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kariyaki

S02.E07: Deflectors

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Wow, I thought we were getting a sequel to DS9's unforgettable "Far Beyond the Stars" at first.  And once the story got going, I saw some thematic comparisons in finding a fantasy place where a person can be their true self.

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So, tonight's TNG analog is probably "The Outcast." Again, they took what was originally a slightly heavy handed morality tale and turned it into a morality tale coupled with a murder mystery (a la TOS: "Court Martial"). 

This show is so good.

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I love these Morclan episodes. Locar framing Klyden was terrible, but I understood how he was driven to it by Morclan culture. I cheered at Talla ripping Klyden a new one. The crew has been too diplomatic.

I really like how the show has not dropped the tension in Bortus and Klyden's relationship because of what was done to Topa. Bortus is still furious and now he is hurt by Klyden's prejudice exposing Lorcar. I have said it before, but I don't know how long Bortus can stay in that relationship. 

Kelly's ex was a bit much. Men really fall for her hard.

Edited by SimoneS
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I kind of wanted Talia to let Klyden twist in the wind there. He really is a turd.

Kelly still can't answer the "do you love Ed?" question.

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I think Bortus should take Klyden back to the homeworld and "divorce" him.

So, do you think this episode was a foreshadowing? The Moclan ship using torpedoes when they weren't supposed to and Ed's & Kelly's conversation about the incompatibility of the two cultures?

I don't really care for Kelly's character but Cassius needs to grow a pair. 

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3 minutes ago, welnoc said:

So, do you think this episode was a foreshadowing? The Moclan ship using torpedoes when they weren't supposed to and Ed's & Kelly's conversation about the incompatibility of the two cultures?

I wondered if the Moclans were testing the Union by firing those torpedoes. Their cultures are so different and there doesn't seem to be a way to reconcile those differences. I wouldn't be surprised if both sides come into conflict down the line and Bortus has to choose a side.

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I wasn't expecting this ep to end up being a remake of The Outcast done more correctly. Coincidentally,  I was reading a review of the NextGen ep last night and Berman claims that was his pro-homosexual ep.

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Not making excuses for Klyden, but he is a civilian who probably had little experience with other cultures before he came to the Orville.  Maybe the Union or the ship has a standard orientation for new people, but maybe it doesn't go far enough, or maybe Klyden could not accept ideas different from those of Moclan culture.  Maybe the Orville crew could do more to help people adjust.

Who played Locar?  IMDB doesn't list him yet and he looked a bit familiar.

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We need a new category for dramadies on Previously TV.  This show can't be pigeonholed, and that's why it's so good.

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1 minute ago, Driad said:

Not making excuses for Klyden, but he is a civilian who probably had little experience with other cultures before he came to the Orville.  Maybe the Union or the ship has a standard orientation for new people, but maybe it doesn't go far enough, or maybe Klyden could not accept ideas different from those of Moclan culture.  Maybe the Orville crew could do more to help people adjust.

Who played Locar?  IMDB doesn't list him yet and he looked a bit familiar.

Does Klyden have a job on the Orville, or does he live there because of Bortus?

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Poor Locar and poor Talla. I actually really liked them together, especially when she was teaching him how to dance. I'm glad Talla told Klyden off at the end. The marital problems between Bortus and Klyden probably just got exponentially worse. I wonder if there'll be another divorce between them (sans stabbing, hopefully). Gordon was so proud of himself for guessing that tooth of the ex-boyfriend is eaten by the new one.

I loved Ed's "Oh, no" when Kelly told him about her break-up with Cassius. It's probably for the best that Cassius took the transfer to the other ship since he wasn't getting the hint. The giant talking flower cracked me up, though. I think it's obvious Kelly's still in love with Ed even if she can't admit it.

John and Gordon telling Talla about all the crazy shit that's happened to The Orville was hilarious. "Isaac cut my leg off. The Captain and Commander were put in a zoo." 

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8 minutes ago, Driad said:

Not making excuses for Klyden, but he is a civilian who probably had little experience with other cultures before he came to the Orville.  Maybe the Union or the ship has a standard orientation for new people, but maybe it doesn't go far enough, or maybe Klyden could not accept ideas different from those of Moclan culture.  Maybe the Orville crew could do more to help people adjust.

That’s a good point, it is too easy at this point to dismiss Klyden as a close-minded A**hole

Although I predict Klyden will be at the receiving end of the next divorce stabbing.

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12 minutes ago, ketose said:

Does Klyden have a job on the Orville, or does he live there because of Bortus?

I do not recall any mention of Klyden having a job.  It might be better if he did, at least when the child is in school.  Currently he may have little or no interaction with non-Moclans.

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I wonder if circumstance around Klyden's birth is the reason that he is so dogmatic about Morclan culture. He was born female and had the surgery to become male which must have caused him to be stigmatized by the people around him and his fear as being seen as an outsider might be driving him to embrace Morclans' cultural beliefs and practices without question. In contrast, Bortus is willing to adjust his beliefs in response to new situations even when they are unexpected and painful. 

Edited by SimoneS
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Klyden needs a job. Idle hands make the devil's work, or so they say 😛

I agree, an updated version of the Outcast, but Orville is more Trek than STD. 

Love the cast and cannot wait to see the repercussions of what will happen between Bortus and Klyden.

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Just now, greekmom said:

Klyden needs a job. Idle hands make the devil's work, or so they say 😛

I agree, an updated version of the Outcast, but Orville is more Trek than STD. 

Love the cast and cannot wait to see the repercussions of what will happen between Bortus and Klyden.

Does the Orville need a waste disposal technician? Very little engineering skill required.

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I certainly didnt expect to get a remake of TNGs The Outcast, the episode that was supposedly pro gay rights but had a serious case of No Homo about it, kind of negating the whole point, but this one was quite a bit better. Making it a mystery story instead of a rather tepid romance/heavy handed and yet vague message show was a good call. And the message generally worked better as well, although you could probably make a similar case about this episode as people made about The Outsider if you really wanted to. 

Not exactly the Valentines Day episode I expected. Of course the last episode had a romance between a human and a robot that ended with the bridge soaked wet due to an elaborate romantic gesture by said robot, so I dont really know what I expected.

Klyden can be such a dogmatic asshole about all their weird Moclan stuff, but I wonder if its him overcompensating due to being born female? Like, he was born "wrong" so now he feels like he has to be super intense about every one of their cultures weird close minded costumes. Or maybe not, and he and Bortus are on their way to a very violent divorce, I have no clue. 

Maybe The Orville should have some cultural understanding classes? Or "how to not be a jackass" seminars?

Kelly is obviously still in love with Ed, and deeply in denile about it. Come on girl, just admit it!

Heh, listing all of the stuff thats happened on the show so far. Its almost like this show is kinda weird...

Edited by tennisgurl
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That was Capt Sisko, right? The Moclan captain? UPDATE: Dang, it wasn't Avery Brooks. It sounded just like him. 

Best ep of an uneven season. 

15 hours ago, ketose said:

That is the weirdest Valentine's Day episode ever.

Yes, should have run earlier, and first ep should have run now. 

Edited by Ottis
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1 hour ago, SimoneS said:

I cheered at Talia ripping Klyden a new one

I teared 😢

.

1 hour ago, ketose said:

That is the weirdest Valentine's Day episode ever.

The cookie bouquet will forever remind us that, yes, it was a Valentine episode.
But IRL, Valentines Day is probably not all hearts and flowers for most people — even not for just those within the 1st World cultures, so, yeah, weird, but not entirely unrealistic.
On The Rookie last night:
   [Sergeant] All right, we know what today is.
                    The most dangerous day of our year.
   [Rookie]    Valentine's Day, sir? Really?
                    Not Black Friday, not New Year's?
   [Sergeant] That's right, . . .
                    Breakups and broken hearts.
                    Jealousy and revenge.
                    All make for a perfect storm of heightened emotion
                    and dangerous situations.

.

53 minutes ago, SimoneS said:

I wonder if circumstances around Klyden's birth is the reason that he is so dogmatic about Morclan culture. He was born female and had the surgery to become male which must have caused him to be stigmatized by the people around him and his fear as being seen as an outsider might be driving him to embrace Morclans' cultural beliefs and practices without question. In contrast, Bortus is willing to adjust his beliefs in response to new situations even when they are unexpected and painful. 

I too considered that Klyden may be suffering from a form of PTSD that manifests in ways that look like actions of some non-fictional homosexuals who deny their own preferences because of their culture's morés. It doesn't make him less of an asshole, but it does explain it. I wonder if they will have Klyden do some self introspection.

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41 minutes ago, SimoneS said:

I wonder if circumstance around Klyden's birth is the reason that he is so dogmatic about Morclan culture. He was born female and had the surgery to become male which must have caused him to be stigmatized by the people around him and his fear as being seen as an outsider might be driving him to embrace Morclans' cultural beliefs and practices without question. In contrast, Bortus is willing to adjust his beliefs in response to new situations even when they are unexpected and painful. 

33 minutes ago, tennisgurl said:

Klyden can be such a dogmatic asshole about all their weird Moclan stuff, but I wonder if its him overcompensating due to being born female? Like, he was born "wrong" so now he feels like he has to be super intense about every one of their cultures weird close minded costumes. Or maybe not, and he and Bortus are on their way to a very violent divorce, I have no clue. 

Individuals who are that close to being marginalized or exiled from the majority can often be really dogmatic and cultural gatekeepers. He feels like he cannot afford to be lenient for fear that they start questioning him and whether he should be part of their culture. Someone like Klyden never wants the rest of society to look that deeply because he is as problematic if not more so than Locar. Klyden was born female; he then had a female child. If we're talking about individuals who "pollute" the Moclan people, a family with at least 2 generations of female births might be your first concern.

I had no problem with Cassius trying to reach out and reconcile with Kelly until the plant person. At that point, I felt the overbearing asshole just needed to go.

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This will likely not be a very popular review, but I'll say it anyway.

I always knew The Orville to be heavy-handed before ("Majority Rules", "Primal Urges", its portrayal of the Krill), but this particular episode truly laid it on thick- and it comes again at the expense of the Moclans.

Season 2 has already had now three episodes dealing with Moclan culture ("Ja'loja", "Primal Urges" and now this one) and the last two have followed the same script- a Moclan deviates a bit from their cultural mores, he's found out, the crew comes to accept him for who he is and then the Moclans and their society in general are put on full blast. Granted, "Primal Urges" still had Claire attempt to make Klyden understand why Bortus would turn to porn, but you still had Ed and Kelly mocking the Moclans for their "different-ness" and the rest of the episode had numerous references to just how strange the Moclans are.

This one doesn't even try to meet the Moclans halfway- they're just WRONG! WRONG! WRONG! all the time. I get that Locar's heterosexual row was a stand-in for homophobia, but it might have been nice to at least understand why the Moclans are so bent on male-male bonding. Bortus had a great opportunity when asked about his time in the military with Locar, but he still whiffed there.

I don't want to sound like I want to justify homophobia or suggest that Locar's treatment by his fellow Moclans was ideal, because it truly was wrong.

My problem is that, firstly, the obvious point that you're not going to change a society or how even one person thinks by attacking and shaming them into compliance. The reason is the "backfire effect", where the stronger one holds on their views, the stronger they will defend them, no matter what argument you may make. It's an extension of our "survival" mechanism, since having our views attacked can feel like a physical attack on us, so we put up our defences instead of actually listening.

Meaning that if Talla had wanted Klyden to change his thoughts, she should have tried to understand why Klyden thinks the way he does in the first place instead of yelling at him and calling him an inferior being, because that's just going to make Klyden upset and hold on to his views even more.

The bigger problem is that, with the Moclans painted so thoroughly as this culture of intolerance and extremism, there seems to be a "reverse racism" going on where the show consistently paints the Moclans as some kind of a weird "other". The show already makes no qualms about making us hate the Krill and thus justify the racism against them, but if it doesn't course correct with the Moclans soon, they're going to be next in "racism" pile, just for being too weird, and I'm not sure that's where the show should want to go.

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1 hour ago, Danielg342 said:

I get that Locar's heterosexual row was a stand-in for homophobia, but it might have been nice to at least understand why the Moclans are so bent on male-male bonding.

There was a throwaway line from either Bortus or Klyden about how the Moclan's planet had such a harsh environment that made the male-only rule necessary for survival (although not explained in detail).

1 hour ago, Danielg342 said:

The bigger problem is that, with the Moclans painted so thoroughly as this culture of intolerance and extremism, there seems to be a "reverse racism" going on where the show consistently paints the Moclans as some kind of a weird "other". The show already makes no qualms about making us hate the Krill and thus justify the racism against them, but if it doesn't course correct with the Moclans soon, they're going to be next in "racism" pile, just for being too weird, and I'm not sure that's where the show should want to go.

Speaking of racism, I am troubled by the one "race" on the show that is represented exclusively (thus far) by African-American (right?) actors being so offensive. 
Stargate initially had this problem too, but then they cast a wider variety of ethnicities as Goa'uld, including some Caucasians.

Edited by shapeshifter
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Just making the quick point that I dont think episode would quite have worked with Alara.  It needed someone slightly more mature like Talla. Talla also being a newcomer and a slight outsider herself also worked. 

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When Locar was speaking with Lamarr about upgrading the shields, it was almost the exact same conversation Geordi had with Scotty in the TNG episode "Relics." The famed unbreakable regulation that was really just the engineer being conservative on paper. It's telling us that Locar is on the level of the great Chief Engineer of the Enterprise.

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One thing for sure, Talla portrayed the Xelayan superiority complex perfectly.  Once she determined Moclan to be inferior culture, she treated Bortus, Klyden, and Moclan captain with little to no respect.  Very similar to how Alara's father treated the military (and Alara by extension).  There was no room for understanding the other side, it was just judgement, judgement, and more judgement.  Heck, Talla most likely would not have apologized to Bortus had he not been her superior officer.

The more the show looked into the Moclan culture, the more I did not understand why Moclan joined the Union.  They seemed to be treated as quasi-outsider. From Mercer's off hand comment "why is it always the Moclan" (in ep2 I think) to how Talla treated Bortus, Klyden, and Moclan captain like they were 2nd class citizens.  Aren't these different races supposed to work together in the Union?  Did the Moclans join the Union much later than the other races?

I know Bortus is pseudo-Worf, but the way TNG treated Klingons / Worf made sense since the Klingons and the Federation were enemies just prior to TNG.  OTOH, on Orville, I did not sense any past resentment between the Union and Moclans.
 

3 hours ago, phalange said:

John and Gordon telling Talla about all the crazy shit that's happened to The Orville was hilarious. "Isaac cut my leg off. The Captain and Commander were put in a zoo." 

The line "we are the weirdest ship in the fleet" immediately came to mind 😄

Edited by DarkRaichu
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5 hours ago, Danielg342 said:

This one doesn't even try to meet the Moclans halfway- they're just WRONG! WRONG! WRONG! all the time. I get that Locar's heterosexual row was a stand-in for homophobia, but it might have been nice to at least understand why the Moclans are so bent on male-male bonding.

Isn't it because the Moclans are an all-male species?

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I don't think Talla is going to be much of a source of understanding. She hasn't been around Bortus enough to be friends yet. The one relationship she had with a Moclan was a crime by Moclan law and he was turned in by Klyden. Still, despite her feelings about Klyden, she looked deeper and cleared him. After all that, I have no problem with her telling Klyden that she doesn't want to see him again. Klyden essentially sentenced Locar to death.

New Trek (and even TOS) had a tendency to be excessively woke at times, then more provincial at other times. I actually think the humans on The Orville are somewhat more human. Isaac calls humans inferior, so Ed refers to him as a toaster with Kelly. Moclans endorse genital mutilation, murder as a means to enforce fidelity and imprison the best and brightest among them because they followed their nature. I think the human reaction would be revulsion.

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6 hours ago, shapeshifter said:

Speaking of racism, I am troubled by the one "race" on the show that is represented exclusively (thus far) by African-American (right?) actors being so offensive. 
Stargate initially had this problem too, but then they cast a wider variety of ethnicities as Goa'uld, including some Caucasians.

I do think that if only African-American actors are being cast as Morclans that is a real problem and something that needs to brought to McFarlane's attention. 

Edited by SimoneS
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7 hours ago, Danielg342 said:

I always knew The Orville to be heavy-handed before ("Majority Rules", "Primal Urges", its portrayal of the Krill), but this particular episode truly laid it on thick- and it comes again at the expense of the Moclans.

I agree it was heavy handed.  Not much subtlety here, and we've seen this theme several times now.  

I understand the idea is to make comments about human societies through science fiction, and there is a long tradition of that.  But I don't think it's Earth's place to sit in judgement on all other cultures.  That's why they have the Prime Directive, or whatever version of that is in play here (and it's clear they do have one).  If or when we ever meet alien cultures I imagine there will be a whole lot of things we don't agree about, or don't understand.  This will require more diplomacy, not less.

Ed's hints that maybe we might be seeing Moclans as villains in the future instead of allies was interesting.  And they also seem to be setting Klyden up as a bad guy.  I agree with the poster above who said his marriage with Bortus isn't going to last.

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So I just read this on avclub:

"The rumor is Bruce Willis voiced that giant plant. Seth Macfarlane is cashing in all his favors to get some real big names to show up and deliver some really forgettable performances."

I personally didn't notice. 

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2 hours ago, Ubiquitous said:
7 hours ago, Danielg342 said:

I get that Locar's heterosexual row was a stand-in for homophobia, but it might have been nice to at least understand why the Moclans are so bent on male-male bonding.

Isn't it because the Moclans are an all-male species?

Because they never stop to ask for directions? 😁
More seriously:
Moclans are only all-male because of their practice of surgically altering all babies born female (see in the episode, "About a Girl") which in this episode, is partially explained by Bortus line: "For generations, my people struggled to survive on a desolate world."
But Moclans wouldn't have survived with this practice of making all females into males if they didn't reproduce by laying eggs.
But maybe their method of reproduction evolved as they began surgically altering female babies into males.
I guess this is the Moclan version of: Which came first? The chicken or the egg?

.
.
.

11 minutes ago, rmontro said:
7 hours ago, Danielg342 said:

I always knew The Orville to be heavy-handed before ("Majority Rules", "Primal Urges", its portrayal of the Krill), but this particular episode truly laid it on thick- and it comes again at the expense of the Moclans.

I agree it was heavy handed.  Not much subtlety here, and we've seen this theme several times now.  

I understand the idea is to make comments about human societies through science fiction, and there is a long tradition of that.  But I don't think it's Earth's place to sit in judgement on all other cultures. 

Also, by having Ed send the Xelayan to her room for her (xenophobic?) outburst, the show reinforces the Earthlings as being "better" than other species.

One more thing: 
We still haven't gotten around to talking about all the double entendres WRT the title of the episode, "Deflectors."

Edited by shapeshifter
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My problem is that a culture of diversity is supposed to celebrate differences.  The show shows the humans, imo, to consistently want the other races and species to act more like them.  It is not good at showing them try to understand.  The Orville needs cultural education classes or something.

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1 hour ago, shapeshifter said:

Also, by having Ed send the Xelayan to her room for her (xenophobic?) outburst, the show reinforces the Earthlings as being "better" than other species.

Ed is the captain; it's his responsibility to enforce discipline on board and it was in that capacity that he sent to her room. She's a senior officer and is expected to behave in a professional manner.

Was there a human not sent to their room who made a similar outburst and I missed it? Because I don't think you can make that kind of statement unless there was. 

Edited by welnoc
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8 hours ago, Danielg342 said:

My problem is that, firstly, the obvious point that you're not going to change a society or how even one person thinks by attacking and shaming them into compliance. The reason is the "backfire effect", where the stronger one holds on their views, the stronger they will defend them, no matter what argument you may make. It's an extension of our "survival" mechanism, since having our views attacked can feel like a physical attack on us, so we put up our defences instead of actually listening.

I agree with your entire post, and much of it has occurred to me as well.. This is not a right or wrong response. I do think you expect too much of this show. It's not that thoughtful. The part above especially ... the show needed a carthartic emotional moment, and it went down the easy path of having a senior officer on a key Union ship dress down the spouse of another senior officer because...  feelings. That will appeal to 90% of TV viewers. It didn't appeal to me, or to you. But the nuance required to handle that better isn't found on Orville.

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10 hours ago, tennisgurl said:

Kelly is obviously still in love with Ed, and deeply in denile about it. Come on girl, just admit it!.

She has more or less admitted it to Ed every time she has reminded him why they can never be romantically involved with each other as long as they're Captain and First Officer aboard the same ship.  And Cassius was rapidly approaching stalker territory with his refusal to take a hint and let it go.

I really would love to learn more about the Moclans' history.  I think Bortus' explanation about the way the society evolved in order to survive the harsh planetary environment is very telling.  I'm guessing that there was a time in Moclan history when the species was actually male/female, but the environment was simply too harsh for the females to survive, so the male population pretty much outlawed females and heterosexual relationships because only the males had the best chance of survival.  It would go a long way towards explaining their current state of extreme misogyny and heterophobia, of which we first got a glimpse in "About a Girl."

Edited by legaleagle53
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3 hours ago, Ubiquitous said:

Isn't it because the Moclans are an all-male species?

Actually, that makes me wonder if someone on the show's writing staff, or Seth himself, feels especially woke, and so the one group it is OK to attack is males. Hmmm.

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1 hour ago, shapeshifter said:

Moclans are only all-male because of their practice of surgically altering all babies born female

Aren't the vast majority of Moclans born male though?  If I'm remembering correctly.  Not that it matters.

17 minutes ago, flyingdi said:

My problem is that a culture of diversity is supposed to celebrate differences.  The show shows the humans, imo, to consistently want the other races and species to act more like them.  It is not good at showing them try to understand.  The Orville needs cultural education classes or something.

Tolerate everyone except the intolerant.  As long as they tolerate the same things we do.  That's the impression I'm getting out of it.

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15 hours ago, ketose said:

Does Klyden have a job on the Orville, or does he live there because of Bortus?

In the episode with the star going nova, Bortus and Isaac were specifically mentioned to be the only members of the crew who could go on a rescue mission. So if Klyden has a job, it's a civilian position (which of course is possible, see Cassius).

13 hours ago, The Kings Foot said:

Just making the quick point that I dont think episode would quite have worked with Alara.  It needed someone slightly more mature like Talla. Talla also being a newcomer and a slight outsider herself also worked. 

I thought the same; the episode did a good job establishing her as a distinct character.

5 hours ago, flyingdi said:

The Orville needs cultural education classes or something.

I agree. Between no one knowing about Kelly's ex's sex pollen, Claire not bringing up the possibility of Xeleyan muscle deterioration until after Alara developed it, and the anti-female policies and routine spousal murder on Moclus coming out of left field, they really need an anthropologist onboard. (Which, ironically, was the specialty of said sex-pollen ex, if I recall correctly.)

Edited by Emma9
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9 hours ago, Danielg342 said:

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This will likely not be a very popular review, but I'll say it anyway.

I always knew The Orville to be heavy-handed before ("Majority Rules", "Primal Urges", its portrayal of the Krill), but this particular episode truly laid it on thick- and it comes again at the expense of the Moclans.

This one doesn't even try to meet the Moclans halfway- they're just WRONG! WRONG! WRONG! all the time. 

Yea, The Anvil, more like.

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1 hour ago, Ottis said:

...you expect too much of this show. It's not that thoughtful.

Per usual... I now brace myself before every episode for heavy-handed ideas without much thought behind them.

At first I was somewhat sympathetic to Locar's heavy-handed situation - - until he told Talla that it would be "on her conscience" to not allow him to fake his death and frame Klyden for murder. WtF?! And he refused to accept her offer of asylum on the Orville ... because..?  
So, Locar has the 'courage' to pursue his urges but does not have the guts to attempt living outside his mean-spirited and hypocritical society? Okay.

How are all these people continually able to get into other people's personal quarters? (Sometimes showing up at their bed in the middle of the night) 

Edited by shrewd.buddha
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9 minutes ago, shrewd.buddha said:

How are all these people continually able to get into other people's personal quarters? (Sometimes showing up at their bed in the middle of the night) 

Well, in Locar's case, he was a genius engineer who was able to fake a holographic "smoking gun" and use a shuttle's cloaking device to hide himself. Letting himself into Talia's quarters was a drop in the bucket.

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1 hour ago, Emma9 said:

I agree. Between no one knowing about Kelly's ex's sex pollen, Claire not bringing up the possibility of Xeleyan muslce deterioration until after Alara developed it, and the anti-female policies and routine spousal murder on Moclus coming out of left field, they really need an anthropologist onboard. (Which, ironically, was the specialty of said sex-pollen ex, if I recall correctly.)

I agree. An anthropologist is exactly what that ship needs. There are bound to be conflicts or challenges arising from cultural differences when so many people and species with different cultures live in such a close environment. 

Edited by SimoneS
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11 hours ago, ketose said:

Does Klyden have a job on the Orville, or does he live there because of Bortus?

He is the spouse of Bortus and cares for the child.

24 minutes ago, rmontro said:

Aren't the vast majority of Moclans born male though?  If I'm remembering correctly.  Not that it matters.

I female is born every, roughly 75 years, a female is born of a female born Moclan.  This is how Bortus found out that Klyden was born female.  See this link for an excellent description of a military run planet.

1 hour ago, Superclam said:

that giant plant.

I love the giant plant.  More giant plants please.

I called a friend of mine at the end of the show and yelled, "No no no no no".

3 minutes ago, kariyaki said:

Well, in Locar's case, he was a genius engineer who was able to fake a holographic "smoking gun" and use a shuttle's cloaking device to hide himself. Letting himself into Talia's quarters was a drop in the bucket.

He was a badass!

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1 hour ago, jumper sage said:
1 hour ago, rmontro said:
2 hours ago, shapeshifter said:

Moclans are only all-male because of their practice of surgically altering all babies born female

Aren't the vast majority of Moclans born male though?  If I'm remembering correctly.  Not that it matters.

I female is born every, roughly 75 years, a female is born of a female born Moclan.  This is how Bortus found out that Klyden was born female.  See this link for an excellent description of a military run planet.

Thanks for the link, @jumper sage. As noted in the comments, the 1 female born 'roughly' every '75 years' is very rough, as Klyden and Topa are not 75 years apart (right?), so we could speculate that a lot more females are born than that, but that the shame associated with having a female child skews the stats. Upthread I speculated that the Moclan male/female ratio may have been less disproportionate in the past, as does @legaleagle53:

1 hour ago, legaleagle53 said:

I think Bortus' explanation about the way the society evolved in order to survive the harsh planetary environment is very telling.  I'm guessing that there was a time in Moclan history when the species was actually male/female, but the environment was simply too harsh for the females to survive, so the male population pretty much outlawed females and heterosexual relationships because only the males had the best chance of survival.  It would go a long way towards explaining their current state of extreme misogyny and heterophobia, of which we first got a glimpse in "About a Girl."

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@shapeshifter- do you want to bet we're going to get the "feminist episode" where the Moclans are shown that they don't have to be so male-dominant to make their society work? That seems to be the next thing to ding the Moclans on, and I'm not sure I am comfortable with any more dings against them.

I compare the treatment of the Moclans the most with Season 1's "Cupid's Dagger", because it has the same idea but with a different execution. I don't want to reignite the debate about the episode's effectiveness, but I do want to touch on the fact that the episode's primary point is that "other species do things differently than humans do". In "Cupid's Dagger", the attempt was made to say that the Retepsians weren't bad for how they thought or acted- they were simply "different". Not only did the episode try to understand this difference, the writers even used it for the characters' benefit and tried to sell that move as a "good" move.

The Moclans, on the other hand, may be acknowledged as "different" but there's no attempt at understanding them- they are just simply painted as "backwards" and "wrong". I get that a lot of the subjects explored with the Moclans are not easy ones to explore, but it doesn't make up for what is truly lazy, lazy writing.

I shouldn't need to explain how damaging the Moclans' portrayal has been because that is obvious. The other part is that, with less "acceptable" targets, preachiness alienates  (no pun intended) a lot of viewers, and the truth is preachiness is just not engaging or challenging for the viewer.

In short, if you want to change a mind, you gotta make them feel like they're not being forced to do it. You need to give them something to think about and wrestle with, which doesn't always guarantee success but you'll get further than with a more forceful approach.

Like Alara and her dad- he never did change his mind no matter how many times Alara told him he was wrong, he only realized it when Alara saved his life requiring all of training to do it- and, even then, he still had reservations.

I think it boils down to- and I gotta be honest- Seth's limitations as a writer. For all the plaudits I give him for understanding continuity and characters, his stories are pretty basic and straightforward- there's not much depth or exploration. We've seen it multiple times on this series where we see a scenario and ask "why did things go the way they did?" Well, the Doylist in me would say it's because Seth doesn't typically think about broader implications- he's going to tell his story and he's not going to waste his time worrying too much about "how it might look".

Which is not necessarily a bad thing- a lot of Hollywood writers could learn "keep things simple"- but it only goes so far. Simple works with light-hearted episodes and characterization, it doesn't work when you need to get serious, because in order for that to work you need to think about broader implications.

Which leads to another point- tackling a social issue requires challenging that belief, and I'm not sure Seth really "challenges" himself. If he's not willing to challenge his thoughts and examine where he could be wrong, how can he expect the audience to be challenged themselves?

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21 minutes ago, Danielg342 said:

Which leads to another point- tackling a social issue requires challenging that belief, and I'm not sure Seth really "challenges" himself. If he's not willing to challenge his thoughts and examine where he could be wrong, how can he expect the audience to be challenged themselves?

Or maybe he's just not willing to challenge his writing crew? Does he actually write the episodes for this show?

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1 hour ago, flyingdi said:

My problem is that a culture of diversity is supposed to celebrate differences.  The show shows the humans, imo, to consistently want the other races and species to act more like them.  It is not good at showing them try to understand.  The Orville needs cultural education classes or something.

This.  It is like the Moclans were invited to the club (the Union) but they were called bigoted when they act like themselves.  If their culture was so repulsive to the other members of the club why invite them in to begin with?

4 hours ago, ketose said:

I don't think Talla is going to be much of a source of understanding. She hasn't been around Bortus enough to be friends yet.

She was around Locar for far shorter time and she chose to understand his way of thinking.  Is it too much to expect a senior officer of a Union ship to understand the cultures of its diverse crew members ? 

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