Review: ‘The Orville’ Blasts To The Past In “Twice in a Lifetime”

“Twice in a Lifetime”

The Orville Season 3 (New Horizons), Episode 6 – Debuted Thursday, July 7, 2022
Written by: Seth McFarlane
Directed by: Jon Cassar

An accident involving the Aronov device sends Gordon Malloy back in time to the early 21st Century, and it’s up to the crew of the Orville to bring him back. But the ethics of time travel quickly become murky, leaving Captain Mercer to make one of the hardest decisions of his career.

Once again returning to pick up story threads from the first two seasons, “Twice in a Lifetime” manages to find new twists on standard time travel tropes by focusing on the characters involved and the heartbreaking decisions they have to make. Following on the heels of one of The Orville’s best episodes last week, episode 306 manages to equal or even top “A Tale of Two Topas” while centering on the show’s least compelling character, giving him a chance to shine.

Issac (Mark Jackson), Lt. Cmdr. Bortus (Peter Macon), Capt. Ed Mercer (Seth MacFarlane), Charly Burke (Anne Winters), Cmdr. Kelly Grayson (Adrianne Palicki), Lt. Gordon Malloy (Scott Grimes), John LaMarr (J Lee), and Lt. Talla Keyali (Jessica Szohr)

ACCORDING TO UNION TEMPORAL LAW, YOU MUST TURN BACK IF YOU WANT TO AVOID SPOILERS!

Time to write a book

Season 3 of The Orville seems to be all about revisiting storylines from seasons 1 and 2 and bringing closure to them. Out of the six episodes that we’ve seen so far, five have been direct continuations from previous episodes. As I’ve mentioned before, that has the benefit of adding depth to the universe of the show but has the tendency to make that universe feel somewhat narrow. If you’re going to do this, do it in a way that respects the characters and has genuine emotional truth to it—and Seth MacFarlane and his crew are doing just that.

This episode picks up the “Laura Huggins” thread that began in episode 211, “Lasting Impressions,” where Gordon Malloy uses the data on a young 21st-century woman’s cellphone, placed into a time capsule in Saratoga Springs, NY in 2015, to reconstruct her life, eventually building a simulation in which Malloy interacted with a computer-generated Huggins and fell in love with her. There have been brief mentions of the events in this episode since, but “Twice in a Lifetime” allows Malloy to actually meet the real Laura Huggins.

This happens thanks to the tweaking done to the Aronov device, a gizmo that served as the MacGuffin in the very first episode of The Orville, “Old Wounds.” Originally used to rapidly age a banana, the device appears briefly in 206 “A Happy Refrain” as something Isaac is studying, and then becomes the plot driver for episodes 213 and 214, first accidentally plucking a younger Kelly Grayson from the past and bringing her to the Orville, then making it possible for the subsequent damage to the timeline to be repaired. The device is also what makes possible the semi-canonical stories told in issues 5 and 6 of The Orville comic book series, written by series Executive Producer David A. Goodman, which take place between 213 and 214. Gordon gets thrown back in time in an accident during a battle with the Kaylon, who attack in an attempt to get their hands on the improved Aronov device.

This episode also moves two other storylines along which have their origin in this season: the Keyali/Lamarr romance and the Burke/Isaac conflict.

I don’t know how a person for whom episode 306 is their first entry point into the show will perceive it, but for those of us who’ve followed the show since its inception, these tendons and sinews connect everything into a satisfying whole.

Lt. Gordon Malloy (Scott Grimes)

I haven’t got a paragraph

At the center of the plot for this episode is the time-travel story, a staple of all science fiction in general, but also of The Orville since its debut. Executive Producer Brannon Braga is known for his love of time travel stories, but they always raise the question—given all the time travel stories we’ve seen in science fiction shows and movies from Back to the Future to The Terminator, from The Time Machine to Somewhere in Time, from Star Trek to Doctor Who and beyond—is there really anything new that can be done with a time travel tale?

The answer here is a resounding “yes.” While the overall plot of this episode leans heavily on the structure laid out in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, with the crew breaking up into teams in contemporary California, one team searching for a way to repair their time travel technology and another looking to bring someone back to the future, the freshness here comes from these particular characters and the choices they make along the way.

There are some very fun little bits of business, including a visit by Ensign Charly Burke and Isaac to a biker bar that is reminiscent of similar sequences in The Terminator and Terminator 2, where an artificial life form comes into conflict with burly bikers in a bar in order to get their motorcycles. But what makes it fun is that the artificial life form is Isaac, holographically disguised to look like actor Mark Jackson. That the reedy Jackson defeats the powerful-looking Ritchie in an arm-wrestling competition is funny but expected. How he pretends to be losing, to make it believable is fresh and funny. The scene is also a chance for Burke to show sassiness in some context other than her anger toward Isaac, which up until now has been her only real character facet.

Another fun section also involves Burke and Isaac pretending to be a married couple to gain entry to a vacant house that’s up for sale. They need to get into the basement of this house in order to drill for dysonium to power the Aronov device, which requires persuading the realtor that they are in love. The dialogue along the way is humorous, and the scene in the basement where Burke confronts Isaac about the death of her lost love is well done, and hopefully will bring closure to a storyline that feels like it’s run its course.

Similarly, the Keyali/Lamarr scenes are a mixture of classic tropes and fresh character moments. At the party that opens the episode, the two are always together, but later in engineering, Keyali helps to work a pulled muscle in Lamarr’s back with her Xeleyan strength. The humor and logic in this scene comes from our knowledge of both Keyali’s superhuman abilities and Lamarr’s legendary reputation with women. That it ends with a smash cut to fevered kissing is perhaps to be expected, as well-worn as that trope is.

Capt. Ed Mercer (Seth MacFarlane), Lt. Cmdr. John LaMarr (J Lee), Cmdr. Kelly Grayson (Adrianne Palicki), Lt. Talla Keyali (Jessica Szohr), and Isaac (Mark Jackson)

I’d like to make a speech

The core of the episode is the dilemma of what to do with Malloy when the Orville arrives back in time ten years after Gordon did. In the intervening time, he initially laid low, but after waiting three years he made a life for himself, finding the real Huggins, developing a relationship, getting married, and having children with her. He’s become a charter pilot and loves the life he has. When Ed and Kelly come for him, he doesn’t want to go back. When they force the issue, he responds with threatened force in self-defense. In the end, the trump card belongs to Mercer, who tells Malloy that the Orville will just go back ten more years and retrieve him before he ever made contact with Huggins, thus erasing his contamination of the timeline.

The verbal conflict here is powerfully written by MacFarlane and even more powerfully delivered by Scott Grimes. His character has been among the least-developed in the show’s three seasons, and while Grimes has shown he can sing and can pull off a joke, he has yet to be given the chance to really chew scenery with his acting. “Lasting Impressions” in season 2 was good, but here he shows that he really has the stuff. “A Tale of Two Topas” was a showcase for Peter Macon, Chad Coleman, and Imani Pullum, and this one is Scott Grimes all the way. That he rises to the occasion and delivers a truly heart-rending performance was unexpected, and a wonderful surprise. His scenes with MacFarlane also draw out the best acting Seth has done on the show so far.

And in true The Orville fashion, their argument is well-rounded, displaying two people with valid points of view and solid logic in their favor. Neither one has a clear-cut moral high ground, and both are passionate and committed to their duty. For Ed, it’s his duty to the timeline and to the Planetary Union, but for Gordon it’s his duty to his family and the woman he loves. It all comes down to a difficult decision for the Captain, and if the making of that decision isn’t quite on the level of Captain Kirk stopping Bones from saving Edith Keeler, it at least lives in the same neighborhood.

Unfortunately, some of the impact of it is wiped away when the crew returns to their home time, and Malloy essentially absolves Ed of the difficulties of his decision.

Laura Huggins (Leighton Meester) and Lt. Gordon Malloy (Scott Grimes), shown. (Photo by: Hulu)

That’s all I’ve got to say

Two more things to note, then I’m out of here. First, music plays a huge part of this episode, with Grimes on an acoustic guitar singing “That’s All I’ve Got to Say” at a party in the opening, and the score swelling with an orchestral version of the same song as a bookend at the episode’s close. While we’ve heard the wonderful Leighton Meester singing the song alone and with Grimes on harmonies in the past, this is Grimes’ first chance to sing it solo, and he really is wonderful. This is a show that pays close attention to its music, and at times it’s so good that even I can pick up on it.

Secondly, the special effects are amazingly on point here, and with a particular hard sci-fi edge that is deeply appreciated. The close-up shots of the ship throughout are gorgeous, and the design of the bridge with the large skylight in the center allowing for breathtaking space vistas is put to tremendous use here. Of course, we have an obligatory chaotic space battle with the Kaylon in the teaser—which sounds petty to mention, because every battle with the Kaylon this season has been movie-quality and exciting—but in every episode? What really stands out are the effects when the Orville is traveling through time, whether through the use of the Aronov device or through Lamarr’s brilliant use of Einsteinian relativity. The red-shifted streaks of the relativistic travel sequences are both beautiful and a mark of the show’s attention to real science every now and again.

Long story short, it’s hard to decide which was the better episode, this one or “A Tale of Two Topas,” but that’s a fun discussion to have.

From “Twice In A Lifetime”

COOL BITS

  • A lot of the costumes in this party scene are Star Trek-esque, with some that resemble Next Generation uniforms.
  • When Malloy, Burke, and Bortus take a “selfie” at the party, Bortus’ “big smile” is something to behold.
  • Early on, Lamarr says they can tune the temporal field to the “exact millisecond,” but that does not seem to be the case either time the ship attempts to go back in time.
  • In my review of the first episode of this season, I noted that the theme music for the show has been re-orchestrated to be a more epic version, but for some reason the intensity of it had diminished. This episode, it sounded to me like the theme has been intensified with additional horns. Am I imagining that?
  • I don’t know what “pattern delta-five” could mean when racing through a constantly-changing debris field.
  • It’s weird having a communications screen pop up in the middle of the main bridge window while racing through a debris field and the window is your main line-of-sight means of navigation.
  • The shot of Gordon racing through the hallway echoes Marcus Finn doing the same in first episode
  • The obituary for Gordon Malloy in the past is an odd artifact that raises some questions: First, where did it come from? If the Orville downloaded it from Union Central in their present, then what does that say about damage to the timeline? If not, then where did they get it? Also, the obituary says that Gordon is survived by his wife and son and two granddaughters. Lauren is pregnant with her second child in 2025; what happened to her second child? Malloy’s obituary says he loved his German sports car, but in this episode he’s driving a Toyota Camry—I  guess he buys the nicer car in the future?
  • Ed and Kelly go back to find Gordon in 2025; presumably, Jean-Luc Picard and his crew have just recently left Southern California.
  • When the shuttle leaves and returns to the ship, they have to fly carefully past the cool new fighter that they got in episode 301 and haven’t…ever…used.
  • Is that the exact same bar as in Terminator 2?
  • This episode is quite religious—Jesus Christ is mentioned five times!

Lt. Gordon Malloy (Scott Grimes) and Laura Huggins (Leighton Meester), shown. (Photo by: Hulu)

NOTABLE QUOTABLES

  • “Well, why wouldn’t you just keep it? Then you could have two sandwiches instead of one!” “If Commander Lamarr had not followed through with his intent to send the sandwich into the past, it would have caused a temporal paradox.” “In which case, an entirely new universe would have branched off from this one, all because of a sandwich.” Gordon, Isaac, and Lamarr.
  • “We have already failed.” “Not necessarily. See, that’s where temporal mechanics gets muddy. It’s all in flux.” “Our behavior is, as yet, a variable. Until and if we make the attempt to rescue Lt. Malloy, we are existing in a superposition of several possible timelines.” Bortus, Lamarr, Isaac.
  • “Somebody already had ORVILLE, with an R. I was so pissed. OVILLE was the best I could do. Sounds like a shitty band.” Malloy talking about his vanity plates.
  • “Well, you know, it’s like watching your little brother make a bunch of stupid mistakes. Yeah, he’s an idiot now, but you can see him learning, and growing, and you know that someday all those mistakes are gonna turn him into a smart guy.” Malloy with an optimistic view of the past.
  • “Oh, no. I am losing.” Isaac, making it look convincing.
  • “Gordon tells me you work out of the Boston area. You must be Sox fans.” “Yeah, yeah. I mean, it gets cold out there, so socks are uh…” “Socks are important.” Laura, Kelly, and Ed – not quite “Do you guys like Italian?” but it’ll do.
  • “No. No, I’m not your lieutenant. I’m not your helmsman, I’m not your crew. I’m Gordon Malloy, and this is my house.” Malloy
  • “Temporal law can blow me.” Malloy
  • “I’m a human being. We’re social creatures. Without each other, we die. Was I supposed to die?” “To protect the timeline, yes.” Malloy and Mercer.
  • “Ten years ago, I wanted it. More than anything in the galaxy. But not now.” Best line delivery of the episode.
  • “Even when the pandemic came – you knew. When everything around us seemed like it was falling apart… you told me it was gonna be okay. And I believed you. Because… you know. Don’t you?” Laura to Gordon; it’s interesting, when Picard and company went back to 2024 in Star Trek Picard, Season two, the pandemic is not even mentioned.
  • “Well, this is the main living area. Plenty of room for just the two of you, or if you’re looking to start a family. I’m assuming you don’t have kids yet?” “Negative. Insemination has yet to occur.” Realtor Nancy Weber and Isaac.
  • “No matter what, I will always love you both. Do you understand? Always. This family is stronger than time. And no matter what happens, no one can take that away from us.” Gordon to his family.
  • “In the old days, we would’ve finished off that bottle and drained two more.” “Yeah, well, we were younger.” “You’re right. Let’s try for three.” Kelly, the first step is admitting you have a problem.

Lt. Gordon Malloy (Scott Grimes), Cmdr. Kelly Grayson (Adrianne Palicki), and Capt. Ed Mercer (Seth MacFarlane)

EXTRA: Gordon Malloy’s obituary

Gordon Malloy, Pilot and Flight Engineer, Dies at 96

Mr. Malloy died peacefully at his home in Pasadena, California, on July 12th, 2068. He was an exceptionally skilled pilot and maintenance mechanic for a local charter airline. He moved to Pasadena from rural Connecticut in 2018 and married his beloved wife, Laura Huggins, a singer and teacher, the following year.

Little is known of Mr. Malloy’s life before he moved to Pasadena. According to acquaintances, he earned his private pilot’s license in his late teens, and was largely self-taught as an aircraft mechanic. Colleagues described him as one of the most intuitive and insightful aerospace specialists they had ever known, with a knowledge of engines, arerodynamics, and electronic flight systems surpassing that of many graduates of top-tier universities.

In a career spanning more than three decades, Malloy logged some 25,000 flight hours in a variety of commercial and experimental aircraft. He was certified to fly contra-rotating twin propeller planes, single, twin, and triple engine jets, and, late in his career, hypersonic trans-atmospheric vehicles powered by liquid, hybrid-solid, and metallic hydrogen fueled rocket motors. His favorite flying machine was a single-seat, jet-powered stunt plane he designed and built himself.

Although he clearly had the skills and the experience, he never sought to break records or impress his fellow pilots with extraordinary maneuvers, preferring to keep a low profile and spend his off-hours tinkering with the engine of his German sports car and home-built stunt plane. He received numerous offers to fly privet aircraft for wealthy business executives and famous celebrities for much mor emoney than he earned on local charter flights but as far as anyone knows he never availed himself of these opportunities.

After work, Mr. Malloy spent most of his free time with his wife and son. He was a devoted father and loved to take his family hiking and camping in the Sierra Nevada mountains, and in the first weeks of summer, on cross-country drives to the coast of New England.

His wife Laura described him as a homebody and a bit of a prankster. Even in the most trying times, she said, Gordon could always make her laugh. He enjoyed watching old movies and classic sitcoms, and attending his wife’s occasional musical performances at local clubs and coffee houses.

Malloy retired from the aviation business in 2049, but continued to consult on various transportation-related engineering projects, focusing in his final years on magneto-electric propulsion systems for hovercraft. His passion for aircraft mechanics and flying was exceeded only by his love for his family. He is survived by his wife Laura, his son Edward, and his two granddaughters. Funeral services will be private. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations in Mr. Malloy’s name be made to the Altadena Cat Sanctuary.

Lt. Gordon Malloy


Keep up with all The Orville news and analysis on TrekMovie.

Subscribe
Notify me of

60 Comments
oldest
newest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Come on hulu give use a Renewal for Seasons 4 and 5! :-)

Probably means we wouldn’t see NeW episodes till 2024 but now we have the experience to handle that kind of Wait…

I loved this episode and absolutely adored the episode from Season 2 which this picks up from. I truly hope we get a Season 4 of The Orville as it feels like the show has truly found itself.

Two great episodes, one after the other. How to take an old idea and give it a new twist. Seth is doing a great job for all of us who want more Berman era SciFi.

In Gordon’s message he said he’d been in 2015 for six months. Later in the episode they decided that the way to fix the problem was to go further back in time and rescue him before he got together with Laura and had 1.5 kids. When they arrived in 2015, Lamarr said, “He’s been here about a month.” This means they picked him up *before* he sent the message, which means he never sent the message, which means they never knew he was in the past and they never went there.

Likely intentional by the writers. They hinted earlier that to do something like this it would create a temporal paradox, and even went as far as to say a separate timeline might spring from it (iirc). Makes me think it was done this way to suggest that the other Malloy family might still keep going in another timeline.

My thinking exactly. Too bad they didn’t mention that possibility in the end…like 3 months later the sandwich is re-materializing and someone mentions what Isaac said in the beginning of the episode, and then they all come to the conclusion that Malloy’s copy still exists in the branching universe living with his family. I think it would be a fitting ending.

I think they felt they were doing something poignant, but I thought that Ed and Kelly, particularly Ed, were incredibly cruel when leaving Gordon and his family (i.e. ‘see you soon’). The episode ended on too much of an upbeat note.

Even if the episode played out exactly the same plot-wise, it needed a more somber tone to finish out the episode. A look, Ed and Kelly give each other when Gordon rips into his “other” self, something.

While I hold out hope the other Gordon survived with his family in the past, I feel like it’s doubtful. I don’t think having the other Gordon and family survive would have undercut any of the dramatic scenes prior.

There was no need for them to visit Gordon the first time, and there was no need for them to visit him the second time. Had he agreed to go with them the second time, his kids would still be around. So the only reason they were going there was to tell him they were go back to erase everything, which is just cruel.

One thing I was thinking was that this episode had an element of Tuvix to it.

As it it wasn’t already such a copy of Trek. Lol

The series is getting better every season though. Basically, the more they carbon copy Star Trek, the better it gets.

IMO, this is NOT the last we’re going to see about this alternate timeline. Malloy states that his family is “stronger than time” and he means it. It’s foreshadowing future events. In the last scene, I think he’s just saying what he thinks Ed and Kelly and the Union want to hear and that he’s actually plotting to get back to Laura and his children. He knows now that the ship can time travel at will and he’ll find a way to go back to that other past.

Can it still time travel at will? Lamarr said it would take six months to fix the Aranov device, and they were planning to get it off the ship at the beginning of the episode. If they do fix it now, I’m not sure if they will do so on the Orville.

Gordon named his son after Ed Mercer.

A good episode let down by its ending. I don’t quite understand Ed’s dogmatic attitude and complete lack of empathy. I know it sets up an emotional showdown, but it sabotages Ed for the convenience of the story. The characterizations in this episode just felt all wrong. Not only that, the family acts completely passively to what they are witnessing, like they are NPCs. But the biggest issue comes with the resolution, there seems to be no consequences, not even a hurt feeling. The episode is carried entirely by the incredible charisma and intensity of Scott Grimes, it makes you forget the rest.

He turned Janeway, like the Tuvix episode. He didn’t want a time travel headache. =D

Nailed it! 😂

While watching this episode, I was frustrated how Ed’s position was hypothetical (as Malloy pointed out) while Malloy’s situation was actual. But I realized by the end that this was the only way to tell this story. If Ed had a concrete problem caused by Malloy’s behavior, like an actual loss of life or even just a change in the timeline that he could point to, Malloy would feel bound to help correct it. He would view it as self-sacrifice. And while that could be a great story as well, it would be a different story than the one they wanted to tell.

I accept Ed’s argument on the grounds that, at least according to his understanding of time travel, Malloy’s situation was technically hypothetical as well. It’s not a perfect solution but it gets me mostly there.

One thing I think they could have done differently is simply not tell Malloy they were going to go back and pick him up earlier. That felt cruel and vindictive, for no reason. I hope that it points to Ed (and Kelly) being more angry with themselves than with Malloy, but taking it out on him. It doesn’t say nice things about their character but it would give them fuel for a redemption arc later.

Finally, while the time dilation thing was cool science, what does it do to the timeline to have a Union vessel traveling at sublight speeds between two planets for 400 years? Seems like that’s an opportunity for a lot of things to go wildly awry.

Agreed, Ed’s position was not only cruel, but it also didn’t make sense. Ultimately I agree that this was the only way to tell the story, but there had to have been a better way to handle the character nuances. Most of the episode just made me angry and befuddled by Ed.

I think we’re so used to Star Treks casual attitude to “I’m just going to stay here” that we forget, temporal contamination could have real long lasting effects. I get Eds Point, hard as it was for him to not just accept what Gordon wanted.

Yeah, the ending is kind of a reset button but it makes sense, that they decided to split the timeline and let Gordon live with his family. May they bring the story back later on. They have been good at it so far.

One thing the writers got wrong, which makes the decision Ed made even worse than the writers told us. At the end of the episode Ed says “… there are two children who will never be born”. That’s just plain and simply lowballing it. If we assume that every of Gordons Children had 2 kids thems selfs and so on and so on. And we assume 4 generations per 100 years, that makes 16 generations. About 65k People will not be born. Ed kill 65k people… now let that sink in.

It is likely that Laura married and had different children in the original timeline. Ed actually “saved” those lives and their offspring, which likely added up to a similar number. So, no harm no foul? Kind of a crass way of saying it, but from Ed’s perspective perhaps a way for him to sleep at night…

You don’t really know that. The US Birthrate has been below replacement level for decades now. It’s just as likely, that Gordons Children might have simply chosen to not have children themselves. That’s not a more likely scenario but it’s just as likely as yours

If you read the obit, it only references one child. It does not say even that one other child preceded Gordon in death. I’m guessing that this was an error by the person responsible for writing the obit for the screen and either they didn’t catch it in time, or expect anyone would really notice once they saw it.

This one had its moments and Scott Grimes stepped up to the plate, but I really wasn’t feeling the central dilemma. The entire exchange between Gordon and Laura of how they met and then where she explains his otherworldly qualities… it all was pretty inert. There was a lot to get through quickly for the plot’s sake, but they didn’t feel like a lived-in family at all. I did like the Red Sox moment though.

Burke and Isaac worked better, and not having her anger resolved by the end was believable.

The technobabble needed to get the ship back was a little trying, as were the gratuitous back to back Christmas light shows, but I appreciate what this show is trying to do.

The Xmas light shows were the relativistic doppler effect.

http://spiff.rit.edu/classes/phys314/lectures/doppler/doppler.html

I know. But twice?

Uhhh… yeah?

200 lightyears to that star, 200 lightyears back. Do the math. 200+200 = 400 years

Thank you, I get the science. I’m saying as entertainment value it was boring to do twice the way they did it. They fly out, stop, have a breather, then do it again. It’s dramatically inert. You’ve gotta use that gratuitous VFX budget to slingshot around something and make it more exciting.

So what do we think? Will the sandwich appear at an especially opportune moment three months from now?

Absolutely! The show has too many callbacks to pass up an opportunity like that one.

On one hand I want it to appear in a significant way that helps them out in some fashion.

On the other hand, I want it to just randomly “plop” into existence while they’re busy with something else, and they barely notice.

Either way works.

Sandwich will appear at the same location it was transported from. Which means, it will appear in the middle of space, unless the Orville remains at the exact location 3 months from now…

Or worse, maybe the sandwich appears inside another ship, or some bulkhead somewhere.

YES!

I was so angry with this episode. Last week, Grayson was all Gung-Ho about helping Topa. The crew was willing to find ways to break the rules without getting into too much trouble. But this week, Grayson and Mercer did the unthinkable by removing Malloy’s children from the timeline. Honestly, if they had told me that they had done that, I would have (at the very least) resigned from the Union.

So the oath you’d have taken to get into the Union would mean nothing to you, eh?

Oaths are pretty meaningless in modern society. Here in Australia all elected members and military personnel have to declare a personal oath of allegiance to the Queen. It has no real meaning.

YES, exactly right! I was honestly confused by Ed, I didn’t recognize his characterization at all. Ed’s behavior is completely unforgivable and there is just no internal consistency. Terrible episode.

But he didn’t. They went back to a time before Gordon sent the message they used, to get him back. So by removing him, they split the timeline letting the other Gordon live out his life with his family …

The logic of Ed’s argument is that time travel in the Orvilleverse doesn’t create separate timelines, but instead overwrites the timeline that follows the change. By going back and yanking out early Gordon, they erased later Gordon (and his family).

They said its all confusing and they wouldn’t necessarily be separate timelines. But by grabbing him before he can notify the Orville of where he was. That would create a paradox that could only result in two different timelines. One where they went back and one that they didn’t.

But………Then that means there is two Orvilles in the current timeline. 1 The one from the other one that went back in time to get Gordon and one from the current timeline they went to.

So maybe the only thing it really did was prevent him sending that message that in theory could be picked up by other worlds well before it made it to the orville, sanatizing the timeline. (then again the whole galaxy would have seen them traveling extremely slowly through the galaxy for 400 years).

I gotta say the guy who plays Isaac is pretty hot. Wish we saw his human form more often. Its doesn’t help that all of the other males actors are fugly.

Yikes. I’ll admit sometimes finding an actor attractive is the deciding factor if I keep tolerating a show I’m on the fence about, but I don’t see the point in being merciless towards people like that, it just leads to hurt feelings.

They’re actors, I think they can handle someone saying they are very unattractive.

That is the dumbest thing I’ve heard today, congratulations.

You must not have much life experience. I understand that people who live in tiny bubbles are not use to a life of criticism and having their thoughts challenged.

My life experience has taught me it’s rude as f*ck to make such tasteless comments, especially in public where the person in question could read them. What are you? 12 and still bullying kids with glasses in middle school?

Casually saying someone is ugly is not criticism, it’s objectively cruel. Furthermore it’s a boneheaded thing to say that actors are somehow impervious to such casually vicious remarks. Be better, this is an idiotic thing to dig in your heels about.

Wow your comment is unbelievably idiotic. Being actors doesn’t make them less human, and in fact as actors they’re probably more sensitive to comments on their appearance. You do know they have books on emotional intelligence right?

Really? I don’t think there is anything wrong with any of the other male actors. Seth himself is a handsome man.

Maybe I’m not qualified to say this, as a straight man, but I think all the males are pretty good-looking, each in their own way. (The females too.)

The Union’s temporal laws are incredibly arrogant, as Malloy pointed out. For anyone to assume that their timeline is any more important than any other makes no sense. In any case, they’d have no way of knowing — ever — that their timeline was altered. It’s a meaningless concept as timelines are continuously being altered. The captain’s being intent on pressing charges was WAY out of character.

Nevertheless, it was a very good episode. And as the review pointed out, the music on the series has been outstanding.

Least favorite episode of the series. Kirk and Spock used vacuum tubes do research. In City on the Edge of Forever. They knew the decision had a real effect.
Sorry.
The crew with a full star ship in orbit, was quoting rules and what-ifs in front of a mother while discussing deleting her kids. My wife would have grabbed the phaser and taken out anyone threatening her daughter.
They showed no concern for those lives. We have seen them when they care, and they didn’t give an F. Disturbing as a Dad. If would have been hurt and conflicted if you Told me I had kids and you erased them. Even If I understood. Again missing emotion.

This episode reflects badly once again on the intelligence and total lack of human resource management by Captain Mercer. You would have thought that his Number 1 executive officer might have offered some suitable advice on the matter before going in all guns blazing on a potentially kidnapping mission.

When they discover that the Orville arrived ten years late, they should not have made any contact with Molloy. Your initial retort to that, is how dumb are you? — They were on a mission to rescue him. However, because they arrived ten years too late, that meant that Molly was ten years older both mentally and physically, and there was now a ten year gap in his experience of piloting a starship, and so not somebody who could just sit down and carry on as a pilot who had been away for a couple of days.

Would any rational captain want him back under those terms where he would have to be reconditioned and retrained? Also anybody with any common sense would know that in those ten years, Molloy would have put down roots in the society (as evidenced by his obituary that they read) and perhaps would not be too keen on leaving and then just returning to the Orville timeline of having been absent for just a day or so.

Thus once the dysonium had been retrieved, Mercer should then, wthout all the conflict and drama of a a 10 year too late arrival, do what he had to do anyway because of Molloy’s refusa lto leave, ,and that was jump back a further 10 years and retrieve Molloy just after had had arrived in 2015.

Of course this would have meant a sensible episode without an artificially contrived conflict due to the lack of forward thinking of the captain, but that is the way many of the episodes are lazily plotted.

Yeah like nobody ever thought about face hugging aliens (even thought they have a habit of watching all those 20th century movies) and would warn everybody not go sticking your face inext tp one such as in the episode with the adventure in Kaylon space.

There’s one other creepy aspect: Laura said that Gordon immediately “got” what she was trying to do with her music, and so she was attracted to him.

He “got” her for the simple reason that…he had gone through her whole cellphone! He knew every detail of her life, and used that to form a relationship with her! And when she finds that out (he did admit he “met” her in the future), she doesn’t run off screaming?

It would have been cool for Malloy to shoot them all in the back for trying to erase his family. After all, they are the ones who mucked up the rescue. They timeline obviously was not damaged, based on the obit and union files. Yep, he should have shot them. That would have made the Orville story better.

Gregory Itzin dies at 74

“While centering on the show’s least compelling character…”

OK, I admit that Malloy hasn’t had a lot of development since the beginning of the show, but let’s be honest: LAMARR is BY FAR the least compelling character in the show. I don’t mind him as chief engineer, but J Lee is the weakest actor in the series. I wouldn’t mind seeing him and Kayali as a couple, but honestly, that storyline for him is one of the most interesting things to happen to the character in 3 SEASONS. At least Malloy had the previous storyline with Laura. And he almost always gets in a few lines with Mercer or Kelly, and at least him telling a joke is BELIEVABLE. Half the time, I feel like J Lee is phoning it in.

All that said, by far, this was Scott Grimes best performance in the series. I hope they find a way to further the storyline – maybe as an alternate universe (a la the whole “Sela” concept from TNG). Not to mention I’m a fan of Leighton Meester, but I do prefer her with a little more personality like from her “Community” days.

All things considered, this has been a great season of The Orville. There’s been a few episodes that felt a little long and maybe even heavy-handed, but you can’t deny the quality has certainly improved. I’m also glad to see a little more of the humor being added back in. And, like her or not, the chemistry between Issac and Charly was ON POINT in this episode. I hope they keep going the direction they did with this one. If so, I may actually end up liking Anne Winters and want to keep her around. But right now, I still don’t think I’d care if she just disappeared…

Absolutely loving this show and this episode. Don’t like time travel, but loved the conflict with Malloy and Mercer.

Scott Grimes has great acting chops, as anyone who has seen “The Last Patrol” episode of Band of Brothers knows.

There’s some minor errors in the copy of his obituary you’ve got there. Have corrected below:

Gordon Malloy, Pilot and Flight Engineer, Dies at 96

Mr. Malloy died peacefully at his home in Pasadena, California, on July 12th, 2068. He was an exceptionally skilled pilot and maintenance mechanic for a local charter airline. He moved to Pasadena from rural Connecticut in 2018 and married his beloved wife, Laura Huggins, a Singer and teacher, the following year.

Little is known of Mr. Malloy’s life before he moved to Pasadena. According to acquaintances, he earned his private pilot’s license in his late teens, and was largely self-taught as an aircraft mechanic. Colleagues described him as one of the most intuitive and insightful aerospace specialists they had ever known, with a knowledge of engines, aerodynamics, and electronic flight systems surpassing that of many graduates of top tier universities.

In a career spanning more than three decades, Malloy logged some 25,000 flight hours in a variety of commercial and experimental aircraft. He was certified to fly contra-rotating twin propeller planes, single, twin, and triple engine jets, and, late in his career, hypersonic trans-atmospheric vehicles powered by liquid, hybrid-solid, and metallic hydrogen fueled rocket motors. His favorite flying machine was a single-seat, jet-powered stunt plane he designed and built himself.

Although he clearly had the skills and the experience, he never sought to break records or impress his fellow pilots with extraordinary maneuvers, preferring to keep a low profile and spend his off hours tinkering with the engine of his classic German sports car and home-built stunt plane. He received numerous offers to fly private aircraft for wealthy business executives and famous celebrities for much more money than he earned on local charter flights but as far as anyone knows he never availed himself of these opportunities.

After work, Mr. Malloy spent most of his free time with his wife and son. He was a devoted father and loved to take his family hiking and camping in the Sierra Nevada mountains, and in the first weeks of summer, on cross-country drives to the coast of New England.

His wife Laura described him as a homebody and a bit of a prankster. Even in the most trying times, she said, Gordon could always make her laugh. He enjoyed watching old movies and classic sitcoms, and attending his wife’s occasional musical performances at local clubs and coffee houses.

Malloy retired from the aviation business in 2049, but continued to consult on various transportation-related engineering projects, focusing in his final years on magneto-electric propulsion systems for hovercraft. His passion for aircraft mechanics and flying was only exceeded by his love for his family. He is survived by his wife Laura, his son Edward, and two granddaughters. Funeral services will be private. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations in Mr. Malloy’s name be made to the Altadena Cat Sanctuary.   

My friend ‘The Dude’ texted me his thoughts…

The ending made it seem like the fleet was all fine & dandy after that battle at the beginning of the episode. Maybe they averted that by sending a message while in the past. They could have even advised to stop that scientist from making that time machine, or keep it more secret. But what about that egg salad sandwich? Now thats a paradox!

The previous episode was a pretty good follow-up in tricking conservative viewers into supporting trans rights for Topa. Then there was the one with the Krill punishing for abortion. Was this episode also about abortion in a way? Using time travel, they aborted Gordon’s baby, kid & happy relationship with the girl he was stalking.

I keep forgetting about the alternate universes – so the little old Gordon from Pasadena lives on with his family. What about the other handful of Gordons that split off when the time machine had a power-gasm? I smell a followup episode!

However, none of the crew or Gordon himself thought his happily married existence would continue… thus the drama at phaser-point. Even afterward there was a sense of guilt! So, did they just forget about alternate universes to add more drama to the show?

Inconsistent…

There was an inconsistency in the show.

When John did the experiment with the sandwich, he explained that, if he had not sent the sandwich into the future so that it could then be sent back into the past, then a branch universe would have been created due to the temporal paradox.

However, the supposed need to return Gordon to his own time supposes that there is only one timeline.

These two views are incompatible. Given John’s comment about the sandwich, Gordon’s presence in the past should create a branch timeline, without risking anything about the timeline in which Ed and Kelly and the crew exist. There should be no imperative for Gordon to return to his own time in order to “protect” the timeline, as whatever changes Gordon causes by his presence in the past would manifest themselves in a branch universe.

The show had already given us the “one true timeline” approach in the aftermath of the previous incident with the Aronov device, the incident that led to the younger version of Kelly going seven years into the future and then back to her own time period. This episode was the show’s chance to break with that approach and to embrace the “branching universes” approach, and I was excited upon hearing John’s explanation, because I thought that the show was going to do it. I regret that the show didn’t stick with the “branching universes” approach, which not only makes more sense, but also offers greater opportunities for storytelling. — FerdinandCesarano

Interesting… Now that you mention it, there is kind of a lack of symmetry with what they did, isn’t there? This may have nothing to do with physics, but there’s a certain amount of closure with going back-to-the-future using the same method you used to go back-to-the-past. It just feels like using the time travel device again would somehow fix any temporal anomalies. — neoprenewedgie
^
|_ https://www.reddit.com/r/TheOrville/comments/vtd363/physics_in_s3x06_spoilers/?set=old