Ep 12 : Mad Idolatry

Ep 12 : Mad Idolatry

Postby Graham Kennedy » Fri Dec 08, 2017 11:10 pm

So here we go with the final episode...

Followers of the series will know that an episode from this season has been moved to the next season for unknown reasons - most likely because next week would have clashed with christmas schedules. I find myself wondering which episode was moved - most everyone seems to assume that this is episode 12 and episode 13 has been moved. But I wonder if this episode was meant to be a season ender, and so perhaps this is episode 13 and they moved 12 and renumbered things? I dunno, just curious about that.

Anyway. We open with Ed cruising the corridors after hours, looking for somebody to hang out with. I find it interesting that they are avoiding the idea common in Trek that the Captaincy is an inherently lonely job. Picard seemed to spend an awful lot of his off hours in his quarters alone. When he did socialise it was mostly limited to attending public events - art classes, music recitals, etc. Now and again we'd have him take somebody along to the holodeck. But Ed seems to like hanging out with the crew. A man of the people!

Malloy blows him off so he tries LaMarr, who is entertaining a rather lovely fellow officer already (I googled her, she's a swimsuit model!). First LOL of the episode when she invites Mercer in and LaMarr shakes his head emphatically. No kidding! Interesting though, given her attire that she would invite him in at all. On the one hand you could say that the future is a lot more laid back about sex, and she wouldn't mind if Mercer was around in what was obviously a pretty sexual situation - but on the other, if that's so then LaMarr wouldn't have been so emphatic about getting rid of him. Maybe the planet she comes from is just very open minded, or maybe it's just that she is? Maybe she fancied a threesome with Mercer and LaMarr? The slash fiction practically writes itself.

Anyway, next he tried Bortus, which gives us another couple of LOL moments. Their drink that "turns into a parasite in your stomach" is a wonderful concept, and I was stunned that Mercer tried it anyway. And their wooden egg-tossing game was absolutely amazing - I laughed my socks off when he "won"!

So he goes to bed. And that answers the question I asked back in Pria - yes, his split level quarters does have the bedroom upstairs. And his bedroom is HUGE! I really want to know how large Orville is, that Mercer can have this much space just for a bedroom. And it is also rather empty, which makes him look kind of sad and lonely.

So he calls Kelly and they go to the lounge for a drink, which turns into many drinks. They talk about how she may not be responsible for cheating on him given blue guy's chemical mojo may have been at work, wonder whether they should get back together, and decide to have a date together to see what happens.

Hmmm. I commented a couple of episodes back that the blue guy chemical revelation didn't impact them all that much because the show really hasn't played them as particularly wanting to get back together anyway. And I stand by that statement... except that as soon as I said it, the very next episode implied a little but of attraction when Ed fell on Kelly and they looked at one another. And now we have it right there in the open. So yeah, I think I was right but only up to that moment, and things changed right afterwards.

Next day, and it's funny seeing them both clearly very hung over. They send a shuttle out to examine the star they're investigating, and suddenly a planet pops out of nowhere right in front of it. They get really, really lucky there if you think about it - a common factoid is that the Earths atmosphere is thinner compared to the Earth than the skin of an apple is to the apple. To have it appear so very close but not close enough that you're inside the mantle somewhere is a lucky escape indeed.

Also, I thought it was weird that Mercer has LaMarr come up to the bridge to pilot the ship whilst Malloy is away. Minor point, but that's a really odd thing to ask your chief engineer to do.

LOL at Grayson chugging water. Been there myself, haven't we all?

So the shuttle crashlands and Malloy and Isaac set out to fix it whilst Kelly goes for a walk. I thought this was kind of weird. Why not just fix the shuttle and leave? Weirder still she spots a bronze age tribe and goes for a closer look. Isaac warns her, but all she says is that she will be careful and not let them see her. Naturally, she's not and they do. There's no formal Prime Directive on Orville, but they do try to be careful not to screw other people's cultures up, and she's risking doing that for no real reason.

So she meets some kids and one of them is injured. Kelly fixes her and leaves. Interesting that she carries a cut healer thingie around with her on landing missions. Makes sense, I guess.

The music in this bit is REALLY reminiscent of Star Trek. That little da-dah-dahhhhhh-da-daa bit is practically verbatim from some Trek thing or other.

Mercer leaves her encounter out of his report to the Union. Oh, bet that won't have consequences, lol. And wow, they're actually telling themselves that what she did wasn't a big deal. Anybody wanna bet this little incident is going to change the entire planet? Well duh, of course it is.

The planet vanishes again. Isaac comes up with an explanation - it's in a multi-phasic orbit, alternating between two universes. Right away I guessed that it would return soon with hundreds of years having passed, which it does. So yay me. More tech babble here, but it's pretty straightforward and doesn't become the plot, so not a biggie to me.

On returning they find the locals in the middle ages, with 700 years having passed. Kellyanity is now the dominant religion (they don't call it that, but they definitely should!) Parents tell misbehaving kids that Kelly will get them, heretics are killed, and a common test is cutting a person - if they are righteous, Kelly will heal them.

I find that odd. Clearly it's a take on the witch testing of the old days, but in those cases people could actually pass or fail the test. Dunking a lady in water is no test of witchiness, clearly, but when you dunk ladies in water some will drown and some will not, so it can actually function as a test. A bad test, but still a test. But Kelly obviously never steps in and cures any cut, ever, so how do you have a test that literally nobody can ever even appear to pass?

Which means either the religion is just that nutty, or the test is a bit more subtle - maybe the idea is that some people's cuts heal naturally, and they pass, whilst some get infected or bleed out, and they fail? That would make sense.

Wow, that statue of Kelly is astonishingly good. One encounter, with less than 20 people in total, only one of them up close... and seven hundred years later, they have a statue and stained glass window so perfect that it is recognisably her, with every uniform detail - even the badge - correct? Uh huh. Look at the common depictions of jesus, does anybody actually think that he actually looked like that? I can see that they need to do it, because they need Kelly to plausibly be able to turn up and wow people here. But it's a bit of a stretch.

Ooo, the Admiral is pissed with Ed. Can't blame her. She orders him to stay hands off... and he obviously isn't going to.

Okay, another big laugh when he mocks the Admiral only to find he hasn't cut the channel yet. Love his "Uh, sorry, have mercy, bye!" hang-up on her.

So they go see the pope, and talk him round. But of course, once they leave he's stabbed to death. Because why would a church tell the population it controls that it shouldnt be controlling them any more? Makes sense. Again, though, kind of obvious.

We wait for the next cycle, and this time the planet has 21st century level technology. Kellyanity remains in full force. Some extremely on-the-nose comparisons to present day situations. So on the nose that I half expected to see "President Dump today recognised Kellytown as the official capital of Israel..."

Kelly volunteers to go down and try to change things, remaining there for the rest of her life if necessary. Not a terribly practical plan, that - by the 21st century they can surely make facsimiles of her clothing and there will surely be many women around who look similar to Kelly. Fake Kellys must be a dime a dozen on this planet. Though she could demonstrate future technology to prove her validity compared to them, I guess.

Isaac goes instead, since he is designed to last for millions of years and so spending seven hundred on the planet is nothing much to him. I wonder what powers Isaac? Those must be some amazing batteries!

Next time the planet turns up, it's now significantly more advanced than the Union. Cool stuff all over the planet - those towers must be a thousand miles high, easily. Cool ship. Clothing vaguely reminiscent of the Kryptonian closing in the best Superman movie.

That woman's hair looks ridiculous. Just sayin.

So Isaac did nothing to the society, they just naturally turned secular. Nice moral. Although a little let down because the Union actually already knew this - remember Krill establishes that it's a near universal rule that advanced cultures wind up secular, the Krill being a rare exception.

Still, "Trust logic, trust the rational mind" is a nice message. So there's that.

...and despite the Admiral warning Mercer repeatedly to do nothing and threatening to bust him down to toilet cleaner if he stepped out of line again... no consequences for immediately disobeying her orders. Hmmm. Maybe we will see consequences next season?

And Kelly and Ed separate. She makes him a bad Captain. Thats true, and it's a sensible decision. But it's going to be an interesting dynamic now we know they actually want to be together.

All in all I liked it. It's obviously similar to Voyager's Blink of an Eye, which in turn was heavily 'inspired' by a novel called Dragon's Egg. Both this and the Voyager episode have the accelerated planet, both have the outsiders become the basis of a religion, both have an artificial life form spend a long time on the planet. But overall I thought this one was different enough from the Voyager one, focusing more as it did on the religion angle of things. So fair play to it.

Nice to see the Ed/Kelly thing flare up again. One wonders how far they went in rekindling things. They were in orbit of the planet for at least 33 days, so a hell of a lot could have happened on the ship in that time, right? On a side note, Bortus and Klyden seem to have largely overcome their relationship issues if this episode is anything to go by. Definitely more fanfic possibilities there. Hell, you could practically write a novel of this episode showing what happened on the ship whilst they were all just sitting there for week after week.

And so ends season 1 of The Orville. I said when this series was announced that I was desperately hoping that the show wouldn't be "Fart Jokes In Spaaaaace!" I wanted a serious sci-fi show with humour thrown in. That is absolutely what Seth Macfarlane wanted too, it seems, and its exactly what he's given us. I could not be happier with how this show turned out. And wow, to get this in the exact same time that Discovery walked up to me and kicked my Trek fandom right in the nuts as hard as it could?

It's like having your beloved puppy die and then somebody gives you another puppy. Yes, your puppy is still dead, and you're sad about that. But... here's a puppy. And it's not a replacement for your puppy, but it's still a puppy and you love puppies, right? And now you have a puppy to love again.
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Re: Ep 12 : Mad Idolatry

Postby Mikey » Sat Dec 09, 2017 1:44 am

As always, your analysis is astute. A few things struck me...

Graham Kennedy wrote: But I wonder if this episode was meant to be a season ender, and so perhaps this is episode 13 and they moved 12 and renumbered things? I dunno, just curious about that.


While there was no cliffhanger, it sure seemed like a season-ending ep, what with the unresolved tension between Ed and Kelly.

Graham Kennedy wrote:First LOL of the episode when she invites Mercer in and LaMarr shakes his head emphatically.


Actually, I thought it was just before then, when she walked out of the unseen part of the room amidst a cloud of chronic.

Graham Kennedy wrote:Maybe she fancied a threesome with Mercer and LaMarr?


I thought it was fairly explicit that that's what her invitation entailed.

Graham Kennedy wrote:the show really hasn't played them as particularly wanting to get back together anyway.


I disagree. I that the show was being fairly obvious in how it was ramping up Ed and Kelly's relationship from anger to a cold working relationship to acceptance/camaraderie to unspoken romantic interest... to spoken romantic interest. What niggled at my mind is Ed's willingness to pursue it despite their working proximity and relative positions. It is almost a foregone conclusion that a more significant relationship would compromise his command ability... and it did so precisely as ordered. In my professional life, I have had more than one opportunity to pursue a liaison with an interested party who worked for me; however, aside from possible future workplace legal entanglements, I knew that I couldn't effectively have a personal relationship with an inferior as well as a functional supervisory relationship.

Graham Kennedy wrote: Interesting that she carries a cut healer thingie around with her on landing missions. Makes sense, I guess.


No, they set that up in the beginning. Remember when Ed asked her to grab one to fix the wound he got "winning" Bortus' game, because he was too embarrassed to go to sick bay?

Graham Kennedy wrote:but in those cases people could actually pass or fail the test. Dunking a lady in water is no test of witchiness, clearly, but when you dunk ladies in water some will drown and some will not, so it can actually function as a test.


Not really. The Dominicans, and later the Puritans, set up their tests so the accused would either be guilty, or die in the process of establishing innocence. That is, the condition for an "innocent" result was a fatal one. In this case there was no such condition, but the difference is nominal at best.

Graham Kennedy wrote:Wow, that statue of Kelly is astonishingly good. One encounter, with less than 20 people in total, only one of them up close... and seven hundred years later, they have a statue and stained glass window so perfect that it is recognisably her, with every uniform detail - even the badge - correct?


I didn't think of this at the time, but you are spot-on.
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Re: Ep 12 : Mad Idolatry

Postby Graham Kennedy » Sat Dec 09, 2017 2:20 am

Mikey wrote:Actually, I thought it was just before then, when she walked out of the unseen part of the room amidst a cloud of chronic.

I looked her up, and apparently she's a swimsuit model. This is the first "acting" job she's done. Wonder if she's trying to break into acting, or did they just hire a model for her looks?

I disagree. I that the show was being fairly obvious in how it was ramping up Ed and Kelly's relationship from anger to a cold working relationship to acceptance/camaraderie to unspoken romantic interest... to spoken romantic interest.

Yeah, I've had this discussion on another forum.

The way I see it, they haven't really played the "will they/won't they" thing out at all until the last couple of episodes. I mean, we see them break up, then just an episode or so in we see them in the zoo and it really depicts them as being a pretty bad couple. After that it's been professional all the way, and their marriage was pretty much a punchline. "What's purgatory even like?" "Ever been married?" "It's like that."

Now I agree Blue Guy admitting he may have been influencing Kelly removed a major road block to any romantic interest, but I still say that there wasn't actually an interest there anyway, at that point. Until that moment where Kelly fell on Ed the other week and they had a moment before she stood up, I didn't see any tension there at all. If not for that one indicator, I'd have said Ed's interest in this episode came out of nowhere.

What niggled at my mind is Ed's willingness to pursue it despite their working proximity and relative positions.

This seems to be pretty common practice in the Union fleet. We know Alara was dating another crewmember, we know LaMarr is, Yaphit wants to. All those relationships are out in the open, so there seems to be no rule against it. It would have been nice to see Ed concerned about that, though - remember how Picard worried about a similar thing in "In Theory". I guess we can assume that this was one of those things that happened but we didn't get to see.

No, they set that up in the beginning. Remember when Ed asked her to grab one to fix the wound he got "winning" Bortus' game, because he was too embarrassed to go to sick bay?

I thought of that, but he asked her for that in the evening, and the mission was the next day. She really carried it around with her all that time?

The Dominicans, and later the Puritans, set up their tests so the accused would either be guilty, or die in the process of establishing innocence. That is, the condition for an "innocent" result was a fatal one. In this case there was no such condition, but the difference is nominal at best.

Oh I know, but the point is that you could still pass or fail the test. If you pass they assume you're guilty and kill you anyway, but you did pass.

It just seems weird to me that a healing test can survive when literally nobody ever gets healed.

I didn't think of this at the time, but you are spot-on.

I've tried to convince myself that maybe their species just has a fantastically good memory or something. But nah, it's just convenient for the plot. :)
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Re: Ep 12 : Mad Idolatry

Postby Graham Kennedy » Sat Dec 09, 2017 11:48 pm

Ha, funny thought - when they walk into the medieval town, they see a mother telling her kid that Kelly is watching him and will know if he is misbehaving.

And for the first time in their history when somebody said that... it was actually true! :)
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Re: Ep 12 : Mad Idolatry

Postby Mikey » Sun Dec 10, 2017 1:19 am

:lol:
Rebellious kid: “That’s just superstition!”
Grayson: “Actually, kid, I saw the whole thing.”
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I'll massacre your ass as fast
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Re: Ep 12 : Mad Idolatry

Postby Bryan Moore » Sat Dec 30, 2017 10:10 pm

I lost it when Ed "won" the egg game! I knew something like that was coming, but oh man, that slayed me.
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