Review: ‘The Orville’ Pulls Out All The Stops In “Domino”


The Orville Season 3 (New Horizons), Episode 9 – Debuted Thursday, July 28, 2022
Written by: Brannon Braga & Andre Bormanis
Directed by: Jon Cassar

A devastating new weapon developed on the Orville could end the Kaylon threat once and for all, but a new alliance between foes flips galactic politics on its head. “Domino” pulls out all the stops to deliver yet another cinematic feature-level episode filled with space battles, intrigue, betrayals, captivities, rescues, sacrifice, and so much more. It’s a slam-bang race to the finish in a penultimate episode that plays like a season finale, with the only quibble the question of how they can top it next week.

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


My fantasy becomes reality…

In a season where every episode is feature-length and seems to be trying to swing for a home run with every at-bat, this is the episode that has most felt like a complete motion picture package. Narratively, visually, musically, and emotionally, every plot thread left open in the season so far feels like it’s come together here for resolution. A whole lot of things happen in 78 minutes, so much so that a full recap would be tedious, and yet the show never feels overstuffed. Fans have been talking on Twitter about how much they’d like to see an Orville movie. Well, here it is.

In a complex story that deftly handles personal character growth, galactic politics, capital ship space combat, fighter combat, ground assault, and even a musical performance, nothing gets dropped or bungled, and though there were a few small questionable skips in logic, the whole thing hangs together very well.

Issac (Mark Jackson), Lt. Talla Keyali (Jessica Szohr), Cmdr. Kelly Grayson (Adrianne Palicki), and Charly Burke (Anne Winters)

God, and truth, and right…

Since the Union expelled Moclus from membership last episode, here we have Moclus forging an alliance with the Krill. The fascinating thing about this relationship of course is that the Krill Chancellor is our old friend Teleya, a female. Careening from prejudice-filled alliance to prejudice-filled alliance, the Moclans are in a sense forced by their expulsion from the Union into a more progressive partnership than they would otherwise have agreed to. As Mercer later comments about another odd pairing, the ironies are very thick in this episode. It’s hard not to root for Teleya, putting the Moclan ambassador in his place with some skillfully-executed bon mots, even though her own ethics are “contemptible,” as Mercer later observes.

The Moclan-Krill alliance forces the Union to form a temporary partnership with the unlikeliest of foes, the Kaylon. Whoever first said that “politics makes strange bedfellows”—a saying adapted from Shakespeare’s The Tempest—would have loved the political pinball in this story. Of course, it is the development of an unstoppable anti-Kaylon weapon by Isaac and Charly Burke that gives the Kaylon no choice but to accept this cease-fire. And when the cease-fire becomes a request for military aid, again the Kaylon are left without other options. The script handles all of these complicated motivations with apparent ease, and the audience is never left confused by all the changes.

And of course, it is the Union-Kaylon alliance that results in Ensign Burke’s sacrifice, which leads to the most profound shift of all: a recognition by the Kaylon that they have misjudged the biologicals of the Planetary Union. By the end of this episode, the power dynamics of the entire The Orville galaxy have been turned completely inside-out and upside-down. It’s as if the Federation and the Romulans united against a more powerful hostile force, but squared.

Kaylon Primary (Graham Hamilton), Capt. Ed Mercer (Seth MacFarlane), Cmdr. Kelly Grayson (Adrianne Palicki)

I’m blinded by the light…

I don’t even know how to judge television visual effects work anymore after this episode. We have a handful of planets seen from space, detailed and atmospheric views of at least three different sci-fi cities in various weather conditions, massive space battles between hundreds of ships on either side, swooping and graceful fighter combat, as well as the by now gloriously mundane views from inside the Orville looking out, or outside the Orville looking in. There are beautiful shots of the Aurora Borealis, set extensions, and my little pea brain can’t comprehend how something of this magnitude could be done on any sort of television-scale budget. Every episode this season has looked phenomenal, but “Domino” pulls out all the stops.

It’s hard to overstate how much of a quantum shift this kind of effects work is compared with what was being done in feature films even just ten years ago. I kept envisioning the producers reading over Braga and Bormanis’ script page after page, saying, “oh, yeah, then there’s an explosion that destroys the whole facility, and then reaches out into space, and destroys a bunch of ships…” and wondering, “How are we going to pay for all of this?” But of course, Braga and Bormanis ARE producers on this show; they wrote this stuff knowing how much it would cost.

We finally get to see the new Pterodon fighters in operation, and it’s pretty amazing stuff, although there’s still no reason they had to have one (and only one) on board the Orville. There are Krill fighters, Moclan fighters, and Kaylon fighters. There are ships of all shapes and sizes. And yet the battles are never overly-confusing or difficult to follow.

Capt. Ed Mercer (Seth MacFarlane)

Play the king or pawn…

There are two human characters whose actions change the course of this story in remarkable ways. Admiral Perry’s betrayal gives the means to the Moclans and Krill to eradicate the Kaylons, forcing the Union and the Kaylons into their unlikely alliance. Ted Danson has always been good as Perry, and here he finds the right mix between arrogance and humility, high-minded ideals and betrayal, and the nobility and loathsomeness that is required of him.

The other is of course Ensign Charly Burke, who agrees with Perry about using the weapon she helped design to “wipe [the Kaylon] off the face of the galaxy” but puts aside her prejudice against them and does her duty as a Union officer, sacrificing her life in order to prevent the destruction of the race that she blames for the death of her one true love. She was introduced this season as a main character, and received quite a bit of character development time along the way, only to sacrifice her life in the ninth episode of the season in order to save others. Hmmm, what other sci-fi character does that remind me of?

Beyond just these two characters, MacFarlane’s Ed Mercer has grown a bit as a Captain this season, and in this episode, he gets to be the voice of morality for the Admirals, a battlefield commander, a supportive superior officer, and a morally outraged former lover. This is a good episode for him.

Issac (Mark Jackson), Kaylon Primary (Graham Hamilton), and Charly Burke (Anne Winters)


  • Admiral Halsey’s first name is Thomas—in “Shadow Realms,” he was called Tom, but this is the first use of his full given name
  • Gordon and Charly sing Simon & Garfunkel’s 1966 “Flowers Never Bend With the Rainfall” in the cabin scene, and if that’s really Anne Winters’ real voice, the girl can sing!
  • The walnut-cracking scene in the cabin is a lot of fun; perhaps loud arguing is Bortus and Klyden’s love language?
  • Bortus identifies two types of weapons signatures where the shuttle was destroyed, Krill and Moclan; but we only saw the Krill ship fire on the shuttle – just once, and the shuttle was destroyed completely; was there Moclan weapons fire that we did not see? Why?
  • Ed Mercer calls the Krill-Moclan alliance, “Molotov-Ribbentrop all over again!” The Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact was the Soviet-German pact in the early days of World War II that shocked the world and made life frightening for the Allies; the pact was terminated less than two years later when Hitler invaded the Soviet Union; the pact was mentioned, though not by name, in the new novella, The Orville: Sympathy for the Devil.
  • Where are these folks getting all these ships? With giant space battles in half the episodes this season, you’d think they’d eventually run out!
  • The battle above Draconis 427 reminded me of the Battle of Minas Tirith in “The Return of the King,” with the sudden changes in fortune as new forces arrive.
  • The Union “egress packs” are really jetpacks, which is very cool and retro sci-fi-ish
  • Is Ed’s hair getting higher? Is it a case of Pike’s Peak envy?
  • The Grayson/Teleya fistfight is a sequence we didn’t know we needed, but did.

Lt. Gordon Malloy (Scott Grimes) and Charly Burke (Anne Winters)


  • “The Union imposes its values on other cultures while refusing to confront its own hypocrisy. A governance of elitist fools.” Moclan ambassador.
  • “Your weapons may be superior, but as tacticians, you leave much to be desired. I have studied your battle strategies. They are blunt and maladroit. You lack the cunning and intellect of the female mind.” Chancellor Teleya to the Moclan Ambassador.
  • “My dad used to say, ‘Revenge is for children and savages.’” “Yeah, well, he never had his leg cut off.” Keyali and Gordon.
  • “We believe the quality of mercy is mightiest in the mightiest.” Halsey, quoting Shakespeare, Merchant of Venice, Act 4, Scene 1—this quote is also the source of the title for Star Trek: Strange New Worlds’ first season finale.
  • “Trust us or be destroyed. It’s a simple binary decision.” Admiral Halsey.
  • “There is always a weakness, Isaac. Your existence is proof of that.” Kaylon Primary with the sick digital burn.
  • “So, here’s to you, Dad, and let’s get hammered.” Kelly is in control of her drinking and can stop at any time. Quit bugging her!
  • “So what are we gonna stress about?” “Today? Hangovers.” “Ugh. No kidding.” Grayson and Finn, but they don’t have a problem—YOU have the problem!
  • “True to his ethics even as he commits treason—what a noble creature!” Teleya about Admiral Perry.
  • “What you call ‘representative democracy’ is a most inefficient form of governance.” “Maybe. But the one thing you can say for democracy is that all other forms of government are even worse. Over thousands of years and on countless planets, it’s the best system anyone’s ever come up with to ensure the strong don’t dominate the weak. At least, not for long.” Kaylon Primary and Admiral Halsey.

Klyden (Chad L. Coleman) and Lt. Cmdr. Bortus (Peter Macon)

Be what I must be and face tomorrow…

So where does the show go from here, in the final episode of the season? I have no advance knowledge, so this is pure speculation, but consider this: Just like the latest season of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, episode nine out of ten brought together the season’s character and narrative threads, faced off against the season’s “big bad,” and killed off a main cast character who wore a red uniform, eulogizing him in a very emotional final funeral scene.

So could The Orville follow the same pattern as Strange New Worlds go for their tenth and final episode? Could we be in store for some Time travel? What’s the title of the season finale of The Orville? “Future Unknown.”

We shall see. Oh, and Disney/Hulu? #RenewTheOrville.

Capt. Ed Mercer (Seth MacFarlane)

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

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Riveting and engrossing from start to finish. Amazing episode that pulls the season together perfectly, this season has turned out to be a surprisingly well structured arc. It helps that the show has largely been directed and written by the same few people. Admittedly I felt the story setup didn’t quite make sense for me, the Union risking and sacrificing so many lives for the Kaylon who have never been sympathetic, but by the end of the episode I felt it redeemed itself. The story may not be particularly clever or surprising, but it was a fun thrill ride. Incredible music, really felt like a Star Wars movie it was so epic. The VFX were abundant, but not great, especially the EV suit FX which reminded me of some of the janky FX from the 2nd episode. I still think Season 2 had way better CG VFX, shockingly great ones actually, but the abundance in this season makes up for it.

There were clearly multiple deliberate Star Wars references in the fighter attack on the base, with the small fighter attack being similar to the trench attack on the first death star, including teams of 3 attack ships, a failed first attack pass being retried with a second attack pass, and something very close to “stay on target” being said. Also some very very similar trumpet riffs in the music.

The VFX were serviceable and I’d rather they spend the money on good scripts, good guest actors, and getting the show renewed than ballooning the budget for elite level VFX, which at the end of the day, are simply a crutch too many in Hollywood are relying upon to move their stories from set piece to set piece because the story sucks.

What a masterpiece of a show.

the last ep. was I Borg + Search for Spock.

i enjoy the orville. it’s entertaining. but it’s TNG 2.0 and is very stuck in the 90s way of storytelling. literally every ep is a riff off of Trek.

some trek fans hate new trek for not following the same tired model, and praise orville for being the same stories, in a non-trek setting.

again, i like Orville.

but it’s not a brilliant show. it’s not a masterpiece. (imho)

it’s literally the 90s trek writers writing the same stuff from 35 years ago, with a new coat of paint (and 2022 special effects).

(and yes, i know some [mark twain] thing there’s no such thing as a “new story. but these, while entertaining, are such a retread. at least disco is trying some something different, especially tonally.)

I don’t feel the need to compare The Orville with Discovery. For me, I can like them both.

Stuck in the 90s? Good. That’s exactly what I want. I have never embraced the new kind of serialized and dark storytelling launched by shows like NuBSG or GoT.
In the 90s I used to watch dozens of shows, also from the 70s and 80s. But I’ve only been able to finish 7 new shows in the last 20 years.

I’m glad there is that sort of nostalgic revival. I do not feel obliged to embrace modern TV. I’d rather live in the past and watch what I like instead of forcing myself to sit through most modern TV. I will however watch all of NuTrek, despite the format changes in parts…

I don’t think, that’s really a 90s thing and more of a 2010s thing. I’ve recently rewatched Stargate SG:1 and Universe and you can clearely see the shows getting (or just being) more and more serielized (pretty much a Trend Lost and Breaking Bad probably started for the Mainstream). But they allways managed to tell a Story each episode and keept it form becoming dystopian no matter how bleak the actual storyline got.

Having TV shows be only 13 (now 10) Episodes and the need for them to be 10 hour movies, that aren’t allowed to be fun because darkness equals better performances (I guess) is a trend, that started later.

For a Mainline Star Trek show. The classic 20 (or more) Episode Season just works. You need that time, to build out your universe and get to know the characters. Strange New Worlds actually made a really good effort in that department but just lacked like 5 more episodes at least, to really tie together a Season. With the budgets those shows have, you could easily do more episodes. Just focus more on story and less on spectacle (pretty much my only criticism of the Orville this season are the indulgend space battles and Establishing shots)

Funny. I’m just rewatching Stargate Universe (after finishing my rerun of BSG) and it’s interesting how the show is serialized and manages to keep finished episodes.
With the Orville it’s the other way around. We had episodic, self contained stories and yet they manage to have continuity and tie different arcs together in the last episode. Excellent.

Giving BSG a rewatch might be a good idea, now that you mention it

I started with Caprica before and then I saw the cylon models and Baltars fantasy with another eyes. Indeed, after finishing Caprica I had the urge to rewatch BSG.
My theory if Baltars fantasy: it’s an evolved version of the holoband they use on Caprica.

I‘ve only ever watched the Pilot of Caprica when it aired. Maybe I should give it a go now 🤔

It took a few slow episodes, but at the end the show got better. Very different from BSG but yet in the same universe. At the end you got the idea how it could have been evolved into BSG if it had more seasons. Unfortunately it was cancelled after one season when it was building up.

Nostalgia is so toxic, honestly. Shows were so often incredibly boring and frustrating back then. The pendulum is swinging a bit far, honestly, and I don’t have a huge percentage of current tv that I enjoy…but that’s still a bigger *number* than what I still enjoy from the 90s and 00s, if that makes sense?
Things will change to more of a middle ground; lighter, less serialized shows are already happening…but we’re never going back to the past and believing it was better is iffy at best.

I don’t like (most) new Trek because it’s poorly-conceived and written. it’s not too woke or too political or anything like that. It’s just… bad.

Orville knows how to trust the audience.

It was I Borg in so much as you have a character, that is no longer part of a hive mind. And it was Search for Spock in so much as it had a character sacrefice. You’re really grasping at straws here. By that logic, every story that has some basic elements of sacrifice or lonelieness is a ripoff of whoever did it first.

Yes the Orville had its problems with originality especially in the first season but they always managed to do something original with the concept. On a surface level Isaac and Claire trying to make a relationship work in season two might look similar to Data trying the same on TNG but actaully the watching the episodes there’s alsmost no similarities appart from the most basic concept.

The one criticism I’ll give you is, that the Braga/Bormanis Episodes tend to be the weaker ones, when it comes to paying off their setup this season (and being downright uninspried in previous seasons) but that’s about it.

If you really have a problem with what you’re describing, you must really hate Strange New Worlds. It’s guilty of all of thos things and much more than the Orville was in Season one. Only difference is really the license.

On a surface level Isaac and Claire trying to make a relationship work in season two might look similar to Data trying the same on TNG


“I am superior, sir, in many ways, but I would gladly give it up to be human.” -Data

Isaac has no interest in actually being human (or just experiencing emotions). The similarities between the two are all surface level. The moment he loses his ability to feel emotions he has zero interest in attempting to restore them or even experience them again.

Their reasoning was he “forgot” everything about having them. Remember, he was not there to “become” human. He was there to learn about them. However I would say that is a VERY small difference between Isaac and Data. For all intents and purposes they are the same character. In fact, nearly every character has a TNG counterpart. And they didn’t even try to hide it. That was fine when the show was light as wanted to be funny. Not so much when they want to be serious.

Season 1 of The Orville was easily the best season because it was about 35-40% comedy. That made it unique. And showed that a Trek-like comedy could not only be done but work. So long as you had the right gag writers. Seth showed he had the chops for that. But alas, that was not what he wanted. As soon as he “serious-ed up” the show it got much worse.

I disagree. Season 1 is the worst Season for me, because the Humor just never worked. It allways felt forced into a script that wasn’t meant to have jokes in it. It got better by season 2 and the third season finally got it – for the most part – right. It was funny without relying on cheap gags.

But in the end it’s a matter of taste, I guess. For me at least the writing got stronger as the seasons went on.

To me the reasons you describe season one didn’t work are the exact reasons why I don’t think Lower Decks worked.

I thought the gags in season 1 nearly all landed. Season to they went with far far fewer jokes but the few they had still landed.

This season it feels like they nearly abandoned the comedy completely. And the precious few times they attempted gags, unlike the previous seasons, they never worked. They were cheap, dumbed down and really beneath Seth’s regular work. I kinda got the feeling Seth just got scared and suddenly became unfunny like a lot of formerly funny comics have.

When it comes to the seriousness of the episodes, I feel like the writing was actually better in season 2 than this one. It started off OK but as the season wore on the show actually got worse. I mean this episode, Domino, fell completely flat on every single level.

Good riddance to Burke. I’ll admit that I didn’t expect them to resolve the Kaylon storyline so quickly or that it would end in peace, but I liked it. I’m guessing that the finale will focus on a war with the Moclans and the Krill. This show deserves a renewal. Also, does anyone else think that this show is worthy of being officially adopted into the Star Trek universe? The multiverse was established on Star Trek way back in the OG series with the Lazarus character and the mirror universe episode. Plus, TNG showed that there were many quantum realities during season 7 when Worf kept shifting through realities. Maybe they could do an episode where one of the Star Trek shows encounter the Orville universe.

The odds of either Disney or Paramount agreeing to that are slim to the point of invisibility.

I’d love it, though.

It’s not a Star Trek show, nor should it be. It’s good the way it is and if a Network or Streaming service would just see the potential you could probably build out a great universe of its own.

But for now I’m just hobing for some more seasons. And would be totaly fine, if they just waited till they had enough good stories to tell. There’s no law that there has to be a new season every year. Or they go the Doctor Who route and do some specials in the years without a new season.

Correct. It is not Star Trek. But I would argue that it is as close as a show could be to Star Trek without actually being Star Trek.

One of the strengths of this episode was that it made me sad about the death of a character that I didn’t like.

It’s “easy” to make you like a character and then evoke emotions by killing them. Try that with one that’s annoying and trite.

Interesting. I wasn’t sad at all. In fact, I kinda saw it coming as soon as the episode started. And I was thinking, “good. She’s awful.” Her ending and the funeral wrap up held no emotional weight for me whatsoever.

Zero interest in seeing Trek cross pollinate with this franchise, or any other space based franchise. No IP owner in their right mind would agree to it, anyway.

Marvel vs. CAPCOM. Fight!

Agreed. Burke was an awful character. Even the arc she obviously would undergo since the first episode was dull and boring.

It’s a little much for these alliances to keep doing one-eighties and resulting in space battles every other episode, and while the budget was obviously huge, sometimes it was a little overstretched. Introducing a new character for the season only to kill them off is also not my favorite trope.

But my god, the ambition here was incredible, and I often could not believe I was watching the same TV show that started on Fox. Everyone stepped up their game, it was exciting, heartfelt, epic and fun. Damned impressive.

I should probably feel bad for skipping through that song, but… nah.

That was something else I noticed this season. Races so quickly jumping in bed with each other. For a short season show things happened a breakneck pacing. So fast that it became unbelievable. If this were a major feature film I can almost forgive it for time constraints. But they have like 12 hours of show here. They can take their time with some of this stuff.

Discovery and Picard are Star Trek in the new style. If people think new style =good, , and old style = bad, Discovery and Picard are good and the Orville is bad.
But if people think good writing, meaningful stories, and an inspiring vision of the future is good, that means something else. It means that The Orville is both a good show and the best Star Trek out there now.

This has been the best season of Star Trek since … I don’t know, man, since a good long while.

The Orville IS both a phenomenal TV show and the best new Star Trek series out there thusfar in the 21st century,

I spent the entire season — which I have loved — wondering why anyone thought Charlie was a good idea for a character.

Aha. Now I get it. Well played, show!

It’s clear now exactly the device her character was. And though devices are not necessarily indicative of the most exemplary writing, I agree with you. Nicely done. What an episode, and what a season!

This has been a shockingly good season! I say shockingly not in that I haven’t enjoyed the Orville in the past, just that I wasn’t sure how good things would be given the move to Hulu and the over 3 years b/w seasons 2 and 3, and assuming all went well, I never expected this strong of a season.

I may be in the minority here, but I do miss some of the more outright humor from previous seasons (more season 1 than 2). When Gordon mentions the time Isaac pulled a “practical joke” on him by severing his leg, it reminded me of some the really humorous moments from season 1 (the entire practical joke subplot in that episode was hilarious). I totally understand why McFarlane has drastically toned back the humor to the point that most of it is simple one-liners (largely from Gordon) – the show comes across as, dare I say it, more adult – but I hope that, finger-crossed the Orville gets renewed, some of the humor can be brought back in (beyond the one-liners).

On a different note, while the overall VFX quality is significantly improved from seasons 1 and 2 – everything is more detailed, ships feel like they have some real weight to them, etc. – there’s been something about them that has just felt off. And I finally figured out what it is! It is a combination of two things – the lighting sit just off, and the colors are way oversaturated. This was really obvious during the battle scenes on the planet itself. While the ships, and the building structures, and the backgrounds and what not looked good, everything was just so bright and so, so, so overly colorful. Kinda seems like the VFX team was suddenly given a lot more money, and they just went a bit overboard with it. Again, hopefully in season 4, some of the overindulgences can be scaled back.

Bring on the season finale!

I think that’s because they are going for the old TNG look, where the ships were always perfectly lit from every angle because you kinda need that if you’re compositing it mand different shots instead of just one planned one. The new Trek shows go with a more realistic look in that ships are lit in a way that makes physical sense for the scene.

In the end it’s really a matter of taste. I find New Trek (visually) way to dark, even though it technically makes more sense than what The Orville does

After the Kelvin-Universe turned out waaay too bright, they had to darken it a bit. Aaaaand since saving energy is a very current topic, it feels very contempotary. 😉

makes sense :-D

I’d say season 1 and 2 had far more of a TNG look to them than season 3. And it’s not just that things are brightly lit, it’s that they aren’t properly lit. Shadows aren’t where they should be, which causes everything to feel flat. It’s a shame, because there’s a ton of detail in the VFX shots, such as closeup shots of the Orville (which look fantastic), but the lighting and coloring really needs to be scaled back.

As far as current Trek being too dark, I do agree to an extent. The first season of Discovery was particularly egregious in that regard, but things have definitely brightened up some. The biggest issue I have with nuTrek VFX is that sometimes the ships look a bit fuzzy, which also seems to be a lighting thing (like the lights within the ships are so bright as to drown out the shape of the ship itself). With that being said, Strange New Worlds looked great, and the few space scenes in Picard also looked good (albeit somewhat fuzzy at time).

I guess you can rationalize the shift as they mostly started out as a group of rejects that no one else wanted, but after saving the universe a couple times and almost dying a few times, they have learned how to act professional when it matters.

They still don’t. Grayson should have been disciplined the instant she butt into Bortus’ family situation.

The humor is something I really missed in this season. I supposed they passed it this season to Strange New Worlds. :-)

Look up OODA loop. Orville is inside Trek’s.

Indeed I have a feeling SNW and LDS are heavily influenced by the Orville.

The Orville exterior VFX suffer from too much even lighting that flattens everything out like you’re watching a video game play out in 2D. The original Star Trek of nearly 60 years ago looked more realistic using models and monopoint lighting to emulate the high-contrast sun, which is what we are used to seeing in space images. They also have a problem with motion where ships are not appearing to respond to any laws of physics or forces of nature – they just waggle around indiscriminately which makes the background seem to be moving, not the ships. The interior shots have a “look” I guess, but it looks way overly lit and flat again. New Star Trek has a lot more texture to it.

As for the writing; they do cram a hell of a lot in to an episode with some nice twists, but on a micro level a lot of the scenes are illogical, and stiffly directed and acted (my God what does everyone see in the new security chief over the one they fired?) And too much tropey snark in the face of danger or imminent death (thanks Bruce Willis). It always takes me out of a scene and immediately makes me not give a sh** since the characters don’t seem to give a sh**.

I do like the characters as a whole though, and admire their efforts to bring humor and off-the-wall elements in to the show.

I am in the same boat regarding the comedy. Although I think the show worked a ton better in the 1st season when it was a little more comedic. My main criticism of the first season was that they should lean further towards the comedy. Make it like 65-70% comedy rather than the 30-35% comedy it was. Once they all but ditched the comedy they lost me. I did not follow it to Hulu. I still wouldn’t have cared to see it but it showed up on Disney during a two month stretch that I subscribe to that service. (will be dumping it in a couple of weeks for probably another year or two). Thought I’d check it out since I was already on the service anyway. This season was worse than 2.

Fascinating how they used the best of EACH 90s Trek and made something on their own of it.

I discovered a mix of ST VI, TNG: I, Borg, VOY: Scorpion and tropes of DS9 in the way they tied the arcs of the last episodes together.
And each show dealt with the topic of genocide in its own way.
They wanted to wipe out the klingons (“let them die!”), the Borg, the founders, threatened species 8472 to achieve peace.

is it something new and exciting? No. Is it well written and entertaining? Absolutely.

I strangely enjoy this show, but it pails in comparison to Star Trek (TNG era or DIS era). It certainly reminds me of TNG, but the stories are often too simple and too derivative. I have never felt the Kaylon story was compelling; they’ve always felt flat to me. It’s difficult to put my finger on it, but there’s just something about the The Orville that feels off. Maybe because the time for TNG has passed and it’s structure for a new show doesn’t hold up. I LOVE SNW, though. That’s a show that has found a way to reclaim an older spirit in a new context. But not this show. Like I said, I watch The Orville and even enjoy it (because I am a Trek completist!) but it always leaves me partially unsatisfied.

But SNW ist easily the most derivative Show in all of new Trek. Way more derivative than even The Orville season one. Out of the 10 episodes there were maybe two that hadn’t been done before in pretty much the same way just on a smaller budget.

Don’t get me wrong, I did enjoy the show as the dumb action adventure fun it was. But compared to the Orville (at least Season 3) its stories pale by comparison.

LOL true. That’s the strange thing about SNW, it’s being praised for copying every Star Trek show before it. That would’ve been a knock 20 years ago but nostalgia is a powerful tool in most entertainment these days.

One of the big complaints about Discovery (and Picard to some extent) is that it doesn’t feel very Trek-like. The most obvious way is in the visuals — the uniforms, ship designs, Klingon heads, and general aesthetic. Narratively, it darkens down the bright utopian future that classic Trek has generally upheld.

While most of us didn’t want a literal replica of TOS, we wanted something that felt like it would have fit in. I remember on this site back when Discovery first came out, one of the art design people on the show laughed about how they couldn’t make it resemble TOS without making it look cheap and low-budget. It annoyed me then, and I hope that person has learned their lesson now that SNW is out and looks (IMO) a lot like TOS without looking cheap or low-budget.

Anyway, my point is, a lot of fans were okay with some deviation from the source material, but Discovery deviated too much, so we’re more accepting of something that sticks a bit more closely. Kind of a “careful what you wish for” thing. I also don’t have especially high regard for CBS’s writers, and I think they think that to make something more TOS-like means to just rip it off entirely. Just like Orci or whoever wrote Into Darkness just had Spock yell “Khaaaaaaan!” for no sensible reason because that’s what you do with the second film.

I wondered the same about the weapons traces.

Can someone remind me why John was so upset over Gordon’s leg remark?

Oh, next episode? I’m guessing Gordon’s family.

Ah, I now remember about the leg.

I completely forgot about that until I was reminded of it here.

That is another problem with the show. It is expecting people to recall things that happened years ago. Quite the big ask for a show that is just not memorable at all.

Did anyone else notice that Kelly’s cabin was the same as the one used in Friday the 13th Part 4?

No but that’s pretty cool 😁

I thought it was from Friday the 13th part 8….😂

I didn’t realize it until this episode made it gel for me (yeah, somewhat blindered white cishet male): Moclus is the ultimate patriarchy. It’s only males running the show, full of misogyny, who got rid of women once they figured out how to avoid using them for reproduction. It’s an interesting metaphor, although it seems extremely unlikely that a scientific capability for doing full sex changes, as well as the ability to inseminate and gestate new Moclans, would not also allow them to ensure that none of the fertilized eggs have females. I suppose being oviparous would help solve the gestation problem compared to what it would be for mammals, but it’s still a weakness in the background story.

As for the Krill, not only are they religious fundamentalist fanatics with hypocritical leaders who eliminate/purge their more moderate members (KINO), but they have literally evolved in dark ages, and bright light hurts them. The symbolism is strong in this one.

In the end, it should not have been surprising that these two would find common ground and unite against the Planetary Union once it has “awakened” to the bullying and cruelty of these two factions with regard to their populace. It’s an interesting if slightly heavy handed parable, a mold that was frequently used in ST TOS.

It also shouldn’t be too hard to figure out what former slave group is being represented by Krylons in this parable.

I was led to believe that Moclan’s were naturually endogenous. Essentially embracing a masculine demeanor. With the rare female birth. Which is seen as an abomination culturally. Females were never needed for reproduction so it wasn’t that they purged them from society.

In fairness, Hemmer was specifically *not* called a regular, much as we assumed and wished he was.

Did anyone notice a ship leaving moments before the explosion? I think without a corpse, without death.

You saw the explosion in her eyeballs and there are not Teleporters in the Orville universe. Plus bringing her back would ruin her character arc. As sad as it is, she is and should stay gone.

What a fantastic piece of television. Nearly flawless and I loved every minute of it.

The biggest flaw was that entire battle had no stakes.

I like this Season. Three great seasons so far. So lucky, really, can’t believe The Orville is moving to Disney. Glad for this move.

Can’t get Hulu every month. And I only get it for a month to catch up with the The Orville. Moving to Disney is a positive sign for renewal.

Yeah, the move to Disney should be an awesome move for the show. Admitedly, I have not yet seen any of New Horizons, but plan to soon – that said I know very few people who have Hulu, while almost everyone I know have Disney.

I see there is a great bundled US promo trying to grow Hulu to ESPN and D+ customers, but for the time being, if eyeballs are going to save The Orvile NH from being cancelled, then hopefully this will help.

Plots and effects aside, The Orville has something I’ve felt missing from Trek since TOS – soul. TNG always felt antiseptic to me. I was never able to get into DS9 or VOY as they had that same feeling.

The latest Trek feels nothing like Trek to me – it has no soul at all.

I feel The Orville has a heart and soul to it that I struggle to describe, but it makes me *feel* more like TOS made me feel when I grew up on it in the early- and mid-80s. It’s more human. Less antispetic. Less polished to a sheen. I sure hope they make more of it past this year.

I’ll tell you what, that was a spectacular explosion near the end. Considering it was some kind of “quantum” explosion, I wonder if the writers have a future idea in mind where they reveal Ensign Burke didn’t actually die, but got shifted out-of-phase with normal reality and the crew looks for a way to rescue her.

Have you notice all these episodes they have in common in the last 5 years? Politics, hate, divide, religion, race, abortion all that is happening now.

What I have noticed is that the allegories I think they were trying to make in reality didn’t say what they were trying to say. Often it was the opposite.

I thought that Ted Danson and Victor Garber looked really red eyed and haggard in the scene where Ted Danson wanted to wipe the Kaylon out as soon as possible.

Maybe they went a little overboard on cleaners and disinfectants while prepping that scene to shoot?

You think those were Anne Winters favorite flowers in real life that they used?

What were they?

How many

A. Listened to
B. Read
C. Did both

the novella?

Sure hope there is a Fourth Season on…

This was a bad episode. Period. The reason? There were no stakes. If they failed in the mission the Kaylon threat vanishes. If they succeed there is still the possibility of Kaylon betrayal or, more likely, they “see the light”. That entire action sequence held no excitement whatsoever because of that.

The Charley character was always weak. She was always unlikable. Her sacrifice was obvious and held no emotional value to the viewer.

The arrogant attitude of Grayson continues to get on my nerves. I’m not sure if it’s because she is a poor character or is just poorly written or a combination of both. But I still think the show would be much better without her.

The theme of this episode was handled much better on TNG when they were discussing the anhelation of the Borg with nanoprobes.

The Moclans continue to bend away from their culture for whoever they work with. Which I find odd. They were kicked out of the Union for being themselves but then ran right to the Krill who immediately demanded they bend the knee to their “female”. And they did. Yes, they did ignore an agreement they made with the Union but the person on the other side broke the agreement as well. Both sides of the Moclan’s have proved to be untrustworthy. They are an enigma at this point.

There were a lot of smaller plot holes but I don’t think I’ll waste time on those. The bigger issues I think are more important.