The Orville

"Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow"

2.5 stars

Air date: 4/18/2019
Written by Janet Lin
Directed by Gary Rake

Review by Jamahl Epsicokhan

"Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow" — a title with a repetition I must confess I don't exactly understand the rationale for — is a high-concept sci-fi premise that produces a middling character episode focusing on a worn-out thread on this series, and exhibits no shortage of misguided character decisions. The episode is redeemed almost entirely by the subtle and nuanced performance of Adrianne Palicki, who wins this week's MVP by taking some decent insights and strange sitcom situations and spinning them into sympathy-earning gold.

This episode is okay, but it's a notable step down from what the series has done recently, and it relies on plot developments we see coming a mile away — but the characters for some reason choose not to. It unfortunately feels like the Orville falling back on old habits, as if the writers woke up one morning and decided to go shopping at the TNG Store, found the "Second Chances" kit on the shelf, brought it home, and then made their personal modifications during assembly.

You may recall that in that (very good) episode, Riker discovered he had been duplicated in a transporter accident, and the duplicate had been stranded on a planet for eight years. The duplicate and the original suddenly find themselves facing an identity crisis when they learn about each other and have to live in the same world (and the duplicate wants to resume a relationship with Troi). In "Tomorrow," a whatever-technobabble-thingamabob pulls Kelly from seven years in the past into the present. So now there are two Kellys — the one who has lived the past seven years of her life, and the one who has skipped over those years to find herself in the presence of her future self.

It's a good starting point, so now what to do with her? The characters note that her removal from her own time period somehow doesn't seem to have affected the timeline (although how would they know if it had? [insert mind-blown gesture]), and they don't know if they can send her back. Ed floats two alternatives — tell her nothing about what has happened, or tell her everything. He opts for everything. "We can't just keep her locked away in a room," he says. Funny; I was thinking that's exactly what they should do. Locking her in a room would be far smarter than making her a member of the crew, which is what they essentially do. (I'm not saying they have to be mean about it; they could give her a bunch of books, provided they are at least seven years old.) Or, at least, given the possible ramifications of this, how about taking some time to think about it and do some due-diligence research into the anomaly? (I'm reminded of the guy in "Homeward" who escaped the holodeck simulation and realized he was no longer on his homeworld but ... somewhere else. Rather than shutting up, the crew goes on to explain everything about where he is (hey, you're on a starship, in space!) — without regard for what that might mean to him. Ultimately, he ends up killing himself. Good job!)

So Past Kelly becomes a de facto member of the crew, which is hard for her, because she's living in the shadow of Present Kelly, and knowing one's future is not all it's cracked up to be, especially when your goals were to be married and a captain by the time you were the age of the future self you're now encountering, for whom neither is the case.

Of course, the other big thing here is the whole Ed/Kelly situation, a piece of character business that was as inevitable as tomorrow's sunrise. The episode has Ed asking (yet again) if Kelly will give him another chance, to which Kelly says, politely, patiently, no. Well, Past Kelly had arrived after having been brought forward in time from the very day after Ed and Kelly's first date seven years ago. (This is not a mere coincidence; the episode strongly suggests that Present Kelly thinking about that night is specifically what led to Past Kelly being pulled from that moment in time when the tech anomaly struck.)

In what seems like a really bad choice all around given the circumstances, Past Kelly decides she wants to pick things up and have a second date with Present Ed, given that he and Present Kelly are divorced. Ed is open to this and wants to explore it, and after a discussion with Present Kelly (Ed is nice enough to at least ask her first, although phrasing it as "Well, hey, given that we're never getting back together, maybe I can try again with you from seven years ago?" is probably not very smart), things move forward ... and it's not all what it was cracked up to be. After all, how could it be? Ed is seven years older, and hanging out in a simulation of Past Kelly's favorite nightclub is not nearly as fun as it was back then. I mean, it's so damn loud! My bro Gordon and I are fortysomethings! (Bortus and Klyden like the club; I guess they've put their massive ideological differences aside for now so they can get a groove on.)

Here's the thing: All of this is an indulgence of the scenario and really the whole reason for its being. I get that. I mean, how can you not work through these character beats given what the episode is about? But at the same time, I just can't quite buy that given such an extremely weird scenario that this is how these people would behave — that this relationship would be the thing most on their minds. Past Kelly jumping straight into dating Present Ed seems unlikely when you consider she's just had her entire life upended — not to mention her future self is right there basically looming over everything, and this is sci-fi where there's a very good chance you may be going back to your own time given enough (even a few days of!) technobabble research. The episode acts as if she's stranded here forever ... up until the breakthrough suddenly reveals she's not. My thinking: Maybe wait a few days and see what's actually going to happen and think it over before making such rash decisions that seem likely to just hurt everyone anyway.

I mentioned before that Adrianne Palicki's performance redeems a lot of this. I need to repeat that, because she's really good. She creates subtle differences in the two versions of the character. She has conversations with herself that reveal real vulnerabilities in both characters. It's a tricky balancing act, and Palicki does the most with it. Present Kelly in particular shows a lot of grace and intelligence given the weird situation and emotions involved, even if Ed and Past Kelly are foolhardy for jumping into an emotionally fraught situation. (Seth MacFarlane is pretty good here too, and even if it takes Ed a while, he finally admits, to his credit, that this is not a great idea and the past should remain there.)

The visual effects used to put two Kellys in one shot — even with moving cameras and the two Kellys physically interacting — are as seamless as if there had really been two actors. The technical details in these shots were undoubtedly elaborate to stage, but end up being completely invisible. Also notable from a VFX standpoint are the crisp, clean, simple, and beautiful shots of the Orville evading two Kaylon ships in the ice rings of a planet.

There's a last-minute plot twist here. When it's discovered Past Kelly can be sent back to the moment she was pulled out of time, she agrees to have her memory of the future erased, and the trip back is successful. But we see in the past that when Ed asks her out on a second date, she sadly turns him down, saying it's not going to work out. What happened here? Did the memory wipe fail? Does this exist in some alternate timeline? This may play into next week's season finale somehow, but even if it doesn't, I'd be okay with it having no explanation whatsoever. Somehow, Kelly's knowledge of the future made her decide to take another path, and even if we were never to see it play out, there's something intriguing about the open-ended question at the end of this episode.

But I've long since lost interest in Ed and Kelly as a couple — assuming I ever had it, which, let's face it, I didn't. I accept their history, but it should remain that — history — and the sooner Ed gets that through his skull and accepts that they are friends and won't be more than that, the better off we'll all be. The Orville writing staff seems to want us invested in the question of whether these two are going to get back together someday, but I don't know that anyone in the audience cares.

Previous episode: Sanctuary
Next episode: The Road Not Taken

◄ Season Index

91 comments on this review

Chris
Thu, Apr 18, 2019, 9:01pm (UTC -6)
While there were some decent aspects in the episode, the central premise (that Ed would date a younger Kelly while current Kelly was present) was a huge mistake. It made Ed look like an unfeeling moron. Can't believe anyone thought that was a good idea. It would have been fine if he was conflicted about his feelings for her but to actually see dating her as a viable option was ... awful. And I couldn't get past it to enjoy the episode as a whole.

I know there was a TNG where Riker was split. Honestly can't remember if that character and Troi dated or not? If so, wonder if it was handled any better.

On the plus side, the ice field scene was pretty cool.
2/4
Dave in MN
Thu, Apr 18, 2019, 9:04pm (UTC -6)
Did young Kelly just rewrite the timeline?!?! Wireless telecommunications facility!!

Does that mean next week's episode is in an alternate reality?! So many questions!

Funny, insightful, good direction (the Kaylon encounter was actually kind of ominously scary) and a really REALLY good soundtrack. 4 stars for me!
mosley
Thu, Apr 18, 2019, 10:38pm (UTC -6)
for any person that has watched a sufficient amount of trek, this plot was entirely predictable.
kind of awkward, too. macfarlane really struggles with deep character material. whenever its not standard captain stuff or standard sad guy whos still in love stuff, its a bit out of his range.
obviously, the premise is pretty absurd and time travel never makes sense.
overall, the episode was nothing to write home about, really...

...and i loved it. i dont know what it is with the orville, but it just tickles the right nerves for me. i do think that at the end of the day, its the characters. and the universe building. it just works, somehow, against all odds.

oh, and then theres that final scene. now THAT was bold and extremely unexpected, even if youve watched a lot of trek (maybe especially then).
will that have consequences or will this just be put away in a "oh well, triggered a different timeline we will only hear about again as a season 4 episode 7 gimmick"? who knows.

i must say, i dont care which one it will be. it was a surprise plot twist that worked. personally i find that in this netflix age of bingewatch-optimized shows that try to drown you in WTF surprise plot twists, they rarely do, so whatever the consequences, i like it. very much.

with discovery season 2 at least getting closer to growing a riker beard and the orville, i must say that these are good days for scifi series nerds. two nice series to watch on a regular basis. almost feels like 90s DS9/voyager days. so...more, please :-)
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Thu, Apr 18, 2019, 11:05pm (UTC -6)
Haven't gotten around to seeing the episode yet, so I'm avoiding the comments at the moment.

I just wanted to mention that the episode titles of ORV and DSC mesh together really well this week:

Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow
Such Sweet Sorrow
(Bonus points for both episode titles having 3 words starting with the same letter)

That was your random thought for the day.

And now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go hide under a spoiler-proof rock. Chat with all of you soon, shortly.
Alan Roi
Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 2:19am (UTC -6)
Hmm... I will hand it to Seth this time around. Didn't see that whole Orville reset happening to fix the mess they created when the ship was supposed to have been destroyed and Mercer decided to ignore temporal causality because he was comfortable just where he was.
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 3:29am (UTC -6)
Finally seen it. That ending was completely unexpected. Wireless Telephone Facility indeed.

@Dave in MN

"Does that mean next week's episode is in an alternate reality?!"

Obviously. It's right there in the title: 'The Road Not Taken'.

Which leaves us with two huge questions, both of which will be answered next week:

1. The show runners promised us a second two parter in this season after "Identity". Is it S2E13/S2E14 (even though the episodes have different names) or S2E14/S3E01 (which means ending the season with a cliff hanger)?
2. What are the galaxy-shattering ramifications of Kelly never marrying Ed?

Yes, there *should* be galaxy-shattering ramifications. Without the divorce, there's no career slump for Ed. No Kelly begging the admirals to give Ed a second chance. No assignment of Ed to the Orville. No Kelly specifically asking for a position on the Orville. Since Ed brought Gordon aboard, Malloy won't be there either.

No Malloy, no "hugging the donkey" in the pilot, and the Orville probably gets destroyed near Epsilon II by the Krill. The situation with the Moclans and the Kaylons would be very different as well.

(I just hope the guys who write the next episode are aware of all this)
SlackerInc
Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 5:05am (UTC -6)
That was great! Might be my favorite episode of the series to date.

What a twist at the end. I guess she was wrong and she's actually creating divergent timelines (which is the only way time travel makes sense IMO).
Scott Gordon
Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 6:16am (UTC -6)
I was worried about young Kelly's rejection at first, but then I remembered that we were told only that he called her at 9:00 AM the next day. It was also implied that this was not an appropriate time to call and was probably a little off putting to most people. So, since Kelly's memory was wiped (Dr. Finn usually knows what she is doing), I convinced my self that in the original timeline, young Kelly probably react by saying that she didn't see it working out, Ed Mercer is very strong willed and probably got her to come around after the initial reaction. Oh well, at least I was able to satisfy myself with this, but I am not very hard to convince.
Tim C
Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 6:33am (UTC -6)
Not a terrible episode, but nothing to write home about it either, which is disappointing after last week's terrific entry. I'm more intrigued about what the consequences of that ending will be when we get to next week's season finale.

I did enjoy Kelly and Dr. Finn's conversation about what it means to get older. I turned 35 this year, and I'm the most comfortable I've ever been with regards to myself and my ambitions and how they're working out. That was definitely not the case ten years ago, and when I reflect on how I would deal with my younger self were we ever to cross paths, I feel like my feelings would be exactly like Our Kelly: I'd more than likely just be driven up the wall by my younger self's completely different view of the world and I don't think there's any way young me would listen to a word I had to say.

So even though the episode wasn't great, there was some interesting food for thought.
wolfstar
Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 7:02am (UTC -6)
This was the weakest episode of the season for me, and dropping the ball like this in the first half of a two-part finale (that immediately follows two of the series's strongest episodes) is very bad timing. Apart from one or two clunkers like Blood Of Patriots, the show has been going from strength to strength this season. I've really enjoyed it.

This hour returns to many of the show's biggest weaknesses, not only revisiting territory that we've already spent more than enough time in (mainly in season 1), but doing so in a badly contrived way that doesn't serve the characters well. Past Kelly is depicted as shallow and unprofessional in a way that I find hard to buy, and Ed's character regresses here too. It's a soapy rehash of Second Chances done with nowhere near the dexterity, wistfulness or character insight. Tom Riker felt like a three-dimensional character, but past Kelly here is 1D. The unfortunate implication is that she only became who she is because of her relationship with Ed. We all grow and change in relationships, but this episode didn't work because the character of past Kelly didn't work as conceived, and because barely anything that happened was compelling. It's tough to get through, and perhaps the worst choice of ways to end what has been a great season.

Uncharacteristically, the Bortus/Klyden comedy scene on the dancefloor doesn't work at all either. Talla is great as usual, and regular Kelly is fine here too.

I do want this show to get renewed because I've enjoyed season 2 (which for me has only had 3 duds in 13 episodes) way more than season 1, and the main reason for that has been the strong focus on relationships and characterization this season. This one is trying to be a relationship episode too, but it really fumbles the ball.

1.5 stars
Perry
Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 7:38am (UTC -6)
https://heavy.com/entertainment/2019/04/the-orville-season-2-episode-13-ending-explained-review/amp/

nice review, I'm not going to rate this episode because it's part of two episode storyline and the strongest episode has to be the final and this episode positioned it well.

Who picked out that amazing soundtrack?
Dave in MN
Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 7:41am (UTC -6)
I intellectually understand that everyone's mileage may vary, but I'm not sure why the Kelly/Ed plotline gets criticized more than all of the other relationship-based plot threads put together.

If I had to hazard a guess, I'd say that Kelly's infidelity is still an issue for some of the fans.

Personally, I find their interactions to be relatable, believable and hilarious .... but, in the interest of full disclosure, I liked the pretty bickering in ENT's Precious Cargo (Haha).
Dave in MN
Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 7:44am (UTC -6)
@ Perry

The soundtrack this episode was amazeballs!!

I wish I could peek at the score, it sure sounded like Kelly was battling herself thematically (I love when themes are transposed inverted and overlaid to create tension). The Kaylon raid's "music" was incredibly unsettling as well.
Perry
Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 8:16am (UTC -6)
another review https://tv.avclub.com/an-erratic-the-orville-proves-poor-decisions-arent-just-1834160157/amp

Go down to the bottom part on strong one Liners. I thought that was pretty good. The inconsistencies... well I think of more uneasiness between time realism.
Hardy
Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 8:18am (UTC -6)
The Orville can be frustrating when there are better stories to provide its loyal fans than this penultimate episode. Unlike the exceptional ST:TNG "Second Chances", this idea of "past Kelly" and Ed pursuing a relationship from their seven year time differential (or alternate) perspective isn't well written or compelling. There was ...wait for it..."Family Guy" club humor meant to infer the age incompatibility of their new relationship juxaposed with *insert anybody* exaggerated enjoyment. Our life is the direct result of choices from ourselves and others, and like ST:TNG "Tapestry", it also involves timing and luck. Obtaining our materialistic goals (as "past Kelly" wants), don't guarantee future happiness. Despite Adrianne Palicki's good nuanced acting perfomance, I couldn't stop thinking why should I care about this "will they or won't" cliché trope, when The Orville refuse to delve into their minor ship characters? Perhaps the boldly entertaining ST: TNG "Parallels" will inspire a time paradox finale from "past Kelly" denying Ed a second date that will PERMANENTLY affect The Orville. Kelly said with certainty, "I know how this turns out". In my opinion, fan fiction scripts like "Tomorrow..." can only end in cancellation of a series never reaching its full potential. 2/4
Dave in MN
Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 8:29am (UTC -6)
@ Hardy

I too would love to see episodes about Yaphit, Lt. Dann, Nurse Park, Ensign Turco etc. but I think it was a smart choice to save that for later seasons. Using this season to focus on the main cast and flesh out the universe while perfecting the tone was a wise course of action.
Spockless
Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 10:12am (UTC -6)
More than anything, this show is about relationships.. and the main relationship was always Ed and Kelly. I think true fans of the show will like this episode because the those two characters were forced to re-evaluate a lot because of the science fiction gimmick used here. I think this was a near point exploration of what the point of the series is!
Jim1701
Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 2:33pm (UTC -6)
Every week I tune into The Orville and ask myself "What TNG rehash am I going to
see this week?"

Truth be told, I do not mind most of it. The Orville is the closest thing to what I call
Star Trek, to what I grew up with being Star Trek and is just enough far away from
Star Trek to allow me to enjoy this universe that The Orville exists in.

Its hard for me to place this show. On some levels I hate it and on some others
I really enjoy it but for what it is worth, it keeps me coming back for more and
that I guess is enough for it to make it work for me.

This time around we get "Second Chances".

This time around, instead of a transporter accident we get a gravity wave.

This time around we get old relationships that seem to have come and gone
but are suddenly renewed when one party gets the chance to make up for the
mistakes that ended it in the first place.

TNG handled this material better IMHO.

In TNG, Riker be he the Riker we know or the RIker that has had his wheels
spinning are pretty much the same Riker. Here the Kelly that is and the Kelly
that was come off as two different people.

One is a Commander and in charge of her life and the other comes off like a
confused child who likes to party and "dreams" of being a Captain and being
married and having people like her and berates her older self for not having
done those things.

Seven years, if this is your career track is not that great a period of time and
I would have expected younger Kelly and older Kelly to be more in tune with
the younger one having more of the rough edges.

Think Commander Shelby and Riker in TNG:TBOBW and you get an idea of
what should have been happening here.

And Mercer comes off like a complete jerk here IMHO. He could not handle the
fact that Kelly moved on, so much so that he ended up being jealous and even
stalked her a bit jumps at the chance to "try" again and is put off by loud music
while the rest of the crew gets their freak on.....

Again, TNG did this and did so in a much more convincing way.

2 stars for me.

This show is following the TNG track as far as eps go.

In TNG, the first season is total garbage with one or two standouts.

Season 2 got better but still had rough edges.

Season 3 is where it took off and became what it would become.

If The Orville gets a third season, I expect that pattern to continue as
the bugs will finally have been worked out.
Yanks
Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 2:58pm (UTC -6)
Wow, our Captain has the emotional maturity of a 9th grader.... who saw that coming? (slaps forehead) Come on man... His boneheadedness ruined what could have been a very cool episode.

The only reason this episode doesn't completely tank is Adrianne Palicki. She really has been the saving grace for this series at times. She's a really good actress and CDR Grayson many times has been the only level head in the room. She can speak with her facial gestures and eyes. I will say this.... the girl has some twigs for legs :-) I haven't seen Friday Night Lights, but I saw her as Bobbie in Agents of Shield and she excelled there too.

I didn't see the young Kelly dumping Ed thing coming though. It will be interesting to see how this pans out next week.

They missed an opportunity to get a dig to Isaac... the superior intelligence of humans easily outsmarted those Kaylons.

The dance scene keeps this episode at 2 stars for me. Yaphit was hilarious and Bortus/Klyden was funny too.

Man, no news about renewal yet? .... I can only assume this is a bad thing.

Fingers crossed. Hope they knock it out of the park next week.
Galadriel
Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 5:13pm (UTC -6)
I liked it. There are weaknesses, but this episode does a lot of things right when it comes to time-travel (like, ack­now­led­ging the ab­surdi­ty of it), it has great humor (“I was a real bitch” — “Been there” is more funny, honest and heart­felt than lite­rally everything in two seasons of some other con­tem­po­ra­ry SF show, because it flows from the cha­rac­ters as estab­lished), and it feels so warm, humane and friendly that I start melting away. It was a pleasant surprise that everyone gave Kelly² a warm welcome and no cha­rac­ter showed any sign of jealousy or avoided her out of an this-is-awk­ward-feeling.

Really, the episode is about character growth, which mirrors the entire show: With the ex­cep­tion of Claire and (arguably) Kelly, every­one was pretty much in­fan­tile in 1x01, and this has mostly changed (only Talla is still pretty much a blank slate, owing pro­bab­ly to the circum­stan­ces). Even Mercer has grown from his boy-feigning-ad­ult­ness-at­titu­de in 1x01, though most charmingly it re­ap­pears when­­ever he tries to flirt.

I cannot stress enough how much I loved the bar scene at the be­gin­ning. The Orville is a place where I would like to work because every­one comes well along with every­one else. Compare that to The Other Show™: The only time I can re­mem­ber people laughing in a bar there was in the episode when one of the laughing people got killed later — a cha­rac­ter that had spoken less than a dozen lines in 20+ epis­odes before. That’s what I call cynicism.

‘The Orville’ cannot be accused of being cynic, but it has previously often shown a ten­den­cy toward pre­dict­abi­li­ty and sim­plism. The cur­rent epis­ode amply de­mon­strates this weak­ness. Pretty much every­thing up to the failed bed scene comes as ex­pec­ted. Plea­­sant sur­pri­ses: Ed’s honesty to Kelly¹, when he sought her per­mis­sion to pursue Kelly². I didn’t expect that from the guy who took a shuttle to spy on his ex-wife. Also, Kelly¹ handled that scene admirably.

I really hoped they would not push the reset button and send Kelly² back. Would she really like to forget the days on Orville? I under­stand she had a satis­fying social life back then, but living at a later time in­vol­­ves in­creas­ed op­portu­ni­ties, and I feel she should have changed her name to Shelley and live on with a career of her own. Yet this was the sim­ple choice (for the writers, not the cha­rac­ters) and there­fore the ex­pec­ted one. Chance missed.

The end leaves questions open. It seems the time loop is not con­sis­tent — in the beginning, Ed was surprised when Kelly¹ told him she was pissed about his call, and that does not fit to what we see in the last seconds of the episode. So the scene did play differently, and Kelly² will live a life different from that of Kelly¹. This might be a Red Herring, or a setup for a second part that may finally surprise me.

Yet I do not expect we see Kelly² again, and the reason is Kaylon. For 3 episodes after the epic battle, we haven’t heard anything of them, and Isaac has been given hardly any line since. Now he is back, and so are they, and if this means anything, then we are going to end the sea­son with a Kaylon cliff­hanger (which would also be a good star­ting point for a pos­sible 3ʳᵈ season), and I don’t see how the Kelly¹·² issue could be brought into such a story­line.

Just in case Mr. McFarlane reads this board: Please, surprise me.
navamske
Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 6:52pm (UTC -6)
I didn't find it very interesting, and it was too reminiscent of TNG's "Second Chances," where there are two Rikers.

The only thing that was interesting to me was the ending, where Past Kelly blew off Past Ed and then basically hung up on him. What does this mean? If they never get married, then Ed could conceivably not get command of the Orville, since it was Kelly, in her role as Ed's ex-wife, who recommended Ed to Admiral Halsey. Or if Ed ends up being in command of the Orville anyway, maybe Kelly won't be his first officer. Could they be writing her out of the show?
Perry
Sat, Apr 20, 2019, 9:50am (UTC -6)
https://tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com/renewcancel/cancel-bear-vs-fox-week-29-2018-19/
Alan Roi
Sat, Apr 20, 2019, 10:34am (UTC -6)
The show does have lower ratings than Rel, which Fox cancelled. Fox also no longer owns the studio producing the show (they sold it to Disney) so its unclear who would get the tax credit. As well, the reason why the tax credit is so big is that it is a very expensive show to produce. It will be interesting to see how much convincing Seth can do, because I can see him having to also convince Disney as well as Fox to keep this show going.
Macca
Sat, Apr 20, 2019, 4:49pm (UTC -6)
Another TNG rip off. Second Chances explored this idea in a more interesting way and it was original in the 90s.

They did a good job of making Kelly look younger and the twist at the end was a nice idea - if it goes anywhere.
Spockless
Sat, Apr 20, 2019, 5:30pm (UTC -6)
I think repeating stories is genius.. feels like a "new rerun".. we have watched these episodes over and over, but now they are redoing them with 20 years of hindsight, to make changes that make them more interesting.
that is what is secretly brilliant. It's more surprising when the DO go off script. I often find that modern shows and films that are in established franchises often try too hard top be different, but what ends up happenign is that tstiories don't work, they seem more hackneyed, more contrived and more convoluted. Discovery is just one example.. Last Jedi is another. Seth knows that hsi series has to lay the groundwork.. that he has to build off something. and he can employ the lessons he an d his staff learned form years of TNG and the years that passed between then and now. His commentary track on "Cause and Effect" predicted his vision for the Orville without mentioning it by name
People say the latest episode is just another take on Second Chances.. and it IS, but it also focuses on the Ed - Kelly relationship and its importance to the story, and it also focuses on the flaws and shortcomings of both characters within the framework that Second Chances already laid out
Gerontius
Sat, Apr 20, 2019, 8:13pm (UTC -6)
It strikes me that the emphasis put on whether or not episodes of The Orville echo episodes of Star Trek is misplaced. Science fiction, especially written science fiction, has frequently (could almost say invariably) been a matter of reworking plot elements that others have reworked before. That's been a lot of the fun - seeing how things can work out differently this time.

Pretty well always the plots of Star Trek episodes were doing this in the first place, with tropes from written science fiction.

There was a parallel with Second Chances, but the treatment was very different - and the situation was different too. The age difference aspect was central, and that has no parallel in the Star Trek episode. I was impressed by Adrianne Palicki's ability to keep the two versions of Kelly so distinct, and to convey so much without words.

Mercer's behaviour seemed quite plausible to me, and perfectly fair. Kelly1 has made it very clear there's no chance of getting back together.

I agree that it would have been far more sensible, and I'd say more probable that Kelly2 would have opted to stay in the future and get on with her life, but sending her back with the cliffhanging plot twist should provide us with an interesting final episode for the season (and possibly a final episode for the series....)

I was pleased with the way they dealt with the problem, without feeling a need for a space battle.

I thought this was a pretty good episode.
RandomThoughts
Sat, Apr 20, 2019, 9:18pm (UTC -6)
Hello Everyone!

I generally liked the episode, a heavy thumbs up for me. Now for some thoughts...

I thought Ed was going to ask Kelly her opinion of him dating her younger self, not give her a "if not you, then it'll be her" statement (paraphrase). That felt weird. On the other hand, it was one of the unexpected moments of the episode, though not necessarily a good one. On the third hand, if I saw a seven-year-younger version of someone I'd dated, and they were into me without the knowledge of my many (smile) screw-ups, maybe I'd do it too. But... probably not with the older version down the hall from me.

I think they did a fantastic job of having the two Kelly's in the same shots. If I didn't know any better, I'd think they were twins. And the smoothing they did for "young" Kelly was pretty good. I kept looking for the smile or laugh lines on young Kelly that older Kelly has, and didn't see them.

Heh, I did enjoy seeing Bortus and Klyden having a good time together on the dance floor. Long time coming, that...

I thought it was a nice touch, in an emergency, they don't take the time to put on superfluous uniforms but show up wearing their sleepwear.

The shot of the Kaylon vessel passing above was pretty cool. :). And it was also good to see them again, and being a bit menacing at that. Also, after saying they were close, and seeming to lose them, it was nice to have them come back later, after I'd forgotten about them. I enjoyed that. Oh, and when they focused on the glass with the ice in it, I thought the next scene would be about the Captain having one too many or something, and was glad it was instead young Kelly's wheels turning.

I have not watched previews for any show since TNG wrecked "Cause and Effect" for me, but have gathered this is a two-parter. I must admit, I was sort of expecting a happy smile and whatnot from his 9am phone call (perhaps because of all the happy endings of ST), not her saying no. That really sort of floored me. If that changed the timeline, perhaps Ed would be Captain of a better ship, because he didn't head into the gutter. Maybe Kelly does indeed make Captain herself, learning from the mistakes of the future. Maybe the Kaylon invasion was successful because they weren't in the right place and time to stop it. I'm going to resist reading many more comments for a time, especially since I am now only three weeks behind on the comments section. :) I look forward to the next episode...

Enjoy the Day Everyone... RT
Trashbarg
Sat, Apr 20, 2019, 9:52pm (UTC -6)
@Spockless

How exactly is redoing stories genius? I mean, I do art for living ( TV related ), and I just can't for the life of me get why would retracing stuff this closely be anything else but ( most politely put ) derivative. Is it really the case that Trek told ALL the possible stories that could happen to people serving on a starship? I don't think so. For 20 years of hindsight and $7 mil a pop there is painfully little innovation or will to move on. Why can't the TNG nod stay on the visual trappings and the whole ensemble structure? Would Orville suck if they kept the visual language of TNG and threw away the script books? With cancellation looming I am getting more and more pissed off with old Trek inertia that the show seems to have caught by hiring everyone and their dog from those days and letting them do the same thing yet another time, even though the last two shows doing the same recipe pretty much killed TV Trek for 15 years? You can do TNG type show, without reducing a great ensemble to a hotel cover band doing 80s AOR covers.

Problems with Discovery and Last Jedi aren't new stories, but deeply deeply flawed execution, from the writing room to the cutting room.
Gooz Chos
Sat, Apr 20, 2019, 11:10pm (UTC -6)
You can't blame Mercer for trying things a second time around with the love of his life. Who among us wouldn't do the same if given the chance? Anyone? Anyone? Riker?

I do wonder about Starfleet...urm...The Union rules on captains dating subordinates who have been snatched out of time and brought into the future, while having another subordinate who is the future version of the time traveler. Seems like there'd be a rule about that.

Cute episode. Unexpected ending for sure.
Gil
Sun, Apr 21, 2019, 12:48am (UTC -6)
Eeks. Highly problematic episode for me.

Beginning with that dreadful wig, the doe-eyed, 40% abv ingenue act, and a skeevy captain who readily transgresses personal and public decorum for nostalgia sake.

Only saving grace was the possible outcome of the twist ending.

*1/2 outa ****
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Sun, Apr 21, 2019, 12:54am (UTC -6)
@RandomThoughts

"Maybe the Kaylon invasion was successful because they weren't in the right place and time to stop it."

Or maybe the Kaylon invasion was delayed, because the Orville (including Isaac) got destroyed before Isaac could complete his observation mission. So they've sent another observer and await his report.

Or maybe the Kaylons and the PU are best pals, because the potato-head incident was avoided thanks to Gordon not being stationed on the Orville.

So many possibilities... Guess we'll know for sure, next week.

(Writers, please *please* don't botch part II next week)
Gerontius
Sun, Apr 21, 2019, 7:07am (UTC -6)
It was interesting to see how the episode carried on the exploration of the way in which people are shaped largely by the people they are involved with, y that was a key element in Lasting Impressions. And I suspect we'll get this further explored in the next episode.

I can't imagine anything like that in Discovery. A bit too cerebral.
Macca
Sun, Apr 21, 2019, 8:55am (UTC -6)
Science Fiction TV recycles plot ideas and themes frequently (time travel paradox, evil twin, body switching, long lost parent/sibling, etc.)

I'm not saying this is a bad thing necessarily. You could make an argument that TOS did all the sci-fi plots back in the 60s.

The thing that I find annoying about Orville is that McFarlane and Braga seem to start with an episode of TNG they want to 'do'. They then re-write the TNG episode to fit the Orville setting and characters.

I find Orville reasonably watchable but I can't shake the feeling that I've seen it all before. I don't get that feeling when I watch Discovery.
SmallKiwi
Sun, Apr 21, 2019, 1:29pm (UTC -6)
At the risk of sounding like a teenage boy, did anyone else love Young Kelly's look? Adorable. Makes me hope for a hair style change for "Old Kelly" in season 3. Something a little more fun.
Gerontius
Sun, Apr 21, 2019, 1:34pm (UTC -6)
What I've seen of Discovery seems pretty familiar to me. Just not so much familiar from Star Trek vessels visually.
Mertov
Sun, Apr 21, 2019, 2:19pm (UTC -6)
Oh dear, really disappointing episode after one of the best of the season last week. I don’t know what it is with penultimate episodes of seasons, but I watch a lot of TV shows and for the most part, they are rarely above mediocre. Here is another bland rehash of a TNG episode, same main themes covered. The only decent part is its last ten seconds and the teaser for next week, the latter technically not part of the episode.

The technobabble used to explain the two Kellys apparently means, “Kelly’s thoughts did this,” as Ed says. But that’s fine, I am perfectly willing to accept technobabble, I even like technobabble. But the first face-off of Kelly and Kelly and them circling around each other (with what is supposedly an eerie score) falls flat. Kelly and Ed trying to explain in unison why they got divorced to the younger Kelly also falls flat (I think it was supposed to be funny). Ed and Gordon playing a video game, ugh… but typical of the two of them. Even the opening scene with the four of them having a drink was bad (no humor, boring talk, Kelly showing a decade worth of more maturity than Ed as always), and usually those are the scenes that The Orville has nailed before. But all this is nit-picking, and I would happily wave these off, except that the episode doesn’t even offer a decent story.

The predictability factor is sky-high throughout the episode.

As soon as Lamar and Isaac say Kelly cannot be sent back, I felt that eventually that would change, and it did. As soon as Kelly and Kelly became friends at first, I knew that would not last, and it did not. Younger Kelly gets a uniform, it’s clear that by the end of the hour she will no longer be in it, and she is eventually not. When they turned on each other I felt that would turn around too, and it did. When the younger Kelly flirted with Ed, I knew he would give it a shot and that the older Kelly would not welcome the idea, both happened. The moment that the older Kelly entered the younger Kelly’s room to express her reservations to her, I knew the dialogue would turn confrontational, and it did. Kaylon ships search for The Orville in a forced scene, obviously that story can't be developed within this hour, so obviously they will not locate The Orville, they do not (never midn the suspense attempt with the score). As soon as Ed and the younger Kelly started the romance, it was clear that it wouldn’t last, and it did not. Plus, Ed changes his mind like a teenager within the same day. He is all over the idea of reigniting the affair with Kelly and moves forward with it, then, one evening at the 90s-themed techno-discotheque apparently is all it takes for him to change his mind. I am thankful for the Bortus-Klyden dance and distraction, the only moment I chuckled in the episode.

At the very end, the younger Kelly rejects the younger’s Ed proposal to get together again back in the past, which indicates a change in continuity and that last bit of 10 seconds (followed by the teaser where the younger Kelly is shown again) gives some hope for next week. 1,5 stars for me on Jammer’s scale, and that half star is added only after the last ten seconds. Otherwise, a dismal episode.

Cringy moment number one of the hour: When Ed tells Kelly about his intention to date younger Kelly, he says to her, “All you have to say is you want to try again with me, and I won’t even consider it.” Way to go Ed for basically saying, “Love me again Kelly, or I am going after the younger you.” Wow dude…

Cringy moment number two of the hour: “Doesn’t this feel a little messed up? It’s just… I already felt this with someone else.” Wow again Ed.. You wait until you get in bed with her and kiss her passionately before dropping this on her? And then follow it up with “I still love her [the older Kelly].”? O-kayyy..
SlackerInc
Sun, Apr 21, 2019, 4:26pm (UTC -6)
I wish people would not spoil what is in the previews.
Trent
Sun, Apr 21, 2019, 4:28pm (UTC -6)
I thought this episode had two great jokes: Ed and Gordon playing future Nintendo on the couch, and Yaphid dancing like a manic blob.

Thematically, I thought this episode would turn out to be a giant guy's fantasy: Ed misses Kelly, wants to make up for being a poor husband, is still in love with her, and so, via a time-travel contrivance, conjures up a version of Kelly from 7 years ago. Finally a chance to make things right!

But, perhaps because it was written by a woman (Janet Lin, who I assume has no interest in creepy Ed), the episode focuses on Kelly instead. The younger Kelly is used to examine older Kelly's insecurities and her perceived failures. We then get a moment of twin-sister solidarity: younger Kelly assures older Kelly that their lives turned out well.

But when younger Kelly returns to her own time (via another time travel contrivance), she commits a breathtakingly sinister act of vengeance. She turns down a date with Ed and so effectively kills future Kelly.

What's interesting is that, when she was in the future, younger Kelly saved the Orville from certain destruction at the hands of the Kaylon. This detail seems strangely specific, and I assume this occurrence will have weird ramifications in the next episode.

Some have complained that Ed is a giant creep in this episode, but I think he redeems himself. He's just madly in love with All Kelly's, but recognizes Old Kelly as his Prime Kelly. And I'm not even sure that ditching your Present Ex for her Past Version is immoral. I dunno.

It's interesting that Discovery ends with a time-travel heavy two partner, and Orville likewise is now ending its season with a time-travel two parter.

Anyway, I found this to be a decent episode, engaging and pleasant but a bit too low-energy and low-stakes. It's very hard to rate it without knowing where the second installment goes. Some have compared it to TNG's "Second Chances", but I think it also echoes TNG's "We'll Always have Paris", an underrated time-travel episode, this time with Picard pining for a long lost love, and contemplating his past, career and various regrets.

I hope they lean a bit heavier on the comedy next season. Just a slightly bit more jokes and wisecracks (or is this just me? Do people prefer a more straight tone?); this season has been very serious, and very relationship heavy, with only 1 real "planet of the week" story. It's handed its little "SF relationship" plots consistently well, but "anthology" shows like this need some variety.
Mertov
Sun, Apr 21, 2019, 4:44pm (UTC -6)
Ugh, SlackerInc., sorry about that. I'll know not to talk about teasers for next episode next time. Again, apologies..
NS8401
Sun, Apr 21, 2019, 10:53pm (UTC -6)
Ok... somebody explain to me what the teaser supposedly reveals... it’s just a pile of clips from the season... there isn’t anything new there. None of the clips are from next week.

The episode was better the second time around when watching it carefully. Still really hinging on scoring this depending on the payoff next week...
Tomalak
Mon, Apr 22, 2019, 1:41am (UTC -6)
@SlackerInc "What a twist at the end. I guess she was wrong and she's actually creating divergent timelines (which is the only way time travel makes sense IMO)."

So there are now two parallel timelines? Triggered by what? Does 'the time line' somehow consciously knows it has been interfered with by time travellers and reacts by splitting in two?? Or are you saying every time alternative outcomes come into play there are new universes? In which case there was already a divergent time line in which Kelly and Ed only went on a single date, and time travel did not change this. Either way, I am not clear on how this makes sense of time travel.

I think the only way it can make sense is if any actions we see time travellers take in the past already happened, and therefore can change nothing in the present. Obvs that would make for boring Sci Fi though, so there are efforts to present a paradox that isn't really there. I am happy to suspend disbelief for the sake of enjoying fiction but I don't think there is a paradox in reality.
Tomalak
Mon, Apr 22, 2019, 1:57am (UTC -6)
@Gerontius, yes, I totally agree. How many times did Star Trek rehash the same shuttle crash, trapped in a holding cell or holodeck gone wrong scenario, to name just three tropes off the top of my head? Anyone comparing the Orville to Star Trek on the basis that the latter only used original concepts and plots hasn't watched much Star Trek, and isn't being fair to the Orville.

"I thought Ed was going to ask Kelly her opinion of him dating her younger self, not give her a "if not you, then it'll be her" statement (paraphrase). That felt weird."

Yes, I think this was an attempt to be woke and feminist by McFarlane, but very unrealistic. I have yet to meet a man who would give first dibs to a 35 year old who cheated on him over a 28 year old who didn't, all other things being equal (which of course they are in this case!). Maybe the idea is he knew what the answer would be so could use her refusal to justify pursuing the better option.

"the first face-off of Kelly and Kelly and them circling around each other (with what is supposedly an eerie score) falls flat"

Yes, very badly done. I can get a sense of wariness, but I struggle to believe someone's response in that kind of scenario is to walk like a crab in a perfect enlarged semi-circle and then end up facing 180 degrees from where they started. The way the cameras showed their feet doing it made it much more noticeable.
SlackerInc
Mon, Apr 22, 2019, 3:19am (UTC -6)
Thanks, @Mertov. (You won't have to worry about it this week, lol.)

@Tomalak: Well, I certainly can't claim to give a clear-cut answer to a question about "wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey" time travel logic (which Ed humourosly noted can really make your brain hurt). But here's my best stab at it:

--There are indeed alternate universes created any time there are multiple roads one might go down. This is something many physicists actually believe, and is awesomely illustrated in the "Community" episode "Remedial Chaos Theory".

--Under that basic framework, you're right that Kelly simply not agreeing to the second date would just put her in a universe that existed anyway, because that's something that could have happened without time travel being involved.

--However, if the brain wipe didn't work and she actually remembers the future, this would create a brand new timeline that includes a Kelly Grayson who is aware of future developments like the Kaylon attempt to wipe out biologicals. That was not possible without a time travel element.

--Worth noting is that "young Kelly" (LOL) believed there was only one timeline, and that in fact the reason they are all still there is that the attempt to wipe her brain and put her back where she left was evidence that the brain wipe and return to seven years earlier worked perfectly and left everything as it was. This, it should be noted, is an answer to the question multiple people have posed as to why she didn't just choose to stay in the "future" instead of going back. She believed that she HAD to go back to keep everything from being screwed up.
Booming
Mon, Apr 22, 2019, 3:43am (UTC -6)
@ SlackerInc
"-There are indeed alternate universes created any time there are multiple roads one might go down. This is something many physicists actually believe, and is awesomely illustrated in the "Community" episode "Remedial Chaos Theory"."

I just want to interject here because what you wrote sounds like the existence of parallel universes or so called many worlds is dependent on people or something making decisions. It is more meant like: Anytime something happened like an atom moving a little to the "left" in an absolutely specific way, it could have also moved to the right or a little higher, a little slower and so on. For that absolutely specific incident of the atom moving an infinite (technically it is probably not infinite but to the human mind it appears that way) numbers of universes/realities come into existence.

I must admit that this more sounds like absolute nonsense even though there might be math/formula to support it.
Trashbarg
Mon, Apr 22, 2019, 7:31am (UTC -6)
@Tomalak

The problem with Star Trek in the waning years of the 90s era was the recycling and it was something the franchise was called out on repeatedly until most of us just moved on and Enterprise petered out. I watched ALL of Trek multiple times, original runs and reruns, and Voyager and Enterprise are cynical and bald faced exploitation of TNG formula, I said it then, and I say it now. In both shows you still had good actors heroically struggling against almost computer generated scripts.

Regarding Ed and younger Kelly, him doing the whole relent or I'll date your previous self thing was very very unethical, because despite them being divorced Kelly is a person who has feelings, is his friend and coworker and some sort of empathy must kick in. It's a strange way of violating one's person, also it kinda nukes the whole possibility of him getting his "real" Kelly sometime down the road and risks effectiveness of his chain of command.

If an old girlfriend of mine tried to date my previous self I'd feel pretty much pissed off and insecure because despite me and my past self being essentially two different people it's still ME she is after and the thought of 7 years older ex gf preying on my younger self with all the knowledge and power disparity would definitely make me suspect I'm dealing with someone who perhaps never respected me above having me as a possession, I'd maybe even feel obliged to go along to protect my previous self.
SlackerInc
Mon, Apr 22, 2019, 7:33am (UTC -6)
@Booming: Oh yeah, I didn't mean to imply it had to be a conscious decision or an act involving intelligent life rather than unintelligent matter. Just that anything that ever could happen according to the laws of physics (kinown and unknown) has happened, and does happen in every moment. Branching off into an effectively infinite number of alternate universes. But "until" (in relative terms--here goes the time logic again) "young" Kelly was brought seven years into her future, not one of those infinite universes contained one where humans have this exact form of advance warning about the Kaylon (among other less significant developments).

I 100% agree with you BTW about the changes being at a very minute level at first and then rippling outward and magnifying exponentially (the old butterfly effect). So if we're really nitpicky, even memory wiping her while still sending her cells back with an extra few days of living on them changes the timeline. But I can forgive them for not getting that persnickety.

I did like the hard science fiction angle of testing her and finding on the cellular level a level of detail that would be inconceivable for even the Krill to fake. I found this plausible, not just technobabble. (I assume Q could fake even to that level, with the snap of his fingers?)
Tomalak
Mon, Apr 22, 2019, 7:56am (UTC -6)
@Trashbarg, I must have missed the lesson in class/church where the code of ethics for dating a time travelling younger version of a past lover is laid out because I don't find your conclusions nearly as obvious as you do. In particular, I can't see why Kelly-1's views on who Kelly-2 dates should trump Kelly-2's views (either directly or indirectly through making Mercer feel guilty about it)?

@Slacker I agree with Boomer that the theory sounds like "absolute nonsense". I also don't think it does anything to make sense of time travel - unless by make sense you mean solve basic plot errors that the creators may or may not have made? Creators who we have no reason to think are writing the show with this near infinite alternative universes theory in mind.
Tomalak
Mon, Apr 22, 2019, 8:03am (UTC -6)
By the way, there was a pretty good time travel detective drama, Crime Traveller, which explored time travel in a way that made logical sense. Each episode the main characters went back in time to solve a crime. But nothing they did changed the "present" as whatever they did had already happened previously in the present that they left.
Trashbarg
Mon, Apr 22, 2019, 9:32am (UTC -6)
@ Tomalak

Generally there is a lot of unspoken red lines associated with dating friend's exes, siblings of your friends, siblings of your previous partners etc. etc. which can cause a lot of fallout if you don't approach them carefully. It's just the way humans work, an ever shifting minefield, when feelings and sex in general are involved. General rule of thumb is communication and respect, you contact parties involved and talk it out, if you value persons involved. Time stranded doppelganger is a play on this situation to the power of thousand. I mean we are not Vulcans :D
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Mon, Apr 22, 2019, 10:19am (UTC -6)
@SlackerInc
"I 100% agree with you BTW about the changes being at a very minute level at first and then rippling outward and magnifying exponentially (the old butterfly effect). So if we're really nitpicky, even memory wiping her while still sending her cells back with an extra few days of living on them changes the timeline."

Not necessarily.

If we ignore the bombshell that was dropped in the final few seconds of the episode, it could have easily been a predestination situation: Everything we saw in the episode could have already happened "the first time around" in exactly the same way. Nothing was changed.

In this scenario, there's only one timeline: A timeline in which young Kelly was transported to the future, spend some time aboard the Orville, was memory wiped, and then sent back to her own time. Whatever butterfly effects that resulted from this sequence of events, were already there from the start as well.

BTW real quantum physics seems to suggest that "predestination" is Nature's preferred modus operandi. Creating a divergent timeline would require the "parallel universes" (in reality: perpendicular quantum states) to interact with one other. When we calculate the actual probability of such a thing happening (at least on a macroscopic scale) we usually get zero.

Of-course since no person has ever actually travelled through time yet, we don't know how difficult (or even if it is possible) to override this natural tendency for consistency.
Gerontius
Mon, Apr 22, 2019, 1:07pm (UTC -6)
I'm impressed and quite surprised by how sensitive people are about the two Kelly situation. I'm afraid I'm a lot less sensitive. If I imagine myself into the situation as Mercer I'm sure I would blunder on, and go for the younger Kelly. The older Kelly has repeatedly said there's no chance of getting together, and she's even said "no problem" with me going ahead with her younger version, so that would settle it for me. If something' s over, it's over and there's no enduring ownership rights.

As for time travel, I quite agree with Mercer, thinking about it makes your head hurt. I'm glad it's not part of my real world. The same is true with the "many worlds interpretation", which is basically the same thing. I'm happy to sort of accept it in stories, and not think about it too much.
Tomalak
Mon, Apr 22, 2019, 2:55pm (UTC -6)
Gerontius, yes, I agree!

Perhaps I may regret this when my younger self starts dating my (currently hypothetical) ex-wife, but I can't see why I have any ownership over my exes OR my time travelling younger selves if the two want to hook up. I can see how the power might be convenient for me, but I can't see why it would be ethical for me to have it in the first place.

Again, sorry if I just missed the class in school where we are all told why this is wrong, but I am still oblivious.
Gerontius
Mon, Apr 22, 2019, 3:32pm (UTC -6)
The niceties of time travel sexual etiquette are beyond me.
SlackerInc
Mon, Apr 22, 2019, 5:37pm (UTC -6)
@Tomalak: To my way of thinking, it's single-timeline time travel that is nonsense, because of the paradoxes that would be instantly created even by "careful" travelers. If you go back to ancient Greece, even if you go to a deserted area and just disturb the air for a moment before returning to your own time, there is virtually no chance you will ever be born, meaning you can't have traveled back there.
Lynos
Mon, Apr 22, 2019, 5:43pm (UTC -6)
Finally got around to watching this, and before I jump into it, for sure the most intriguing part of the episode was... the ending. But we'll get back to that.

So premise is neat and well-explained within the logic of the show. It is used to explore some interesting ideas about identity and fate, and I wish it was even explored more, but some significant screen time is taken by Ed courting young Kelly... again. It was okay, and predictable, since the show is very invested in the relationship between Ed and Kelly, but I felt there was some missed opportunity there for something greater. It also gets wrapped in the end with a nice bow after Isaac and Lamar devise a solution using some staggering bit of inspired technobabble and Young Kelly volunteers for a memory wipe cheerfully proclaiming it's gonna be alright because obviously Old Kelly doesn't have brain damage...
And then she finds herself on the floor, after presumably having her memory erased, but something ain't right, and then Ed calls her up as expected and she's... saying no.
Wow.
You got me there, Orville. I was ready for a run-of-the-mill, yawn-inducing, reset-button ending as most of these stories tend to end, but you got me there. And you got my attention.
So this ha perhaps been a set-up for something much more intriguing.

Some other thoughts:
- can Talla stop trying to be friends with every chick that comes onboard? There was some dialogue in the episode about "distance of command". She is the security chief but she behaves like a teenager starving for attention. Sorry, i know i'm in the minority here, but I find Talla to be one of the most annoying and superficial characters on the show.
- the club scene with the dancing Mocklans... I chuckled. I admit it freely. It mitigated my irritation from valley-girl Talla.
- the Kaylon are back to remind us they are still out there. Isaac does not comment. Come on, Isaac. Comment.
- everyone running to the bridge in their pajamas. Priceless.

Now we shall all wait in suspense to see whether this show gets renewed or not. If Star Trek: The Adventures of Spock's Half-Sister got renewed, then we need to keep this double bill going. Don't leave us out in the cold.
-
Lynos
Mon, Apr 22, 2019, 5:52pm (UTC -6)
By the way, I did not see anyone mention this, but the opening was different, wasn't it? There was only the title card, and then the rest of the credits ran over the actual episode. There were no beauty shots of Orville in space. I wonder why that was changed.
Trashbarg
Mon, Apr 22, 2019, 7:15pm (UTC -6)
@Gerontius

-- "she's even said "no problem" with me going ahead with her younger version, so that would settle it for me"

You sir are far braver man than I. If and when the WW3 comes I'd be honored to share the foxhole with you and brave the post atomic horror so we can witness that glorious day in Bozeman, Montana.
Gerontius
Tue, Apr 23, 2019, 3:05am (UTC -6)
@Trashbarg
I didn't mean I would assume there'd be no tricky times ahead. But I'd feel satisfied that there was nothing unethical, unfair or dishonourable in going ahead. I can't follow the thinking of those here who see Ed's actions as creepy or weird or sleazy.
Trent
Tue, Apr 23, 2019, 6:15am (UTC -6)
Lynos said: "By the way, I did not see anyone mention this, but the opening was different, wasn't it?"

Yeah, the credits were hugely cut.

As for "dating the younger version of your ex", I don't see anything unethical about it, especially if your ex gives your permission as Ex Kelly seems to do in this episode. But it's worth remembering that the episode itself doesn't endorse this; both Ed and the writer conclude that it's a bad idea.

For me, far worse was Orville's handling of Kelly's "infidelity". She was basically raped by the Blue Alien and his pheromones. This subplot needed at least one scene which condemns this, but it's brushed aside or treated for laughs.
RandomThoughts
Tue, Apr 23, 2019, 7:14am (UTC -6)
Hello Everyone!

I noticed the opening was different as well. I just figured the episode was running a minute or so long and they cut the opening instead of making a cut to a scene. While the Simpsons is a cartoon, they've done this many times when they needed an extra minute.

Regards... RT
Tomalak
Tue, Apr 23, 2019, 8:16am (UTC -6)
@SlackerInc, given it already happened thousands of years before you were born why would it change anything? As I say, you seem to imagine there is some kind of conscious time line who reacts angrily to interfering time travellers by splitting in two. I'm fact, the timeline would be blissfully unaware and any time travel in the past would not change the time line because it already happened that way.
Gerontius
Tue, Apr 23, 2019, 10:36am (UTC -6)
@Trent "both Ed and the writer conclude that it's a bad idea."

That's a different matter from it being unethical. It might indeed have been a very bad idea, if Kelly1 was sufficiently pissed off. But that wouldn't mean Ed was at fault. I'd say that would have been highly unethical on Kelly's part, but it's wise to be ready for other people acting unethically.

A bit like the old rhyme about driving:
"Here lies the body of Mr Grey
Who died maintaining his right of way -
He was right, dead right, as he sped along,
But he's just as dead as if he were wrong."
Dave in MN
Tue, Apr 23, 2019, 5:30pm (UTC -6)
https://variety.com/2019/tv/features/seth-macfarlane-the-orville-season-2-social-issues-1203193271/

Seth seems very positive about the future of the show.
Perry
Tue, Apr 23, 2019, 7:24pm (UTC -6)
https://variety.com/2019/tv/features/seth-macfarlane-the-orville-season-2-social-issues-1203193271/amp/
Perry
Tue, Apr 23, 2019, 7:27pm (UTC -6)
@Dave in MN < discard my last post > 🤔
SlackerInc
Tue, Apr 23, 2019, 8:15pm (UTC -6)
@Tomalak: I don't know why you keep insisting on ascribing consciousness or intentionality to what I'm saying, when splitting the timeline as I'm talking about is no more about either than a prism "decides" to split light into different wavelengths. You by contrast were the one to describe the timeline as "blissful" when it presumably has no feelings at all.

Furthermore, the "any time travel in the past would not change the time line because it already happened that way" notion is one writers love because they can guide the story to work that way and it makes for a fun effect. But if you really think about it, it is so problematic. Let's say time travel did work that way. So you have a time machine, and you take it to the same location but one minute before you left. What happens? You certainly didn't notice a duplicate of yourself within that last minute before you left.

And I don't at all understand the question about why it would change anything if you went to thousands of years before you were born. The further back in time you go, the MORE it changes the present, as any changes multiply exponentially over time.
Gerontius
Wed, Apr 24, 2019, 7:57pm (UTC -6)
The more you think about it, the worse the headache gets.

With a single timeline sending somebody back would necessary mean that your present timeline would not exist, and never did exist.

With a many worlds model anybody going back would necessarily arrive in a different world, and wouldn't ever have existed in your world. Effectively they'd be gone for good.

Time travel forward in principle no problem - we do it all the time anyway, it's just a matter of doing it faster. So bringing someone from the past, or sending someone into the future, fine. But no return tickets in either case.
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Wed, Apr 24, 2019, 11:46pm (UTC -6)
@SlackerInc

"Let's say time travel did work that way."

Why are you assuming that it's an either/or proposition?

It can work both ways (predestination/parallel timelines), depending on the situation. As I stated on an earlier post (which for some reason was completely ignored) it's an idea that actually makes sense given our current (limited) knowledge of how the world works: A single timeline may be "the path of least resistance" while parallel timelines only get conjured up when there's no other possibility.

Note that unlike Tomalak, I'm not implying that there's a deliberate conscious process going on. It's no different than the principle of least action in optics, where light "chooses" the faster route between two points. Physics is filled with examples like this.

As for this:
"So you have a time machine, and you take it to the same location but one minute before you left. What happens? You certainly didn't notice a duplicate of yourself within that last minute before you left."

Maybe you'll get killed before you could make the trip. Or you end up at a different a location/time than you planned.

Or you *did* notice a duplicate of yourself. You then try to avoid travelling back just to see what happens, but a big bird flys through the window and startles you and you trip on the lever that completes the journey anyway.

Of-course, creating a parallel timeline is another possibility, but it's not the only one.

The answer to the question of what would actually happen, depends on the probabilities of each outcome. In principle, we could list all consistent scenarios and pick the most probable among them. And as I've already stated in my previous post here, there are some solid reasons to believe that "creating a parallel timeline" (translation: forcing decoupled perpendicular quantum states to interact) would be much further down the list than (say) a big bird distracting you in just the right way.
Jammer
Thu, Apr 25, 2019, 6:40pm (UTC -6)
Review now posted.
Dave in MN
Thu, Apr 25, 2019, 6:50pm (UTC -6)
@ Jammer

It's from Macbeth by Shakespeare.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tomorrow_and_tomorrow_and_tomorrow
SlackerInc
Thu, Apr 25, 2019, 7:36pm (UTC -6)
I don't agree with Jammer's review, obviously, as I said this might be my favorite episode of the show. But give him credit: in this case I wasn't out of step with other commenters, as it has gotten a great number of plaudits from them, but Jammer was nevertheless steadfast in keeping his own counsel--in contrast to recent accusations that he "reads the room" and then reviews an episode accordingly.
John Harmon
Thu, Apr 25, 2019, 8:08pm (UTC -6)
The big difference between the effects of The Orville and Discovery is that I’m actually impressed with the effects of the Orville, despite Discovery constantly trying to provide the biggest spectacle.

When I watched that hour long battle in the season 2 finale of Discovery, it was actually giving me a headache. Star Wars prequel level space battles aren’t interesting. They’re mind numbing and boring.

The Orville brilliantly combines real physical model shots with CGI and it looks great. When I saw the sequence of the ship going into the planet’s rings and hiding on a chunk of ice, with the Kaylon ship passing overhead, I actually said “wow” out loud. The sequence had a great sense of scale and awe and you knew what was happening and it looked great.
Perry
Thu, Apr 25, 2019, 9:25pm (UTC -6)
I'll have to concur on Jammer's review on Ed and Kelly. I want to see more intimate relationship and an ending that officially declares them both dead but alive.

There have never been a Trek series that had combo of a captain and Human Commander/First Officer married and divorced. Writers will knock it out of the park with new ideas with that dynamic duo.
RandomThoughts
Fri, Apr 26, 2019, 12:31am (UTC -6)
Hello Everyone!

I mentioned on a previous episode of The Orville about how many ST episodes have their roots in some other Sci-Fi show or movie, and that The Orville does the same. But do we add in a brief plot of some old movie we think a ST ep is drawn from? Not normally (but I've seen a few in the comments). Are some Orville's reminiscent of Trek? Yep. Did I mind? Nope. And do the gentle sentients that have not seen all 700+ episodes of Trek mind? I doubt it, any more than they would if a Trek was based off of a old movie they hadn't seen. I have seen them all (-Discovery), and still find this to be a nice take on things.

It's just, in the review (and thank you Jammer for these), there is a description of a TNG episode, so we will perhaps know where the writing is coming from for this one. But I honestly never thought of that episode at all until I saw the comments comparing this one to that. It came from a totally different circumstance, and goes in a mostly different direction. But there are two Kelly's, so it's felt a comparison must be made, since Thomas wanted to date Troi, and Ed still holds a flame for Kelly. But the stories are not the same.

I feel like I'm not being clear on my point though. After decades for some episodes, and a half century for others, at what point do those of us "in the know" stop comparing Orville to Trek? Or should we? It just seems to me it should be judged on its own merits a bit more, and not compared to the past quite so much.

Thank you for your time... RT
Artymiss
Fri, Apr 26, 2019, 3:22am (UTC -6)
I'm going to forgive this episode everything (even younger Kelly's terrible wig) for: the nightclub scene (Moclans and Yaphit dancing :D), everyone running on to the bridge in their pyjamas, the hiding in the ice ring images (awesome).

I'll be interested to find out next week (we're a week behind in the UK) how this episode plays out in the season finale. Just what will be the outcome(s) of younger Kelly rebooting the future?
Paul C
Fri, Apr 26, 2019, 3:53am (UTC -6)
I really enjoyed this. The story has a hell of a twist - who saw that coming? - despite the more predictable plot points during the episode. For me the laugh out loud moment was the video game scene, where one character is walking the wrong way and Ed can't do anything about it. Acute observation. Plus your opponent finds it easy.

Again, in the UK, so a week behind, I have no idea what they're going to do about this - and it will be something - so can't wait to see.
Artymiss
Fri, Apr 26, 2019, 5:58am (UTC -6)
@Paul C
Yes, I should've mentioned the video game scene, I loved that too.

I'm busy wondering what will happen next episode. Surely Kelly declining to go on a repeat date will alter the future (ie our present on the Orville) possibly quite radically? Mercer's unlikely to be captain (since she got him that post) perhaps Kelly will be captain??? I wondered if it could be younger Kelly naively thinking 'well if I don't start a relationship with him now I can 7 years down the line once he's grown up a bit and then we won't get divorced...'

I'm surprised Jammer describes the ending as "open ended" and "somehow Kelly's knowledge of the future made her take a different path and even if we were never to see it played out" - how can we not see it played out, I think just a tiny change to younger Kelly's life will have implications. But I'll have to wait a week to find out what they are. Aghhhhhh!
Trent
Fri, Apr 26, 2019, 6:22am (UTC -6)
Jammer seems to hate anything to do with Ed and Kelly romancing. Since season 1, he's always seemed to want them to just be colleagues.

I personally like the constant flirting, pining and tension between them, and it plays to Seth's strengths as a lovelorn schmuck. I've always felt this is a direction Chakotay and Janeway should have gone.
Paul C
Fri, Apr 26, 2019, 8:21am (UTC -6)
@Artymiss

Agreed. This must have some effect. Interesting decision she took. The little speech by Ed the end (sorry for the next 5 years) and that future Kelly hadn’t reached any of her goals must have swayed past Kelly away from him.

This means that their logic was wrong. They say ‘oh we know this will work because you have no memory of it.’ However you could say that the past hasn’t been written yet... if the future will change as a result of this, then it’s possible that Isaac never brought her forward, which means she never learns about her future, so she can’t go back and change it.

A lot to unpack there!

Yes 6 days and counting for me.
Artymiss
Fri, Apr 26, 2019, 8:57am (UTC -6)
@Paul C
I got the impression that younger Kelly knew more than she was letting on, the trick for fooling the Kaylons for instance, it almost felt like she was on the Orville specifically to tell them that. If she hadn't been there the Kaylons would probably have attacked them (unless present Kelly suddenly remembered her old school project).
Gerontius
Fri, Apr 26, 2019, 11:28am (UTC -6)
A rather grudging take on this episode from Jammer. I agree with RandomThoughts about the stuff about Second Chances. The idea of a sort of duplicate of a leading character is the same, but the treatment of it is completely different, and I don't think it's at all fear to see this as a rethread.

And I disagree with his irritation at Ed's inability to move on from Kelly. I think that's perfectly in keeping with his character. The lopsided relationship between Ed and Kelly is both plausible and sympathetic to both. It was clear enough that his attempt to restart things with young Kelly was pretty clearly going to flop, but I felt it entirely likely that he'd have gone for it - and perfectly fair too, and in no way creepy. Older Kelly' likes having him around as a besotted pet, but the idea that she has some kind of ownership over him (and of her younger self) is quite injustifiable (though there's nothing unexpected in her feeling that way).

But I was glad to see his praise for Palicki's performance, which was virtuosi.

A relationship based episode serves well to build up to what I suspect will be a more actiony second part for the season finale. (Which still threatens to be a series f8nale...)
maskull
Fri, Apr 26, 2019, 11:59am (UTC -6)
“Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow” is a quote from Macbeth — the same monologue where Macbeth describes life as “a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury”, and incidentally one that furnished a different episode title to TOS, “All Our Yesterdays”.
Artymiss
Fri, Apr 26, 2019, 12:27pm (UTC -6)
"Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing".

This doesn't bode well for Ed and Kelly!
Paul C
Fri, Apr 26, 2019, 5:36pm (UTC -6)
@Artymiss

You could well be right, she could know something, that was a very specific situation. However that would show she had knowledge of the future too. But...she did seem to be inspired by the ice, maybe that was a coincidence.

What's frustrating is that it's already aired in the US and I have to keep avoiding the discussion on this site!

The theme about wanting a second chance to do things afresh... isn't that what the Orville actually is? TNG refreshed? Seth made a pitch with CBS for a series, but maybe this is his 'second chance'.

Praying for a new season - otherwise life will be just Discovery to watch. Just Discovery! Imagine.
Gerontius
Fri, Apr 26, 2019, 7:43pm (UTC -6)
No need to wait, Paul C. Try the site, ololo.to, and you can get to see the finale now. I've just finished watching it, and I'm in England too.

As I expected it's an action-filled episode, which contrasts with the quieter tone of Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow.
Artymiss
Sat, Apr 27, 2019, 1:40am (UTC -6)
@Gerontius
Don't tell us ANYTHING about it. Even 'action packed' is too much information! :D Although I had accidentally read that somewhere else.

@Paul C
Not sure I can cope with just Discovery!!! Haven't enjoyed season 2 very much. I really hope the Orville continues and the delay in announcing renewal is down to people sorting out contractual issues rather than anything more sinister.
Gerontius
Sat, Apr 27, 2019, 12:22pm (UTC -6)
Fair enough, Artymiss, no spoilers. Mind, "action packed" doesn't imply what kind of action. You can have action packed games of chess...
SC
Sat, Apr 27, 2019, 1:32pm (UTC -6)
I thought it was a very entertaining episode of The Orville and a clever idea (thanks TNG! Ha.) The twist at the end was a good one.

Perhaps Seth came up with this after dating Halston Sage? And realising their age gap was too much. I think we all like the idea of dating a younger person, but as seen in this episode, we change as we grow older. Could we really go back to nightclubs and immature behaviour?
Paul C
Sat, Apr 27, 2019, 7:19pm (UTC -6)
@Gerontius. Thank you.

All I can say is ‘wow’. Loved it.

Will be watching it again.
Trent
Fri, May 3, 2019, 2:05pm (UTC -6)
Watching this episode a second time, knowing where the second installment leads, and I I feel it plays even better. The script's really quite elegant in the way it parcels out information (the way it sets up Ed/Kelly's date taking place right after the temporal teleportation, or the way Young Kelly asks Talla for a date in 7 years time, and Talla immediately looks over at Old Kelly and says "date later in the observation lounge at 8 o clock?" (paraphrase).

This show is also very good at hiding sequences; we have the Orville hiding in 2D space in season 1, and now the Orville hiding in a cloak of ice, and later the (admittedly incredulous) Orville hiding at the edge of a black hole.

This episode also contains a couple great dialogue scenes, Kelly and Kelly passive aggressively trying to get under each other's skin. And I like Ed's politeness and dignity, the way he apologizes for his past transgressions, and Ed and Claire's little talk in her quarters. Barring one or two monologues (mostly about Kelly drunk), the episode's a tight sequence of nicely written little conversations.

Jammer also points out that "Kelly should be locked in a room" so as "not to pervert the timeline", but watching this again, I feel the episode addressed this well. Ed suggests locking Kelly up, but comes to the conclusion that they've branched off into another time line, and that locking her up would be unethical (they yanked her out of time; it's not her fault).

Meanwhile, I feel the climactic ending is the kind of old school scifi ZINGER ENDING! that old scifi short stories (think Asimov and Clarke), and shows like TOS and the Twilight Zone, did really well.
Eastwest101
Sun, May 26, 2019, 5:39am (UTC -6)
Recycling previous stories or concepts but giving them a new twist is rich ground for sci-fi, I thought this episode did that and a lot of the credit should go to Adrienne Pallecki for giving such warmth and humanity to her depiction of the older and younger Kelly Grayson. Also some great supporting scenes with the other main cast to explore the characters of Grayson and Mercer.

Wonderful special effects and camera work with a nice twist at the end to keep the audience on their toes.

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