Superman on Television
Lois & Clark: Episode Reviews
Season 3 - Episode 18: "Forget Me Not"Reviewed by: Rob Ó Conchúir
Originally Aired: March 10, 1996
Directed by James R. Bagdonas
Written by Grant Rosenberg
Larry Poindexter as Dr. Maxwell Deter
Charles Cioffi as Dr. Elias Mendenhall
Audrie Neenan as Nurse Reilly
Julie Cobb as Sally Reynolds
Patrick Cranshaw as Homer Blackstock
Lillian Adams as Agnes Moskowitz
Vasili Bogazianos as Detective McCluskey
Steve Kehela as Robber
Michael Lee Gogin as Shifty Looking Man
Lois has lost all of her memory, much to Clark's frustration and heartbreak. He meets with a Neurologist named Dr. Deter who warns Clark not to let Lois know about their relationship as it could impair her chances of recovery.
Clark investigates a murder involving a grenade shot into a house. At the scene of the crime he finds traces of a strange red plant. Unbeknownst to Clark, one of the doctors at the Neuroscience Centre is brainwashing patients to perform murders for money.
Clark gets the plant analyzed and finds that it's from a rare plant known as the Scarlet Posidium. Jimmy warns Clark for the worst, but Clark evades him. Superman visits Lois and she asks him about Clark and he tells her that they are very close. Dr. Deter tells him that he shouldn't be visiting Lois without approval and the two men argue over her.
Dr. Deter begins to make romantic advances towards Lois. Superman watches over her from afar.
Lois notices that the rare plant seems to grow on the Neuroscience Centre's grounds. She is confronted by Dr. Mendenthal and he brainwashes her. The Kents are denied access to the centre by Dr. Deter.
Lois visits Clark looking to mount the investigation - he begins to notice signs that she's regaining more of her memory. Superman brings her flying. Clark sends Lois flowers that are then confiscated by Dr. Deter. Lois calls Clark worried that she is being brainwashed by Dr. Mendenthal, but Clark believes her to be confused and delusional. When Superman stops her from killing Perry, he realizes she was telling the truth.
Clark and Dr. Deter confront Mendenthal about his brainwashing operation and Superman stops his hypnotized army from killing Deter and Lois. The majority of Lois' memories return but she still doesn't remember being in love with Clark, and reveals to him that she has fallen in love with Dr. Deter.
Review Rating - 2 (out of 5): An infuriating episode - there's nothing particularly wrong with the writing, it's just incredibly clichéd, some of the actions of the characters are horrendously questionable and it seems designed solely to prolong the romantic tension between Lois and Clark instead of relishing in their relationship. Its content to coast along on saccharine promises of reunion only to delay the inevitable for as long as possible.
The greatest obstacle this episode and indeed the "Lois Amnesia" arc has to climb is the fact that Larry Poindexter playing Maxwell Deter simply isn't very good and seems to have only been hired for his looks. He's sniveling and lacking in any charisma or presence and it's ludicrous to think that Lois Lane would be vulnerable enough to fall into his arms, when she's showing so much affection towards Superman. That said though, it's similarly maddening to think that Clark has so little time or patience for Deter's advice regarding Lois' memory - if the guy says leave Lois alone and stop rubbing your relationship in her face, why can't Clark do just that? I know he loves Lois and it's very difficult, but Clark has previously shown superhuman levels of patience and understanding in times of crisis, not to mention respect for medical practices and conventions - if anything I feel like Deter would be quicker to pull the wool over his eyes.
There was one effective scene however - Jimmy trying to suggest to Clark that Lois might not recover, followed by Clark's stern refusal to accept anything less than a full recovery is very good. It shows the potential dangers of Clark's determined optimism - if Lois didn't recover would he be able to handle it? Again it's some of Dean Cain's better acting and Justin Whalin sells it too, to give credit where credit is due. The scene of a panicked Lois trying to relay her situation to Clark only for him to assume that they're the mad ravings of someone who is suffering from delusions is entertaining, if a little exploitative. I feel like it might be the scene the writers built the whole plot of the episode around.
The side-plot regarding Perry White's possible romance with the Mayor's aide is more than a little uncomfortable - isn't it a conflict of interest for the head of a major newspaper that prides itself on transparency and truth? Even stranger is how award-winning journalist Clark Kent eggs him on, like it's harmless. Huge flaw in journalistic integrity there, guys. Also, has Lane Smith started wearing a hairpiece? His hair looks similar to the way it did in 'Vat Man' when he was having a midlife crisis and was actually stated to be wearing a wig. It does not look good.
The idea of Lois and Clark deciphering the root of these brainwashed killers being a rare plant that only grows on the premises of the Neuroscience centre is such a comic book cliché that I wonder if it was intentional. Dozens of Batman and Superman comics from the Dick Sprang/Wayne Boring Silver Age era saw them finding crooks that way - there'd always be a rare soil sample on their footprint that would conveniently lead them to a specific part of Gotham or Metropolis.
That's pretty much it unfortunately - one of the weakest moments of the entire series and a clear sign that the show was suffering from network tampering that didn't want to marry off Lois and Clark. I'd also like to add how farcical it is that the Kents have flown to Metropolis AGAIN - I usually like to save that observation for the funny little notes at the end, but blimey - how many thousands have they spent on flying in and out of Metropolis?! Couldn't they just buy a house there? They're series regulars anyway, what's stopping the writers from not having to have Jonathan say the same old tired line every week? Really annoying now.
Some stray observations:
- "That's twice in two days I almost bought the farm." Lane Smith, you never let me down.
- "You're the strongest man in the world, but there's such gentleness in your eyes" - Blech. Awful 90s music as well.
- "I feel like Nancy Drew - whoever that is."
- Superman spies on Lois from afar, similar to his questionable x-ray of her house in "Superman Returns". It's arguably a little bit more forgivable and less invasive here, however.
- Dr. Mendenthal's brainwashing technique is hilariously cheap - it's like a 1995 Powerpoint presentation sped up.
- Perry White straight-up clocks a guy in this episode. The sound effect is louder and more dramatic than it needs to be, which was really funny.
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