Review: ‘The Orville’ Takes Its Time In “Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow”

“Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow”

The Orville Season 2, Episode 13 – Aired Thursday, April 18th, 2019
Written by Janet Lin
Directed by Gary Rake

In the first part of its two-part second season finale, The Orville takes the plunge into temporal mechanics in “Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow,” in a perfectly serviceable episode that manages to take cues from the many, and many, and many time-travel episodes of science fiction series that went before without being dull and formulaic. Some good character ground is covered, and the stakes don’t seem super high. But the episode really takes off with an ending that demands that you watch the season finale.

Warning: If you consider SPOILERS to be wrongs darker than death or night, if SPOILERS will cause a shockwave in your life, if SPOILERS are tantamount to a death wish for you, do not read below this point!

Adrianne Palicki as Kelly Grayson in “Tomorrow & Tomorrow & Tomorrow”


A beautiful tracking shot down the spine of the Orville opens us on to a laughter-filled conversation between Kelly Grayson, Talla Keyali, Gordon Malloy, and Ed Mercer in the crew lounge. Gordon is telling an embarrassing story about an interaction between a drunk Mercer and a famous novelist, back when Ed and Kelly were dating. As Gordon and Talla excuse themselves to return to duty, Ed and Kelly continue reminiscing about their dating days, and Ed reaffirms his interest in getting back together with Kelly romantically.

The conversation flows naturally but is structured in such a way to bring the viewer up to speed on where their relationship has been and where it stands right now. And in the process, we learn that the morning after their first date, younger Ed immediately called younger Kelly to ask for a second date—at 9:00 the next morning, in fact! “Was it that early?” Ed asks. “Oh, it was that early—9 a.m.—you had zero game. I almost bailed on you after that.” Kelly replies. This establishes how fine a line it was for younger Kelly between saying “yes” to Ed’s offer and saying “no.”

The scene changes to Science Lab 1, where Chief Engineer John LaMarr is assisting Isaac with his research on time travel, continuing and improving on the work of Dr. Aronov, a scientist who appeared in the very first episode of The Orville, “Old Wounds.” In that episode, Dr. Aronov was working on a time acceleration device, the quantum accelerator. In the second season episode, “A Happy Refrain,” Isaac works on a rebuilt quantum accelerator device, based on Dr. Aronov’s research. Now, LaMarr is amazed at the implications of Isaac’s research. Isaac hopes to be able to “link a temporal field to the neurological pathway of a biological or technological organism,” enabling time travel. Commander Grayson interrupts, calling LaMarr away to another duty, when suddenly the ship shudders and loses power. It’s been hit by a gravitational wave, perhaps from the collision of a neutron star somewhere. When Grayson heads for the bridge, Isaac is surprised to turn around to see a nearly identical duplicate of Grayson behind him.

It is great to see The Orville linking plot points between episodes like this, building on bits scattered through previous stories. In a matter of time, it has the potential to build a rich tapestry into the universe of the show. It’s not clear if this is a visionary move by the writers, or if it’s just picking up shattered pieces and making a new endgame. Whichever, it is welcome.

Young Kelly first appears on the USS Orville

Time’s Orphan

It turns out that this duplicate Kelly is a version of Kelly snatched by the Aronov device from the morning after Ed and Kelly’s first date seven years ago, when Kelly was just a Lieutenant. Sensibly, the characters ask all the right questions: why Kelly? She was standing closest to the Aronov device. Why did the device snatch this particular version of Kelly? Our Kelly had been thinking of that day-after morning when the gravity wave hit. How could the device operate based on Kelly’s thoughts? LaMarr responds, “I know it sounds crazy, but—that’s quantum physics.”

Commander Grayson herself raises some of the key time travel episode questions: “If she really is me from the past, why don’t I remember all of this? And if it turns out we can’t reverse it, why am I here at all?” Isaac responds, “It is possible that when Lieutenant Grayson was extracted from the past, a new timeline was generated, or perhaps the original timeline fractured. We do not know.”

If all this makes you think of other episodes of other shows that feature time travel or duplicates as a plot element, you’re not alone. This episode is very similar to “Second Chances,” an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation in which it is discovered that a transporter accident eight years before had created a duplicate Will Riker and marooned him on a ruined station on an environmentally hostile planet. When the Enterprise-D rescues Lieutenant Riker, he grabs at the chance to set right what he sees Commander Riker has gotten wrong in his life, including rekindling a relationship with Deanna Troi. Time and again in this episode, many of the beats of “Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow” mimic those of “Second Chances.” But credit goes to Adrienne Palicki for a powerful and sensitive performance as the two Kellys. The actress has called this episode “one of the hardest acting challenges of my life,” and her work shines here. She makes Commander Grayson and Lieutenant Grayson (Kelly A and Kelly B? Kelly Prime and Kelly Part Deux? “Young” Kelly and “Old” Kelly?) clearly different versions of the same character, and not in a “The Enemy Within” sort of way. Lieutenant Grayson is more raw, more naive, more selfish, while Commander Grayson is more mature, more grounded, more seasoned, and more generous. You can see how the one character grew into the other, but Palicki plays them quite distinctly.

Cinematically, there is a great shot that pans around the two Kellys when they meet, which must have been an effects challenge. Gary Rake, who has been the First Assistant Director on 16 episodes of The Orville, does a great job with the camera here in his debut first-chair outing.

Dr. Finn and the two Kellys

Cold Front

As the episode continues, strains develop between the two Kellys even as Minus-seven Kelly and Ed Mercer begin to spark a new (renewed?) relationship. Ed seeks Plus-seven Kelly’s permission before accepting her counterpart’s invitation to a “second date,” in a scene that is every bit as awkward as you could imagine. Palicki’s face reflects the mixture of shock, hurt, and confusion that her character has to be feeling, and the conversation makes clear that for Ed to say “yes” to Kelly-cita is tantamount to declaring his dissatisfaction with Thoroughly Modern Kelly and her choices.  Commander Grayson warns Ed that he has grown over the past seven years and might not get along as well with her younger self as he believes he will. She gives a similar warning to her counterpart. She remembers the pain of their divorce, both her own pain and Ed’s pain, and she doesn’t want to see either of them with such a future tense. Ed receives a similar warning from Gordon Malloy, who had to pick up the pieces of the hurting Ed after the divorce.

Younger Kelly decides she’d like to stay aboard the Orville as a crew member, as she’s enjoying building friendships with her crewmates, especially Lt. Keyali. Along the way, she tells some funny drinking stories from her past, which Cmdr. Grayson overhears. She asks her younger self to refrain from telling embarrassing stories from their joint past, even though they are in fact her stories to tell. “When you become a leader, there’s a distance you have to maintain. You can’t be everyone’s friend,” says Responsible Grayson. And Ponytail-and-Bangs Grayson replies, “Yeah, but I’m not a leader yet. And honestly, the idea of policing everything I do so it doesn’t affect your command is kind of suffocating.”

This all leads up to a storm front brewing between the two Kellys. The younger Kelly had three goals in life: to get married and have kids, to be the captain of her own ship, and to make a difference in the galaxy. As far as she is concerned, seven years down the line, her more grown-up self has blown all of those goals completely. Her anger is understandable. And the issues being explored are very relatable, as maturing in life is like threading the eye of the needle, time and again you make tough choices among a perpetual infinity of imperfect options. Which of us, seven years ago, could have predicted our future, or have understood the choices we had to make along the way?

Young Kelly makes friends with the crew

The Naked Time

All this is enough to drive Kelly Prime to drink—though that doesn’t seem difficult, reflecting on her level of alcohol consumption in this episode. She confides in Dr. Finn that it’s such sweet sorrow seeing herself in the immature light that her counterpart displays every day. The two of them reflect on the joys of having grown up over the years. They look back on their mistakes of yesteryear, whether it’s Kelly’s infidelity in her marriage or Dr. Finn’s relationship with Isaac, and see that all our yesterdays make up who we are in the present. In a very real way, what’s past is prologue.

It takes Ed a little while to learn this same lesson. He begins to date younger Kelly, but is a little overwhelmed by the kinds of things she still enjoys—like drinking too much and going to VERY LOUD NIGHTCLUBS. The nightclub scene is amusing, with young Kelly and Talla dancing away while Ed and Gordon sit on a couch, nursing their drinks. Later, when Ed and a lingerie-clad young Kelly are smooching in bed, Ed realizes that while he is attracted to the vivacious, impulsive nature of the young woman he’s kissing, he is deeply in love with the woman he has grown more mature with, even if they are now just friends. He even loves the sound of her voice.

Ed and Young Kelly share an awkward moment

Suddenly, the command crew is called to the bridge by Bortus, and most of them arrive in their jammies. Two Kaylon vessels that they had spotted and avoided earlier seem now to have spotted them, and begun pursuit. Young Kelly suggests a hiding place: in the icy rings of a nearby planet that she had done a report on while in school.

The effects here are marvelous, with gorgeous views of a planet with “covariant rings” made up of chunks of ice. They park the Orville alongside a larger chunk and vent as much water as they can, coating the hull with a thick layer of ice. The views through the transparent bridge dome and out the forward window are spectacular, and the scene is believably tense.

The Orville hides from Kaylon

Future’s End

All along the way, various theories of how time travel works are put forward by various members of the crew. “I got a B+ in temporal theory,” Ed says. “Nobody gets an A. It’s time travel—nobody really understands it.” Ed seems to have Captain Janeway’s opinion of temporal mechanics; later, he grouses, “You guys will not get me into a discussion of time travel logic—I would rather chew broken glass.”

But while at first it seems impossible to send young Kelly back to her own time, LaMarr and Isaac eventually come up with a solution that, in a tip of the hat to the timey-wimey Doctor Who, involves reversing the polarity of their quantum plasma.

They will do a memory wipe of Lt. Grayson, and channel all of the energy their quantum drive can put out into a gravity burst and hope to recreate the natural phenomenon that caused her to be plucked from her timescape in the first place. The crew frets over whether that’s even possible, if they are already hypothetically living in an alternate timeline. But Lt. Grayson smiles, and says to her older self, “We know it’ll work. It already worked, and you sent me back successfully. That’s why you don’t remember any of this.” Technically, if she’s right and there is only one timeline, the most that can be said is that young Kelly was sent back successfully with the memory erasure intact. They can’t say anything about whether or not the Orville survived the procedure. It could be their zero hour.

LaMarr and Isaac explain the plan to send Young Kelly back

But they rev up the engines past the redline, wipe young Kelly’s memory, and LaMarr complains that if they give her any more power, she’ll blow! The screen flashes white, and young Kelly finds herself lying on the floor of her apartment, back on the morning after her first date with Ed. She looks around in a confused state, when her attention is grabbed by an incoming call. It’s young Ed, asking for that second date. But she turns him down. “I just, um—I don’t see us working out. I’m sorry.”



If Young Kelly doesn’t go out with Ed, how will they ever get married, and then divorced, and then will Admiral Halsey give Ed command of the Orville as a way of breaking him out of his depression? If they don’t go out, will young Kelly more aggressively pursue her route to the Captaincy, rather than staying as Ed’s second-in-command? Will any of the history of this show unfold the same way that we’ve already seen? Only the next episode, the conclusion to this second season finale, will tell.

Young Kelly rejects Ed


The Star Trek canon to this date has produced 767 episodes and films. Of these, Memory Alpha indicates that 59 of them feature time travel as an element. That’s almost 8% of Star Trek stories, not including novels, comics, or other secondary works. And no, I didn’t hide all 59 of their titles in this review, though I tried very hard to do so. With all of that, it’s hard to find a new spin, and this episode assuredly doesn’t, following the plot of “Second Chances” very closely throughout—until the end, which throws everything into a twist.

What makes the episode enjoyably watchable is the performances of the actors, especially that of Adrienne Palicki, who knocks this one out of the park. But the ending. What will come next? Is tomorrow yesterday?

I’ve seen speculation online that when young Kelly returned to her apartment in the past, she wasn’t hung over, and that this made the difference in her response to Ed’s second-date invitation. It’s also possible that the memory wipe didn’t work, or at least didn’t completely work, and she was left with the lingering sense that the relationship would be one filled with pain. I prefer to think that it is a manifestation of the butterfly effect. We know that Kelly’s decision in The Orville‘s “prime timeline” was a near thing, hanging on the edge of a knife, as it were. I believe that the butterfly flapped its wings, and she just decided differently.

But we will see! I look forward to the season finale on Thursday night.

Young Kelly back on Earth in the past

Brief Bits

  • This episode had the first-ever shortened credits sequence for The Orville, featuring an abbreviated version of the show’s theme music. Presumably, this is to allow for more story time as the opening credits are displayed over the next few scenes.
  • In the crew lounge, Malloy talks about Mercer’s meeting with Philippa Jones, the famous novelist. In real life, there are two prominent Philippa Joneses, one a visual artist specializing in installation art, and the other a historical writer. This may be a nod to one or the other of them, but it’s not clear to which one.
  • Does this show have a drinking problem? It’s not just in this episode, in many previous outings characters talk about getting wasted as if it’s the best way to spend an evening. But this episode is practically an advertisement for the joys of drunkenness.
  • Besides the pan around the two Kellys when they first meet, there are a number of great effects moments in this episode that involve the two of them together, including one shot where mature Kelly holds younger Kelly’s arm tenderly. It’s seamless.
  • In one scene, Ed and Gordon play a holographic video game in Ed’s quarters. It seems like dating is not the only place that Ed lacks “game.”
  • When the two Kaylon vessels show up, Ed orders Gordon to take the Orville to quantum to skedaddle out of the neighborhood, hoping they won’t notice. But this brings up a point I have often wondered—the galaxy is super, super huge. Why would you ever cruise at sublight speeds between star systems if you didn’t have to? It would be almost like standing still in comparison.
  • The Orville’s engine room is a goofy-looking set. The quantum reactor is basically a big wall with a giant light-up dartboard in the middle of it. It’s the one set that I’ve consistently felt let down by in a show of generally-excellent production design.
  • Hey, with Bortus and Klyden dancing in the nightclub, was that an instance of “little green men”? Okay, that’s my last Trek time travel episode reference. Can you find all the others?

Ed and Gordon’s holographic fighting game

Bortus and Klyden dancing

Notable Quotables

  • “I don’t know how the food synthesizers are going to replicate enough wine for two Kellys.” Mature Kelly
  • “Man, this girl can really soak it up!” “Please, this is nothing. At Union Point, I used to drink all night, and then report for duty the next morning.” LaMarr and Young Kelly
  • “Must all be pretty overwhelming, huh?” “I just—I feel like my whole life has already happened, and I didn’t even have any say in it.” “I feel that sometimes, and I haven’t even traveled through time.” Keyali and Young Kelly
  • “Hey, you know, I just had a thought: if Young Kelly meeting Old Kelly has changed the timeline – would we even know about it?” “How about we say “Past” and “Present” Kelly?” “You guys will not get me into a discussion of time travel logic—I would rather chew broken glass.” Gordon, Kelly, and Ed. I love this exchange.
  • “Seems clear by now for whatever reason the timeline is intact. Nothing you do will affect the future.” “Wow! What a great thing to hear about yourself.” Mature Kelly to younger Kelly
  • “What are your goals in life?” “To fall in love. To be captain of my own ship. To help make the galaxy a better place.” “And you can still do every single one of those things. None of who you are is changed.” “What’s the point, when she’s going to do it all first? And if she fails, I know there’s no point in even trying.” Keyali and Young Grayson
  • “Remember when you were dating Cassius, and I supported you guys and was totally cool about it?” “Eventually, yes.” Ed and Kelly
  • “Think of it this way. It’s almost like it could be a second chance for us.” “There is no us without me – she’s not me.” Ed and a right-on-the-nose Kelly
  • “How many times have human beings wished that they could go back and fix the past? Well, this is a real-life opportunity!” Ed doesn’t realize that what he’s really saying is that he wants to “fix” Kelly, which is incredibly insulting.
  • “So you’re telling me Isaac turned against his own people to save the Union?” Young Kelly gives what I guess is the show’s storyline on Isaac. Not that he betrayed everyone and indirectly caused the deaths of thousands of Union officers, but that he changed his loyalties in the end. I’m not satisfied with this treatment of the story.
  • “I had a really great time. Again.” “So did I. Again. Which in my case is a little more of a loaded statement.” “Everything you said after the third drink was a loaded statement, so…” “Oh, wow—that was a Dad joke—you made a Dad joke!” “You want to kiss your Dad good-night?” “This is so not romantic at all!” Young Kelly and Ed, in the best/worst exchange of the episode. Simultaneously realistic and gross at the same time.
  • “That bridge is a big place. I really felt for the first time the gravity of what you do every single day. You’re kind of amazing.” “Well, there’s a lot of you in there.” Kelly and Kelly make up.
  • “I’m sorry.” “It’s okay, I don’t blame you. She’s something special.” “That’s not what I mean. I’m sorry for what I’m about to do over the next five years of your life. The absence, the neglect. I wish I could undo it all.” Ed and Young Kelly.

Preview of the season finale


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Star Trek: Discovery did a better job at time travel than The Orville. This episode was too weird for me. The two Kellys are creepy. Discovery had a better season finale. Plenty of memorable moments from it. The Orville is okay but Discovery had a better season this time around. Maybe Seth MacFarlane can have better writers next season. 5 out of 10. Dumpster fire in a good way.

Yeah, Discovery is better, but you can’t really compare the two shows. Obviously Discovery is going to do these things better, because it is a drama that takes itself seriously. The Orville is a dramedy, that doesn’t really need to worry too much about whether or not things make sense.

“because it is a drama that takes itself seriously”

Lol. With the “the question may not be WHERE they are but WHEN they are”. Or the “SQL injections”. Or how the time crystal is supposed to burn out after one jump but the writers forget about it the next episode.

“The Orville is a dramedy”

Inserting a couple of plot-unrelated pee jokes doesn’t make “drama” a “dramedy”.

“that doesn’t really need to worry too much about whether or not things make sense.”

Discovery doesn’t worry about making sense either and people are fine with it repelling any constructive criticism with “you’re a h8r” :)))

Both shows are very flawed, and that’s the truth. Both have their pleasures and virtues, and that’s also the truth.

I can’t imagine either really standing the test of time the way, say, TOS has. But I’ve been wrong before.

I don’t think the writers have forgotten the crystal was supposed to do one jump, only. When Michael and Spock conclude she will have to jump back before jumping forward, there’s a lot of trepidation. Michael asks: “But, doing that, will I still be able to jump forward?”, and Spock answers: “That I do not know.” She retorts: “So you’re asking me to have a leap of faith?”, and Spocks comes back at her: “One that is only logical.” So, the writers were pretty much aware the characters thought a second jump wouldn’t be possible, and hence the “faith” aspect of the season playing it out. Here’s one possibility: maybe you weren’t paying too much attention, and chose to blame the writers instead…

Salvador there are a few things of the kind you’ve pointed out that fans lost track of in the frenetic pace of the finale…

Another one was that Tyler pointed out in S13 that they wouldn’t be able to be sure that Control was completely eliminated and someone who knew what had happened needed to stay behind and work in the grey areas.

But there are very many more inconsistencies, incoherences and holes than these exceptions.

Back in the 90s, Trek fans expected to need to watch an episode 2 or 3 times to catch all the details, and it worked.

With Discovery, for every detail I catch on rewatching, there are 3 more problems.

Which is why I don’t believe that it will have the rewatchability of earlier series.

I’m not sure how the Orville will hold up in reruns either, but for different reasons. While it puts its own twist on stories, a good portion are a retake on old ones, and many have adult themes.

Frankly, I don’t see either series having the potential for revenue generation in syndicated reruns targeted at Trek’s classic middle grade audience.

It is true there are gaps and holes. It is also true they are telling much more complex stories than in years past. In the end, if you’re not inovating and you’re not challenging yourself with the scope and ambition, you’re failing before you’ve even started. And in the end, the truth is in the characters, not in plot devices. That’s why I’m much more optimistic about the rewatchability of Star Trek: Discovery. I imagine what a great ride will be for a newbie finding the show for the first time on Netflix and binging the first two seasons before starting the third. And for us, following it week after week, I think rewatches will be fun too. In Season 1, it was fun looking for clues about Lorca after you know who he is. In Season 2, the whole convoluted story makes you want to go back, and see how much of it fits, and how many holes you can count. This is not a failure, unless it takes away the enjoyment of the story. But look at Greek mythology. The stories are full of holes, and people keep revisiting them, because the characters and the messages are compelling. Keeping with the spirit of the season, have some faith, my friend. :-)

You are confusing season 1 with season 2. Season 1 was the dramedy. Season two is full on 100% TNG clone. They are taking themselves WAY too seriously. A huge mistake. They don’t have the characters to sustain such a thing. And the lead actor can’t act his way out of a paper bag but CAN deliver jokes well.

Not one thing about Discovery’s time travel plot makes a lick of sense. It’s not even internally consistent.

This episode was great, so was the previous one. The Orville is very confidentally telling enjoyable and interesting stories.

In regards to time travel, I think it dealt with the subject way better than Discovery did.

the last two episodes were very good

Yeah, good show. Orville is the show that was nobody’s first choice, so it didn’t have a huge reputation to live up to. So, it could just relax, have fun, and tell a story…and they obviously love TNG era Trek, which is cute. I love it.

Don’t worry about it , Jeff. Time travel as shown on TV never makes a lick of sense.

It’s okay to like both shows. It’s not a contest.

This episode was incredible! Adrianne Palicki at her Emmy-worthy best. And it really gets you thinking just how crazy time travel could be. The ending twist was spectacular and sets up almost anything (or everything) to be changed in the series! The Orville is really a great series, even if hardcore Trekheads say otherwise.

I’m a hardcore Trekkie, and I think The Orville is terrific. In fact, in many ways I’d consider its first two seasons to be more personally satisfying than the first two seasons of Star Trek: Discovery.

I’ve rewatched every episode of The Orville two or three times, and some episodes (“Pria”, “Identity”) even more. The only episodes of Discovery that I can remember watching more than once are the two season premieres, the second Mudd episode, and the two season finales.

I don’t think it’s because The Orville tells self-contained stories that can be enjoyed in one-hour chunks more or less in any order while Discovery is basically two thirteen-hour movies that demand a sizable time investment. I think it’s that I liked what The Orville was selling more than Star Trek: Discovery. Every week when there’s a new episode of The Orville I almost always watch it again. When there’s a new episode of Discovery, I’m usually one and done.

We get it. You hate Discovery.

No, you don’t get it, but that’s OK. I enjoy Discovery, but the stories it is telling and the way that they’re being told are not appealing enough to spend the time on another viewing.

100% with you man. I like Discovery, but it’s not the intellectual feast that Orville is. It’s got comedy but it’s also got SIGNIFICANCE. Which is something that the pop TV show Discovery really doesn’t have. It’s gone a LONG way from the morality tales of Star Trek.

Feast? I dunno about that. Seth MacFarlane is writing morality plays that would pass for run of the mill Voyager, not elevated TOS-DS9 material. Obviously JMO.


It’s good, but an “intellectual feast” it is not, never has been, and even if it goes to 258 episodes, never will be. Neither is DSC for that matter.

All the 20th century references alone stop the show dead for me and take me clean out of it until it goes away.

“9 to 5?” That was not funny. It wasn’t even cute.

Some things from the 20th century are going to survive, of course, but this show marinates in it to the point of absurdity.

When they thought that Young Kelly was going to be stuck in the future, I don’t get why they didn’t just transfer her to a different ship. I know she asked to stay on the Orville, but that was just super inappropriate. It was also inappopriate for Ed to be dating anyone under his command, including either version of Kelly, or that Krill woman.

When young Kelly asked to stay on the Orville, I believe the decision was still being weighed. They still weren’t sure about whether or not they’d be able to send her back and the request was just one more thing to consider when moving forward. No decisions were made, though it’s possible the script or the editing could have done a better job of making all of this a bit more clear.

It’s not over yet.

CBS should give a Star Trek show to McFarland in the Enterprise Era( Federation year 1) since he was engineer on the NX Columbia

Wouldn’t it make sense to give him an animated Trek series?


Or, Orville ends with “End Program” and old Riker and Troi walking out of the Titan’s holodeck talking about how Ed and Kelly were or weren’t based on them.

I literally LOLed reading that.


Super review again Dénes. It really resonates with me. Thanks.

Not sure if it’s Brandon Braga’s hand in there, but the Orville’s willingness to pick up on loose threads from previous episodes or take a second look at a plot resolution, is a developing into real strength.

It made me think of Voyager’s Oblivion wherein the copies of the crew were driven to try to return ‘home’ to the Alpha Quadrant even though they were really Demon planet sentient goo. Well intentioned resolutions to previous plots are allowed to have unexpected and adverse consequences… something Discovery could have and should have looked at with the Kelpien’s losing their threat ganglia.

It shows how episodic television, done well, can allow events to impact future stories and allow long-term character development in a coherent way without long arcs of mystery boxes etc.

To me, it shows a mature self-reflection in the writing team that allows second thoughts about plot outcomes and characters. It also gives them freedom to admit that plot mistakes were made, or that they’ve got a better idea without a forced miracle.

On the drinking and other behavioural issues: the combination of ambition and less than ideal behaviour (including the drinking) seems to be a problem that the Orville is examining over time. . .Including its flip side of lack of ambition or sublimation of ambition. These are real issues that people military hierarchies face and the Orville seems to slowly be taking on.

Unlike Star Trek it doesn’t have the burden of an ideal society, so it has the opportunity to bring the audience along in this reflection in a way that a single Q episode of Picard’s regrets for youthful rashness cannot.

If this is the long run intent, then the Orville is will be making good use of the freedom from Star Trek social ideals to explore social issues.

Thanks for the thoughtful reply!

Your very welcome Dénes.

I really appreciate that Trekmovie has created a space for Trek fans to review and discuss this show.

Last thought…

When Ed Mercer was (wincingly) attempting to justify his pursuit of a relationship with young Kelly, Ed said that he wanted to move on with someone ‘who wasn’t Krill’…

There definitely seems to be a third act to come in Ed’s relationship with the Krill teacher who went undercover at the beginning of this season.

Perhaps a different way to explore the question of relationships that just can’t work — or the barriers presented by differences in values or cultures.

I could see this as a 3rd season counterpoint to Bortus and Klyden’s relationship struggles, or even a contrast with efforts at reconciliation between the doctor and Issac.

An excellent example of how one can create a compelling Sci-Fi episode with character-driven storytelling, and not with big-budget effects, space battles, and unnecessarily convoluted storylines.

McFarlane has transformed The Orville from a TNG parody to a TNG tribute.

….I still don’t get why anyone wants a TNG tribute show. It’s like tribute bands. Why bother?

Because there at least 3 million viewers that enjoy the TNG era of Star Trek (including VOY/DS9) and prefer it over the Discovery era.

@ Dave. According to the ratings, not so much.

Depends Afterburn whether the tribute is just a shallow copy or builds from the original source.

There have been a fair number of bands that started out on their local circuit as tributes, but then developed their own voice and their own music.

That’s what I see is happening with the Orville…

A bit of the road not taken being explored.

That’s because he never actually wanted a Trek parody. He’s expressed desire to do an actual Trek show several times. I’m fairly sure he used the “parody” pitch to make selling it to FOX easier. There hasn’t really been much plot-related comedy in The Orville – most of the “comedy” are just forced jokes about peeing.

The Orville’s comedic elements have evolved and minimized since season one. The comedy present in most of season two has fit well into the storylines.

Can you point me to specific examples? Because in this season I remember the “pee corner” in Identity Pt. 2, and the “urine sample” ( + potential rectal exam) in the episode that followed it. Completely forced and completely unnecessary. The only one I enjoyed was MacFarlane asking “So… you have any chairs on this planet? or…”

The “pee corner” is an example of the evolved humor as opposed to an overt, juvenile reference to bodily fluids.

I took it as a nod to how a Starfleet officer could be locked in a shuttle for days with no apparent bathroom. 1) they have to pee somewhere and 2) Malloy was in a shuttle bay – with a shuttle that apparently didn’t have a bathroom.

Also, rather than Malloy stepping in with a heroic idea and or/action, he just had to pee.

It wasn’t a necessary joke but it made the wife and I chuckle.

Agreed Dave, the Orville seems to like to poke at some of the irrationality of Trek.

My reaction was initially ‘Ugh, another body fluids joke’, but then I realized that it was another moment in which the more earthy Orville didn’t look away from an unpleasant reality.

Given all the places Trek officers have been trapped or held (holodeck, shuttles, caves, alien ships), it seems that their bodily requirements have been ignored on the basis of unseemliness.

Which is ironic given the emphasis on food and eating.

More to the point, armies and navies take latrines and heads very seriously as health issues. (Anyone who’s visited an old Roman fort can attest to this.)

So, kudos to the Orville writers for making the choice to take on the unpleasant with tongue-firmly-in-cheek.

Evolved to the point that it is endangered if not extinct. There are more laughs in CSI episodes than on Orville.

@ JS. Well, parody also got trotted out to keep CBS legal off their backs. As the show has (by some accounts) basically evolved into a TNG clone, it remains to be seen if IP infringement becomes an issue if the show is renewed for a third season.

Ugh, please stop with this stuff. There are now lawsuits to be filed over a genre. The producers of City Hospital had no right to file lawsuits against the creators of Dr. Kildare and Ben Casey for copying their show.

I agree about the concept that Seth sold the show as a comedy. But I suspect his intent was to drop the comedy asap because he really just wanted to to play Jean Luc Picard. This was as close as he could get.

It was never a TNG parody, or a parody at all.

And I think it’s now its own thing — not just a TNG tribute.

Advertising and fans have often referred to The Orville or a parody or spoof, but you’re right – it is not a parody. It is not a spoof either.

And tribute really isn’t the right word (despite me using it). It’s more of homage or love-letter to TNG and TNG era/style Sci-Fi.

I think I’ve stated this before, but I’ve always disliked McFarlane’s taste in humor, i.e., the Family Guy, Ted, etc., but one day I tuned into SiriusXM’s Sinatra Radio and “Two Sleepy People” by Seth McFarlane and Norah Jones was playing. I was blown away by his voice and subsequently picked up “Music is Better than Words”. And the album is amazing. It’s an homage or love-letter to an era of music that McFarlane loves and appreciates and his efforts are outstanding.

I think he brings his same love and dedication of Star Trek to The Orville.

It was better as a TNG parody.

Although, I don’t think that was ever the intent. It was meant more to be an homage to TNG and adding the jokes gave it its own twist. Without the jokes it’s not even an homage. It’s more of a rip off.

Philippa is from original Star Trek.

By the way, was it makeup? CG? Very good acting?

All of the above I believe…

Thought the episode was very good. Only quibble is sometimes the show is too much like The Next Generation. Orville had more movement and drive when it started, now it sometimes gets to be very static and subdued — that shot of two Orville crew sitting at a table before a window is an very reminiscent of TNG Ten Forward shots. That’s not wrong, just used a lot in TNG. Still enjoy the show very much.

Thanks for a great review and summary of the first part of the season finale. I have not watched much of The Orville this year, but now that Discovery is done and thanks to the review above, I can catch the finale this Thurs night. Let’s hope FOX/Disney renews for S3 because more science fiction on TV is always good. That said, I looked at the ratings and the move to Thurs nights seems to have hurt The Orville – not sure why they wanted to move it from Sunday but I guess they just wanted to remain head to head with Disco. I see no reason why a renewal announcement has not yet been made – let’s hope it’s not because the brass at Disney only want Star Wars as their one main science fiction property.

If you have Hulu I’d suggest trying to get caught up on some of the major Orville episodes from this season where key events occurred, because it looks like those events are going to be revisited (revised?!) Thursday night:

Episode 3: “Home”
Episode 4: “Nothing Left on Earth Except Fishes”
Episode 6: “A Happy Refrain”
Episode 8-9: “Identity” (Parts 1 & 2)

Thanks, although I got rid of Hulu when I switched to CBSAA while living in the US, I will see if I can find at least a couple of the suggested episodes on Netflix or Youtube, etc.

The show has always been on Thursday. Only the season premieres have been on Sunday.

Heh heh! I got a little chuckle every time I read another “Star Trek” episode title, though I had to read through a second time to catch some of them. Well, somebody had to do it. I counted a total of 24 without going to that list on Memory Alpha:

“Wrongs Darker Than Death or Night”
“Death Wish”
“Endgame” (twice)
“Time’s Orphan”
“Second Chances”
“The Enemy Within”
“Cold Front”
“Future Tense”
“Storm Front”
“Eye of the Needle”
“Time and Again”
“The Naked Time”
“Such Sweet Sorrow”
“What’s Past is Prologue”
“The Sound of Her Voice”
“Future’s End”
“Zero Hour”
“Little Green Men”

Oh, thank you! Thank you! I was hoping someone would try for this. But by my count, there are 31 references to Trek episode titles. Keep looking!

“and then will Admiral Halsey give Ed command of the Orville as a way of breaking him out of his depression?”

That’s a really terrible reason to give someone command.

My big criticism of Orville is that it comes across as a cheap Star Trek knock off. The one where Gordon fell for the girl on the phone was a copy of Geordie and the scientist in the holodeck.

Dénes House,

For me the Isaac IDENTITY story centers on whether you accept the explanation Ed gave the Admiral when he demanded an Isaac “kill switch.”

Ed explains “We can’t keep him [Isaac] in servitude, like his Kaylon builders did.”

In IDENTITY Part 2, 6 hours out from Earth, Kaylon Primary told Ed that Isaac was constructed after the mass extinction of their biological builders. This means Ed could only be referring to the non-biologicals who, indeed, had constructed Isaac with a “kill switch” which they activated without consulting him despite all their talk of treating Isaac with dignity and giving him a pratfall death to boot.

And when Kaylon Primary force fed Isaac the parables and family lore of Hailey’s ROOTS, he caused Isaac to confront the fact that his relationship to his builders actually was as Ed told the Admiral one of servitude, i.e. they were full of it.

Interesting thoughts. Not what I had gleaned from those conversations, but plausible.

I think this is the first episode of the Orville that doesn’t have some inappropriate mistake at the end. FYI, I didn’t like the use of the Dolly Parton song in the space battle.

I found it realistic as a tune played to enter battle.

The British Army during the French and Indian Wars and the American Revolution found the nonsense ditty YANKEE DOODLE worthy to march into battle to:

Then, of course, the Revolutionaries, found a way to turn it into a protest song a la NINE TO 5, and marched into battle with it too.

Well, I’m going to write a commentary that might only be for my own benefit. Maybe one or two other people reading this will understand the point I’m about to make.

This is a solid, enjoyable episode right up until they ruin it at the last possible moment. The most difficult thing to achieve, plot-wise, with a time-travel episode is getting the logic of the story to make sense. For example, if Joe Time-Traveler travels back into the past and changes things about his past self’s life, those changes must then be intrinsic to the Joe from the future who traveled back. If Future Joe, while in the past, somehow prevents his own parents from conceiving him, then he’ll never have existed to travel back and prevent his own birth. But, he already did travel back to prevent his own birth. But, how can he prevent himself from existing when he never existed to begin with? A person who was never born can’t do anything. And so on. This logic problem is commonly referred to as the Grandfather Paradox, and the only time-travel movie or TV episode to have sidestepped it (as far as I know) is ST09, which Bob Orci told us involves time-travel to a parallel universe, and therefore no meddling in the actual past of any character.
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“Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow” does something smart as a time-travel story: it has the time-traveler first travel into the future, which does not carry the logic problem (the Grandfather Paradox) inherent in time-travel to the past. While in the future, the time-traveler (Kelly) has her mind erased, thereby logically conforming future-Kelly’s lack of knowledge about the whole time-travel episode with all of the events leading up to past-Kelly’s appearance in the future. How come future Kelly didn’t have knowledge of the future for the past seven years? Because past-Kelly’s mind was erased before she traveled back to her own time. Past-Kelly can now live the next seven years like the whole time-travel episode never happened. See how neatly this side-steps the Grandfather Paradox?

At least, that’s how the story was unfolding right up until the very end, when past-Kelly (now back in her proper past) turns down Ed when he calls for a second date, thereby altering an enormous portion of future-Kelly’s history. Because past-Kelly does not continue to date Ed, does not marry him, does not divorce him and so forth, everything that we’ve seen happen in the show up until that point now cannot exist.
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Because of past-Kelly’s alteration of the timeline (i.e. turning down Ed for a second date), Ed and Kelly now have never had a long-term relationship. So, all of the scenes and episodes involving their relationship simply didn’t happen. Kelly, who never cheated on Ed and never felt badly about it, probably didn’t call in a favor to get him the job captaining The Orville, so everything that we’ve seen happen on the ship most likely didn’t happen. The whole show just fell apart because of the thoughtless decision to change the plot from a smart one that avoids the Grandfather Paradox to a dumb one that walks right into it with both eyes closed. That the plot undoes itself in this way suggests to me that the writers probably stumbled upon the smart, logical plot (i.e. the plot right up until it’s undone at the very end) by accident, rather than by thinking it through. My experience here suggests that most viewers probably won’t get what I’m talking about and probably weren’t bothered by it when they watched the episode. But, for me, it’s a huge disappointment. The Orville was so close to a very good and original time-travel story, and the writers blew it purely out of thoughtlessness.

Cygnus-X1 I can’t agree that this was a mistake.

This episode is the first part of a two parter. We know the plan went wrong, but we don’t know where.

We’ll need to see how the situation is resolved in part two before we can judge whether they have their time logic correct.

Your analysis assumes that the writers got the grandfather paradox wrong on the basis that Kelly rejected a a second date with Ed. The viewer should be worried that the original timeline has been undone.

However, the writers have laid breadcrumbs for other scientifically reasonable alternatives. Isaac and LeMarr say that it’s not clear what happened when young Kelly appeared.

First, there was a possibility that when young Kelly was brought forward, there was a bifurcation in the timeline, with a new, alternate timeline being created. The pocket universe is a possibility too.

Frankly, when young Kelly looked somber when she woke up back in her apartment, I immediately wondered if the memory wipe had worked. I wondered if she had a secret or subconscious

Dénes idea that a slight change or butterfly effect might have been at play…

Neither of these possibilities would be an issue if a second timeline was created either when Kelly was brought forward or at the point she made a different decision about Ed, as long as the original timeline persisted.

Lastly…and here is where the science might go off the rails…there may have been a quantum effect that brought Kelly to a different timeline because young Kelly wasn’t in the same state of mind as when she was brought forward.

At any rate, the writers have created a conundrum. I’m curious to see how they get out of it.

There is only one time line. We are the product of our own past history. The fact that you went back kill your own grandfather proves you failed in the attempt. Maybe you shot your grandfather and saw him fall. You went back to the future. He didn’t die, and while he was recovering in the hospital he met and married his nurse bringing you into existence. Then again, you are the one who was killed in which case you have no future.

Not a fan of manifolds in time cdrody?

Yes, each of us only has one continuous experience that we perceive advancing in one direction, but that does not exclude offshoots and parallel timelines.

If one goes back to shoot one’s grandfather, it’s not obvious that their is a single timeline forward from that event, only that any given observer only perceives one of them.

Personally, I’m not fond of infinitely bifurcating timelines and expanding manifolds (i.e along the lines of TNG’s Parallels), but manifolds in time have not been excluded by evidence.

“manifolds in time have not been excluded by evidence.”

Not by evidence, but by logic. Somewhere in the incursion, an event is going to happen which leads to other events that lead to the Grandfather Paradox. That’s actually where the Butterfly Effect comes in to play. Say, you travel back in time just for a micro-second and then return to the future. But, during that micro-second, you move air molecules in the past that would otherwise have not moved that way. Those air molecules have a cascading effect that eventually results in a Grandfather Paradox — they cause something to happen that is logically precluded from happening. For example, they change the YOU who went back in time, such that that person, in that exact form, never existed, and thus could never have traveled back in time. If the movement of those air molecules causes even one incident in your life — such as something normally insignificant that you see one day — to change, then that means that the YOU who traveled back in time changed future-You, which means that future-You never existed in the exact form of the You who traveled back in time, which means the whole series of events never happened.

(continued) Let’s say you’re thinking of getting around the Grandfather Paradox by traveling just one second into the past, arriving at a location halfway across the galaxy so that your incursion will be too far away in space and too close in time to future-You to have any effect on him. In other words, by the time that one second has elapsed between your incursion in the past and the existence of You in the future, whatever waves you made halfway across the galaxy wouldn’t have had nearly enough time to reach and affect future-You. So, no harm, no foul, right? Wrong, because time and space are inextricably related, and you can’t simply appear halfway across the galaxy in one second. Even if you traveled there via a wormhole, it would be a gradual (though perhaps very fast) process throughout which you’d be traversing both time and space at the same time. In other words, a microsecond into your trip through the wormhole you’d exist at a point closer to one side of the wormhole than the other and closer in time to when you left than when you’ll arrive, in this way affecting your environment throughout the entire journey. And this assumes no relativistic effects on the passage of time from a wormhole that (I’m assuming) is the product of space being severely warped by massive gravitation, which would cause time dilation and thereby defeat your purpose, not to mention spaghettifying you in the process.

To put it all more simply, time is a physical dimension of our universe as inextricably related to the spatial dimensions as the spatial dimensions are related to each other. Just as you cannot exist in length and width without also existing in height, neither can you travel through time without also traveling through space. Traveling through time is traveling through space, and traveling through space is traveling through time. The two cannot be artificially separated from each other any more than the height, width or length of any object can be totally removed from that object.

You know Cygnus-X1, I was going to say expanding manifolds in space-time for exactly the reasons that you give, but then thought it would switch even more people off the conversation.

And neither of us have even added in the complexity of different stochastic distributions in different universes, and/or how they vary across alternative topologies.

Actually, I really don’t like the expanding manifolds myself, but it’s not as though it hasn’t been given serious thought…and Trek explored the idea in TNG’s Parallels.

What I like better are concepts of space-time where timelines with greater likelihood or anchor events and or pivots effectively reduce the dispersion of outcomes.

In Trek-lit, Kirsten Beyer seems to have gone in this direction in her Voyager novels.


If the resolution involves an alternate universe, I suppose there are ways that story could be made to be satisfying. I’d much prefer that kind of resolution than one that doesn’t make sense. Time-travel stories are somewhat ironic in that they almost always involve a plot that doesn’t ultimately make sense but the story is still compelling in spite of its nonsensical plot. I think part of the reason time-travel stories are so irresistible (and so common in sci-fi) is that we’ve all, at some point, wished that we could go back in time and change something that we did or some other event. When the story focuses on this aspect of time-travel, as “Tomorrow…” does, it tends to hit the right spot with the audience. Regret themes are good to explore with time-travel, as TNG did so nicely with episodes like “Parallels” and “Tapestry.” The problem for the likes of us is that we’ve thought through the plot logic such that we now see what’s behind the curtain. So the plot in a time-travel story not making sense has the same effect on us as any plot not making sense. It’s like if, at the end of THE USUAL SUSPECTS, we were told that Agent Kujan is actually Kaiser Soze with no additional information. There’s no way that we could walk away not disappointed by such an ending.

That’s the POV I took with the one time travel script I spent a long time making, that there is only one timeline, so you can’t do anything to the past because it is past, but you can do stuff IN the past that isn’t discovered till the future.


How’d you know this was the first of a two-parter? I had no idea.
That does bode well, or at least better, in that there’s an opportunity coming up for the writers to get out of the mess they’ve created. But, I don’t see how an alternate timeline would resolve the issue. Firstly, an alternate timeline implies an alternate universe. There’s no way to have an alternate timeline in the same universe as the original. But, either way, if there was an alternate timeline, the future-Kelly of that timeline still obviously experienced the seven years hither to the present wherein she had the relationship, marriage, divorce, etc… with Ed. So, if the events in “Tomorrow…” are set in an alternate universe, then, while the Grandfather Paradox wouldn’t apply, the future-Kelly events would have no bearing on the characters that we’ve been following for the past two years, which is lame. And neither does attributing the alteration of history to the butterfly effect resolve the issue. Regardless of why history was changed, the fact that it was changed leads to the Grandfather Paradox. In any case, like you, I’m curious to see how they try to get out of it. But, I’m skeptical that the conclusion will make sense. I expect it will be a disappointment that does not make sense, like the conclusion of the last two-parter, “Identity.”

A number of the critics’ reviews have said that this was the first part of the season finale.

I figured that they must have more information than was obvious from watching.

Since nothing in the past two seasons ever happened, the Kaylons put Isaac on another ship and they have destroyed Earth and are on their way to destroying everything.


Seth was on yesterday’s (April 24th) THE TALK (CBS) and said most shows write scripts on the fly while getting ready to film the next episode but on the ORVILLE they write the entire season’s worth of scripts first so that when they start filming episodes they are only polishing scripts not desperately trying to come up with something.

Cygnus-X1, after seeing part II of the season finale, would you care to revise your remarks?!

Scott Gammans

The plot still doesn’t make sense, but I’m glad that they addressed the mess at the end of “Tomorrow…” As I said initially, I didn’t know that I was watching part 1 of a two-parter, so to me it seemed like a terribly sloppy way to end the episode. I can explain in detail why the plot doesn’t make sense, and I actually left out an important detail in my original praise of the “Tomorrow…” plot. The “Tomorrow…” plot actually doesn’t make sense either, even before the ending, due to what I said about time and space being inextricably related. You can’t travel through time without simultaneously traveling through space. There’s no *poof* you disappear from your bedroom on Earth and reappear on a starship halfway across the galaxy, without traversing the space in between those two locations, regardless of the difference in time. And if Kelly were to traverse the space in between in traveling to the future (say she travels at close to the speed of light, so the trip for her takes a month but everyone else ages 7 years during her trip. When she arrives at The Orville, there won’t be another, older Kelly on board, because there’s only one Kelly that has ever existed, and she’s the one who made the month-long journey to get there. Anyway, here’s why the solution in “The Road Not Taken” doesn’t make sense…
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While Kelly and Ed are dining in his quarters, Kelly actually says that if their plan is successful, “none of this will have happened.” If the alternate future never happened, that means that Finn didn’t go back and change the past. But, Finn did go back and change the past, and that’s why that alternate future never happened. But, if the alternate future never happened — regardless of why it didn’t happen — that means that there was no alternate Finn who went back and changed the past. And round and round. That’s the Grandfather Paradox. Kelly literally tells you that the story she’s in can’t happen.

Once it became clear how the plot was going to go, and that it wasn’t going to make sense, I lost some interest in the story. But, not entirely. I can’t judge “The Road Not Taken” any more harshly than “Yesterday’s Enterprise,” which is the TNG basis for this final Orville episode of Season 2. Like all time-travel stories, “The Road…” is ultimately about the characters. If the character moments are compelling, then the plot mechanism being the equivalent of a genie waving a magic wand doesn’t totally ruin the story. It does substantially lessen the stakes, though. The whole story is basically asking, What if… and then we see a puff of smoke, and we’re whisked off to a place that, by its paradoxical nature, cannot exist. But we’re ignoring that inconvenient fact in order to see where the question might lead us, if there were some logical way to go about answering it.

At any rate, the production values of “The Road…” are outstanding. It looks and sounds as good as a feature film. The scene when Finn says goodbye to her children drew a groan from me. Why are two children in the midst of all this danger? There’s no reason for them to be there other than to have a trite scene where the doe-eyed younger one tells his mommy that he doesn’t want her to go or whatever. This scene is a perfect example of what people are referring to when they complain about pandering to the emotions of the audience. That was the only such scene, though. And the rest of the story, while obviously told in a rushed manner so that they could fit it all into 40 minutes, was fairly solid. There are some things here and there that I could nitpick, but I don’t see the need. All in all, I’d say it’s an effective season finale that I expect fans of the show will enjoy and be pleased with. Not as good as “Yesterday’s Enterprise,” but I think the outstanding production values — the look, sound and feel of “The Road…” — carry it over the finish line.


As for the kids being in danger, they painted the Union status in the alternate Kaylon War as so bad, I just figured there wasn’t any Rebel Planet Daycare, i.e. there wasn’t anywhere safer.

But I think where we can both agree is where was the alternate Doctor’s maternal instincts in regards to having no compulsion into putting her children into MORE danger than what they’ve grown to accept as the norm?

“We are going to go to crush depth in a shuttle that just might not make it? Wait! I don’t want my kids to miss out on that!”

And then again, she doesn’t put them on Captain Kelly’s pirate ship when they plan to increase the ORVILLE’s artificial gravity in the lab to the point of possible self-destruction?

And why were they wasting energy generating artificial warping gravity when they had just come from an event horizon with its natural environs of increased gravity they already know they can use to hide from the Kaylons?

I wasn’t totally impressed with last week’s show, but this one really felt like a dud to me. The story — beyond seeing a ‘rough’ future, which I always like — didn’t engage me at all.

I try not to get too hung up on production values (well, I DO try), but on a series that spends what they do on vfx for spaceship chases, they couldn’t do better than sawing the door off a microwave and snipping its cord? Shoot, you could even see the round area that the rotating glass thing sits in. I put this right down there with the bar code readers on the 09prise helm in terms of poverty row stuff when they have the money to not do poverty row (when you make DARK STAR and use an 8-track tape, it’s okay because you’re poor and you’re making a joke about being poor, but here?)


I actually thought it was supposed to be a microwave until they replicated the Twinkie in it.


On THE TALK, Seth was trying to laugh off explaining his budget. But he winced when he said “over budget” which I take as an indication that may have had something to do with this.

Although, the Orville era’s fascination (nearing obsession) with the 1980s may be something we are supposed to infer influenced their food replicator’s design aesthetics, as well?

Also, they were salvaging the unit so it could have been from an earlier era. We are already 3D printing meals. I suppose the question for us is do we anticipate the food appliance marketers of our current era incorporating Twinkie making tech into our microwave ovens?


I’ll go you one better. They didn’t even have to waste all that energy time traveling an actual person with the right stuff. Since they were dealing with time all they had to do is go to some moment just before younger Kelly 1st appears on the Orville in time and send a signal to the Union’s medical database updating Kelly’s medical info so that future Doc would administer the correct mindwipe in the first place.

Although, I would have got a kick if for some reason the only database they could update was Isaac’s.


Sorry about the moniker typo. Seems it takes some effort to get the form correction to take.


Or, they go back to just before past-Kelly appears and send a message telling LaMar and Isaac what’s going to happen if they keep messing around with that device. Then LaMar and Isaac can be more careful with it. But, of course, the Grandfather Paradox applies equally there. If they prevent the accident by warning about the accident, then they won’t have existed to experience the accident and won’t have anything to warn about, but they did warn about the accident, which means that the accident must have happened, but it didn’t happen because they warned about it, ad infinitum.


Well, that was kind of what I was hinting at about updating Isaac. It’s one of the most infuriating things about these reset button stories. I mean alternate LaMar learned how to gather intel from the Kaylon communication network which would be extremely useful since Kaylon Primary cut off Isaac with “You will always be alone.”

The screwy way they went about restoring the timeline I fully expected adult Kelly to have her youthful wipe reversed as it no longer served any purpose in the present for her to “not remember” and that way Kelly would have something to show for all her temporal misadventures, i.e. Kaylon intel.

Although, maybe it’s too powerful. LaMarr could probably end the Kaylon conflict by loading copies of Isaac into all the other Kaylons’ heads?


“Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow” is a variation on TNG’s “Second Chances,” but it takes the TNG story idea in an interesting, new direction. If anybody hasn’t noticed it by now, The Orville formula is to take a story idea from a TNG episode and re-write it so that it goes in a different direction. As I mentioned previously, The Orville’s formula reminds me of Electric Light Orchestra’s mission statement: to pick up where The Beatles left off with “I Am the Walrus.”

As I elaborated below, I enjoyed this episode right up until the hugely disappointing ending. Another, much smaller logic problem in this episode, is to be found in the scene where The Orville blends in with the ice chunks in the gas giant’s ring system. The Kaylon, being far more technologically advanced than the Union, should have the ability to detect life-forms at a distance. It’s never been established that they have that ability, but given that the galactic powers in the 24th Century Trek universe have that ability, and given the Kaylon’s other technology, it seems a reasonable assumption that the Kaylon should be able to detect life-forms aboard powered-down The Orville as they pass by them. Even if the Kaylon can’t detect biological life-forms for some strange reason, they’ve already demonstrated that they have the ability to transpond with Isaac, whether he wants them to or not. The Kaylon can send Isaac a signal that pings off of him and back to the Kaylon, thereby allowing them to home in on him. When The Orville is powered down, it’s shielding that might have prevented Kaylon signals from getting in would also be off. So, when the Kaylon fly right by The Orville, they should have had no trouble detecting biological and Kaylon life-forms nearby.

Another plot problem with “Tomorrow…,” one that I expect more people will have noticed, has to do with how past-Kelly is transported to the future. The explanation given is that future-Kelly’s thoughts had some sort of quantum mechanical effect yada yada…basically a bunch of hand-waving. People’s thoughts aren’t really a factor in quantum mechanics. We don’t create reality by thinking about it — that’s just a bit of pseudo-science that some people have speculated about in popular culture. If you ask a reputable quantum physicist to direct you to the equations that have human thoughts as a variable, you might get an interesting response from him or her, but it won’t involve what you asked for, because there’s no such thing. But, OK, I’m willing to not dwell on this one because it’s the time-travel mechanism and the entrée into the story. They needed a way to get past-Kelly to travel to the future and a reason why it was she and not someone else who was affected by the time-travel effect, and the quantum/thoughts thing is what they came up with. It’s not a great plot device, but OK. I understand it’s not easy to come up with those sorts of conceits, though I suspect that if they’d had the TNG science consultant involved, the concept would have come out a bit less hokey. At least, I think, the TNG version would have been more thought-provoking by drawing upon more scientific concepts. But, this is The Orville, not TNG. And the lack of focus on science is one of the main differences between the two shows.

“People’s thoughts aren’t really a factor in quantum mechanics. We don’t create reality by thinking about it — that’s just a bit of pseudo-science that some people have speculated about in popular culture.”

Oh, yeah? Do some thorough research on the double slit experiment.


I think the wave/particle duality mystery is where pop culture got that whole bit about thoughts affecting physical reality. Granted, the double-slit phenomenon is a mystery. But, the mystery is why the act of measuring or “observing” the electron causes it to act as a particle rather than as a wave. If I recall correctly, about 1/3 of the pros explain the effect with the Many Worlds Interpretation, wherein the measuring device bouncing a signal off of the electron effectively measures the particle in one of many possible universes — or, causes the particle to “choose” one universe and hence one state out of many. But, it is a measuring device doing the “observing” and not a human thinking about where particle is going or should go. The unaided human eye is far too weak to see a single electron. In any case, the measuring device must send a signal (photons) to the electron and receive a signal back in order to “observe” where it goes. As far as I know, that physical interaction is what causes the effect, not a person thinking about the electron, like Kelly was thinking about her younger self.

Bortus and Klyden dancing together? They had a spectacular breakup the week before over Klyden being unable to adjust to life on the Orville and being miserable and disputive all the time.

Break ups tend to be a longer process than a single blow up.

Witness Ed and Kelly’s unresolved feelings.

Couples at the point of dissolution or trying to recover a relationship can go out and ‘cut a rug’ as they say.

STD cannot hold a candle to the Orville. Orville constantly has great episodes, Discovery never had a single decent episode and has tried to ruin Star Trek uninverse with stupid cannon mistakes. CBS should end Discovery and return to the formula that fans enjoyed the show for.

Glad someone else noticed the constant alcohol references in this show.

Sigh. This entire season has been a let down. It feels like I have had the same criticism over every single episode this season. Season 2 is NOTHING like season one. It’s as if they jettisoned the things that set their show apart from TNG. ie… The humor. Which has obviously turned out to be a tremendous mistake. Was I dreaming when I heard someone from the show claim they had some comedic episodes for this season? Was that a lie or were they just oblivious to reality? So very disappointed in the show this season. I sincerely hope if they get the green light for a 3rd (they may have it already, I’ve been out of touch for over a week) then I would hope it comes with the condition they return to the comedy that made season 1 work.


I can’t believe you’re still watching after an entire season that appears to have permanently established a new style and direction for the show, plus MacFarlane having literally said that the show is taking a more serious direction. You’re either very patient, very devoted to this show, or very desperate for entertainment. At this point, it’d be just as well to criticize the show’s lack of song-and-dance numbers as its lack of screwball humor reminiscent of Season 1. Obviously you can continue watching and being disappointed — and, actually, a fourth reason would be that you’re a glutton for punishment — but I see no reason to expect a return to the style of Season 1. If you continue watching, you will continue to be disappointed in the exact same way and for the exact same reasons that you’ve been disappointed all throughout Season 2.

I have continued watching due to the goodwill they created for themselves from the potential of season 1. There are shows I continue to watch out of hope they become more like the good shows they once were. Like SNL and The Simpsons. Maybe it’s misplaced hope but hope none the less.