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S02.E03: Home

Not a terribly descriptive blurb...

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Ed, Gordon and Alara visit Alara's home planet of Xelayah.

Airdate: Thursday, January 10, 2019

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WTH, Alara is leaving? I liked her. Isn't the actress dating Seth McFarlane? I hope she isn't leaving because of some kind of behind the scenes drama.

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Well, the first half was insanely boring, where the most interesting part was that Caroline from Vampire Diaries was guest starring. Second half was much, much better, should’ve spread the narrative out a bit better. Kind of surprised that Alara left? Really? She’s coming back, right? Because I really didn’t like her replacement.

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13 minutes ago, chitowngirl said:

It was strange not to have a “B” plot.

It reminds me of a final season episode of Deep Space Nine where Ezri Dax goes home to her family. That episode also had no B plot since the O'Brien plot was pretty integrated into the story.

It was slightly heavy handed at the end, but dueling Star Trek docs was fun to see.

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Wow, she’s my favorite character. I wasn’t expecting them to Tasha Yar her. I liked the episode but feeling sad she won’t be in the cast.

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My least favorite episode to date. Mean-spirited, no humor, a ham-handed reference to a current controversy AND we lost a good character.  This is the first time I kept looking at the clock to see how long it had left. 

Also, how obvious was it when they showed the clock on the pressure suit that it would end in a countdown with Ed saved at the last second? 

Edited by Superclam. Reason: I wrote "an ham."
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I actually thought it was well done and didn’t know Seth had it in him to do something like that.

Was the new security officer Patrick Warburton?

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I hated the story, but it was well done until Alara insisted her dad with the badly burned hand climb down to rescue Ed instead of either her mother or her sister.

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@HelenBaby it sounded like him.  That double esophagus thing is pretty gross. 

I didn’t recognize Dr Phlox almost until the end but it’s fun to spot the former Star Trek people.  

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Dammit Seth, you made me tear up again.  I wonder if there'll be other Star Trek docs in the future.  I wouldn't mind seeing Alexander Siddig again, sigh.  Billingsly has played so many psycho killers in his career, but it was fun to see the alien twist.

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2 minutes ago, shapeshifter said:

I hated the story, but it was well done until Alara insisted her dad with the badly burned hand climb down to rescue Ed instead of either her mother or her sister.

I know, right. It was so freaking sexist. Her mother and sister could have gotten over the banister and saved Ed much faster.

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2 minutes ago, SimoneS said:

I know, right. It was so freaking sexist. Her mother and sister could have gotten over the banister and saved Ed much faster.

Plus, Alara's sister was looking for some excitement.

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10 minutes ago, HelenBaby said:

Was the new security officer Patrick Warburton?

Yes, he was listed in the credits. I guess he'll be at least semi-regular from now on. Jason Alexander was also in the credits, but I didn't notice him if he was on. 

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Apparently, this wasn't a big ensemble episode

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Wait?  Alara is gone and she's been replaced by the every annoying office behavior dude?  I guess he could end up like one of the other side characters with the character they introduced in the pilot being the new main character.

Loved seeing Jason Alexander as the Bartender again.

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It wasn't spelled the same, but was the Mellara vaccine a deliberate easter egg to the DS9 episode "Melora" which was about a Starfleet officer who grew up on a low gravity planet. She used braces and a hoverchair to get around.

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Noooooooo!!! Alara was my favourite character. How could they do this to me? 

I like Pat Warburton, he was the NASA rep in The Dish with Sam Neill. But that was years ago. 

Edited by spottedreptile.
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I thought there was a reason why she told her father to do it:  earlier, in her confrontation  with her father, she said he had always treated her as someone who was “challenged,” that he had never said “You can do it.”  He’d never shown any confidence in her, had never encouraged her  

 

And that’s what she gave him in that scene. In fact, that’s exactly what she said. “You can do this,” giving him what he had never given her and making him see what encouragement could do. 

Edited by Lemuria.
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The first 40 minutes were very slow and mostly uninteresting. One of those side stories about a character that Trek did that were fine I suppose but whatever. 

Picardo really did look like an alien. Nice job, make up people. 

It was nice to see an attempt to create a world. The reason Alara went back was pretty weak. She always had family. They didn’t hate her. They didn’t understand her but they were there. Now they respect her choice and that’s a reason to give up all she has? No.

Edited by Ottis.
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It's interesting to me the way the Orville swings by crew members' home planets so they can deal with personal issues. On Earth I can't see any work group doing that or even their employees expecting them to.

So, Alara is out and Puddy is in. Okay. They gave her a nice sendoff though.

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I really want to know why Alara is off the show. Doesnt make sense to me get rid of one of the best characters unless there was some BTS crap going on. Is there data that Alara wasnt that popular of a character or something? dont get why shes replaced with Joe Swanson. 

Edited by jay741982.
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No wonder Alara joined the Orville with parents as judgmental as hers. At least her sister seemed supportive. Her father realized he was wrong in the end, but it's sad that it took almost being killed by those "neighbors" for him to see Alara's worth. 

Shout out to the special effects team as always, because Xelaya really does look like a beautiful planet. And that animal, the ebax (?) looked really cool.

Alara's departure with the crew saying goodbye was well-done, with just the music playing instead of dialogue. It seemed, to me at least, like it wasn't just the characters who were emotional at her leaving, but the cast as well. I don't know the exact reason HS is leaving (I read she was filming a movie?) so it's hopefully amicable. And it's open-ended enough that she could always return in the future.

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On January 10, 2019 at 9:53 PM, Lemuria said:

I thought there was a reason why she told her father to do it:  earlier, in her confrontation  with her father, she said he had always treated her as someone who was “challenged,” that he had never said “You can do it.”  He’d never shown any confidence in her, had never encouraged her  

 

And that’s what she gave him in that scene. In fact, that’s exactly what she said. “You can do this,” giving him what he had never given her and making him see what encouragement could do. 

 

Yes, that's why they had him do it. But then they shouldn't have had him burn his hand (making it harder to climb and likely causing Ed's 2 broken legs) unless her sister and mother were even more incapacitated. I hate to use the L word, but this really is Lazy writing.
And even if he hadn't burned his hand, why not send her more youthful older sister (who wanted adventure)?
This could have all been avoided if there was a throwaway line about some Xelayan taboo against women touching unrelated males.

 

 

On January 10, 2019 at 10:21 PM, jay741982 said:

I really want to know why Alara is off the show. Doesnt make sense to me get rid of one of the best characters unless there was some BTS crap going on. Is there data that Alara wasnt that popular of a character or something dont get why shes replaced with Joe

That^^ too. This article suggests it's a "scheduling problem" and lists some other projects she's doing. If Seth wants to be supportive of her career, it would make sense that he'd make it easier for her to do other projects and leave the door open for her return to The Orville.

ETA: And I suppose this script might have have been crafted with an eye towards giving Sage a meaty dramatic clip for her résumé—which I'm fine with, so long as the graphic violence wasn't added to up the stakes in her scene, because that's kind of dissing her acting abilities, IMO, such as they are.

Edited by shapeshifter.
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16 minutes ago, shapeshifter said:

Yes, that's why they had him do it. But then they shouldn't have had him burn his hand (making it harder to climb and likely causing Ed's 2 broken legs) unless her sister and mother were even more incapacitated. I hate to use the L word, but this really is Lazy writing.
And even if he hadn't burned his hand, why not send her more youthful older sister (who wanted adventure)?
This could have all been avoided if there was a throwaway line about some Xelayan taboo against women touching unrelated males.

 

 

That^^ too. This article suggests it's a "scheduling problem" and lists some other projects she's doing. If Seth wants to be supportive of her career, it would make sense that he'd make it easier for her to do other projects and leave the door open for her return to The Orville.

Ok that makes sense if true. Of course the article suggests that Seth and Her may not have dated but I dont think that's relevant to the show. Interesting about her replacement. Hope Alara comes back

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Really good episode once again and this show continues to do small stories very well.  I loved the special effects on Xelaya.  Very cool seeing the doctors from Star Trek Voyager and Star Trek Enterprise as the guest stars.

I'm sorry to see Alara go as well and hope that the character returns.  Always glad to see Patrick  Warburton.  

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Nooooo! I love Alara. Now that I know even more about her, she leaves?? Please, please don't let the gross double esophagus guy be her permanent replacement. We already have smartasses aplenty on the bridge. Plus, the cast is now in dire need of more females. It's now a two to one ratio of men to women (counting the robot as a man, and Bortus.)

I loved seeing Xalaya. Too often scifi shows portray other planets as gritty, dark and ugly. The episode was a tad slow in the beginning, but solid overall, and unexpectedly touching. I also got  kick out of the two Star Trek doctors battling it out. 

Edited by Andromeda.
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2 hours ago, Andromeda said:

We already have smartasses aplenty on the bridge. Plus, the cast is now in dire need of more females. It's now a two to one ratio of men to women

I tend to agree, but if the actual screen time of women and men is equal, it won't be too bad. Plus, who was the new female character they introduced right after the hiatus?

 

2 hours ago, Andromeda said:

I loved seeing Xalaya. Too often scifi shows portray other planets as gritty, dark and ugly.

More often like Vancouver Island. I wasn't too impressed except with the CGI creature. I thought they must be oohing and aahing about the palatial homes (in Vancouver), which seemed a bit shallow.

 

2 hours ago, Andromeda said:

I also got  kick out of the two Star Trek doctors battling it out. 

I hated the actual and threat of mutulation (even with the knowledge that 25th century medicine makes it moot--which, hey, BTW, why fret over a few fingers that can be instantly and perfectly grown back?).

And having them both there was a little confusing.

Edited by shapeshifter.
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8 hours ago, Superclam said:

Yes, he was listed in the credits. I guess he'll be at least semi-regular from now on. Jason Alexander was also in the credits, but I didn't notice him if he was on. 

He was the bartender who was collecting bets and officiating the arm wrestling scene.

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I’m not sure that I felt her reconciliation with her father would mean a warm and close family life. i think she should have taken it and run before he starts on the next thing. 

But the actress was moving on, I get that. 

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So many Star Trek actors.

was that Caroline from Vampire Diaries?

Did Seth break up with his girl friend?

i liked the episode but having Alara leave at the end was depressing 

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I was underwhelmed by this ep. I hope we aren't trading Alara for that quasi-stoner alien.

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10 hours ago, Superclam said:

My least favorite episode to date. Mean-spirited, no humor, an ham-handed reference to a current controversy AND we lost a good character.  This is the first time I kept looking at the clock to see how long it had left. 

Agreed. No B plot meant a very long and boring episode, at least to me. And it was a bit of a bummer when Halston Sage left the show (for whatever reason). I find her, by far, the hottest member of the cast (and the second most interesting).

9 hours ago, Joimiaroxeu said:

It's interesting to me the way the Orville swings by crew members' home planets so they can deal with personal issues. On Earth I can't see any work group doing that or even their employees expecting them to.

So true. They mentioned several times in this episode how the Orville is a military vessel. Not too many military vessels take side trips to make sure one of the crew doesn't get 20% weaker or for the third officer to take a pee.

Then again, maybe they just didn't have anything to do and the Captain gets wide, WIDE latitude on where the ship goes.

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On 1/11/2019 at 6:44 AM, Jack Kerouac said:

So true. They mentioned several times in this episode how the Orville is a military vessel. Not too many military vessels take side trips to make sure one of the crew doesn't get 20% weaker or for the third officer to take a pee.

Then again, maybe they just didn't have anything to do and the Captain gets wide, WIDE latitude on where the ship goes.

As I recall, though, the Orville's primary purpose is space exploration and humanitarian missions. The Union isn't currently at war, the Orville isn't a flagship like the Enterprise, and it only engages the Krill when absolutely necessary to defend itself or when it has specifically been ordered to assist in a covert operation against them (as was the case in "Krill"). So I could see the Union readily approving such side trips as needed if there were no more pressing matters for the ship to attend to.

Edited by legaleagle53.
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For a comedy, there was nothing very humorous in this episode. The entire thing felt like a very special episode to bid farewell to Alara. 
Alara's horse riding daydream was weird - but the whole episode felt like a tribute to Alara. 
The drawn out good-bye with the main crew/cast seemed to indicate that the character was really leaving. 

It seemed very odd that a starship would deliver a crew member directly to the front yard of her family's house. Not a medical facility? Not a Union base?
And it seemed as if Alara  was going to sit there while her family was tortured. Only Ed's arrival interrupted the hostage situation. I thought that Alara was going to demonstrate that her security training used both brains and brawn, but no, it came down to fighting and shooting people. Orville continues to defy my expectations - so, yay?

Edited by shrewd.buddha.
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I am not also not thrilled that a female cast member is being replaced by a male one. The cast is already dominated by men. 

Disappointing episode all around.

Edited by SimoneS.
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7 minutes ago, shrewd.buddha said:

For a comedy, there was nothing very humorous in this episode. The entire thing felt like a very special episode to bid farewell to Alara. 

Agree, that it was. Which doesn't really fit the show's niche. I'm pretty much over the fact that Orville is a modern version of TNG, for the most part, and not a series of fart jokes as I first expected. But it still dips into Family Guy waters every episode, and usually it is good for a few laughs. Except this one.

9 minutes ago, shrewd.buddha said:

Alara's horse riding daydream was weird -

What the hell was that? I thought it was a commercial, then I thought it was going to end comically, and then ... it was over. Does the actress like horses?

11 minutes ago, shrewd.buddha said:

I thought that Alara was going to demonstrate that her security training used both brains and brawn, but no, it came down to fighting and shooting people.

This may have been my biggest disappointment. Why go to all the trouble of showing how Alara can't move much for 45 minutes, then when the captain is in danger  - poof! She's healed! It would have made much more sense for her to outsmart the bad guys. Out reason them. Out logic them. Show her training and her intelligence. THAT is something her dad could have been proud of.

And really, if she is into the captain THAT much, why then bail on Orville? This is the sloppiness of the writing that crops up most episodes. 

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5 minutes ago, SimoneS said:

I am not also not thrilled that a female cast member is being replaced by a male one. The cast is already dominated by men. 

Disappointing episode all around.

Word is a new Female cast member is coming. Actress Jessica Szohr. It LOOKS LIKE shes Alara's replacement at least for now the character is gonna have Alara's Job And quite possibly be from the same planet as Alara 

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11 minutes ago, jay741982 said:

Word is a new Female cast member is coming. Actress Jessica Szohr. It LOOKS LIKE shes Alara's replacement at least for now the character is gonna have Alara's Job And quite possibly be from the same planet as Alara 

I am glad to hear this. 

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I enjoyed the hell out of this episode. That scene in Alara's bedroom between her and her father was the best piece of acting I've seen out the character, IMHO.

I also like seeing two Star Trek doctor's as the guest stars. John Billingsly plays psycho very well. With what we've seen of how things don't necessarily get tied up in a neat bow on the show, I was expecting that they would actually go and lop one of Alara's sister's fingers off. Glad they didn't, but wouldn't have surprised me if they did.

Loved the gift Alara left for Ed. Definitely got a chuckle out of me.

Sad to see Halston Sage leave, but at least her character got a nice send-off and leaves the door open for her easily to return. I don't see Patrick Warburton listed in the cast credits on IMDB for upcoming episodes, so the character may have been a one-off. Looks like Jessica Szohr's character will be coming in episode five on January 24. They don't list a character name for her yet.

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This is killing me. Thanks to a pissing match between Tribune Broadcasting (who owns the local CBS and Fox channels) and Spectrum cable company, we have been blocked from receiving these channels since about the first of the year. I was looking forward to this season of this show but guess I will have to resort to buying an antenna or some other method.

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1 hour ago, Ottis said:

I'm pretty much over the fact that Orville is a modern version of TNG, for the most part, and not a series of fart jokes as I first expected. But it still dips into Family Guy waters every episode, and usually it is good for a few laughs. Except this one.

Maybe they thought the Dual Esophagus guy was supposed to get all the laughs in this episode? Answer: no. It didn't help that they used most of his material in the promos for the show so that by the time he actually appeared, we'd already heard the punchline about a dozen times.

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I thought it was a really good episode. Yes, it was odd - they haven't done an episode that focuses almost exclusively on just one character before, but I found the story compelling enough because I like the character. And I hadn't read anything about Alara leaving so that surprised me at the end. My one quibble would be that it seemed Alara's decision was a bit hasty and emotionally driven. She's going to give up the only thing that she ever loved and gave her a sense of worth just because her dad suddenly had a "come to Jesus" moment. She will still be regarded as intellectually challenged on a planet hostile to what she did for a living. (And for what it's worth, the other Xelayans weren't noticeably smarter than her. Maybe their test scores are better or something but there's nothing distinctively different about them in that regard.) There's nothing to say her father won't continue to treat her like an inferior even if he's grateful for what she did.

I didn't recognize Patrick Warburton's voice but I did get a kick out all of his bro-dude speak. 

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39 minutes ago, iMonrey said:

I thought it was a really good episode. Yes, it was odd - they haven't done an episode that focuses almost exclusively on just one character before, but I found the story compelling enough because I like the character. And I hadn't read anything about Alara leaving so that surprised me at the end. My one quibble would be that it seemed Alara's decision was a bit hasty and emotionally driven. She's going to give up the only thing that she ever loved and gave her a sense of worth just because her dad suddenly had a "come to Jesus" moment. She will still be regarded as intellectually challenged on a planet hostile to what she did for a living. (And for what it's worth, the other Xelayans weren't noticeably smarter than her. Maybe their test scores are better or something but there's nothing distinctively different about them in that regard.) There's nothing to say her father won't continue to treat her like an inferior even if he's grateful for what she did.

I didn't recognize Patrick Warburton's voice but I did get a kick out all of his bro-dude speak. 

Yeah, I thought Alara's decision was rushed to and even her dad's change of heart.

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Sad to see Alara go.

If I could have tweaked the episode, I would have potentially done a few things:

1. Combine the Alara sister/Alara mom characters into one. Felt to me like neither really had all that much to do.

2. Combine Evil Phlox and wife into one character. Same sort of thing, plus it's harder to buy that two people could become that unhinged about the suicide.

3. Make Evil Phlox's motive straight up making Papa Alara feel pain. It seems to me that even as crazy as Evil Phlox was, it's tough to think that getting Papa Alara to disclaim his takedown of Junior's vaccine research and then killing him would result in vindication for Junior.

4. Had all of Alara's family leave the upstairs room. Not just because it made more sense to have the healthier family members also try to help Ed but also it made sense to flee Evil Phlox.

A few nitpicks:

Seems Xelayans knew about the potential for Alara's weakening in non-Xelayah gravity and so Alara should have been dealing with it well before it manifested in this episode.

Why would Ed and Gordon only take one anti-grav suit instead of two?

Why didn't Gordon call local authorities to help? Presumably a Xelayan cop could get there well before 3 minutes and help.

I would have thought that Gordon could have moved the ship or the anti-grav field it generated to help Ed.

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18 hours ago, Lemuria said:

I thought there was a reason why she told her father to do it:  earlier, in her confrontation  with her father, she said he had always treated her as someone who was “challenged,” that he had never said “You can do it.”  He’d never shown any confidence in her, had never encouraged her  

 

And that’s what she gave him in that scene. In fact, that’s exactly what she said. “You can do this,” giving him what he had never given her and making him see what encouragement could do. 

That's a plot driven storyline. The plot says Alara has to be the smart one and the encouraging one and Picardo's character has to be on the receiving end. If it were character driven, it would be a plot based on who the characters were.

 

18 hours ago, Ottis said:

The first 40 minutes were very slow and mostly uninteresting. One of those side stories about a character that Trek did that were fine I suppose but whatever. 

Picardo really did look like an alien. Nice job, make up people. 

It was nice to see an attempt to create a world. The reason Alara went back was pretty weak. She always had family. They didn’t hate her. They didn’t understand her but they were there. Now they respect her choice and that’s a reason to give up all she has? No.

It seems like Alara left her planet because she was considered "slow" and not very strong. Now she has the chance to not only connect with her family, but also work in security without being dismissed by her parents. It's more like "Our daughter Alara is head of Interplanetary Security at the Embassy. She even saved our lives from a killer."

 

18 hours ago, shapeshifter said:

Yes, that's why they had him do it. But then they shouldn't have had him burn his hand (making it harder to climb and likely causing Ed's 2 broken legs) unless her sister and mother were even more incapacitated. I hate to use the L word, but this really is Lazy writing.
And even if he hadn't burned his hand, why not send her more youthful older sister (who wanted adventure)?
This could have all been avoided if there was a throwaway line about some Xelayan taboo against women touching unrelated males.

 

That kind of taboo would be kind of backwards in a planet full of academics. I think it would have worked better if the sister had a finger cut off. Just show her with a towel over her hand after the commercial, no need for gory details.

 

7 hours ago, Ottis said:

Agree, that it was. Which doesn't really fit the show's niche. I'm pretty much over the fact that Orville is a modern version of TNG, for the most part, and not a series of fart jokes as I first expected. But it still dips into Family Guy waters every episode, and usually it is good for a few laughs. Except this one.

What the hell was that? I thought it was a commercial, then I thought it was going to end comically, and then ... it was over. Does the actress like horses?

This may have been my biggest disappointment. Why go to all the trouble of showing how Alara can't move much for 45 minutes, then when the captain is in danger  - poof! She's healed! It would have made much more sense for her to outsmart the bad guys. Out reason them. Out logic them. Show her training and her intelligence. THAT is something her dad could have been proud of.

And really, if she is into the captain THAT much, why then bail on Orville? This is the sloppiness of the writing that crops up most episodes. 

I was actually happy with the way they showed Alara's criminology expertise. A guy like that didn't want money or a negotiation. He wanted the confession, and Alara knew the only way to buy time was to not provide it. Plus, everything she did was a "normal" or less than normal strength. Not a single jar of pickles was opened, which showed she has fighting skills that don't require freakish strength.

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5 hours ago, iMonrey said:

the other Xelayans weren't noticeably smarter than her. Maybe their test scores are better or something but there's nothing distinctively different about them in that regard.

Yes, the writers really needed a bit of "show" in addition to the "tell" WRT Alara being mentally slower than the average bear Xelayan. But not demonstrating it, the writers look to be not too smart themselves.  They could have had a throwaway line in which a Xelayan mentally does that math for a temperature conversion between little-known planets or something.

 

 

1 hour ago, ketose said:

Not a single jar of pickles was opened,

Oh! So that was the significance of the gift. 

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21 hours ago, shapeshifter said:

I hated the story, but it was well done until Alara insisted her dad with the badly burned hand climb down to rescue Ed instead of either her mother or her sister.

Maybe Alara didn't think her mother or sister could have moved the gravity suit Ed was wearing.  Males are physically stronger, usually.

I liked the new esophagus guy all right, but I don't like the idea of Alara leaving.  Maybe she'll be back.  And I knew the present was going to be a jar of pickles.

They gave Alara leaving the proper sentimental tone, but she nodded "yes" way too many times.  It was distracting.

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Xelaya is gorgeous, or at lest the Hamptons/Vancouver part of it is. I aways wanted to live on a ringed planet with at least two huge moons, but with less deadly gravity.

I’m bummed that Alara left. Duel Esophagus guy will get old very quickly. I found Alara’s plight to be quite sympathetic. She was considered “challenged” because she was not academically smart. Xelaya society obviously puts a great deal of emphasis on academic and scientific achievement, and disregard other types of learning and being. And was that SMF throwing shade at antivaxers?

So what dies Alara do now? Join the local police force?

Edited by marinw.
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