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Why Star Trek: Strange New Worlds Fans Think Memento Mori Is The Best Episode

"Star Trek: Strange New Worlds" has already proven to be a hit. The series serves as a prequel to Kirk's iconic years at the helm of the USS Enterprise while bringing back legendary characters such as Spock (Ethan Peck) and Uhura (Celia Rose Gooding), who serve under Captain Christopher Pike (Anson Mount). "Star Trek: Strange New Worlds" has been certified fresh at Rotten Tomatoes and currently holds an 80% approval rating among fans. Considering the well-known zeal of "Star Trek" fans, this is no mean feat.

Series creators Akiva Goldsman and Alex Kurtzman have said that the series aims to recapture the feel and values seen in classic "Star Trek." Between the show's retro-futuristic look and its return to an episodic format, it would seem that the showrunners took fans' gripes about "Discovery" to heart.

This return to the tried and true seems to have worked and many social media channels, including the r/StrangeNewWorlds subreddit, are full of praise. However, the episode that best encapsulates the overall enthusiasm held by fans is Episode 4 of the first season, "Memento Mori." The episode, which sees the Enterprise attempting to evade a fleet of ships piloted by a brutal alien race, has been singled out for particular praise. Here's why.

Memento Mori builds on the best of classic Star Trek

"Memento Mori. episode 4 of SNW, is one of the best Star Trek episodes I've ever seen," writes u/Longjumping_List_188 "and I'm a child of the '60s and thus the original series." The comment highlighted the episode's similarity to "Balance of Terror," Episode 14 of the first season of "Star Trek: The Original Series," in which the Enterprise engages in a cat-and-mouse game with a Romulan warship — much like that with the Gorn in "Memento Mori."

The inclusion of the Gorn, a race seldom seen since "Star Trek: The Original Series," was also praised. "I love that they made the Gorn one of the big bads of this series," wrote u/Spyhop, "and I love that they're dragging out the reveal of what they look like." The traumatized memories of La'an Noonien-Singh (Christina Chong) confirm what fans already knew about the Gorn's ruthlessness.

In this respect, "Memento Mori" captures exactly what the creators of "Strange New Worlds" set out to do. While the show does use an episodic format, it also builds on previous episodes and "Star Trek" lore. Speaking with TrekMovie.com, Goldsman made clear that throughout these episodic stories, "Our characters will carry with them what they suffer from, or what they learned, from episode to episode. But the stories are episodic. And that allows us to do something that 'The Original Series' is quite good at, to give you slightly different tones."

It appears that the creators have hit the sweet spot. "Already watched it twice and it's my go-to recommendation to anyone who is on the fence about a new ST show," wrote u/orcinyadders. "I'm not even sure how they managed to get this series so right, but it feels like a gift to fans old and new."