Star Trek 186: Remember Me

186. Remember Me

FORMULA: Where No One Has Gone Before + The Mark of Gideon

WHY WE LIKE IT: Great Twilight Zone premise. That cool vortex. The absurdity of it all once Beverley is alone.

WHY WE DON'T: Maybe they let the cat out of the bag too soon. The zen/technobabble scenes.

REVIEW: A very strange reality-bender, Remember Me is one of actually few Crusher episodes made during the series' run, and probably one of the best, by virtue of having her in practically every scene. When you know the premise to begin with, yes, you do see it coming when she disappears from engineering, but I don't think you're meant to upon first watching it. It's a fairly short scene, and quickly forgotten, especially since the creators wisely decide to still have Wesley's experiment featured as a possible cause of the problems even in Beverly's reality.

And there's a lot of both tension and humor to be had with the disappearing crew, as things get more and more absurd and eerie. My favorite bits are when running the ship becomes nigh impossible, but everything is still justified in the minds of everyone but Beverly. At times, she gets a bit strident, forced to play the same emotion for an extended period, culminating in a forced scene where she describes crewmembers to Picard almost in "series bible" terms, and again, they try to have her confess something to Picard only to interrupt her mid-sentence (enough already). But once she's alone, there's a great sequence as she asks questions of the computer, revealing the nature of the problem and of the universe. She makes a great detective, and we're right there with her, never questioning why she's verbalizing everything.

Of course, by that time, we know the truth ourselves, and I'm almost sorry to get the revelation, because I know it's gonna be a lot of technobabble. If it'd been only revealed at the very end, it would have been something of a cheap deus ex machina, so it was probably hard to gauge. The way the revelation is made, however, is really cool, as we cross through the vortex ourselves. That vortex effect is pretty simple, but it does the job, and has Beverly exit the bubble in a most dramatic way. The return of the Traveller shows him in a most boring light (why... does... he... speak... so... slowly?), but means Wesley's destiny is still a concern for writers. Overall, the episode hinges on how well Dr. Crusher can handle being in the driver's seat, and she does very well indeed - a far cry from the sappy character from season 1.

LESSON: Crusher-based episodes don't have to revolve around anyone's medical emergency. More please.

REWATCHABILITY - High: I find that even when you know what's going on, this is still very fun to watch. Sure it's a mix of zen and technobabble, but Beverly's reality can be enjoyed for what it is - a cool reality bender with plenty of suspense.



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