TL;DR – A much more mature
episode that we have seen in the past looking at the fallout of war and what
that does to people
Score – 4 out of 5 stars
“War is hell” it is one of those phrases that gets thrown around all the time by people trying to sound profound, without a real understanding of what that phrase actually means. War means making difficult decisions, one that haunts you at night, ones where there is not clear right option, and ones where even if you are doing the right thing, it may have disastrous consequences. Today’s episode puts the crew in the middle of such a quandary where they have to weigh in the choice of saving a hero or protecting a peace.
So to set the scene, at the end of last week’s episode Identity Part 2, The Planetary Union barely fought off an invasion and only stopped it because the Krill, a mortal enemy, was convinced that there was a bigger threat at play. This week we start off with the news from Admiral Perry (Ted Danson) that after decades of trying the Krill are finally ready to start peace treaty negotiations. This is a big deal because the thought of peace after so many years of war is something everyone can feel. The Orville is sent to a neutral location to meet with a Krill ship to begin the opening prelude to maybe having a peace treaty. As they arrive, they give the Krill a bit of trust and approach with deflectors down only to discover that the Krill ship is firing on one of their own shuttles. The shuttle askes to land, and when it does the crew find Orrin (Mackenzie Astin) and his daughter Lana (Aily Kei) in the badly disabled ship with only basic survival rations left. The Krill demand that they return the man because he is a terrorist putting Ed (Seth MacFarlane) in a very difficult position. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.
TL;DR – We get what is not
only the best episode of The Orville but
one of the best episodes of Science Fiction I have seen.
Score – 5 out of 5 stars
Writing Science Fiction shows seems like it would be easy, I mean they are just westerns set in space, right? Alas, they are much more difficult than you think. You have to world build, but you can’t overwhelm the audience, every part of your universe has to have logical consistency, you need to fill that universe with interesting characters, and you need to always have in the back of your mind what future you want to present. Then, of course, you have to create stories that support every part of this. It is this alchemy that draws me to Science Fiction as a genre, and tonight we got to see an exemplar of a show doing it all.
So to set the scene, in last week’s episode Identity Part 1, just about everything we knew about The Orville got turned on its head. This is because Isaac’s (Mark Jackson) mission on the USS Orville was not about seeing if the Planetary Union was good enough for Kaylon to join, but to see if biological lifeforms were worth preserving at all. Well after some consideration the Kaylon’s decided no it wasn’t and that they should make way in their need to expand. This led to them boarding the Orville, killing many of the crew and taking the rest hostage, as the ship runs vanguard in front of an extermination fleet headed for Earth. In today’s episode we find out how, if at all possible, they can stop them, and the repercussions of such a brutal betrayal. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.
TL;DR – It explores what you would do in a First Contact situation
when everything is taken out of your hands.
Score – 4 out of 5 stars
First Contact is one of those big deal moments in Science Fiction, it can be a
moment of pure joy or a moment of devastation.
When you first put that call out into the universe you do not know who will
answer it and indeed, for those answering the call what will you find when you
make planetfall. Today we explore one
such scenario, with of course The Orville’s
unique spin on it.
So to set the scene, we open on the planet Regor 2 as the scientist and First
Prefect (John Rubinstein) send a simple message into the void asking if there
was anyone else out there. A couple of years later the crew of the USS Orville were doing another run, this
time picking up their new chief of security Talla Keyali (Jessica Szohr), and
discussing upcoming birthdays when they receive a faint message. Quickly
finding out that this is an unknown civilization the whole crew jump with the excitement of going on their first First Contact
mission. After some initial pleasantries,
everything was going fine until Kelly (Adrianne Palicki) mentions her upcoming birthday
and everything falls apart. Now we will be looking at the episode as a whole,
so there will be [SPOILERS]
TL;DR – In many respects, this is the most Star Trek-like episode
I have seen so far, but in that it feels just okay and that it is missing
Score – 3 out of 5 stars
This is a great time for Sci-fi for tonight I get a new episode of The Orville and Star Trek Discovery. All of this is made all the more interesting because tonight’s Orville feels more like an episode
of Star Trek than any so far this
season. This gives some characters the chance to shine, but it also feels a bit odd.
So to set the scene, the USS Orville
is once again being rerouted to a Starbase to help out rather than exploring,
something that is starting to get on everyone’s nerves. But for Ed (Seth
MacFarlane) it is all fine because he is using his love smile with Lt. Tyler (Michaela
McManus) and Kelly (Adrianne Palicki) can see it. Well, after much thought they
decide that it is time to make it public, always a big deal on a ship of this
size, and celebrate this by taking some shore leave. Time to get away, see the
sights, get harried by some Krill fighters, wait get harried by some Krill
fighters. Soon both Tyler and Ed are captured and Ed has to make a choice, will
he sit back and watch the love of his life get tortured, or will he give up
everything he believes in and hand over his command codes. Now from here on in,
we will be looking at the episode as a whole, and as such there will be [SPOILERS] ahead.
TL;DR – In Home, The Orville finally finds that balance between the absurd and the sincere
and creates one of their best episodes so far.
Score – 4 out of 5 stars
So far this season The Orville have continued on in its mission to highlight the juxtaposition between the absurd and the sincere. Now, this is something that you can completely do, but the show in both Season One and so far this season just couldn’t quite find that right balance. Well with Home I think they really are starting to head in that right direction and it doesn’t hurt when you throw in some great guest cast and beautiful art design help along the way.
TL;DR – With Primal Urges we
see how The Orville is not afraid to tackle really important issues, but that
it has yet to quite get that balance right
Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars
One of the issues facing the world today is porn addiction, free porn is literally
at most people’s fingertips if you have an internet connection and it can be devastating
to a relationship. The Orville looks at Porn Addiction in the context of a relationship
that has completely soured but there is still a child involved, which is a
situation that is very familiar in the world today.
TL;DR – This first episode was
all about us getting back into the groove with The Orville and its juxtaposition
of absurdity and sincerity, but not all of it works.
Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars
I finally got the chance to see Season One of The Orville early this year when it finally got a release down under, and I was struck by how funny and also how many serious issues it tackled. It was not just a Star Trek parody with the first officer and captain being exs, okay it is totally that, but it is also a beautiful sincere look at the work, with some fantastic characters and alien races. Now that Season Two is about to start, I am really interested to see how the show evolves going forward, and can it keep this interesting juxtaposition going.