later if I have time (though my wife and my watching continues apace, and we recently watched "One," so I might not end up getting a chance). So don't take my negative comments as fully representative on my views on the episodes I haven't written about.

    Onto this episode, I also want to open by mentioning that two of my favourite movies of the aughts are Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, which uses memory-alteration (and loss) as a SF jump-off premise to examine relationships with a close-lens and is a passionate, funny, romantic, and heartbreaking work, and Sideways, which features Virginia Madsen as a luminous romantic lead. Which is to say that a memory-loss romance featuring Virginia Madsen is not something I'd be automatically opposed to.

    This episode, though, is terrible, and the worst of the season up to this point -- a season that had mostly avoided total disaster thusfar. With something like Vis a Vis, I thought the results were bad but I could see what the character core was supposed to be, but in this case the Chakotay story has nothing I can see to do with who Chakotay actually is; the plodding romance seems to centre around some men-are-from-Mars-women-are-from-Venus idea that Chakotay, who is constantly telling people to be patient and the importance of working through things emotionally and spiritually, likes things in a nutshell, can't wait to jump to the end of stories, and doesn't like to talk about feelings. (When Chakotay said "I'd rather you stick to the events, not the emotions surrounding them," my wife exclaimed in shock, "Who ARE you?") Even if we accept this episode's version of Chakotay on his own terms, the romance plays with scene after scene of Chakotay appearing to actively dislike Kellin before some switch gets flipped and he realizes he LOVES her, mostly because the script requires it. Kellin's agonizing deployment of her narrative, where we and apparently Chakotay (and Janeway, Tuvok etc. who should be insisting on finding out immediately) have to wait the whole episode and to sift through anemic love scenes to find out whether she got her mark, does very little to endear her to me. The blatant hypocrisy of Kellin demanding asylum on the very ship that helped her take out and memory-wipe an (apparently harmless) stowaway remains completely unexamined -- at no point do Kellin, Chakotay, or Janeway seem even to get to the point of asking whether her love for Chakotay can really justify her complete change of heart, and the larger implications of what that means for her people and their society. When Kellin gets her mind wiped, the episode then goes to a weird place where apparently it's about how it's impossible to recreate love and Chakotay can't figure out how. Gee, maybe the fact that she doesn't remember their relationship but still remembers her life as a memory-cop, whereas Chakotay's main opposition to the romance was his newfound disinterest in feelings. The episode adds insult to injury with that final scene with Neelix -- "Love is the greatest mystery there is?" Go to hell, episode. It may or may not be true that love is a mystery, but 1) Chakotay used that same line on Neelix but about death, a half-season ago, and Neelix surely remembers that; and more importantly, 2) you, episode, don't get to get away with portraying a totally unconvincing romance, with bad writing, acting (even Madsen, who I like a lot, is flat) and directing, and then appeal to "it's a mystery!" as some behind-covering.

    I don't want to get into the "science" because it's not the point, and nor is it why the episode doesn't work, but I can't help but note this line:

    KELLIN: It's a factor of our biology. You see, our bodies produce a sort of pheromone which blocks the long-term memory engrams of others.
    CHAKOTAY: Is that why the tricorder can't scan you? Why we couldn't get a transporter lock?

    Oh boy. 1 star.

    1 Star. I long since lost interest in Chakotay and these two had no chemistry. The plot was anemic. At first in the teaser for a brief moment given her familiarity with the crew it might have been Kes.

    Every single thing about this episode it completely horrible. Every...single...thing.

    Zero stars.

    At first I thought that the whole forgetting thing made no logical sense.

    But then it occurred to me that on every episode of Voyager, for the most part, the crew has forgotten everything that happened on previous episodes. So I guess that's how it works!

    The first three-fourths or so were pretty dry and boring, with Chakotay coming off as way too Vulcan-level of reserve (OTOH, ironically, Tuvok making a joke was not great but pretty nice, at least trying), but the ending was quite strong, for as little interest in the relationship before (and as familiar as the type of story was) it was still effective to see Kellin so different and self-critical and not want to get close to Chakotay and for him to have to try to deal with that. It spoke interestingly to how, in general, are identities and actions can really depend on our memories and how without them the effects could be really different.

    Yeah, there is considerable hypocrisy in Kellin formerly being a tracer, that felt so unaddressed that it almost felt addressed-that she did feel a lot of conflict about whether she should leave, if doing so was right, but her love for Chakotay overcame her initially wanting to/thinking she had to go back. But there should have been more dealing with possible regret.

    Not sure why Janeway didn't have regret about having helped return a "fugitive" although that term implies the other had committed a genuine crime or was somehow actively harming Voyager so wasn't just a refugee.

    Kellin did look and even act quite a bit like departed/forgotten character Kes, not sure whether that was intentional but it probably was, that doesn't add or detract much.

    Turns out this is a very forgettable episode -- boring, pointless, and one that doesn't focus what would have been the more interesting parts of the premise. Instead it's some kind of stupid romance story with absolutely zero chemistry between Chakotay and Kellin.

    I know there's some weird alien capabilities out there but this ability to make people forget longer term memories, making tricorders/transporters not work is a bit farfetched. The episode went on a bit too long with Chakotay not remembering Kellin and then Kellin not remembering Chakotay...ugh. And then the transporters work on the aliens in the end -- was there an explanation given for that?

    I just kept thinking Kellin has something nefarious up her sleeve -- there was something inaccurate about the acting for somebody helpless claiming asylum. The closed society is one of Trek's stupid notions -- I suppose some cultures could be like that but this one has space-faring capabilities with advanced weapons. Doesn't add up.

    So this tracer shows up on the ship and zaps Kellin and then plants a computer virus so that Voyager won't remember their appearance on the ship. And then him and Kellin are able to transport away. This kind of crap bugs me in that it's inconsistent and the writers just do whatever to make things wrap up nicely.

    1.5 stars for "Unforgettable" -- was the point of the episode to get Neelix to spew some lines about analyzing love? That wasn't bad but this was just a boring episode full of holes -- it wasn't turkey-level bad, but it was rather bland. At one point Chakotay is supposedly showing rage against the tracer for zapping Kellin -- but he seemed to back off as if realizing he's an officer. It was just a weird, pointless episode.

    Voyager continues to have the worst "science" of any of the ST series up to this point (yes, I'm including TOS, by the standards of its day). But aside from that, a few miscellaneous thoughts:

    It's a good thing the stowaway wasn't on a ship of one of the many Hard Headed Aliens, or the captured Tracers (Voyager caught two) would not be returning home, and in some cases, they'd be gleefully tested/dissected and their secrets revealed. Fortunately it's the friendly Federation.

    As soon as Kellin's cloak failed in her first visit, an intruder alert went off. Boy, it would be great if Voyager's security were actually that tight!

    Why would the last Tracer break the vase to "warn" Kellin? Ridiculous. And why wait until she's with Chakotay before zapping her? Again, with any other host ship, he'd have been shot, perhaps killed.

    Speaking of shooting... twice Chakotay was far too slow to fire. You do have a stun setting, you know? WIth the last Tracer, but more egregiously with Kellin when he encountered her in the cargo bay: he had the drop on her, then waited while she turned and brought her weapon up to aim at him. It looks very cinematic, but it's crap... he had no reason to assume she wouldn't simply tighten her finger on her trigger, and down he goes like a chump. Having a bead on someone else first doesn't mean you win the standoff once everyone's aiming at each other!

    And speaking of shooting again... "oh noes, cloaked ships are shooting us, and we can't target them". But you CAN see the energy beams, which we subsequently saw emerged at the peak of their ship. They didn't even try targeting a few metres back from the source of the next beam? No, no person might have reflexes to allow that, but, you know... 24th century tech with superluminal computers?

    A related note: in the battle between cloaked ships, those same proton-based beams (we were told that's what they used in both cases) were not visible... which makes no sense unless somehow their cloaking effects were touching. Which brings up the cinematic-necessity-but-aggravating-stupidity of their space battles always being shown at insanely close range, though sometimes we're told they are thousands of kilometres apart. But they move around each other, and collide, as if they really are a few ships'-lengths apart. Again, watching dots zap invisible light beams at other distant dots wouldn't work, but ... please let me accept this is just a visual convention, and don't get confused and have ships bumping into each other every time an engine is taken out!

    Chakotay, paraphrased: I fell for her again, why couldn't she fall for me again? Well, it took you a couple of days to come around - you gave her five minutes in sickbay. Sometimes love takes a whole hour to blossom, it's such a mystery!

    And finally: the story idea that Skeptical wrote, years ago (comment far above): now THAT would have been great to explore. That could have been a fantastic episode! Real tragedy coming organically out of their differences, as Kellin leaves. For that I would have accepted a mystical "can't remember them after a day" effect, not just from their presence, but just the way they leave a "virus" in the mind that erases their memory... so she leaves, Chakotay struggles to keep her memory alive by re-reading about her daily for a few episodes... until one day he can't, and... she's gone. There's a reminder to read about her, but... she means nothing anymore. Damn.

    June 29, 2018

    This ep should be deleted period. The writer(s) should be horsewhipped for daring to put this on the air. I would never believe anyone whining that load of garbage AT me.

    This ep is on right now on H & I, closing out in fact and I have no intention of watching it ever again.

    Neelix should be killed off in this episode.

    If some guy popped up in my face carrying on like Kellin did AT Chakotay, I would knock him to the
    floor and dare him to get up.

    Whoever was responsible for this was his dream woman. For god sake get-a-life-- TO-him!

    Speaking of DS9, if you want my opinion you will get it even tho' you don't want it.......the last two years of that series I do believe the cast was being punished because they complained a lot. Terry Farrell was denied a raise BECAUSE HER CHARACTER wasn't worth anything, they did not need her... ... I don't blame her for refusing to renew her contract.

    LET ME TELL YOU PEOPLE THIS: I HAVE BEEN WITH TREK SINCE THE INCEPTION OF THE KIRK GANG WAY BACK IN THE 1960'S. I would not want to live in that universe. NEVER, NO NEVER would I want to be on one the ships because no one can keep them running. IS THAT TO BE OUR SPACE FUTURE!!!!!!???????

    Awful episode. This one manages to be worse than profit and loss from like season 3. At least that one tried to be funny but this one is full of crap. Also akosha mooyah is such a wuss. I would have phasered that guy 9 ways to sunday. If janeway cries I'd just say han solo shot first.

    I found the Ramurans to be a very interesting race. They should have been portrayed not as conventional humanoids but more as a prey species whose evolutionary pressures turned them into something very unique in the galaxy. Sort of like the creature that Geordi morphed into. It's hard to imagine why a human-like, predator race would develop these abilities.

    Regarding their insular policies: I can think of a few reasons why it is wise to prevent people from leaving. The obvious reason is that they do not want other races to be aware of them. They have tempting technology and some tech-hungry cybernetic neighbors.

    Another, more interesting reason, is that they do not want to cause harm to others. Think of what Kellin's presence means to the people she is around: they forget everything about her and, very likely, everything they were doing while in her presence. That's akin to being in a coma or being so concussed that portions of those days are simply gone. Such a species may very wisely recognize the invasive nature of their abilities and somberly seclude themselves to an isolated existence. It must be a heavy thing to cause temporary brain damage to everybody just by their presence, not just for the guilt but for the isolation.


    Very weak. Poor Beltran, I think he deliberately phoned this one in.

    It was mostly silly. She's known Chakotay 2 weeks, but she left everything for him? Left behind her whole life, violated laws she had been part of upholding, put herself and Voyager in danger, all for a guy she's known two weeks and who won't even remember her? I mean Chakotay is good looking, smart, and kind, etc. But still . . . 2 weeks?

    Just not effective.

    Hello Everyone!

    @Gary wrote:

    Which brings up the cinematic-necessity-but-aggravating-stupidity of their space battles always being shown at insanely close range, though sometimes we're told they are thousands of kilometres apart. But they move around each other, and collide, as if they really are a few ships'-lengths apart. Again, watching dots zap invisible light beams at other distant dots wouldn't work, but ... please let me accept this is just a visual convention, and don't get confused and have ships bumping into each other every time an engine is taken out!

    I think on this nearly every time I see a space battle in ST. As far as I can recall, the only time they said they were farther away, and the ships didn't seem to be at point-blank range, was in "Balance of Terror". Of course the Romulan ship was mostly cloaked, but I really felt it was truly a ranged fight. Especially when the Enterprise just starts lobbing photon torpedoes in the general area they thought the enemy might be in (and I know they said phasers, but it was torpedoes shown, just a minor oops before they got things straightened out).

    Regards... RT


    Yes, BoT was a classic WWII depth charge type battle. Agree, phasors were used here but the desired effect was photon torpedoes. This was Kirk v the Romulan Commander. Kirk for the win.

    I created this account to defend this episode from literally a decade of trash talk on this site.

    It’s really not that bad, it’s kind of good, Virginia Madsen is incredible as always and it’s great to see her branch out into Trek/SF.

    What makes Voyager stand above the other Treks - at least, when re watching them - is the boldness of the writers to experiment. The whole premise of VOY is unique in allowing complicated, one-off episodes that don’t have to mesh with the complicated history/myth is pre-existing in the Alpha Quadrant. And that includes different genres and styles.

    So yes, they went whole hog for an SF romance episode. Skip it if that’s not your bag. There are some flaws with the structure of this ep as others noted, hypocrisy/plausibility issues. But it’s a huge sub genre - I’m surprised HBO hasn’t done a whole series like this - and I both support the writers for being experimental, and kind of enjoyed it. Neelix was great as a romantic advisor, Tuvok provided some straight man perspective, and the Beltran-Madsen chemistry worked well I thought.

    Also, I thought she was a devious lying alien the whole time, so the surprise twist that it was all true was totally unexpected. Another great ep from my favorite trek.

    I HATED this episode. I am not a fan of love stories, and the fact that this one has to be all forgotten by the end of the episode makes it even more worthless.

    I actually agree with Akoochee-moya in that I thought she was lying. I actually hoped she was so there would be something interesting happening

    Some interesting concepts, but a dull episode with little to get the viewer hooked.

    The guest star wasn't particularly gripping (she did indeed resemble Kes) and the overall tone seemed very laid-back.

    Given the clear advantage conferred by cloaking technology time after time, one wonders why the Federation always refuses to have anything to do with it (use or countermeasures) given their access to it from TOS onwards.

    The concept of a 'secretive' race was later explored a little further in 'Riddles' with the Ba'neth going to similar lengths (though in this episode' how a pheromone or computer virus could be relied upon to target ALL biological and technological systems of ALL races with any reliability to 'hide' the aliens is asking a real suspension of disbelief.)

    The concept of a 'chaser' targeting runners was more interestingly dealt with in Logans Run, with Michael York similarly playing a gamekeeper-turned-poacher.

    Ironic this episode is name “Unforgettable”. It’s name should be “Completely Forgettable”. This is about as hum drum as it gets. If you are not a completionist skip this episode at all costs it’s a bad one. And even worse than bad it’s extremely boring

    Just bad.

    Everything that happens after the midway point (i.e. Chakotay's otherwise inexplicable about-face) is Neelix's fault.

    I can't say I blame Chakotay entirely. To paraphrase another commentator higher up in this thread, if Virginia Madsen showed up at my house claiming to be in love with me, I probably wouldn't turn her away either.

    1 star, tops.

    This was the first episode of Voyager I ever saw. Ironically, considering the title of the episode, and for reasons I can't explain, the way Virginia Madsen delivers the line about pudding lodged itself into my brain and has stayed there since 1998. I'll probably be on my deathbed and will think "...and you refuse to eat pudding because you think it's slimy."

    I'm not quite sure what to think of this one. I don't dislike it, but it is fairly middle of the road, and I don't find Virginia Madsen's performance all that compelling. I normally enjoy a Chakotay-focused episode, but this one does not really play to the character's strengths, apart from perhaps noting that kindness is one of his more prominent attributes, and it's what attracted Kellin to him. I agree with Jammer that there does not seem to be a lot of chemistry between the Kellin and Chakotay, and she never really seems as desperate as she should be, given her situation. I think a greater on-screen passage of time and a bit more intensity in the performances might have helped, but the episode is very low-key, for the most part, given what the stakes are meant to be. Like I said, not bad, but not terribly good either.

    Am I the only one who thought this was good because it was an original fairly unique alien species? Indont think we've aeen one like this before in any Trek..or tje idea of phereomones that erase memories and ships and life signs that phase in and out sortnof and can't be stored in memory..isnt that pretty imaginstive and menorable? Do people agree with that at least that the episode wasn't derivative? I wish season 7 and second half of six were more like season 4..

    >Do people agree with that at least that the episode wasn't derivative?

    I think this episode shares similarities with TNG 4x14 "Clues". I only gave this episode a 3/10 but don't have notes explaining why.

    I love this one--it's one I will put on to have in the background fro "comfort sounds--but I can still see the flaws. There are, indeed, lots of holes in the explanation for how Kellen's species can erase things.

    But I still like it--I love Virginia Madsen, I love Robert Beltran, and I thought they had good chemistry. But I also love Jeri Ryan and I didn’t buy HER relationship with Chakotay for a second. It was like the writers flipped a switch one day and said “Seven is now charming!” THAT relationship completely contradicted what we knew about her.

    This one is a fun "relationship of the week," and I liked it.

    Imagine if the episode was about the computer virus attempting to be selective but deleting important keywords etc. throughout the database, leading to many opportunities to choose from, comical and serious. From a possible core breach by excessive erasure of the word "not" to holographic historical figures confused by their own dysphasia.

    I like to think when it comes to the superior aliens that they send their worst instead of their best and brightest and that's why we get these guys or why the Voth got caught.

    Not much to say about this one, I just found it really boring. I felt like I was watching an old episode of Days of Our Lives.

    This was Robert Beltran's favorite episode? No wonder he wasn't a fan of Trek... he wanted to do pointless dull love stories.

    To be fair if I got to spend that much time with Virginia Madsen it would probably be one of my favourite episodes too.

    Dull romantic stuff without chemistry or proper characterisation, background disturbing and completely unexplored plot stuff , "seductive" female character who is actually annoying... half of star for Tuvok's jokes and Neelix pretty understated behaviour/advice. Not saving this either in my or digital memory. I guess effect of those aliens influences me too:-P

    Btw if someone wants to watch good tragic love story with losing memory I recc film Little Fish 🐟

    I agree with several above commenters, Kellin would have been a lot more interesting if she was struggling with regret over her own recent choices to hunt down Defectors before becoming one herself.

    {{ It appears that Voyager's policy for the imprisonment of aliens is that you can arbitrarily lock people up for enforcing their own laws on their own people }}

    That one I get - you're on-board Voyager, you have to play by Voyager's rules. You want to hunt down and forcibly alter someone else's mind in the middle of space, that's one thing. Come on board someone else's ship who doesn't agree with that sort of thing and try it, you ought to get locked up. "Build your funeral pyre; beside it we will build a gallows. You may follow your custom, and we will follow ours"

    You know, I want to give the writers credit for inventing The Silence a decade before Doctor Who did so (I wonder if the Who writers saw this episode and thought "We can do that, but better", or if it was independent invention). But I can't give them *too* much credit because it just didn't work here. That sort of thing really belongs more on Who than Trek anyway; Trek is rarely hard science, but this concept is too much into the fantasy realm.

    I would give this maybe 2.5.

    I didn't see this as a paint by numbers romance at all. I really had no idea where this was going.

    I thought Beltran played Chuckles well here in that he was suspicious of the woman's claims, and that they didn't have any chemistry.

    This might well have been unintentional-- it's well known Beltran despised how poorly stereotypically Chuckles was written.

    But this woman was working Chuckles nonstop, right from the beginning, to a grotesque level. She knows well how her world works, so why was she acting like he would remember? It's ridiculous. Chuckles was exactly right to say he wouldn't play her game.

    Frankly, this one is built so much on questionable memories, my assumption is that it's the Unreliable Narrator trope run wild.

    And yes, that the lady looked so much like Kes plays right into that. It's such a curious casting and makeup choice, surely this was intentional? But why did no character notice this?

    I'm not particularly troubled by Kellin's hypocrisy. She's just selfish which is why she can create double-standards, in order to survive and get what she wants. The biological mechanism for memory erasure makes sense, but erasing technological readings violates the laws of physics. All credibility was nullified when the premise was introduced. After that it was just one bad romance cliche after another, but without the on-screen connection to make it the least bit fulfilling.

    What a lousy episode.

    One thing I don't understand is why no one ever asks Tuvok to mindmeld with someone to see if they are lying! So many times aliens are either dishonest or distrusted in this show, and it barely ever comes up!
    The episode wasn't to my tastes

    Submit a comment

    ◄ Season Index