The Orville

"The Road Not Taken"

3 stars

Air date: 4/25/2019
Written by David A. Goodman
Directed by Gary Rake

Review by Jamahl Epsicokhan

Minor actions having huge unforeseen consequences is a staple of time-travel stories. Pull on a thread, and you unravel the tapestry. "You go back before World War II and kill Hitler, and maybe you make everything worse," says Mercer, taking the opposing view of the conventional wisdom of the classic premise. In his mind, you just don't make that supposedly obvious choice.

I enjoyed hearing that, because the "kill Hitler" time-travel scenario always sounds good on paper, but you truly have no idea what the downstream ramifications of doing that would be. If you kill Hitler and change the course of history, the results could be counter-intuitively catastrophic. Maybe now the Cuban Missile Crisis ends in global nuclear annihilation. At the very least, you are all but ensuring you will not be born. Maybe I'm selfish and we're historically far enough removed from World War II to distance ourselves from that pain, but I happen to like the world as it exists today, and doing something as universe-altering as killing Hitler could mean I'm not only erasing my own existence in favor of that alternate reality, but creating a potentially worse one.

Someone in the comments last week made the point: Just by going back in time before your birth and breathing the air, you are guaranteeing you won't be born. I agree with this premise because I subscribe to the idea of the butterfly effect, which strikes me as more likely than anything we see in most time-travel stories — but is something that by necessity must be completely ignored by such stories. Why? Because the concept effectively destroys all time-travel stories (including that bad movie called The Butterfly Effect), because any sort of time travel would change a timeline from that point forward so radically it would become basically unrecognizable.

"The Road Not Taken" demonstrates how Past Kelly's knowledge of the future led her not to go out with Ed on a second date, which had a catastrophic chain reaction leading to the decimation of the Union and humanity. While I could probably do without the notion that the Ed/Kelly relationship — already a mixed-bag as a cornerstone of this series — is now so crucial that its absence means no less than the end of civilization itself, "The Road Not Taken" uses the premise to create a fun alternate-reality sci-fi adventure yarn that doesn't do anything riveting or unexpected but is consistently entertaining as a fast-paced homage to Star Trek and Star Wars.

This week while shopping at the TNG Store: The basic outline from "Yesterday's Enterprise" (a seemingly inconsequential event from the past ultimately results in the specter of society's downfall) only with a lot less substance, weight, and emotional heft — and a lot more visual effects and episodic adventure. The details of the plot reveal that Kelly changed history because her memory wipe didn't take (some protein missing from her body rendered it ineffective), and she wanted to spare herself and Ed their failed marriage and subsequent divorce. So she turned down their second date. Because Ed and Kelly never got together, Ed never became captain of the Orville, Finn was never assigned there with her sons, who never befriended Isaac, which led Isaac not to learn human compassion and therefore not stop the Kaylon invasion. (I like how this plot plays on the season's previous episodes.)

How Kelly knows all this from her visit to the future and only belatedly puts all the pieces together is not really important. What's important is that we must now use the Orville to send Finn back in time to intercept Past Kelly and make sure the memory wipe gets done right this time. The logic of the plot is linear and straightforward — perhaps even too much so — and points to a foregone conclusion which reveals few surprises. But we do get things like:

  • Hey, look! The Kaylon not only have pop-out Head Cannons™, but now the whole head can detach and fly through the air like an aerial assault drone! Cool! This does not make them good shots, however; they're as incompetent as any flesh-and-blood bad guy.
  • Look! A dash through the rocky cliffs of an asteroid while being pursued by the Kaylon is right out of The Empire Strikes Back!
  • Everyone wears bitchin' leather jackets, because things are bad and wearing leather jackets means We Mean Business. If when the future's so bright you gotta wear shades, I guess you break out the leather jackets for the darkness.
  • Look! The door at the hidden Union base looks just like the door at Jabba's palace in Return of the Jedi, and it has Yaphit's tentacle extending out of it for a chat! And inside the Union base is Alara, making an alternate-timeline guest appearance.
  • Hey! Let's use this black hole to hide our ragtag bunch from pursuing Kaylon ships! I would've thought escaping after passing through an event horizon would be more difficult and technobabbly than they make this, but for our crew, it works sort of like a one-way mirror.
  • A grayed husk of what remains of Earth (and a shattered Moon) allows us to see what would've happened if the Kaylon attack in "Identity, Part II" had not been thwarted. The characters are appropriately haunted by the sight.
  • Joel McNeely's score is excessive to the point of distractingly counterfeit excitement. I used to rail against the music-as-wallpaper era of TNG, but it seems we've overcorrected.
  • We venture 20,000 leagues under the sea (okay, far less than that) to retrieve the Orville, which has been stranded on the ocean floor since it was abandoned, crashed, and sunk during the Kaylon attack. Only Bortus remains on board, hoping for rescue. The mission to raise the ship from the ocean back into space plays like its own mini-episode.
  • The Orville is destroyed as it sends Finn into the past, in a desperate save-the-timeline-or-bust concept very similar to the gambit in "Yesterday's Enterprise."

All these touches I enjoyed on their level. They speak to one of this series' apparent mission statements, which is to create sequences surrounded by quotation marks paying homage to their creator's nostalgic passions. The plentiful visual effects conveying all of this are wonderfully rendered. The action is brisk and breezy and the episode overall is nicely paced.

As for the romantic scenes between Ed and Kelly: I continue to struggle with them. On the one hand, Seth MacFarlane's hopelessly romantic Joe Schmoe sincerity routine is something I feel comes from a genuine place. Say what you will about Ed Mercer: He's not a cynic, and this sensibility from MacFarlane is a million miles from his previous flippancy in shows like Family Guy. But on the other hand, Ed's dialogue is so cornball and clichéd that I can't help but groan and roll my eyes when he throws together a spaghetti dinner here for the two of them amid the plot to save the galaxy. The intentions are good, but the execution is laughably trite. I would chalk this up to "irony," but these scenes are simply not being ironic.

I also find it kind of amusing that Ed lectures Kelly on changing the timeline after not having locked Past Kelly in a room (which would've been the smart thing to do) after she traveled through time in "Tomorrow." Of course, this Ed wasn't the one who didn't do that, because the one who didn't do that was in another timeline, so I guess I can't complain about his hypocrisy over something that never didn't happen. (And besides, it's not really me talking anyway; the Jammer complaining about this exists in the timeline that was erased. Don't worry; he'll be back before the episode ends.)

But this delivers on its plot and works as a season closer, if we grant (as I grudgingly must) that the Ed/Kelly relationship is a key pillar of this series. I like the idea of again not doing a cliffhanger; should the series not be renewed, this would make for an acceptable finale. If the show does come back for a third season, I hope they can take the improvements they've made in season two (particularly its second half; I was still a skeptic during the first half) and build on them. I think they've managed to find a balance that works for this show by not forcing comedy and taking a generally laid-back approach to the drama. If I find the ambitions to be modest and familiar (give or take a "Sanctuary"), I do like that they are sincere.

Previous episode: Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow
Next episode: Electric Sheep

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181 comments on this post

Dave in MN
Thu, Apr 25, 2019, 9:02pm (UTC -5)
A very interesting and intelligent peek at the universe that might have been. Plus Alara came back!

4 stars
Thu, Apr 25, 2019, 9:09pm (UTC -5)
@Dave, I can't go with you on this one. It wasn't terrible, better than two or three of the episodes this season...but not that great and certainly not as good as last week's episode (which may actually now be a little diminished in my memory as a result).

I know it's standard for generic bad guys to be bad shots--but given how precise Isaac was when he took out the bridge crew, did they really have to be "can't hit the broad side of a barn" bad in the teaser?

I also thought all the "Empire Strikes Back" callbacks were a little silly.

I'm surprised they didn't give us a few seconds on the "prime timeline" Orville to show that all was well, that the timeline had been restored.
Thu, Apr 25, 2019, 9:15pm (UTC -5)
Well it had to happen sooner or later I suppose.

Tonight was The Orville takes on the Star Wars universe with a little
bit of the usual Star Trek baggage that the show has for good measure.

We even get Alara back for a couple of scenes and if I am not mistaken a snatch
of music from either Alien or Aliens when the crew enter the Orville at the
bottom of the ocean.

It is quite the mismash going on here and much to my surprise, it all works and
works quite well.

I was engaged from the moment the ep started right up to the end even tho the
end was not a surprise, the ride there was just one of those things that one can
watch with a smile on the face and enjoy the silliness as it unfolds.

Good way to end the season and hope to see season III.

4 stars for me on this one.
Dave in MN
Thu, Apr 25, 2019, 9:20pm (UTC -5)
I think it was clever cinematography/storytelling to use the same framing device to end both episodes. A flash forward to a restored Orville would have been a waste of screen time.

Honestly, other than Game of Thrones, this is the only TV series I've seen this year where I can completely immerse myself in a fantastical world.

This episode checked every box for me .... I love the camaraderie and fellowship of the cast, the dramatic high stakes with the Kaylon War, the war-hardened versions of the crew, the judicious use of humor, and the logical portrayal of a closed time loop. I was swept off my feet by the beautiful VFX and the soundtrack was fabulous. And as I previously mentioned, we got to see Alara again!

It was everything I could ask for in a new sci-fi episode .... I don't see how I couldn't give it four stars.

Different strokes for different folks, I suppose.
Thu, Apr 25, 2019, 9:28pm (UTC -5)
4/4 stars from me. Only thing waiting is for a pickup for an renewal!
Thu, Apr 25, 2019, 10:01pm (UTC -5)
Wonderful effects. Liked scruffy Ed. Good music (very reminiscent of Star Trek 2). No out of place humor. Dull story. Felt like I had seen it all before; which can be an obvious downside to a show that borrows so heavily from other shows. It was ok. A 2.5/4. Hope the show is renewed because, overall, this season has been a big improvement.
Thu, Apr 25, 2019, 10:21pm (UTC -5)
Poor man’s Yesterday Enterprise. Nuff said.
Fri, Apr 26, 2019, 12:09am (UTC -5)
Safe episode just in case its not renewed. Acting was pretty terrible but it was fun enough and got its point across. Very good season overall.
Was anyone else waiting for Guinan to tell Alara she was dead in the other timeline so she'd get blown up with Shooter McGavin and save everyone?
Fri, Apr 26, 2019, 1:31am (UTC -5)
Hello Everyone!

Heh, I hate storm warnings. Glad it was only three minutes for me towards the beginning. I'll catch that up on Hulu. Same thing for Supernatural, which I'll catch up on at the CW app.

I was gratified one of my musings on the previous episode was right. They were not in the right place, at the right time, to prevent the Kaylon destruction of Earth. And boy, they didn't mess around. I'm thinking they took pieces of the Moon and shot them towards Earth, as those were some big craters. If that was the case, the atmosphere might have been more hazy though, from the ejecta.

Those flying heads were a neat surprise, but once again, why didn't Isaac use his head cannon to save them when they were stranded on that planet? And they don't seem to be all that stable when flying, since for the most part they were only successful in shooting the ground. They seem to do much better standing still.

And a question was answered for me from a previous episode, there are indeed Kaylon in those ships, they are not separate entities.

It was nice to see Alara.

It seems this version of Isaac didn't spend 700 years on a planet (my opinion) and didn't date the Doctor. It just had the original programming to learn for invasion. I think that means in the original timeline, Isaac did indeed develop empathy for the sentients it was observing.

The empty Orville, with a bit of interior damage from their takeover fight (I presume) did look creepy to me as they slowly walked along, but not over the top. I did expect to see some bodies around though. Maybe the Kaylon do indeed like their spaces to be neat and tidy, and there was a room full of bodies somewhere.

Yes, Kelly was bad for that small thought of hoping that timeline would remain. Ed was bad for not being shocked and appalled. I also said out loud "He's EATING HER FACE!". But I've never had to kiss someone, and feign passion, on camera. Maybe it's harder than it looks... :)

I thought they'd run into some Kaylon at Earth, then realized since it was blasted to rubble months before, why bother? They needed the ships to defeat other races.

It seems the Kaylon are indeed connected to each other in some way. Now I wonder, as others have, why they didn't know their guards were defeated in the shuttlebay in the earlier ep? Or when Isaac went rogue? Perhaps they have to actually "think" about it, just as we have to say something verbally after the thought hits us. I might be reaching though... :)

I also wondered why, when the Doctor was set to go back in time, she hadn't told them what to do beforehand? The clock is running, she's about to get on the table, and only then hurriedly gives them the instructions. A small point, but enough that I took notice. Maybe do the instructions off-camera, and have her say something more along the lines of "Do you remember what I told you to do?"

Overall, I liked this one. Not fantastic, but not horrible. I'll watch it again on Hulu, and not just to see the little bits I missed when they came on to tell us about the potential tornado. I'll give it a thumbs up.

Enjoy the day Everyone... RT
Fri, Apr 26, 2019, 6:32am (UTC -5)
First time ever commenting here, but just wanted to express how much I enjoyed this as a spin on the usual "reset button" alternative timeline episode. The fact that it was actually set up in the previous episode instead of standing completely on it's own. The homages to Star Wars, the scruffy outfits, the (sometimes not so) subtle callbacks.

It kind of feels like they decided to go out big in case the show doesn't get renewed, and have some good fun while doing it.
Fri, Apr 26, 2019, 6:59am (UTC -5)
Ho hum best describes this one for me.

Wow, the Orville with Ed commanding is so important that without them the Kaylon rule the universe? .... mmmmmm OK....

The Kaylon conquer everyone but can't hit a shuttle? ... of some folks running?

The solution revealed 15 minutes in.... tons of "A-Team action"

I fell asleep and had to rewind and watch the last 15 minutes.

2 star for Alara... I guess. I could be mean and give it 1, but it might be the last episode...
Joseph B
Fri, Apr 26, 2019, 7:52am (UTC -5)
Thought it was a great episode to end the Season with!
There were lots of callbacks to previous eps and was very exciting to boot!
The VFX and the music were all sensational.

I know the whole “time travel” thing inevitably ends with a “reset” but it was fun seeing it play out!

This is an easy 3.5/4 for me!
Fri, Apr 26, 2019, 8:46am (UTC -5)
I found this one really boring. Just a long wait for the ending we all knew was coming as soon as Kelly appeared at the beginning. I'm glad others got something out of it as I didn't.
Robert H
Fri, Apr 26, 2019, 10:23am (UTC -5)
I found this a very entertaining episode (say what you will about silly plot points but The Orville show is always entertaining, especially the 2nd season), and the big plot point that Past Kelly's memory wipe from the previous episode failed, and had such big consequences for the present timeline, was great.

But some things happening in this episode are just plain silly, and I found myself screaming at the TV for this. Such as:

- The Kalon cannot shoot straight and take out Ed and Gordon when they flee to their shuttle. Then they can't take out the shuttle either. Then they can't take out Kelly's raider ship either. And they are supposed to be so powerful that they took out most/all of Union's fleet and half of the known galaxy? It would have worked out better if they somehow outsmarted the Kalon (or Alana's team did so while sacrificing themselves).
- The whole crew, including even Claire's sons, being on the shuttle that they know could be crushed by the water pressure before reaching the Orville in the Pacific Ocean. Could not just Malloy and Lamar go down, restart the Orville and bring it up, and the rest stay in relative safety on Kelly's raider ship?
- Not to mention that the Orville is conveniently still powered up so it's easy to board and empty the shuttle bay of water. Would this not have been noticed by the Kalon or remaining Union ships?
- The Orville's decks are trashed, but the bridge is spotless clean? Guess Bortus did a good job cleaning up the place while he was stuck there.

And the biggest caveat: in the previous episode (Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow), knowing that Past Kelly could contaminate the timeline with knowledge from the present, they should have locked her up in a room and not say anything, apart from explaining she came to the future. And don't let her interact with Ed and Present Kelly. That is just common sense, even if there is no prime time directive. (But then there would not have been this and the previous episodes I guess.)

At least Ed can be proud for making such a big impact on the known universe by defeating the Kalon in the Present timeline.

Still it was a very entertaining episode, where we saw an alternative version of Alana, flying Kalon heads (how cool is that!), the Orville under water, Bortus decking Ed and doing the honorable thing of staying on board, the Orville being trashed and blown up, and some great emotional moments between Ed and Kelly that did not actually put me off about Ed still pining for Kelly (enough with that already!!!!).

I hope The Orville gets renewed for a 3rd season.
Fri, Apr 26, 2019, 11:01am (UTC -5)
Blech. What is it with season finales and lame time travel plots this year?

Kelly remembered everything, knew about the Kaylon threat, knew that Finn being on the Orville was critical to mankind's survival, and never bothered to check if she was posted there? (And never bothered to check on Ed at all?!) Or did check, but never warned anyone about the Kaylon or Isaac even though the outcome was now in doubt? It's really hard to believe that she'd limit her time meddling to her personal life knowing all that she did.

Isn't Brannon Braga on the writing team? Even he pretty consistently managed to write more coherent time travel stories than this.
Black winter day
Fri, Apr 26, 2019, 11:09am (UTC -5)
Huge dissapoinment of an episode. So dull and predictable, filled with every cliche and a reset button.

Boring mish mash of various star trek episodes.

1/4 stars.

On the plus side, i wont be dissapointed now in case of cancellation.
The Gorn
Fri, Apr 26, 2019, 12:09pm (UTC -5)
Entertaining. I've seen a lot worse. It felt like a mishmash of 1) the Orville's take on a possible Mirror Universe, and b) Voyager's "Timeless" (probably because of the snowy mountains, lol). Hoping for a third season.
Fri, Apr 26, 2019, 1:04pm (UTC -5)
Lots of missing potential in this one. So many routes they could have taken but it ended up feeling like a retread of "Timeless" without that episode's strong character focus and sense of urgency. Tons of plot holes too, which normally don't bother me but did here.

This was a stronger season than the first and I do hope the show gets renewed so they can continue improving.
Fri, Apr 26, 2019, 1:05pm (UTC -5)
I had a big dumb grin on my face throughout this episode. I thought it was goofy fun, like a 15 year old kid's scifi wet dream.

If past Orville episodes suckled on the teats of "Star Trek", this one draws on every pop-SF flick since the 1980s. So we have the "that's no moon" scene from "A New Hope", the asteroid chase from "Empire Strikes Back," the Endor bunker scene from "Return of the Jedi", the "mirror universe" episodes from DS9 and TNG (Yesterday's Enterprise), some underwater stuff evocative of "Stargate Atlantis" or "Seaquest", a Ed/Kelly temporal/trans-dimensional romance similar to Fry/Leela in "Futurama", musical cues from James Cameron's "Aliens", as well as James Horner's work on "Wrath of Khan" and of course John Williams, as well as little tropes evocative of "Firefly", "Serenity", and the resistance movement in the "Terminator" franchise etc.

All of this should be annoying, but the pace is quick and clipped (well structured, the plot unfolds on the move, or as a chase), and the tone always funny. Ed and Gordon risk their lives to steal a "microwave", eat twinkies, the universe is hilariously destroyed because Ed couldn't get a second date ("She never called me back!"), Ed didn't take his shirt off when swimming till he was 20 years old (lol), Gordon thinks Kelly's running a "crack house ship" and Yaphit's a member of an underground rebel cell. We even get Alara back. All that's missing is a funny Dan cameo.

The FX are amazing too, part tacky kitsch, part stunningly beautiful (for every dumb shot of flying robot heads, there are gorgeous shots of the Orville leaving the Atlantic Ocean, or skimming clouds above earth). We also get a cool black hole sequence - our heroes hide at the edge of a black hole - a neat idea which makes absolutely no scientific sense (surely they'd have to constantly have their quantum drive running to negate the hole's pull?).

IMO this episode also works well as a love story; it is revealed that Kelly breaks up with Ed in the last episode not because she resents him and how their lives turned out, but because she wants to protect Ed from emotional pain. It's thus an act of supreme love and altruism which annihilates the universe, the episode making literal the kind of ridiculous hyperbole associated with romance and breakups ("She left me and now the universe sucks!", "Meeting you is the greatest moment of all time!" etc). It's kind of sweet.

It's also worth comparing this to Discovery's climax. Surely the similarities between the two are not a coincidence. Surely Orville learned of Discovery's plot and smuggled in a response, just as it did with "Nothing Left on Earth Excepting Fishes" (undercover Klingons vs undercover Krills- incidentally, there's nothing left on earth, not even fishes, in this episode).

After all, in both shows characters use information from the future to assemble a team and then use time travel to stop high tech robots from taking over the future and annihilating all living things. Both shows also climax with the hero ship using its engines to power a "time crystal"/"time machine", thereby leaving it dead in the water whilst enemy ships close in on its location.

So I found this to be a fun episode; it ably mixes adventure, with tongue-in-cheek comedy, sweet romance, parody, serious stakes, cutting edge CGI and goofy retro-aesthetics. It's a hard juggling act, and probably one which results in the show shooting itself in the foot (Jack of all trades, master of none et al).

As for this season as a whole, IMO it's been very good. I found "Ja'loja" to be a funny, pleasantly low-key relationship episode. "Primal Urges" I found to be weak and too literal with its critiques of pornography. "Home" I felt was a beautiful mood piece. "Nothing Left on Earth Excepting Fishes" I thought had a weak middle, but excellent opening and closing acts. "All the World Is Birthday Cake" I thought was flawed but thematically interesting. Like Jammer I found "A Happy Refrain" incredulous, but was ultimately swayed by its sentimentality. "Deflectors" I thought was excellent, and probably the closet thus far to a great Trek episode, and "Identity Part 1 and 2" I found to be a worthy successor of Trek's best action 2 parters. "Blood of Patriots" I found to be generic, though IMO it had about two great scenes. "Lasting Impression's", like Jammer, I thought was great, with nice themes of tech addiction, love addiction, loneliness and longing. "Sancturary" I thought was excellent as well, and more than most episode this felt like TNG, complete with its moral quagmires and Union HQ debate halls. Taken as a single tale, I thought "Tomorrow, Tomorrow" and "The Road Not Taken" was neat as well, and an interesting tonal juxtaposition (subdued chamber piece vs cataclysmic spectacle).

I hope the show gets at least one more season, and doesn't go the "Firefly" route.

Also if OmicronThetaDeltaPhi is reading this, thanks for inspiring me to rewatch "Enterprise". So far, it's a big improvement (dramatically and aesthetically at least), from the previous seasons. Also, if If OmicronThetaDeltaPhi is reading this, a pre-emptive "**** YOU, MAN!" for making me rewatch Enterprise.
Fri, Apr 26, 2019, 1:32pm (UTC -5)
Last week, I complained that the show fails to sur­prise and stays on trod­den paths to much. I also pre­dic­ted that the time­line issue would never come up again as the sea­son finale is like­ly to in­vol­ve Kay­lons. My Mir­ror should have told me bet­ter, and I hap­pily con­fess I was wrong by a 50%.

Alternate time-line stories have a tendency to suck, be­cau­se we have no rea­son to in­vest in cha­rac­ters that are pret­ty much guar­an­teed to get erased by the end of the story. Worst of­fen­der is “Storm Front”, fol­low­ed close­ly by “The Visi­tor” (yes, I know, I am most­ly alone with that judge­ment). Rare­ly, this can be over­come by mak­ing the Alter­nate ver­sions com­pel­ling enough (“In a Mir­ror, Dark­ly”) and more com­mon­ly by bring­ing in Prime cha­rac­ters that have to solve some­thing im­por­tant for the Prime Uni­verse. Yet the lat­ter ap­proach car­ries the risk of treat­ing the Alter­nate na­ti­ves as plot tools (“Car­pen­ter Street”, “Time­less”, “End­game”) and this is bad unless it be­comes an is­sue in-epis­ode (“The City on the Edge of Forever”).

The Modus Operandi of The Orville is pastiche plus heart. So we re­live the look-and-feel of DS9’s shab­by mir­ror uni­ver­se, get a sha­dow of Star Wars and loads of “Yester­day’s Enter­prise” (a really good ex­am­ple of Alter­nate Time­line plot). On the se­cond point, every­one is tho­rough­ly like­able (Ed flirts by the same goo-goo eyed tech­nique as in the Prime Time­line), cha­rac­ters haven’t changed much and the Alara cameo was a nice touch.

Yet there is something to this episode which dis­tingui­shes it from every­thing I have seen on Trek (if I am wrong, please pro­vide ex­am­ple): Every­one here ac­tive­ly and con­scious­ly works to­wards their own ob­lit­era­tion to create a bet­ter world which they are not a part of, and their heroic struggle will never be­come known to those who bene­fit from their sacri­fice. This de­gree of self­less­ness may be con­sid­er­ed old-fa­shion­ed, but I found it re­fresh­ing. This also re­moves the issue of using co­habi­tants of the time­line as pawns, be­cau­se (al­most) every­one is in on the plan, and ful­ly em­braces it.

And, speaking of heart: I cheered when Alara ap­peared in the sha­dow of her base. Not be­cause she was im­por­tant to the plot (she wasn’t), but be­cau­se it in­di­cat­es that the Orville team is not a Bunch of Bick­er­ing Bas­tards in real life that mob­bed her away, but it rather al­lows me to main­tain my hope that the team is a good-natured as the cha­rac­ters they play.

Of course, the plot does not make too much sense: The capa­bili­ties of the Kay­lons fol­low plot re­quire­ments (really, not the worst jerks but the worst shots in the gala­xy). Viewers ask­ing after “Iden­tity” why the Kay­lons are not inter­linked will not enjoy the re­ve­la­tion that they are. Bortus makes an ex­cel­lent major­domo. The visuals of scar­red Earth look great but should be much more fiery and dusty, or the atmo­sphere should have gone com­ple­te­ly. The so­lu­tion em­ploy­ed was sim­plis­tic, and Claire’s va­nish­ing into thin air looked cheesy. The Big Ele­phant, how­ever, is Kelly who ap­parent­ly warned no­body about the Kaylons though the was wil­ling to draw other ad­van­tages from her pre­vious know­ledge of thing to come.

I’d probably pan The Other Show™ merci­less­ly for these plot­holes. But strange­ly, they don’t affect me as badly in this show. Maybe I am a hypo­crite, but more likely there is some­thing to The Orville that The Other Show™ simply lacks, and that I value very much.
Fri, Apr 26, 2019, 5:01pm (UTC -5)
@Galadriel.. what the show lacks are likeable characters, fresh humor that pokes fun at the conventions of Trek but still has affection, steady, simple camera work, awesome production design.. and most of all.. a soul
Fri, Apr 26, 2019, 5:05pm (UTC -5)
I'm glad they all had their Maquis/Terran Rebel outfits ready to go.
Fri, Apr 26, 2019, 5:28pm (UTC -5)
Ooooookay... I have to agree with Jammer's assessment of last week's episode. They should have left it open-ended.

The Orville takes the intriguing ending of Tomorrow, Tomorrow and Tomorrow and takes it to the most uninteresting and predictable place possible. Kelly's decision to snub Ed results in nothing less than the destruction of the galaxy by the Kaylons, and the episode is simply a giant connect-the-dots reset button with some stunning special effects and rousing musical score. It doesn't really do anything interesting with the premise, it doesn't explore anything that wasn't already explored in part 1, and explored better. It's just an exercise in high-concept plot mechanics, more reminiscent of another science fiction show that just wrapped up. And it doesn't make a lick of sense.
The show seems to be very invested in Ed and Kelly's on again/off again romance, but this was perhaps one episode too many. We get it, Orville. They think their not right for each other, but realllly they are. We get it.

A disappointing season finale, but season 2 overall was very enjoyable. We had some clunkers, some great episodes, and some that were in between. The show lost a good character (Alara) to a mediocre character (Talla), Lamar completed his transition from a statue-pissing buffoon to the Geordie La Forge of the series (J Lee is still a horrible actor, though), and the series as a whole can be seen now as a straight science fiction show peppered with some humorous antics, as opposed to the comedy-heavy season 1 with its wild tonal shifts.

Hoping for a season 3, where the show might finally find its legs.
Fri, Apr 26, 2019, 5:32pm (UTC -5)
I take comfort in the show redoing old stories and giving them a new fresh bit of paint.. I like having a beer and being already generally familiar with the trops... that way sometimes the best surprises are the more subtle ones rather than any big ones. And the last time a long loved franchise tried to blatantly "subvert our expectations" we wound up getting a film that was tone-deaf about what the franchise was about. The fact that this episode felt like a lot of alternate timeline episodes of 90's Trek.. mixed in the with DS9 mirror universe episodes.. was something I really liked. I'm having too much fun with Seth's take on Trek I'm in no hurry for the Orville to be radically different just because people are never satisfied.
Fri, Apr 26, 2019, 8:36pm (UTC -5)
An excellent finale for the season. I was glad they didn't go for a cliffhanger episode to encourage fans to clamour for the show to get the extension. I think the episode as it stood, and the season as a whole, were quite string enough to make a good case.

If The Orville doesn't get extended that will just confirm that it was true to yet another tradition of the Original Star Trek, butchered by purblind executives as it was getting into its stride.

I note that some people here had a completely opposite reaction to the episode. Reactions seemed to be polarised - very good or terrible. Takes all sorts.

Spockless wrote "what the show lacks are likeable characters, fresh humor that pokes fun at the conventions of Trek but still has affection, steady, simple camera work, awesome production design.. and most of all.. a soul." Every word there I wholly disagree with - or rather I'd totally agree with the sentiment if one word was changed, so that it opened "what the show had are..."

It was good seeing Alara again - I hope she'll be back in the original timeline if the show continues. And maybe we'll see her and John developing that nascent relationship that we saw.
Fri, Apr 26, 2019, 8:53pm (UTC -5)
Fri, Apr 26, 2019, 8:55pm (UTC -5)
@Robert H "And the biggest caveat: in the previous episode (Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow), knowing that Past Kelly could contaminate the timeline with knowledge from the present, they should have locked her up in a room and not say anything, apart from explaining she came to the future. And don't let her interact with Ed and Present Kelly. That is just common sense, even if there is no prime time directive. (But then there would not have been this and the previous episodes I guess.)"

Uh the episode made it clear that they were not sure which time travel theory was going on .. and after some time they agreed that her presence would not affect the timeline. That they were wrong about that doesn't change the fact that they considered it for a time
Fri, Apr 26, 2019, 8:56pm (UTC -5)
@Gerontius I meant to write that's what the show HAS..

I must have gotten my pasting of my own posts wrong.. i probably was pasting something about Discovery.. uhg
Fri, Apr 26, 2019, 9:27pm (UTC -5)
It's funny how this episode highlights the importance of the Claire/Isaac romance.

Kelly's rejection of Ed leads to Ed not serving on the Orville, Isaac never meeting Claire, Claire and the kids never changing Isaac, and Isaac never betraying the Kaylon, who in turn proceed to conquer the Union and Krill.

Far from being a funny diversion, the Claire/Isaac romance from the earlier episodes turns out to be a kind of galactic lynch pin.
Sat, Apr 27, 2019, 1:03am (UTC -5)
@Trent: I'm not sure the romance was the linchpin (no "y" in that word, FYI) so much as the relationship Isaac had developed with Claire's sons, starting well before the romance.

As @S said, it's ridiculous that Kelly didn't warn anyone about the Kaylon invasion. I didn't even think about that while watching the show, but now I'm facepalming. If I'm going to complain about DISCO's plot holes and love of spectacle that doesn't add up to much, I've got to be consistent and do it here too, even though I like this show a lot more.

@Lynos: I cosign most of what you wrote. It's a shame that "Tomorrow3" only got one week to be my favorite episode, as it is now retroactively tainted by where they went with it this week.

I have declared my dislike for single-timeline time travel. Another problem with it that just occurred to me: why were they still okey-dokey while "young Kelly" was on the ship with them? Okay, she had not yet gone back and turned down the second date with Ed. But the impact of her disappearing altogether should have been the same...right?
Charles D
Sat, Apr 27, 2019, 2:28am (UTC -5)
I would argue the real event that saves the galaxy is the last minute alliance with the Krill. And that was Kelly's idea. Still seems strange Kelly didn't try to warn anyone about the Kaylon or get transferred to the Orville.
Sat, Apr 27, 2019, 4:40am (UTC -5)
I think the assumption was that Kelly being snatched from the past didn't imply that she had ceased to exist there. More a matter of one instant of her existence being removed without affecting the others - equivalent essentially to what happened in Second Chances with Kirk and the transporter malfunction. Otherwise, as Slackerinc points out, snatching her would have had pretty well the same impact as arose when she turned down Ed's second date.
Sat, Apr 27, 2019, 7:28am (UTC -5)
At at age 8, my brokenhearted parents let me argue for 38 minutes the plotholes of their favorite annual movie "It's A Wonderful Life." There is a certain hubris in thinking if Kelly wasn't alive or said "no" to a second date, Earth (and the universe) would be under complete control from a Kaylon biological cleansing. And Isaac is beloved by more people on the Orville than the Finn family. That being said, from the opening scene on Sarin IV to a smiling Kelly at the end, this episode was a joy to watch. The fantastic VFX of the ice caverns, the asteroid field, the shuttlecraft Pacific Ocean decent, and the Orville 7 mile underwater liftoff (and its later destruction) was breathtaking. I liked this "broken mirror" universe, and was thinking how I wanted a ST:DS9 type war episode arc. The plight of this crew also revealed an easy chemistry and camaraderie that working on the sterile and spacious Orville sometimes don't allow. Having John LaMarr as the conduit and science expert for their "war road trip, scavenger hunt" was smart. Yaphit's homage to SW:ROTJ was entertaining. The beautiful and loyal Alara Kitan who later die in glorious battle was a nice surprise. Underutilized characters who boldly step up in a crisis can expand The Orville universe. Sci-fi nitpicks are often annoying, and this episode had several. But to believe a space craft can enter an event horizon of a black hole, remain intact throughout, and "see" any escaped light was a major offense to my junior high physics. Was there unnecessary musical distraction in places that required a softer score or silence? What made this episode good was that it relies on winning the battle in a lost Kaylon war by obtaining beta-secretase protein AND locating the Orville in order to reset time. This is 48 minutes of wonderful storytelling with awesome visual effects. The Orville (with their multiple sets and VFX imagery) decided to hold back nothing in their Endgame finale. I can only hope they are rewarded before their time runs out. 3.5/4.
Sat, Apr 27, 2019, 8:22am (UTC -5)
I enjoyed it for the most part -- I'm not really into space battles -- even though the resolution was a foregone conclusion. I thought it was an odd way to end a season, with no cliffhanger to get viewers excited about a possible third season.

Where was Cleveland? I guess since he's mostly comic relief it would not have have been a good move to have him in a serious episode.

No surprise that it was Worf who attacked Ed on the submerged Orville, since he was the only major character who hadn't been shown up to that point.

Years of science fiction have stipulated that you can't even go *near* a black hole or you'll get sucked in -- and now you can hide in the "event horizon"? If even light can't escape, how would a ship?

If the woman from 2015, the one who said (according to Tuvok) "Wireless telecommunications facility," had gone to a meeting at her wireless carrier, that could have been an event Verizon.

Nice nod to "Return of the Jedi" when they knocked on the door and part of Yaphit came out of the hole.

I agree with the poster who said there was a bit of "Yesterday's Enterprise" in the return of Alara 1.0, even though she wasn't dead in the "normal" timeline. I hope her character comes back to the show -- I don't like Alara 2.0.
Sat, Apr 27, 2019, 9:04am (UTC -5)
Slacker said: "no "y" in that word, FYI...[...]'s ridiculous that Kelly didn't warn anyone about the Kaylon invasion."

It can be spelt with a Y as well (and as two words or one), at least according to dictionary websites.

But that's a great point about Kelly. IMO the only way this "goof" can work is if you assume:

1. Kelly believes that not dating Ed will have no major effect on the universe
2. She believes in non-interference, and the temporal laws cited by Ed, and so doesn't warn the Union
3. She believes events will play out as they did in the Prime Timeline (ie, she lets the war take place, assuming it will be stopped)
4. She wasn't told everything during her trip to the future, so didn't know that Claire only transferred to the Orville because of Ed.
Troy G
Sat, Apr 27, 2019, 9:27am (UTC -5)
If, Tommorow and Tommorow and Tommorow is like Second Chances, then this episode is like Twilight; but now straight forward and but as good. **
Troy G
Sat, Apr 27, 2019, 9:34am (UTC -5)
That should read, more straight forward and not as good. I shold proofread better.
Dave in MN
Sat, Apr 27, 2019, 9:34am (UTC -5)
@ navamaske

"Event Verizon"?

Speaking as a fan of terrible puns, this is one of the best (worst?) I've read in quite awhile!
Sat, Apr 27, 2019, 9:53am (UTC -5)
I find that posts bringing in joky references to long past episodes of Star Trek, various other TV serials, movies etc, calling characters by the name of characters from such sources with whom there is some arguable similarity, and so forth, gets a bit irritating. It's a long time since most of those were ever broadcast, well before a lot of today's viewers were born.
Sat, Apr 27, 2019, 10:15am (UTC -5)
"4. She wasn't told everything during her trip to the future, so didn't know that Claire only transferred to the Orville because of Ed."

But that didn't happen to alt-Claire so alt-Claire wouldn't know that. The only person that info could have come from is Kelly since only she remembers the original timeline.
Sat, Apr 27, 2019, 11:46am (UTC -5)
Like last week's , I can't really get on board with this season (series?) closer followup.

For one, McFarlane and Palicki have zero on-screen chemistry thus precluding any possibility I might engage with their romantic quandary, so making their on-again/off-again relationship the crux of the plot was ultimately unrewarding. Perhaps if one of the two actors were more accomplished and/or the writing rose above cliché….

Second, the score was obnoxious; every action sequence was over-sold (a McNeely trademark).

And thirdly, for a season closer the direction was woefully workmanlike. The episode was utterly devoid of suspense and critically lacked a dramatically satisfying climax.

Better luck next year, Seth?

** outa ****
Sat, Apr 27, 2019, 12:01pm (UTC -5)
It was very strange that they didn't carry out a common sense check to be sure. Finn's procedure for wiping memories had worked before they sent Kelly2 back. They really are a pretty slapdash bunch up in the 25th century. If there was the most remote chance of that going wrong they should have kept her up in the future. Not to mention the irresponsibility involved in putting the ship at risk while sending her back, which involved exceeding safety limits.

But then without those things there wouldn't have been a real story.
Sat, Apr 27, 2019, 1:32pm (UTC -5)
"On-screen sexual chemistry" is clearly a very subjective thing. I can't share Gil's confident assertion that it was lacking. The on off relationship seems perfectly plausible to me.

There was quite enough suspense for me. The ultimate outcome was clear enough all the way through, but working out how things would work out to reach that outcome wasn't. It was rushed at the end, that's true enough. A bit more elbow room was needed. But I imagine if it hadn't been rushed there'd have been some complaining about that.
Alan Roi
Sat, Apr 27, 2019, 2:05pm (UTC -5)

So just after a short 26 episodes Seth is gone from writing TNG fanfiction, to writing Voyager-style 'it was just a dream' fan fiction episodes of his own knockoff, now a knockoff of a nockoff stuffed with the greatest hits of anything else he happens to be nostalgic at the time.

This was franchise crushing when it was done time and time again on Voyager. Its even worse now. Time to put this one down, IMO.
Sat, Apr 27, 2019, 3:06pm (UTC -5)
@Alan Roi

I just love how you managed to pack so much negativity in one comment, while saying absolutely nothing of substance.

I also wonder why you wish ill for a show that other people enjoy. "Time to put this one down" you say. Why? Are you personally harmed by the fact that this show is bringing happiness to other people?

What's even more baffling is your insistence to watch this show that you claim to hate. Really... If you don't like what the Orville is doing, even a little bit, then why are you even onboard? Do both yourself and us a favor, and go watch something else.
Peter Howie
Sat, Apr 27, 2019, 5:16pm (UTC -5)
I'm bored with the Mercer/Grayson romance.
Sat, Apr 27, 2019, 6:09pm (UTC -5)
I think that it's highly unlikely that someone who'd been married to Adrienne Palicki, compelled to work in close partnership with her in an environment like The Orville, would not continue to be attracted to her. Especially someone like Ed, a soft-hearted romantic. Maybe some people find the relationship boring, but it's a nod to realism.
Sat, Apr 27, 2019, 6:44pm (UTC -5)
That puts an end to Mercer/Grayson bromance. way to go Seth. Time is due for a renewal or else I'm not watching that channel again.
Sat, Apr 27, 2019, 9:39pm (UTC -5)
I had high hopes after the ending of last week's episode (its only good part, imo), but no. Instead, for a season finale, it's a straight-forward alternate timeline story, predictable, and with all kinds of sci-fi tropes used many times already in recent and old sci-fi movies and series.

A few charming moments (Alara appearance, and Lamar, for once, a rare adult Chief Engineer performance for Lamar), but mostly a pedestrian plot. The bad guys are The Kaylons, who are the most inefficient and badly organized-programmed army of futuristic AI's in recent times of television. You would think maybe they are super-efficient in an alternate timeline, especially this one since they “wiped out half of the know galaxy” in nine months, but alas… They can’t even hit two men running from 20 meters away in an open field.

And it all ends with the reset button at the end that screamed it was coming halfway. Personally, I prefer the reset button in this case, this was a forgettable two-parter and not a good one to end the season on, following two of the best episodes of the second season in “Lasting Impressions,” and “Sanctuary.” It was dull and even devoid of humor. I laugh at least once when I watch an episode of Orville, even the ones I don’t like, but here I didn’t even chuckle once.

It seems I am in the minority when it comes to second season overall, because for me, it was a bit of a letdown after a stronger, livelier first season. I can only count four episodes (the above two, “A Happy Refrain,” and “Home”) that I could really get into this season, the rest were anywhere from average to bad. The Orville needs more humor, this year they tried to get away from it in my opinion, and the characters are just not designed for a serious show.

I hope The Orville gets renewed. I believe I am more optimistic than most that I have read here. The show’s ratings are not horrible by any means (they are not great either), but they are in that area where someone with a lot of pull like Seth MacFarlane can squeeze a third season out (although they may be asked to lower the production budget). But in my opinion, it needs to get back to the humorous tone of the first season and not try to rehash TOS-TNG-VOY, because its crew pales in comparison to those when it comes to adult-like behavior or serious matters. On the other hand, Gordon, Ed, Yaphit, Bortus (and Lamar to a degree) can make you laugh, and Seth MacFarlane knows how to write a funny piece/scene or simply inject comedy into an hour of TV. That’s The Orville’s asset, and I hope in season 3, it recognizes its strengths again and use them to carve its own uniqueness (and it would not even need a big budget if they took this route).
Sat, Apr 27, 2019, 9:52pm (UTC -5)
I cringe at things like going into an event horizon "not even light can escape!" they proclaim, with not a moments thought as to WHY light can not escape, but magic space ships can just zip around like it was just a cgi black hole.

Still, for all the many inaccuracies and plot conveniences for time's sake, the episode had a great flow to it with each location following a logical progression. It had the right 'feel' to it, without sweating all the small details like 'logic' or 'physics'.

I'm not sure I'd even call it a good episode, but it was a fun ride and a nice way to end the season. If nothing else a cool little followup to the events of the prior episode.
Sat, Apr 27, 2019, 11:22pm (UTC -5)
It was an okay episode. Not the greatest, but definitely not bad either.

I really liked all the little details, like the time dilation scene in the black hole (questionable physics notwithstanding), which kept the overall predictable plot fresh. Seeing Alara again was also nice. And in general, the episode was loads of fun.

But it's not great. It definitely isn't as good as Home, Identity Part I, or Sanctuary (or Voyager's excellent "Timeless", which was mentioned here more than once).

"Also if OmicronThetaDeltaPhi is reading this, thanks for inspiring me to rewatch "Enterprise". So far, it's a big improvement (dramatically and aesthetically at least), from the previous seasons. Also, if If OmicronThetaDeltaPhi is reading this, a pre-emptive "**** YOU, MAN!" for making me rewatch Enterprise."

LOL. Not sure what to make of those remarks. Ambivalent much?
Sun, Apr 28, 2019, 12:13am (UTC -5)

"Kelly remembered everything, knew about the Kaylon threat, knew that Finn being on the Orville was critical to mankind's survival, and never bothered to check if she was posted there? (And never bothered to check on Ed at all?!)"

Regarding Claire, I'm pretty sure Kelly didn't connect those dots until after the Kaylon invasion was successful. I find it realistic, that as brash and ambitious young woman, Kelly wouldn't give these details any immediate thought. I also find it realistic that she didn't consciously remember these "unimportant" details 6-7 years later.

The one thing she would definitely remember, though, was the Kaylon threat, which brings us to this:

"...but never warned anyone about the Kaylon or Isaac even though the outcome
was now in doubt?"

Maybe she did warn them, and they didn't believe her? Remember that time travel is far less common in the Orvilleverse then it is in Star Trek.

Or maybe they did believe her, but the Union still lost? After all, in the main timeline, the Union was also warned (thanks to Ty and Yaphit's scrambled message) and they still almost lost. Without (a) Isaac's Betrayal and (b) the Krill's last-minute involvement, they didn't really have a chance.
Tim C
Sun, Apr 28, 2019, 3:15am (UTC -5)
Not too bad. I liked it! I especially liked that it wasn't really Ed, but Claire who was the real saviour of the universe.

When I look back on the entire season, though, my feelings aren't as positive. It was better than the first season, but only slightly; many of original gripes with the show are still present. The mashup of humour and drama is frequently awkward, the ship itself still looks like a cheap fan-made knockoff of the Enterprise D, the acting is all over the map, and it still feels far too familiar far too often.

Should the show be renewed for season 3, I hope they can follow the example set by "Sanctuary" (a triumph of episodic sci-fi, I thought), and focus more on building out their own unique universe, with their own unique sense of humour, instead of the bargain-basement "TNG, but with lame sitcom gags!" that we were too frequently served up in the past.
Sun, Apr 28, 2019, 11:39am (UTC -5)
Saving the universe was very much a team effort, with John doing the clever stuff, and Ed destroying the Orville, and everyone else in the process of sending Claire back. That's in keeping with one thing I like about the series - it's not a matter of Ed being the hero. One of the many things I like about it. I suspect most of them are the very things that get up Tim C's nose.
Sun, Apr 28, 2019, 12:48pm (UTC -5)
"Regarding Claire, I'm pretty sure Kelly didn't connect those dots until after the Kaylon invasion was successful."

She's shown discussing Isaac's change of heart in Tomorrow3. The dots were already connected.

"I find it realistic, that as brash and ambitious young woman, Kelly wouldn't give these details any immediate thought."

She's brash and ambitious, not a blinkered egomaniac.

She slipped 7 years into the future and discovered

i) She had an ill-fated marriage to Ed but they're still good friends and there are no hard feelings and

ii) The galactic order was completely upended - the Krill, a bunch of genocidal fanatics out to destroy mankind, are now in alliance with the Planetary Union due to a narrowly averted galactic omnicide courtesy of a massive horde of red-eyed killer AIs that came flying out of left field six months earlier.

ii) is not the sort of thing someone would just brush off for seven straight years even if they're concerned about disrupting the timeline. Surely she'd want to discreetly check on things once in a while to see whether history was still on the rails.

Furthermore the Union-Krill alliance was Kelly's own doing, something past-Kelly would have to know since she read through present-Kelly's logs. How is that supposed to happen if Kelly isn't on the Orville?
Sun, Apr 28, 2019, 2:01pm (UTC -5)
This was 3-3.5 for me, and went a long way toward making up for the poor part 1. (The criticism stands, though, that past and future Kelly seem like completely different people.) J Lee handled all the technobabble really well, it's nice seeing Alara again, and Ed's character works better in this slightly grittier iteration. The episode also answers some questions about Isaac's, which raise questions of their own – the alternate-timeline Isaac in this episode served on The Orville for two years just as our Isaac did, and because he never established a bond with Claire and her kids, he's just as genocidal as the other Kaylon, which is a disturbing implication. I prefer this to Voyager's Timeless, which it echoes in quite a few places, but obviously it's no Yesterday's Enterprise. The episode reaffirms the importance of human bonds, which in an increasingly atomised era where screens have become our tools of community, is a welcome and quietly radical message.

The season as a whole has been excellent, with only 3-4 substandard episodes out of 14 by my count. It's clear that a lot of work, thought and love was put into this season, and it represents a major advancement from season 1, which was clearly a trial run. I will buy the season 2 DVD when it comes out to support the show. While the tone is closest to late-season Voyager, this is easily better than the troubled second seasons of Enterprise, TNG and Discovery. Talla was a great addition to the show (mainly because of Jessica Szohr's great performance and likeability), and it's the consistent worldbuilding, character development, relatability and family feel that make this season a winner.
The Gorn
Sun, Apr 28, 2019, 2:32pm (UTC -5)
@ wolfstar wrote:

"... and Ed's character works better in this slightly grittier iteration."

I had a big cheesy grin when Bortus told him to "Sit !".
Dave in MN
Sun, Apr 28, 2019, 5:17pm (UTC -5)
If Kelly ended her call with Ed and then had immediately called Admiral Halsey and admitted that she traveled to the future, she'd probably also find herself at Union Intelligence for an extended stay getting debriefed AND (ironically) she still wouldn't have had any control over her immediate future. For all we know, the Admiralty might have put her temporal quarantine or forced her to fix the timeline.

Also, why wouldn't she assume that Ed would not end up Captain of the Orville? And if he didn't , why would she assume that another Captain (in this case, alt-Captain Griffith) would fail?

I think her choices were about separating herself from Ed without realizing the ripples it would cause.
Mon, Apr 29, 2019, 7:41am (UTC -5)
While we're waiting for news regarding the renewal/cancelation of the show, this seems like a good time to sum up season 2. Here are my ratings (out of 10, 7.5=3 Jammer-Stars™️) for this season's episodes:

1. Jaloja - 8
2. Primal Urges - 6
3. Home - 9
4. Nothing Left on Earth Excepting Fishes - 7
5. All the World is Birthday Cake - 8.5
6. A Happy Refrain - 8
7. Deflectors - 7
8. Identity Part I - 9.5
9. Identity Part II - 8.5
10. Blood of Patriots - 6
11. Lasting Impressions - 8.5
12. Sanctuary - 9.5
13. Tomorrow x3 - 8
14. The Road not taken - 8.5

And Just for kicks, here are my season 1 ratings as well:

1. Old Wounds - 7
2. Command Performance - 7.5
3. About a Girl - 8
4. If the Stars Should Appear - 7.5
5. Pria - 7.5
6. Krill - 8.5
7. Majority Rule - 8.5
8. Into the Fold - 6
9. Cupid's Dagger - 5
10. Firestorm - 9
11. New Dimensions - 7.5
12. Mad Idolatry - 8

Average season 1: 7.5 (***)
Average season 2: 8.0 (***¼)

Anybody else wants to post their own personal ratings? It would be interesting to compare.
Mon, Apr 29, 2019, 11:07am (UTC -5)

I'll bite.

Here are my season 2 scores:

Episode Title Score (4 star scale)
Jaloja 2.0
Primal Urges 3.0
Home 3.5
Nothing Left on Earth Excepting Fishes 3.0
All the World is Birthday Cake 2.0
A Happy Refrain 2.5
Deflectors 3.0
Identity Part I 4.0
Identity Part II 2.5
Blood of Patriots 2.0
Lasting Impressions 4.0
Sanctuary 4.0
Tomorrow x3 2.0
The Road not taken 2.0

Average: 2.8

Season 1:

Episode Title Score (4 star scale)
Old Wounds 2.0
Command Performance 2.5
About a Girl 3.0
If the Stars Should Appear 2.0
Pria 3.0
Krill 3.0
Majority Rule 1.5
Into the Fold 3.0
Cupid's Dagger 1.5
Firestorm 3.0
New Dimensions 2.0
Mad Idolatry 2.0

Average: 2.4
Dave in MN
Mon, Apr 29, 2019, 11:38am (UTC -5)

VERY interesting article regarding Season 3 chances.

I'm feeling more optimistic!
Another Michael
Mon, Apr 29, 2019, 1:25pm (UTC -5)
While I really like the Orville and think it has made some great strides of late, this episode is maybe the least interesting of the season to me. Everything is so predictable. I knew the resistance base would be invaded thirty seconds after they got there because that is what always happens in these stories. Same thing with sending a solution back into the past with the time mcguffin. While other current sci fi series with very similar plots fail to achieve even this level of competence (this time travel plot is much less confused and arbitrary than STD) it still doesn’t work for me. I could almost get behind the fate of the union being decided by a relationship, but not Ed and Kellys. The writers have gone there too often, there just isn’t much of anything left to explore in their relationship. Also, the relationship that we know actually makes the difference is Finn and Isaac, so making the shows’ leads the focus here seems strange.

While I endorse them trying to tie their big sci fi arcs to actual relatable character pieces, and while I recognize that a lot of these story elements and action bits will be enjoyed and applauded by by others, particularly those who haven’t yet seen other sequences which seem to inspire them, to me this is an unfortunate misfire. I appreciated the last episode more than most, although it was flawed, largely because it still had some ideas (regret, how people change, how people can be poorly matched, how timing can ruin things, etc.) Nothing incredibly deep, but still authentic and real. This last episode, however, was just boilerplate apocalypse procedural. Not good, not bad, not really anything, just a collection of scenes from other shows and movies repurposed and glued together.

Season 2 was pretty great overall. Many things I really enjoyed. Looking forward to season 3.
Dave in MN
Mon, Apr 29, 2019, 1:34pm (UTC -5)
Seth is retweeting a lot of the positive reviews of this episode.

If Jammer gives this a decent rating, someone should Tweet it @ Seth. (I'd do it myself, but I don't have a Twitter account).
Mon, Apr 29, 2019, 3:03pm (UTC -5)

"The criticism stands, though, that past and future Kelly seem like completely different people."

The younger Kelly seemed to me a perfectly plausible version of what the older Kelly (both vesions) might have been like seven years earlier. Rightly, this meant that she was very different. Another nod to realism. It was a virtuoso performance.

(And this was very different from the way the analogous situation was treated in Second Chances in TNG, where the two versions were unplausibly similar, as if being in solitary confinement for some years without any prospect of rescue had left no mark on Riker.)
Mon, Apr 29, 2019, 7:10pm (UTC -5)
I agree with @5 that it's not tenable to imagine the whole Krill thing just "slipped her mind".

@Perry: "That puts an end to Mercer/Grayson bromance."

That's not what "bromance" means. Mercer and Malloy could be said to have a bromance (meaning a mutual admiration society between two heterosexual men). Not Mercer and Grayson.

I will try to join in on the ratings of various episodes, although my memory of those from the beginning of the season is a little hazy.

Jaloja 2.5
Primal Urges 3.0
Home 3.5
Nothing Left on Earth Excepting Fishes 3.5
All the World is Birthday Cake 4.0
A Happy Refrain 3.0
Deflectors 3.0
Identity Part I 3.5
Identity Part II 3.5
Blood of Patriots 1.5
Lasting Impressions 3.5
Sanctuary 3.5
Tomorrow x3 3.5
The Road not taken 2.5

Average: 3.1

"Tomorrow x 3" would have gotten a full four stars from me originally, but the subsequent episode has made it impossible in retrospect for me to rate it that high.

BTW, as I have steadfastly resisted single-timeline time travel; I was glad to see a recent high-profile movie also flat-out stated that those kinds of stories ("Back to the Future" etc.) are basically BS. :)
Mon, Apr 29, 2019, 7:24pm (UTC -5)
@Dave in MN Thanks for that link. interesting take on that. Seth has great leadership and I don't think they want him to take on another network with his innovative brains.

@SlackerInc (messed up on my end with typo errors)
I agree with "All the World is Birthday Cake" as the best episode this season and probably the best hour episode of all the shows I'll watch this year.
Mon, Apr 29, 2019, 9:59pm (UTC -5)
@Perry: Awesome! I thought I was the only one who loved that episode. It has taken a lot of fire here and elsewhere.
Mon, Apr 29, 2019, 11:18pm (UTC -5)
This show really frustrates me. I so want it to be it's own thing but I still can't decide if it's a show with serious sci-fi stories or an homage/comedy. It tries to make us care about a relationship between a mature woman who has moved on and a man-child who 1) regrets being the captain of a freaking starship!, and 2) acts needy and clingy, two traits women despise but man-children think makes them endearing (also traits that don't make for a respectable captain). Does the show really expect us to feel the 'will they or won't they' chemistry reserved for greats like, dare I say, Sam and Diane? Or is it a joke on the whole cliche? I get the impression the show is telling us these two are destined for each other. The people in the show are fairly aged and experienced but act like 14 year olds. Maybe that's the point, who knows? Kelly and Bortus seems like the only people who are multi-dimensional. The doctor too, but she's such a fantastic actress.

I did like the penultimate episode's sci-fi premise and this follow up, but it just didn't explore the concept fully enough. I can see if the humor was ramped up to bring home the point but most times the show really seems to be taking itself seriously and steers too close to the surface of great ideas and bounces off. As a sci-fi nerd, that's incredibly frustrating.

The show to me verges on giving us what we had with TNG and feel like we're not getting with Discovery but never let's us have it all. Unless this is all it is. A cute little blend of McF's love for TNG, sitcom ready relationships, and light sci-fi to pass an hour of our time. I strangely do like the show, it has it's great moments. It's like I'm waiting for it to bust out and do it's own thing. I still think it can.
Tue, Apr 30, 2019, 2:19am (UTC -5)
@GG what makes you waver are the things that I love. Instead of just merely being a paragon of near perfect virtue, there is a little Ed in all of us. He will more easily make tough moral calls and have a tough time worried about manners, names and whether they will "screw this up." What middle aged man still has that 10th grader inside of them wanting to break out? His sense of "aw golly" humor is so refreshing after watching hundreds of hours of star Trek reruns . Also people are so eager for it to do it's own thing.. it is.. And usually the people that say that are the ones that don't mind that every other property, even superhero films, banks on nostalgia. What makes Orville so great isn't a need to be original, but to retell stories from twenty years ago with a slightly fresh take.. because there is nothing wrong with those kinds of stories, and no one ELSe is telling them, and what makes it SO great are the subtle differences and nuances.. the fact that you think you know what episode you are getting, and you may be right, but the small details are what surprise you.
Tue, Apr 30, 2019, 12:36pm (UTC -5)

I was also impressed with many things in "Birthday Cake". The first half of that episode (including the astrology reveal and the early prison camp scenes) is total perfection. It's not just 4-star material. It's in a completely different league above everything else we've seen on the Orville.

But the second half contains a series of writing blunders (in my view) that bog the entire episode down:

First, nobody in the episode mentions the fact that people from different star-systems would see different constellations. This isn't just a minor nit. It's an issue that's relevant to the plot, and it is simply ignored.

Second, the solar sail solution was really poorly thought-out.

And most important of all: The way Kelly and Bortus go on a killing spree and kill a bunch of guards, which:

(1) Is not behavior befit of a Union Officer.
(2) Reverts all the beautiful effort that the episode did earlier to paint the guards (except one) as decent if misguided people, rather than have them behave as evil stereotypes.

These three points put together (especially the last one) would have ruined an average episode for me. The fact that I still gave the episode 8.5/10 (which is between 3/4 and 3.5/4 stars) is a testament to just how impressed I was by the good stuff, which was very *very* good.
Tue, Apr 30, 2019, 1:33pm (UTC -5)
@SlackerInc “I have steadfastly resisted single-timeline time travel; […] those kinds of stories […] are basically BS.”

I agree that this kind of story is hard to tell convincingly, al­though Trek has shown that they can be often used as a ve­hic­le for ef­fi­ci­ent drama (“The City on the Edge of For­ever”, STVIII “First Con­tact”, “Yester­day’s Enter­prise”) and also comedy (STIV “The Voyage Home”, “Troubles and Tribble-ations”, “Rela­tivity”). Fail­ure, how­ever, is more common (“Little Green Men”, “To­mor­row is Yester­day”, “Time’s Arrow”, “Paste Tense”, “Fu­ture’s End”), al­though some of these suc­ceed­ed at least in parts.

The most astonishing time-travel episode ever was in Babylon 5 (“Babylon Squared”, “War Without End”). The time-tra­vel­ling story made a lot of sense and a­void­ed internal con­tra­dic­tions, and more­over it was a crucial tur­ning point in the story arc.

@GG “can't decide if it's a show with serious sci-fi stories or an homage/comedy”

This argument is often heard, but frankly I don’t under­stand it, as there is no need for pid­geon-holing every­thing into a fixed number of mu­tu­al­ly ex­clu­sive of cat­ego­ries. Did any­one com­plain that GoT does not know whether it want to be a heroic fan­tasy tale, a po­li­ti­cal in­tri­gue drama or a soft-porn flick?


I keep surprised that so many people like the Birth­day Cake epi­sode. For me, it was easily the worst of the sea­son, and per­haps of the show: A relent­less race for the idiot ball being as widely dis­tri­but­ed as possible:

(α) The aliens prove megastupid by imprisoning members of highly ad­vanc­ed races (“Sure, they have an FTL drive, but that does not im­ply their wea­pons are any bet­ter than sling­shots, right?”)

(β) However, the Orville crew works on the same level by not pointing out the obvious: „Yes, their birth­day jubi­lee falls into your month of BS this year, but this is ne­ces­sari­ly true for every­one born on a planet with a dif­fe­rent ro­ta­tion peri­od of yours, in some years. Nor does it im­­ply any­­thing about their actual dates of birth, which are deca­­des past, and even if it did, it would be point­less ’cause our con­stel­la­tions are different.”

(γ) Yet this is all dwarfed by the gigastupidity of Union Govern­­ment. Halsey should have said “Ed, tell them we want our officers back. If they refuse, drill them a nice 5-km-crater in some desert, and then increase pressure steadily; re­mem­ber, you’re the cat and they are all mouse. How­­ever, be diplo­ma­tic and offer them we’ll never make any con­tact again un­less they desire otherwise”.

(δ) Hard to believe, this is still topped by the script than em­ploys a ‘so­lu­tion’ that wouldn’t have fooled even the ancient astro­no­mers on Earth because of par­allax. Yet these aliens are con­vin­ced wit­hin half a second and change their entire single-hatted society immediately.

This gets ½ a point for the intended mes­sage and ½ a point for Kelly and Bortus going serious on the con­cen­tra­tion camp guards, which at least show that some­one has some sense left.
Tue, Apr 30, 2019, 1:33pm (UTC -5)
I'm 11 minutes in and I'm like dafuq?!? Ed's penis being barred from Kelly's vagina has caused the destruction of "half the galaxy." Once again, dafuq?!?
Dave in MN
Tue, Apr 30, 2019, 1:38pm (UTC -5)
If Mr. Hitler's penis had not entered Mrs. Hitler's vagina on one particular evening in 1888, the lives of millions of people might have been spared.

"Dafuq" indeed.
Tue, Apr 30, 2019, 1:39pm (UTC -5)

Funny how our cross-posted comments (I hadn’t read yours before typing mine) ad­dress pretty much the same issues, though ap­pa­rent­ly we dif­fer with re­spect to the prison es­cape se­quen­ce (I come from a coun­try where con­cen­tra­tion camps are not con­sider­ed a re­spect­able work­place).
Thomas M
Tue, Apr 30, 2019, 1:42pm (UTC -5)

You don’t know that. A National Socialist movement or something similar may have been inevitable in Germany, regardless who led it.
Dave in MN
Tue, Apr 30, 2019, 1:42pm (UTC -5)

Using the Greek alphabet for Omicron is a cool touch ... are those Greek letters or symbols?
Dave in MN
Tue, Apr 30, 2019, 1:43pm (UTC -5)
@ Thomas M

Hence the reason I used the word "might".
Tue, Apr 30, 2019, 1:54pm (UTC -5)
I'm 24 minutes in and I'm like dafuq?!? They flew into the event horizon of a fucking black hole. A fucking black ass hole, people. They hang out for a few minutes watching the pretty Kalon dance show at the MGM Black Hole Grand. Then they just fly the fuck out of the event horizon like it's easy peasy lemon squeezy?!? Even Interstellar was like, we got to take a stroll through the 5th dimension to get out of this mother lover.

Once again, dafuq?!?
Dave in MN
Tue, Apr 30, 2019, 2:07pm (UTC -5)
A quantum drive? Moving faster than light? Time travel?


My point being that if we accept such tech exists as part of the premise, then why couldn't the ship use their quantum entangelement tech to escape a slightly closer orbit to a black hole? After all, the event horizon is perceptual, not an actual barrier.

Suspension of disbelief, my friend.
Tue, Apr 30, 2019, 2:24pm (UTC -5)
@Dave in MN “are those Greek letters or symbols”

In the Golden Wood, we use keyboards with as many keys as there are leaves on a Mallorn trees, and we sing Σαπφώ's immortal songs while typing. Serious, I don’t know what you mean by “letters or sym­bols”; I just used the same letters that would be employed for writing any Greek text, an­cient or mo­dern. But the very same letters would also be used for any formula like sin(α), where they func­tion as symbols.

@Quincy “They flew into the event horizon of a fucking black hole”

Sure, light could not escape from there, but to those having faster-than-light flight ca­pa­bi­li­ties, that might be just a minor in­con­venien­ce. This did not cost me must sus­pen­sion of dis­belief.

I found it funny, though, how both Discovery and Orville casually used a black hole in their latest season, and basically ren­de­red it the same (re­alis­tic light paths but no Dop­pler). Three years earlier, this would have been a real mo­­ment oft crown­ing awe­some­ness, but now every­one just yawns. Did the In­ter­stel­lar team release their ren­der­ing soft­ware to the public?
Tue, Apr 30, 2019, 2:51pm (UTC -5)

Escaping the event horizon with Quantum Drive might be possible (anything may be possible with magic fictional tech) but it still doesn't explain why they could see the outside world from inside the event horizon, or the way time dilation was handled. Did you know that time and space actually exchange places, once you cross the event horizon? I have no idea what *that* looks like, but it won't be anything remotely similar to what we've seen in the episode. Black holes are really *really* weird things.

The whole scene, though, would have made perfect sense if they simply had the shuttle hovering just a bit above the event horizon instead of below it. Such a placement would, indeed, result in the kind of distorted view we've seen. It would have explained the time dilation (you could even use the dilation factor to calculate how close the shuttle is to the horizon). And the shuttle itself would still be (for all practical purposes) invisible to an outside observer.

(the lack of doppler shift, btw, can be attributed to an automatic correction by the viewscreen. It isn't any more mysterious than the countless stars we see through the front "window" of a starship even though the bridge is well-lit)
Tue, Apr 30, 2019, 3:03pm (UTC -5)
Holy $#!%, Batman!

Dave in MN is arguing that $#!% that obviously doesn't make any sense actually made sense!!!

He's a god damned Orville flavored Alan Roi!!! Somebody call a physicist or Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson or Michio Kaku!!! We must have ran into a quantum filament or some $#!% like that!!!
Tue, Apr 30, 2019, 3:22pm (UTC -5)

You can get your point across, if you have one, without the language.

This is a forum for discussion and points can be made without fuc*ing
this and fuc*ing that.
Dave in MN
Tue, Apr 30, 2019, 3:36pm (UTC -5)
My assumption is that the Quantum Drive creates a "bubble" of normal space around the ship. The tech manipulates space itself to propel the ship.

Why wouldn't the ship be protected once it passes the event horizon?

If you were an observer on a ship passing through the event horizon (the point when an external observer see no further movement) AND you had a way to protect yourself from magnetic, thermal and gravitational forces, you wouldn't actually notice any that particular point. The event horizon is an effect that only happens to external observers. The same with time dilation.

Also a black hole is actually orb shaped, not like the wormhole-esque illustrations often shared online. You can orbit a black hole. All spiral galaxies do. It's only when you get in extremely close proximity that the changing laws of physics actually come into effect. For the record, they weren't actually "in the hole" itself.

I don't find any of this all that implausible considering the tech presented on the show.
Tue, Apr 30, 2019, 3:44pm (UTC -5)
"Sure, light could not escape from there, but to those having faster-than-light flight ca­pa­bi­li­ties, that might be just a minor in­con­venien­ce. This did not cost me must sus­pen­sion of dis­belief."

Their FTL drive was kaput though, that's why they needed to hide in the first place. (It could have just been said to be barely functional instead, but the episode went out of its way to stress that it didn't work at all for some reason.)

In any case, why don't the Kaylon know to look for them there? If they learned that trick from Pria Isaac would have briefed the Kaylon about it.

To be fair though the black hole physics here is about ten orders of magnitude less ridiculous than in the VOY ep Parallax
Dave in MN
Tue, Apr 30, 2019, 3:44pm (UTC -5)
To clarify a minor point, dilation happens to the object crossing the EH, but an observer on the object crossing the EH would not perceive any difference UNTIL they crossed back to regular space and synced their clocks.

Also, who's to say that an observer on the E.H. far side wouldn't see everything sped up? I guess they could've tinted everything red and blurry to simulate slowed photons of light, but who knows if that speculation would be accurate, especially considering the wonky physics?
Dave in MN
Tue, Apr 30, 2019, 3:51pm (UTC -5)
I assumed the lack of a deflector dish meant the quantum field is what keeps the ship from getting shredded by micrometeoroids when it is traveling at high speeds (FTL and sub-light) and they don't engage the defensive deflectors when they travel.

My guess is the quantum field generator and the triple quantum drive are actually two separate things.
Tue, Apr 30, 2019, 3:58pm (UTC -5)

You can get your point across, if you have one, without the language.

This is a forum for discussion and points can be made without fuc*ing
this and fuc*ing that."

Hmm. Honest question. Are you Jammer and you just changed your name?
Dave in MN
Tue, Apr 30, 2019, 4:02pm (UTC -5)
@ Gerontius

I know those symbols are Greek letters.

I was wondering if you were using an international keyboard or were using the extra symbols built into your device, that's all.
Dave in MN
Tue, Apr 30, 2019, 4:12pm (UTC -5)
BTW, didn't the Orville already travel to 2D space?

If they could survive a two- dimensional universe with their tech, it doesn't seem improbable to me they could cross a observational barrier still within our 3-D universe (since they didn't enter the hole itself).
Tue, Apr 30, 2019, 4:32pm (UTC -5)
@ Dave in MN

On my laptop, I have just a regular English key­board, but I have pre­defi­ned spe­cial key­stroke se­quen­ces for extra cha­rac­ters like ac­cen­ted Latin cha­rac­ters, non-Latin alphabets and various other sym­bols that I need regu­lar­ly. This is done via the X11 Com­pose mecha­nism (which, AFAIK, is dif­fi­cult to emu­late outside of Linux).

BTW: I am not young but ‘Gerontius’ is still a little bit exaggerated.
Dave in MN
Tue, Apr 30, 2019, 4:42pm (UTC -5)
@ Galadriel

OMG, sorry, that was my auto-correct!

Also ....

Orville Season 2 Gag Reel!
Tue, Apr 30, 2019, 6:05pm (UTC -5)
Science fiction by it's definition requires the viewer to suspend their belief. Many actions of powerful beings, futuristic science, or unusual phenomenon conflict with Einstein's theory. Good writing ADDRESS those issues. The closer an object approach a black hole, the greater the speed and power (energy) they would need to escape that massive or near infinite gravity from its collapsed object.

As the embattled crew was finding the perfect "viewing" parking spot, my offense of physics logic was there wasn't an attempt of a MacGuffin. An event horizon of a black hole is the most awe inspiring spacetime effect in our galaxy. I was hoping for a sentence of dialogue to address any physics (for those interested in that "science thingy"). Also, to expect the C̶y̶l̶o̶n̶s̶ Kaylons would have human emotions like experiencing the trepidation of pursuit, boredom, or assuming their deaths was darn lucky for the "broken mirror" crew.

To clarify a person's previous comment, because mass causes gravity, and gravity causes orbits, the spiral galactic orbital paths of all objects in the galaxy are in orbit around the center of the TOTAL MASS OF THE GALAXY, and not the mass of the black hole that happens to be at the center. If "The Q" were to remove the black holes, (with exception of nearby celestial objects now having an adjusted gravitational effect), the gravitational pull of the spiral galaxy wouldn't change.

My previous review of 3.5 was based on storyline, entertainment, design sets, direction, and the outstanding VFX effects. The Orville has potential.
Tue, Apr 30, 2019, 7:40pm (UTC -5)
@Dave in MN

Go watch that episode where The Orville dives into 2D space. Then come back and watch this episode where they dive into the event horizon of a black hole. Note the very obvious difference, besides the fact that that episode was actually funny. That's actually what I was expecting. There's a singular problem. The Krill are coming to kill them. The quantum drive is down. The only way out is for them to dip into 2D space and escape. But, how does a 3D life form survive in 2D space? LaMarr realizes that, while the engine realignment is keeping them from going to quantum speed, the quantum field generator is working. They figure out that they can use it to place a quantum bubble around the ship. Isaac explains that the bubble is maintaining a third dimension outside of 2D space for the Orville to safely exist in.

Let's put aside for a moment that the nonexistence of our third dimension isn't exactly the same phenomenon as crushing gravity. Look at how the two episodes handled the phenomenon. In New Dimensions they spend 30 seconds screen time discussing the idea, because the idea is clearly NUTS. They don't have much choice; the Krill are coming to kill them in 14 minutes of in universe time and the quantum drive is out. Ed makes a command decision. They spend about 1 minute screen time implementing the idea and working out the issues. They leave right before the Krill show up. It's touch and go inside 2D space, but they just barely squeak out a win and when they come out the Krill are gone. They breathe a sigh of relief at their very narrow victory. It makes logical sense that the Krill might not know exactly where they went or what the hell to do about it if they did. It also makes logical sense that they might not care since the ship with their stolen guns is floating right there in front of them and they can get their cargo back and be on their merry way.

In this episode, the Kaylon are coming to kill them. Their quantum drive just got knocked out again. They can't escape, so they need somewhere to hide. Ed's idea is to hide inside the black hole. The idea is obviously NUTS. They spend 15 seconds discussing this obviously fruit loop idea. LaMarr says if they dip inside the black hole just beyond the event horizon they should be safe. They fly directly into black hole AT FULL SPEED AHEAD, yet somehow stop just inside the event horizon. (Law of conservation of momentum anybody?!? Those must be American made quantum engines, built Ford tough!) Remember that none of them know anything about the 2D space event, as this is a different timeline. Kelly is the only one who MIGHT know of it, since she spent time reading her future self's logs. (Here's a novel concept; why the hell doesn't she bring this up?!? It would've taken 1 minute and 30 seconds like it did the first time. If she had, I MIGHT NOT have a problem with at least that part of this silly episode! Funny that, huh?)

LaMarr also said the Kaylons won't see them because light can't escape. Now really think about that for a moment. Didn't the Kaylons see them fly their asses into the black hole? It certainly looked like they did. They hung around outside for two days searching for something. Didn't the Kaylons wonder why they'd fly into a black hole willingly rather than just fight it out if they wanted to die so badly? Then they just fly right out of the event horizon. Contrary to popular belief, there is no bubble around the ship. We can clearly see the bubble you mentioned in New Dimensions. We see absolutely no bubble in Road Not Taken. There is no mention of the field generator being active despite the drive being down. There's no mention of anything. They just fly in and fly out like it's totally routine to site see inside the event horizon of a black hole. But if it's as routine to do what they did, why wouldn't the Kaylons do it too? They have the quantum drive too. And theirs weren't offline. Not only that, they can literally transfer their consciousness through their internet connection, so unlike the humans there's absolutely no danger if they screw up, just a loss of equipment. You're telling me you don't see the logical inconsistency here?

Lets stop pretending. What's really going on with your arguments is something else entirely. Lets look at the nice fat lampshade posted by Galadriel (you know... the other person that leaped to the defense of this obviously idiotic episode) that's sitting somewhere above this post:

Galadriel says:
"I’d probably pan The Other Show™ merci­less­ly for these plot­holes. But strange­ly, they don’t affect me as badly in this show. Maybe I am a hypo­crite..." (FULL STOP)

See this is what I'm talking about. There's a cult of personal preferences at work here, not only with Galadriel, but with you as well. You've DECIDED you don't like Discovery and you DECIDED that you do like the Orville. Now you're pretending that you have rational reasons for both of those purely emotional decisions. However, ALL detractors arguments against Discovery are ALL applicable here; this episode was flat out absurd. Lets look at your arguments. You don't like Discovery crapping all over Canon CONTINUITY across multiple franchises separated by decades. However The Orville craps all over its own CONTINUITY within a single season by having Kaylons not being aware some of them are being attacked by humans in the previous Kaylon two parter. Meanwhile, as others point out here in this episode, Kaylons are instantaneously aware that a disassembled unit is being downloaded and hacked, because all Kaylons everywhere are interlinked. Dafuq?!? Explain your way out of this one if it helps you sleep better tonight. But, I promise you, you won't be convincing me of anything without better logic than you've presented here today.
Tue, Apr 30, 2019, 10:53pm (UTC -5)
Although I didn't love this episode, I will defend the black hole thing. As Dave noted, a FTL drive shouldn't be bound by the rules light must follow.

@OTDP: "Escaping the event horizon with Quantum Drive might be possible (anything may be possible with magic fictional tech) but it still doesn't explain why they could see the outside world from inside the event horizon"

Why would that be a problem? Light from that side is perfectly happy to come in their direction. So it should function like a one way mirror. All in all, I thought that sequence was cool.

As for your critiques of "Birthday Cake": Fair enough! I can't really argue with you on those, but the "cool factor" of the shootout and the solar sail were compensation enough for me, I guess.

@Galadriel: B5 is a series I keep hearing people rave about, but I have not yet watched it. I don't know if "so many" people like "Birthday Cake": when it first came out, I felt fairly strongly outnumbered by those who (like you) hated it.

@Quincy: "However The Orville craps all over its own CONTINUITY within a single season by having Kaylons not being aware some of them are being attacked by humans in the previous Kaylon two parter. Meanwhile, as others point out here in this episode, Kaylons are instantaneously aware that a disassembled unit is being downloaded and hacked, because all Kaylons everywhere are interlinked."

I thought of this issue as well, but I think there's an explanation that isn't too tortured. Nowhere that I recall did they say the interlink is continuous--rather, it sounds more like it requires conscious effort, like talking to someone (or typing a post in response to them). So if Isaac killed the other Kaylon fast enough, they wouldn't be able to warn the others, just like a redshirt on TOS can't warn Kirk, Spock, and McCoy about the monster if it eats him before he can use his communicator. But when LaMarr opened up the Kaylon, he wasn't just hacking into that particular individual. In fact, he had already done that at his leisure and found nothing useful. It was necessary to engage the communication system to download Isaac into that individual. At that moment, the tracking system was enggaged. This would also explain why the Kaylon didn't find them when they hid in the ice, even though Isaac was aboard.

Now, if you had asked why the Kaylon were so ineffectual when shooting at our plot-armored protagonists, I would have had nothing for you. ;-)

(BTW, although I certainly like this show better overall, I have rated some DISCO episodes positively and some ORV episodes negatively, so I hope I have some credibility as not operating from a double standard.)
Wed, May 1, 2019, 4:56am (UTC -5)
So, I finally got around to watching this (was moving house this week).

I've commented before that I wish MacFarlane and Bragga would let the Ed/Kelly relationship angle die and just move on. But, frankly, this was entertaining, and a good use of an otherwise clumsy piece of baggage.

Like others pointed out before, it really was a mash-up of all sorts of Trek time travel/alternate universe episodes, with The Empire Strikes Back thrown in for good measure.

Plot not hard on the brain, execution very well-done, and a pleasure on a visual level.

Most of the cast was doing well, though I still am not sold on LaMarr, he's the weakest link in the chain.

And Alara came back ... yay!

I'll agree with you, Jammer, that the score tended to be a touch obnoxious and distracting, but then it also made me grin like an idiot a bit because of all the riffing on James Horner's scores, especially for STIII:TSFS as the Orville was lifting off from the bottom of the ocean (it was *very* reminiscent of the Enterprise theft scene with Excelsior in pursuit).

All in all, I thought this was solid, fun, entertaining stuff. I do hope it gets renewed for a third season, I think MacFarlane and Braga finally hit their stride with S02.
Wed, May 1, 2019, 8:11am (UTC -5)

"There's a cult of personal preferences at work here, not only with Galadriel, but with you as well. You've DECIDED you don't like Discovery and you DECIDED that you do like the Orville."

Or in less dramatic, less confrontational terms: Liking/disliking a show is an emotional reaction, and people tend to give more leeway to shows that they like.

The way you posted it, it sounds like you made a shocking revelation of some corrupt conspiracy, when you've simply stated the obvious.

At any rate, here is an interesting question that you might want to think about: WHY are so many people fans of the Orville? Sure, it's an emotional decision. But why? Hint: it's not because the show excels at (or even attempts to be) hard sci fi.

"You don't like Discovery crapping all over Canon CONTINUITY across multiple franchises separated by decades. However The Orville craps all over its own CONTINUITY within a single season by having Kaylons not being aware some of them are being attacked by humans in the previous Kaylon two parter"

But it's a matter of degree.

In the Orville it happens occasionally, and most of the time it isn't too difficult to retcon the nits away.

In Discovery, on the other hand, the entire show made a complete mess of previous Trek continuity. The situation was so hopeless that the show runners were forced to go the "let's pertend the previous two seasons never happened" route.

That's a pretty big difference, I'll say.
Wed, May 1, 2019, 8:54am (UTC -5)
Seth, I mean Ed says "the second time around?" at one point in reference to his and Kelly's relationship. I chuckled. Got to have a pop song reference somewhere even if we don't have time to put it in the soundtrack.
Wed, May 1, 2019, 9:26am (UTC -5)

"As for your critiques of 'Birthday Cake': Fair enough! I can't really argue with you on those, but the 'cool factor' of the shootout and the solar sail were compensation enough for me, I guess."

I think our opinions on that episode are more similar than our raw ratings seem to imply.
Dave in MN
Wed, May 1, 2019, 9:31am (UTC -5)
@ Elliott

I didn't realize you were watching! Welcome aboard. ;)
Wed, May 1, 2019, 1:18pm (UTC -5)
From Jammer's review:
"Someone in the comments last week made the point: Just by going back in time before your birth and breathing the air, you are guaranteeing you won't be born."

That was me! Cool that he agrees. :-) And of course he's right that time travel stories generally have to ignore this, because it would in most cases destroy the fun. But I do think they should actually do something with this in, like, every thirtieth time travel plot, just for variety and to represent the idea.
Wed, May 1, 2019, 6:03pm (UTC -5)
"Now you're pretending that you have rational reasons for both of those purely emotional decisions." That's Kaylontalk.

"The heart has its reasons of which reason knows nothing." That's human talk (Blaise Pascal, French philosopher writing in 17th Century.)

Nothing irrational about preferring one thing over another, and evaluating them in different ways taking that preference into account. If I like someone I am likely to put up with things I might not in someone I disliked.

The science is all hokey. Making up explanations for what is pretty clearly impossible can be fun, but equally it can be dispensed with when it isn't or when it gets in the way. That applies just as much in A Lord Darcy story by Randall Garrett or in Harry Potter as it does in The Orville ot Star Trek. Complaining about is like complaining that the animation in Inside Out is less "realistic" than in Moern Disney. "Realism" isnt "real", and it's not always important or even useful.
Thu, May 2, 2019, 11:25am (UTC -5)
I've just seen Jammer's review. I'm glad he gives a thumbs up to the episode and to the series. Not because I imagine that'll make any difference to the people at Fox.

I disagree with him in seeing the big mistake as not locking young Kelly away in a quiet room - surely it was in sending her back without checking that Finn's magic memory-wiping potion had worked. (Or indeed in sending her back at all - unless somehow it was seen that time travel rules would mean if they'd decided not to thst would contaminate the utimeline since she'd cease to exist in the past, which evidently hadn't been envisaged when they thought there was no way to send her back.)
Thu, May 2, 2019, 4:08pm (UTC -5)
Quincy said: "However, ALL detractors arguments against Discovery are ALL applicable here; this episode was flat out absurd."

But Orville's a comedy written by guys who pen Futurama and Family Guy about a crew who smoke weed on duty. Discovery is Star Trek. It's an entirely different show, and a serious one, and one with a much bigger legacy to live up to.

If anyone's interested, Jammer's review reminded me of this Scifi short story:
Thu, May 2, 2019, 8:12pm (UTC -5)
Elliot cameo FTW!!!

OmicronThetaDeltaPhi says:
"Or in less dramatic, less confrontational terms: Liking/disliking a show is an emotional reaction, and people tend to give more leeway to shows that they like.

The way you posted it, it sounds like you made a shocking revelation of some corrupt conspiracy, when you've simply stated the obvious."

Dave in MN was pulling an Alan Roi. I respond to him in kind. You then walk past all of that to admonish me about being confrontational? Really?!? Have you met Alan Roi?! Because, you don't seem to be aware of how ridiculous that state of affairs happens to be. It's hilarious how people want to police my tone, but they never seem to police the tone of the people I'm replying to in the first place.

If I was making a "shocking revelation of some corrupt conspiracy," why in the world would I refer to it as a "lampshade"? What is the definition of "lampshading" and how does it apply to Galadriel's statement? And what's the relevance of it in my comment to Dave? Please, try to at least think about these questions before replying.

OmicronThetaDeltaPhi says:
"At any rate, here is an interesting question that you might want to think about: WHY are so many people fans of the Orville? Sure, it's an emotional decision. But why? Hint: it's not because the show excels at (or even attempts to be) hard sci fi."

I would assume they like it for many of the same reasons I do. It's funny sometimes and gives you that old Trek nostalgia. It's got good special effects, a decent cast, and it's science fiction, for god's sake. What's not to like?

But waitaminute! Hint? Was that your version of a "shocking revelation"? Cause I gotta tell you. I'm at least as underwhelmed as you were.

OmicronThetaDeltaPhi says:
"But it's a matter of degree. In the Orville it happens occasionally, and most of the time it isn't too difficult to retcon the nits away. In Discovery, on the other hand, the entire show made a complete mess of previous Trek continuity. The situation was so hopeless that the show runners were forced to go the "let's pertend the previous two seasons never happened" route. That's a pretty big difference, I'll say."

Discovery did mess with continuity. That's undeniable. Yes, this does annoy me, like a lot of other people. However, you seem to be speaking out of both sides of your fingertips. On the one hand, you're calling me Mr. Obvious for bothering to point at the subjective nature of it all. (Possibly, because you didn't see what I was actually pointing at.) On the other hand, now you seem to be reaching for some nonexistent objectivity.

it's a matter of degree... TO YOU. That's what's important... TO YOU. Other people are looking at things from an entirely different point of view. I for one like both Discovery and The Orville. And I can look at any given episode of either and admit when something is ridiculous. This episode of the Orville was ridiculous.
Thu, May 2, 2019, 8:31pm (UTC -5)

But there is something irrational about confronting people with different preferences and arguing as if your personal preferences were objectively better. Hence, my point.
Thu, May 2, 2019, 8:39pm (UTC -5)

That's true. But then I'm not one of the ones claiming The Orville is the real Trek, while Discovery is "The Other Show™." So since the comparison has been made by multiple people, it has to be dealt with.
Fri, May 3, 2019, 4:12am (UTC -5)

How on earth was Dave being "confrontational" in any way?

Please look back at his comments here. Can you give a single example of Dave being anything but completely civil? What on earth do you want from the guy?

He didn't even mention Discovery. He was just doing what Trekkies have been doing for decades: looking for ways to make an iffy bit of sciencework in their favorite show.

Then you compare Dave to a guy who (a) called every person who didn't agree with him a moron and (b) systematically refused to openly discuss the challenges to the claims he was making.

So yeah... it does seem like you were just looking for a fight. If that wasn't your intention, I apologize, but that it would it looked like.

"I would assume they like it [the Orville] for many of the same reasons I do. It's funny sometimes and gives you that old Trek nostalgia. It's got good special effects, a decent cast, and it's science fiction, for god's sake. What's not to like?"

Ah. But what, exactly, is this "old Trek nostalgia" that we're talking about here? Would we be happy with any show that puts a bunch of people on a well-lit spaceship and send them on adventures? Or do we require something more?

I maintain that the Orville would have been far less successful if it didn't:

(a) build a compelling and coherent world
(b) have relatively tight plotlines
(c) respected science as much as Classic Trek did (which means, among other things, that the show sometimes bend a few rules. Trek was never a hard sci fi show)

This is why I find the notion of "you guys defend major logic gaffes in the Orville because you like the show" to be untenable. Had the Orville been that bad with continuity or science, we wouldn't have fallen in love with the show in the first place.

"On the one hand, you're calling me Mr. Obvious for bothering to point at the subjective nature of it all. (Possibly, because you didn't see what I was actually pointing at.) On the other hand, now you seem to be reaching for some nonexistent objectivity."


The two things are not mutually exclusive.

Just because *some* things are a matter of taste, does not mean that there's no objective truth at all. Some things are indeed a matter of preference, but other things are not.

Whether (say) TOS is better than TNG may be a matter of preference. Whether TOS has better special effects than TNG is not.

Similarly, I do maintain that the Orville is objectively superior to Discovery when it comes to plot logic, maintaining continuity and implementing science in the show. Furthermore, I maintain that the Orville is on par with (and at times even superior) to Classic Trek when it comes to these criteria.

(note how I phrased the above paragraph. I did not say that the Orville is an objectively better TV show. I said that it is objectively better in those three specific areas.)

Are you seriously claiming this isn't the case? That the only conceivable reason for saying the Orville does these 3 things better, is personal bias? Seriously?

"And I can look at any given episode of either and admit when something is ridiculous. This episode of the Orville was ridiculous."

By what standard?

The standards of hard science fiction? Yes, by those standards, every episode of both Star Trek and the Orville is ridiculous. Every time we see an alien that looks even remotely humanoid who speaks english, the show is being ridiculous.

But by the standards of Star Trek, it was a good story with a tight plot and the science wasn't too bad (especially for a time travel story). Even the black hole scene was better conceived than similar situations we had in Classic Trek.

I wouldn't go as far as Dave in defending the "we'll hide inside the event horizon" thing, but I've seen worse on Trek ("Parallax [VOY]", anyone?). At any rate, that scene is easily the most questionable bit of science in this episode. I find none of your other complaints to be an issue at all.

For example, they've explained exactly why the alternate timeline is the way it is and it made perfect sense:


No Ed/Kelly relationship -> No Divorce -> Kelly doesn't recommend Ed out guilt -> Ed not Captain of the Orville -> Dr. Finn does not request the position on the Orville -> Isaac and the Finn family don't bond on the zombie planet -> Isaac/Primary confrontation about killing Ty never happens -> Isaac doesn't betray his people, and also Ty wasn't there to help Yaphit send the warning message to Earth -> the Orville and the Kaylon "escort" are accepted with open arms on earth -> Kaylon invasion successful.

And as a side tangent: No Ed on the Orville -> Ed doesn't recommend Gordon -> Orville doesn't have the best pilot in the fleet -> No successful shuttle trip to Krill space -> No Krill/PU alliance -> Kaylon invasion successful.

I'd say the above is clear, simple, and perfectly logical.

The amazing thing about this is that ALL of the items in the above chains were actually introduced in some previous episode. Now that's what I call excellent writing.

And no, phrasing it with the derogatory "Ed's penis being barred from Kelly's vagina has caused the destruction of half the galaxy" does not change this fact. I think it is *your* biases that are showing here, good sir.
Fri, May 3, 2019, 11:02am (UTC -5)
Finally got to see it but... I was disappointed by it. It wasn't terrible but it was very predictable and I got a bit bored. I truly hated Kelly's wonderbra cleavage, was that really necessary?! Do your buttons up love.

Still really hoping for a season 3 though.

I would've liked the previous episode to have been the season finale with season 3 exploring the ramifications of younger Kelly's actions rather than cramming it all into this one episode.

Why can't the Kaylon shoot straight?! They are absolutely hopeless shots, can't think how they managed to destroy so many civilizations...
Fri, May 3, 2019, 11:04am (UTC -5)
I didn't even mention the black hole thing... when I watched it I just shook my head and thought "this is The Orville"....

They portrayed the time differential well, but totally forgot about getting out and making any sense of it. I would have LOVED to see them have to repair their Quantum Drive before they could get out.
Fri, May 3, 2019, 2:20pm (UTC -5)
Has anyone noticed how this second season bookends itself like season 2 of TOS?

TOS season 1 first episode - Amok Time
Orville season 1 first episode - Ja'loja

TOS season 2 last episode - Assignment Earth
Orville season 2 last episode - The Road Not Taken

Amok Time and Ja'loja see Spock/Bortus being taken back to their home-worlds to enact a rare biological ritual. Assignment Earth and The Road Not Taken deal with time travelers trying to restore time lines and prevent future calamity and war.
Fri, May 3, 2019, 2:56pm (UTC -5)
"I would've liked the previous episode to have been the season finale with season 3 exploring the ramifications of younger Kelly's actions rather than cramming it all into this one episode"

Maybe they'd have done it like that if there'd been a confirmation about there being a season three. Things were definitely rushed especially at the end of The Road. An extended near feature length finale would have been better, ideally. I'd be against stretching out over too many episodes - the Orville style is really more or less the classic freestanding separate episodes one. (Even in DS9 most of the time. Leave stretching it too much over multiple episodes to Discovery.
90s Rerunner
Fri, May 3, 2019, 5:35pm (UTC -5)
Critics all over seem to be pretty much on board with wanting a season 3.

But that Disney merger is likely really throwing a wrench in things. Why waste a show like this on a mismatched broadcast net like Fox anyway? Surely Disney must be thinking this would be prime show for D+ streaming. It's not like STD isn't doing just fine on a niche streaming service.
Fri, May 3, 2019, 6:01pm (UTC -5)
I agree that this show is very well suited to streaming.

@Artymiss: "I truly hated Kelly's wonderbra cleavage, was that really necessary?! Do your buttons up love."

Agreed. It was really distracting, and looked particularly bad because it highlighted her implants. What she normally wears makes it ambiguous as to whether they are real.

@Trent: Good catch on the parallels!
Fri, May 3, 2019, 9:41pm (UTC -5)
I imagine the official rationale would have been to do with needing to differentiate this version of Kelly from the rather prim buttoned up one we're used to, given that this time they are both the same age. Though they didn't do anything much to differentiate the two versions of Ed.

I suspect there might have been another set of reasons though, to do with pulling in a few more viewers, as in some episodes of Enterprise.
Sat, May 4, 2019, 2:38am (UTC -5)
Eek no, I don't want it to be remotely like Discovery in terms of plot. I was thinking more of episodes that could stand alone but were within a wider story arc (a bit like DS9 I suppose).

Re Kelly's cleavage. It all fell flat to me (no pun intended!) I didn't like the 'joke' about her liking to be on top either.
Sat, May 4, 2019, 3:23am (UTC -5)
Hello Again, Everyone!

I just watched this for my second time, using Hulu, and had missed the part about the special serum during the storm warnings. But, I didn't miss all that much. :)

I've seen a couple of comments saying something along the lines of "...if Ed isn't the Captain, the Kaylon win the battle..." (paraphrase), and those folks finding fault with Ed being the saving grace. It isn't just Ed. If Kelly doesn't get him this command, she isn't the second in command, and Gordon isn't on the ship either. After Kelly demanded to head out to find allies, with Gordon as the pilot, they never pull the stunt with the drive to get them to Krill space.

So, so many threads to pull, but that one stood out for me. Ed didn't save the Union, it was the people around him (since he was there as Captain) that saved the day (including Claire then dating Isaac).

On the other hand, if Kelly wasn't on the Orville, who notices LaMar is really smart and makes him the head of engineering? *ouch* *brain hurts again* At least, he Seemed to be an engineer when they went to the Trench to find the ship, as he was the only one in the engine room trying to make the plan go forward.

I just hope, if and when there is a third season, LaMar doesn't go blind...

Regards Everyone... just some... random thoughts...

Sat, May 4, 2019, 6:40am (UTC -5)
Maybe the absence of Gordon sitting next to him on the Orville meant LaMar didn't goof around so much, and his abilities weren't so concealed. And even if that didn't happen on the alternative Orville, Kelly2 would have known he had the abilities when she recruited him to her team, and used those abilities once she had him on board.
Sun, May 5, 2019, 10:35am (UTC -5)
It's quiet on Orville's renewal. Someone has to design Orville dinner plates with each character on it.
Dave in MN
Sun, May 5, 2019, 12:16pm (UTC -5)
The merchandise rollout seems to be going well.

The trading cards are very cool ... I'm gonna have to buy more sets, I want an autographed card!!!

But, yeah, there's not really any tangible "new" news about ANY of his ongoing FOX projects, a surprising lack of chatter/ leaks. I really do think he's doing the hardball contractual dance with DisFOX as we speak.

I believe The Orville's return is pretty likely, but where it'll air is another question altogether.
Danny G
Sun, May 5, 2019, 7:37pm (UTC -5)
Inception-style ending cliffhanger: Did the memory wipe procedure work?
Mon, May 6, 2019, 11:18am (UTC -5)



I'm hoping the delay is a good sign. I think maybe if they were going to cancel it they already would have.
Wed, May 8, 2019, 6:36pm (UTC -5)
"Has anyone noticed how this second season bookends itself like season 2 of TOS?

TOS season 1 first episode - Amok Time
Orville season 1 first episode - Ja'loja

TOS season 2 last episode - Assignment Earth
Orville season 2 last episode - The Road Not Taken

Amok Time and Ja'loja see Spock/Bortus being taken back to their home-worlds to enact a rare biological ritual. Assignment Earth and The Road Not Taken deal with time travelers trying to restore time lines and prevent future calamity and war."

The Ja'loja/Amok Time reference is obviously deliberate.

But I dIsagree with the claimed parallels with "Assignment Earth". Other than being time travel episodes, they have absolutely nothing in common.

Speaking of which:

There were no timeline corrections in "Assignment Earth". That entire episode happened in a single timeline.
Wed, May 8, 2019, 6:50pm (UTC -5)

"On the other hand, if Kelly wasn't on the Orville, who notices LaMar is really smart and makes him the head of engineering? *ouch* *brain hurts again* At least, he Seemed to be an engineer when they went to the Trench to find the ship, as he was the only one in the engine room trying to make the plan go forward."

I suspect that that being chased to extinction by genocidal robots would change the guy's priorities. No point in continuing to play dumb under these conditions, is there?

So it makes sense in this context.

I gotta admit though, that I didn't find this bit of LaMarr's characterization to be believable in the first place. I just can't square the dude's behavior in the first 10 episodes of season 1 with this revelation.
Thu, May 9, 2019, 4:00pm (UTC -5) Looks like an announcement is to be made next week.
Sat, May 11, 2019, 3:00pm (UTC -5)
Good news: The Orville renewed!!

Not even sure why they waited so long, to be honest.
Dave in MN
Sat, May 11, 2019, 6:43pm (UTC -5)
@ Mertov

Thanks for the heads up.

Sat, May 11, 2019, 7:06pm (UTC -5)
The Gorn
Sun, May 12, 2019, 12:03am (UTC -5)
Thanks @ Mertov!

I'm sure there are a lot of happy campers out there right now.
Sun, May 12, 2019, 2:39am (UTC -5)
Renewed! Hurrah! Praise be to Avis etc.
Sun, May 12, 2019, 7:08am (UTC -5)
Sun, May 12, 2019, 8:03am (UTC -5)
Sun, May 12, 2019, 10:20am (UTC -5)
Avis blesses us upon this glorious day.
Sun, May 12, 2019, 12:16pm (UTC -5)
Dave in MN
Sun, May 12, 2019, 12:26pm (UTC -5)

Amusing link. 👍
Sun, May 12, 2019, 12:38pm (UTC -5)
I'm happy for you Orvellistas :)
Sun, May 12, 2019, 4:49pm (UTC -5)
@Dave MN

I think you meant to say:

Amusing link.

Mon, May 13, 2019, 9:47am (UTC -5)
Great news!!
Wed, May 15, 2019, 3:18am (UTC -5)
"...though ap­pa­rent­ly we dif­fer with re­spect to the prison es­cape se­quen­ce (I come from a coun­try where con­cen­tra­tion camps are not con­sider­ed a re­spect­able work­place)"

One of things that Star Trek and the Orville has taught us, is not to confuse the evilness of a cultural norm with the evilness of a specific individual.

And I've never argued that the guards in "Birthday Cake" were portrayed as saints (which would be ridiculous). But they weren't portrayed as evil, either. Most of them didn't use any kind of violence nor did they show any malice against the prisoners.

The only thing most of them were guilty of, is not questioning their situation and not realizing how fucked-up the whole thing is. Which is bad, I agree, but it still doesn't mean that they are evil unredeemable scum.

In fact, if you think about it, you'll realize that the vast majority of the people in today's world aren't any better. Most of them are cooperating with really bad things just because it's the cultural norm. Whether it's buying clothes that were made by child labor, or eating industrial-created meat (I'm not against eating meat in general, but what the modern food industry does to animals is appaling), or producing revenue for companies that make the world a worse place with their greediness.

Are all these people evil? Food for thought.
Sat, May 18, 2019, 2:42am (UTC -5)
Does anyone else think it dumb that alt-Mercer is hung up on Kelly. They went on one date. He had a good time and wanted another but she turned him down. Then he spends the next seven years being lovesick about it.

Because of one date.

Even I think that's pathetic.
Dave in MN
Sat, May 18, 2019, 7:49am (UTC -5)

Almost everyone has a story about "the one that got away", so I don't find the general idea unbelievable.

As far as this episode goes, my impression was that Ed had (for the most part) had gotten over the Kelly date thing until she popped back up in his life with a crazy story about them marrying in another timeline.
Sun, May 19, 2019, 6:22am (UTC -5) and a season renewal, way to go!

O.T. Is the Games of Thrones truly ending forever? They have generated as many tv viewership as the whole globe.
Dave in MN
Tue, May 21, 2019, 8:04am (UTC -5)
Man, I am EXCITED about this (and I'm extremely happy Seth & Co. are taking a inclusive approach to fan projects). I may have to buy a VR headset!

The Orville, The Interactive Fan Experience
Dave in MN
Sat, May 25, 2019, 9:31pm (UTC -5)

This is an excellent interview with Seth. I'd recommended listening to the entire thing, it's a fascinating walkthrough his life by a knowledgeable interviewer .... while there are little tidbits about The Orville sprinkled throughout, if you're pressed for time, the last 8 minutes are focused exclusively on the show.
Mon, Jun 3, 2019, 2:05pm (UTC -5)
Head cannons are the best things I've seen in quite some time.
Thu, Jun 6, 2019, 3:54am (UTC -5)
Thanks, @Dave! I searched for the episode and added it to the podcatcher on my phone.
Dave in MN
Thu, Jun 6, 2019, 7:15am (UTC -5)
@ Slacker

After listening to that podcast, I'm pretty sure that Seth has been here reading reviews and comments. It's kind of weird to think of the creator actually reading what we write!
Sun, Jun 9, 2019, 12:56pm (UTC -5)
I wonder how the show was named The Orville.

I ran into history and one famous co-inventor has Orville as first name.

maybe they can make an episode with Bortus steering the vintage plane.
Mon, Jun 24, 2019, 7:20pm (UTC -5)
Surely the fact that Orville and Wilbur Wright were the first people to fly in a powered aircraft means their names should be at least as familiar as that if Neil Armstrong, first man on the moon.
Dave in MN
Mon, Jun 24, 2019, 11:01pm (UTC -5)
There's something about euphonius and ear-catching about their names.

I'm 99% I remembered their monikers the first time I encountered that part of history.
Sat, Jul 20, 2019, 7:00pm (UTC -5)
oh no... is there a way to watch them other than Hulu?
Sat, Jul 20, 2019, 8:02pm (UTC -5)
Really, with the broadcast ratings so low you can’t blame Disney for not wanting to take the bullet. On the bright side, maybe The Orville can be more serialized now?
Sun, Jul 21, 2019, 6:03am (UTC -5)
Because of Disney, I think the Orville is going to open the doors to the Treky world. In my opinion, Fox stands to lose from this in the long run.
Mon, Jul 22, 2019, 1:59am (UTC -5)
I think it's a smart move, similar to CBS and Trek. A small but very dedicated audience is much more valuable to a streaming service than to a broadcast network.
Mon, Jul 22, 2019, 8:25am (UTC -5)
It IS interesting that in order to keep an expensive show like this going they had to rely on a streaming service to stay alive. ... Maybe CBS wasn't so stupid with their marketing plan with Star Trek Discovery?
Mon, Jul 29, 2019, 1:23pm (UTC -5)

See u next year.
Wed, Jul 31, 2019, 2:45pm (UTC -5)
Hulu? Ugh.. Unfortunately, I don't have it.

I'll look into getting it, but it looks like I don't have to decide until over a year from now and it will take me more than just The Orville to sign up for another streaming service.

I am sure there are reasons for the move (none that I have read that I found satisfactory though), but I am disappointed that it's no longer on Fox.
Mon, Aug 5, 2019, 1:56pm (UTC -5)
Mertov - try "" to get The Orville (for example).

I hope Stephen was wrong about "more serialisation". That's a very risky road to go down. Having a story arc with essentially standalone show# wworks best for me, The full serialisation of Discovery is offputting for many. It means that if people miss a few episodes there's likely to be a reluctance to get involved again, because life's too short to catchup with the missed shows, but without doing that nothing makes much sense anymore. As with other kinds of soap.
Fri, Aug 9, 2019, 9:57am (UTC -5)
I hope it doesn't become serialized.

Episodic science fiction is like a fun box of chocolate. You never know whatcha gonna get.
Fri, Aug 16, 2019, 8:30am (UTC -5)
While I understand the reasons for the move to hulu, I don't like what it might do to the show.

I really hope we won't see any sharp turn for the worse in the show's storytelling in season 3. I know the Orville is Seth's pet project and that he has a specific vision for it, but I can't shake the feeling that something is going to go horribly wrong with this move to streaming.

Here's to hope that my gut feeling gets proven wrong.
Dave in MN
Sun, Sep 1, 2019, 10:35pm (UTC -5)
I don't think we need to worry about it changing a bunch. They might push the envelope slightly more here and there with storytelling options, but Tom Cosentino has been pretty consistent in saying the show isn't going to be drastically changing its vibe.
Fri, Jan 10, 2020, 7:25pm (UTC -5) That would be cool if the Orville makes its home on NBC.
Wed, Sep 23, 2020, 4:58am (UTC -5)
Seth MacFarlane on Star Trek and NuTrek:
Thu, Oct 1, 2020, 5:20pm (UTC -5)
I did not like this at all. I'm really interested what Jammer has to say. 3 stars?!
The visuals look good but the whole " we learned to shot from stormtroopers" of the Kaylon is pretty ridiculous. I actually thought that the Kaylon didn't want to kill them for some reason but no they just suck. Two men running through the snow. That is a very easy target to shoot. Same goes for the ship scenes. Ok so most of the action fell flat for me which was sadly the best part.

So many plotholes... wow and just plain nonsense like flying directly into a black hole?! The Orville just sitting more or less functional in the Mariana Trench (the only trench Americans know so it always has to be the fricking Mariana Trench). Bortus is of course on board. Grayson just stumbles over Mercer with a ship that can catch shuttles like it is nothing. All of the core members of the crew are obviously still alive, even the power smurf makes an appearance and from then on I noticed that all the women still wear full make up. Nice to see that the beauty industry survived the apocalypse...

It is clear after two minutes that none of this will matter because reset button. Also another ego H bomb from Macfarlane. If he doesn't command the Orville the galaxy will be wiped out. In the end the doc has to memory wipe Grayson again but inject her with some goobledegoop first because.

The music also felt all over the place. Star Wars and Aliens was mixed in fairly often.

Also bad acting especially from Grayson.

This is a weird season finale. Inconsequential action nonsense. The way science was handled actually reminded me of NuTrek.

below average from me. Plus worst Kelly hair...
Thu, Oct 1, 2020, 5:26pm (UTC -5)
Oh man reading Jammers I remembered that Kelly messed it all up. She wakes up with memories she shouldn't have and immediately decides to change the future. She doesn't go to a hospital and says wipe my memory. No she is just moves on, Obviously she doesn't tell anybody about the coming apocalypse... man
William B
Tue, Feb 2, 2021, 11:44am (UTC -5)
Nice to scratch a Star Wars fanfic within your Star Trek fanfic, and to be honest that the whole universe rests on the Ed/Kelly ship does seem to be a meta statement of the show's central theme. Still, the fun here often comes from just "hey, there's AU Alara!" type stuff which doesn't really sustain the hour. Maybe 2.5.

So season two was indeed a big step up from season 1. I'm pretty much at the point where I enjoy the characters and spending time with them. I would say my top episodes of the series so far are, approximately in order:

Lasting Impressions
A Happy Refrain
Identity 1
About a Girl
Cody B
Thu, Feb 18, 2021, 2:25pm (UTC -5)
I suppose this was a good enough finale. I definitely prefer episodes that are more character study oriented but this one still had some nice moments. Hiding in the event horizon and going down into the Mariana’s Trench among them. Parts of the episode even bordered on looking like feature film quality. Count me in for season three later this year!
Dave in MN
Thu, Apr 22, 2021, 10:49am (UTC -5)
We've got some episode titles now!

The first five episodes are:

"Electric Sheep"
"Shadow Realms"
"Mortality Paradox"
"Gently Falling Rain"
"A Tale of Two Topas"
Dave in MN
Sat, May 1, 2021, 8:06pm (UTC -5)

Seth Tweeted:

"Season 3 is on its way. It will be more than worth the wait, I promise!"
William B
Tue, Sep 14, 2021, 3:41pm (UTC -5)
RIP Norm MacDonald. Very sad.
Tue, Sep 21, 2021, 8:56am (UTC -5)
Due to Kelly's selfish decision we get a What if story. The great thing about alternate timelines and parallel universes is getting to see how the characters react under different circumstances. A couple of takes.
1. I liked Alara Kitan. As expressed here, her look belies her capabilities. I don't like her replacement.
2. There's always a paradox lol. If the alternate timeline didn't happen then the doctor never went back in time to wipe Kelly's memory. Maybe the alternate timeline exists as a continuous loop.
Anyway, this looks like the end of the season. I got my Star Trek fix. On to season 3 when it comes.
Gary Twinem
Sat, Oct 16, 2021, 6:34pm (UTC -5)
Much prefer low-cut Kelly to buttoned up Kelly 😘
Fri, Apr 15, 2022, 9:27am (UTC -5)
A short reflection regarding the two seasons. Orvillw started quite silly but was entertaining. The i slowly started to deliver fair and entertain ing episodes which with some exceptions was really watchable and good.

My worry is that MacFarlane will try to much in season 3. I hope that I wrong,

What I liked was that many episodes had a good punch or twist at the end. Like the " Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow".

Unfortunately that gave us a good Star Wars hommage. For being a timeline fix adventure it was a good one. I also felt it was fairly consistent.

I am though glad that we perhaps we return to the normal Orville.
Thu, May 12, 2022, 4:48pm (UTC -5)
Latest trailer:

The show returns in a few weeks.
Sun, May 22, 2022, 9:08am (UTC -5)
It's going to be interesting to see how Orville sits after a substantial gap and so much Nu Trek. I find myself looking forward to it almost with a sense of nostalgia, while not expecting anything too much.

If it sorted out what it wanted to be, and perhaps dialed back the satire/parody quotient of its comedy a bit, it could be more watchable than Discovery or Picard. Actually it probably could be that anyway.
Proud Capitalist Pig
Fri, Jul 8, 2022, 8:59pm (UTC -5)
“The Road Not Taken” is also the title of the annoying poem by Robert Frost that has become such a cliche that it makes you want to punch recent teenage graduates in the face. It was read at my high-school graduation, it was read at my daughter’s graduation just last month, and it will probably be read at my future grandchild’s graduation too if indeed humanity lasts that long. The kids always misinterpret the message, too -- it’s not about taking “the road less traveled” and choosing some solitary, noble iconoclastic life-path worthy of praise and honor. In fact the poem isn’t about what the speaker does, but rather what he didn’t do. It’s “The Road *Not* Taken.” Frost wrote the poem almost as a prank, for fuck’s sake. He was teasing his best friend good-naturedly about that friend’s inability to make a timely decision on which path to take during nature walks, and hoping that his friend would get the humor behind it. Vintage “Orville,” this poem.

In the episode “The Road Not Taken,” at least the literary reference is apt this time. Kelly, at the final moment of “Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow,” had two proverbial roads in front of her, and she chose to take the *other* path to seemingly correct her own future. And then it bit her in the ass. What a mind job. Day by day, year after year, she had to wonder in the back of her mind if she really made the right choice. After all, she intentionally changed the future. Imagine the guilt she must have felt when the Kaylon AI’s started to attack--successfully this time--and she realized she royally screwed everyone. She looked at her life and saw how fake it all was -- fake Kaylon victory, fake life without Mercer, fake life without the Orville crew; hell, even her boobs are fake (but I kid). We never get to see the lengths she might have gone to in trying to tell her superiors her amazing story, to warn them of the horror to come. For whatever reason, she couldn’t stop it from all going to hell. But now she’s found a way to undo her mistake, so “The Road Not Taken” is primarily a redemption story and that’s well and good for a season finale. Timeline shenanigans aside, this was all set up to be a great character story although it ultimately turns out to be a bit flimsy on that point in favor of action and space battles.

Don’t get me wrong. There are some great scenes here. The Kaylon have heads that can turn into drones (though I do love Jammer’s crack about how it doesn’t make them better shots) and it's a wonderful little conceit. There’s a beautiful sequence of the shuttle cruising through an ice planetoid. The scenes of battered Earth, where there’s nothing left--not even “fishes”--were striking. The timeline-correcting mission was wonderfully simple: far from being a hopeless “fight every Kaylon until we die” crusade, it had a specific objective with specific small stakes--they know they only have to endure for long enough to send Dr. Finn to the past with her magic injection (Claire and her magic injections, haha!). And it was so great to see that cutie Alara Kitan again. Oh my God, that leather suit she was wearing--Hot Damn! Sensory Overload! Yum Yum! But once the motions were through, and things reset to zero hour, I had kind of the same reaction I had after “Identity, Part II”--basically this was an action-packed, well-produced romp but one that I don’t need to see again.

I do think it’s fascinating that everything we’ve seen from “Old Wounds” to “Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow,” any multiverse or paradox implications aside, was only possible because a future version of Dr. Claire Finn made sure that Kelly Grayson received a proper memory wipe. Spooky!

Best Line:
Ty -- “Mom, I did the tractor beam!”

My Grade: B-
Proud Capitalist Pig
Fri, Jul 8, 2022, 9:01pm (UTC -5)
And now I’ve finally made it to season three. The first episode also has a literary title: “Electric Sheep” likely comes from the Brian Aldiss novella, “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” which provided the story starting-point of Steven Spielberg’s lackluster movie (started by Stanley Kubrick) about artificial intelligence called, well, AI. So it looks like this next one is going to be all about a certain goddamn sentient AI that’s had the good sense to be seen but barely heard on the ship since its act of betrayal.
Tue, Jul 12, 2022, 8:22am (UTC -5)
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep was written by Philip K. Dick and was the basis of Ridley Scott's excellent Blade Runner. I'll be interested to see what The Orville does with it.

I don't want to nitpick this episode, which is a lot of fun, but the writers seem to forget that Dr Finn has two sons. The little one is cute but it doesn't make sense for him to do all the cool stuff while his elder brother stands around looking useless.

Seth McFarlane has certainly been entrusted with a decent FX budget. A lot of the comments are referencing Star Wars, but I'm also seeing James Cameron, from the relentless Kaylon to the hints of Alan Silvestri when the shuttle descends into the abyss.
Proud Capitalist Pig
Tue, Jul 12, 2022, 11:56am (UTC -5)

Hi Polly, yes I got my "books crossed" again -- Kubrick/Spielberg's AI was based on Supertoys Last All Summer Long by Aldiss. I read both that one and Electric Sheep at about the same time, years ago, so I guess I got them confused. Whoops. (In my actual review of "Electric Sheep," I'm pretty sure I got it right that time).
Wed, Aug 17, 2022, 11:37am (UTC -5)
@ Proud Capitalist Pig

I agree with you re the over sentimental AI movie. I haven't read Aldiss's short story. Spielberg's mastery of cinematic technique is equal to Kubrick's, but the two could not be more different in sensibility. It would have been interesting to have seen what Kubrick would have made of the material.
Wed, Aug 17, 2022, 2:33pm (UTC -5)
I strenuously disagree about “A.I.”. I’m sure it would have been great if Kubrick had survived to make it, but even as is it’s my favorite Spielberg film.

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