The Orville

“Cupid's Dagger”

2 stars.

Air date: 11/9/2017
Written by Liz Heldens
Directed by Jamie Babbit

Review Text

The title for "Cupid's Dagger" tells you a good deal of what you need to know about this episode. It's in a long tradition of farcical comedies about people falling in love for reasons outside of their control, leading to broad silliness and embarrassment. Usually the question for a show like this is: Did I laugh or did I cringe? Maybe both?

Indeed, I saw this plot just earlier this year with Grimm's "Blind Love," which was a fun example of good-natured silliness as a humorous detour. It made me laugh, especially when a character fell in love with himself and sang into a mirror. That was a good twist. On the other hand, the cringe example that always immediately springs to mind is DS9's "Fascination," which was just an awful collision of characters rushing to the front of the line to embarrass themselves.

"Cupid's Dagger" is probably closer to the cringe example, but nowhere near as bad as "Fascination," and with a few laughs that emerge from one notable twist in the scenario. Now, you must accept this on the level of "extremely silly" for it to work at all, which is fine. But it would probably be better if it didn't unfortunately lean into some of the worst ongoing character material on the series — namely the rehashing of the reasons behind the Ed/Kelly divorce, which this story all but revolves around, and Yaphit's borderline-stalker-like pursuit of Claire. Meanwhile, it features a placeholder "mediating two warring third parties" backdrop that is perhaps the grandest of all Trek clichés. (Yes, the plot is a means to the comedy's end, but that doesn't make those scenes any fresher.)

We've got two races who have been at odds forever over ownership of a planet. A recently discovered artifact may prove via DNA testing who the rightful heirs to the planet are. An archeological expert is called in to do the test that will resolve the dispute. That expert turns out to be Darulio, the blue man whom Kelly cheated with on Ed back in "Old Wounds." That Darulio is played by Rob Lowe in his affable I'm-just-being-me-and-not-looking-to-hurt-anyone mode (think Parks & Recreation) probably saves this episode from a great deal of unpleasantness. Lowe is good casting, creating a likable guy instead of someone who could've easily come off as a total douche.

But rehashing Kelly's affair and all the histrionics that go with it (didn't we have to sit through this bickering in "Pria" already?) is an enemy to comedy, drama, and entertainment in general. It feels like it should be beneath these characters. It's cringe-inducing material, and not in an effective Office or Curb Your Enthusiasm kind of way. It's merely dumb and pointless and makes you feel sorry for actors being asked to wallow in such material. (Well, you don't feel sorry for Seth MacFarlane, since he's the one who allowed it in the first place.)

Things get worse before they get better. Kelly sleeps with Darulio again, and Ed walks in on them again, and Darulio explodes blue liquid from his face again. Har har. But it's clear even before it's explicitly told to us that Kelly falling for Darulio is because of sci-fi reasons. (Darulio goes into heat once a year, and his pheromones make anyone he touches fall insanely in love with him.)

The twist here, which makes the episode bearable, is that Ed finds himself falling for Darulio, which leads to some funny scenes where Ed spends time in Darulio's quarters and just stares at him in awe, and fawns over him with cornball lines. And it's funny to watch the focus of jealousy shift among the vertices of the Ed/Kelly/Darulio love triangle. This seems to be much more in MacFarlane's wheelhouse as an actor, and he throws himself gamely into these scenes and is much more natural playing them.

As for the material between Claire and Yaphit, the less said, the better. Watching Clarie fall under the influence and throw herself at Yaphit feels more like "Fascination"-level character humiliation than humor, and all the shapeshifting goo-sex that goes along with it felt dumb and unseemly rather than funny. While I know there's no ill intent behind this plot beyond goofiness, watching Claire throw herself at someone who has basically been sexually harassing her in most of his scenes is questionable, especially given our current state of heightened awareness for sexual harassment in the entertainment industry. Bad timing, I know. But even apart from the timing the implications are there.

And you have to wonder why Darulio would allow this to continue without explaining himself. This is something that happens to him every year, so doesn't he have some responsibility for being proactive about preventing it? (I know; asking logical questions where they aren't wanted.)

As for the predictable application of Darulio's gifts on the ambassadors to stop a war and make everyone just love each other — well, it's an obvious move you can see a mile away, and it plays as silly, but it's not exactly a believable solution, even for a few days while the true ownership of the planet is sorted out. Hey, whatever, man. We're not supposed to care about any of this, which makes one wonder why the story spends time on it.

"Cupid's Dagger" is silly and light and dumb, and that's what it's going for. But it's only sometimes funny and it requires you to sit through too many things that are annoying in order to get to the good stuff. Since this is a straight-up comedy episode, your mileage may vary.

Previous episode: Into the Fold
Next episode: Firestorm

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100 comments on this post

    That was by far the worst episode of The Orville to date - and I'm saying that as someone who has generally liked (but not loved) the series. A true pile of steaming fecal matter.

    I could spend a good deal of time dissecting the episode, but honestly there is little to analyze here. Why they chose to return to the worst concept in the entire show (the Mercer/Grayson divorce) and base an entire episode around it is beyond me. Worse, once it became clear that this was a "love sickness" episode, it meant that any character development meant nothing, because the three characters affected weren't in their right mind at the time. I particularly hated at the end how it's implied that Grayson maybe was "under the influence" when she cheated on Mercer in the first place, as it destroys one of the few potential complexities about her character.

    The sexual innuendo was on a high gear in this episode. I think this one deserves to be R rated with all the sexual scenes. One of my favorites is Bortus signing Celine Dion. The story line flows from one episode to the next one. Seth is killing it. Not everyone would like to see that kind of behavior in a Star Trek series. The blue guy created a conflict and ended a conflict in a very weird way by using pheromones intentionally or not, it sounded a lot more like dishonesty. It remains to be seen on how Grayson/Mercer reacts after this whole manifesto in future episodes, at least it solves one puzzle at a time. These characters really shined under very difficult circumstances which made it almost impossible to resist. I'm giving this a rare 3 out of 4.

    That was a lot of fun. I didn't think it would be because Trek has a long history of these types of episodes being stinkers but they managed to pull off the comedic elements here. The only thing I *really* didn't like was the very end, implying that Grayson had no choice over her decision to cheat on Mercer. That's a cop-out. On the other hand, maybe we can FINALLY move on from this baggage now.

    Darulio is from a different species with different reproductive capabilities and different sociological mores. He is also an archeologist who spends times on different worlds with (assumingly) varied reproductive mechanisms. He shouldn't be expected to look at everything through a human lens.

    I don't think it's fair to tar the character with a "rape brush" for his (plausible) biology and culture.

    Maybe in the 24th Century, we humans (after being exposed to alien biologies) will have a different group of sexual mores than we have now. Kelly, Ed and Claire's reaction to this turn of events would support that conclusion.

    Besides, this was Cupid with his bow and arrow comedy . . . much of the humor was in the fact that this CAN'T happen in the real life we viewers experience.

    There are no love potions.

    Anyways, I liked learning more about the crew and I laughed my ass off. ( I had to pause after the line about "Kelly's dry ass banana bread" . . . too freakin funny!)

    Maybe not a 4 star episode, but easily a 3.25 just for the fact I busted a gut more frequently than anything I've recently watched.

    PS- Loving the variety of episodes we are getting.

    Next week's looks to be one of the "serious" ones! I can't wait.

    Well, he did use his powers to explicitly trick the ambassadors and it's pretty screwed up not to tell anyone that he's in heat. I find it hard to believe this would be the first time this has come up if he's a xeno-archaeologist.

    I get that it's a comedy ep, but eh even ignoring all that I'm not a fan of the divorce plot in general.

    I liked how weird Finn and Yaphit having sex was though and the cold open was funny. The plot was just pretty weak and Ed/Kelly's divorce remains a dull plot point.

    Loved it. This is what I was expecting the show to be all along. Was it a little absurd? Yes, but it totally worked. The karaoke scene was fantastic, Seth did a great job acting out a schoolboy crush, and even the elevator music made me laugh.

    Rehash of a bunch of TNG/DS9/VOY plots bundled up together, re-marinated, and re-served, via a bland ship with a bland bridge (who picked the depressive colors of the interiors?)

    That being said, I laughed hard on this one in many scenes. And that is what I look for when I watch The Orville, a light-weight but humorous version of pseudo-Trek, so for me, it succeeded. Certainly better than the last two dud episodes.

    So, this episode riffed off 'The Naked Time'/'The Naked Now' a bit, as well as any other Trek episode where the crew are under the influence of something, but hey, I don't mind.

    Was it over the top? Yes.

    Did it make me wince and cringe in embarrassment once or twice? Yes.

    All the same, I thought it was pretty entertaining, and I actually did laugh in a couple of places, so all good.

    I really do like the overall chemistry with the cast, it seems like they all gel really well (which is much more than I can say for that other turd we all seem to watch every week).

    I like that Alara's got prominence in this series, and I love her no-nonsense attitude. She's plucky and fun to watch.

    Overall, I'll give this 2.5/4 (Jammer System). Solid episode, if a bit of a lightweight. Still fun to watch.

    Slightly off-topic: it's only this week that I learned/realised that Klyden is played by Chad Coleman, aka Fred 'The Butcher of Anderson Station' Johnson from The Expanse.

    Another side note: I kind of like running joke with Bortus and his singing, but we never get to hear it. They'll have to deliver eventually, though!

    The almost-Celine Dion moment might have been the funniest gag so far.

    I think it's fair to question the morality of the Rob Lowe character's actions for sure. And you can wonder whether the two fleets would have gone along with their ambassadors, or decided they must be traitors. But I had a good time with this episode overall, and when not thinking about these issues too hard, it went down really easy.

    For a "lovesick" episode, it's a masterpiece. Still, I'd put it at below average for this show. I disagree that there wasn't any character development though. Some characters got to show their straight-man side, and hopefully the whole infidelity subplot can go away after this.


    'I think it's fair to question the morality of the Rob Lowe character's actions for sure. And you can wonder whether the two fleets would have gone along with their ambassadors, or decided they must be traitors.'

    Fair points. I think, though, within the context of the nature of the show itself — it's not meant to be taken too seriously — I think one can skip over that without worrying too much about it.

    Oh dear.

    Haven't yet gotten around to see this one (life got in the way) but I gotta say that the combination of Seth MacFarlane and the general topic presented here doesn't instill me with confidence...

    We'll see how it goes.

    (and off I go for a couple of days to avoid spoilers)


    All I'll say is that — if nothing else — it (hopefully) resolves the whole Ed/Kelly infidelity gag, and moves on from it.

    This episode was fine. We had several grim episodes prior to this, and I don't mind a lighthearted episode from time to time. The Ferengi episodes were in my opinion the best thing about DS9. What can I say? Sue me.

    Ugh, why does it seem like every sci-fi show inevitably plays sexual assault for laughs? This reminded me a lot of Lucious from Stargate Atlantis and that’s not a good thing. Look, this guy didn’t “accidentally” touch anyone (except Yaffit). And he certainly didn’t have problems taking advantage of the situation - which he knew nobody was aware of except him. He even fesses up to Alara. This is just gross.

    "Ugh, why does it seem like every sci-fi show inevitably plays sexual assault for laughs?"
    Maybe because you have some weird ideas about what sexual assault is? There wasn't any shown in this episode.


    Good to know that if I go and roofie someone and then they want to fuck me than I'm totally good to go and it definitely isn't rape. Thanks for that knowledge.

    Have to agree with the previous posters, this was basically the Orville's take on The Naked Now/Time with a dash of Lwaxana Troi's Betazoid lady hormones making everyone jumpy from DS9's Fascination.

    That having said :-) It was light hearted, no taboo fun. Is it really rape when both parties are pheromonically induced to feel like they gotsto gotsto have it? Isn't that what being in love is all about? Discuss.

    Also, kudos on McFarlane for not making any big deal or lame joke about Ed's apparent bisexuality. It is what it is, let's move on. And, as a gay man myself...


    I don't think Ed is bisexual, it was just the influence of the pheromone. Malloy tried to point this out as a reason why he was confused.

    I'd just like to observe something about the Orville vs Discovery. I stopped watching Orville after the pilot, as I knew the show wasn't for me. But I've also noticed the negative posts about Orville petering off, which I assume means that the people who hated it have stopped watching, or at least stopped posting about it. By contrast, both the people who like and hate Discovery are still watching and still posting. I think this is quite telling about the pull a 'real' Trek series has, which is that even if people don't like it they'll stick with it for a reasonable duration because of the name, whereas with Orville it seems many had no compunctions about bailing quite quickly. When we consider the viewship of a show and fan loyalty, I think it bears mentioning how much of a boon a Trek show has in its built-in audience, who will even keep watching if they don't like it (at least for a time). One more reason why I believe giving the fans a show they'll admire is more important in some ways than going for something totally new that will alienate many in the long-term. Sure, you can count on them to watch for a season maybe, but after that if they bail you've just lost a loyal customer, and that's a very different kind than a fly-by-night customer who watches a bit because the show's ok but aren't going to stick with it long-term.

    For the Orville, because it's a different kind of show they'll have to cultivate their fan base from scratch to an extent; they won't have the luxury of sitting on the laurels of Trek fans. The pilot probably benefited from Trek fandom, but the longer it goes on the more it will have to establish who its fans really are. As we've seen on these boards many longtime posters aren't posting about Orville any more, and that's sort of the way it should be. Everyone finds their niche. But for Discovery, CBS really needs to be careful about taking care of their loyal fans before they lose them. At that point not only do their ratings suffer, but so does the entire franchise, as it will be harder to get the disenchanted ones invested in the next series or film to come.

    @Peter G.

    I would just add that one reason the negative comments declined after the pilot is that it got a lot better after the pilot.

    @ Dobber,

    Look at who's been posting about Orville for the last few eps. There's some overlap but it's mostly not the same people who comment on Trek series.

    Just as a case in point, I'm fairly sure that had I kept watching my reviews would have been anything but positive. I backed off the series for a reason, and I'm not saying this to insult the show but rather to suggest that people who knew it wasn't for them seem to have backed away from it, while Discovery has a hold over us whether we like it or not.

    do we really need to derail this into Orville vs Discovery again

    So all those times of our playing Yaphit's sexual harassment of Finn for laughs was buildup so that we could play Finn having sex with him while drugged for laughs?

    Frak this show. My line is crossed. I'm done now.

    If the comments thread needs to be full of "is it really rape?" then your show is doing it wrong.

    Oy. A bad episode. We clearly aren't meant to take any of this seriously, but just as is often the problem with The Orville, it wasn't funny enough to NOT be taken seriously. There was no great humour here. Just low-key, cliched, old-hat stupidity. So, it's stuck in that in-between, where the writers can write sloppily, and then defend it with a, "Just kidding! Don't take so seriously!"

    And yes, the whole thing was rapey. Look, love potions go way back and have a long and respectable literary tradition. It worked for Shakespeare, after all. But the reason Midsummer Night's Dream still works is because none of the characters are actively doing it to any of the others - the lovers are all victims of the fairies. That's the humour. They're victims. They're not perpetrators. If, in Midsummer's, Puck threw a love potion at someone to get them to fuck HIM, that wouldn't be funny anymore. That would be gross. Also, in Midsummer's, they don't fuck. They just chase. It's the chase that's funny. Shakespeare knew that. Most classic comedies know that too. This episode, on the other hand, thinks that people being forced to have sex against their will is funny. Maybe, in a comedy written by geniuses, it would have been. Here. it was not.

    Here, this blue guy knew exactly what he was doing. It is certainly not the first time he has been around humans, and he knew what effect his hormones would have on others, and then he had sex with them anyway, knowing HE had caused them to desire him - gross. Really gross. If some alien consciously got you drugged enough to fuck him, you would be messed up for LIFE. Here, it's played off as a gag. The Captain's not mad. The XO's not mad. It's all in good fun. Yech.

    I am generally of the opinion that almost everything is okay, as long as it's funny. Offensive humour, envelope-pushing humour, taboo-breaking humour, it's hard to argue with any of it if it's funny (since humour, almost by definition, requires the pushing of boundaries.) I have, truth be told, heard a funny Holocaust joke. I have heard funny slavery jokes. I have also laughed at rape jokes (one or two of them, to be bluntly and topically honest, told by Louis C. K.) But this episode just wasn't funny enough to get away with any of those choices. There was no brilliant insight behind the choices, no social consciousness, no shocking irony; the rapiness was not wielded for any great artistic or comical purpose. It was just the product of a lazy plot and the need for a quick resolution. It leaves a very sour taste.

    Beyond all that, the episode was unusually uninvolving. Normally the silliness and triviality of this show is still entertaining in a guilty-pleasure sort of way. Not here. This just felt trivial.

    I wouldn't want to duel on comparing Star Trek Discovery and The Orville. If you go into Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum episode in ST:D, take a look at the comments area. Some people there are drawing comparisons between these two franchises. I have never seen so many opinions drawn between the two in a generation. I am pleased of how The Orville is running the pony show. It's catering to an untapped people's market, by no means of idiots who wants to see a show that isn't too Treky.

    While I still think this episode was unfunny and terrible, there was the kernel of a much more interesting, but still disturbing, episode buried within it.

    Let's take the character of Darulio. He's basically been described elsewhere online as "blue Cosby" - he lets his natural pheromones make people become "lovesick" for him, and then has sex with them. By our standards, he is a rapist, full stop, in the exact same way that someone who knowingly takes drunk woman home while fully sober is.

    By his own standards, however, he clearly doesn't see it as rape. As he says, in his culture it's considered rude to turn down sex. It doesn't appear that the crew of The Orville see it as rape per se (although Alara seems disgusted by him).

    Imagine if the show ran with this line instead. Where The Orville crew were horrified that "sober" consent had not been given, but Darilio was just perplexed, because that was just how his species mated. Now that would have made for an interesting - if somewhat icky - episode.

    The suggestions that Darulio "drugged" the Captain and XO are way off the mark. Think about how consent works in our own society. Two people meet. They are affected by the appearance, personality and pheromones of each other. Then they may decide, at some stage, to sleep with each other. How is the situation in this episode any different in principle? It's not. There's no suggestion Darulio even intended to seduce either of them (and even if he did, what's wrong with that?). Decisions to consent are always mediated by pheromones, by perfumes and colognes, by makeup and affectations, by behavior intended to seduce. We don't consider any of this "wrong" when it leads to someone wanting to sleep with another. If Darulio's conduct in refusing to turn down either of them was wrong and illegal, then practically all instances of consent to sex between humans are null and void.

    @Lobster Johnson

    As I understand it, that was a synthetic pheromone based on Darulio's physiology. And we do not see the ambassadors engaging in any sexual assault.


    I'm failing to see how tricking two people into sleeping with each other via what is basically a drug is not a huge moral red flag.

    I guess if I use my natural charms to woo someone and eventually sleep with them that's also rape, because hey, Millenial logic, and hey, I need to somehow justify the fact that mostly all I do is consume popular media, and hey, all I have to fill the spiritual void inside me is my identity as a right-thinking modern saint.

    @Lobster Johnson
    Did the ambassadors sleep with each other? I must have missed that.

    @Dave in MN

    "Maybe in the 24th Century, we humans (after being exposed to alien biologies) will have a different group of sexual mores than we have now."

    I've wondered that too, in light of the TNG episode in which Dr. Crusher slept with Commander Riker while he was carrying the Trill symbiont, and the DS9 episode in which Sisko slept with Mirror Jadzia. That's got to affect their professional relationships with each other.


    Yeah, this isn't even ambiguous. In real life, pheromones do not remove your ability to choose. This blue alien FORCES people to want to have sex with him. That is proven when those same pheromones are used to take two bitter enemies and MAKE them fall in love/lust with each other. There was never any doubt in his mind that it would work. It was GUARANTEED to work, even on bitter enemies. That proves it removes the free will of the individual. But only for a few days. And then, once those days are over, and the pheromones wear off, their free will comes back, and they will remember that they actually hate each other. So it also removes their memory of their own actual desires. And yes, it is very strongly suggested that these two men had sex, or definitely will in the next couple of days.

    So, clearly these pheromones MAKE people, without their consent and without their ability to stop it, desire sex with whoever got them on you. It is exactly like a love potion right out of Shakespeare or Greek myth (hence the title of the episode). The episode WANTS us to understand that these people had no control over their actions. That is the source of the "humour" in the episode (measly as it is.)


    I really do not think it is that simple. Where does "control" begin and where does it end? There are women and men who have incredible sexual magnetism, whether by pheromones or by charm, to the point that people find it hard to resist feeling very attracted to them in their presence.

    Do we really have the control that we are led to believe? It is unfortunate the episode didn't touch more on this issue. The legal system simplifies the way biology works to make sure people are not taken advantage of sexually. In biology, things aren't so simple. The body reacts biochemically to the sensory impressions of a person to whom one is attracted. Not just pheromones, but someone's appearance, how their voice sound, their intelligence and how they express themselves. If there is enough attraction there, our cultural norms embedded in the memory engage the rituals leading up to sex.

    Free will is simply a legal and philosophical convenience - neurobiology has essentially already disproved it. What our culture and legal system counts as consent takes place after the body's chemistry has done its work. The natural processes leading up to the giving of consent is no different from what we see between Darulio and his "victims".

    Legally, the Captain and XO have consented. What makes Cosby's victims different? They were put to sleep by drugs, physically unable to consent. There is a world of difference.


    Best Orville episode yet.

    Listen folks, "The Orville" is NOT Star Trek. All it is (and what I believe it should strive to be) is a breezy, funny, and entertaining weekly action show which uses TNG as a template.

    That isn't to say that it can't break it's own mold and become a fairly straight Rick Berman Star Trek clone someday, and a new character, new writer/producer, new idea might inspire the show to evolve into that direction, but so far I say this show works best when it doesn't take itself seriously.

    Take last week's "Into the Fold", for example; a fairly straight Rick Berman Star Trek clone that is barely better than the worst episodes of Voyager or of Enterprise. This episode was at its best when it tried to be funny (the comic timing of the "glory hole" joke, Isaac's "vaporise" line) and at its worst when it tried to be anything else. After seeing this nadir in Brannon Braga's writing career I felt concerned for Orville's future.

    And then "Cupid's Dagger" showed me what The Orville can be at its best; a breezy, funny, entertaining episode that uses TNG as a template so that we Trekkies can latch onto something which is familiar (the ready-room, the bridge, replicators, turbolifts, sickbay, grey spaceship, etc) and simply focus on the story without exposition needing to explain the tech or setting.

    The Bortis/karoake scene; hilarious. The elevator scenes; irreverant. The entire episode's tone is just what it needed to be. Did you really want to watch an episode of the Orville simply dealing with peace negotiations? Deep Space Nine knew you didn't, that's why "The Storyteller" gave us the wrinkle of the teenage girl (and speaking of DS9, "Cupid's Dagger" is a better episode than "Fascination", I hope you agree).

    Yeah, the Clare stuff is cringe-y and mostly there for plot reasons. I kind of forced myself to ignore it — and the current events ties, judt to focus on a funny pergormance from mcfarlane.

    Is the episode saying that sexual, er, mistakes shouldn’t be a big deal? Not sure whether that’s a disturbing or empowering message — or both.

    I think this may be my favorite episode so far. It's goofy, and despite the high stakes of war, should not be taken seriously. Some notable things:
    -The makeup (is it CGI makeup?) was extraordinary. I'm talking both of the warring aliens, the guy running the karaoke, and the guy on the elevator.
    -Kelly's facial expressions when Ed interrupted her and Darulio. It's too hard to describe, so go back and watch it again. She's got some comedic skills, and I can't wait to see more of them come out as the series continues.
    -Rob Lowe, though playing the same character as he did on Parks and Rec, was a great guest star. I bet we'll see more of him.

    I'm surprised no one mentioned ENT 'Bound' yet. Same basic premise. Alien comes on board and releases pheromones that make people fall in love/lust with them.

    That episode wasn't all that good, and neither is this one.

    I especially didn't like how it opens up the chance for Ed and Kelly to get back together because she was 'maybe' being affected by Darulio's pheromones when she cheated on Ed. Not that I really liked that whole plotline to begin with, but at least it created some tension between them, that is now going to 'maybe' disappear.

    1 1/2 stars.

    Josh has a point, but so do the people disagreeing with him. The fact that natural pheremones can lead people even in our world to do things they might not have otherwise undergirds his point, as does the fact that free will is an illusion, and it is different when pheremones cause someone to want to have sex with you than it is to simply take advantage of someone you have drugged into unconsciousness. But the fact that Rob Lowe's pheremones are so much stronger than ours blurs the issue. It's a grey area to some extent.

    @Troy Gravitt: "The elevator scenes; irreverant."

    I'm glad you reminded me about those. They were really hysterically funny, yet still realistic. And of course I like that you pointed to the Bortus karaoke scene, which was brilliant.

    I've always rolled my eyes at aliens with drastically different appearances finding human women attractive. A giant amoeba thing should find a human women grotesque.

    I enjoyed this episode. In fact, in many ways I'm enjoying this show more than Discovery.

    I thought it was quite interesting to have a species that has such strong pheromones it overpowers people. It's actually quite effective from a biological point of view.

    Such bad timing with the subject matter of this episode. Especially now with the George Takei allegations...

    One of the curious things about the show is that the characters act and talk in a very unintelligent way - like valley girls and meatheads - even in working hours. This helps build the story: e.g. you put an idiot on that Facebook Like planet, or in charge of a diplomatic mission, and it's plausible when everything quickly falls apart.

    But it's implausible that these people would ever be employed in these kind of roles in the first place. You have to suspend disbelief a lot to believe people like Darulio would be a leading archaeologist, that most people on the bridge would ever be trusted in that kind of job and so on.

    This article pretty much is in line with my thoughts on this episode.

    1.5 stars from me.

    @ Alexandrea:

    "So all those times of our playing Yaphit's sexual harassment of Finn for laughs was buildup so that we could play Finn having sex with him while drugged for laughs?"

    Perhaps not (though I have no info to the contrary, just some speculations). I've actually been wondering whether, by season's end, Yaphit is going to (sincerely) apologize to Dr. Finn about his behavior towards her.

    Honestly, up to this episode, I really wasn't sure what the Yaphit / Dr. Finn "arc" was really going for. Was it indeed meant to be funny? (As Yaphit is a gelatinous creature, I wondered if perhaps he wasn't even meant to be taken as a serious, "real person" character.) And did it imply that in the Orville-verse, sexual harassment is accepted?

    But between this episode now and the real-life Weinsteins and Cosbys and Spaceys and such, I can picture something different. It's worth noting that whereas Cosby drugged and raped women; Weinstein leveraged his power to force "consent"; and Spacey groped and otherwise inappropriately handled men; Yaphit did none of these such things. Rather, he repeatedly pestered Dr. Finn to go out, and, yes, said strongly sexually-suggestive things to her.

    What he had been doing was wrong; was indeed harassment; and would be grounds for dismissal from a workplace. But, I'm not sure that that anything he did was ever criminal (by today's standards). Aside from what I outlined above, for instance, he never even threatened her in any way, or made her feel unsafe.

    Further, this episode seemed to establish that he loves her, or at least thinks he does. Now, by no means am I implying that unrequited love gives anyone a right to try and pester another into agreeing to a relationship, or consenting to sex. You have to respect others as people--as equals--such that if they are not interested in you, no matter how good your intentions may be--no matter how well you may envision yourself treating them in a life together--you have to accept that a relationship just isn't there. (And might I add with Yaphit's "awful boys of yours" remark, if you're interested in someone with kids, of course you have to accept and care for your potential step-kids as well.)

    So Yaphit has indeed been harassing Dr. Finn, though perhaps not in a threatening, criminal sort of way ... but he's still indeed been in the wrong, and, he seemingly needs to learn what truly caring about someone is all about. (It should not have taken a threat of reporting on Dr. Finn's part to get him to stop ....)

    But now to the rest of this episode. Since Yaphit had absolutely no idea that Dr. Finn was under an influence (he was perplexed as to why she changed her mind about him, and he initiated neither their first kiss, nor the sex), he wasn't guilty of taking advantage of her. Aside from harassing her at the beginning of the episode, in fact he wasn't guilty of anything. But he finally had Dr. Finn presumably caring for and being interested in him ... only to later be shot (stunned, presumably), and finding out that it was all not "real". (A bit of poetic comeuppance?)

    Might seeing how different Dr. Finn was under the influence than not help clue him in to the fact that she simply doesn't care for him that way? And given that he never did threaten or assault her, might he feel really, really bad and guilty, that in a sense he had sex with her against her will (even if it genuinely appeared otherwise to him, such that he wasn't himself guilty of anything?)

    Hence, Yaphit may have just grown as a character ... and some time in the last four episodes of this season, perhaps he just will offer a truly heartfelt and sincere apology to Dr. Finn for how he had acted and treated her before.

    Maybe? And if the "arc" does finish in any way like this, would all those harassment scenes and the arc itself be redeemed?

    I loved "Fascination" and I loved this - guess I'm a sucker for a "love virus" farce episode when it's done well, which this was (and as a bonus it was queer-inclusive too). It was funny, engaging, used the characters well (good ensemble writing), had a strong character core with the Ed/Kelly/Derulio triangle, improved as time went on, and I liked how Alana was the straight man who took control (ably supported by Bortus and Isaac), showing development from ep 2. Even Gordon was well-used in his limited appearance (as an already goofy character, it was a wise decision not to involve him in the farce side of the ep but to just use him intelligently as support, in a positive way that still allows him to be a relatable everyman but not an idiot). Another non-Macfarlane script that got both the humor and the characters more right than the Macfarlane eps.

    As I said last week, that will be the key to this show going forward - the more good non-Macfarlane scripts, the better. And after him having written most of the first half of the season, I think he's smart and generous enough to now let others take the helm. 3.5 because it defied expectations by being hilarious, ingenious and warm.

    Oh, and the Finn/Yaphit scene was the Kira/Odo sex that we never got to see...


    A good post, and I agree with the nuances of your assessment, particularly that Yaphit is guilty of harassment, but not guilty of assault.

    The only thing I will add is that I wouldn't hold my breath for an apology or realization on Yaphit's part. The comedy here is aiming at the level of a teenager from the 80's - the joke is how different and strange-looking and gross Yaphit is. That's the punch line, the source of the humour: look how gross he is! And he's trying to seduce her! Eww! So, yes, we aren't meant to see him as a person, per say, and his harassment is meant to be funny and irritating and disgusting, and not something we should take seriously or judge morally. This is clearly problematic, which is why none of that plot has worked yet, and I don't expect it to be redeemed with any last-minute epiphanies from Yaphit, either.

    Hmm Seth finds his acting voice when he’s portraying bisexual character tendencies. Surprise! I liked Rob Lowe. I thought it was him throughout and he carried the part with ease. Otherwise it felt like a well traveled script. It had the feeling of an episode of The Office, as was mentioned earlier.

    I do not think the timing of the episode is unfortunate. MacFarlane was making Weinstein jokes years back, as he was Spacey jokes. The fact that Rapp has come forward is stunning. If there is truth to the Takei allegation then that is stunning also.

    It's a shame that they couldn't finish the ending the way they wanted, maybe they had time constraints in finishing this episode. I would think this one would have been an hour and half episode. Darulio, the blue man would announce the findings and then the captain would have had this under control and then work with the ambassadors to stop a war rather than having Darulio use up his usual tricks which was kind of silly. It had potential of a very strong ending, that's all I'm asking for. :(

    As for Chad Coleman (Klyden), he, like the Sonequa Martin-Green, the lead of ST Discovery, was a character in The Walking Dead.

    I also enjoyed this episode. I’m surprised Jammer dislikes this show so much. It may be he hasn’t internalized the joke of The Orville, which is nostalgia with a mild comic twist, along with some very good sci-fi ideas — a slightly more sober version of Futurama.

    As I smile at these scenes, I find myself chuckling and often staying, “that’s so charming!” This show has a very sweet demeanor, unlike Family Guy, for example, which is mean-spirited to the core and characters show zero growth (but that’s the point of that comedy, and I appreciate it as well).

    Just me openly musing, but I do wonder if the people offended by this light -hearted episode speak out as strongly (or speak up at all) about the rampant blatant misogyny and sexual violence in hip hop culture.

    It's easy to criticize when you feel you're in a safe space, but if you aren't willing to be consistent in how you apply your outrage (no matter the blowback), why bother complaining?

    These protestations amount to lip service, as far as I'm concerned.

    Misogyny? Wut? Sexual violence? Wut?

    Did we watch the same episode?

    Hip hop also isn't inherently misogynistic or sexually violent. Some of it is, but then so are many other forms of music. Like rock music, just off the top of my head.


    I did want to mention that I liked the elevator stuff. That was funny as hell. 'IS IT YOUR JOB TO RIDE THIS ELEVATOR!' lol.

    Re: Takei, I recall some anecdote in Leonard Nimoy's second autobiography I Am Spock about Takei behaving inappropriately (something fairly serious, not comic-inappropriate) during the filming of The Naked Time. Nimoy also touches on a particular male exec being inappropriate with a female cast member (I think Grace Lee Whitney) in the same book. It's 20 years since I read it so can't 100% recall.

    “But it's implausible that these people would ever be employed in these kind of roles in the first place. You have to suspend disbelief a lot to believe people like Darulio would be a leading archaeologist, that most people on the bridge would ever be trusted in that kind of job and so on.”

    You’d be surprised, though. As the intro to her Wiki page says, “Emily Bazelon (born March 4, 1971)[1] is an American journalist who is a staff writer for The New York Times Magazine, a senior research fellow at Yale Law School, and co-host of the Slate podcast the Political Gabfest. She was the former senior editor of Slate.”

    Despite that obvious gravitas, it took a while for me to take her completely seriously because she kind of sounds (to me anyway) a little “Valley Girl-ish” when she talks. Check her out starting at 3:25 here and see if you agree:

    And obviously ordinary crewmembers of a ship would not be expected to be as highfalutin’ as she is, not even close.

    “It's a shame that they couldn't finish the ending the way they wanted, maybe they had time constraints in finishing this episode. ”

    What do you mean? Was this in an interview or something?

    Well, I'll say this for "Cupid's Dagger":

    It was certainly better than TNG's Naked Now (not that this says much). The comedy was okay (I did snicker quite a few tmes) and the whole thing was alot less cringeworthy than I expected it to be.

    But I wouldn't exactly call this a good episode. Still too much cringe, and some of the scenes were outright disturbing (I *might* have forgiven this if the plot or the jokes were of stellar quality, but unfortunately they were not).

    On the bright side, we've seen Claire's kids again! Even if it was just for one short scene. Yay for continuity! I honestly expected never to see them again.

    Other things that worked: Alara was great this week. Nice to see how her character grew between "Command Performance" and this one. And the Orville continues in its tradition of putting fresh spins on old stories: the production values of this one where excellent as usual.

    Oh, and was *anybody* surprised at the resolution of the "planets at war" plot? I saw it coming from a mile away. It was just so obvious...

    Well, that's all for this episode. Can't wait for next week. If the promos are any indication, we're in for an interesting ride with episode #10.

    (I wonder if I'm the only person here who's excited by the notion of following an all new episodes of new Trek-like TV series for the first time in 12 years. I forgot how exhilirating this is. Thanks, Seth!)

    Mal’s review after Jammers of...

    The Orville, season 1, episode 9
    “Cupid’s Dagger”

    “Peldor joy Yaphit."

    - Dr. Finn

    "Peldor joy to you too, Doctor.”

    - Yaphit (may not be exact quotes)

    What a fun episode! Let’s start with the great opening karaoke night. The costumes are just fantastic. The costumes on Orville have reminded me of Angel ever since the pilot had that Ogre with a chilled out personality in Gordon’s holo-simulation. But here the parallels are obvious - and very welcome.

    Of course there is a fantastic Host. Hope to see him more going forward. The Navarian ambassador reminded me of Skip, the on-again off-again demon from Angel who is sometimes on our side, and sometimes on the other. And Darulio is a beautiful blue version of the red-devil squash partner from Angel season 5.

    Great costumes all around.

    If you go back and actually watch “Fascination,” you’ll realise it isn’t nearly as bad as you remember!

    @Jammer gave Fascination 1 star, but his review was written 20 years ago!!! I seriously doubt any of us have gone back to re-watch the episode in all these years. Every time I’ve ever gone back to re-watch DS9 from scratch, I skip “Fascination” (the same way I skip “Infection” when I re-watch B5 - why torture myself?).

    But do yourself a favour, and go back and re-watch Fascination. It is not a 1-star episode. And what’s sadder is how much you'll wish Discovery might take the time to have a nice chill episode like Fascination. Why is everything a mad rush on STD?

    Back to Cupid’s Dagger.

    My favourite scene is Gordon and Mercer, when Seth is getting ready for his date with Rob Lowe.

    Gordon is confused. (And he plays confused perfectly!)

    “You’re... meeting for drinks?” - Gordon

    “Yeah. I mean it’s just - just - drinks, you know. It’s no big deal. It’s not like we’re getting married or anything.” - Mercer

    “What?” - Gordon (perfect facial expression!)

    Then later in the same scene:

    “You seem like you’re really into him” - Gordon

    “I’m not into him.” - Mercer

    “Ok.” - Gordon (super confused)

    “Let’s say, what if I was. What if I was? Why couldn’t I be?” - Mercer

    “Hey, you can be whatever you want, man. I just want you to be happy. I just didn’t know that you were…” - Gordon (with the key line for this whole thing: I just want you to be happy.)

    Later in the same scene:

    “Why do we have to put people in boxes? Why even call a box, a box?” - Mercer

    “I think it’s just easier to have words…” - Gordon. ROTFLMFAO!!!!

    I think it’s just easier to have words. Awesome.

    The point is, this light-hearted tale, a classic in the history of all story-telling, takes things to a new 21st century level. Mercer’s bisexuality is not played for laughs. It just is. And Gordon doesn’t treat his old friend any different. He just wants to make sure his friend is ok (which he isn’t exactly… this whole thing is actually caused by some alien influences).

    Only the ambassadors’ gay kiss at the end was cringe-inducing. But for a hour of TV, a man can excuse 10 seconds of camp.

    This is the second time Mercer has jumped into bed with someone. This is the second time it has complicated and undermined his command duties. And this time, his ex, Commander Kelly, is pretty clear that she doesn’t think Mercer would ever trust her enough to sleep with her again. But the end of the episode opens the possibility of forgiveness. Even between the two of them.

    Everyone makes mistakes. Sometimes it’s bad judgment. Sometimes it’s alien pheromones. The point being, a relationship is a complicated thing. And it’s hard to say what makes it work. And it’s harder still to say what will tear it apart. And hardest of all is predicting what might open the door for the possibility of reconciliation.

    But it is the Hope of coming together (in whatever combinations, whether or not they involve green goo), that is the very definition of cupid’s arrow.

    This ep shot through the heart. Well done. Peldor Joy indeed!


    "“Peldor joy Yaphit."

    - Dr. Finn

    "Peldor joy to you too, Doctor.”

    - Yaphit (may not be exact quotes)"

    This isn't the greeting they use in the actual episode, is it?


    Mal was just fooling around with a "Fascination [DS9]" reference.

    Speaking of which...

    "I seriously doubt any of us have gone back to re-watch the episode in all these years. Every time I’ve ever gone back to re-watch DS9 from scratch, I skip “Fascination” (the same way I skip “Infection” when I re-watch B5 - why torture myself?).

    But do yourself a favour, and go back and re-watch Fascination. It is not a 1-star episode."

    I've actually watched it not that long ago, when rewatching all of DS9. It's pretty bad in my opinion. Perhaps not a 1 star episode, but it is pretty close. I liked the Orville episode better.

    (then again, I adored "Move Along Home" on that rewatch, so what do I know?)

    Sorry guys, I liked this one.

    Actually aside from the weak pilot episode this is a pretty good show. Liking it more than you-know-what and that's pretty sad on you-know-what's part.


    I questioned of the ending if it was rushed or had little time to spare to complete the story. There are many outcomes that could have happened at the end of this episode. I was hoping that the Captain had full control in the end but that was not the case. Otherwise the story line was well written.


    "Every time I’ve ever gone back to re-watch DS9 from scratch, I skip “Fascination” (the same way I skip “Infection” when I re-watch B5 - why torture myself?"

    Hahaha it's pretty bad I agree but I still watch it. I skip 'Let he Who is Without Sin' every time though. Only saw it the one time it first aired. 'Profit and Lace' is worse than either of those, if you can believe it.

    Hm, I guess I have to disagree on a few points that people brought up.

    First, this episode wasn't perfect, but I laughed quite a lot - funniest for me so far. The plot was of course predictable (except for the Seth-Blue-Guy Romacne), but hey: Isn't that why we are secretly here, anyways?

    Now to my disagreement: The wrong timing (culturally speaking). In my mind, it fits exactly right. It takes an old Star Trek trope (the sudden sexual attraction to random crew members) and puts some interesting twists on it. Yaphit is more of a tragic than a comedic character to me: Wether his feelings are real, or he is just lonely, he finally gets what he wants - or so he thinks, as it is taken away immediatley. My guess is that he finally realizes that Dr. Finn is really not interested. But it puts a spin on things in the sense that his relationship to her was always on the creepy side - Star Trek or most comedies do this kind of stories with characters that basically like each other, and just amps up the sexual tension a bit. Seth's attraction to Mr. Blue-Guy falls into the same category: That such a love-drug will have unwanted and sometimes terrifying consquences. In that, it works in my opinion better than a straight up preaching episode. Just let the viewer do the thinking.

    And, given that this show is not trying to be anyones moral compass anyways, I can just enjoy the obvious joke at the end. And I wouldn't put it beyond McFarlane to revisit the two warring races, and show all kinds of ... unpleasant consequences of their actions. Drugging the two ambassadors was obviously wrong, but in the end, the lesser of two evils (if you have to choose between a single rape and total war between two species - the choice is pretty clear to me), so the episode did a good job of preemtively deflecting blame, because after all, we live in 2017, where even comedy has to tread the fine moral line every second. I also have to agree with "Dave in MN": If you want to critizise this, there is a whole world of rap for you. Whole songs that can be boiled down to "fucking dem bitches and hoes" or "commiting crime with my fellow persons of colour" and "Making love to the public safety institutions". Or, to be perfectly honest, real people who commit actual crimes, and not fictional people who are commiting fictional crimes for laughs. Well, I guess I am slightly hypocritical here, as I have complained about moral choices the ST:D characters make on more than one occasion, but everyone is a hypocrite sometimes, and they didn't play it for laughs, but wanted to be taken seriously. In the end, it all boils down to personal preference I guess.

    I'm liking, but not loving the Orville. Too much of it seems like re-hashed ideas I've seen done before mixed with McFarlane's brand of putting something cringe worthy in the scene and then kinda filming around it. This episode was by FAR the worst one I've seen. I think I watched most of it just cringing at how bad it was. Bortis about to sing and then getting cut off was pretty funny though. The rest of it was just meh to me. 1.5 stars.

    I absolutely loved it. Four stars. Best episode of the show yet. I was laughing the whole way through. I was a little dissappointed by Jammer's rating but as he himself admitted comedy is very subjective and this is the most comedic episode yet.

    I also did not see the twist coming and thought it was brilliant.

    Everything felt organic and well-paced. Yes, it was very silly, but I just went with it.

    Best scene was at the negotiation table:

    "I have to tell you something..."

    Everybody looking very serious.

    "I met the most wonderful guy..."

    Also, I don't think the show is saying Ed is bisexual (not that there's anything wrong with it), I just think the pheromones are causing you to fall in love with their source, doesn't matter which gender (or species) they are.

    Why would a species that reproduces by mitosis have sexual desires? Why am I nitpicking a comedy show?

    Boooo Hisssss!

    The sex scene with Dr. Claire Finn and Yaphit was disturbing, it suggested a certain type of beastiality, hopefully that will never be explored further on the show.

    Love this show, overall, but felt this was probably the weakest episode yet. It was a bit predictable but did have its funny moments (the elevator scenes were hilarious).

    Unlike some people on here, I'm not offended by the story or how it progressed. This is comedy and I don't think we're meant to take it that seriously. So, I didn't.

    Hopefully the episodes will get back to better stories, though. All series, no matter how great, will stumble and have bad episodes from time to time.

    @Ben S.

    "Unlike some people on here, I'm not offended by the story or how it progressed."

    I wasn't offended by the story itself either... I mean, none of the crew were themselves so whatever cringy things they did wasn't really their fault.

    What did bug me, is that Derulio is never made to answer for his actions. The excuse of "it wouldn't be a big deal on my home world" doesn't really make what he did any less criminal. He obviously spent enough time around humans (he's even been on earth!) to know that it *would* be a huge deal for them.

    The more I think about it, the more it bother me.

    And the most frustrating thing about this is that they didn't have to change the story at all in order to fix this. Just add a small scene at the end where someone (Ed or someone else) confronts the guy and tell him that there are consequences to what he did. They could have even made it funny, if they wanted. Just let us know that the characters *aren't* okay with what the dude did (and by "not okay", I mean something a little more substantial than "you made us feel bad and we don't want to talk to you. Have a nice trip home")

    I know it's a comedy, but still... The Orville is *usually* very good on the moral stuff, so it was disappointing to see them drop the ball here.

    Somehow I don't think that there would be this 'rape' uproar in the comments section if it were an Orion slave girl spreading their pheromones around. In fact, I don't think that I've ever heard anyone complain about them and the reactions their pheromones cause. I would check the comment sections to those episodes, but I'm busy - my dog is in heat, and I have to make sure that she doesn't rape any males.

    It's amusing to see one review include the line "This episode was by FAR the worst one I've seen", and the very next review says "Best episode of the show yet". And I feel like I've seen that several times before with this show!

    "The sex scene with Dr. Claire Finn and Yaphit was disturbing, it suggested a certain type of beastiality, hopefully that will never be explored further on the show."

    It's "bestiality". Pet peeve.

    Anyway, I see potential consent issues as being problematic there, but the sex itself I thought was bizarre but very interesting and funny.

    We could do without this episode. It's intended to be lighthearted but It's creepy. It follows the least interesting plots in the show, but doesn't really add anything to them. Also, there are good odds the pheromones will become a future plot hole sometime when the Orville meets humanoid antagonists.

    Derulio must have far more control of his ability than he lets on, otherwise he would have been constantly followed by a throng of humans fighting over him. The only explanation for the 'no consequences' result I can think of, is that if they arrested Derulio, they couldn't prevent him from spilling out just what they did to resolve the B plot. Still I recommend shooting on sight if he ever shows up again... if only to stop episodes like this.

    * Line of the episode - Bortus intimidating everyone to be silent before singing.

    The Bortus line is just stolen material line from Morbo unfortunately. I tried to laugh but just missed Futurama.

    Regarding the 'beastiality' comment that was made, Yaphit is a sentient being. The scene was disturbing for me due to the issue of consent (as it was for both characters after the fact), however equating sentient beings being together sexually, no matter how physically different they may be, is exactly the line of thought that has led to many terribly bigoted things in the real world.

    Prejudice against interspecies relationships like that (no matter the characters' physical forms) wouldn't be any different than the real world bigoted 'anti-miscegenation' laws and such.

    All the same, it was definitely disturbing.

    People are taking this episode way too seriously. And I'm not sure how blue guy is a rapist, considering he only seemed to figure out what was going on after Mercer fell for him and his species is so casual with sex it would actually be rude for him to have turned them down. If he was purposefully affecting them so he could get his way with them that would be one thing, but he wasn't doing that. Sure he just went with it when stuff happened but that's how his species is. And yes the thing with Yaphit and Clara was gross and demeaning to both characters. Maybe Seth thought it would've been funny like the redshirt guy and the tentacle monster in Galaxy Quest but it wasn't.

    @Darren SPOILER ALERT: Yaphit does not apologize to Claire for sexually harassing her in the season finale. UGH

    What a bunch of prudes...From which decade do you come from?
    Every time you are attracted to someone sexually, your own biology "rapes" you into liking them.
    The blue guy is less a rapist than the average Joe putting on perfume, cool clothes, sexy moves and pretending to be funny and sensitive on a date.
    In fact the blue guy is just himself. Its up to the Union to establish proper relations with his species and educate its citizens for their pheromones.
    If I am invited to a place where my physical voice is considered super sexy and women throw themselves at me, I will not warn them in advance. Making a choice is controlling your instincts. If you cannot, its on you.

    Furthermore, what is this crap cries about raping the two ambassadors? You are talking about the morons who wanted to go to war and destroy "all living creatures on their opponents homeworld?".

    I will not even dignify comments on bestiality. Its a sentient blob.

    Close minded religious PC pruds, exactly the types Star Trek envisioned humanity needed to escape from back in the 60s.


    "f I am invited to a place where my physical voice is considered super sexy and women throw themselves at me, I will not warn them in advance"

    What if they throw themselves at you because your voice is so super sexy that they are *unable* to stop themselves?

    The Commander went to the lab to tell the blue man that their previous affair was a mistake. She only 'changed her mind' because he'd touched her.

    I was a bit 'meh' about the humour (other than the elevator) but the moral questions raised were quite interesting even if, as I suspect, they were merely peripheral when a comedy episode was written and it was just the timing of boadcast that raised awareness.

    Lieutenant Alara Kitan runs to the shuttle bay... instead of calling. Way to go. She's earning her 'pay' there.

    There's the other stupid transgender episode where she runs to Lieutenant Commander Bortus. Great rehash.

    (Amazingly, we see her running in the next episode.)

    Why does the Captain locate by scanning for and then walk to the Commander's quarters and then force entry instead of calling first? It was clearly to force the encounter instead of for a believable reason.

    The fact that The Union doesn't have any information about 'space Cupid's arrow' was lame. I get it is a plot device, but it is a flimsy premise. Some 'space infection' would have been better.

    If you ignore the flimsy premise, the episode had some good potential... but fell a little flat.

    Kasidy Yates having sex with her stalker blob... that image will haunt me.
    It's kind of funny when Seth goes full blown gay but isn't Rob Lowe kind of raping them? If you shake his hand you will have sex with him? If you want to or nor?! I guess the best possible rape scenario would include Rob Lowe still...
    Especially considering that kelly had sex with him back when he also used his pheromones on her. This appears like they are creating a setup for them to get back together...

    The rest of the episode made me wish we could see the kids from the last episode argue again. I laughed a few times. So not a total loss.

    @ Booming

    The next episode is when I think the series starts settling into its groove.

    Yeah not too bad given the parameters of the story, especially once the triangle starts up, but not really funny enough and doesn't adequately address what Darulio thought was going on. Say what you will about Fascination but Lwaxana was unaware of the impact she was having. 1.5 or so.

    Darulio's hormones being, effectively, sexual mind control is definitely a step beyond how you feel when you see a chick with a bitchin' set of tits or a dude with a abs you could test car crash safety against.

    I thought it was a huge oversight to not touch on this and to not factor this information in when bringing the dude onboard.

    It also screws up what happened with the Doctor and Yaphet and makes it a lot more date rapey.

    IDK, Darulio introduced a 400 lbs consent issue Gorilla into the room and then decided to make the wrap-up more about leaving us questioning how genuine Kelly's infidelity was.

    It's just never set well with me even if I love this series to death.

    Be careful what ýou jest for. The doc and the wad of snot finally got it on nd it wasn't pretty. But it was hilarious. This whole episode was a hodgepodge of hilarious hijinks. Thoroughly enjoyable.

    Doing karaoke to 400 year old songs instead of 40 year old ones sounds rather one has to be creative.

    Much like Picard liking 1940s private dicks, Paris liking 1950s sci-fi, and Janeway liking 19th century gothic novels instead of something more contemporary (for them).

    Were the bat'leth headed aliens some kind of tribute to Trek?

    Easy to say that. So what does the music of the 2400s sound like?

    If you asked people in the 1950s what the music of the 1960s would sound like do you think they'd have much of an idea?

    Especially in Discovery most of us have been irritated ofer the very modest imprtance the rest of the bridge crew got. Here the other actors are more involved.

    Alara and Bortus steped in and both too Command. Bortus character still has not raelly developed enough and is still a little wodden but Alara is quite funny but except from that she takes responsibility. And I like that she runs insted of calling when an urgency occurs.

    Except from that, quite a entertaining and funny story. I must admit that Rob Lowe as Darulio made a quite charmimg impression.

    It might be a Shakespearean farce but for the fact that Darulio's pheromones as the triggering Macguffin means that the romantic shenanigans were largely out of the crew's control.

    I thought it was interesting how there probably isn't a latent attraction needed between the involved parties for the chemistry (no pun intended) to work. For example, it makes sense that Grayson pursues Darulio and that the puke (voiced by Norm MacDonald) quite obviously is willing to entertain Dr. Finn's advances. And for all I know, Mercer is on some sort of sexual-attraction spectrum that makes him not exclusively attracted to women (why not?), so sure, there's no reason he can't pursue Darulio either. But I highly doubt that Dr. Finn has a latent or unspoken attraction to the Norm MacDonald vomit, or that the two ambassadors actually despise each other so much because, among the other more obvious reasons, they want to deny their deep-rooted hots for each other.

    So while the events here are amusing, Darulio's "heat" makes everything inconsequential and irrelevant--except for one thing, which is deeply clever. Darulio admits that he "might" have been in heat when Mercer caught him fucking Grayson the first time (the fact that this happens a second time in "Cupid's Dagger" was vintage Orville), and then Mercer and Grayson exchange knowing looks with each other. As far as twists go, it was perfect for this ongoing character-drama subplot.

    Penny Johnson Jerald is such a trooper here. While the last episode "Into the Fold" gave her noble material to work with that showcased her well, now we have her as a full-on smokeshow in high heels and a sexy dress coming on to the puke that has been trying way too hard to get a date with her in the past. While I thought she looked stunning, it sure isn't the best moment for the character. But Jerald, God love her, dives into her role here, literally (the shot of her head, thrown back in ecstasy, poking out of the puke wrapped around her was outrageously, insanely funny). Points also to Norm MacDonald--say what you want about the character he plays, but his talents are infectious and the song he sang, off-key and cringy, was wonderfully performed. I cracked up.

    Seth MacFarlane was also a pleasure here. Like Jerald, he embraces the absurdity with gusto. "The only thing I'm captain of now is your taut physique," Mercer tells Darulio. I also loved his crack about Grayson's "dry-ass banana bread," and the biggest laugh of all comes in the conference scene, where he interrupts the sniping between the two ambassadors, full of hatred and a blink away from killing each other, to announce that "I've just met the most amazing guy!'

    And lest we forget, Adrianne Palicki was just as awesome. The whole situation of Darulio's return puts Grayson through the wringer enough, but then she fucks him again, only to have him sign up for a sexy tryst with Mercer and leave her in the cold to cry over sad music and a pot brownie. Ouch. The elevator scenes were a nice touch, with her finally blowing up in frustration at Lieutenant Dann's (nice touch) ingratiating personality.

    "Cupid's Dagger" is amusing, engaging and particularly well-acted. But it's fluff. And other than a small development to the Mercer/Grayson relationship saga at the end, it has no staying power.

    Best Line:
    Mercer (to Grayson) -- "The Navarians are getting kind of cranky over there. Maybe you could go distract them with your breasts."

    My Grade: C+

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