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S02.E02: Primal Urges

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2 hours ago, Cobb Salad said:

This plot reminded me of 2 Star Trek original series episodes: The Naked Time for the ship’s observation of the planet’s demise and subsequent peril to the ship and “All our Yesterdays” for the Enterprise crew planned rescue of the planet’s inhabitants even though they had their own plan already.  They did not have space travel either - Kirk, Spock and McCoy violated Federation policy when they went down to the planet to save the inhabitants. 

I remember those both.

This plot in particular reminded me of 2 Star Trek The Next Generation episodes.  Both dealt with how the Federation deals with natural disasters on planets that affect a native pre-warp civilization.  The first is Pen Pals, from Season 2.  The second is Homeward from Season 7.

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11 hours ago, dwmarch said:

Good episode, especially for going where no Star Trek episode has gone before. We have had Geordi recreating one of the ladies (Dr. Leah Brahms) who helped build the Enterprise and when he programmed her to be more realistic she got a little... enthusiastic in describing the ship. Cue the real Dr. Brahms walking in on this moment and thinking Geordi was a total creep. And Lt. Barclay had Deanna Troi cavorting around in a low-cut dress which was a lot less revealing than her low-cut uniform. But other than that the TNG crew mostly used the holodeck for fighting, scenery or historical re-creations. Nobody ever went in there to jerk off and we know that if there was a real holodeck ever invented that is the first thing anyone is going to do in there.

There is no way 32 human-sized beings fit on one of those shuttles but I'll consider this a Voyager tribute and leave it at that.

Laugh line of the night went to Dr. Finn for her response to Klyden's "So I don't stab Bortus again?" with her "Yes, that's one of our goals."

Bortus had a bunch of simulations with fairly specific details to them and I assume he created these himself. Why did he need to outsource when the main difference was "add more Moclans"?

At one point Bortus referred to Klyden as "she" and I thought this was going to be a plot point but it didn't come up again.

Minor nitpicking but why didn't they park the shuttle with the ass-end facing the door the people were going to come out of? Make them walk all the way around when the planet is about to get swallowed up by a star? Rude!

I heard that too and wondered if Klyden was born female, went through the transition, and perhaps that is why he believed so strongly in having Topah go through the same thing. I wonder if we will see ramifications of that?

also chuckled at Dr Finn being a great counselor for couples when she needs parental counseling (from Isaac) herself!

I was pleased  that there was SOME true fallout from the Topah situation..and I was clapping when Ed deemed Bortus for neealy killing the crew.

And literally 30 seconds later, he turned Bortus into a hero, and Bortus goes back to Klyden. Sorry, but Bortus was RIGHT in tendering his resignation. He shouldn’t be there. But , he’s a main character, so he’s not going anywhere.

and how is it that the porn program kept running even after Isaac did his anti-viral thing? Shouldn’t it have “turned off” or at least “rebooted” or something. 

Nice to see that Raiders of the Lost Ark is still a classic hundreds of years from now! 

Edited by neuromom
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A weirdly entertaining show, but not something to spend a lot of time thinking about. It is sort of like Seth McFarlane's Family Guy - but in space. So many wacky situations that really should not occur. 
How does The Union (Federation) of Planets allow alien species into their ranks and high profile positions on their ships and yet have no knowledge of their customs - especially the violent customs (divorce killings)? The crazy Moclan customs just seem like wouldn't-it-be-funny stunts. 

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8 hours ago, shapeshifter said:

Early in the episode, LaMarr suggested using a tractor beam to capture the planet's fuel ore. I did doze off for a couple of minutes during and after a commercial—right when they would've first communicated with the people on the planet; did I miss a reason why they couldn't beam the refugees at least off the planet in their space suits?

I don't believe they specifically addressed it, but I know they kept talking about how the star's radiation complicated things. I suppose that's one possibility.

My other guess is that their tractor beam technology isn't sophisticated enough yet to guard against the effects of space, which is why they can use it on the planet's material and not it's people. Their beam is essentially tying a large rope on to something and reeling it in.

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2 hours ago, neuromom said:

I heard that too and wondered if Klyden was born female, went through the transition, and perhaps that is why he believed so strongly in having Topah go through the same thing. I wonder if we will see ramifications of that?

Klyden was born female but only learned about that fact when he was examined by an medical personnel of the Planetary Union. He kept it a secret until he and Bortus clashed over Topa's fate. 

I also thought that I heard Bortus refer to Klyden as 'she' at one point. I wondered if I had misheard the line or if the actor had made a mistake. Or maybe Bortus is not just struggling with what happened to Topa but also with Klyden? Not sure the show's going to be that subtle but who knows?

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1 hour ago, shrewd.buddha said:

How does The Union (Federation) of Planets allow alien species into their ranks and high profile positions on their ships and yet have no knowledge of their customs - especially the violent customs (divorce killings)? The crazy Moclan customs just seem like wouldn't-it-be-funny stunts. 

One of the things we could use is more backstory on the Union. How long ago was it formed? Who are its members? How much autonomy do planets get? 

The overall issue, though, doesn't bother me because in the real world, I'm sure that Americans do not necessarily have knowledge of the customs of various sub-groups of Americans, for example.

In terms of the rescue dilemma: it has been established that the Orville can operate its shuttles remotely via auto-pilot/AI. Seems that they could have done so with multiple shuttles.  Although maybe I missed some technobabble that they couldn't. 

Maybe it's because I like Bortus, but I don't think it is fair to call him a danger to the ship and crew. All he did was shirk his duty by cutting off shifts early, use the simulator while off-duty for sex, order up some customized porn that unbeknownst to him had a virus, and then install it. Even though the consequences of his actions were drastic, I'm not sure I see that as a firing offense.

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'What are those crazy Moclans up to now?' is becoming increasingly tedious. And it does raise questions about the vetting process of the PU. So far Moclan customs caused a deep rift among the crew, caused the Orville to deviate from its course (Bortus is a senior officer - so how come the annual peeing ritual was not in his file and btw. what about Klyden and Topa?) and now nearly resulted in the demise of the 3rd highest ranking officer. Ignorance about their gender policies could be handwaved away by claiming that the Moclans probably kept that part of their culture secret. But we're rapidly coming to a point where you have to wonder if anybody in the PU is doing their job at all. Of course the potential for whacky storylines is greater when nobody knows anything about the cultural customs of the Moclans but maybe they could try to find some balance? TNG did a rather good job when it came to Klingons - I remember an episode with Whorf acting moody (more so than usual). Wesley then figured out (by researching some databases about Klingon culture) that he had to perform some weird ritual with pain-sticks and needed witnesses. Yes, it was an obscure part of Klingon culture his teammates were not aware of but the information was there since Starfleet had obviously done its homework. On board the Orville you have to wonder if Bortus and Klyden are crew members or study objects.

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Damn. That is hard core. They also managed to combine the silliest of stories (holo porn addiction) with the terrible choice to only save half of a remaining planet's population.

Also, it seemed like tonight's episode had the most TNG sounding music yet.

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The dignity and stoicism of the First Minister crushed me. Although I did wonder if she did rig the lottery to save her family.

I always thought in any such scenario, the children always go first. The remnants of this society must have other sensibilities.

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Quote

In terms of the rescue dilemma: it has been established that the Orville can operate its shuttles remotely via auto-pilot/AI. Seems that they could have done so with multiple shuttles.  Although maybe I missed some technobabble that they couldn't. 

They had to specially modify that shuttle in order to withstand the radiation or some such so there was only one shuttle that could make the trip.

Quote

'What are those crazy Moclans up to now?' is becoming increasingly tedious. And it does raise questions about the vetting process of the PU. So far Moclan customs caused a deep rift among the crew, caused the Orville to deviate from its course (Bortus is a senior officer - so how come the annual peeing ritual was not in his file and btw. what about Klyden and Topa?) and now nearly resulted in the demise of the 3rd highest ranking officer. Ignorance about their gender policies could be handwaved away by claiming that the Moclans probably kept that part of their culture secret. But we're rapidly coming to a point where you have to wonder if anybody in the PU is doing their job at all.

Well, that's the trouble with trying to blend parody and serious Sci-Fi. It really falls apart if you examine it too closely. I'm OK with that . . . as long as it's entertaining. I thought it was entertaining this week but sometimes it doesn't quite come together. They have a problem striking a consistent balance.

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46 minutes ago, MissLucas said:

'What are those crazy Moclans up to now?' is becoming increasingly tedious. And it does raise questions about the vetting process of the PU. So far Moclan customs caused a deep rift among the crew, caused the Orville to deviate from its course (Bortus is a senior officer - so how come the annual peeing ritual was not in his file and btw. what about Klyden and Topa?) and now nearly resulted in the demise of the 3rd highest ranking officer. Ignorance about their gender policies could be handwaved away by claiming that the Moclans probably kept that part of their culture secret. But we're rapidly coming to a point where you have to wonder if anybody in the PU is doing their job at all. Of course the potential for whacky storylines is greater when nobody knows anything about the cultural customs of the Moclans but maybe they could try to find some balance? TNG did a rather good job when it came to Klingons - I remember an episode with Whorf acting moody (more so than usual). Wesley then figured out (by researching some databases about Klingon culture) that he had to perform some weird ritual with pain-sticks and needed witnesses. Yes, it was an obscure part of Klingon culture his teammates were not aware of but the information was there since Starfleet had obviously done its homework. On board the Orville you have to wonder if Bortus and Klyden are crew members or study objects.

 

9 minutes ago, iMonrey said:

They had to specially modify that shuttle in order to withstand the radiation or some such so there was only one shuttle that could make the trip.

Well, that's the trouble with trying to blend parody and serious Sci-Fi. It really falls apart if you examine it too closely. I'm OK with that . . . as long as it's entertaining. I thought it was entertaining this week but sometimes it doesn't quite come together. They have a problem striking a consistent balance.

One could say the same thing about the source material.  Vulcans are a logical species that were founding members of the Federation.  And yet, they chose not to share the fact that they were genetic cousins of the Romulans.  Nor did they share their medical records to the point that McCoy wasn't familiar when he had to operate on Vulcans. Not to mention nobody knowing that Vulcans had to return home once every 7 years to mate and/or fight to the death(!).  If the Federation was unaware that 1 of their founding members practices ritual murder, than I can give the Union a pass on not knowing everything about the Moclans.

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They have food and (fancy) drink replicators, I would think transporters wouldn't be far behind.

With the squabbling kids and dating games last week, and secret wanking/couples therapy this week it's like the Lifetime channel in space. (Maybe - I've never seen the Lifetime channel!) It's too inward looking for my taste. Would like to have learned more about the aliens and seen fewer porno-Moclans. The first such scene was enough to make the point.

They could just as easily have saved them all. Aliens relegated to afterthoughts while we get treated to family drama. Not my cuppa!

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11 hours ago, Ubiquitous said:

According to one of the science of Star Trek books, their transporter technology would be less efficient and cost-effective IRL, so I could see them not wanting to use it often. How did they handle it in Enterprise?

Enterprise relied almost exclusively on shuttles.  Transporter technology existed, but it was rarely used except to transport objects.  Nobody trusted it enough to use it on living beings.  The only time that happened was when Archer had been caught and was sentenced to be executed, and his captors let him choose his native race's method of "execution."  Archer simply had the ship beam him out of there -- to his captors, it looked as though his own people had disintegrated him!

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5 hours ago, Chicago Redshirt said:

One of the things we could use is more backstory on the Union. How long ago was it formed? Who are its members? How much autonomy do planets get? 

I think we talked about this in the episode last season. I'm not sure that the Moclans would want to get that information out. Based on the show, they seem to be a secretive people. I thought that the Moclans have either natural resources that the Union needs or manufactures weapons for them, so it's a trade off. As it's been said, there was plenty that the Vulcans kept 

Like that they know about the Ark though. Good joke. 

Please let's have this Kelly and Ed and not last week - What a dick. He's a glorified speak and spell. Day drink? Yup. 

I did like that Ed didn't hesitate to make a plan to save the people on the planet. There wasn't a debate about them being 'pre warp' or whatever. I'm a passable, casual Trek fan, I know enough about it, but it could be tedious at times. 

Ed's face in the meeting room after they cut from the holo deck was priceless. 

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5 hours ago, Chicago Redshirt said:

Maybe it's because I like Bortus, but I don't think it is fair to call him a danger to the ship and crew. All he did was shirk his duty by cutting off shifts early, use the simulator while off-duty for sex, order up some customized porn that unbeknownst to him had a virus, and then install it. Even though the consequences of his actions were drastic, I'm not sure I see that as a firing offense.

I suspect it IS because you like Bortus.  I like his character also,  but in truth,  he should have resigned his commission.  He left work early on multiple occasions to have fantasy sex .  He hired a Black Market Illicit drug designer to provide him with designer drugs for fantasy sex.   His choice to engage in fantasy sex with a bootleg fantasy porn chip that nearly killed 330 people was almost a tragic decision.  Yes,  he was still pissed off by the decision for Topa's sex-change operation,  but you don't just start engaging in fantasy porn (tired of that shitty phrase yet? Good,  I was tired of it the first time Bortus' fantasy started caressing him - know when to fold 'em, Seth). You have to talk to your spouse Bortus if you're still angry.  Plus,  how does it make Topa feel that his parents are arguing because he's a male instead of a female.   When Alara had her trial by fire she felt that she should lose her commission,  she only suffered a personal indignity.  Bortus knew what he was doing,  otherwise he wouldn't have been lying about it to his Captain and XO and his husband.  He knew enough that he felt the Captain and Claire should have left him for dead.

Posters have remarked that Bortus is the Orville's Worf.  I don't think so.  I like Bortus,  but he fucked up,  but,  he's too central to the cast,  so,  a slap on the wrist.

P. S. Bootleg fantasy sex chip dealer is going to have a tough time in the future when his trade has been discovered.  Speaking of, shouldn't the services that he provided to Bortus be illegal?  If so,  and Bortus knows about this illicit drug trade,  shouldn't he be reprimanded? 

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7 hours ago, shrewd.buddha said:

How does The Union (Federation) of Planets allow alien species into their ranks and high profile positions on their ships and yet have no knowledge of their customs - especially the violent customs (divorce killings)? The crazy Moclan customs just seem like wouldn't-it-be-funny stunts. 

This is in the tradition of the classic Star Trek episode, "Pon Farr" where the Federation had no clue that Vulcan men under went a dangerous biochemical change every seven years causing them to have to mate or die. Spock only told Kirk and McCoy about Pon Farr because he was experiencing physical and psychological stress which made him disobey orders. The Moclan's customs must be new to the Union as the Vulcans' were to the Federation or what @futurechemist wrote above.

Edited by SimoneS
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On 1/3/2019 at 8:41 PM, legaleagle53 said:

The Union doesn't have transporter technology yet, for some reason.

I actually thought the engineer was going to rig up a proto-transporter. 

I thoroughly enjoyed the episode, but I do think Bortus deserved some kind of disciplinary action, though I know he was taken off duty already. Maybe just forced leave. I don't know that Ed would want to file a report about rogue porn viruses to the Admiral. Outside of this, he's been competent, so I wouldn't want him to resign either. 

Bortus went to the planet because he was the only one that could. He didn't volunteer or anything. And he's not going to refuse and order. Sure he did a good job, but I don't think that waives any potential disciplinary action. 

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10 hours ago, benteen said:
13 hours ago, Cobb Salad said:

This plot reminded me of 2 Star Trek original series episodes: The Naked Time for the ship’s observation of the planet’s demise and subsequent peril to the ship and “All our Yesterdays” for the Enterprise crew planned rescue of the planet’s inhabitants even though they had their own plan already.  They did not have space travel either - Kirk, Spock and McCoy violated Federation policy when they went down to the planet to save the inhabitants. 

 

I remember those both.

This plot in particular reminded me of 2 Star Trek The Next Generation episodes.  Both dealt with how the Federation deals with natural disasters on planets that affect a native pre-warp civilization.  The first is Pen Pals, from Season 2.  The second is Homeward from Season 7.

The opening scene of "Star Trek: Into Darkness" has Kirk put the Enterprise in plain sight of a native population to save Spock who was planting a bomb in a volcano to save said planet and people.  

The TNG episode "Ship in a Bottle" had the computer hologram program of Professor Moriarty essentially acting as a virus to take control of the Enterprise while it was studying a planetary collision that would give rise to a new star. 

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3 hours ago, Jacks-Son said:

how does it make Topa feel that his parents are arguing because he's a male instead of a female.

I am assuming they are going to revisit this further, but maybe not. I thought maybe they rapidly aged Topa so they could deal with gender identity issues in a later episode. Maybe since Moclans grow so fast and also quickly recover from the effects of radiation, the physicality of gender reassignment surgery is no big deal for their species, but the psychological vulnerability is. 

 

3 hours ago, ganesh said:

I actually thought the engineer was going to rig up a proto-transporter. 

I briefly thought they would squeeze 75 refugees into the space intended for 30.

 

3 hours ago, ganesh said:

Bortus went to the planet because he was the only one that could. He didn't volunteer or anything. And he's not going to refuse and order. Sure he did a good job, but I don't think that waives any potential disciplinary action. 

Yeah, I did a double take at Ed's speech of:
"Your performance today exhibited tremendous courage and valor in the finest Union tradition. You saved 30 lives by risking your own. Porn virus aside, I am very grateful to have you on board."
How is it "tremendous courage and valor" if Bortus is physiologically not endangered by the radiation any more than a robot?
For a few moments I thought that Bortus was going to stay on the planet so Minister Theece could go on the shuttle, even though this would mean writing him out of the series. That would have been heroic and would have redeemed his character.

And if Bortus has an addiction problem, shouldn't he go to rehab or something equivalent?

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1 hour ago, shapeshifter said:

And if Bortus has an addiction problem, shouldn't he go to rehab or something equivalent?

True that.

My guess is:

  1. The show didn't want to ruin the episodic nature of the series too much so it wrote in a "resolution" to Bortus' trials as best as they could.
  2. Mercer, by now, would know Bortus enough to know that Bortus understand the scope of his mistake and all he needed is a tongue-lashing.

Of course, (1) you could easily get around with a time-jump, especially considering I don't believe this show has a strict "every episode occurs exactly X amount of time after the previous one" like other shows do. I also think, for (2), that Mercer does that quite a bit- the worst he's ever done is give someone a reprimand, I don't believe he's ever fired or suspended anyone. At least...not anyone with Plot Armour.

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I'm surprised nobody's afraid of what cosplay The Orville will inspire. Bring on the horny porny Moclans.

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On 1/3/2019 at 10:31 PM, chaifan said:

I was surprised that they let the remaining 45 people perish.  I thought there would be some last minute discovery (transporter anyone?), or that Bortus would go back alone getting them all at the very last minute.  But, that's what sets this show apart from pretty much every version of Star Trek - things don't always have to end up with a happy ending, tied up with a pretty bow.

I also loved that there was no miraculous solution. It made for better drama, keeps the stakes higher for future stories, and it would have been too much since they did have Isaac do the Douche Ex Machina thing to solve the other problem.

 

21 hours ago, shapeshifter said:

Early in the episode, LaMarr suggested using a tractor beam to capture the planet's fuel ore. I did doze off for a couple of minutes during and after a commercial—right when they would've first communicated with the people on the planet; did I miss a reason why they couldn't beam the refugees at least off the planet in their space suits?

I would think it's the difference between hunks of metal and living organisms - there are all sorts of reasons why modes of transportation for things don't work for people. What they have is basically a high tech rope to pull things through the atmosphere and space, so it's easy to figure out all the ways it wouldn't work.
 

20 hours ago, Ottis said:

This is the only thing I *didn't* like. As soon as the stabbing thing happened, and Seth seemed so surprised, I thought surely "the Union" has some passing understanding of the main cultural aspects of its crew members. A divorce may or may not be considered a main cultural aspect on its own, but *anything* that says "stabbing is OK" should be.

The Union surely was aware. The captain was not. You can argue that he should be given that Bortus is a high ranking member of the crew and their past experiences, but it's not completely unbelievable and there was no indication that nobody else in the Union knew about it.

 

2 hours ago, shapeshifter said:

How is it "tremendous courage and valor" if Bortus is physiologically not endangered by the radiation any more than a robot?

It was still a dangerous situation - being only moderately harmed by radiation doesn't change the fact that he was going into a situation were there was a real chance of the entire planet blowing up while he was there. It was basically the equivalent of running into a burning house to save the residents.

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5 hours ago, shapeshifter said:

I am assuming they are going to revisit this further, but maybe not. I thought maybe they rapidly aged Topa so they could deal with gender identity issues in a later episode. Maybe since Moclans grow so fast and also quickly recover from the effects of radiation, the physicality of gender reassignment surgery is no big deal for their species, but the psychological vulnerability is. 

Damn, you beat me to it, I was going to post the same thing!  That means it must happen, right?  LOL  I was thinking that upon reaching adulthood Topas would say he identifies as female and wants to be reassigned as one.

I guess I'm late to the party here because I thought that it was not believable that any old software could be uploaded to the ship's computer, and someone beat me to that too.  But it's not just a matter of not running a virus scan.  Anyone that works in the corporate world knows that they can't just upload a program to their PC without admin. rights to do so.  Unless it's assumed that Bortas had admin. rights and entered his security password.  But that wasn't a given so I'm assuming it wasn't the case.

Also, unless I missed it, was there a reason given that only 30 people could be taken aboard that shuttle per trip?  I'm assuming it was because of a weight limit that the ship could tolerate, because they certainly didn't look jammed in like sardines.  I would think they would have crammed them in cheek by jowl in order to get as many on board as possible.  But not specifying why the limit was 30 is bugging me.  It's the omission of little details like these that annoys me about this show. 

I did crack up with all the porno. humor, though.  I agree with someone above that this show often doesn't get the balance between the parody/satire and drama just right, but I actually thought this episode did a pretty good job of it if one is not bothered by the gratuitous indulgence in porno. for humor's sake.

Edited by Yeah No · Reason: Grammar, ugh.

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5 hours ago, shapeshifter said:

Yeah, I did a double take at Ed's speech of:
"Your performance today exhibited tremendous courage and valor in the finest Union tradition. You saved 30 lives by risking your own. Porn virus aside, I am very grateful to have you on board."

Forgive me, I don't have the great memory of some on the board, but isn't this or something close similar to a TNG in an episode where Worf's personal conflicts with the Klingons almost get the ship annihilated but then he goes down to the planet and saves the day and the ship?  Or something like that?  And then Picard gives him a similar speech?  Apologies if I'm way off base.

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6 hours ago, shapeshifter said:

I briefly thought they would squeeze 75 refugees into the space intended for 30

When the shuttle left the planet, I was surprised there seemed to be room for more people in the shuttle and that there was not a child on Bortus' lap. 
Also, the planet's surviving group were not waiting at the door and Bortus and Isaac did not seem very rushed during the trip. They even took the time to go to another area and have a lottery.

Everything about the surviving humanoids on the planet - from their discovery to the timing of the rescue attempt - was set up for only some of them to survive - in order to serve Bortus' story. It happens often on sci-fi shows: the plot requires a certain outcome, so there is a lot of geek-speak blah-blah-blah explaining why the most obvious solutions will not work. 

For me, The Orville works best when it sticks to being a Star Trek parody. When it attempts to be heartfelt in the middle of the jokes, it feels awkward. 

Edited by shrewd.buddha
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55 minutes ago, Yeah No said:

Damn, you beat me to it, I was going to post the same thing!  That means it must happen, right?

Yes!
Well, shapeshifter's axiom of the late 1990s FanForum boards stated something like: If two or more posters come up with the same conclusion independently, then it is so.
But I think that was more for issues of what is canon or backstory.
In this case, we'll just have to wait and see if the story makes it to the screen.
Childhood gender identity issues might be too heavy for this show, but if Topa continues to rapidly age, he could deal with it as a young adult, which is a little bit less heavy.

 

About the multitude of holo-porno scenes: There was really nothing very explicit or any lengthy kissing etc. I was less uncomfortable with them than with many close up kissing scenes shown from decades ago to the present.
And I do think showing Bortus repeatedly unable to resist turning towards those double doors conveyed the lure of addiction better than anything else I can recall seeing on a show.

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16 hours ago, MissLucas said:

Klyden was born female but only learned about that fact when he was examined by an medical personnel of the Planetary Union. He kept it a secret until he and Bortus clashed over Topa's fate. 

I remember it was that when Topa was born and was female Bortus said it was impossible and then we learned that even though Klyden had sex reassignment he is the only way to make a girl.  I thought the whole premise of changing sex of babies was futile since these babies can and will make more females.

Loved this episode, even with all its creepiness.  I was hoping the thread name would be PORN VIRUS but I realize that thread titles and actual show episode titles makes more sense.

Am glad the show is back.

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11 hours ago, Jacks-Son said:

 Plus,  how does it make Topa feel that his parents are arguing because he's a male instead of a female.  

This would be a good story for an episode. It is unlikely that Topa knows, but now that Bortus is no longer repressing his feelings, maybe Topa overhears his parents arguing about his gender identity. Topa is being raised on the culturally diverse Union ship so maybe his perception of his gender isn't as narrow as the typical Moclan. He could be angry at Klyden for insisting on the surgery and Bortus for agreeing to the surgery.

Edited by SimoneS
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10 hours ago, Jacks-Son said:

I suspect it IS because you like Bortus.  I like his character also,  but in truth,  he should have resigned his commission.  He left work early on multiple occasions to have fantasy sex .  He hired a Black Market Illicit drug designer to provide him with designer drugs for fantasy sex.   His choice to engage in fantasy sex with a bootleg fantasy porn chip that nearly killed 330 people was almost a tragic decision.  Yes,  he was still pissed off by the decision for Topa's sex-change operation,  but you don't just start engaging in fantasy porn (tired of that shitty phrase yet? Good,  I was tired of it the first time Bortus' fantasy started caressing him - know when to fold 'em, Seth). You have to talk to your spouse Bortus if you're still angry.  Plus,  how does it make Topa feel that his parents are arguing because he's a male instead of a female.   When Alara had her trial by fire she felt that she should lose her commission,  she only suffered a personal indignity.  Bortus knew what he was doing,  otherwise he wouldn't have been lying about it to his Captain and XO and his husband.  He knew enough that he felt the Captain and Claire should have left him for dead.

Posters have remarked that Bortus is the Orville's Worf.  I don't think so.  I like Bortus,  but he fucked up,  but,  he's too central to the cast,  so,  a slap on the wrist.

P. S. Bootleg fantasy sex chip dealer is going to have a tough time in the future when his trade has been discovered.  Speaking of, shouldn't the services that he provided to Bortus be illegal?  If so,  and Bortus knows about this illicit drug trade,  shouldn't he be reprimanded? 

I think this is overemphasizing the consequences of Bortus's actions, consequences that he in no way intended or could reasonably have anticipated. In the real world, most crimes require physical acts plus a guilty mindset, and Bortus's actions and mindset just were not that guilty.

Let's break it down:

1. He skipped out of work early by about 15 minutes on like 10 occasions, often telling lies in order to do so. That is something that seems worthy of a verbal repriamand.

2. He allowed his personal relationship with Klyden to worsen to the point where Klyden attempted to kill him. This is not something where a victim should be punished.

3. He ordered porn and installed it on the ship's Simulator without permission and without doing a sufficient virus check (Let's assume -- for all we know, crew can install whatever they want, and he or the computer did automatic virus checks that just weren't good enough). Without factoring in the consequences, I don't think that is something someone would get fired for. A lengthy suspension maybe. 

I think that I would not think of all this as a firing offense even if one of the characters I don't particularly like, like John or Gordon, were guilty of it.  

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I think that criteria that any military or organization would use to determine how to punish Bortus would depend on whether or not his behavior was typical and how severe the impact was on the mission, ship, and crew. The Union invested a lot of time to train Bortus. It can't discard a good officer. It has to weigh his crimes against what is best for the organization. Since Bortus' behavior was out of character and due to a personal problem that he is committed to resolving, making it unlikely that his behavior would be reoccur, I think a formal reprimand would be sufficient, although a demotion in rank would be a possibility. I certainly don't think that firing him would be the option that I would choose.

Edited by SimoneS
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The military tends to have higher standards for its people because the situation is often life-and-death, as it was here. No, they would not want to discard an officer with all that training, but they would also not want someone who has exhibited such extraordinarily bad judgment to be in a position to make important decisions. I think realistically, he'd be reassigned to a desk position until his issues were rehabilitated.

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10 minutes ago, kariyaki said:

The military tends to have higher standards for its people because the situation is often life-and-death, as it was here. No, they would not want to discard an officer with all that training, but they would also not want someone who has exhibited such extraordinarily bad judgment to be in a position to make important decisions. I think realistically, he'd be reassigned to a desk position until his issues were rehabilitated.

I was thinking the same thing.  Temporary desk duty or whatever passes for it on a spaceship.  Or possibly a demotion.  But outright firing a well trained well respected officer not so much.

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13 hours ago, SimoneS said:

This is in the tradition of the classic Star Trek episode, "Pon Farr" where the Federation had no clue that Vulcan men under went a dangerous biochemical change every seven years causing them to have to mate or die. Spock only told Kirk and McCoy about Pon Farr because he was experiencing physical and psychological stress which made him disobey orders. The Moclan's customs must be new to the Union as the Vulcans' were to the Federation or what @futurechemist wrote above.

This also reminds me of TNG, where Klingons had some version of assisted suicide involving a dagger.

 

8 hours ago, shapeshifter said:

I am assuming they are going to revisit this further, but maybe not. I thought maybe they rapidly aged Topa so they could deal with gender identity issues in a later episode. Maybe since Moclans grow so fast and also quickly recover from the effects of radiation, the physicality of gender reassignment surgery is no big deal for their species, but the psychological vulnerability is. 

 

I briefly thought they would squeeze 75 refugees into the space intended for 30.

 

Yeah, I did a double take at Ed's speech of:
"Your performance today exhibited tremendous courage and valor in the finest Union tradition. You saved 30 lives by risking your own. Porn virus aside, I am very grateful to have you on board."
How is it "tremendous courage and valor" if Bortus is physiologically not endangered by the radiation any more than a robot?
For a few moments I thought that Bortus was going to stay on the planet so Minister Theece could go on the shuttle, even though this would mean writing him out of the series. That would have been heroic and would have redeemed his character.

And if Bortus has an addiction problem, shouldn't he go to rehab or something equivalent?

The Minister probably would have given her space to someone else, even if Bortus offered to stay. Also, I think that number of 30 was pretty arbitrary. Obviously there aren't 30 seats, so it's less of a "seat belt" issue. Plus, were they really planning 2 trips of 30 people and one with 15? Couldn't Bortus and Isaac each flown a shuttle?

 

3 hours ago, Yeah No said:

Damn, you beat me to it, I was going to post the same thing!  That means it must happen, right?  LOL  I was thinking that upon reaching adulthood Topas would say he identifies as female and wants to be reassigned as one.

I guess I'm late to the party here because I thought that it was not believable that any old software could be uploaded to the ship's computer, and someone beat me to that too.  But it's not just a matter of not running a virus scan.  Anyone that works in the corporate world knows that they can't just upload a program to their PC without admin. rights to do so.  Unless it's assumed that Bortas had admin. rights and entered his security password.  But that wasn't a given so I'm assuming it wasn't the case.

Also, unless I missed it, was there a reason given that only 30 people could be taken aboard that shuttle per trip?  I'm assuming it was because of a weight limit that the ship could tolerate, because they certainly didn't look jammed in like sardines.  I would think they would have crammed them in cheek by jowl in order to get as many on board as possible.  But not specifying why the limit was 30 is bugging me.  It's the omission of little details like these that annoys me about this show. 

I did crack up with all the porno. humor, though.  I agree with someone above that this show often doesn't get the balance between the parody/satire and drama just right, but I actually thought this episode did a pretty good job of it if one is not bothered by the gratuitous indulgence in porno. for humor's sake.

I work at a fairly large company and internal viruses occur with some regularity. Most of us can also download almost anything onto a laptop and install it, partially because the IT department is fairly unresponsive. In government, it can even be worse because technology is installed on a contract basis, so systems are incompatible. 

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6 hours ago, wknt3 said:

The Union surely was aware. The captain was not. You can argue that he should be given that Bortus is a high ranking member of the crew and their past experiences, but it's not completely unbelievable and there was no indication that nobody else in the Union knew about it.

Semantics. If the Union is aware, then the captain should be aware. It's not like he has a huge staff, and again, stabby = bad. Also, Bortus seems to be one of the few (only?) senior staff members who are married/paired. It seems like a no brainer that if you have Moclan senior officer who is married, the Union should automatically flag a few things that are now relevant. Then again, maybe this is just a shoddy outfit. In any case, my reaction was to Seth's complete surprise over this, vs. his not paying attention enough. So clearly there was ignorance somewhere, and IMO there shouldn't have been. They seem to know plenty of other things about Moclan, including their diets and ability to withstand radiation.

You *could* try to argue that Seth isn't a good captain, because that was the premise the show started with, and he doesn't know because of personal failings. But his actions haven't shown that. He doesn't screw up regularly, in fact, most of the time he acts as a more human Federation captain.

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28 minutes ago, ketose said:

I work at a fairly large company and internal viruses occur with some regularity. Most of us can also download almost anything onto a laptop and install it, partially because the IT department is fairly unresponsive. In government, it can even be worse because technology is installed on a contract basis, so systems are incompatible. 

I find that unusual in a large company.  I've temped at many companies going back decades and I haven't seen it since the early 2000s.  It's not that difficult to prevent.  Laptops can even be prevented from downloading offline.  But even if that were possible today, this is supposed to occur in the 24th century.

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This show may be a bit too mature for the advertised audience rating of TV-14 and air time of 9 PM.  Both season two aired episodes may be unsuitable for an actual 14 year old child.  The premiere episode featured a "little shit" who introduced late high school,  early college level,  aggressively bad behavior – the PITA comment to an adult exhibits disrespectful behavior,  so does stealing alcohol and getting drunk on a holodeck (these areas need to beef up their security - no way should kids be able to sneak in).  Next episode introduces a shit load of adult subjects,  including dereliction of duty to go masturbate,  murder/divorce (in the current age of #MeToo the show chose to posit an extreme solution to marital disagreements - kill your mate in the traditional Moclan's divorce manner).

I'm no prude and I like porn just as much as the next person,  but i don't need to see my characters go in for a physical  and be caressed by the doctor from behind <wink,  wink> and then depart with a satiated smile on their lips.  And before anyone thinks about calling me a homophobe, I will say that being born and growing up in NYC and living 20 years in San Francisco just a few blocks from the Castro district where men walk around wearing chaps with nothing underneath,  I'm too old to be shocked and disturbed by the situation.  Just surprised that the writers felt that these two episodes were suitable for a 14 year old child.  Just an FYI,  my mother took me to see the original "King Kong" (Fay Wray) in the theater, as a very young child and my mother's very good friend was an old,  out Gay guy,  so,  this kind of stuff doesn't shock me,  but then again it may shock my young grandchildren who we've all been trying to caution about unwanted touching. 

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27 minutes ago, Jacks-Son said:

This show may be a bit too mature for the advertised audience rating of TV-14 and air time of 9 PM.  Both season two aired episodes may be unsuitable for an actual 14 year old child.  The premiere episode featured a "little shit" who introduced late high school,  early college level,  aggressively bad behavior – the PITA comment to an adult exhibits disrespectful behavior,  so does stealing alcohol and getting drunk on a holodeck (these areas need to beef up their security - no way should kids be able to sneak in).  Next episode introduces a shit load of adult subjects,  including dereliction of duty to go masturbate,  murder/divorce (in the current age of #MeToo the show chose to posit an extreme solution to marital disagreements - kill your mate in the traditional Moclan's divorce manner).

I'm no prude and I like porn just as much as the next person,  but i don't need to see my characters go in for a physical  and be caressed by the doctor from behind <wink,  wink> and then depart with a satiated smile on their lips.  And before anyone thinks about calling me a homophobe, I will say that being born and growing up in NYC and living 20 years in San Francisco just a few blocks from the Castro district where men walk around wearing chaps with nothing underneath,  I'm too old to be shocked and disturbed by the situation.  Just surprised that the writers felt that these two episodes were suitable for a 14 year old child.  Just an FYI,  my mother took me to see the original "King Kong" (Fay Wray) in the theater, as a very young child and my mother's very good friend was an old,  out Gay guy,  so,  this kind of stuff doesn't shock me,  but then again it may shock my young grandchildren who we've all been trying to caution about unwanted touching. 

The funny part is that Voyager did almost exactly that "Author, Author." Paris reprogrammed The Doctor's holonovel to make the Chief Medical Officer incompetent and lecherous, including drugging "Two of Three" with a Klingon aphrodisiac.

Actually, I liked the fact that the Moclans are unattractive. It made the porn funny instead of funny, but kind of hot, like Star Trek usually did.

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15 minutes ago, kariyaki said:

The writers don't determine the rating, the network does.

There is an implicit  agreement between the network and show runners to adhere to the rating restrictions.  The "X-Files" aired an episode on TV that was so controversial that they were forbidden to air the episode ever again.  I think the episode was called,  "Home", and it was about forced incest and the offsprings as a result. Not to say that this episode was on the same level, not at all.  To me,  there's freedom to explore controversial subjects and then there's freedom to know when airing that controversial subject is acceptable.  School and hostage shootings usually call for a cessation of TV episodes that even remotely remind viewers of recent events,  I would think a husband killing his mate in a divorce ritual is an event best aired with a caution,  "This episode is rated MA for mature audiences,  the depiction of Masturbatory fantasy and Spousal Murder may be unsuitable for small children.   Have nice day! "

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1 hour ago, Jacks-Son said:

This show may be a bit too mature for the advertised audience rating of TV-14 and air time of 9 PM.  

Good point. I don't recall, was there at least an "MA" flashed on the screen during the intro?

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58 minutes ago, Jacks-Son said:

 I think the episode was called,  "Home", and it was about forced incest and the offsprings as a result.

Wow are you understating that episode. I can't even read the episode title without checking under the bed. 

I was also wondering earlier if Bortus was let off the hook because the Union is really dependent on the Moclans for materials or weaponry, and didn't want to rock the boat. A formal reprimand likely would have to been run up the chain and the admiral would find out. I'm thinking there's a larger political context at work. I'd really like to know more about the workings of the Union and the relationship with member states. 

Besides, how expendable is the Orville? The captain has a sketchy history. It's not a flagship. Certainly, the Union doesn't want to lose any ships, but I imagine being an exploratory ship carries risk. The ship could have easily got caught in the solar wind and crashed into the planet. 

Ed could have finagled it by maybe Bortus taking voluntary leave due to stress or something though.

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In today's US military officers don't get verbal or official reprimands and hold a position such as third in command of a ship. With the reprimand comes no more promotions and being put out eventually. Meanwhile that higher command position would go to a potential future Captain. In police forces on the other hand without the up or out policies Brotus could survive a career ending gaff and remain in his position.  Where do we wish to see the Union stand on officer career management?

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36 minutes ago, ganesh said:

Wow are you understating that episode. I can't even read the episode title without checking under the bed. 

Okay,  is this what I should have written?  The episode "Home" on the "X-Files" was about a family that had an immobile but COMPLICIT mother who encouraged her sons to impregnate her to enlarge the family. All the while they would murder,  horrifically,  anyone who tried to stop their procreation.  Better? 

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57 minutes ago, Raja said:

In today's US military officers don't get verbal or official reprimands and hold a position such as third in command of a ship.

Yeah again I'm positing that there's a larger political context with the Moclans and the Union that they hinted at which may be at work here. 

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3 hours ago, Jacks-Son said:

This show may be a bit too mature for the advertised audience rating of TV-14 and air time of 9 PM.  Both season two aired episodes may be unsuitable for an actual 14 year old child.

What was "the worst" we actually saw in this episode? Yes, it was about porn, but we didn't actually see any sex scenes, nor was there even an extended kissing scene. "The worst" were Moclans in loincloth and the doctor running his hand over Bortus' chest- nothing too salacious, I would say.

At least, not anything out of the ordinary for a PG-13 movie.

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Porn addiction is a real problem in the 21st century, and, as it turns out, in the 25th century, too.

 

By all means,  lets do an equal opportunity episode with Kelly,  Alara,  or the new cartographer visiting the holodeck for some harmless,  innocent "me time".  I'm sure there would be an uproar and i would still question why my mostly female grand kids need to get that imagery.

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3 hours ago, shapeshifter said:

Good point. I don't recall, was there at least an "MA" flashed on the screen during the intro?

Besides the screen bug, the show started with a full screen "Viewer Discretion Advised" with TV-14 and DLSV. That includes Suggestive Dialogue and Sexual Situations. Also, the violence where Bortus was stabbed in the chest before cutting to a commercial break.

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Maybe we need a separate thread for viewer discretion discussion?  This will probably continue in later episodes.

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4 hours ago, Jacks-Son said:

This show may be a bit too mature for the advertised audience rating of TV-14 and air time of 9 PM.  Both season two aired episodes may be unsuitable for an actual 14 year old child.  The premiere episode featured a "little shit" who introduced late high school,  early college level,  aggressively bad behavior – the PITA comment to an adult exhibits disrespectful behavior,  so does stealing alcohol and getting drunk on a holodeck (these areas need to beef up their security - no way should kids be able to sneak in).  Next episode introduces a shit load of adult subjects,  including dereliction of duty to go masturbate,  murder/divorce (in the current age of #MeToo the show chose to posit an extreme solution to marital disagreements - kill your mate in the traditional Moclan's divorce manner).

I'm no prude and I like porn just as much as the next person,  but i don't need to see my characters go in for a physical  and be caressed by the doctor from behind <wink,  wink> and then depart with a satiated smile on their lips.  And before anyone thinks about calling me a homophobe, I will say that being born and growing up in NYC and living 20 years in San Francisco just a few blocks from the Castro district where men walk around wearing chaps with nothing underneath,  I'm too old to be shocked and disturbed by the situation.  Just surprised that the writers felt that these two episodes were suitable for a 14 year old child.  Just an FYI,  my mother took me to see the original "King Kong" (Fay Wray) in the theater, as a very young child and my mother's very good friend was an old,  out Gay guy,  so,  this kind of stuff doesn't shock me,  but then again it may shock my young grandchildren who we've all been trying to caution about unwanted touching. 

And it's the job of parents to provide guidance and determine what their children should watch. If I'm with my 14-year-old niece and she wants to watch an R-rated movie, I refuse. 

Brotus and his scenarios were consenual, and as I recall, he stopped the doctor scenario because he was bored. 

Maybe this isn't the show for your young grandchildren. 

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11 minutes ago, SmithW6079 said:

And it's the job of parents to provide guidance and determine what their children should watch. If I'm with my 14-year-old niece and she wants to watch an R-rated movie, I refuse. 

Brotus and his scenarios were consenual, and as I recall, he stopped the doctor scenario because he was bored. 

Maybe this isn't the show for your young grandchildren. 

Yes,  but an R-Rated movie or episode is expected to have content perhaps unsuitable for their age,  so your refusal is appropriate.  Imagine,  you're with your 14 year old niece , watching an episode of "The Orville" and you hear a kid call his friend's mother a "pain in the ass", or you hear Kelly say, "What a dick!", or a watch as a husband murders his spouse because he wants a divorce,  or a crew member using the holodeck for some intimacy and the scenes are scantily clad holographic Moclans rubbing another practically nude Moclan's chest suggestively.  You're cool with it, or perhaps, your sibling, would be cool with their 14 yr old daughter watching it?   But.but....it said,  TV-14! Oh,  parent says,  then it's perfectly cool!  Is that the scenario you expect? 

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