90 – Unforgettable

Grade: D+

Unforgettable (1998) on IMDb


Harry Kim is explaining to Chakotay why he needs to realign the ship’s sensors. Suddenly, there are proton surges near the ship and the Voyager crew realize that there are two cloaked ships battling each other. One of them explodes, and from the other ship, a female alien calls for Chakotay by name.

It turns out that this alien claims to have fallen in love with Chakotay over the past couple of weeks. But nobody on board remembers her, and there is no record of an alien having been on board the ship recently. Could this be a trick, or could her story possibly be true?


Well, it’s kinda hard to not like an episode that stars Virginia Madsen, but honestly, this one was not all that great. This episode is trying to be this series’ version of City on the Edge of Forever or The Inner Light. The difference is that in Unforgettable, the story feels forced and contrived. It’s too far-fetched and too hard for me to believe.

For starters, these aliens are extreme xenophobes, but it goes far, far beyond that. Just to make sure nobody ever knows anything about them, they track down every single defector of their race. Then they make sure to erase their memories of the outside world. They’ve also developed a computer virus that can erase virtually any computer system’s memory of them and events that took place while they were there. That’s pretty sophisticated. Maybe they can help us make our Macs and PCs to talk to each other.

But seriously, what does this virus do? Does it leave big gaps in the computer, or does it fill those gaps with non-essential information? So in other words, after all of these events are forgotten, would anyone see anything in the computer that shows that absolutely nothing happened for two weeks? Or would it show that Voyager flew around in a void and didn’t see anyone or do anything at all during that time? That’s a pretty sophisticated virus, to say the least.

They’ve developed some kind of pheromones or something that erases all memories of them in people. OK to me, that just doesn’t make any sense whatsoever. It has no basis in science or in evolution whatsoever. It only exists in the story so that when we watch this story, we know Chakotay will have forgotten everything about them. Interestingly enough, I think most of the audience will forget this episode as well.

Voyager’s writers just don’t get it. This story is about people forgetting that they were in love, but they never took the time to let the audience in on the story. If they were in love, why can’t we see that? That’s probably the biggest reason why this doesn’t work. At the end, Chakotay tries to help convince the alien that they are in love, but he gives up after about a 2 minute conversation. Does that seem like the actions of a man who is in love with a woman who can’t remember him? No, it seems more like the actions of a character who has been written pathetically. It sounds like the actions of an actor who knows he has to finish this scene quickly because the episode is ending in 3 more minutes.

But really, none of the ship’s characters acted the way I expected them to. One alien beams onto Voyager with a weapon, with obvious intentions of taking the girl back with him, and nobody does anything to prevent it. They wait until AFTER he zaps the female alien with a gun that makes her forget Chakotay, then they throw him in the Brig until the female alien has completely forgotten everything. After Chakotay’s aforementioned pathetic attempt to help her remember, they just let the aliens go. Again, this doesn’t seem like the actions of people in love.

In short, this episode is useless. It’s called Unforgettable, but that’s obviously a misnomer. There’s nothing worth remembering about this at all. Even though Chakotay writes his feelings with a pencil on paper before he forgets everything, he may as well throw the paper away because we all know this alien and this event will never be mentioned again. I would have loved to have seen him write down his feelings, get up from the table, suddenly forget everything, then throw the paper away because he thought it was too sentimental and ridiculous. At least that would have been funny and I wouldn’t feel like I had wasted my time watching this junk.

Of Note

Right after the first commercial break, Chakotay asks “who are you?” to the guest star in today’s episode. Right after that, Virginia Madsen is shown and credited on the screen. Kinda funny.

At one point, I wondered if this Kes look-alike (same hair, same ears, same voice, etc.) would actually join the ship as a regular guest star. I’m actually disappointed that she didn’t. THAT would have actually been interesting and have shown that Voyager’s writers actually CAN do something unexpected.

I thought of the film Logan’s Run when Virginia Madsen said her job was to chase down “runners.” I wonder if that was a deliberate reference to that movie.