Air date: 7/28/2022
Written by Brannon Braga & Andre Bormanis
Directed by Jon Cassar
Review by Jamahl Epsicokhan
"Domino" is an entertaining but uneasy duel between Star Trek and Star Wars, with Star Wars ultimately — and regrettably — winning. It's basically a double episode, with the first episode being the Star Trek think piece and the second one being the Star Wars X-Treme Action piece. This is a trend that's been brewing all season, as well as in previous seasons, but "Domino" takes it to the nth degree. The transition is as unmistakable and instantaneous as that time From Dusk Till Dawn suddenly changed from a southwestern crime story into a vampire splatter flick.
This is fun, but it could've been better by seeing its ideas through rather than jettisoning political plausibility in favor of action. The second half is absolutely jam-packed with protracted VFX sequences that spare no expense in their effort to remake various sequences from various Star Wars movies, right down to individual shot selections. But the second half sells out a first half that was shaping up to be a smart political and ethical intrigue episode, which gets resolved mostly by tons of stuff blowing up and lots of tired action tropes.
The first half is engrossing and full of world-building, opening with a scene where the Moclans, freshly expelled from the Union, visit the Krill homeworld and make a pitch to Teleya to form an alliance to defend against the Kaylon, who, we learn, are massing resources to prepare a full-scale invasion of Union space. The Moclans have the temerity to demand they lead this new alliance, since surely Teleya, a woman, would have no such credibility. Teleya has some frank thoughts on that, and the Moclans agree to a joint co-equal partnership.
Meanwhile, a Union fleet defends against a Kaylon incursion with a newly developed superweapon that takes out an entire Kaylon fleet. This weapon has been developed thanks to the unique talents of Isaac and Ensign Burke, proving that working together as a team can allow former enemies to accomplish big things. If that sounds like a trite, after-school special, well okay, but the story's heart is in the right place.
The story also asks a lot of the right questions when it turns out this superweapon — which somehow uniquely taps into the Kaylon's fully networked interconnectivity and exploits it in a way that destroys them — can be expanded in scope in such a way that it would permit the Union to commit genocide upon all of Kaylon civilization. The early scenes benefit from some solid (albeit not standout) dialogue where various characters argue various positions as to whether we should wipe out the Kaylon while we have the opportunity, or whether the right to defense has limits. The questions were the same in "I, Borg," but if you're going to steal, steal from the best.
The Union Council votes to take the weapon to the Kaylon homeworld and demand an immediate cease-fire under threat of annihilation. The plan is successful, but only after the Kaylon realize — after losing additional fleets in the attempt to stop the Orville — that their backs are against the wall and they have no choice. The Kaylon flat-out admit that they will look for a way to neutralize the weapon, but for now, agree to the terms of surrender. (It seems to me the solution is right in front of them: Isaac is not vulnerable to the weapon, because he isn't connected to the Kaylon hive mind. Couldn't the Kaylon simply disconnect their own society in a similar way? It might be an extreme solution, but it's an extreme problem.)
The Kaylon surrender allows for some relaxing downtime, where Malloy and Burke sing a duet at Kelly's rural mountain cabin. Charly expresses reservations — not at all unreasonable — about whether allowing the Kaylon to continue to exist is a potentially deadly decision. Kelly talks to Claire about having had a "pit in her stomach" that has been alleviated by the new peace agreement. This would've worked better if I actually believed it; the Kaylon threat has been so much on the periphery of this series as this theoretical idea — much alluded to but rarely seen — that I don't think the show quite earns these feelings. Nevertheless, I'm glad they finally tackled this before the season ended.
The relaxation is short-lived. Someone breaks the weapon out of secure storage from deep inside a Union basement ("sub-level 32," because I suppose that's deeper than 31, haha-maybe). It's an inside job, with Admiral Ted Danson behind it. He delivers the weapon to the Krill/Moclan leadership, knowing they will use it to destroy the Kaylon in the face of the Union's refusal. This strikes me as a pretty dumb and unlikely plan. For one, it gets him killed, because Teleya is a Duplicitous Evil Villain. For another, wouldn't it be far easier for Danson to recruit more hawkish Union officers who are sympathetic with his plan and carry out the mission themselves on a Union ship under their control, rather than putting this superweapon in the hands of an enemy alliance?
The fallout from this shift is swift — too much so. In response, a slapdash alliance between the Union and Kaylon is established literally overnight, and it feels contrived. When DS9 had "By Inferno's Light," where various alliances suddenly changed, it was believable given the long history of all the various key players over many seasons. "Domino" attempts to do something similar within one episode, and I don't entirely buy it. Given the time constraints, I guess it's okay as a Crazy Plot Development, but do I believe that this Union/Kaylon alliance could be cobbled together so quickly like this? Nope.
Consider: These guys were an existential threat just days earlier, and had vowed to continue looking for a way to counteract the superweapon even with the peace agreement in place. Don't you think the Union might be a little divided about whether to launch into an all-out war with the Moclans and Krill (who themselves were either allies or potential allies just weeks ago) in a brand-new campaign to stop the Kaylon from being destroyed? I get that we need to stop genocide and everything, and we have a responsibility for what others do with the weapons we brought into the world. But then again: Do we? Especially when we're talking about robots with such a twisted view of biological lifeforms and the questionable allies-turned-enemies and enemies-turned-allies arrangements that have so quickly shifted? I feel like the episode just papers over all the troubling questions so it can jump into the action.
From here, we get into the second half (about which I have considerably less to say) where this becomes a big Star Wars battle at the site of a Moclan research facility that's essentially a Death Star against the Kaylon. Lots of Union ships are destroyed, but the death and destruction feels like superficial "fun" action and carries no weight, which is unfortunate considering this whole episode started as a question around the value of life and our responsibilities around taking it. There's a big shoot-out and fight in the tunnels inside the facility, including a big showdown between Kelly and Teleya, which feels especially tropey. (That Teleya is captured by the end, and the episode floats the question around her and Mercer's daughter, hints at things to possibly come in the season's final episode.)
The fleets of ships are so packed together and numerous as to look silly, and they all look the same, so it sometimes feels more like a video game than cinema. Other times, as on the planet surface, the dogfights are extremely well-done. Like I said: They spared no expense. There are countless individual VFX shots that were surely lavished over by the CGI animators. To them I say: Great job. Kudos. Nifty. But none of it means much, except to express the creators' burning desire to re-enact, with all their budget and time and resources, the idea of action sequences they (and we) are so familiar with from old Star Wars movies. Um, yay?
The episode builds to a climax where the weapon is about to fire and wipe out all the Kaylon, and the only one who can stop it is Ensign Charly Burke, but at the cost of her own life. So she makes the decision to sacrifice herself to save the Kaylon. As a character arc, this is solid, showing how she has grown from despising the Kaylon to gradually understanding they can change. And the episode gives us a fittingly big farewell funeral. But this also asks too much of us to be genuinely moved. This character was never anything aside from this narrowly specific arc about learning not to hate the Kaylon, and Anne Winters' lackluster performance was unfortunately never anything more than a one-note scowl. It's a nice try, and the intentions are sincere, but this doesn't get there for me.
Overall, I guess three stars. This is so good for much of its first half, and admittedly fun through its plotty and derivative second half, that I can't not recommend it. But there's a part of me that's disappointed they couldn't see this through to a more satisfactory conclusion, even if I have no idea what that conclusion should've been. The power structure has been upended in the Orville universe, but it feels more like a magic wand has been waved over the kingdom than a political situation has organically played out.
Previous episode: Midnight Blue
Next episode: Future Unknown
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88 comments on this post
Thu, Jul 28, 2022, 2:09am (UTC -5)
When I saw in the end credits that Jon Favreau is a consultant, I wondered if he's the one who helps them make it "Star Wars-y".
Charly's death wasn't the most emotional thing I have ever seen on TV or even on this show, but they played it, and everyone's reactions, well enough that it gave me a twinge or two.
She's quite a singer! She and Gordon together made a great musical duo.
The scene with Kaylon Prime trying to process Charly's sacrifice was well done. For having a blank, unexpressive face, he conveyed a lot with those head tilts.
Pour one out for Admiral Perry (whose diplomatic skills failed him here: he should have said he was going to go back and pretend he didn't have anything to do with stealing the weapon). I can honestly understand his perspective (which I'm guessing will be more forcefully advocated for by others in this comment thread). That's something I admire greatly about this show, that it often portrays different factions at odds with each other but where no one is 100% wrong.
Thu, Jul 28, 2022, 2:10am (UTC -5)
This was certainly Orville's answer to DS9's Strange Bedfellows.
We visit Xelaya, Krill, Kaylon, a Moclan world, and Earth, plus have spaces battle aplenty (which drifted into hokey territory..."acknowledged" x7 and such), so this was an expensive episode, and visually beautiful, as always.
A but convoluted, but it again mostly seemed to earn its runtime. Surprised how much I cared about Charly dying, and Seth can certainly deliver a touching eulogy.
Tentative score is, again, teetering on the cusp of 3 and 3,5 stars.
Thu, Jul 28, 2022, 2:23am (UTC -5)
Thu, Jul 28, 2022, 3:15am (UTC -5)
Pour one out for composer Kevin Kaska, who worked overtime to write all the action score for this episode. It's easily the most music written for a single Orville episode.
Thu, Jul 28, 2022, 4:31am (UTC -5)
Thu, Jul 28, 2022, 5:12am (UTC -5)
I think that's a fair assessment.
Thu, Jul 28, 2022, 6:02am (UTC -5)
All in all I enjoyed this episode
Thu, Jul 28, 2022, 7:01am (UTC -5)
I really think they need to hire someone who has done space action before, for the budget they have I often find that action beats go on far too long. Maybe it's just me but I prefer beam weapons to pew pew star wars blasters.
Also, the union heavy cruisers seem like glass cannons, every battle at least 1 gets wrecked.
While I found Charlie grating most of the season, I was touched at the end of this episode. I wonder how uch criticism the orville will get for a 'Bury your gays' type decision. For me it was earned and served the story so I hope there is no hysteria about it.
Fingers crossed for season 4.
Thu, Jul 28, 2022, 7:17am (UTC -5)
* I initially thought the opening battle was a battle simulation sequence. It took the briefing meeting which followed to realize that actually happened.
* We all knew the cabin sequence was too good to last.
* I liked Ted Danson much better when he was running the bar. Seriously, when he bit it it was a warning that, yes, this series may only have one episode left and therefore everybody’s expendable.
* In the middle of the planetary assault — with all the political intrigue that led up to it — I had to “raise a glass” to everybody involved in the production of this series as I, once again, reminded myself that it started out as a Star Trek parody.
* I have *no idea* now as to what they’ll do in the season/series(?) finale’ .
* The ending required two tissues.
What can I say? I’m in awe of the series at this point.
Thu, Jul 28, 2022, 8:55am (UTC -5)
This season has been overstuffed with big bombastic action sequences, but the plotline this week felt appropriately high stakes and epic enough that I really thought it was warranted (though why John and Gordon flying fighters...don't they have better things to do on the ship?). The near feature-film length also worked well this episode, with not a single scene that felt inappropriately placed. There was lot of payoffs for character and plot arcs which had been weaved through not only the entire season, but even the entire runtime of the show. And the feels at the end of the episode were palpable. It's amazing what the series has evolved into.
My one issue with the episode is that Anne Winters is still a bad actress, and that's really a negative in an episode which ends with her heroic sacrifice - a big donut hole in what should be the emotional core of the episode. That last scene where we see the explosion in her eyes as she mentioned her dead friend again...I had nothing. I felt a ton for everyone else after her loss, but I felt nothing for her. Seth really should have avoided casting his girlfriend (again) and gotten someone with serious acting chops, because Charly's arc could have meant so much more than what we ultimately got.
Still, only a small quibble, which downgrades it in my mind from 4 to 3.5 stars. But otherwise the episode set out to do everything it wanted to, and should be considered an unqualified success.
Thu, Jul 28, 2022, 9:19am (UTC -5)
Thu, Jul 28, 2022, 12:28pm (UTC -5)
Thu, Jul 28, 2022, 2:28pm (UTC -5)
Thu, Jul 28, 2022, 2:39pm (UTC -5)
Thu, Jul 28, 2022, 3:09pm (UTC -5)
There were some plot holes (erm yeah you need to guard better the most important device in the universe).
There was a completely indifferent sacrifice for a character that wasn't well developed and was performed by a terrible actress. Isaac's "goodbye" was sweet, but did anyone watching this season really cares about Charlie?
I was surprised the Kaylons didn't run away to another galaxy after seeing how idiots the Union ppl can be and their reactions the second time Mercer contacted them was hilarious.
Moral lesson of this episode:
It doesn't matter how much you might love your current girlfriend, if she is talentless well... she gonna still be talentless and that's not gonna change by giving her a juicy role in a good series, because her non existent acting skills will still ruin it. And it will also ruin a bit your reputation as a showrunner.
Thu, Jul 28, 2022, 3:18pm (UTC -5)
Did Admiral Ted Danson actually sign off on killing two Union officers? One of them was shot so could be dismissed as being stunned, but the first one seemed to have been stabbed in the upper back or neck.
Thu, Jul 28, 2022, 3:34pm (UTC -5)
Seth and Anne Winters have broken up. (You break up they kill you off.)
Oh no! They killed Ted Danson!
If they do a good guy/ bad guy alternate universe as their finale, I will be very disappointed.
Thu, Jul 28, 2022, 4:00pm (UTC -5)
And that's one of a number of essential issues this new era of Trek has: in it's rush to be prestige TV, it doesn't take the time to properly build to plots and cgharacter moments like in here, stuff just happens because it needs to, not because of expectations crafted around those things. I can easily imagine a fan of New Star Trek pointing to this episode and comparing it to things people have complained about in those shows, but, like those shows, the fans would be ignoring the building of contexts around those narratives/characters.
This episode wasn't the strongest of the season, but it was pretty good, and paid off a lot of threads woven throughout the season. Can't imagine what nwext week'll look like.
I do wonder just HOW the Union has so many ships, given the heavy losses incured through the season though. I'm a sucker for big fleet shots, but the infrastructure of this future is oddly vague. Again, my investment in all the characters involved at the center of the action elevates it, but there is still that problem of oddly distanced action underneath that, like the destruction of Metropolis in "Man of Steel." Looks pretty, but doesn't really delve into the fallout of such actions.
But also Union policy against killing, nice to have thdt verbalised. Although Kelly DID shoot first in that hallway. Whoops.
Thu, Jul 28, 2022, 5:05pm (UTC -5)
I wish the climactic space battle was more original, but ultimately I thought this was a fun episode, in a giddy "Let's do Star Wars!" sort of way.
I generally preferred the quieter moments - hanging out at the log cabin, an impromptu guitar session, Isaac writing on the stars, the landing on the Kaylon home-world - but some of the early space action was original, particularly the scene where the Orville single-handedly whips Kaylon into submission.
I liked how the Union super-weapon was essentially a rickety tube with a plastic egg at the top (shades of Kirk stealing the Romulan cloaking device).
I also like how incompetent this show makes "Discovery" and "Picard's" action sequences look. "The Orville" just seems to flow better, builds up to its climaxes properly, and is aesthetically much more competent.
I disagree with comments above suggesting that Anne Winters's character was killed because "she can't act" or "is no longer dating Seth". It seems clear to me that her arc for the season was carefully planned. It had to be, because she induces the season's most pivotal moment (bringing the Kaylon into the Union).
Thu, Jul 28, 2022, 7:25pm (UTC -5)
Not only that, the three most senior commanding officers, the Admiral, the Captain, and the XO, along with the only two people, Charly and Isaac, who know how to work the device, waltz into Kaylon headquarters? Really?!? I know you have the upper hand right then, but that's just brazen, swaggering, buffoonery at best and abject idiocy at worst. Then that cabin scene was so tonally different from what came before it was like I was watching a commercial. I literally did a doubletake.
Not to mention, why the hell is John, your chief engineer, piloting a fighter craft? He's too damn valuable for that unless every last one of your other pilots is dead. The Union should have far more fighter jockeys than they do chief engineers. Also, I don't know if Seth is trying to look pensive sometimes or what, but there's this look he gets where he just looks like he's constipated with his hemorrhoids acting up and no Preparation H in sight. Seth! STOP THAT $#!$! It looks ridiculous.
The ending sold it for me. Burke went out the best way she could. And her lack of acting skills were really telling in that moment. However, all in all, it was forgivable. Someone brought up above did they give funerals to all the people who died or just Burke. Did anyone else die from the Orville? I can't recall. Maybe all the funerals were held on the ships where they were stationed. Otherwise, I got nothing.
Here's hoping The Orville goes out with a bang for the last episode. I'm kind of thinking that those spider aliens will make an appearance. They're going to really need those Kaylons for this one. Lets hope the Kaylons chastise the hell out of The Orville's incompetence for allowing those hostile alien hybrids to get away with all that juicy Union intel that's going to come biting the Union in the but whenever they reappear. I liked how they did that this episode.
Thu, Jul 28, 2022, 7:36pm (UTC -5)
Truer words have never been spoken.
Just one for instance... the Orville goes to attempt to locate the stolen weapon and goes to the pain of hiding tight to the "far side" of a moon or something. Then Ed says "we need some help" and the ship positions itself right out in the open where EVERYONE could see them and seemingly takes its time before "warping" out of there. There should have been 10 ships in pursuit.
So, we get DS9 season 7 in one episode...
I thought the episode started out as a training simulation... then, boom... it's not one! This grabbed me right off the bat.
I thought they did well with most of this. All the alliance shuffling decisions were logical and made sense.
I briefly thought I heard Seska's voice when Teyla was giving it to the Moclan leader.
Bravo for the 180 deg turn the writers made with LaMarr this season. He's gone from being a non-funny jerk of an officer to one I can respect. Loved it when he put Charly in her place in the mess hall.
The tender moments were well done and they didn't linger on too long. I didn't think Charly (if in fact, that was actually her voice) was that great a singer. Loved the S&G song though.
Bortus arguing with Klyden about cracking a walnut was hilarious.
I wasn't expecting ADM Perry to be the one that stole the weapon. I thought sure it was going to be a couple Kaylon or Krill.
It was obvious they reused the sets from 'Midnight Blue'. I don't even think they tried to hide it.
The best part of the battle was when the Krill commander realized they were done for when the Kaylon showed up.
I enjoyed the fight between Kelly & Teleya. Why was the leader of Krill there again? ... oh, we needed a strong female v female moment. At least Kelly didn't win.
I was expecting The prime Kaylon to kill that Moclan when Issac didn't. Why wasn't it necessary? Wasn't he going to go get help?
The ending was heroic and logical in the terms of the episode. I'm sure I would have felt more had I not hated the character of Charly so much early on. The actress was horrible the entire time, but her character growth was well thought out and portrayed throughout the season. At least this all didn't happen in one episode. I.E. STD: 'Project Daedalus'
I've already seen the "another gay character dies" tripe on the interweb... give it a rest for god's sake.
So Charly was the only Orville crew member to die in this epic space battle? It seems to me she could have been one of many. I don't mind calling her out because her death was heroic and honorable and as we all know she hated the Kaylon (minus Issac and K-1) so her "following orders" here meant something.
Issac's little speech at the end was nice.
I'll go 3 of 4 stars here.
Whatever happened to space battles that one could easily follow in science fiction? ... oh yeah, that's 'The Mandalorian'
Thu, Jul 28, 2022, 7:37pm (UTC -5)
Thu, Jul 28, 2022, 7:47pm (UTC -5)
If they try to make a season (and possibly series) ender out of the Fun With DNA creatures from Episode 2, I might have to stop watching the episode right there,
Fri, Jul 29, 2022, 12:44am (UTC -5)
I am speaking, of course, about Gordon's sandwich set to arrive in three months.
Fri, Jul 29, 2022, 12:57am (UTC -5)
nah, i will go with 3, just because i am a way too addicted genre addict to not have seen any of this before. cant blame the show for that, of course.
so...i gotta respect the overall story arc they did for ensign girlfriend. that clearly was a nicely, carefully plotted long term thing that paid off here. or let me put it this way, it could have paid off immensely in the hands of a more skilled actress. i really mean no disrespect, but the "ive got one type of stare and i am going all in with it" approach might work for a one shot movie, angsty teenage material or horror movies, but it would carry you through a long, multi episode arc with ups and downs like this one. it is my understanding now that macfarlane did not cast his girlfriend but got together with her during work. thats at least slightly less problematic, but i am still happy that this obvious conflict of interest is gone. and the writing of that arc was still good enough for it to work overall.
now, boy, did we miss some budget related revolution in CGI creation? the CGI action was so over the top, i found it hilarious. respect to those who created that, but i cant help but wonder, how does this work, given that orville is such a fringe show that i have a hard time believing they have as much budget as this suggests?
well, or maybe its just a super effective team at work. in that case, hats off, and no, i will not blame them for again having their material then edited with not quite the same level of skill. it wasnt as bad as past episodes, but this again could have been a lot tighter, even in the context of the "star wars ish something happens every other second" trope.
score: again: superb. oh my, how much work and love has been poured into this on the music front...and yes, of course its classic scifi genre work, but again, thats a "sin" that every film composer who scored a star wars or trek or comparable has to commit by definition and nobody blamed them either. so, no, this isnt just some williams/goldsmith ripoff. this is really good stuff, and the attention to detail, interwoven themes for the individual factions etc is really on a level that usually only get in movies.
you certainly never got anything close to this in regular trek episodes. i will take this over the ever same random drone chord fadeins and outs from mccarthy, chattaway & co, allthough it again should be mention that those people had their hands tied by the extremely silly (and, as always, musically breathtakingly incompetent) guidelines from rick berman.
overall, heres hoping they get to do another season. it may not be a BSG or expanse, but it sure as hell is super entertaining, i like the characters and care about them, i understand and care about the universe and its different factions, so...this has a lot of homework done and finished that trek hasnt managed to pull off in 2 decades, and those trek shows DID have a polished, complex and nuanced universe handed to them. they just seemed to not understand anymore how to use it. orville on the other hand paints a clear picture of its universe last seen in 90s trek.
thats gotta be worth something. its worth a lot to me. its the most important, fundamental building block for long term storytelling, and one of the primary reasons why nutrek is so bad so often.
Fri, Jul 29, 2022, 1:09am (UTC -5)
I think they knocked out/sedated the other officer making such a crap job of guarding the weapon with a hypodermic type thingy in the back of the neck.
Fri, Jul 29, 2022, 1:40am (UTC -5)
@Ian: "One thing that always bothers me about episodes like this in all these programmes is the funerals. A number of Orville crew died that day are we to assume that they start with Charley and then work through them all or was she the final one?"
Yeah, I clocked that too, lol.
I guess it's a variation on Adam Baldwin's "Coffee is for closers!" line in GLENGARRY GLEN ROSS. "Funerals are for the main cast!"
@Joseph B: "I initially thought the opening battle was a battle simulation sequence. It took the briefing meeting which followed to realize that actually happened."
@Karl Zimmerman: "My one issue with the episode is that Anne Winters is still a bad actress"
She's not the best, but I'd still put her a notch or two above J Lee.
@MercerCreate, thanks for the info. I suppose he could get in trouble with Lucasfilm if he were showing them how to do ersatz Star Wars, lol.
@PM: "Based on this episode and Season 3 as a whole, it would be a shame (but also a triumph) to end the series at this point."
That's a really good way to put it.
@theBgt: "There were some plot holes (erm yeah you need to guard better the most important device in the universe)."
I thought that initially--in fact, I even wondered if the conspirators were Kaylons using the skin simulator like Isaac did--but I think it's pretty well explained by the fact that the admiral was behind it. If someone is high ranking enough, no weapon is safe. Heck, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg weren't even that high ranking, but they still gave the atomic bomb to the Russkies. (I was raised by lefty parents to believe they had been railroaded, but then after the fall of the USSR, the opening up of KGB files showed that they were in fact guilty.)
@Nolan: "I do wonder just HOW the Union has so many ships, given the heavy losses incured through the season though. I'm a sucker for big fleet shots, but the infrastructure of this future is oddly vague."
I assume they have industrial replicators that can produce, if not entire ships, large modular parts that can be fitted together quickly. In theory, that ought to be easier than making an egg salad sandwich.
@TheRealTrent: "It seems clear to me that her arc for the season was carefully planned. It had to be, because she induces the season's most pivotal moment (bringing the Kaylon into the Union)."
@Quincy: "Also, if you want to negotiate the enemy's unconditional surrender, please don't send the only damn ship with the weapon with absolutely no escort. No one should be that stupid."
I thought about this too, but I think we're basically meant to understand the Orville's shields can take fire for a couple seconds until they obliterate every Kaylon ship within range.
"I'm kind of thinking that those spider aliens will make an appearance."
Like @Jaxon, I kind of hope not, because that was the only episode I flat out disliked this season.
@Yanks: "I didn't think Charly (if in fact, that was actually her voice) was that great a singer."
Wow, really? I'm super into music, and I thought her voice was sublime.
"It was obvious they reused the sets from 'Midnight Blue'. I don't even think they tried to hide it."
No, but it makes sense to me that Moclan installations would look similar.
@mosley: "orville is such a fringe show that i have a hard time believing they have as much budget as this suggests?"
It's surprising, but OTOH it's a former broadcast network show and Disney wants a good relationship with McFarlane, who has made the company they acquired a lot of money.
Fri, Jul 29, 2022, 1:59am (UTC -5)
The events of Identity are - in show - at least a year old, and possibly as many as three. And then there's the Krill.
The US increased its military some ten to twentyfold in the first half of the 1940s. I can totally see the Planetary Union and its particle synthesis technology being able to do the same. Various events also had to have them weening themselves of their dependency on the Moclans.
Interesting that at some point just this past year, the Planetary Union still included Moclus, was a fateful election outcome away from an amicable treaty with the Krill, and finally, realized an amicable treaty with Kaylon.
The Orville-verse is clearly much more fluid than the Trek-verse, where status quos remain in place in much longer terms.
Fri, Jul 29, 2022, 10:10am (UTC -5)
Here's one way a real sci-fi story could have progressed. The superweapon targets the Kaylon communications "borg" network. The only defense against it is to switch of the network entirely. This un-borgifies the Kaylon, precipitating (in a domino effect), the rise of individualism and the inevitability of democracy -- the only viable form of government for individuals. The Churchill quote at the end would have been more appropriate to this scenario.
Fri, Jul 29, 2022, 11:45am (UTC -5)
Fri, Jul 29, 2022, 2:46pm (UTC -5)
"For another, wouldn't it be far easier for Danson to recruit more hawkish Union officers who are sympathetic with his plan and carry out the mission themselves on a Union ship under their control, rather than putting this superweapon in the hands of an enemy alliance?"
But that would only allow them to locally destroy small groups of Kaylon (maybe their homeworld, but they could still flee). By giving it to the Moclans and Krill, they can put massive resources toward an enormous power source that can make it go galaxywide. The other problem with your suggestion is that at the point when he steals the weapon, only Isaac and Burke can operate the weapon. The Moclans have a weapon-designing supergenius scientist who, Bortus correctly surmises, would be capable of reverse-engineering it and getting it to operate. Not likely so for Danson and his confederates.
"Don't you think the Union might be a little divided about whether to launch into an all-out war with the Moclans and Krill (who themselves were either allies or potential allies just weeks ago) in a brand-new campaign to stop the Kaylon from being destroyed?"
The admiral did say it was the most divided and contentious Council meeting he had ever witnessed. Maybe they should have spent more time with that point, but it was obviously already a long episode. (If you counter that they sure spent a lot of time with trench runs, I have no counter-counter to that.)
Fri, Jul 29, 2022, 3:23pm (UTC -5)
The Rosenbergs were given a more or less sham trial, so your parents weren't entirely wrong. But, yeah, the Rosenbergs were also very very guilty and we knew it.
I've learned that sometimes these kinds of cases can be very difficult to bring to trial because so much evidence is classified and not easily discussed in a courtroom. Things like who our contacts are on the Russian side that could confirm/deny their involvement, or relying on testimony from still-undercover operatives on our own side that slink around in those worlds. Anyway, convicting them in the way that they did had some blowback in that people like your parents bought into the idea that they weren't actually guilty.
Tricky situation, cause you also don't want to just let them go because the case is hard to prosecute. Someone should make an even-handed movie.
For a more recent example of this problem, see the Mascheronis, who tried to sell nuclear secrets to the Venezuelans: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leonardo_Mascheroni
They were both originally facing life sentences, but it all got reduced to a couple of years in prison and a guilty plea, basically because a trial was going to be a huge problem.
Fri, Jul 29, 2022, 3:45pm (UTC -5)
Cue Avis vs Charley jihad.
Actually, that sound interesting...
Fri, Jul 29, 2022, 4:23pm (UTC -5)
@Chris L.: Really interesting context there.
Fri, Jul 29, 2022, 5:52pm (UTC -5)
Fri, Jul 29, 2022, 8:09pm (UTC -5)
Fri, Jul 29, 2022, 8:44pm (UTC -5)
Fri, Jul 29, 2022, 8:59pm (UTC -5)
I don't think we have seen the last of Charley and I sense a big twist coming considering we still have one episode to go.
Maybe Charley Burke is Avis??
Fri, Jul 29, 2022, 9:00pm (UTC -5)
Fri, Jul 29, 2022, 9:00pm (UTC -5)
"I thought about this too, but I think we're basically meant to understand the Orville's shields can take fire for a couple seconds until they obliterate every Kaylon ship within range."
No. It's a particularly asinine risk to take for absolutely zero gain and completely unnecessary, since we SAW them initially deploy the weapon with an entire escort fleet. In this universe, there's practically no advanced long range detection. Whole fleets show up at your doorstep before you even get a wakeup call to get you out of bed. There's simply no excuse for such stupidity. What would they have done if one or hell a dozen dozen Kaylon ships had immediately went to warp on sight with the exit point being the Orville? Even had they managed to destroy the ships, the Orville gets impacted with a million metric @#&% tons of debris from every angle with the exact same momentum. Good bye Little Boy. Good bye Isaac and Burke. Kaylons download to new vessels and the Union is back to square one.
"I thought that initially--in fact, I even wondered if the conspirators were Kaylons using the skin simulator like Isaac did--but I think it's pretty well explained by the fact that the admiral was behind it. If someone is high ranking enough, no weapon is safe. Heck, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg weren't even that high ranking, but they still gave the atomic bomb to the Russkies. (I was raised by lefty parents to believe they had been railroaded, but then after the fall of the USSR, the opening up of KGB files showed that they were in fact guilty.)"
I'm the last person to ever accuse the government of unwavering competence, but there's about a billion miles of real estate between the theft of top secret documents and blueprints for the bomb and high jacking Little Boy and Fat Man before they've even been deployed. That scene was absurd. There should be enough good stuff in this episode to countermand any fan induced tendency to defend idiocy. Stop it.
Sat, Jul 30, 2022, 2:05am (UTC -5)
Here are some quotes from my comments on the second episode of this season:
"Bortus turning up his nose at something? Did the writers forget that he can literally eat anything?"
"Maybe they should have used the space suits the first time – ya think?"
"This episode had some kind of boring stretches. I suspect the lack of time limitations are not necessarily helpful, which is a problem we have seen on other streaming series as well. 2.5 stars."
And just two episodes before that one (though it was three years by the calendar--I'm talking about the second season finale):
"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."
So, @Quincy, it's not that I'm all into twisting myself into a pretzel just to avoid acknowledging the "idiocy" you see as so obvious. It's simply that in this current episode, I don't agree that "idiocy" is what we find here. Obviously you disagree. How about we just agree to disagree and leave the "fan induced tendency" ad hominem out of it, okay?
Sat, Jul 30, 2022, 6:02am (UTC -5)
I suppose it's easier to spend millions on effects than to have to think about stuff, but I was surprised to read that people cried at the end when we had so little emotional connection to Charlie's character.
Sat, Jul 30, 2022, 7:57am (UTC -5)
Sat, Jul 30, 2022, 8:13am (UTC -5)
Sat, Jul 30, 2022, 8:16am (UTC -5)
Sat, Jul 30, 2022, 12:18pm (UTC -5)
There was no haughtiness. But thanks for the SlackerInc highlight reel.
I never called you a "fanboy." Saying fans have a tendency to forgive obvious flaws in the works they love beyond reason isn't an ad hominem. It's an observation.
Sat, Jul 30, 2022, 2:13pm (UTC -5)
Sat, Jul 30, 2022, 4:01pm (UTC -5)
Fine. But don't claim I engaged in an ad hominem attack on you. 1) I never called you a "fanboy." And 2) I never claimed "you're wrong because you're a fanboy!" or "You're a fanboy therefore I'm right!"
Sat, Jul 30, 2022, 5:48pm (UTC -5)
I didn't put quotes around "fanboy". That was my characterization of what you were basically saying. I did put quotes around "idiocy", and here is the full context:
"That scene was absurd. There should be enough good stuff in this episode to countermand any fan induced tendency to defend idiocy. Stop it."
The ad hominem and haughtiness are clear, and you should not be telling anyone to "stop it" when they are simply expressing their positive opinion about a scene.
I continue to believe that when you are a top-ranking admiral, you can have a good chance of stealing any piece of military hardware you set out to, as long as you have some loyal, high-placed confederates (which is easy to imagine being true). In many instances, high-ranking military officers have pulled off coups to take over an entire country. Stealing and running off with one piece of hardware, no matter how high its value, is a much easier task than successfully consolidating control of an entire country.
Sat, Jul 30, 2022, 9:19pm (UTC -5)
Sadly I expect the next episode to be the last in the series. It seems to be heading towards a natural close, and I'm pretty sure the final episode will end with Ed finding his daughter. But hey, it's been a ride and each season has improved over the previous one imo.
Sat, Jul 30, 2022, 10:40pm (UTC -5)
Sat, Jul 30, 2022, 5:48pm (UTC -5)
"I didn't put quotes around "fanboy". That was my characterization of what you were basically saying. I did put quotes around "idiocy", and here is the full context:
"That scene was absurd. There should be enough good stuff in this episode to countermand any fan induced tendency to defend idiocy. Stop it."
The ad hominem and haughtiness are clear, and you should not be telling anyone to "stop it" when they are simply expressing their positive opinion about a scene.
I continue to believe that when you are a top-ranking admiral, you can have a good chance of stealing any piece of military hardware you set out to, as long as you have some loyal, high-placed confederates (which is easy to imagine being true). In many instances, high-ranking military officers have pulled off coups to take over an entire country. Stealing and running off with one piece of hardware, no matter how high its value, is a much easier task than successfully consolidating control of an entire country."
But I didn't call you an idiot, or, claim your argument was "idiocy," or, attempt to build an entire case on the basis of you being an idiot, or, arguing "idiocy," so no, the ad hominem is NOT clear.
Bull$#. That's not the full context. You just deliberately for some odd reason cut the full context. The full context is this:
"I'm the last person to ever accuse the government of unwavering competence, but there's about a billion miles of real estate between the theft of top secret documents and blueprints for the bomb and high jacking Little Boy and Fat Man before they've even been deployed. That scene was absurd."
This is my argument. "That scene was absurd." is just a reiteration of what I've already argued elsewhere. Everything before that is an obvious common knowledge reference to the disparity between theft of documents, which has happened quite a few times in all major countries, and high jacking of critical war ending technology under high guard, which you have yet to provide even a single instance of. Notice the absence of an ad hominem claiming you are wrong/I'm right because you're such and such ad so and so. Notice also, I didn't claim YOU were absurd, or, YOUR arguments were absurd, or, even that your comparison was absurd. Just that the scene in the episode was absurd.
THIS is a separate 1) praise of the episode, 2) observation about fans generally. And 3) an admonishment to you to NOT be like those fans:
"There should be enough good stuff in this episode to countermand any fan induced tendency to defend idiocy. Stop it."
In other words, you don't have to do this. You don't have to succumb to the fan's tendency to defend every single iota of an episode because you think something you love is under siege. Only the specific idiocy in that otherwise pretty good episode is under attack. Just accept that and move on. That in fact should be even easier to do if you just rationally disagree.
So if that's not what you were doing, you should have no problem with my statement. "That's not what I was doing." should be the only needed reply. Nowhere in there do I argue any ad hominem about YOU being wrong in your arguments due to your character. This is not even a character issue. It's a simple mistake in judgement that ANY fan could possibly make and MANY fans often do.
You can continue to believe whatever you want to believe about haughtiness, which you yourself should look no further than your nearest mirror for, or the relative plausibility of stupid plot points. But pointing to the theft of classified documents and comparing that to the theft of the main WMD to be used in a critical war ending engagement is not a case you can successfully make without one helluva example.
Coups are not carried out by a single high ranking officer and a couple of cohorts. Not in a major country like America. Maybe you're thinking of something that happened in a banana republic somewhere. Even then I bet there was more to it than you might claim. Coups take coconspirators up the yin yang. And again this is not just a piece of hardware. This is Little Boy during WW2. You're not going to get away with taking that "piece of hardware" and flying it over to the Soviets. I don't give a damn who's involved.
Sun, Jul 31, 2022, 1:44am (UTC -5)
"But pointing to the theft of classified documents and comparing that to the theft of the main WMD to be used in a critical war ending engagement is not a case you can successfully make without one helluva example."
How about this example?
Guys, keep in mind that several studies have proven that people tend to perceive online communication as far more negative than it is often meant.
And Quincy there is one important difference between and A bomb and the superweapon in this episode. This superweapon is only dangerous to Kaylons but harmless to anybody else and one could certainly construe some kind of scenario in which Kaylons have appeared somewhere by surprise and that Admirals have some emergency powers in that case. Let's also not forget that when the US dropped the bomb the Japanese could not have attacked the US mainland and were no real threat anymore. Dropping the bomb was as Eisenhower said "completely unnecessary" while the Kaylon super weapon is the only thing keeping the Kaylon from wiping out humanity. So yeah, some kind of emergency powers in case of invasion seem warranted and considering that there is no risk for humans...
Sun, Jul 31, 2022, 3:36am (UTC -5)
More recently, Edward Snowden, also a young civilian, defected to Russia with thousands of top secret documents.
But let's imagine an alternate history of WWII, where Nazi Germany is winning the war. Truman uses the threat of atomic weapons to broker a ceasefire but does not go for the jugular, citing the Versailles treaty as having been too harsh. I can easily imagine Douglas MacArthur being able to get Little Boy and a crewed plane to go drop it on Berlin (giving it to the Soviets is less conceivable because as Booming pointed out there's a huge difference when the weapon is harmless to the people who developed it).
The rogue officer in "Doctor Strangelove" was only a colonel. You must HATE that movie.
Sun, Jul 31, 2022, 4:07am (UTC -5)
Sun, Jul 31, 2022, 4:26am (UTC -5)
Sun, Jul 31, 2022, 10:35am (UTC -5)
Sun, Jul 31, 2022, 10:58am (UTC -5)
Sun, Jul 31, 2022, 7:21pm (UTC -5)
I thought this was a really great episode. Charly isn’t Marlon Brando but she’s better than Lemarr at least. I really like how it seemed like Kaylon Prime changed his tune about biologicals in general so I don’t get the feeling this’ll be a fake-out. There were many elements in this episode that I highly enjoyed and gave me the good ol’ Star Trek values feeling.
3.5 stars here
Sun, Jul 31, 2022, 7:35pm (UTC -5)
I don't think the guy who plays Lamarr was originally an actor. He worked as a secretary in some building Seth visited, and the duo would frequently get into fun conversations. Seth then cast him on the show, and he's since been learning to act on the job.
Everyone's been complaining about Charly's acting, but her acting never bothered me. Indeed, I find that the show benefits from slightly hokey acting or line-reading. "Orville's" like a souped-up version of "Captain Proton" from "Voyager". It should be a little bit naive and overly-earnest.
Mon, Aug 1, 2022, 7:57am (UTC -5)
Essentially the destruction of that base is only _not_ a war crime because apparently no war was declared.
In this episode: the Union develop a weapon that can eradicate the Kaylon, who are a genocidal race bent on the destruction of Union, Moclan and Krill alike. A high-ranking Union offical then hands over the weapon to the Krill/Moclan, who are under threat from the Kaylon.
Without _any_ _actual_ evidence that the Krill/Moclan are _actually_ planning to eradicate the Kaylon (even though they are), the Union _sides_ with the Kaylon who are currently threatening the galaxy, and launch a surprise attack on a species that may well have been just trying to defend itself from the very species the Union was - up until one day ago - at war with, and has now suddenly allied itself with.
I mean, if the Krill had launched a surprise attack on the Union at the start of the episode when they were developing the weapon in the first place (and which its designers clearly thought could be expanded to wipe out all of Kaylon), would we have been cheering on when they destroyed an entire base in Union space and wiped out a _defending_ fleet that they weren't technically at war with?
That was a pretty terrible and rushed episode.
Mon, Aug 1, 2022, 10:09am (UTC -5)
So the Union were either faced with the possible genocide of a now helpless enemy that has already given their surrender on one side, and a hostile Krill/Moclon alliance on the other.
I look at it like this. If the Soviets in WW2 had not been content with German surrender but wanted to destroy the entire nation and it's possible, would the rest of the allies stand around doing nothing or be forced to engage the soviets.
Mon, Aug 1, 2022, 12:24pm (UTC -5)
Mon, Aug 1, 2022, 11:38pm (UTC -5)
Tue, Aug 2, 2022, 12:17am (UTC -5)
This episode should have shown us why Burke changes her mind. That is, it should have been a character drama like Conscience of the King or I, Borg or even Under the Pale Moonlight.
Instead we get two scenes of Burke, first pro genocide the second against and risking her ife - I guess because she saw Isaac not shoot somebody?
This is ridiculous.
When morons talk about woke, this is what they're talking about. You have a message and you care more about the message than the story and the characters.
I disagree with Jammers about the negotiations and politics and and the dialogue of should be genocide or not. That's not the point of these types of stories. We're not going to sit there and argue about the tech that the writers used to write the story and these societies. We talk about this because of character development and to say that we must maintain our principles. That's the goal to Make these interesting dramatic episodes.
Tue, Aug 2, 2022, 11:32am (UTC -5)
Sun, Jul 31, 2022, 1:44am (UTC -5)
That's true. But as you just pointed out there's a bigger difference. The Japanese were beaten. The Kaylons weren't. The Union just lost the Moclans. The Kaylons clearly had military superiority. The weapon was more crucial to the Union than the bomb was to the Allies. If they lose it they lose the war and everything else.
Would the average solider/officer even know what Eisenhower knew? I would imagine only the top brass knew anything about that. Given the importance of the bomb even in light of that, it's not going to be effortlessly stolen by a rogue general and two dudes. That's just not even feasible.
Now later on we've apparently had nukes go missing in peace time. Government is f'ing incompetent. That's what it is. But that didn't happen in the middle of the biggest war ever fought, certainly not with three well placed assholes crapping out top secret technology on demand.
Why even film the scene that way? There had to be metric $#!% loads of Union officers that wanted to send the Kaylons to the scrapyard. Wouldn't it make sense to show that? Did they spend so much money on the space battle that they didn't have enough left in the budget but for two extras?
There had to be better ways to do that. The Russians just lost one of their newest aircraft with a Chinese top secret targeting system or whatever to the Ukrainians, who shot it down with American tech (Or some sources say it was accidentally shot down by the Russians themselves due to miscommunication) and promptly turned over to British and American scientists. There was a hoopla all about it in the news a few months ago. When you have reality giving you believable scenarios why not use them?
Sun, Jul 31, 2022, 3:36am (UTC -5)
Never saw Dr. Strange Love. In any case, you're mischaracterizing my point.
Even if you don't think it's a stupid scene, how would my saying it is stupid be controversial? Did that strike you as the height of the episode? Were you expecting Admiral Ted Danson to get an Emmy for that crap? Did he hook you with his biting screen presence?
Tue, Aug 2, 2022, 12:33pm (UTC -5)
" Government is f'ing incompetent. That's what it is."
Who isn't incompetent?! I had to deal with three separate company f*ck ups today alone. No wonder they always want tax breaks. To quote Roddenberry:"People tell me 90% of television is crap. I tell them 90% of everything is crap."
Sorry, have no deeper point here, I'm just amazed about the amount of incompetence that is all around us.
"Why even film the scene that way?"
You Americans have a deep and long love affair with the military. I cannot remember a single movie or show where more than one admiral/general (of the good guys) goes rogue because if it's more than one, then that it is something else entirely. That would mean that the military is out of control and that's scary. When that happens, democracies are normally over. So it's always just one. Star Trek did it several times.
Isn't that odd, because in reality it's never just one. For example in the failed attempt on Hitlers life in 1944, 3 Field marshal (German version of a 5 star general) and 19 other Generals were involved. Even the coup against De Gaulle involved 4 Generals. The US right now has around 900 generals and admirals, a galactic union probably a few more, especially in war time. Oh well. It's a TV show.
"There had to be metric $#!% loads of Union officers that wanted to send the Kaylons to the scrapyard"
One would assume so and considering the threat Kaylons pose and in light of the wild twist and turns the Union leadership undertook...
Tue, Aug 2, 2022, 9:24pm (UTC -5)
Says the German. The same German who was giving an opinion earlier today on how America should have dealt with Japan in WW2. The same German who recently explained to a Jewish commenter about what anti-Semitism REALLY is.
Look, if I need to know the proper time and temperature to cook a Jew I'll ask a German. If I have any questions about morality, politics, or (lol) World War strategies I'm pretty sure you guys aren't at the top of my list.
Tue, Aug 2, 2022, 11:59pm (UTC -5)
Wed, Aug 3, 2022, 1:00am (UTC -5)
You find my statement controversial??
Americas love affair(+ why the US democracy is in deep trouble)
" The same German who was giving an opinion earlier today on how America should have dealt with Japan in WW2."
I did?? I just pointed out what Eisenhower thought about the bomb. I'm not Eisenhower. The name is quite funny. It's a German word (at least phonetically) meaning Iron beater.
"The same German who recently explained to a Jewish commenter about what anti-Semitism REALLY is."
When did I do that?
What are you my biographer??
"Look, if I need to know the proper time and temperature to cook a Jew I'll ask a German."
Weird, so very very weird.
"If I have any questions about morality, politics, or (lol) World War strategies I'm pretty sure you guys aren't at the top of my list. "
Sweetheart, you do you. :)
Wed, Aug 3, 2022, 3:22am (UTC -5)
Speaking of Germany and World War II, has anyone else read the Orville novella that comes right before this episode in continuity? There was a reference to Nazi Germany in this episode as well.
Wed, Aug 3, 2022, 3:50am (UTC -5)
"Especially since both in 1917 and 1941, America was pretty well demilitarized"
Maybe read a little less french poetry and a little more history.
1. The US had the third biggest fleet in 1914 and the second biggest in 1941 (and the fifth biggest air force).
2. The US is a militaristic society. No democracy besides Israel spends more on the military percentage-wise.
3. You support for the vile transphobes in the other thread crossed a line. The words you are reading just now are the last I will ever address at you.
Wed, Aug 3, 2022, 7:29am (UTC -5)
Somehow, some way, I must soldier on.
Sat, Aug 6, 2022, 11:55pm (UTC -5)
Mon, Aug 8, 2022, 8:58pm (UTC -5)
Maybe they went a little overboard on cleaners and disinfectants while prepping that scene to shoot?
You think those were Anne Winters favorite flowers in real life that they used?
What were they?
A. Listened to
C. Did both
Sure hope there is a Fourth Season on...
Wed, Aug 10, 2022, 4:20am (UTC -5)
"Until recently, the scholarly consensus had been that this phenomenon was isolated to perhaps a couple of hundred films. In the past five years, however, my small group of researchers has acquired 30,000 pages of internal Defense Department documents through Freedom of Information Act requests and newly available archives at Georgetown University, which show that the Pentagon and the Central Intelligence Agency have exercised direct editorial control over more than 2,500 films and television shows. "
The price for freedom?
Wed, Aug 10, 2022, 4:31am (UTC -5)
My point is that militarism is always very dangerous for democracies. Be vigilant.
Fri, Aug 12, 2022, 2:28pm (UTC -5)
As in star wars the dogfight, how impressive it is, still becomes booring.
But I enjoyed the episode and again a very good handling if a difficult theme. It is for me totally understanable that ensign Burke sacrificed herself for something greater then herself. Her heart might have said kill the Kaylons but her head saw somthing bigger in saving them.
@Lawrence Bullock, they still need some eyliner for Keyali and Grayson don't they?
Tue, Aug 16, 2022, 8:55pm (UTC -5)
I know very little about contemporary Germany, but I do know my country--we love our guns, and the people who shoot them for us. Some of the only things we like better than our military in the US are our false dichotomies, our rampant whataboutism, and our need to put things into neat binary categories. So we end up with "we might have some guns now but whatabout Germany 80 years ago--because Germany did World Warring, obviously we aren't militaristic at all."
In fact, let me take this opportunity to veer this tangent back towards the subject matter, starting by borrowing Vonnegut's words:
"One of the great American tragedies is to have participated in a just war. It's been possible for politicians and movie-makers to encourage us we're always good guys. The Second World War absolutely had to be fought. I wouldn't have missed it for the world. But we never talk about the people we kill. This is never spoken of."
It's interesting that this particular digression danced around the central theme of the (first half of the) episode: the use of WMDs, and the justification thereof. Because despite what any other country may have done, the fact remains that only two nuclear weapons have ever been used in anger--one over Hiroshima, and one over Nagasaki. I was brought up "knowing" that those were "just" detonations--that it didn't matter how many civilians died or what damage was wrought, because they were the bad guys and they attacked us first and we were just trying to end a conflict that we didn't even want to be involved in in the first place.
It seems like the Union does not consider itself a "militaristic" society, especially when they're saying that "It's a fundamental tenet of Union philosophy that we don't kill unless we have to." But the Union Fleet has thousands of ships, presumably all armed. I'm sure they don't call them warships. But they're at war, and those are the ships, so...
How would the Union history books have recorded it, do you suppose, had they instead voted to use the weapon and eradicate the Kaylon from existence? It sounded like they would have been written with a familiar theme: they were the bad guys and they attacked us first and we were just trying to end a conflict that we didn't even want to be involved in in the first place.
Even the uses of the Kaylon-smashing weapon echoed what I've been taught about Fat Man and Little Boy, and why we dropped the bomb over not one, but two cities. The first time is to show the enemy that you *can* do it. Then the second time is to show them that you can *keep* doing it. Taking out a Kaylon fleet once could have been a fluke. Doing it again is what made its power concrete enough that it could then function as a deterrent.
Would nuclear weapons have functioned as deterrents, both in the moment that was WWII and through the many years after, if they had never been used? How many lives have been saved since then, thanks to the deterrent value of nuclear weapons? And does that make it "ok" to have killed hundreds of thousands of civilians to prove the point?
Maybe. But at the very least, we need to talk about the people we kill. And bringing me full circle: as a Jewish person, one of the small number of things that I *do* know about contemporary Germany is that their example in that area is one from which the US could learn a lot.
Wed, Aug 17, 2022, 6:09am (UTC -5)
"we love our guns, and the people who shoot them for us." Yeah, it's one of those things that nobody in Europe understands. In Germany the fire arms death per 100k is 0.99, in the US it's 12.21. School shootings and all this just doesn't happen here. So when you hear stuff like this, most just shrug now.
"because they were the bad guys and they attacked us first and we were just trying to end a conflict that we didn't even want to be involved in in the first place."
That still seems to be the dominant view.
"It's a fundamental tenet of Union philosophy that we don't kill unless we have to."
You never "have to" kill anybody, it's always a decision one makes. The question is really about how good the justification is. Of course the Orville goes for the American style version. The enemy is just evil and all methods are therefore allowed. The Kaylon want to take over the galaxy because they are racist. It's so cookie cutter simplistic that it makes all decisions the Union takes border on militaristic propaganda. We have to murder them on mass because they would murder us all and they go for the most timid version. They don't use their bomb against a city which would maybe pose some interesting quesions, no, it's used against a fleet, so a direct threat. Hiroshima would have been comparable if the US had dropped the bomb on an unstoppable fleet heading towards the west coast. I think that whole Kaylon WMD story is pretty bad and contrived. What lesson is that supposed to convey? If somebody wants to murder you, murder that person??? Well, thank you Seth. What a unique idea. Of course, then they barf up the cake to have it by constructing this whole "we threaten you with complete destruction, do you want peace?" and all the other nonsense that followed. Kumbaya my bomb. Kumbaya.
"they were the bad guys and they attacked us first and we were just trying to end a conflict that we didn't even want to be involved in in the first place."
History is written by the victors... and anybody thinks that they are part of the good guys and if you are the good guys and the other side is evil then all is forgiven or justified.
" The first time is to show the enemy that you *can* do it. Then the second time is to show them that you can *keep* doing it."
The US was wiping out Japanese cities almost on a daily basis. The bombing of Tokyo in 1945 killed more people than the Hiroshima bombing.
Most people in the US still think it was justified
Here is a very long video going through it in detail.
"How many lives have been saved since then, thanks to the deterrent value of nuclear weapons? And does that make it "ok" to have killed hundreds of thousands of civilians to prove the point?"
The first question is hypothetical of course but there is certainly an argument about it keeping the US and the USSR from direct warfare but both superpowers were involved in many wars that caused many million death and I really fear what happens if Putin has a stroke and those 6000 nuclear warheads fall into the wrong hands and the USA also seem far less stable recently. Those weapons could still end humanity.
The second question is easier. Bombing a city full of civilians is a war crime. So you really have to ask yourself if you think that sometimes war crimes are ok or if they are always wrong.
"as a Jewish person, one of the small number of things that I *do* know about contemporary Germany is that their example in that area is one from which the US could learn a lot."
But I doubt they will. Doubt and feeling bad about bombing other countries is no way to run a global hegemony.
Wed, Aug 17, 2022, 2:48pm (UTC -5)
1. Seth portrayed the Kaylon as “just evil”, with any and all methods to stop them justifiable. This was the opinion of some characters, as you might expect. But others angrily disagreed, with Seth's character being among them—not to mention the Union Council, and the top military brass aside from Ted Danson. Did you not finish watching the show?
2. Putin having a stroke would be what's needed for Russia's nuclear arsenal to fall into the “wrong hands”, implying that his hands are the “right” ones. WTF?!? We would be in less danger of nuclear war with any other conceivable Russian leader.
Sun, Aug 21, 2022, 8:50pm (UTC -5)
Of course Charlie supported genocide. She was so easily convinced that it was justified.
Of course the Krill and the Moclans would form an alliance. They were both repulsed by human morality.
Sorry Charlie. Never liked her anyway. I'm not going to miss her.
Looks like Kelly doesn't understand emotionless androids. Cussing at the leader literally had no impact on his grasping Charlie's sacrifice. It was merely the logistics that he understood. I guess it made her feel better.
Good to see Ted Danson on the show. Too bad it was short lived.
Sun, Aug 21, 2022, 8:53pm (UTC -5)
Mon, Aug 22, 2022, 2:19am (UTC -5)
Of course they did. When Moclans wanted to leave their repressive society, the Moclan state undertook measures to enforce their social norms even outside of their territory.
Wed, Aug 24, 2022, 9:27pm (UTC -5)
That said, I don't think there's anything wrong with the PU (which is not just humans: its president is clearly nonhuman) trying to "force" its morality on one of its members.
Sun, Oct 23, 2022, 12:26am (UTC -5)
Sun, Oct 23, 2022, 12:52am (UTC -5)
Tue, Nov 22, 2022, 3:17am (UTC -5)
The weapon came out of nowhere which seems to indicTe its idea was also new for the writers. A real macguffin. The aerial jump also was just way over the top superhero crap. The sacrifice also contrived. Just as Data's dead actually.
A lot of copy paste action and music ideas from the famous movies and dubious tactics.
Well still a fun watch.
Fri, Dec 16, 2022, 8:27am (UTC -5)
With the help of Ensign Burke, Isaac has fashioned an incredibly powerful weapon--”Little Boy” as above commenter @Quincy aptly named it--that the Union should not hesitate to deploy to its full extent. But sure enough, the hand-wringing starts, beginning with naive Captain Ed Mercer. The word “genocide” is even laughably thrown around (this word has lost so much of its power lately, especially when we have transgendered activists accusing “de-transitioners” of bigotry and, yes, genocide, by deciding to “revert” back to how they were). In the case here, genocide doesn’t apply, for the same reason that slavery didn’t apply to the Kaylon situation in “From Unknown Graves.” Genocide is defined as “the deliberate killing of a large number of people from a particular nation or ethnic group.” And there’s the rub, right there. The Kaylon AI’s are not people. They are automatons. They are fancy Alexas that can walk, absorb information in seconds, and kill people. Admiral That’s-an-Order says it best: “Is it really genocide?”
Because of this haphazard thinking, the Union basically declares war on the Moclans and Krill. All they had to do was nuke the Kaylon ovens and go on with their daily lives. But then this happens in short order: Admiral Malone, who wants none of this moralizing crap (and I don’t blame him), steals the weapon and gives it to the Krill, because he knows the Krill actually have common sense. (Jammer, you’re mistaken. He can’t just take a bunch of like-minded officers and use the weapon himself, because the only ones who know how it works are Isaac and Burke. He and his compatriots don’t have time or even the skill-sets to even begin to reverse engineer Little Boy themselves because this is only a 90-minute episode and it has to be deployed NOW, so he leaves it to the Moclan scientists who have the necessary skills in weaponry and bigotry to destroy the Kaylon a lot faster). With the weapon delivered, Malone leaves. But then naturally, simply because Teleya is EEEEE-EEEE-EEEEEVIL as Jammer points out above, she promptly obliterates the departing ship before it can send out a “Mayday,” and sends bygone Admiral Sam Malone to that big dive bar in the sky where everybody knows his name.
So does the Union resign themselves to reality, sit back and watch as the Krill-Moclan alliance saves all their asses for them? Why no, of course not! Instead they commit war crimes, attacking the sovereign Moclan installation that is housing the weapon. Instead of a Kaylon threat, they are now faced with a threat on two fronts. Gee, I wonder what the Jelosi leaders (“From Unknown Graves”) had to say about this plan (Oh, that’s right--that partnership fell through because Admiral Titanic and Captain Mercer are Cis White Males). See what sanctimonious moralizing gets you? And all over a bunch of walking talking Toasters.
Okay, maybe the Union has a face-saving out here. After all, Little Boy is now in the hands of the Krill-Moclan alliance. Yes, I get that no one is vulnerable to it except for the Kaylon. But when you think about it, it’s still little more than a powerful release of massive energy. I’m sure that with enough time and skill, the Moclans can figure out how to turn it into a weapon that can also be used on plain old Union ships as well. And again, because Teleya is an evil practitioner of evil who skulks around the galaxy evilly doing evil things for the sake of evil, and a fascist bitch, she’ll be coming for the Union just as soon as she can with her shiny new toy. So screw “saving the Kaylon” as a motivation. Destroying the weapon for the Union’s own benefit is probably a good idea.
“Domino” was entertaining, but Jammer has a good point. The shifting alliances and sudden reversals of fortune almost give the viewer whiplash. Clearly The Orville has to wrap up everything quickly with only one episode left, but this oversimplified, overstuffed plot was almost like what you would expect to see in some sort of fanfiction offering written by an impatient, frenetic twelve-year-old.
There are lots of great highlights in “Domino," however. I loved the first scene with Teleya and the Moclan ambassador who brought his “balls” with him to that fateful meeting. Michaela McManus was at her best. I want a spinoff show with Teleya as the lead character, pronto.
The quiet cabin scene was a joy to behold. Malloy’s and Burke’s cover of Simon & Garfunkel’s “Flowers Never Bend with the Rainfall” was beautiful and moving. I loved the little touch of Topa finally playing with other kids (Ty and Marcus). The banter between Grayson and Finn was delightful. But the best part was Bortus and Klyden fighting again. It was like a warm blanket on a dreary cold day--I hadn’t realized how much I missed their entertaining arguments.
Burke’s sacrifice was actually pretty badass (“I’m here, Amanda” was a boffo exit line, too). I disagree with a lot of you above commenters who disliked this character and/or Anne Winters’ acting. For me, Burke has always been a character after my own heart. I adored her hatred for Isaac, her sarcastic glares, her playful demeanor while off-duty, and even her moments of quiet contemplation. Winters actually showed off quite a range of talent, especially in “Electric Sheep” and “Twice in a Lifetime.” Plus she’s just cute as a button. I was sad to see her go, but the way she went out? Again, badass.
The Star Wars battles actually went on a bit too long, almost as if it was The Orville crew's sworn duty to spend every last penny of the budget before their cancellation (actually, this is probably the exact truth). Still, it was eye candy for sure. They did a great job.
Grayson and Teleya's showdown? Priceless. I'm always up for a good catfight.
Isaac’s eulogy for Burke was genuinely moving, especially the point about Burke’s love of pancakes (with butter but without berries or syrup) being really the only thing Isaac could say about what its program knew about her life (although she did tell Isaac about her love for Amanda). It gave me a lump in my throat. And I mean, why wouldn’t it be moving? AI’s, even now, are becoming adept at drafting legal briefs, composing music, creating digital art and even writing screenplays. I can believe completely that Isaac is capable of stringing words together in such a way as to evoke strong emotions in those assembled for a funeral. And that’s all I have to say on this point, other than Mark Jackson’s performance was absolutely perfect.
Sentient AI’s. Pfffft!
Kaylon Primary -- “Given your evident incompetence, we may be better served to retrieve the weapon on our own.”
Burke -- “Works for me.”
My Grade: B
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