This review contains spoilers.
'Forget Me Not' ... not the worst episode in 'Knight Rider's first season (far better than the dud 'The Final Verdict' a few episodes previously), and this story has a few fair ideas and moments, but it sadly ends up feeling rather half hearted, with not enough drive to the plot to make it as good as it potentially could have been.
The story starts with Michael already working with young Marie to try and prevent the assassination of her father, a South American ambassador. Sometimes I don't mind things starting a way into the proceedings, but I did find that on this occasion, it left some early stages of the plot a bit hard to fully grasp and get into, as there felt to be a number of questions and holes that were never fully answered, at least not early on enough.
The first stages of the story play out rather James Bond-esque, as Michael, after leaving the beautiful Marie at the beach house, infiltrates the bad guy's mansion, where a party is being held, meeting several more "lovely ladies" as he creeps around the lavish estate trying to get info about the plot. It is here he meets the kooky Micki, who goes on to accidentally overhear the bad guys' assassination plot, and soon after leaps from a moving car as they try to get rid of her, tumbling over the side of a cliff and loosing her memory. Tsh, always the way isn't it!!
Micki is played by Judy Landers, a regular 1980s guest role performer often cast in such "quirky bimbo" roles, who often trod the fine line between being likable, and out-and-out irritating, as she does her with Micki. Don't get me wrong, Landers works with what she's given regarding the character, but I know many will find Micki's kooky routine rather grating.
The overall plot of the episode feels like it should be a good one, but never really feels tight enough or fine-tuned enough to make the episode feel like one of the show's better outings. For one thing, even beyond the blurry opening about the planned assassination attempt, we never really feel to be introduced to the bad guys sufficiently (instead getting a couple of nameless henchmen), and the assassin – while supposedly a huge threat and having potential – feels to be introduced too half-heartedly too late on, leaving him to not feel the huge menace we are led to believe he is. Not to mention that the whole "trying to get Micki to remember in time" thing lacks the urgency it could easily have been given.
The climax, of K.I.T.T. pursuing the assassin, who is fleeing on horseback, is maybe a little better than I had remembered, though is still nothing really spectacular and maybe goes on for a little too long. Also, some of the time, I felt that this whole storyline was maybe a pre-existing plot concept (as maybe evidenced by the multiple writing credits on the ep) that had been "moulded" to fit the series, as was sometimes the case with shows in their first season ('Starsky & Hutch', for example).
This is the final episode to use K.I.T.T.'s original "blinking red light" voice modulator (though it will be seen on the opening credits until the end of the season); from the next episode, the first of several incarnations of the more familiar "three bar" modulator would be introduced. Also note how, after sounding very subdued in the early episodes, K.I.T.T.'s voice is evolving by this point.
I've commented in some of my reviews for previous episodes in the season, how most of K.I.T.T.'s on-board monitor graphics in the first season are embarrassingly bad, looking to be converted from some dodgy old Atari game. When Michael and K.I.T.T. are pursuing the bad guys' car, at two points during this story, notice the amusingly video racing game-esque graphics on K.I.T.T.'s monitor – they are actually footage taken from the earlier episode 'Deadly Manoeuvres', when Michael was indeed playing a video game through K.I.T.T.!
Also to spot is use, once again, of stock footage of the car plummeting over the cliff, taken from the 1977 film 'The Car'. This footage had already been used to represent K.A.R.R. plummeting to his (seeming) doom in 'Trust Doesn't Rust' a few episodes ago, and here is used again! As well as being totally unconvincing model-wise (even in the brief shots we get, we can clearly see the whole front of the car, especially headlights, nowhere near resemble K.I.T.T.'s), this whole sequence – as K.I.T.T. comes to rescue Michael from the henchmen on the beach – feels so weak, even by production standards of the era. We get the unmatching stock shots, following by K.I.T.T. landing on the beach at a totally different, totally unconvincing angle!
As covered in a couple of my previous episode reviews, most first and second season episodes were also re-edited into a hacked-up half hour format (for some US syndication and overseas markets). I may be mistaken, but after the initial run of 'Knight Rider' had finished in my local ITV region (Thames; where they annoyingly chopped their final fourth season episodes up into two halves, playing the first half on Mondays, and the conclusion on Tuesdays, in a 5:15pm slot!), I seem to recall this was the first of these sawn down half-hour versions of the first season that they showed (as per usual, not even in any sort of proper order). Even as a young boy who wasn't "in the know", I could tell that these horrible 22-minute versions were heavily chopped down from the originals (often leaving the plot near impossible to completely follow), and loathed them as a result.
Anyway, all-in-all… there are some reasonable concepts in this story, and for that, I *want* to like this episode a lot more than I actually do. It's not the weakest episode of the first season (as I mentioned at the top, my vote would probably go to 'The Final Verdict' on that one), and I suppose the episode is alright for a watch every few years, but considering some of the other greats the series offered, it's hardly one of the better episodes. I give 'Forget Me Not' a 7.5 rating (for its better elements).