The Orville

"Lasting Impressions"

3.5 stars

Air date: 3/21/2019
Written by Seth MacFarlane
Directed by Kelly Cronin

Review by Jamahl Epsicokhan

The Orville crew opens a 400-year-old time capsule that was sealed in 2015 in Saratoga Springs, New York, and among the preserved relics is a smartphone, left behind — with all personal data intact — by a young woman. Once reviving the phone and powering it up, the crew discovers a treasure trove documenting a short period of a long-ago life.

(The archeologist assigned to oversee this unearthing is played by Tim Russ, whom I haven't seen in anything since probably Live Free or Die Hard. His performance here suggests a specific eccentricity.)

"Lasting Impressions" is the sort of story that could likely be sold with a single-sentence pitch (which is the very definition of "high concept," even though this story does not at all play like one), simply because of how many possibilities the premise opens up. This could've gone in any number of directions, documenting any number of fictional lives. That it picks the mundane details of a would-be romance is a testament to the writers' faith in the concept.

This story is of such deliberately low stakes that watching it, as indeed I did, right after watching Discovery's "The Red Angel" — in which all life in the galaxy supposedly hangs in the balance — plays like a sort of now-I-can-just-sit-back-and-breathe tonic. It's relaxing and pleasant, and in its completely non-urgent and unassuming way it says something much more significant than its modesty suggests.

The story is about how Malloy finds himself smitten by the idea of this woman, named Laura (Leighton Meester). After watching her videos and reading her texts, he decides to use the ship's computer to analyze all the data on her phone and create an ultra-realistic interpolated simulation of this long-dead woman and the things in her life's immediate orbit, based on the brief snapshot the phone history contains.

The writers opt to use this idea to explore Malloy and his loneliness, and it's probably the best use of Malloy to date. The interactive nature of the program allows him to insert himself into a fictionalized version of Laura's life, where he assumes a starring role. Inevitably (and perhaps too obviously) he begins falling for Laura and wants to pursue a relationship.

Gordon's shipmates are not especially encouraging. LaMarr, skeptical from the outset, warns Gordon to keep some perspective and perhaps not venture down this road at all. Later, when Laura takes enough of a liking to him that she invites him over for game night with her friends, Gordon drags along Ed, Kelly, John, and Talla, who seem to be humoring him more than anything else.

This is all played for a mix of low-key humor and pathos. What's best about the episode is its mastery of tone. It doesn't pretend this is a huge thing that's going to crush Gordon or lead to an unhealthy holographic addiction like in TNG's "Hollow Pursuits." It's more like an earnest VR experiment where Gordon's reality is based on how much he can trick himself into believing it, on the basis of it being based on a real person's life.

Gordon's relationship with Laura is thrown for a loop when the Other Guy, named Greg, whom she broke up with right before Gordon entered her life, re-enters the picture suddenly. (Plenty of us have been the guy who gets hung out to dry when the girl goes back to the previous guy.) Gordon tries to simply delete Greg, but removing him significantly changes who "Laura" is in the program (like her courage to sing on stage) and destroys the illusion for Gordon. (Like in "Tapestry," start pulling on one thread and it all unravels. The point demonstrates how we are all sums of our experiences and relationships, which includes the inputs we get from others.) I like this approach. Gordon lets it play as real in his mind up until it simply can't anymore. And when he realizes the illusion can't be sustained, it's over.

The B-story, meanwhile, is more Bortus-inspired comic gold. You see, also inside the time capsule are cigarettes, which Bortus tries and discovers, because of his Moclan physiology, that he's instantly addicted. Klyden also gets hooked. Dr. Finn says it will take a few days to find a way to counteract the addiction. In the meantime, we get a number of hilarious Moclanisms: Bortus smoking on the bridge, to everyone else's disgust. Bortus and Klyden trying to quit and then jonesing for nicotine, then hiding their secret smoking from each other. Bortus chewing nicotine gum on the bridge, to everyone else's puzzlement. This show rarely goes wrong when using Bortus and Klyden as comic outsiders, and it works here as usual, and even ties thematically into the story of how the past reaches into the future, in this case with chaotic personal impacts. (But it would be nice, for once, if a plot involving Bortus and Klyden didn't inevitably have them fighting.)

The storyline of "Lasting Impressions" is less powerful than the subtext running through it, which is that these mundane things that happened 400 years ago to this one person have become immortalized through (1) preservation with technology and (2) universal emotional connection between people. In its own way, this provides a touching "Inner Light"-like reminder about our collective mortality and the hope that in some small way we might be remembered after we — and all who knew us — are gone. Filtered through Gordon's own romantic travails, it takes on a bittersweet quality: It may not have worked out between these two, but the more important thing — a connection across centuries that preserves the memories — has prevailed.

Watching "Lasting Impressions," I couldn't help but shake the feeling that this is really what The Orville as a series should be, as filtered through the sensibilities its creator has made clear over the past two seasons. In its purest form, it's a show about transplanting our current interests and way of life into a Trek-like future world, where exploring on a starship is not the point so much as the backdrop. (Indeed, the most consistently, if frequently misguided, pursued arc of this series over the last two seasons — the very contemporary-minded relationship between Ed and Kelly — speaks to this.)

The more I think about it, the more convinced I am this is one of the best episodes of this series — in its understated and true-to-self way. It's a triumph in understatement that sneaks up on you after the initial experience has passed. Thanks for the memories.

Previous episode: Blood of Patriots
Next episode: Sanctuary

◄ Season Index

160 comments on this review

Perry
Thu, Mar 21, 2019, 9:02pm (UTC -5)
5/5 stars for not running into any space 👽 s.
Chris
Thu, Mar 21, 2019, 9:02pm (UTC -5)
So, I'm not going to over think this one. It was an enjoyable episode. The relationship between Gordon and Laura was sweet. The humor with Bortus (mostly) worked (could do without he and his partner always at each others throats). I'm going with 3/4 .... it wasn't an original premise and the stakes were low but I thought it was charming.
Quincy
Thu, Mar 21, 2019, 9:10pm (UTC -5)
I really enjoyed this episode. While it seems they've been heavy on the relationship episodes this season, this is one of the better ones.

I was fully expecting him to have Greg take a job across the country and date somebody else. No need to delete him altogether.

In B4 complaints about the Bortus and hubby antics casting aspersions on the gay community. I'm sorry, but that $#!% was hilarious.
Troy G
Thu, Mar 21, 2019, 9:19pm (UTC -5)
Very very good. Funny, moving, and sharp. 3.3721 stars.

At first I it seemed it would be a Booby Trap or a Barclay type episode, but it was better than most of those. The nicotine addiction was great, and was a natural extension of time-capsule plot.

A note to Jammer and those who believe the Four-Star rating scale doesn't have enough gradation: from "zero stars" to ****, this is really a 9 point scale. I've noticed a few comments to the effect of, "I'll give this a 3.8, but this scale uses half points." Really? a 3.5 or a 3.8--What is the difference?

Jammer, if you are considering either a 3 or a 3.5 for episode, give it the lower score. Discovery and The Orville are young series and a later season could deliver a truly amazing episode and make an early *** 1/2 or **** episode seem not as good.
SlackerInc
Thu, Mar 21, 2019, 9:21pm (UTC -5)
I fully cosign Chris's review. Nothing earth-shattering here, but a very pleasant, entertaining outing. The epitome of a solid, 3 star episode.

There was one little "deep" moment I liked. Gordon asks how they really know Isaac is self-aware, and what does it matter as long as they relate to him as such. A definite chin-scratcher. I have always been one who rejects the idea of "philosophical zombies": I think if you are such a sophisticated simulation as to perfectly simulate the actions of a self-aware being, there is likely some kind of self-awareness that is an unavoidable emergent property of that simulation (even if it's not the identical "what it's like to be them" that it would be for a human. So Laura probably does have self-awareness IMO, like the Doctor on Voyager (recall that the initial bias of Federation personnel was to think of him as non-sentient).
Dave in MN
Thu, Mar 21, 2019, 9:41pm (UTC -5)
A very touching episode with a deft balance of humor and pathos.

Gordon's loneliness is something J can identify with. I can totally see how easy it would be to fall in love with a simulation that immersive. It's one thing to intellectually "know" it's not real, but when all your senses are telling you otherwise ..... yes, this seems like a logical development of such a tempting technology.

Leighton Meester did a wonderful job of encapsulating this character, she felt like a three-dimensional woman(no pun intended). Normally I don't buy these one-off relationship episodes because of how little time they have to establish something genuine, but every plot development felt plausible and natural to me.

The scene in the mess hall where the Ed, Kelly, LaMarr and Talla talk to Gordon about his relationship was pretty raw emotional territory to cover: I want to empathize with Gordon, but they have an obvious retort: she's not real. Still, his comeback about the way the crew anthropomorphizes Isaac Isaac actually has some logical merit to it.

Also, there's something about Gordon reacting to criticism of his personal choices that is VERY rare in television: here we gave an actual character getting defensive and, when feeling cornered/betrayed by his friends, reacting with a critical comment of his own.

It felt SO natural and human to me, so different than most characters on TV. (The "banging a Krill lady" comment was another Ed-Gordon "gasp" moment!) Scott Grimes really is an underrated actor, he makes Malloy feel so real to me. I''m glad he's getting the chance to shine in these last few episodes.

I won't rehash the rest of the plot, but I'm sad that Gordon couldn't even get a program to want to be with him. John should do his buddy a solid and ask Jenny Turco if she has a female friend Gordon could meet. (Also, I gotta mention that J. Lee's acting seems to be getting much better this season,).

Finally, B-plot was hilarious! All the smoking jokes landed for me ... actually they all did., especially the WTF and Dick Van Dyke quips. I would LOVE to see what Gordon drew for that!

My summary: the direction was on point, the humor was integrated seamlessly, and we got to explore aspects of future-tech relationships and the virtual resurrection of the dead.

Seth did a great job with this script!

I''m gonna go 3.75 stars.

PS- I haven't mentioned the scoring much this season, only because the music is so fantastic that I'd sound like a broken record praising it week after week .... but seriously, the music is so essential to why this show works. The quality is consistently high and some of it rivals the best stuff written by any Romantic/neo-Romantic composers. I highly HIGHLY recommend buying the first season soundtrack/ streaming it online!

PPS- FOX released a one-time promo for investors/ audiences yesterday (after the Disney merger became official) and they featured the Orville in it enough to make me think it's not going anywhere.

Still, WTF is up with making us wait until April 11 for a new episodes?! FOX is really stretching this season out and it's annoying!!!!
4Q2
Thu, Mar 21, 2019, 10:20pm (UTC -5)
"Oh, fuckin' delete Greg!"

First words out of my mouth the entire hour once Malloy walked into that dining room.


Other thoughts: Three goddamn WEEKS?
Bill Stella
Thu, Mar 21, 2019, 10:28pm (UTC -5)
I’d like to know more about the song.
(Don’t hate me if it’s well-known. I’m just unfamiliar) A quick search of maybe-the-title, All I Have To Tell You, didn’t bring up anything useful. Can anyone help with composer, actual title, etc?
Perry
Thu, Mar 21, 2019, 10:38pm (UTC -5)
First season did full 12 episodes.

Second season completed 11 episodes, 12th one in three weeks.

It's up to the production and contract renewals. No one thought Orville would be THAT GOOD.

I hope that they reach out to more audiences. Tonight's episode should carry the momentum.

Bortus was definitely over the top with the cigarettes. clever. I thought Bortus would take a step further by marketing cigarettes in a vintage commercial.

Leighton Meester was so realistic and natural in the hologram that it brings back memories when Picard was in one the wild west hologram.

This episode is so good.
Dave in MN
Thu, Mar 21, 2019, 10:40pm (UTC -5)
@ Bill Stella

The original is by Art Garfunkel:

https://youtu.be/zbweu9n2YgE

The Orville's YouTube account also posted a longer "music video version" of the song:

https://youtu.be/45DRw665EB8
Quincy
Thu, Mar 21, 2019, 10:45pm (UTC -5)
I first heard this song years ago as a child, watching the The Last Unicorn. It was a animated movie, partially a musical. There were several songs of note in it, but this one really stuck with me. It was sung by the two lead characters. Not sure if that was the original version or not:

"That's All I've Got To Say"
(from "Das Letzte Einhorn (The Last Unicorn)" soundtrack)

[Lir:] I've had time to write a book
About the way you act and look
But I haven't got a paragraph
Words are always getting in my way
Anyway, I love you
That's all I have to tell you
That's all I've got to say

And now, I'd like to make a speech
About the love that touches each
But stumbling, I would make you laugh
I feel as though my tongue were made of clay
Anyway, I love you
That's all I have to tell you

I'm not a man of poetry
Music isn't one with me
It runs from me
It runs from me
[Duet]
[Lir:] And I tried to write a symphony
[Amalthea:] Once when I was searching
[Lir:] But I lost the melody
[Amalthea:] Somewhere out of reach
[Lir:] Alas I only finished half
[Amalthea:] Far away
[Lir:] And finish I suppose I never may
[Amalthea:] In a place I could not find
[Lir:] Anyway, I love you
[Amalthea:] Or heart obey
[Lir:] That's all I have to tell you
[Amalthea:] Now that I'm a woman
[Lir:] That's all I've got to say
[Amalthea:] Now I know the way
[Lir:] That's all I've got to say
[Amalthea:] Now I know the way
[Together:] That's all I've got to say
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Thu, Mar 21, 2019, 10:46pm (UTC -5)
A mostly harmless little episode. Not bad, but it seems that I didn't enjoy it as much as most of the others here.

One missed opportunity, I think, is that the crew never learned what happened to that girl in the real world after 2015. I just waited for them to discover that - in the end - she managed to follow her dream of being a singer. Or maybe she found something else that makes her happy. The entire episode seemed to be building for such a reveal, and I was quite disappointed when the reveal never happened.

Another thing I'm wondering about:

Isaac didn't appear in this episode at all. In fact, this is the first episode in which Isaac is completely absent. After the events of "Identity" this cannot be a coincidence. So what are the writers planning? I hope it's something more substantial than "we will let the guy lay low for a few episodes and hope the viewers forget this plotline needs to be resolved".

@Troy
"A note to Jammer and those who believe the Four-Star rating scale doesn't have enough gradation: from 'zero stars' to ****, this is really a 9 point scale."

The scale itself has enough gradation.

The problem is that Jammer is using a traditional movie critic scale where the bottom half translates roughly to "this film/episode sucks"... yet he only reviews shows that resonate with him.

So the lower half of this 9 point scale almost never get used.

Perhaps the lesson here, is that we need a different kind of scale when we come to review episodes of a show that we already like. Perhaps a 0-10 stale that looks like this:

4 Jammer stars = 10
(3.75 stars = 9)
3.5 stars = 8
(3.25 stars = 7)
3 stars = 6
(2.75 stars = 5)
2.5 stars = 4
2 stars = 3
1.5 stars = 2
1 star = 1
< 1 star = 0

(note how the scale has more breathing room at the top)

It might take some time getting used to the idea that a 4/10 episode isn't a stinker, but it's certainly more *practical* than having all the good ratings clustered at the 8-10 range.

@Dave in MN
"I would LOVE to see what Gordon drew for that!"

I wonder if he drew a Dike or a Dyke. ;-)
(I just learned the meaning of the second word today. Oh, Gordon, you rascal you...)
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Thu, Mar 21, 2019, 11:03pm (UTC -5)
@SlackerInc

"I have always been one who rejects the idea of 'philosophical zombies': I think if you are such a sophisticated simulation as to perfectly simulate the actions of a self-aware being, there is likely some kind of self-awareness that is an unavoidable emergent property of that simulation".

The question here is: How "perfect" must the simulation be for this to happen?

We already have AI that can fool people into thinking it's human under certain circumstances. Yet nobody seriously claims that such AI is self-aware.

This dilemma is made worse by the fact that actual people don't usually act as if they are self-aware beings. Human behavior is mostly governed by habit and instinct, and simulating these things has nothing to do with self-awareness.

So while I agree with you *in principle* that there's no such thing as a philosophical zombie, I also maintain that a typical holocharacter wouldn't be an accurate enough facsimile for the question to even arise.
J.B.
Thu, Mar 21, 2019, 11:04pm (UTC -5)
It was a pleasant watch and certainly well-acted but I feel like it could have gone further into Gordon's character. As it is, it felt kinda fluffy and inconsequential.

The B-story was almost entirely predictable but it made me laugh my ass off anyway.
Dave in MN
Thu, Mar 21, 2019, 11:07pm (UTC -5)
@Omicron

Speculation ahead:

This episode seems indicates that something happened to the Internet to cause it not to survive/be accessible in the future.

While it seems that musical, literary and artistic artifacts remained intact until the 25th Century, there seems to be a knowledge gap about 21st Century interpersonal culture that shouldn't exist if the Internet had persisted into the 25th Century. My guess is the Internet completely collapsed at one point while collectors/repositories/archives/ libraries still went unaffected.
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Thu, Mar 21, 2019, 11:14pm (UTC -5)
@Dave MN

Your theory makes sense in-universe.

But I still think it was a missed opportunity not to tell us how the life of the real Laura turned out.
SlackerInc
Thu, Mar 21, 2019, 11:27pm (UTC -5)
@OTDP: "So while I agree with you *in principle* that there's no such thing as a philosophical zombie, I also maintain that a typical holocharacter wouldn't be an accurate enough facsimile for the question to even arise."


I thought Laura was a lot more complex than "a typical holocharacter".
Dave in MN
Fri, Mar 22, 2019, 12:05am (UTC -5)
@Slacker

So do I.

I also liked that the unawareness of everyone that 2qst century people might project a sanitized version of themselves for public consumption. While the simulator did have access to a wealth of her biographical info: texts, videos etc. to create a reasonable representation of her, I wonder what Gordon would think had he known "Laura" might have been as little different in real n life than her projected image.

It kind of reminds me of the holodeck extrapolating Leah Brahms's personality while admitting there's a "9.3 percent margin of error in interaction with the facsimile".

A simulation will always only be an approximation, no matter how deep and diverse the data on which it is based is.
Alan Roi
Fri, Mar 22, 2019, 12:18am (UTC -5)
At least there's a place where Voyager actors can still get work. Whose up next? Garret Wang perhaps?
Dave in MN
Fri, Mar 22, 2019, 12:27am (UTC -5)
@Alan Roi

Rhetorical question: is the phrase "Voyager actor" supposed to be pejorative?

The role he played wasn't central to the plot, but I thought Tim Russ did a very good job of making the character of Dr. Sherman feel like a full-fledged human with his own traits and tics (not just some anonymous scientist).
Alan Roi
Fri, Mar 22, 2019, 2:39am (UTC -5)
@Dave

No perjorative intended. Just seem to be a collection of Voyager actors getting work on this show who aren't getting a whole lot of work elsewhere of late.
Steve
Fri, Mar 22, 2019, 3:52am (UTC -5)
I enjoyed it. Makes you think just how we will be seen in four centuries. Although I find it hard to believe that digital data from this era would be so rare.

Would have liked a few sentences to see what happened to that person. You would think Gordon would have looked it up.

2.5 stars
Alan Roi
Fri, Mar 22, 2019, 4:23am (UTC -5)
@Steve

As an example, MySpace just deleted all data before 2016. digital data isn't as permanent as stone tablets or books.

However, considering Molloy has a collection of the Keeping up with the Kardashians, I found it hard to believe he wouln't know what a cellphone looked like.
Tim C
Fri, Mar 22, 2019, 6:26am (UTC -5)
This episode gets eleventy billion stars for the "What If The Moclans Started Smoking" B-story, which I think might be the show's funniest gag to date.

The A-story was predictable and dull - albeit with good performances -and inconsistent with everything we know about this show's version of the future, where most social mores and language seem completely unchanged from today. The best part was the debate in the mess hall, which felt very TNG.

Side note: for the love of God, can we stop harping on about Jammer's star ratings. They're just shorthand for his specific feelings about an episode. Read the damn reviews and argue the points therein, rather than the arbitrary numerical score. Dude gave Nemesis a rating higher than zero, but I ain't getting bent out of shape about the number.
Charles J
Fri, Mar 22, 2019, 7:30am (UTC -5)
The question isn’t would the data be rare, it’s would it be accessible? And how much would they have to sift through? Is it in a University archive? Does whatever version of a corporation that exist in the future control the information? Even if it is publicly available, one has to imagine that after 400 years, that’s a lot of data to go through.

I honestly thought this was one of the best episodes of the season and the entire series. The smoking plot was fun and this grounded and humanized Gordon more successfully than every other attempt so far.

This also can be read as an examination of parasocial relationships and interactions. Gordon makes a connection with someone he’s never met. He then literally starts a relationship with that person. Then he’s continuously surprised as he learns new details, even though that information was always there. Getting back with the ex. Why she started singing in public.

And as others have pointed out, the simulation, as realistic as it is, is based on what she curated and shared. Was she really the linchpin amongst her friends? How much did she really dislike her job?

Overall, this is a much more insightful look into social media than Majority Rule. More importantly, they finally treated Gordon like a real adult.

The only issue I have is at the end. Not sure why Kelly has to continually explain things that Gordon should be able to recognize on his own. If he was fresh out of the academy I would get it. But, he’s too old to be that slow.
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Fri, Mar 22, 2019, 7:32am (UTC -5)
@Tim C

The only reason people are "harping on Jammer's star ratings" is that Jammer himself came to the comment sections and shared his dilemma with us. The specific rating of a specific episode was not the point of these discussions, anyway.

@SlackerInc

Here's a question for you: How would you imagine the computer to go about creating the "Laura simulation" from the given data? There's hardly enough info in a 2015 cellphone to reconstruct a human brain. So where would any "self-awareness" come from?

My guess is that the simulator simply has a template for "human characters" and it used the data on the phone to provide parameters for this template.

Now let's dig deeper: This template had to be programmed by someone. This programmer had two specific intentions in mind:

1. To facilitate social interaction that would be believable to the player. A player WHO IS WILLFULLY COOPERATING WITH THE ILLUSION.

2. To make the creation of new characters on the fly as user-friendly as possible.

No software engineer would approach the above two goals by declaring "I'll just create an accurate simulation of a human mind" because that would be a crazy overkill.

Now, I fully agree with you that the Laura character is more complex than the average holo-character. But is it because the program is self-aware? Or simply because it was based so closely on the experiences of an actual person, that it made the illusion more convincing?

I think it's the latter. Especially since I refuse to accept the idea that the stuff on a contemporary cellphone can turn a non-aware template into an self-conscious entity.

Using a current gaming anaology:

It's like the difference between a 1000-polygon 3D character drawn by hand and a million-polygon character based on an actual scan of a real person. The later would *look* more convincing, but it's still not as complicated and intricate as an actual human figure (it would also be skin-deep. No need to simulate internal organs when you never see them anyway).

TL;DR
Maybe 25th-century holocharacters have a "personality polygon count" and the Laura character was just drawn really well.
Karl Zimmerman
Fri, Mar 22, 2019, 7:49am (UTC -5)
In a lot of ways, this episode is a ripoff of the Voyager episode Fair Haven. You have a main cast member who falls in love with a hologram, tweaks the hologram to their own specifications, and then learns there are repercussions for doing so - that you can't really have a convincing facsimile of a relationship if you're always in "god mode" altering whatever elements make you unhappy. Because real human relationships are about not having things under your control and rolling with it.

That said, it did a better job pulling this off than the bland Fair Haven. The result was still basically fluff though. It didn't really tell us anything deep about Malloy as a character. We already knew he was kind of a loser when it came to women after all.

I do wish they hadn't had the "ensemble piles onto Malloy" dynamic though, and just had the A-plot focus solely on Mercer acting not as Malloy's captain, but his best friend. I think there would have been the potential for some good character work there.

Also, where the hell was Isaac this week?
Perry
Fri, Mar 22, 2019, 8:11am (UTC -5)
@Charles J

I laughed when you mentioned "The only issue I have is at the end. Not sure why Kelly has to continually explain things that Gordon should be able to recognize on his own. If he was fresh out of the academy I would get it. But, he’s too old to be that slow."

In real life they are engaged. https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.upi.com/amp/Scott-Grimes-engaged-to-The-Orville-co-star-Adrianne-Palicki/7361547828673/

I don't know if it was staged or just for character building. His acting in this episode is the best in Orville to date.
Roger
Fri, Mar 22, 2019, 8:16am (UTC -5)
So Disney is in charge of Fox and this show now and it’s planning 400,000 in layoffs. Hope they don’t pull the plug on The Orville!
Perry
Fri, Mar 22, 2019, 8:31am (UTC -5)
@Roger At least The Orville can take over the chaotic White House!
Josh
Fri, Mar 22, 2019, 8:55am (UTC -5)
I think the extra dimension of this episode that made it really hit home was that, simulation aside, she just wasn't in love with Gordon. His comment later about how he should have known because it was all over her texts and videos was spot on. How many of use have seen people breakup with boy/girl friends only to see them end up with them. Some of it is people who are god matches but they don't realize it, some of it is people who just cant help but make back decisions. But either way, the heart wrenching part is that Gordon, like all of us, has a hard time seeing why someone wouldn't love them like they love someone else. That's what made this feel like a more REAL episode than those others in Star Trek. Those others they all come to the realization that the situation is "simulated". Gordon's realization is that Laura would just never love him.
Karl Zimmerman
Fri, Mar 22, 2019, 9:54am (UTC -5)
I have to admit being a little confused as to how time was working in the simulation. The show made us believe the simulation was basically constantly running - at least in "silent mode" - given his love interest was texting him when he was outside of the simulator, and when he went inside after being gone for awhile, time passed. But this would seem to be a waste of the ship's resources.
Spockless
Fri, Mar 22, 2019, 10:02am (UTC -5)
I loved it! LOVED it. I'm glad they didn't do the Yesterday's Enterprise twist and have the picture at the end of the episode actually be on the phone
Dave in MN
Fri, Mar 22, 2019, 10:07am (UTC -5)
@ everyone wondering about renewal

Like Discovery, the convoluted corporate politics at very top makes guesswork about T.O. difficult.

The Orville has a lot going for it: a consistent vocal fanbase, social media penetration (Orville trends on Twitter most Thursdays), a healthy +7 ratings score, merchandise sales and it performs VERY well overseas. (In Australia it's a Top 10 program, for example).

The same day ratings still annoys me (why do so many people with Nielsen boxes prefer to DVR this particular show vs. watching it live?) and I can see how Disney MIGHT have a problem with thar. But then again, Disney pays tons of money for worst performing shows on ABC and the Disney Channel and then renews at least half of them.

Yes, I'm nervous about renewal too, so I remind myself The Orville has ratings comparable to Good Morning America and Disney wastes a ton on paying those shallow gasbags! I also tell myself that Disney is one of the few corporations out there that knows when a entertainment property has the potential for decades of profit.

I promised not to bring up YouTube investigations since that seems to cause much consternation, so I'll just say that The Orville creative team may very well be pushing for a long-term commitment and, now that Disney's in charge, Seth & Co. can finally negotiate.

Fingers crossed!
Spockless
Fri, Mar 22, 2019, 10:13am (UTC -5)
I was under the impression that Disney doesn't have all of Fox's assets, that Fox still exists as a broadcasting network, so maybe the Orville still falls under that umbrella. All I DO know is that this show makes me happy
Dave in MN
Fri, Mar 22, 2019, 10:13am (UTC -5)
@Karl Zimmerman

is it a waste of your phone's resources to set an alarm? The amount of energy/ computational power to create a fake text/ phone call would be equally negligible to a ship like The Orville.

It certainly would be much less of a "drain" than actually running the program in the simulator would be.
Dave in MN
Fri, Mar 22, 2019, 10:30am (UTC -5)
@ Alan Roi

While I'm not a huge reality TV watcher, I remember when the very first Real World failed to blur out a phone number and the person was harassed so badly it made national news.

Since then, reality shows almost always blur out the cast member phones/ emails/ etc. Gordon wouldn't be familiar with what he couldn't actually see.
Karl Zimmerman
Fri, Mar 22, 2019, 11:16am (UTC -5)
@ Spockless

Disney now owns Fox Studios, but not the Fox TV network. They can continue to sell legacy Fox programming to the TV network, but once the contracts run out, it will cost Fox just as much as buying shows from any other independent studio. As a result it's widely thought Fox is going to pivot away from scripted TV, towards more sports coverage and cheap reality television. It's also widely thought that Disney is going to systematically dismantle Fox Studios and merge it into their existing system.

It's possible I suppose The Orville survives and moves over to ABC, since Disney owns it.
Perry
Fri, Mar 22, 2019, 12:41pm (UTC -5)
The power just went out at home due to high winds. My cell phone becomes a serious necessity so I can project images thru mod add-on.

I'm thinking that Seth would have some ownership or naming/royalty rights to the science flick The Orville. Seth may have the flexibility to join another network that has more viability or network coverage.

It should be a win-win scenario for Seth for any outcome presented by Disney's takeover.
Alan Roi
Fri, Mar 22, 2019, 12:47pm (UTC -5)
@Dave in MN

How can one watch the Orville in Australia now on TV, when the network that showed Fox content cancelled its deal with Fox a year ago?

The Orville is in trouble, even though, of late its actually been affecting to watch a lot more than it was last year, and is producing some of its best content. i would rate this ep as one of the better of the series and definitely a high point of this season, yet it appears to be too late for those put off by a lackluster first 1/2 of this season that has put viewership deep in the red zone and aren't around to watch the show's writing improve as it has for this ep.

Overall day of release watchers are under 3 mil. Demo ratings have dropped almost 40% from last year. Even with the California Tax Break, it still costs around $6 million a year which is a lot for a show that barely more than half a mil are tuning in to watch and advertisers earn the most bang for their buck.

Yes, cross your fingers and hope that Seth can somehow convince ABC execs that his little watched and very expensive show with sharply declining viewership is worth saving. IMO, it will take a whole lot of convincing.
Dave in MN
Fri, Mar 22, 2019, 1:24pm (UTC -5)
Alan Roi


it airs on SBS i n Australia.

And again, TV ratings have become a multi- platform calculation ... networks don't base their decisions on same-day ratings (like they used to).
Alan Roi
Fri, Mar 22, 2019, 1:54pm (UTC -5)
@DAVE in MN

Sure. And that *might* save Orville. But not many shows with Orville's same day ratings coupled with a year to year 40% drop in viewership have survived over the past 5 years to another season. This is me being realistic. I do think the show has had a number of well-realized eps of late, but if you want a show to get renewed, you put them at the front of a season to keep viewers engaged, not at the back when those viewers are gone.
Dave in MN
Fri, Mar 22, 2019, 2:41pm (UTC -5)
My opinion has been stated, no need to rehash it at this point.

I do appreciate your 100% not-faux concern and your conciliatory diplomatic tone.
Tim C
Fri, Mar 22, 2019, 2:54pm (UTC -5)
The Orville is *not* a top 10 show in Australia. (Hello, Australian here.) It's not even a top 20 show. TVTonight.com.au publishes daily ratings results for our five major broadcasters and a list of the top 20 programs. The Orville does not (and has never, IIRC) make an appearance.
SlackerInc
Fri, Mar 22, 2019, 5:54pm (UTC -5)
I wonder if the show could move to SyFy or a streaming service (Amazon, Hulu, or Netflix). I think the fanbase is loyal enough that they would get a bump in subscriptions from people who wouldn't have signed up otherwise.

@Spockless: "I was under the impression that Disney doesn't have all of Fox's assets, that Fox still exists as a broadcasting network, so maybe the Orville still falls under that umbrella."

You are correct.

@OTDP: "The only reason people are "harping on Jammer's star ratings" is that Jammer himself came to the comment sections and shared his dilemma with us."

Oh, interesting. I didn't see that. What comment section was this?

Fair points about Laura. It's an interesting topic.

I wouldn't say her level of complexity was because of just the data on the phone, per se, but because she was created as an open-ended simulation, the computer having the mission "create a realistic person whose motivations would lead her to have done all the things described, but who can be flexible when a new person and new situation is introduced". The way she changed when Greg was deleted hints at this.

@Karl: "You have a main cast member who falls in love with a hologram, tweaks the hologram to their own specifications, and then learns there are repercussions for doing so - that you can't really have a convincing facsimile of a relationship if you're always in 'god mode' altering whatever elements make you unhappy. Because real human relationships are about not having things under your control and rolling with it."

Absolutely. There is an excellent 2012 movie called "Ruby Sparks" that explores this exact territory. I would highly recommend it to all of you, with the caveat that it is fantasy or magical realism, not science fiction.

"I do wish they hadn't had the 'ensemble piles onto Malloy' dynamic though"

I absolutely agree. I was very disappointed by how churlish they acted, especially at the "Game Night" party.

As for running in the background: the computer did create the whole thing originally in about two seconds; and presumably the "running in the background" mode takes far fewer resources when it doesn't have to create all the visual/tactile stuff.
David S
Fri, Mar 22, 2019, 6:44pm (UTC -5)
SlackerInc wrote:

“"I was under the impression that Disney doesn't have all of Fox's assets, that Fox still exists as a broadcasting network, so maybe the Orville still falls under that umbrella."

You are correct.”

The thing is, that The Orville is produced by 20th Century Fox TV Studios, which is now owned by Disney. So it’s very much Disney’s call whether to keep production going.
Troy G
Fri, Mar 22, 2019, 6:47pm (UTC -5)
SlackerInc,

Jammer's star ratings dilemma was mentioned in the most recent review of the certain television series which we don't mention in The Orville comments.

I repeated it here because I (perhaps erroneously) felt it was a natural extension of my brief review of this Orville episode.

I also (perhaps erroneously) believed all who watch-- and comment-- on The Orville also watch and comment on STD-- I mean, the other show.

My point with the ratings is; Four Stars with half stars gradations is sufficient, and personally rating an episode a 2.7 or a 3.8 or whatever super-fine and super-specific number is unnecessary. *, **, ***, **** and half stars is good enough.

The end.
navamske
Fri, Mar 22, 2019, 7:25pm (UTC -5)
I guess it's good to know that New Jersey ( where I am from) still exists in the 25th century. And Jell-O too. They should have snuck in a Cool Hwip joke.
Dave in MN
Fri, Mar 22, 2019, 7:31pm (UTC -5)
@SlackerInc

Just in case you aren't aware, I didn't realize the Comment Stream existed for my first few years on here. That's usually where I check for the newest posts and that's where I saw Jammer's comment ... but, to answer you directly, it was in the comment section of the other show's episode that was released 8 days ago.
Meyer
Fri, Mar 22, 2019, 8:29pm (UTC -5)
This was exactly the kind of episode I was hoping for. This episode shares a lot of similarities with Fairhaven, and some with Booby Trap / Galaxy's Child. Similar to Fairhaven it centers on modification of a simulated love interest to suit your whims, and similar to the other episode, and similar to the Galaxy's Child it involves facing the realities of a person you've idealized.

When the episode started, I was worried we were in for a bunch of pop-culture referential humor, and almost none of the humor was based on that.

The B-plot was hilarious, and was smart to make it a whole addiction / recovery arc, with different jokes tied into each phase (ie, jokes about inappropriate smoking at first, then hiding cigarettes, then relationship conflict, etc).

The A-plot was very well-suited to the tone of the Orville. It was very light in tone, with some humor from Gordon being a fish-out-of-water in 2015, and clearly demonstrating that Gordon has a support network on the ship that'll be with him whatever happens - we're at no point worried that he'll lose his job, even when he's late to work, like we generally are in Barclay stories. Instead, the weight of the story comes from Gordon being forced by Laura's character, not any outside factors like his job or friends, to really confront his reality. He edits the simulation and quickly, viscerally, feels that it's wrong - and we feel it because we, like Gordon, have also watched her sing, and we know how Gordon felt about it. Finally, the ending scene was also well-done. The duet was predictable of course, but worked well. And the final callback to the time capsule (which I had assumed the simulation was set immediately after, rather than a week before) made for a nice bookend.

I really hope The Orville continues to deliver episodes like this. I liked the previous episode too, but I think it was better done in DS9. This is the type of story that Orville can actually tell better than Trek using humor and a different tone. I really want The Orville to carve out its own niche and start telling unique stories that couldn't be better told in the Trek universe, as shows like Futurama and Rick and Morty have found their own ways to do.
Gerontius
Fri, Mar 22, 2019, 8:35pm (UTC -5)
Probably the episode I've enjoyed most so far. Probably precisely for the same reasons many people would put it down for. No space battles or alien threats, fun though these can both be.

It was good to see Malloy being given a chance to deepen his character. He started The Orville as an irritating clown, anf now were seeing what makes him tick. As for the B plot with Bortus and Klyden, that was pretty funny, and balanced Malloy's doomed love affair well. (Though it would be good to have a scene or two showing them together when they aren't fighting.)

I do hope that the programme gets another sesson (and a few more too.). It deserves saving - but then, so did the Original Series. I can't imagine why anyone with the basic managerial competence would give any particular weight to same day audience figures. I watch news programmes that way, and sport too, but pretty well anything else I tend to watch on catch-up of one sort or another.
Gerontius
Fri, Mar 22, 2019, 8:46pm (UTC -5)
One thing this episodes showed is that they don't need to pay for space spectaculars like the one in Identity 2 to produce a good episode. The economics of production must be crucial in decisions about whether a show is viable.

But of course if big space spectaculars are needed to get viewers...
Squiggy
Fri, Mar 22, 2019, 10:20pm (UTC -5)
I really enjoyed this episode, and Bortus smoking on the bridge was hilarious. My only real nitpick was that it seems a bit of a stretch that they would have so little knowledge about life in the 21st century, to the point they didn't even know what a cell phone was, yet they watch old movies all the time and the captain even has Kermit the frog sitting on his desk. It also seems pretty unlikely that all the stuff from that time capsule would still look brand new. Not a big deal though, still a great episode. This show just keeps getting better.
Alan Roi
Fri, Mar 22, 2019, 10:26pm (UTC -5)
@Gerontius

I think this would have been a stronger intro to the season that what we ended up with. It was a very affecting episode, IMO. However, what it comes down to is will advertisers fork out the cash for comercial time. From what I know, same day advertising brings in the most $$$$, +7 DVR viewing, not so much. I watch it same day, but as I am not a neilsen family I have no input where it counts.
Davidw
Sat, Mar 23, 2019, 12:15am (UTC -5)
Very good episode. At last Orville can take it's place among high quality Star Trek.
Janok
Sat, Mar 23, 2019, 12:22am (UTC -5)
This was quite the episode! At first I was worried this would be just another filler episode that tried to sell an old TNG/VOY plot but with an Orville twist. I ended up really liking this episode, not only because it showed depth to Gordon's character besides being the practical joker, but also for the concepts of having affection for simulated people.

I think this episode hit very close to a perfect balance between humor, philosophy, and pulling on the emotions of the viewers. The latter is IMO the closest any Orville episode has scored since "Home" earlier this season. Viewers like myself who have watched all of Star Trek are reminded of similar episodes with the concept of characters becoming emotionally invested in an illusion, such as Barclay's episodes, "11001001", "Galaxy's Child", and more recently, "If Memory Serves". "Lasting Impressions" is unique in that the main setting is not in the time frame of the rest of the show, but in *our* time. It definitely left me feeling hyper-aware of my own mortality and the meaningless of my daily life in the perspective of humans hundreds of years from now. It was a little unsettling, but not enough to detract from the rest of the episode.

The episode cleverly pulls its message with an A-plot initially focused on holodeck - er, "simulator" - addiction. This concept is present throughout and is mentioned more than once by other crew members. However, the real thought provoker here is the question posed to viewers: if you know something isn't real, does that diminish the value you place on it? Fortunately this is left open-ended, and for good reason. With the rise of increasingly realistic digital content, is our modern society comfortable placing value on digital content at the expense of real life content?What does that mean for younger generations that are now dependent on technology - they're missing out on the benefits of old-school ways, but is that necessarily "bad"?

Back to the episode, I also have to give credit to Scott Grimes and guest star Leighton Meester (playing Laura) for playing these characters convincingly. I got the sense that they were "real" people with depth, which in Gordon's case, is something that has been lacking thus far. What would really help Gordon's character was if he had a recurring romantic interest on the show, and over the course of the show we see him develop a legitimate, deep, meaningful, and not holodeck - er, "simulator" - relationship.

The B-plot played a supplementary role. Bortus' and Klyden's addictions to "ancient" cigarettes played as the "minor" to the A-plot. It's a rather obvious in-your-face method of pushing the addiction concept, which oddly enough works to add subtlety to the other concept. I'm starting to wonder if the writers are able to write stories for Bortus without being 100% serious or 100% comedy, it seems all we get are extremes. To be fair though, I can imagine it's hard to write character stories for such an unemotional species; after all, almost every Star Trek episode featuring a Vulcan has been 100% serious and very little comedy, with the exception of Star Trek VI.

I don't like to give out ratings, since the method of awarding stars is subjective to each viewer. I'll stick with a Vague Scale™. "Lasting Impressions" is in the upper third on the Vague Scale™ of Orville episodes.
Kat
Sat, Mar 23, 2019, 12:46am (UTC -5)
I thought of TNG’s The Inner Light, where Picard lives the life of Kamin so his doomed civilization would not be forgotten.
Spockless
Sat, Mar 23, 2019, 2:04am (UTC -5)
@Kat

i thought of that too, and I am sure they were tempted to have ti that the photo taken at the end of the episode was always on the phone.. just like Picard knowing how to play the flute. Tempting, fascinating, but I'm glad Seth resisted the urge to go there.

I loved this episode. I got so much out of it that I'm in tears thinking about how it moved me. Simple, elegant, and perfect
Booming
Sat, Mar 23, 2019, 2:16am (UTC -5)
Did somebody say rating system?!
*In a strange cloud a social scientist appears*
Hello peasants!
So a four star rating is often used because it is easy to understand for the casual viewer. (0 stars: get torches and pitchforks) 1 Star: garbage, 2 Stars: meh, 3 stars: good, 4 stars: exceptional. As you obviously have noticed it is actually a five star system which is very common in social studies. Not much range but very good comparability and easy to understand.
Of course Jammer also uses half stars. So it is, as some have pointed out, actually a 10 star rating. 10 point scale rating are also often used. It gives a good mix between range and comparability. Everything above that of course lacks in comparability.
Problem with Jammers rating is that he watches shows that he wants to watch which leaves the
Booming
Sat, Mar 23, 2019, 2:19am (UTC -5)
Sorry, half of my post was los for some reason and I don't want to write it again. Even though the central part is no longer there. Oh well.
Lynos
Sat, Mar 23, 2019, 11:19am (UTC -5)
Episode is a take on the "character falls in love with a holodeck simulation" trope but with the clever twist that here it's a simulation based on a real person, and not only that, it's based of off her social media persona. An angle that could not have been done in TNG or VOY days and I wish it was explored even more here, but I understand it wasn't the focus of the episode.

The episode works best if you accept the fact that the simulator technology aboard the Orville is infallible, bordering on magical.

Simulator: "Device not recognized".
Gordon: "Ir's a cell phone".
Simulator: "Device recognized".

I guess in the 25th century they don't have issues with compatibility.

Also, Lamaar hacks into the phone with a particularly impressive bit of ludicrous technobabble.

It's another episode of the Orville that has its heart in the right place and has some nifty ideas, but the execution is a bit too earnest and on the nose for me. I would like to see the show employ a greater degree of sophistication in its storytelling, but again, Seth is a hopeless romantic and that is his style. He will not let logic stand in the way of making his thematic point.

Bortus and Klyden getting hooked on cigarettes was funny. These two are a prime example of a dysfunctional relationship.

This is the second episode in a row to feature Malloy front and center, and the third episode this season to end with a song.

Isaac's absence was conspicuous. He was not featured even as an extra on the bridge. The actor took a week off?
Spockless
Sat, Mar 23, 2019, 11:32am (UTC -5)
@Lynos

One of the Orville slogans I saw on a poster or banner somewhere went something like "in 400 years there have been lots of changes in technology. Relationships: not so much" This show isn't about the tech, or even the ray guns. this is a show about relationships. And the computer recognized the device because LaMar had already hooked it up. Anyway.. I was a bit taken by the fact that the crew already uses a lot of colloquialisms we have today (Gordon even speaks of Manwhich and American Idol in "Majority Rule that constitutes his only dialogue in that episode) yet everything in the phone seems really foreign to them (and where is the internet?) Yet because the story was so sound, none of that mattered.
Dave in MN
Sat, Mar 23, 2019, 12:33pm (UTC -5)
@ Spockless

This is where a little backstory for the Union would come in handy. I''m a firm believer in showing vs. telling, but in this case, maybe a little info-dump about P.U. history wouldn't be a bad thing. Maybe they could have the kids preparing for a history exam?

As it is, we're left to infer events from what we're shown.

All of the modern day cultural references we've seen thus far are things that are commonly curated today in a physical copy. Books, albums, films, collectibles, art .... all of these- in our current day- are secure in vaults, atiics, basements, warehouses, etc. Even if we had a worldwide EMP attack, these items would survive (yes, including Kermit dolls and commercials for Manwich and Avis).

And, as I said above, the lack of knowledge about our 21st Century lives indicates something happened to our primary modern source of record: the Internet.

Seth, if you're reading, we need backstory! :)
Lynos
Sat, Mar 23, 2019, 1:33pm (UTC -5)
@ Spockless

Yeah, I just found it funny that the simulator recognized the device just by having Mallow say what it is. And I don't think the scene was meant to be funny.

As for the colloquialisms, totally agree, but like I said, in order to enjoy the series one has to let go of conception of consistent universe and just take the episodes one at a time on their own terms. If we judge the Orville by the same benchmark we judge Star Trek, i.e, as actual science fiction, it falls apart. It's just a stage for Seth to explore the themes he's interested in, but it has almost zero logical world-building. Things just don't make sense in the big picture, but the small picture is usually entertaining enough.
Gerontius
Sat, Mar 23, 2019, 5:06pm (UTC -5)
It's interesting that people who are ready to accept stuff that is essentially impossible/magic - devices to create any variety of food, or any environment yoy wish, complete with the people to fit it, hyper light speed travel around the galaxy etc - jib at plot details that are quite possble, just very improbable. We can suspend our disbelief for the impossible, we draw the line at the implausible.
Yanks
Sat, Mar 23, 2019, 7:42pm (UTC -5)
THIS is what 'The Orville' does well. I don't care if it's plausible, improbable or not.

They should stick to this kind of stuff. 'A Happy Refrain'... 'Home' ... they are good at this.

Scott Grimes was simply OUTSTANDING in this episode and realness conveyed by Leighton Meester here sold the episode. While some say their duet was "predictable" I was highly anticipating it knowing how well Scott sings. (thank you Identity PI). Simply put it was beautiful and touching.

The 'B' story was the funniest thing on TV in a while for me. I rarely just bust out laughing at the TV but I did multiple time watching this one. Maybe it's because I'm an ex-smoker (35 years) I don't know, but this was the funniest thing this show has done and it's not close.

IMO there is just nothing to complain about here. Is this anything like 'Inner Light' or 'Scorpion' or 'Damage' or 'Duet' or 'City on the Edge of Forever'? .... hell no, but it is true to itself and THIS series.

This is a 4-star episode in my book.

Is Isaac on vacation? :-)
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Sun, Mar 24, 2019, 11:29am (UTC -5)
@Gerontius
"But of course if big space spectaculars are needed to get viewers... "

I would be more worried about all these erratic breaks FOX is inserting between the episodes. Three weeks till the next episode?! Sure, the hard core fans will wait. But I suspect many casual viewers won't tune in simply because they have no idea when the show airs.

As for the big space spectaculars, it looks like we're going to get plenty of that in the next episode. Seen the promos? I also have a hunch that Isaac is going to play a major role in that episode.
Gil
Sun, Mar 24, 2019, 11:41am (UTC -5)
Enjoyable episode. Mind you, the rom-commish A story had an unavoidable been there, done that feel about it, but it was very well executed and provided a few unique twists of its own. The cigarette addiction B story was an inspired bit of silliness. Altogether a much better Gordon episode than the previous entry, and it was nice to see Tim Russ again.

*** outa ****
Gerontius
Sun, Mar 24, 2019, 8:03pm (UTC -5)
Of course a major element in science fiction has always been precisely that, revisiting old situations and changing them around in some way, finding a different outcome or approach. It's no more of a failure of imagination than it is when a musician plays around with a time honoured piece of music.
Trent
Mon, Mar 25, 2019, 8:06am (UTC -5)
This episode recalls quite a few Trek episodes. Most notably "Aquiel", in which Geordi trawls through the social-media footprints of a fellow Starfleet officer, and quickly falls in love with her image. See too "Booby Trap" and "Galaxy's Child", again with Geordi falling for a techno-fantasy. See too "Hollow Pursuits", where Barclay retreats from the world and into severe hologram/technology addiction. See too Voyager's "Fair Haven" episodes, the first of which contains a underrated subplot about Janeway's loneliness and her desire to "delete the wife" of a hologram she loves. See too "Inner Light", where a long-dead community uploads its memories into Picard. The best comparison, however, is TNG's ahead-of-its-time "The Game", where Wesley's blossoming love for a young woman, evolutionarily spurred by roiling, addictive hormones, echos the techno-sexual addictions overcoming the Enterprise's zombie crew, who can't stop chasing the dopamine rushes of their wacky space phone/Gameboys.

So "Lasting Impressions" recalls more Trek episodes than most Orville episodes. Its main plot watches Gordon - who the series has now established as being awkward with the ladies - fall for a hologram called Laura. Laura's not just a hologram, though, but some kind of sophisticated AI forged from the historical, social media records of a young woman who died centuries prior (the Orville's holodeck seems way more sophisticated/magical than the Enterprise's).

As Gordon becomes addicted to this hologram, and the phone that spawned it, another subplot focuses on Bortus' addiction to cigarettes. The metaphor is obvious: modern smart-phones and social media platforms are the addiction of our time, expert at sucking time, attention, engendering dopamine fixes/rushes, and substituting real-life and real experience for something phony and mediated. The episode doesn't deny that such things (phones, holodecks, social media etc) can forge genuine connection and relationships (Gordon's long rant about Issac), and that "normal" love is itself a kind of shared simulation and self-imposed delusion (Gordon's jabs at Ed's love life), or indeed that consciousness is itself a simulation, but nevertheless encourages something richer and more self-reflexive and robust, whatever that may be (and if indeed it's at all possible).

The Orville has had 5 "relationship/romance" episodes this season. I've liked all of them, but put this somewhere at the top with "Deflectors", another touching tale of doomed romance. It work well as social critique, as romance, as a comedy (both high brow and low- it opens with a copy of 50 Shades of Grey), its sweet, charming, and likeable, and its surprisingly sad and tragic; the ghosts of the past, of whole civilizations dead and lost, of millions of unfulfilled dreams, haunt this episode powerfully.

And as Dave said above, a large part of why it works is because Laura and Gordon are so well acted. Guest "love interests" haven't typically worked well in Trek, mostly because they tend to feel disposable and perfunctory. For all his walk-on love interests, Kirk's arguably only had two that were great ("City at the Edge of Forever" and "Conscience of the King"?), and Spock and Bones arguably only had 1 each that might be classed a "great". And aside from "Lessons", Picard's love interests have been weak. DS9, meanwhile, was all about that hot bro love (Garak/Bashir, Odo/Quark etc). Here, Laura and Gordon's tale immediately becomes something touching.

I also thought the song choice was interesting in this episode. I imagine Seth came across the song as a kid when watching The Last Unicorn, a cartoon about a unicorn on the verge of extinction. Maybe the choice was a coincidence, but Laura's an extinct creature of her own, and "Chasing Unicorns" has long been a metaphor for the pursuit of something unobtainable (Laura's chasing of a musical career, Gordon's chasing of Laura).
Trent
Mon, Mar 25, 2019, 8:39am (UTC -5)
By the way, I'd totally forgotten that Data...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RFJrNt8UEa0

...grows a beard in TNG's Season 2. Seems Bortus didn't grow a Riker beard, notorious for its longevity, but a less permanent Data beard.
Trent
Mon, Mar 25, 2019, 8:49am (UTC -5)
Another profound thing about the episode: it associates the fear of annihilation, of death, of passing time, and anxieties about feeling insignificant and meaningless, with mediated personalities. We egotistically create and maintain fictional selves on phones and social media, fantasizing about "musical careers" and "phone friends" and even "love", because we want validation, we want permanence, immortality, and to fill a deep lack within.
Dave in MN
Mon, Mar 25, 2019, 9:52am (UTC -5)
@ Trent

VERY insightful.

If I ever write an autobiography, that would make a great opening quote.
SC
Mon, Mar 25, 2019, 2:59pm (UTC -5)
The thing I don't like about The Orville, is all the bloody relationships. The writers had the good sense to keep these away from Trek. People who are drawn to science-fiction aren't great at dating. Myself included.

1 Trek is about duty and honor.
2 The uniforms mean there's no social status - everyone dresses the same.
3 Money is obsolete - also, no social status.
4 Men are in positions of power (a reason why some don't like Discovery.)
5 The Holodeck. Fantasy life (often with a partner.) Well, that speaks for itself.

Concentrate on the sci-fi Seth.
Booming
Mon, Mar 25, 2019, 3:47pm (UTC -5)
@all
I will leave this to the Orvillians. Let us see how they deal with that. :D
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Mon, Mar 25, 2019, 3:52pm (UTC -5)
@SC

To be fair, this episode was hardly about relationships. It's about wanting to be remembered, and about the fact that all of humanity is connected. Heck, the only "relationship" depicted here wasn't even a real one. It was between Gordon and a holo-character.

I do agree, though, that the Orville should put more focus on space-based sci fi. The ship is an exploratory vessel, isn't it? So why aren't they exploring more? Give us more new worlds and new civilizations!

And if they don't give us that, then at least give us some world-building. Even in a quiet episode like this one, they could have satisfied the explorer in me if they simply told us what happened to Laura and her descendants in the real world after 2015.

I bet she ended up working in a music store. She never became the successful singer she wanted to be, but at least she enjoys her work now. She also married Greg and had three kids... and one of her great-grandsons was a hit musician who was popular all over the solar-system in the 22nd century. ;-)
Lynos
Mon, Mar 25, 2019, 4:06pm (UTC -5)
Sorry, but this just came to me: I wonder how a smartphone stays operative after 400 years in a box in the ground. I remember having that thought during the episode but then forgot about it.

Until now.

@ OmicronThetaDeltaPhi

"To be fair, this episode was hardly about relationships. It's about wanting to be remembered"

While it is part of the episode, I felt the story mostly focused on Gordon and his perspective, and a relationship with a holo-character is still a relationship. I mean, this is the main conflict in the story, that Gordon wants to pursue it but his friends think it's dysfunctional.
Dave in MN
Mon, Mar 25, 2019, 4:07pm (UTC -5)
@SC

I have no problem with females in power. After all, on The Orville the first officer and the chiefs of security and medical are women.

As I sort-of touched upon a recent Discovery episode, my only issue is that both the foreground AND the background characters/extras seem to be favored towards women to the point where the disparity is notable/pervasive. As Q would say, "Is this a ship of the Valkyries?"
Dave in MN
Mon, Mar 25, 2019, 4:07pm (UTC -5)
^

referring to the Discovery.
Booming
Mon, Mar 25, 2019, 4:19pm (UTC -5)
Thank you Mr Speaker
Ist it actually true that there are more women on the Orville? I tried to watch the last Discovery episode through that lens but I think I didn't notice any gender disparity.
My question: Is the Orville an issue signalling sjw show??
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Mon, Mar 25, 2019, 4:29pm (UTC -5)
@Booming

Can you please *please* troll someplace else?

I remember you saying, quite a while ago, that you have some stressful things going on in your life and that you come here to unwind. That's perfectly fine, but can you please not... ehm... "unwind" at our expense?

Thank you.

@Lynos

Fair enough.

But even that would make the episode about holo-diction, rather than about any actual relationship. This actually ties nicely to the Bortus/Klyden B-plot.
Gerontius
Mon, Mar 25, 2019, 4:52pm (UTC -5)
In fact, of the seven cast members who appear in 26 episodes, only two are women.
Boomer's comment suggests that in terma of impact they were punching above their weight.
Booming
Mon, Mar 25, 2019, 4:59pm (UTC -5)
@ Omicron
Oh, don't worry that stress is gone. I'm just doing this to have fun. You on the other hand seem pretty tense. I mean how you exploded in the other thread. phew.
I'm not trolling. I'm teasing. There is a difference... I think.

@Gerontius
I did suggest that... yes. :)
I really have no idea.
Booming
Mon, Mar 25, 2019, 5:09pm (UTC -5)
and while I'm visiting for a short while I jst want to say.
Fingers crossed for season three! I hope you guys and gals get that season and many more!
Mentor397
Mon, Mar 25, 2019, 5:16pm (UTC -5)
Based on everything I've liked before, this episode should have been blah, but the ending was more poignant than I'd expected, especially from this show. I keep going back to the end song and playing it.

For the record, I'd never have learned the lesson here. I'd keep tinkering until the original program was unrecognizable. Shrug, it's just me.
Dave in MN
Mon, Mar 25, 2019, 5:40pm (UTC -5)
It's probably just my faulty biased perceptions, but why do I feel like a few people (perhaps fans of another show) comment solely to provoke a reaction?

What's the point in baselessly speculating on Omicron's mental health?!

I''m not going to cry for Jammer to come save us, but seriously, the sniping/attacks (from non-viewers of this show) is becoming tedious.

I am very glad that fans of The Orville have shown continuous restraint. It's becoming apparent that we don't take the obvious bait, nor do we run to the comments section of another show to continue the cycle.
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Mon, Mar 25, 2019, 5:51pm (UTC -5)
"I''m not going to cry for Jammer to come save us..."

But I am.

This has gone far enough.

This is supposed to be a place for civil discussion, and not a place for people who look for ways to amuse themselves at the expense of others.

So I openly and candidly plead:

Jammer, come and save us.
Booming
Mon, Mar 25, 2019, 6:33pm (UTC -5)
"This is supposed to be a place for civil discussion"
Really...
I quote: "Funny how you constantly complain about the rudeness of those who don't like the show (off with their heads for having a different opinion), and then you write shit like this. ...
Jeez, man, what the heck is wrong with you?"
Very civil, indeed.

That after I made a joke. I would call that pretty tense.
And calling Jammer to be the thought police. I guess you just hate free speech.
But enough of this whining bullshit. Have fun in your save space.
Mentor397
Mon, Mar 25, 2019, 7:02pm (UTC -5)
For the Orville Fans: If even the Krill and the Union can find common ground to make peace, can't we?

For the Star Trek Fans: If even the Klingons and the Federation can find common ground to make peace, can't we?

-- For the Star Trek Discovery Fans: I've got nothing. Haven't seen the show.

For the Game of Thrones Fans: If even the SPOILER and the SPOILERS found SPOILERS can't we also SPOILERS SPOILERS?

I'm just saying, fighting over this is like every other internet fight - pointless, time-consuming, and beneath all of us.
Jammer
Mon, Mar 25, 2019, 7:06pm (UTC -5)
I'm not going to moderate every bit of rudeness, snark, or implied slight. People need to grow up. To the trollers: Don't insult others. To the aggrieved: Have thicker skin. It cuts both ways. I shouldn't have to play referee. I'm certainly not going to crack down on every piece of sarcasm, or where will it end?

The same people always seem to be involved in these feuds. Do your part to end it, rather than pouring gasoline on the fire. That means not responding to comments that annoy you, rather than continuing the cycle by drawing attention to them and being oh-so-offended by them.

That's my take.
SlackerInc
Mon, Mar 25, 2019, 7:09pm (UTC -5)
To each their own, but I don't consider myself bad at relationships (I'm currently ten years into my second marriage, and had plenty of girlfriends before that although I'm no LaMarr), and I like to see them on screen. I thought for instance that the future-romance short was by far the best of the four "Short Treks" CBSAA released between DSC seasons.

And of course VOY had a female captain, although I agree that the dearth of regular male characters (particularly straight male characters) on DSC is a little extreme.

@Trent: Agree with Dave about the insightfulness of your musings. I'm surprised though that in talking about Kirk's one-off loves, you didn't mention Rayna Kapec, who for my money is the greatest, most affecting Kirk love interest of them all.

@Dave: "It's probably just my faulty biased perceptions, but why do I feel like a few people (perhaps fans of another show) comment solely to provoke a reaction?[...]I am very glad that fans of The Orville have shown continuous restraint. It's becoming apparent that we don't take the obvious bait, nor do we run to the comments section of another show to continue the cycle."

Dave, I'd be with you except that you might need to practice what you preach here. When I started watching S2 of the "other show", I was a little taken aback by how much you sounded, on those threads, like the people you are criticizing here.
Gerontius
Mon, Mar 25, 2019, 7:12pm (UTC -5)
I imagine I'll get round to watching more episodes of Discovery some time, and find stuff I enjoy well enough. The Orville just matches what I have enjoyed in earlier series better.

What I've seen of Discovery is that its now essentially SpaceOpera, and that's something different that I'm quite not so interested in. And it comes to space opera there are of course a whole set of other franchises around. If Discovery is outstanding in that genre, good for it.

But its silly if this gets treated as some kind of quasi-religious battle over who has custody of the Soul of Star Trek.
Troy G
Mon, Mar 25, 2019, 7:33pm (UTC -5)
Jammer,

Question: I know you read the comments before posting a review, but do any of the comments influence your review before you write it?
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Mon, Mar 25, 2019, 8:49pm (UTC -5)
@Jammer

There's a difference between snarky remarks during the heat of debate, and snarky remarks which are posted out of the blue out of sheer malice. What possible reason could you possibly give for allowing the latter in any shape or form?

Your discussion threads were always known for being among the only places online where people can have a civil discussion about Trek. This has been slowly changing for some time now. People who have been commenting on your site for years are telling you that there is a problem, and that this problem is ruining the fun of hanging out on your site.

Please do something about it.

Also:

Nobody is asking you to play kindergarten cop or to take sides in an argument. We are simply asking you to remove comments that are obvious personal attacks, and comments that are an obvious attempt to pick a fight.

@Gerontius
"But its silly if this gets treated as some kind of quasi-religious battle over who has custody of the Soul of Star Trek."

Indeed.

But what's happening here today is even worse then that silly battle. At least when people are engaging in the "Orville vs. Discovery religious war", they usually make statements that can spark an interesting discussion about the two shows.

Here, OTOH, we just had a guy who posted a few cryptic one-liners and then questioned another poster's sanity. He was just rude for the sake of being rude.

Yes, I know that Jammer doesn't like it when we talk about the behavior of other posters. But what exactly are we supposed to do? Suffer silently? I'm not willing to do this anymore. As I've already said, this has gone far enough.
Charles J
Mon, Mar 25, 2019, 9:13pm (UTC -5)
I’d advise strongly against asking Jammer to remove comments. As a long lapsed film critic and former communications manager, I will tell you, no good will come of it. It often backfires. And you have to constantly chase fires for it to be effective even when it does work. I doubt Jammer has time to play whack-a-mole, and turn himself and the site into a target if someone thinks they are being singled out.

At this point, Jammer’s site is an archive unto itself. While some of these comments are problematic (a liberal said problematic, drink!!!), they do shade the conversations. In ten years*, they will provide context when someone wants to find out what fans and naysayers were saying. Good, bad, downright terrible, this IS the type of discourse that’s out there.

*hell, in 10 months someone will come across some post or YouTube video and ask “what was that all about?”

And keep in mind, even if he did boot people, someone else is just going to replace that person eventually.

Oh...and if you haven’t tried it...writing a response, reminding yourself that no good will come of it, then deleting it, is incredibly helpful. I’ve done it many many times. :-)
RandomThoughts
Mon, Mar 25, 2019, 9:33pm (UTC -5)
Hello Everyone!

Well, I'm not going to read all of the responses yet, I'll probably just read them on the comment stream, which I'm only one month behind on now. :)

Yeah, I knew he'd fall in love in the simulator. It wasn't bad though.

My favorite moment? *Chomp* *Chomp* *Chomp*. I knew immediately it was gum, and laughed quite hard. And when she asked Bortus if it helped, his immediate "No" put me over the top. I had to pause it for just a moment.

A close second was when Klyden promptly ate his first cigarette.

Have a great day... RT
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Mon, Mar 25, 2019, 9:40pm (UTC -5)
@Charles J.

Sorry but no.

If anybody wants to see fans bickering and fighting viciously, they can go to any of the other Trek discussion sites where such behavior was always the norm. There are plenty of "good" examples of this kind of "discourse" all over the net, so there's no point in turning Jammer's site to another one of those.

It is the (relative) civility of the discussions here that always made Jammer's site special. That was always the main attraction of coming here in the first place.

So no, I do not agree that allowing this trend to continue unchecked is good idea.

I do agree, though, that deleting comments left and right is not going to solve anything either. A more delicate approach is needed.

Anyway, I'm done talking about this (at least for now). Either Jammer does something about this or he doesn't. If he does - great. If he doesn't - continuing to harp on this topic isn't going to change his mind.
Trent
Mon, Mar 25, 2019, 10:44pm (UTC -5)
Slacker said: "I'm surprised though that in talking about Kirk's one-off loves, you didn't mention Rayna Kapec, who for my money is the greatest, most affecting Kirk love interest of them all."

I'd completely forgotten about that episode. It's one of my favorite episodes too, especially the dance sequences and Spock on the piano.

Booming said "Ist it actually true that there are more women on the Orville? I tried to watch the last Discovery episode through that lens but I think I didn't notice any gender disparity."

Orville only has Kelly, the Doc and Talla/Alara. Discovery has Michael, Tilly, Mirror Empress, the female security officer, the admiral, and 3 female bridge crew. So it's the most female heavy Trek series by far.

IMO DS9 and Voyager had the best written female Trek characters, though the writers never really locked Janeway down well enough (am I the only person who thinks the series would have benefited from a slow-boil Chakotay/Janeway romance?). TNG tried hard, but killed Yar, dropped Pulaski (underrated character IMO) and saddled Troi with too many hokey plots.
Dave in MN
Mon, Mar 25, 2019, 10:53pm (UTC -5)
@ Slacker

Definitely not my best moment. It's no excuse, but for context: at that point I had ssevere kidney stone problems, not enough painkillers, and way too much time .on my hands. if I had a do-over (or a edit button), I'd not have allowed myself to get so irrationally upset over something as esoteric as media coverage/Youtube investigations .

But, for the record: I never popped in to Discovery discussion just to personally attack soneone, my conversations WERE focused on the show, not personalities of commenters.
Spockless
Mon, Mar 25, 2019, 11:31pm (UTC -5)
@sc and others who want more sci fi .. I'll remind you that this show is aBOUT relationships. It's in one of the taglines. He is interested in exploring relationships, romances and the life of having a temp job on a ship.. that's his angle.. you want more sci fi or lasers, you might have to wait.
RandomThoughts
Mon, Mar 25, 2019, 11:34pm (UTC -5)
Hello again, Everyone!

Please forgive my 2nd post so soon, but I was just reading a comment about how the holodeck in TNG had sitting folks end up standing when the program ended. I, once again, laughed out loud when he was in the simulator, ended the program, and fell to the floor with a *oomph*. It was not only perfect, but a fantastic showing (to me) of how it would actually happen. Along with a subtle jab at the other series that didn't do it that way. :)

*Note to self, always stand first in the simulator*

*when I get one*

Regards... RT
Dave in MN
Mon, Mar 25, 2019, 11:42pm (UTC -5)
@ Omicron

A slim majority of me says to be the be a good ambassador for The Orville and ignore it; while the other 47% of me says "Be the instrument of karma." ;)

I'm all for fostering constructive conversation, but still, I have a 3 -5 strike rule before losing my patience with insults.

At the minimum, I'll ignore two ad hominem comments, but not a third. After all, if the mosquito hasn't flown away at that point, someone's got to smack it imho.

For me, that seems to strike a good balance between turning the other cheek and being a willing accessory to your own roasting.

*****************************

A purely rhetorical question:

if I accept that no one in this thread actually has the moral high ground ...

... and I accept that no consequences are forthcoming due to everyone being on a equally dubious ethical footing ...

.... and I accept no brownie points are being awarded for having measured/ polite interactions ...

... AND I were to agree that refuting continuous insults is as bad as lobbing them...

... then, technically, what difference does it make WHAT one says or how one says it?



No need for a response, that was a rhetorical exercise.
SlackerInc
Tue, Mar 26, 2019, 2:58am (UTC -5)
@Dave: That's fair.
Booming
Tue, Mar 26, 2019, 3:15am (UTC -5)
@Omicron and Dave
Omicron, you attacked and insulted me for no reason in the other thread which you certainly will be happy to hear actually hurt my feelings. That is why I reacted.
You brought me back to this thread.

Dave, in his last post in this very thread, is comparing me to an insect he wants to "smack". I just find it puzzling how much people don't see their own patterns while complaining about other peoples behavior and even asking Jammer to enforce their wishes. Both have repeatedly attacked other people in the Discovery thread without any real reason(I know, I know Dave had kidney stones). Yeah, turning the other cheek alright. Butt cheek maybe.

I haven't said anything negative about the Orville for quite some time and I will not do so in the future. Why would I ?!

Have fun with the Orville.
Perry
Tue, Mar 26, 2019, 9:39am (UTC -5)
@Troy I wouldn't think anything posted on jammer boards would influence Jammer to rationalize his thoughts on an episode. Jammer is always the last person to write up his formal review. Jammer has spent countless hours scoring through countless reviews in many other tv franchises. It's not a like working in a kitchen doing the dishes, he does his best to correct/interpret/discover things that he missed or not though of. He wouldn't be here doing these things for free if no one offers his input. Trolls on the other hand is a hard one to stop, who wants to be a moderator for a modest fee? Looking forward to the battle zone in the next episode.
Dave in MN
Tue, Mar 26, 2019, 12:19pm (UTC -5)
Jammer's reviews are probably going to be read longer than anyone realizes. I'd take my time too if I knew that they might have historical interest/ read by posterity.

Besides, I know Jammer posted on his blog that he's juggling qf lot of things at the moment and he forewarned there'd be a longer delay on reviews than last year.
Landon
Tue, Mar 26, 2019, 1:49pm (UTC -5)
Absolutely loved it. It made me care about the characters and really captured my own deep sentiments about history as a history fan.
Gerontius
Tue, Mar 26, 2019, 3:50pm (UTC -5)
I took it that Greg was intentionally presented as more or less a clone of Molloy - same beard, same mannerisms, and from what Laura said, the same characteristics.
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Tue, Mar 26, 2019, 4:03pm (UTC -5)
@Dave MN
"I'm all for fostering constructive conversation, but still, I have a 3 -5 strike rule before losing my patience with insults."

Agreed.

The problem is that quite a few commenters here are already way past 5 strikes.

As for this:

"A slim majority of me says to be the be a good ambassador for The Orville and ignore it; while the other 47% of me says 'Be the instrument of karma.' ;)

I'm not the kind of guy who would bite his lip just to be "a good ambassador", yet I still vote for the "ignore" option. Ignoring this kind of trash is the only way to keep our stay here enjoyable.

As for karma, these guys will get their just desserts when a 25th century dude creates a simulation of them based on their posts here. ;-)
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Tue, Mar 26, 2019, 4:04pm (UTC -5)
@Gerontius

Gordon's father was also named Greg.

I wonder if it was intended for Laura to be one of Gordon's ancestors.
Dave in MN
Tue, Mar 26, 2019, 4:51pm (UTC -5)
@ Omicton

I shudder to think of Future Holo-Me and his future holo-kidney stones. Haha

@ Gerontius

I actually like that ithe story was left open-ended .... perhaps Gordon might end up with a Minuet Complex. I can foresee a future plot where Malloy's non- holographic girlfriend feels jealous/in competition with his "perfect" holo-ex and decides unmask the "real" Laura.
SlackerInc
Tue, Mar 26, 2019, 9:39pm (UTC -5)
Sorry to throw in an off topic question, but I don't know where else to put it (I looked for a "general discussion" type thread but didn't see one).

My wife, who only has watched a curated selection of "Voyager" because I basically made her and our daughters watch it with me, got a movie from Netflix called "Please Stand By". I knew it was about a young woman with autism, but didn't realize until it started that it leaned so heavily on Trek lore.

Is this known in the Trek fan community already, or did I just pass you a good cinematic tip? :)
iStarship
Wed, Mar 27, 2019, 8:05am (UTC -5)
Great episode. TNGish, you bet, but I loved it. Haven't watched TV in years but I watch The Orville every week on the Fox app.

Speaking of, I paused at one point and it happened to be while Gordon was thumbing through the texts. I kid you not, one of them was "Grayson: Send nudes". I think the writers were having a little fun there.
Gerontius
Wed, Mar 27, 2019, 7:55pm (UTC -5)
@slackerInc - no idea if that film is known in "the Trek fan community", since I just watch the shows, and call into jammer's place. But thanks for the tip, since this looks like it is a film I'll watch, even aside from any Trek related content. (It's not on Netflix in England, but I found it online easily enough anyway.)

I think Omicron is probably right about the idea that Laura and Greg being Molloy's ancestors. Seth's team seem to have resisted the temptation to bring that out as definite, which I think was probably a good idea. It's suggested, but that's enough. No need to invite people to sneer at the massive coincidence involved.
SlackerInc
Wed, Mar 27, 2019, 9:59pm (UTC -5)
@Gerontius, you're welcome! There's a scene early on when the main character is winning bets (arranged by a neurotypical coworker) that they could stump her with Star Trek trivia, and I wondered if any of the commenters here would have known the answers (I didn't).
Tommy D.
Thu, Mar 28, 2019, 2:01am (UTC -5)
Enjoyed this one. 3 stars.
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Thu, Mar 28, 2019, 3:58am (UTC -5)
@Slacker Inc

How many questions where there?

I quickly browsed the script and found two question. Are there more?

(TBH I'm not that interested in watching the film itself. The trivia contest, though, intruged me).
Dougie
Thu, Mar 28, 2019, 6:36am (UTC -5)
@perry

“Jammer is always the last person to write up his formal review.”

I’ve caught times where in my opinion the official review does not sound as though the show was watched, but is sewn together from the fan reviews in the forum. Specific unusual words used in fan reviews mysteriously appeared in the official review, much like a hypnotist would use post hypnotic suggestion.


“He wouldn't be here doing these things for free if no one offers his input.”

You see those banner and 300x250 ads everywhere? Nothing is for free. You see those older reviews on the other forums getting dredged up with comments like “liked this. Ima Fan” that’s SEO dredging and audience acquisition.


“Trolls on the other hand is a hard one to stop, who wants to be a moderator for a modest fee? Looking forward to the battle zone in the next episode.”

Not really. A message board that is balanced will be fine. One that is fan based will erupt when someone who brings either a centrist, or negative view posts. An anonymous sock puppet type forum will be chaotic. There’s no way to block a member who is disruptive, and moderation tools are useless. What else could be the expectation. As readers we are helpless, there’s no way to sift through the noise, block a bully, rate a member, follow someone you appreciate like Elliott. The forum master complains that he has trouble getting through all the posts to find the important ones and then make decisions about what’s right or wrong in context. Well, if that’s a problem for them, SAME FOR US JEEZ LOUISE. It’s 1996 here and that’s the way I’ve been told to accept it so I mostly stay in the current year and drop by when I feels 1996.
Dave in MN
Thu, Mar 28, 2019, 8:31am (UTC -5)
@Dougie

I've strongly disagreed with your reviews in the past, but glad to see you're doing ok.
Gerontius
Thu, Mar 28, 2019, 10:46am (UTC -5)
No way to block a member who is disruptive? Not too hard. If someone's too much of a pain, they get warned. If they keep being a pain, block their access. All right it's always possible to set up a new address and a new name, nothing's perfect, and you'll always be some people getting up the noses of others. But that kind of rough and ready moderation seems to work well enough with another forum (about something competely different) that I go to.

In any case, from what I've seen here, the level of sniping and general nastiness is pretty mild, not really worth getting het up about.

As for the ads, they are pretty unobtrusive and not many. I'm very grateful to Jammer for providing us with this place.
Perry
Thu, Mar 28, 2019, 1:10pm (UTC -5)
@Dougie Thanks for your input. I've only being on this reviewer boards for a year or so.

A lot have changed since 1996, I bet Jammer can track IP addresses of the person responses and use a block by IP address feature provided by the IP provider as long as the site is using ancient coding html.

I find all this has become equivalency to my writing classes. A good experience for me. Who wants to pay for my college courses that are an essential requirement for graduation?
Jammer
Thu, Mar 28, 2019, 7:44pm (UTC -5)
Review now posted.
Dave in MN
Thu, Mar 28, 2019, 8:15pm (UTC -5)
I know all reviews are subject to personal taste, but still, I'm happy to see Jammer rated this so highly!
Perry
Thu, Mar 28, 2019, 10:34pm (UTC -5)
https://www.reddit.com/r/TheOrville/comments/b6issj/gordon_malloy_was_on_the_enterprise_25_years/

cool to see Gordon in that time capsule.

I bet Jammer couldn't add .25 to 3.5 stars for 3.75 stars... but any 3.5 stars is a milestone for Orville.
Dougie
Thu, Mar 28, 2019, 11:56pm (UTC -5)
@gerontius
It’s possible to have dozens of IP addresses through a day, and with Tor it would be impossible to block someone via IP. I can get a new one on my phone by power cycling over LTE. User agent trapping doesn’t work they’re not unique. Dont minimize it, users walk away. They take thousands of pageviews per year with them.

If you knew the lifetime value of a visitor to a site with advertising and it was your retirement, you’d get it. It’s an important analytic. After all, this is a business designed to look like a forum.
Gerontius
Fri, Mar 29, 2019, 4:12am (UTC -5)
True enough, if someone wants to work hard at being a nuisance they can find ways to do it. One of the minor irritations of life.

But this forum does seem reasonably affable.

I was glad to see Jammer shared the general appreciation of this episode.
SC
Fri, Mar 29, 2019, 10:58am (UTC -5)
April 11th for the next episode (in America.) This is why ratings drop on US shows, because they're not consistent, week to week, in their time slot. Even when they are, the amount of adverts and the frequency of them is madness! The show only exists to sell the product(s). In the UK, adverts are longer, which means less frequent.

I never watch the ads anyway, always wait for catch-up. As I am from the UK, I haven't seen this episode yet.
Dave in MN
Fri, Mar 29, 2019, 11:09am (UTC -5)
It's March Madness in the US. I'm not sure how much overlap there is between audiences, but a lot of shows don't bother airing new episodes during the NCAA playoffs.
Gerontius
Fri, Mar 29, 2019, 2:36pm (UTC -5)
Or of course, in the UK, if a show is on a BBC channel, there are no adverts at all. This is on the Fox channel, but I've never watched it live, so no problem with ads.
SlackerInc
Fri, Mar 29, 2019, 5:19pm (UTC -5)
I would call this a middling episode of the series, but I like this show a lot in general, so that's still pretty good--and I'm glad Jammer and others got so much out of it.

I second the sentiment of being glad Jammer has created all this, and I hope he does make some dough out of the deal!
SlackerInc
Fri, Mar 29, 2019, 5:22pm (UTC -5)
Oops, forgot to respond to @OTDP: I don't remember how many trivia questions there were. I thought it was three or four, but you might be right. There are plenty of other Trek references throughout the movie, though.
Dave in MN
Fri, Mar 29, 2019, 7:38pm (UTC -5)
https://mobile.twitter.com/SethMacFarlane/status/1111778480654553096

Seth just Tweeted:

"Happy birthday @MarinaSirtis. You can catch her on The Orville in less than two weeks!"
Mal
Fri, Mar 29, 2019, 9:16pm (UTC -5)
I'm not going to write a long review. I just wanted to say that I love watching The Orville.

I look forward to new episodes of The Orville the way I used to look forward to new TNG episodes when I was a kid. Watching The Orville is like a nice massage after the rough ride of that other show where - ironically - people are actually supposed to be on some sort of star trek.

Thank you Seth McFarlane!
Mertov
Fri, Mar 29, 2019, 11:23pm (UTC -5)
Easily one of my favorite episodes of the season, among my top 3 for sure. Bortus and Clyde addicted to smoking and hiding it from each other, Bortus chewing gum on the bridge, I busted out laughing few times throughout those scenes.

And there were so many hilarious little lines like Gordon saying in the last dialogue "That's a hell of a romantic legacy" to Kelly's cross-eye anecdote.. Hahahaha..
Sherman explaining "WTF" to the crew with Ed replying "Amazing." Golden!

Yes there are echoes of old Trek episodes but if good humor is added to the episode, I'm all in for the charmed version :).
Well done The Orville. And nice review Jammer.
Mertov
Fri, Mar 29, 2019, 11:45pm (UTC -5)
Just looked at some of the comments and see that some posters argued back and forth again and Jammer intervening came into question. Jammer's response is perfect, but I wanted to add my opinion to the mix.

If there were one single thing that I could wish for some magic hand to impose, that would be to make it so nobody can post more than 4 or 5 posts in one episode's thread. So many comment boards of episodes are hi-jacked by few posters who average 10 or more (and that's putting it conservatively) comments per episode. I mean, there are some episode with comment boards where a few people literally occupy hundred or more of the comments (usually more than half). I find that quite ridiculous and I bet some new people decide to never post because they feel like what they write would get lost in the shuffle, or simply want no part of a confrontational board.

Just my two cents, I know it will never happen, that is why I said "I wish some magic hand" This was my second post in this episode's board, already getting too close to my limit.
SC
Sat, Mar 30, 2019, 8:20am (UTC -5)
@DAVE

NCAA playoffs. Surely not the same audience as The Orville.

@Gerontius

The show airs on FOX in the UK. There are usually three adverts. One every fifteen minutes. I've watched shows in America before and there seems to be an advert every five minutes. How anyone can follow the storyline, it must be so annoying.
Dave in MN
Sat, Mar 30, 2019, 9:50am (UTC -5)
@ Mertov

Tally up the reviews of both T.O. & DSC from two years ago, there's been no actual drop-off in the number of commenters OR comments ... quite the opposite, actually. Not to be combative, but I genuinely doubt that anyone who actually bothers to scroll down and reads through a comment section would be intimated by a healthy discussion.

Limiting posts in any way would actually scare more people away than it would bring in ... and it would encourage posts that were 100 paragraphs as commenters tried to cram every thought into their limited interactions.

Despite occasional speedbumps, the system seems to work (says the man who posts a lot, haha).
Mertov
Sat, Mar 30, 2019, 11:53am (UTC -5)
Understood Dave, although I disagree with you on some details.

There are sometimes fleshed-out comments that are great but it happens to be a one-time commenter and his/her comment gets lost in a pool of 50-60 comments of two or three people bickering back and forth or trying to have the last word. And I am not sure that everyone who comes to read the comments actually digs through every comment in a sequence like that to see if they can read the one or two good ones. They see 5 or 6 comments in a row arguing back and forth on menial things (and usually these arguments go totally outside the domain of the episode in question) and say "heck with this" and leave or scroll down fast to 60 comments ahead, thus missing the one good one.

It would be nice if some commenters (don't take it personally, because I've been guilty of this once or twice too) showed some restraint and didn't hijack the comment section with 15 to 25 comments just to reiterate the same point they already made before or harp on a particular issue/character/topic. Like I will do now and stop here with this topic. Have a good day :)
Dougie
Sat, Mar 30, 2019, 2:45pm (UTC -5)
One thing I really wish this forum did, is if you click on a comment in the Comment Stream, have it take you to THAT COMMENT in the actual Episode posting. Come on, these are anchor links with a div. html 1.0. By making me scroll and find the comment within the episode post, knowing there are probably a hundred plus, it discourages me from doing that and reduces page views.
Jack
Sat, Mar 30, 2019, 11:25pm (UTC -5)
Someone above mentioned the dearth of male characters, “particularly straight male characters” on Discovery.

This is nonsense - there is no dearth.

This isn’t a Discovery thread, but just for accuracy’s sake I count — just looking at the regular mains:

Female: Burnham, Tilly, Georgieu (3)

Male: Spock, Pike, Saru, Tyler, Stammets, Culber (6)

Bridge crew regulars: 2 male/ 2 female (with Airiam gone)
SlackerInc
Sun, Mar 31, 2019, 1:36am (UTC -5)
I thought I had made this comment earlier, but I don't see it; so again: if as on Reddit we could upvote comments and choose to sort by "Most Popular", the long and thoughtful comment buried in the middle of a thread could get more attention.

@SC: I watch both March Madness and (obviously) "The Orville".  Is that really so unusual?

@Jack: Traditionally the main Trek characters are on the bridge and engineering.  "Discovery" has pulled an interesting move in both its seasons so far.  That is, only one straight white male human each season among that set of characters.  But in each season it has been the captain, which seems to strongly counterbalance things.  OTOH in the first season (SPOILER ALERT) that one dude turned out to be a Trumpian villain.  So Pike, if he is in fact straight (he is "straight-presenting", but who knows) is really the first major such character on the show who is one of the "good guys".  But again, he IS the captain, so that counts for more than just one spot.  It is weird though, like they are kind of trying to have it both ways.

Also, although he's not part of the bridge or engineering crew, I'd say that in any case most people would consider Shazad Latif (who plays Ash Tyler) to be a "person of color", as his father is Pakistani.  Plus he's not REALLY human, is he?
Brian
Sun, Mar 31, 2019, 9:58am (UTC -5)
solid ep that maybe needed a little bit more plot to chew on. Ironically would have been a better TNG ep because on TNG the future people legitimately act different from contemporary people. Orville they already act like 20th century everyday people so the contrast is lost quite a bit. But a solid foundation for a story, gave a few good things to think about, and Mollow is becoming one of the MVPs of the show (along with Kelly, Bortis, The Doctor, the kids, and Isaac)
BRIAN
Sun, Mar 31, 2019, 10:03am (UTC -5)
also, thanks for the great review Jammer, as always!
SlackerInc
Sun, Mar 31, 2019, 11:21pm (UTC -5)
Whoa. Is everyone else seeing "Control" all over the place? At first, I thought it was someone being weird/trollish, but then I realized it was some kind of normally invisible HTML code or something. (If it looks normal to everyone else, this for example is how my final sentence looked in my most recent post before this one: "Control Plus Control he's Control not Control REALLY Control human, Control is Control he? Control. Control. Destroy Control.")
Neil
Mon, Apr 1, 2019, 2:21am (UTC -5)
Yes, Slacker, we're all seeing the same thing. Looks like Jammer's site has been hacked or attacked with a virus by some asshole. All comments to all articles have bee affected. Hopefully there's a backup,
Neil
Mon, Apr 1, 2019, 2:30am (UTC -5)
...or maybe this is Jammer's doing? If so . . . Hahaha. Haha. Haha. Ha.
William B
Mon, Apr 1, 2019, 2:54am (UTC -5)
Check the date, everyone. :)
Gerontius
Mon, Apr 1, 2019, 3:44pm (UTC -5)
End control!
SlackerInc
Mon, Apr 1, 2019, 7:25pm (UTC -5)
Destroy control!
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Tue, Apr 2, 2019, 10:45am (UTC -5)
I imagine Jammer speaking in Isaac's voice:
"Ha ha. Got you."

;-)
Bobbington Mc Bob
Sun, Apr 7, 2019, 5:03am (UTC -5)
Grimes, stop cutting onions every week. I only have so many handkerchiefs
90s Rerunner
Mon, Apr 8, 2019, 8:16am (UTC -5)
Outstanding review Jammer, thanks.

Starting to get a little tense about the lack of any news on a renewal.
Perry
Mon, Apr 8, 2019, 8:11pm (UTC -5)
https://variety.com/2019/tv/news/live7-ratings-week-of-march-18-1203183281/

That should help the chances of renewal.
John Dark
Tue, Apr 9, 2019, 8:03am (UTC -5)
I hope Seth can eventually get every cast member of Voyager and Enterprise to do cameos. But if he wants Jennifer Lien, he's going to have to get somebody to go pick her up, drive her to the set, and bring her home when the day's over. What I'm saying, Jen, is that you HAVE to stop driving without a license. Crossing my fingers that Fox picks up The Orville for a third season.
Another Michael
Sat, Apr 13, 2019, 10:56am (UTC -5)
After rewatching this again, I agree with Jammer that it is one of the best of the series. It’s a clever use of the sci fi theme to talk about a lot of very real and relatable issues, it makes good use of it’s characters, and is both emotionally compelling and just the right amount of funny. It’s great stuff, and I greatly appreaciate that they didn’t feel the need to throw in unnecessary action. That kind of restraint is wonderful to see. The Orville definitely grew into it’s own this season, but this one really stands out to me as being incredibly brave, thoughtful and surprisingly naunced. 5/5
Lupe
Fri, Apr 26, 2019, 12:16pm (UTC -5)
From the first five minutes, I genuinely thought this was going to be gold, but AFAIC from this point it drifted gradually into above-averageness. Better than the last two, but that wouldn't be hard.

Like episodes of this show, not all of my reviews are going to be memorable.
Ian
Mon, Jun 17, 2019, 10:59am (UTC -5)
I liked this episode more than I expected. We've been learning more about Gordon Malloy in season two and he's much more rounded-out and likeable character. It was a real pleasure to see Tim Russ again. I wish there was more of him in this episode. The scenes with Bortus smoking were hilarious. I wish they simply had him continue smoking for the rest of the season.
navamske
Tue, Jun 18, 2019, 9:24am (UTC -5)
[[The archeologist assigned to oversee this unearthing is played by Tim Russ, whom I haven't seen in anything since probably Live Free or Die Hard. His performance here suggests a specific eccentricity.]]

Tim Russ was in an episode of "The Good Doctor."
Eric
Fri, Oct 4, 2019, 3:33pm (UTC -5)
So the time capsule was taken from Saratoga Springs, New York, and instead of opening it there, they launch it into space, then open it on the Orville? Why?
Del_Duio
Sun, Oct 13, 2019, 9:32am (UTC -5)
I've been watching this series lately and wanted to say that it is GREAT. This is the Trek we deserve. I'm super impressed!

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