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S02.E08: Identity, Part I

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Ed and the crew travel to Isaac's home planet, Kaylon.

Airdate: Thursday, February 21, 2019

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This is the synopsis I saw for tonight:

Spoiler

Ed and the crew get ready to visit the planet Kaylon, where Isaac was born.

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Am I the only one who hadn't previously made the association between "Kaylon" and "Cylon"?

____________

I really wanted Bortus to have a corner piece of cake with a flower.
*sigh*
Instead he gets a bunch of Cylon-Kaylons having a bad hair day, taking out (literal) red shirts.

Edited by shapeshifter · Reason: clarity
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Wow, didn't see that one coming, not even a little. They killed people left and right, no mercy. They reminded me of the Borg with the lack of emotions. Isaac betraying them was even more unexpected. I wonder if he was reprogrammed by the Kaylons, maybe it can be reversed so he can help them next week. 

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I was going to say this reminded me of the Voyager episode about the robots who had killed all their builders but I guess this really just reminds me of the Borg.

I was hoping Klyden would resist and eat a laser beam.

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Yeah, not much of a full blown comedy tonight.  I had shades of Guardians of the Galaxy 2 with that cave of skeletons.

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Count me in as not seeing that coming. Really good episode. Went from a song to dead bodies filling up the corridors.

Well done.

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When Alara was in that disaster scenario thing, evil Isaac had red lights so as soon as I saw all those red Kaylons, I thought, "Uh, oh."

I hope they're really not going there. I think I'd be more heart-broken than Claire if Isaac is lost.

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Well things just took a turn didn’t they?

Si  Isaac is a terminator then.   Well I guess the Isaac/Claire thing is done.  Poor Claire and her kids.  They really liked the evil little robot.

Welcome to judgment day.  

Edited by Chaos Theory
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1. Daaamn

2. This show needs to stop being classified as a comedy.

Straight-up murder tonight. Obviously, Earth won't be destroyed but I have to wonder how this all gets put back in the box. I kind of doubt Seth is planning to get rid of Isaac.

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3 minutes ago, SimoneS said:

. . . Isaac betraying them was even more unexpected. I wonder if he was reprogrammed by the Kaylons, maybe it can be reversed so he can help them next week. 

I will keep that thought.

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The kids love for him will save the day?  Right?  Right?

I'd thought at one point that his species had to have been invented by someone and when they went down in the tunnel I thought it was going to be some evil or imprisoned organics, but nope it was worse.

That was heavy.  I can't wait until next week! 

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Great episode.  Epic.  I've said it many times but I'm glad I didn't quit on this show after the first two episodes.

Definitely didn't expect the Isaac betrayal.  I give this show credit for taking chances with their characters like this.  I don't know how Isaac gets out of this one.  Loved the CGI of the Kaylon homeworld and loved the constant view we got of it from The Orville itself.  Great ending.

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Wow, I'll repeat it, I did not see that one coming.  Even there was no "Resistance is futile" uttered by the Kaylons, the final scenes of the Orville being boarded and the armada did give me  "The Best of Both Worlds" vibes. And poor Claire just can't catch a break when it comes to relationships. And I'll second the opinion that Issac got reprogrammed when he was reactivated and that's going to play a major role in part 2.

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Bortus is me at every social gathering: eat cake and then leave.

So the Kaylons waged a full-on genocide against their creators and now they want to colonize Earth. I wonder if the Krill will somehow be instrumental in helping the Union defeat the Kaylons, especially since they were named dropped in the episode tonight.

I'm guessing Ty is right about Isaac and his fellow Kaylons reprogrammed him. Though it's interesting that unlike the rest of the them, Isaac's "eyes" are still blue. 

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29 minutes ago, Linderhill said:

Yeah, not much of a full blown comedy tonight.  I had shades of Guardians of the Galaxy 2 with that cave of skeletons.

I had the same thought. For a second, I thought that they had somehow ended up on Ego!

Well, that took a seriously dark turn, didnt it? I really do question this show being a comedy at this point. It has lots of goofy jokes, but its more of full on science fiction show inspired by Star Trek than a spoof at this point. I mean, when we start messing around with genocide and mass graves, the yucks are kind of few and far between. 

I really did expect to hear the Kaylons say "resistance is futile" at some point, but that was a seriously epic turn, I did not see any of that coming at all! I suspected the Kaylons had some dark secret, but holy shit, they have a full on "turn of their creators" Sky Net style backstory! That was so intense, that I actually yelled "no! not yet!" when they cut to the To Be Continued. 

Next Week: Will the crew be able to save the Earth and the rest of the Union? Is Issac himself, or was he reprogrammed? wWll he side with the crew over his people? And, most importantly...will Bortus get his side flower piece of cake!?

Edited by tennisgurl
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Gripping stuff! Co-sign on the so not expecting that.

I kinda wanna cling to the hope Isaac is secretly still on the Orville/Biologicals side and re-boarded the ship to help. ...But it doesn't look good. Aside from that the armada heading for Earth boasts technological weaponry far more advanced than the Federation's.

The Kaylon eye colors were striking. Red for warrior/leaders, orange for drones and just Isaac seen sporting baby blues? Perhaps his were made blue 'cos it's calming, elicits trust, etc.

Oddly, the Kaylon's seemed lukewarm to reactivating Isaac at all, now his mission was completed, with all that 'they assumed you'd consent to being reactivated' stuff. Then they switched him back on. Maybe, the true goal of his mission was hidden to him until he returned and got rebooted.

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Shocking and intense.  And the sets/optics were just incredible!  I don't know how big the Orville ship set is, but they made it feel enormous at the end when crew members were being marched around.

Did anyone else gasp and shout NO when Klyden and Topa were rounded up?

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xsoft-a-sound.jpg.pagespeed.ic.UoWhSBDFC

It all really happened at the end, but...wow. That's an ending.

We went from middling and plodding to OMG! What the heck is going on?!? in a matter of five minutes. Well done, show.

So I guess the Kaylons have become this show's version of the Borg. I mean, they even have a cube...er, cylinder.

Also, is it any coincidence that said cylinder actually looks like a viral spore? Talk about your deeper allusions...because, if you think about it, the Kaylons- just like the Borg- spread and destroy other planets just like viruses destroy cells.

Those last ten minutes of this episode was really on point.

Only quibble I'll say is that this would have been a much better season finale...think about it...a whole summer to wonder what the Kaylons are up to and to ponder Earth's fate.

Or...rather, a whole summer to chew on the Kaylon killers and see just how Issac reinserts himself into the crew and how the crew saves Earth, but still.

Side note- seeing those armed Kaylons was super creepy, and transformed a previously nonthreatening robot into something really scary. So again, well done, show.

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I'm glad this isn't a season finale cliffhanger. Besides the fact it would drive me nuts, I don't think they have the impact they used to. The concept has always been manipulative and I doubt it really retains any more viewers that any other new episode.

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Call it wishful thinking, but I'm getting an "Arena"/"Errand of Mercy" vibe from this.  Or more like that DS9 episode where they first "negotiate" with the Dominion.

In other words: it's a test.  The Kaylons are seeing if the humans will put their money where their mouth is, under pressure.  Probably, the whole thing (possibly the whole planet) is a simulation.

Whether or not they've actually been killing redshirts depends on whether or not Isaac thinks the Union values redshirts.

😉

P.S. It being a test is also the only way that a young kid just happening to go the right way to discover a mass grave like that makes any sense.

Edited by ACW
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I'm going to be That Gal and say I expected this from the Kaylon ever since we heard about how they assume they're better than us fleshbags. So the turn wasn't a big surprise to me.

But I still found it impressive how The Orville delivered on it! A little boy discovering hundreds of THOUSANDS of skeletons underground? Now that's just creepy. 

However, I found it weird how the crew knew stuff was getttin' real nasty and knew hundreds of thousands of bones were underground, but they weren't prepared at all to enact any real countermeasures against the hijacking?

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11 minutes ago, ACW said:

Call it wishful thinking, but I'm getting an "Arena"/"Errand of Mercy" vibe from this.  Or more like that DS9 episode where they first "negotiate" with the Dominion.

In other words: it's a test.  The Kaylons are seeing if the humans will put their money where their mouth is, under pressure.  Probably, the whole thing (possibly the whole planet) is a simulation.

Whether or not they've actually been killing redshirts depends on whether or not Isaac thinks the Union values redshirts.

😉

P.S. It being a test is also the only way that a young kid just happening to go the right way to discover a mass grave like that makes any sense.

It would be good for Isaac's longevity on the ship if this were a simulation. But it would also be a cheat and permanently box this show in as a Space-Com. Plus, they did that fake out last season.

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Ok while I do love the Orville and see it as the new Star trek I can't help but feel that the show is forcing all this to happen simply because they want to have a big battle in the season. I don't like how the writers ruin Issac character development like we seen him become more and more like a organic vs a machine because of everything he went through with the crew of the Orville and now the I'm supposed to have accept that Issac became evil and just following orders because he's a robot and it's his programming. The writers really didn't do a good job with this episode I'm sorry, if they wanted a battle scene why not let it be the krell and that new species we seen earlier in the season? This episode would've been alot better if the robots was also discussing a alliance with the krell, think about it what if the union wasn't the only ones that wanted their cooperation, and we got to see that in the show now not only do we worry about Issac now we have to worry about the robots joining forces with the krell giving them their technology in exchange for whatever robots would want. They could've also showed how the robots govern themselves, show a council of robots meeting both captain Mercer and the krell representative and they both have to make their case to the robots about their side being a better choice. Show arguing among the machines let some favor the union while others favor the krell while another group simply want isolation. This would've been a great explanation as to why the machines are having a hard time choosing, why they're taking so long. Lastly Issac should not have betrayed the Orville no matter what he should've choose his friends over the machines that would've not only kept him in character but also show how much Issac changed and grew that would've been a great episode. But instead we have a war that wasn't really explained that good going on now. Look sorry for the massive paragraph and even though I dislike this episode I'm still going to watch the next one, it's better then Star trek discover.

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I'm hoping for an Isaac awakening and that he can somehow "infect" the other Kaylons with it.

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Yikes, when your boyfriend turns out to be a honeypotting double agent for a genocidal species.

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And poor Claire just can't catch a break when it comes to relationships.

No kidding. But maybe she should stick to humans. And keep them away from her kids.

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3 minutes ago, Joimiaroxeu said:

Yikes, when your boyfriend turns out to be a honeypotting double agent for a genocidal species.

No kidding. But maybe she should stick to humans. And keep them away from her kids.

She should date Ed!  Turns out they have a lot in common now.

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1 hour ago, AD35 said:

And poor Claire just can't catch a break when it comes to relationships.

Some of us just get into bad patterns in relationships.
Which is why I've been single since I had my last kid.
Hey, Claire.
Do you hear me?
I'm your fan mom.
Trust me when I say you don't need a man--or robot.

What's that? You're a character in a Seth McFarlane show? 
Oh. Sorry.

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How could anyone not see that coming? From the first or second episode, when Isaac stated his mission to observe and that his was a superior race, you knew this was coming. 

Then they were greeted with hostility and secrecy at the home planet. Isaac said goodbye. And weird nodules are popping up with power signatures.

The only surprise was that it took so long.

Orville is full on ST now. I wish it wasn't so derivative... V'ger, Borg, any number of superior AI lifeforms. I enjoy Orville, but it could easily be so much better.

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I mean, now that I think about it, this shouldn't have been all that surprising. I mean, Issac saying how he wanted to study biological lifeforms, always saying how superior they are, the fact that no way is a whole race of seemingly emotionless robot aliens gonna not be evil, etc. I really should have guessed this was what would go down. 

I admit to being a bit disappointed now. We talked last week about writing alien cultures that are very different than our own, to the point where we often struggle to understand each other, and I mentioned that Issac was an interesting example, as he really did look at the world and relate to it a totally different way than most species on this show would do. He wasnt evil for it, it was just a different, alien outlook on life, that was weird to us, but not to him. But...now I guess they were just evil all along. Like I said before, its REALLY hard for people to write aliens that arent just humans in with funny foreheads, are all based around one random personality trait, or are just evil. 

During the party, it looked like Klyden was looking at Bortus a little apprehensively, while Bortus just ignored him. Maybe the fight from last episode is still smoldering? Maybe all of this will bring them back together, and Klyden will see that hating people based on something organic and genetic is really...stupid? 

Between Ed and Claire, the Orville crew just have zero luck in the love department, huh?

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So what if the kid hadnt crept off the ship and randomly wandered into the silo leading to 500,000 bodies? They would have just told Ed "no" and the ship would have left with that being that? I'm not sure if that's just bad writing or indication something is up. What I fully expect tho is for Isaac to save the day thru whatever affect humans loving him is supposed to have. I hope McFarlane surprises me and takes story elsewhere, but that's the most obvious path for a show that leans so completely on Star Trek.

All that said tho, terrific episode! 

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That escalated quickly, as they say. I go with elaborate test/are you worthy simulation. How could they let that kid just run around like that. Otherwise there's no going back to the lighthearted hijinks and yuks, it's a full-on doomfest which I think is too great of a change in the basic nature of the show. The tone already changes too abruptly but this would be too much.

If it's real though and they are Daleks after all I assume they will be saved by a change of heart Isaac who will engage some kind of species-wide OFF switch to deactivate the lot of them.

He may get left over as the only one of his species, since he has a heart Tin Man style, if they want to continue with the implausible Claire romance. I don't get what she sees in him at all, plot convenience only I guess, and could really do without the kids.

Other notes, it's funny that the units talk to each other and seem to have data-entry jobs, using their hands tapping on that wall. Such physical activity is silly, all that would be done internally. Doesn't come off as so advanced! Again, semi-comical, like Daleks confronted with stairs.

Gordon saying boy we are a long way from home, arriving like two seconds after they left, I thought was a joke. And, why did they not just send down a shuttle?

Edited by fauntleroy
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I don't trust AI's, especially ones with no emotion, so I was ready to see their biological creators as slaves or something. But the massive ossuary -- wow, that gutted me. And here the Kaylons were all on their high horse about our own history!

I am half hoping, but afraid of being disappointed, that Isaac will "evolve" (since they mentioned their own evolution) and get emotions, and help the humans. Because dropping that kid's drawing was COLD, man! (And because the title is "Identity.")

So the Kaylon are worse than the Borg. Why do they have to wipe out Earth, if they've outgrown their planet? Go find an uninhabited berg to live on. They don't even have our dietary or oxygen requirements, so the galaxy is their oyster! And if they are so so smart, they ought to be able to terraform if they really need it.

All of which tells me their real reason is to conquer the galaxy because they think they're superior and think the biologicals will contaminate them or endanger them in some way — like their creators tried to do, wipe those suckers out!

2 hours ago, ACW said:

P.S. It being a test is also the only way that a young kid just happening to go the right way to discover a mass grave like that makes any sense.

That didn't bother me. The bones are everywhere underground, so I'm not surprised they'd be under the capital city. Those probably used to be plumbing tunnels, which the Kaylon don't need. And they feel nothing about building and working above graves like we would and feel no need to concern themselves with the remains.

Edited by Andromeda
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Yea the lebensraum rationale doesn't make sense. They do not need individual human being-shaped machines that galumph around like out of a cheap '50s sci-fi movie. Another homage, which is cute in the context of a lighthearted show. But if we're getting serious I would assume an AI collective would exist in Skynet form with purpose-built bots only for specific tasks, rather than individual semi-autonomous units. And would not need to expand to planets suitable for organic life. The galaxy is big (!) plenty of room for satellites, asteroids w minerals etc.

I keep falling into the trap of taking the premise seriously. But after a mountain of bones, how are we expected to react?

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I thought this episode was fracking awesome, and I love this show overall. I don't think "The Orville" is any more or less derivative than every other show (or book or movie) that's been created in the past five hundred years or so. Personally, I find it kind of annoying to keep harping that it is just to find reasons to shit on Seth MacFarlane.

I didn't make the connection between Kaylon/Cylon until we were on the planet; then I started to get a Cylon vibe that I couldn't shake, and when the weaponry came out of their heads, that was genuinely creepy, as were the mountains of skeletons. When the Kaylons invaded the ship, I got a sense of the Cylon Wehrmacht marching down the streets of New Caprica in "Battlestar Galatica" when toasters had discovered the remains of humanity. (And I mean the comparison in the very best way.)

It seemed (to me at least) that in the scene when we overhear the Kaylons decide among themselves that a decision has been made, they addressed Issac as "Primary."

Ed and company were pretty stupid to announce that they had discovered the Kaylons' secret. Better to have gotten the kid, gone back to the ship, said, "Oops, we just remembered we have a space delivery to make; give us your answer later" and gotten the hell out of there.

While I do like Claire as a character, I still think she's a bad mother.

19 hours ago, fauntleroy said:

But if we're getting serious I would assume an AI collective would exist in Skynet form with purpose-built bots only for specific tasks, rather than individual semi-autonomous units

Weren't the Terminators semi-autonomous units, even though Skynet was the central intelligence?

Edited by SmithW6079
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4 hours ago, Chaos Theory said:

Well things just took a turn didn’t they?

Si  Isaac is a terminator then.   Well I guess the Isaac/Claire thing is done.  Poor Claire and her kids.  They really liked the evil little robot.

Welcome to judgment day.  

That's what I said

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Wow, I was not expecting that plot tweest! Actually, I was expecting the Kaylons to tell Ed and crew that the skeletons were the remains of their ancestors, who gave up their biological bodies and transferred their minds into cyborg bodies eons ago and then declined joining the union because Ed and the crew jumped to conclusions about them. I do wonder if Isaac had been reprogrammed b/c he did seem to act differently after being reactivated.

Edited by Ubiquitous
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I'm still curious why Isaac's eyes and lights on this suit are blue while the rest of the Kaylons are red.  That has to mean something.

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3 hours ago, ottoDbusdriver said:

I'm still curious why Isaac's eyes and lights on this suit are blue while the rest of the Kaylons are red.  That has to mean something.

All the Kaylons look alike.  It may just be a simple way to distinguish Isaac from the rest of them.

I really liked this episode Claire’s reactions alone made it for me.  The sorrow of letting go of Isaac just as she was falling in love with him but knowing it was for his own good.  Then the betrayal personal and professional when she discovered Isaac was a spy from a species of genicidal robots.  Yeah ok I kinda got fooled enough to ship them.  I like these kinds of pairings.  So I am hoping that Isaac is either playing the long game or just changes his mind because he actually did come to care for The Finn family.  

Edited by Chaos Theory
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The events of the last five minutes of the episode made me forget how hilarious it was that Isaac gave Sally Field’s Oscar speech at his going-away party.

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6 hours ago, Andromeda said:

That didn't bother me. The bones are everywhere underground, so I'm not surprised they'd be under the capital city. Those probably used to be plumbing tunnels, which the Kaylon don't need. And they feel nothing about building and working above graves like we would and feel no need to concern themselves with the remains.

Still, it seemed to me like the kid was herded to that location.  That shaft opened up way too conveniently.

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Isaac was very un-Isaaclike after he was reactivated.  He completely disregarded all human feelings post-deactivation, whereas previously he at least acknowledged and accepted them.  Isaac would have never discarded Ty’s drawing like that - even if he himself doesn’t possess feelings, he intellectually understood that Ty has them and that the action would hurt Ty.  Isaac would have also understood why saying good-bye would be important to Claire and his crew members, yet re-programmed Isaac didn’t seem to grasp that.

I’m predicting that Isaac will regain the “humanity” he developed on the Orville and rejoin the ship, cutting himself off from the rest of the Kaylons.  It will essentially become a Seven of Nine situation.  At least that’s what I hope...

Edited by eejm
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Some observations...

The Orville really needs better safety protocols if a kid knows how to get off of a ship on a planet that doesn't want people snooping around.

While it's kind of hard to accept the Krill as a threat given how many times the Orville has defeated them, a theme that keeps popping up is how the Union needs allies to defend against their threat.  They've been having increasing problems with the Moclans and now you can't expect the Kaylons to help.  Also, they have a first contact policy motivated in part to prevent less advanced worlds to be subjected to Krill aggression.  It's a theme to keep an eye on. 

Not a surprise the Union would be caught unawares like this considering their complete lack of research prior to a first contact.

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