Memories of a lost love and the loss of those memories are explored in the episode that originally aired on April 22, 1998. This is Unforgettable.
Captain’s Log Stardate 51813.4 Unforgettable
An alien woman claims to be Chakotay’s lost love but no one on board remembers her…not even Chakotay.
Voyager stumbles across a battle between two ships and is hailed when the battle ends by a woman claiming to know Chakotay. Rescuing her from her ship, she is taken to sickbay to have her wounds treated. There the Doctor finds that all of his scans vanish soon after being taken but she is not critically harmed.
Waking, the woman asks for asylum and soon informs them that she is from a species that emit a special pheromone which blocks memories and interferes with scans. Known as Kellin, she indicates that she and the crew of Voyager met once before when she was searching for one of her people who had hidden on their ship but no one on board remembers her. In fact, she herself is now on the run as she has fallen in love with Chakotay and no longer wants to hide.
Chakotay is skeptical at first but, over time he soon begins to realize that Kellin’s story is plausible, especially when additional cloaked ships arrive demanding Kellin’s return. Easily defeating the ships with Kellin’s help Kellin assists in making modifications to the ships sensors that would allow Voyager to detect any additional incoming ships.
That night, after Chakotay finds himself unsure of his feelings for Kellin, the two find one another again and realize that their love is indeed real. They stay up in his quarters with her recounting their first meeting. Soon it is clear that Kellin will be remaining with the crew and Chakotay arranges to have her work with Tuvok on the security team as she has had a similar background.
Things turn bad, however, when another of her species, Curneth, arrives and is able to erase some of her memories before he can be stopped. In sick bay it soon becomes clear that there is nothing they can do to stop the memory loss and Curneth is both unable and unwilling to help stop it. With Kellin’s memory of Voyager and her relationship with Chakotay erased, she goes back to her people and all trace of the experience is erased from the ships logs.
Chakotay, knowing that his memories of Kellin are fleeting, hand writes his log in hopes that he can preserve that instance of love. Talking to Neelix, Chakotay can not understand how she did not remember him and their love after he remembered her. Neelix has no answers only that love is indeed a mystery.
Is this a ‘Good’ Episode:
This is yet another ‘it happened but never happened’ or ‘it was all a dream’ episodes and that really annoys me. Sure, the events take place but by the end no one remembers any of it so does it really count? I mean really?
Okay, It is an interesting premise, a race that can be easily forgotten…hmmm I wonder who could have taken that idea later on….ahem…. Plus, Chakotay really has been in the back seat for a bit so it was nice to see him have a story again. The problem is…the events of this story have literally no bearing on the overall narrative, do nothing to drive any of the characters or the plot forward and, as I mentioned above, will not even be remembered by the crew. So, while it was indeed a neat story…it is literally a forgettable one despite the name of the episode itself.
Despite being rather forgettable, the episode itself is well written and the cast do a marvelous job in the story. In fact the guest star in this one is one of my favorite actors, one Virginia Madsen in the role of Kellin. You might remember Madsen in a film with another Trek Alumni Tony Todd entitled Candyman so it was really awesome to see her appear on Star Trek as well. In fact, not only do we get a marvelous guest star but the director is none other than Garrak himself, Andrew Robinson. It is a real shame to have such a tremendous group in an episode that really serves no purpose but…you know…you can’t win them all
Gleanings and Cool Bits:
- 0 photon torpedoes fired, 19 remaining.
- 0 shuttlecraft lost or destroyed, -1 remaining
- We learn that Chakotay doesn’t like pudding and fried food hurts his stomach. What kind of monster doesn’t like pudding?! No wonder Chakotay is not one of my favorite characters….monster.
- Tuvok tells a joke about assigning Kellin to work with Neelix. It’s a rare moment but pretty good.
Thanks for reading the Retro TV Review, I look forward to discussing the rest of the series with you, one episode at a time every Monday, Wednesday and Friday! Next Review:Living Witness
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Late To The Game 10/23/2020
Special Thanks to Memory Alpha as they are one of the best sources for details on Star Trek information available. Although I have a pretty deep knowledge on the subject, they have proven invaluable as a regular resource.
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