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     Outgrowing Zoos 
  • Why are science fiction shows always acting like zoos are animal prisons that humanity will inevitably stop having in the future? Sentient species object to being in captivity, I get it, but zoos do a lot of important conservation work, and animals truly live less stressful, healthier lives in captivity, and don't have the inherent desire for freedom that we do.
    • Even with the science applications, there are people who find the way animals are put on display to be unethical as it can cause some stress. There is also the sad fact that while zoos are necessary as lifeboats for some species, they are always going to be second best to actual wild habitat where they can roam free; especially for animals which are migratory or have very large natural ranges. That is not to say they do not do good, but there are some very egregious offenders which do very little science and are just animals on display. Maybe in the future of The Orville they have better wild habitats and less tolerance for animals as entertainment.
    • Or they're good enough at terraforming that they don't need zoos as lifeboats, because they can just move endangered animals into new-made habitats perfectly suited to their needs.
    • We can't know whether animals have the same "inherent desire for freedom" that we do. More concretely, different animal species have different needs and preferences when it comes to how much free space and variety they need in their environments. Few zoos can afford to cater to the full range of various species' needs.
      • Yes, we can. It's a distinctly human desire that only sprung up after centuries of not having to worry about starving to death or being eaten by predators, and being able to communicate abstract concepts. No other animal species can make both of those claims. While there are zoos that aren't up to snuff, and don't meet the needs of their animals, saying that since some animals need a lot of space and care, zoos must be prisons and should be abolished is ridiculous.
      • Why should the above be true, necessarily (aside from the Humans Are Special trope)? Why would desire for freedom be necessarily linked to specifically human achievements or abilities? Why would a species that hasn't yet invented, say, farming be incapable of yearning for freedom? What about particularly intelligent animals, like dolphins or some primates? Who says they aren't capable of communicating some abstract concepts? (In fact, it can be argued both dolphins and chimps have already been shown to communicate abstract concepts in studies using sign language, although in limited ways). And if a particular zoo is not up to snuff when it comes to providing a particular kind of animal with enough space, why shouldn't it be seen as something similar to a prison, at least from that particular animal's perspective?
    • If animals do not have a desire for freedom then why do zoos need to be designed specifically to keep them contained? As with the Calivon zoo, it is because it is a given that the "exhibits" will try to escape if their habitats are not securely sealed. However, a future Earth society with far superior technology might find wildlife preserves and parks to be ethically preferable to small zoos where animals are kept in very small holding areas. Even in real life many people prefer to see animals in something resembling their natural habitats rather than in zoos, which more often than not are just a concession to urban populations with limited mobility.
      • In regards to your first question: Because you cannot communicate to animals that their needs will be met and they are in less danger inside the enclosure than they are outside, and because you cannot enter a verbal contract with an animal. Some zoos do, in fact, have animals that are allowed outside of their enclosures freely, most commonly with birds that are not large, invasive, or dangerous enough to cause personal, monetary, or environmental damage, because there's no reason to keep them enclosed. In most other cases, when an animal escapes a zoo enclosure, they return to it later, because that's where they know that they can get food, and they feel the safest. Keep in mind that you also have to design bathtubs to keep water contained, but that doesn't mean the water desires freedom. Also, most zoos attempt to recreate the habitat of the animals they exhibit, because showing animals as though they are in prison is neither entertaining nor educational.
      • Now that sounds like the Calivon. They consider less-advanced species, such as humans, to be too intellectually limited to bother communicating with or trying to understand what their own feelings or desires may be. It could be reasonably argued that Ed and Kelly were much safer in their zoo cage than they are on the Orville, so keeping them there could be considered to be an act of "conservation" and for their benefit. But that means that, like animals in a zoo, they have absolutely no real rights, their desires are not concern, their happiness is not a concern and the zoo can kill them any time they deem it necessary. The concept of sapient elitism is only fun until a species more advanced than your own decides that you are "animals" and that what you think or want is less important than the lofty goals of the "higher" species.
      • Well, sci-fi writers are not alone, as a lot of zoologists and other scientists also consider zoos to be now obsolete and unethical. If you need to preserve a species you can use a natural reserve.
      • Except that zoos are subject to a lot more government oversight, at least in the United States, than facilities that aren't open to the public, making them almost always the more ethical option for non-native species.
      • But that's the point, why would you need to keep non-native species? Apart from human entertainment keeping species in natural reserves in their homelands is the most logic thing to do to preserve them.
      • Not when their original habitats are hopelessly overrun by poachers, invasive species, pollution and/or urbanization, it's not. Many of zoos' most carefully-tended and precious animals literally have nowhere else to go.

     Why didn't the Calivon already have those reality shows? 
  • In Command Performance, the Calivon have already scanned all the information in the Orville's computers at the start of the episode using their super-advanced technology. This is explicitly stated to be the means by which they created their simulation of Ed's parents. They should already have a copy of all that reality TV programming that Alara trades to them.
    • They may not have known what they had in their possession. To an alien observer those shows might look like just a mass of extremely old data files. Lacking pop culture awareness of the humans it could take them a very long time to sift through vast amounts of content and it was very clear that the Calivon had limited interest in actual anthropological study.
    • Let's also put it this way: if you were given a flash drive that contained the entire contents of the Internet, every web page, every email, every file, would you be able to sift through everything within the space of only a few days? Unlikely. The Calivon ship only sifted through enough information to a) find the ship's crew complement, b) determine the commanding officer and c) research his parents. Nothing else would have been relevant, never mind a bunch of ancient TV shows.
      • Well, modern search engines already do a decent-enough job at sifting the entire content of the internet — certainly well enough to serve the needs of millions of humans who enjoy observing each other's amusing behaviour, which is what the Calivon wanted to do. The Orville is set in the future, when humanity has developed technology light-years ahead of what we have in real life today... And the Calivon are light-years ahead of that. So with their computers... Yes, maybe you could sift through everything on the internet in seconds, never mind days. Consider what they achieved right on the screen: Within moments of encountering the Orville, the Calivon probe absorbed and processed enough information to figure out what the best way to get the captain's cooperation would be, found and analysed enough personal data on the captain to simulate his parents, and did a very convincing job of the simulation, including obscure personality quirks and the like. The Calivon are obviously curious about humans (and other alien races), or else they wouldn't have built a zoo in the first place. And they obviously have computers that are excellent at digging through mountains of data quickly and efficiently to find interesting or useful bits — even quite obscure ones. Add these two facts together, and you get... a head-scratcher.
      • Computers are much faster than they used to be at finding relevant information, because they are quicker at being able to discard irrelevant information. It is more than possible that they got the modern living and modern cultural references needed to entrap and house Ed and Kelly so quickly because they were able to discard everything extraneous to that. We need to know their search parameters and search terms to be able to say anything further, but it looks like it was a classic case of Garbage In, Garbage Out. Remember a computer's results are only as good as the tasks asked of it.
    • It could be the case that the Calivon don't store or analyze the data they find from their traps. The only purpose of the traps is to catch people for their zoo, so once the trap is complete, they simply delete all the data it found. The Calivon think other races are inferior, so naturally they would assume their data isn't worth looking at. It may simply not occur to them that the trapped races have data they would be interested in viewing.
    • The Calivon already consider 25th Century humans to be primitive to the point where they stick them in a zoo. One quick look at the date stamp on those files, roughly four centuries old, and they would probably dismiss them as irrelevant. It takes context for computers to identify useful and interesting data and tell it apart from outdated and irrelevant junk. Until the entertainment value of the files was brought to their attention their search engines likely just tagged them as old archive data.

     Moclan Gender and Reproduction 
  • How are the Moclan able to reproduce if they're all male? Biologically wouldn't they be hermaphroditic?
    • They probably are biological hermaphrodites, but identify as male gender for cultural reasons. This may be venturing into WMG territory, but perhaps once they evolved into a hermaphroditic species that superficially looked male, the chauvinism common to ancient cultures blended with the tendency to judge things for superficial reasons to cause them to think of themselves as all male. If, for example, the Ancient Greeks had evolved into superficially male looking hermaphrodites, their intense sexism would almost certainly have caused them to see themselves as male and despise those few remaining evolutionary throwbacks even more than they despised women already.
    • Episode three revealed that there is a second gender, albeit rarer, so however they made the egg they seem to be male. Perhaps they use a different definition of egg and it was more like a cocoon for example.
    • That still doesn't make sense. Unless they reproduce asexually and saying they're all males is more of a social statement instead of a biological fact. No matter how the offspring is born (egg, live birth, cocoon, etc) sexual reproduction involves genetic materials from two sexes (male & female).
    • The show doesn't get into it but it's clear they are socially male purely because they chose to all become male by gender identity normalization and surgery. Note, they are not all biologically male and clearly don't follow our rules. It doesn't make much sense but: A. Lots of Earth gender identity things make no damn sense. B. Star Trek had the same level of weirdness with many of its species.
    • No, sexual reproduction does not require two sexes. Earthworms, for example, reproduce when two worms copulate, both inseminating the other. Other organisms like flatworms might have two individuals compete, with the "winner" inseminating the "loser", but the winner might be the loser when the next flatworm comes along. Hamlet fish, when two individuals mate, take turns with one laying eggs, the other fertilizing, and then switching roles. Moclans would likely be hermaphroditic, with either partner potentially the one inseminating the other. "Females" are perhaps individuals who, for physical reasons, are incapable of inseminating another—say they're missing the equivalent of the penis, or it's somehow deformed so unable to function—and could only be inseminated. This would explain why Moclans treat the condition as a birth defect...for them, it is. The opposite condition, not being able to be inseminated, wouldn't be as much as of an issue since they normally identify as male anyway.
      • This. Essentially, they're the reverse C. elegans: a Real Life roundworm species consisting of large hermaphrodites and small males. With the Moclans, their natural reproductive slate would consist of large hermaphrodites and small females. The technical term would be "gynodioecy", a phenomenon seen on Earth in mint, plantains, and a few other plant species. They only appear to be "all-male" because they've used gender-reassignment surgery (and possibly infanticide before that became available, if Bortus's confusion about Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer has an unspoken cultural basis) to artificially skew their natural breeding-type ratio.
      • But none of that is brought up. The only thing that is argued is how Moclan society won't accept a female, it's portrayed completely as a prejudice. If female Moclans are all sterile then switching the gender becomes more of a biological issue (maintaining the population levels). That's something the Union and the other characters would understand slightly more.
      • The birth of a female wouldn't impair their racial reproductive rate, as a female would still be fertile as a female, i.e. could still lay eggs. Production and incubation of eggs is the limiting factor in how fast an oviparous species reproduces, not sperm production, so a mated female Moclan could bear young just as fast as a male could. She'd still have to find a (hermaphroditic "male") mate, which would only pose a problem if the same cultural prejudices that forbid raising a female as a female also make every male she encounters too disgusted to mate with her. Even so, it's the prejudice that's the problem, not her being female.
      • I feel the need to point out this isn't an episode about Mochlan sexual and biology issues but Earth issues through a Mochlan lens. Which means Bellisario's Maxim is in full effect.
      • is a means of asexual reproduction that requires two individuals and also allows for the possibility of two genders especially with the ZW sex-determination system mentioned in that article ("...they have either two Z chromosomes (male) or two W chromosomes (mostly non-viable but rarely a female)..."). Other forms of parthenogenesis would work as well - some forms merely require the presence of a mate for instance while others actually require the presence of other species. This might fit better than hermaphroditism as there would be little reason for hermaphrodites to define themselves as male or female; likewise, being born with only one sexual characteristic really would be a mutation and less 'treatable' than in the show (how do you add new organs to someone that never would have had them to begin with) whereas chromosomes therapy would be more viable as the procedure in the show.
      • Problem with the above assumptions on how "female" Moclans became disreputable due to an inability to sire offspring is that we've seen "female" Moclans can inseminate "male" ones. Our first exposure to Moclan reproduction is with Bortus and Klyden: with the "born male" Bortus giving birth to and incubating an egg sired by the "assigned male" Klyden. So, clearly female Moclans are still capable of siring offspring.
      • Or the Moclan method of gender-reassignment is more medically advanced than our current largely-cosmetic Real Life procedures, and allow an individual born female to become reproductively functional as a male, not just socially- and sexually-so.
    • Given their stated preferences regarding male dominance and the fact that they have the necessary technology to completely reassign gender (including reproductive capability) it is highly likely that the Moclan did this on purpose. The Ancient Greek analogy above is actually quite apt, and many real world cultures have tried (and still try) various methods of gender selection among their offspring - most usually favoring male children. The Moclan may have simply taken this to its ultimate extreme and redesigned themselves so that males can perform the necessary reproductive function. They are reptiles, not mammals, and lay eggs rather than bear live young. Thus there are mammal traits associated with being female, such as possession of mammary glands, that their species simply does not require.
    • Where did Moclan gender stereotypes even come from? If they've been a single-gender race for so long, why would they even have any particular cultural views about females, such as "they are weak" or "they are less rational?" They don't have anything like the cultural history that led to these views appearing on Earth. And by the time they made contact with Earth these views would have already been on their way out on our planet (I mean, they're already on their way out today, and given, e.g., that Earth's military seems quite accepting of female officers in the Orville's future, there's no reason to think this trend reversed at any point) so they couldn't have picked them up from us...
    • Same place real world gender stereotypes come from. Moclas is a harsh world to live on, its mostly desert with little resources, to the point that its inhabitants have evolved to eat just about everything. In a world like that, the strongest and most resourceful would be the most likely to survive. So over time traits like brute strength, impressive will etc. would become celebrated by the culture. By the time they developed society and technology to mean such traits were no long necessary to survive, they would well rooted into their mind-set. In a world were males can produce children, then females would not be considered necessary, especially if they were physically weaker (which is possible but presently unproven), being the minority the Molcan's presumably saw them unnecessary. Then overtime that evolved to the point being one became outright looked down upon.
    • Well, they are after all aliens. They haven't necessarily evolved according to the same sexual biology principles as earth life. Male and female might physically mean something very different, might just be convenient terms humans can relate to.

     The Moclan reassignment procedure and the Union 
How would the Union not know about this procedure and societal view? While certainly the Moclan would probably not talk about it too much, certainly it must have been known or discovered (Klytus reveals this is how he found out himself). In that case, certainly the Orville would not have been the first instance of this happening in Union space.
  • In all likelihood the government does know, but doesn't consider it an issue. There are a lot of laws in individual states that offend individuals in other states, but that doesn't make it a national issue most of the time.
    • But if the Union knows about it, wouldn't they have guidelines for the captains?
      • Females births are incredibly rare, its entirely possible this is the first time one has happened off the Moclan home world or one of their colonies, and the situation has simply never come up before.
      • And Mercer doesn't seem to be the kind of captain that reads guidelines.
  • This is another parallel with Star Trek. The Vulcans managed to keep knowledge of Pon Farr extremely limited. To the point that even Starfleet CMO's knew very little about it centuries after first contact. Given that Bortus concealed the fact that he was "pregnant" until he actually laid the egg, it seems likely that the Union is circumspect when it comes to the reproductive affairs of member species.
    • Confirmed in season two. When Ed wonders if Yaphit is planning to "split", Kelly reminds him that they are legally prohibited from asking.
    • The point above is incorrect. They know all about Yalphit's reproductive mechanism, but they are not allowed to ask for HR reasons. This paralells real life, where women are not allowed to be asked if they plan on getting pregnant during a job interview.

     The loss of history in the bioship 
Why would they lose their history? The first generation would have been fully technological, far beyond present day Earth. They couldn't even make papyrus or carve it on stones?
  • The show is just using an old SF trope regarding generation ships that's been around almost since the idea was conceived.
    • A great example of this, which may have been the inspiration for the ship and situation in the show, is the short-lived TV series The Starlost, which was created by Harlon Ellison. In that show, the ship had a war break out amongst the domes of the Ark, leaving the ship without a crew, some areas of the ship damaged and on a collision course with a star.
  • They weren't allowed to tell those stories or keep those records. We see in the episode that the ship has been essentially taken over by a religious-like group. Any mention of being on a ship, or mention that there is more to life than their prairie, is met with torture and execution and has been for thousands of years. When that group took over they likely silenced any dissenting voices, and so people stopped passing on their history to their children out of fear. Many, many generations of ambiguous history later, and nobody is truly sure where they started.
  • It's been two thousand years. They'll have had pocket-sized versions of wars, famines, an occasional plague, etc. Sure, the "armies" would number in the hundreds at most, the famines would be from overpopulation or bad farming practices rather than lousy weather, and any plagues would've arisen as random mutations in formerly-harmless microorganisms native to their ecosystem, but they'd still happen, and the survivors would have more immediate problems than preserving history.
  • Not to mention they've clearly lost (and probably been through several periods of rediscovery) a lot of their technology in the last two thousand years, in the start they could build a ship the size of a city, in the present they're only around the early twentieth century. Between the disasters, no doubt historical records got lost or potentially mistranslated (language does change a lot over two thousand years after all).
  • Don't forget that OUR history has been around for more than 2000 years and we don't have a lot of records from 2000 years ago. And even within the last 100 years, you would be very hard pressed to find equipment to playback things like magnetic tapes. Beyond that, digital 'permanence' has given us the illusion that lots of things are permanent but that isn't so. Stone erodes even through handling, paper has to be carefully maintained, metal can rust, and things can simply be lost - and digital is perhaps the least permanent of all media. It is doubtful anything written on this website will still be accessible 15-20 years from now, never mind a century or more, and that doesn't take into account that anything written here can be changed or deleted including what you're reading now. It's very easy to imagine a society losing track of its history.
    • Commander Grayson even mentions that Earth's own old history is a bit fuzzy when relating to the Bioship inhabitants' situation.

     Reunited the bioship people with their home civilization and species 
Ed suggests that they'll teach the people how to operate their own ship. But what about getting their people in touch with their own species? While it's likely that the bioship group has diverged significantly from their species' society, it would at least be something. Now, one could argue that perhaps they are all that's left of their species... but that's silly since there's no hint that they sent the bioship off with their entire population or because of any near catastrophy.
  • The ship's captain in the log admits their homeworld is so far away from the nearest inhabited planet, it was expected it would take three generations for them to reach it, hence why they built such a massive Bioship. It is long past that deadline, and has kept drifting in the same direction (at presumably the same speed) for two thousand years. By this point, they're probably so far away from their original home that they would have to dedicate another thousand years minimum to get back.
  • Ed didn't think of it at the time, and it is something that is outside the scope of the Orville's mission parameters so presumably left for the follow up team to deal with. Whether they want to try and make contact with their homeworld is for the people in the bioship to decide anyway.

     Time Paradox 
Sooo, if Pria never comes to the past, why aren't they all dead? And if they are all dead, wouldn't that prevent them from destroying the wormhole meaning Pria did come back meaning they do destroy the wormhole oh dear I've gone cross-eyed.
  • They didn't erase Pria's previous travels, they just prevent her from travelling again. Every change she did on history to that point was still in motion.
    • No, by destroying the wormhole in their present the crew is stopping all potential future time travel from that point on. That's why Pria disappears, she never traveled back in time in the first place. Which means her action of saving The Orville should also be undone.
    • When the Orville came back through the wormhole, it seems that Pria's first visit and saving the Orville was locked in, so to speak. For example, let's say that the Orville was supposed to be destroyed on Monday. Pria came back to Sunday to setup her rescue and repossession of the Orville. She saved the ship then piloted it through the wormhole on Tuesday, taking it to Saturday. Isaac regained control and took the Orville back to Tuesday (after they had been rescued from destruction) and Captain Mercer destroyed the wormhole on Wednesday meaning that Pria never left Saturday the second time so she vanished but the Orville was not destroyed.
    • She does have a personal teleportation device. It's possible that she still had it on her person and just simulated being Ret-Gone. Stranger things have happened in genre shows; just see the continued survival of The Master.
      • Captain Mercer confiscated the teleport gadget and put it in his desk drawer. One has to wonder if it disappeared when Pria did...
    • Another possibility is that as long as the wormhole exists, multiple timelines can coincide. When they destroyed the wormhole, they only destroyed potential futures that required the wormhole to exist, but since Pria's actions affected them before they destroyed it, those events didn't get erased. Plus, if destroying the wormhole retroactively undid all actions related to the wormhole, then they'd never learn of the wormhole, never destroy it, and I've gone cross-eyed.
  • Maybe Pria is simply lying about the supposed destruction of the Orville. It certainly wouldn't be the first/only time she's less than straightforward with the crew.
  • The likeliest explanation, in my opinion, is that the ship was only ever listed as being destroyed in Pria's time because she diverted it from their planned route with her distress call. With no Pria going back in time to call for help they would have continued on their original course and not encountered the dark matter storm.
    • This is my favourite explanation, but it doesn't explain why everyone on the ship seems to have Ripple Effect-Proof Memory when it comes to Pria.
      • Actually, the episode doesn't explicitly indicate that anyone remembers Pria. The moment she vanishes we get a closeup on Ed's face which has a neutral expression and then the episode ends. There is no reference to Pria nor the events of the episode in the remainder of Season 1; she might have been forgotten.
  • The survival could be related to a paradox as well. They survived because of Pria and then destroyed the wormhole so that Pria could never have come back to the past. But, if Pria had never come back to the past the wormhole would never have been destroyed because they wouldn't have known about it. When they destroyed the wormhole, the path of least resistance is to allow the Orville to continue existing, because that means the biggest event, the destruction of the wormhole, still happened, even if the reason for the destruction didn't.

     "Of course, it's a Derek"? 
This one is a confusing one. When the technician in the first episode is revealed to be working with the Krill, and his named is mentioned as Derek, Ed says, "Of course it's a Derek." What exactly does that mean?
  • He thinks Derek is the kind of name a traitor would have for some reason.
  • Or Ed has had multiple bad experiences with people named Derek and simply hates that name. There are a few names that I no longer trust due to interacting with people bearing that name.
  • For better or for worse, some names just carry stereotypes with them. Chad, Jamal, Ling, Ahmed, and Hans all probably brought to mind five different stereotypes in your head. At least if you're American. One guesses that "Derek" is such a name, at least to Mercer.
  • Probably just Rule of Funny, as per Seth MacFarlane. You may as well ask why Peter Griffin has problems with guys named "Keith."

     Why does Derek have such lousy timing? 
  • In the pilot episode, no reason is given for Derek, the traitorous technician, choosing that particular moment to betray everyone to the Krill. Why didn't he contact the Krill ship before the Orville arrived? What did the Krill gain by waiting for a Union ship to arrive to defend the outpost? We're told that the only reason the outpost didn't openly signal the Union for help is because they didn't want to tip off the Krill about their technological breakthrough — but since they had a mole, that was a moot point from the start! The Krill already knew about the device, and could have flown in hours or days before the Orville even reached the planet, taking the time accelerator without meeting any resistance...
    • This could have made some sense if Derek didn't have access or necessary information about the time device up until that point in time; maybe if the plot was tweaked so that the need to move the device to the Orville, or the process of showing the device to the Orville's crew, made it vulnerable somehow; but nothing like that is even hinted at...
    • Derek may not even have known the Orville was coming until the officers walked into the lab. The ship was summoned under the pretext of delivering cargo, but there's no reason to think the guy who requested it told everyone he'd done so. In fact given that his staff would know that they didn't actually need any cargo delivered, it would make sense for him to keep the request quiet. As for why the Krill hadn't already come in to steal it, for all we know they may have only finished construction on the device that morning and the Krill were waiting for Derek to signal them that it was ready. Which he may have done seconds before pulling the gun.

     Krill undercover 
  • Since the Krill homeworld is shrouded in almost total darkness, they would either have evolved to be completely blind (as is the case with marine life on Earth that lives in the midnight zone of the ocean), or to have the best nightvision in the galaxy. Clearly, since they possess eyes, it is the latter. So how is it that not only their ships happen to be as well lit as Union ships, this lighting is capable of emitting intense ultraviolet light that can kill the whole crew?
  • Why if you are going to infiltrate the Krill would you choose Gordon as your co-infiltrator? The one that is considered the dumbest member of the crew, instead of Bortus (who already acts like a Krill) or Alara (whose strength may prove useful for the mission)?
    • Because he's the best pilot. They know next to nothing about Krill culture, an entire destroyer is going to overwhelm two crew members by sheer number regardless of strength, and the job was in-and-out. Also, though I'd have to check, I recall that it was his superiors that assigned him and Gordon.
    • Gordon's idiocy seems to be overstated. While there are some subjects, such as history (unrelated to popular culture) that he appears to have flunked in school, he is otherwise extremely skilled. He is not only able to fly Union ships better than anyone else, but he was even able to operate Krill vessels as well. Plus, he was able to rig the lights on the Krill ship, indicating some skill at engineering. His successes aboard the Krill ship, including saving the colony, suggest that the Fleet knew exactly what he was capable of.

  • Fair enough, those are good points. Now my second headscratcher over that episode. Why in the name of Richard Dawkins almighty when the Krill priest find them around the holy book and they say they're searching for confort in it, when thbe priest ask them "Did you find it" did they answer "Yes!", wasn't more clever to say "No, no, we actually need more time with this wise holy book", thus they'll had more time alone to take the photos they need?
    • They just didn't think of it at the time. They were put on the spot, nervous, and like most people caught doing something transgressive that they should not be doing their first instinct is to escape the conversation.
    • Also, who's to say it won't backfire and the priest would be like "Oh, why don't I help you and answer what questions you may have?"

     Female Moclan Statistics 
According to Isaac, female Moclans are born every 75 years. So, Kytus is 75 years old then? Hevina is 150? Or is Isaac quoting official statistics that vastly underplay the actual occurrences? How do we know that Moclan females don't actually make up 50% of the population and they culturally decided to gender reassign them all and give out bogus statistics?
  • They very likely do. The 75 year figure merely represents what outsiders know of this phenomenon. Moclan parents probably do not announce that they have produced a female child, they just very discreetly have it reassigned. Since the society as whole has such strong attitudes on the topic it would not be surprising if they have privacy laws on the books that eliminate any requirement for such things to be officially documented. That said, given that Moclan males can reproduce without females, it is doubtful that females make up 50% of the population as this is not biologically necessary. Although it is possible that they became this way artificially. An interesting question arises from the role of females in this kind of culture. Since the males (if we call them that) can reproduce without females, is the reverse true? Or is part of the reason females are considered inferior that they can only lay eggs, but cannot fertilize somebody else?
  • Every 75 years is surely an average, like "the hundred year storm". In any event like that it's inevitable that you'll get occasions where several happen close together, just like there are inevitably occasions when it doesn't happen at all for several times as long as normal. It just averages out at one every 75 years.
  • As it happens, season 2's "Sanctuary" reveals that female births are quite common every generation and the Moclan authorities keep it quiet rather than change their society.

     Present-day pop culture references 
The show is supposed to be set hundreds of years in the future, but all the pop culture references anyone makes in the show are from the late 20th/early 21st century. Why is everybody so unusually fixated on this one period of Earth's history? Did nobody ever do anything interesting in the centuries since? Did none of the aliens ever make anything interesting?
  • Watsonian versus Doylist:
    • Doylist explanation is that it might be set in the future, but the audience is still living in the 21stC so references have to be what we would recognise and not the future/alien version.
    • Watsonian explanation is that the Union is going through one of those social periods where they become obsessed with a past culture and just lucked out on 21stC. It is something that most societies do at some point in their histories. Sometimes pop culture is all about some other society's culture.
    • The Law of Conservation of Detail might be in play too. They may be watching other shows from other time periods, and maybe even other planets, but the audience never sees it because has no relevance for the plot. Of course, showing some non-Earth or non-20th century shows would be a very creative idea, if SMF ever thinks on that.
    • So is the Law Of Affectionate Parody, as Star Trek has consistently had a similar approach to pre-20th century Earth's cultural references.
    • Translation Convention? They could be referencing their own pop culture, but for the sake of the audience, it's going to translate into our equivalent.
  • This is the first quarter of the 21st century, yet people still enjoy Shakespeare and most people understand general references to the plays and can even quote some of the better-known lines. And in some cultures people of all ages continue to be immersed in music and drama written centuries ago.
  • With Robert Duncan Mc Neil in the backstage team, and remembering his character's obsession with the same century (there was no 21st century culture yet) in ST-Voyager, one might have expected a lot of such references. Except that the two episodes he directed (Command Performance and "All the word's a birthday cake") are not among the most blatant examples.

     Majority Rule 
Even the safest, blandest of politicians is bound to say things that anger at least 20% of his/her constituency on a routine basis. And even the safest, blandest of celebrities is bound to annoy people with different tastes. Some people will downvote them simply out of disgust for how bland they are. When you are massively in the public eye, those votes are going to add up fast.
  • It's quite possible they don't. While we see talk show hosts and social media, we don't see any evidence of an existing culture past this social media. The civilization seems culturally sterile, and it seems that the fear of reprisal has prevented discussing controversial topics. As far as politicians, it seems that the talk show hosts are the closest things, making money by manipulating public opinion and maintaining the shaming culture. Anyone who tries to reform the society would probably end up "corrected" before any improvement was made.
  • Something that opens further headscratchers, as for example how public finances work? If every law and policy is chosen by social media vote is obvious that there are not many taxes, as everyone would vote against them, but without taxes there's no public finances to pay the policemen salaries and build the nice roads and public infraestructure we see they have.
    • Everything may be privatized. This could also be seen as a stab at libertarian ideology because in the absence of a representative government it would appear that private organizations fulfill many of the same roles. We know that they have police and soldiers. If this is not funded by taxation then it is likely funded through other means. Businesses may act as such powerful monopolies that they can do things like charge mandatory "service fees" that are taxes in all but name. If these businesses control the Master Feed, they could also use it to fake popular approval of measures over the long-term. The only accountability stems from the system, which they control.
    • Also, people vote for parties that support raising taxes for certain public expenses all the time in real life, it's possible that some taxes do get enough votes, at least for the most elemental needs, and won't be unlikely things like "people with certain amount of downvotes should pay more taxes" kind of laws.
    • In a slightly "lighter" possibility, it's possible that many services are run as charities. Given the culture is based around virtue signalling and that part of John's apology tour involves paying out a massive sum to a charity related to the woman who's statue he dry-humped, this may be how many organizations stay afloat. This opens up another can of worms, however, as this means a lot of worthy causes are probably driven under the rug for not being "interesting" enough to donate to.
    • Given the popular opinion rule of the planet, taxes and other less 'interesting' bits could still be approved if massaged with the right wording (looping back to publicity officers and tv hosts being the closest things to lawyers and politicians). Avoiding any touchy real life subjects - labeling a picture 'looter' versus 'hurricane refugee' can produce very different reactions over the same image. Likewise, "Do you support helping the elderly even if it costs you some money?" versus "Do you support a 5% tax on your latte to support social services?" can garner different reactions.
  • Also, as this is actually a true democracy (in the process sense and ideology sense not the American idealized sense), it may be that the voting system came about for the same reasons it came about in historical Athens which had a similar voting system (anyone can vote... well, any male citizen anyway). The Athenian ideal was NOT to 'get stuff done by the will of the people' but to explicitly avoid tyranny and the rule of one (a king). It was SUPPOSE to be cumbersome and difficult to do stuff so that one person or even one group couldn't take over the city. So it may be that there aren't politicians, at least in any sense that we would describe (primarily career politicians, perhaps), but simply very active citizens (again from our perspective).
  • On that note, are there benefits from upvotes on Sargas 4? We only see the consequence of downvotes, but surely there are pluses for having lots of likes.
    • I assume it's the reverse of having too many dislikes. For example, we see that some business establishments refuse service to people with too many downvotes. Because of this, it's safe to assume there are some places that only provide service to people with enough likes. I can imagine plenty of "exclusive clubs" that advertise only catering to clients with a very high amount of likes. Also I assume it's pretty important on a job resume. Having a lot of likes would give a job applicant an advantage over people with less. And you'd think a high amount of likes would be essential for anyone in a position of power, like a corporate CEO or a Police Chief.
  • In episode 6, it is established the crew have holo-emitters that can make them look like any species. So why doesn't Alara use one to disguise herself when she goes to Sargas 4 in episode 7? Obviously that would have covered up her features far more effectively then clothing.
    • Whilst we don't have to many details on Holo-emitter disguises at the moment, it was mentioned in the episode they were one of Issac's inventions so not standard technology. It's possible they are designed to disguise you as radically different looking species but unable (or simply too valuable) to use for subtle cosmetic changes.
    • That emitter was also prone to glitching at the worst possible times, and blew the disguises. The tech may be shelved until or unless the bugs get worked out.
    • There is an even easier explanation as to why Alara doesn't use one. In "Krill" the holo-emitter was adding volume and bulk to Ed and Malloy's forms. To make Alara look human, it would have to disguise and minimise volume and bulk (albeit a small amount) from her head-ridges and ears. That just may not be possible.
  • Most of the crew on the away team doesn't know what money is. But we see them watching films and TV shows from the 20th and 21st century earth on a regular basis. In light of this, how could they not know anything about money?
    • While Ed does take the time to remind everyone that they will need money on Sargas Four, Alara is the only crewmember who asks what it is. She has already been unfamiliar with references to historical Earth culture at least twice and it is possible that Xelayas' economy evolved differently, used a different medium of exchange or stopped using physical currency further in its past than Earth did. The three humans in the landing party all seem to know what money is, although Kelly clearly isn't used to using it.
  • In "Majority Rule," the away team the Orville sends in is totally caught off-guard by the way the society is down on the majority-rule planet. Yet we see later on that they have the ability to monitor and even interfere with their television broadcasts and information networks. So if they had that, couldn't they have at least spent some time monitoring this information to try to get a bead on their culture instead of simply heading in blind? Sure, this wouldn't always be a good measure (we'd hate to think an alien culture might judge by watching a single episode of Jerry Springer), but it seems like it really would have helped here.
    • They probably saw the similarity with Earth and guessed that the legal and political system was also similar. They seem to know some basics on the culture (like their attire, although they took the ethnic clothing wrong, and the use of money), the information about the legal/political system maybe was misinterpreted as it is very bizarre. Besides, the crew of the Orville is very likeable but it's also very new at their job and probably still are rough around the edges and not the most competent or experienced of the Union by far. Not Genre Savvy if you prefer.
    • They were originally looking to recover the missing Union anthropologists studying this culture, so their data about it may have been incomplete. A casual observer, especially one familiar with historical Earth reality TV, might assume that the Master Feed is some kind of entertainment and not the primary means of governance in the society. This may be complicated further by the fact that these people still appear to have separate nations and even fight wars. If there had not been an urgent need to recover missing people, and later to save John, they probably would have spent more time scrutinizing the situation.
    • Even more baffling is that they had plenty of information on the planet, even down to what types of clothing they wear on their forehead and exact reproductions of their money... and yet didn't have knowledge of the badges, which are by far the most common accessory on the planet! With such in-depth knowledge of the planet's clothing, there's absolutely no way they could have never seen one before.
    • That might depend on how long the badges have been in use. Unless Sargas 4 is in a state of Modern Stasis, then much like real 21st Century Earth this could be a fairly recent innovation and before the badges people voted using computers or smartphones. But then it was decided that this was inconvenient if you didn't know the person you wanted to vote on, so they decided to have everyone switch to wearing badges so that you could vote somebody on the street without needing to know their name or handle.
    • But we know it isn't recent. An upper-middle aged woman tries to buy tea at the shop and tries to tell the barista that all her downvotes were from "when she was in her twenties", so they've been around at least a few years, if not decades.
  • In Majority Rule, we see that the act of having 1,000,000 or more downvotes is considered a crime on the planet Sargas 4, and if you hit 10,000,000 you are essentially lobotomized. At the same time, votes are kept permanently, for the rest of your life. So what happens in John's case? He now has over 1,000,000, but under 10,000,000 and is a free man. He can't breach 1,000,000 downvotes again, because he already did it. Even if he received another million downvotes, he's already been tried for being over 1,000,000, which is the only real "law" the planet has. Is he just free to do whatever he wants and can safely ignore the police? There's nothing to truly arrest him for, since he's already breached the point he gets arrested at.
    • He likely is on a razor thin wire, and might be expected to be back there soon anyway. That said... he's a Spaceman and is certainly never going to set foot on Planet Demagogue ever again.
    • This seems to be the case. It seems like he would have skipped the 'get arrested' part of the equation and simply gone straight to the apology tour/lobotomy chair. The numbers are effectively an absolute morality/ethical rating for a person, so for that society, it would probably make sense. Keep in mind we're talking about a very different code of morals and ethics. After all, one guard essentially threatened Kelly with a gun - had he fired, it would have been unlikely that he would have gotten downvotes for 'shooting someone trying to interfere with the legal system', even if it was unarmed.
    • There are also social consequences to having a certain number of down votes, such as businesses refusing you service. Even somebody who falls well short of the number needed to make correction mandatory could still face all kinds of discrimination and penalties. His life would likely suck were it not for the fact that he does not really live on the planet.
  • It's possible that the apology tour was meant to reset the count but it was done off screen. Or that upvotes actually do something, again, off screen.
  • How long has the planet operated like this, anyway? Judging from what Lysella says, it's long enough that they can no longer remember any other way to run a society, but it seems to revolve around technology that's about on a par with modern-day Earth — perhaps a few years ahead, if that. Technology which was in the realm of science fiction only 20 or 30 years ago in real life. Have they just been technologically stagnant for decades, even centuries? If so, why? The very nature of their society should surely provide a constant demand for new innovation.
    • There is no reason to assume that advancing technology in one field would mean advancing the same in all other fields. This sociedy may have advance in communication and microchip technology far faster than Earth's and yet not in transportation (cars, planes, space travel), engineering, genetics and so on. So they may have discovered computers in their equivalent of the Industrial Revolution, having social media for the Victorain Era and having more than enough time to be in this system for many generations. Even more, maybe social media had some protagonism in many of the social revolutions that follow (that's kind of funny to think, imagine social media during the American, French and Hispanic American revolutions: #KillTheKing, #IndependenceForTheColoniesNow, #OffWithTheirHeads) similarly how social media had a lot to do with the Arab Spring. Nevertheless, development in such areas does not means development in other areas, people may just overlook aeronautics or fossil fuels. We have a similar situation on Earth, most people in the 50s thought that Robotics was going to be the technological revolution of the future and imagine a robot servant in every house and computers to be only use for industrial purposes, it was exactly the opposite, informatics developed more than robotics and we have computers in every house and robots only use for industrial work. But there is no reason why the development couldn't be as predicted and some other society may have advance more in robotics than computer science, opposite to us. And there are other many examples. There are different and complex factors behind techonology development, from economics to even environmental.

     Alara's look 
So, in the pilot we see Alara Kitan having a more literal Rubber-Forehead Alien look with a bulky forehead and no eyebrows, and then in the following episodes she has eyebrows and a more modest forehead. Not that I complain as Halston Sage is beautiful but, it's still a reason to scratch the head.
  • It may be easiest to hand-wave it as Early Installment Weirdness (much like how Spock looked different in the pilot episodes and Worf did throughout season one), but there are at least a couple fairly easy in-universe explanations:
    • We know Alara is very young (23 years old, presumably in Earth years but it's unclear if Xelayans mature at the same rate as humans), so the subtle brow ridge might be an adolescent feature that disappears with age as humanlike eyebrows grow in through early adulthood. The damage to the Orville's engines in "Old Wounds" also implies enough of a Time Skip before "Command Performance" for such a change happening in the time between the two episodes to be at least somewhat plausible...
    • Alternatively, we know there are very few Xelayans in the Union fleet and that Alara is actively dating. It could be that Xelayans normally shave their eyebrows off but Alara decided to grow hers out to look more appealing to humans...or else she's just decided she prefers that look herself after being around humans longer (or both).

     Illogical kidnapping 
All right, I think the next question about "Into the Fold" is why? Why would a paranoid survivalist kidnap an alien woman and bring her to his hideout? She has to be fed and given water, consuming his resources, and she’s not in a reproductive age in case he wants to repopulate the planet (again assuming such a thing is even possible). So… why? For the Evulz?
  • It is a Cannibal planet, and he has been living off pre-packed rations and Doc Finn is clearly in good health. We have a trope for this.
  • She is a female who is seemingly not infected with the disease. He is a lonely man in a world full of zombie people. He may not have any high-minded ideals about repopulating the moon. His lack of interest in Claire's children attests to that. But she is still attractive and healthy. He may have been hoping that Stockholm Syndrome would lead her to become his romantic partner.
  • Thanks for the Nightmare Fuel.
  • It's not clear that he's paranoid (in the irrational sense). At any rate, he's probably just lonely and hoping for someone to talk to as well as being a decent person - he could have just left her to die, after all. There's no indication that he would have permanently locked her up either. Look at the first two things he did - he tried to feed her in order to make sure she wasn't infected and then he explained the situation and why he was so adverse to anyone going outside. Yes, he could have been a lot more nuanced about it, but it didn't necessarily seem like he was in any way 'evil', just in a very difficult situation. Look at how easy it was for Ty to get infected. Look at the symptoms - hyper aggression, among others. Imagine that you're in the middle of a zombie apocalypse - wouldn't you be more than a little cautious until you knew the stranger you picked up wasn't going to eat your face off in the middle of the night?
    • Some of his actions, such as shoving Claire against the wall, refute the notion that he was a "decent person". He very clearly saved her because she represented something that he wanted and he expressed no interest in her concerns about her children or anything else. For example, he refused to even consider that the alien medical doctor that he was holding captive might be able to actually cure the disease and solve the entire problem if given a chance. Feeding her was just a practical necessity. If you want to keep your prisoner alive then by definition you have to feed them. It is not automatically an act of kindness.
      • He's also been living in a zombie apocalypse for years. One in which his people have definitively NOT able to cure. One in which momentary exposure is enough to kill. This is not a normal situation. While it may not make him good, it doesn't make him instantly and irrevocably evil either. It is - as with many of the show's episodes - somewhat of a morally ambiguous situation with morally ambiguous actions involved.
  • I don't think it's necessary to over-think this one. The character was a Crazy Survivalist, so he probably wasn't 100% emotionally stable to begin with. Then, he watched as his entire society died, his whole civilization faded away, and everyone he ever knew either perished or turned into a violent cannibal. Then, he sat all alone in his shelter for who-knows-how-long, in constant fear for his safety. Enough to make almost anyone Go Mad from the Isolation. Put it all together and you have a character who is not necessarily "evil" in any way, but who can certainly be irrational and dangerous in a variety of ways. He seemed like he really, really didn't want to be alone — and was willing to do anything, even quite morally questionable things, to prevent that from happening. Killing him was probably necessary for the doctor's safety, though it was regrettable, given his sad past.

     USS Olympia 
In "Cupid's Dagger," the Orville rendezvoused twice (at the beginning and end of the episode) with USS Olympia to transfer Darulio by shuttle. The Olympia is a smaller starship, very similar to the Orville but with only two quantum drive rings behind the (visibly shorter) primary hull and a slightly blunter bow (this class of vessel has frequently been seen in the background of dockyard shots, but this is the first time one is identified by name and seen up close). The only problem is that the name USS Olympia was clearly visible on the primary hull of Admiral Ozawa's flagship, a (probable) heavy cruiser which dwarfed the Orville, three episodes earlier in "Krill." Since it would be implausible that the Union would have two ships of the same name in service at the same time, about the only in-universe explanation that makes sense is that Ozawa's flagship is no longer in service by the time of "Cupid's Dagger" or has itself been renamed. It doesn't really ring true to suggest Ozawa's flagship was destroyed and another ship hastily renamed in its honour because navies rarely rename existing ships to commemorate destroyed vessels, assigning the name to new construction is far more common practice. Also, for a name deemed prestigious enough for a major vessel to get applied to a much smaller ship doesn't seem like the best way of honouring the legacy of a recently lost ship. Conversely, Ozawa's ship does have a slightly different aesthetic "look" and could plausibly be interpreted as an older vessel that might have been decommissioned shortly after "Krill," in which case the ship seen in "Cupid's Dagger" could be a brand-new one that took on the name (and in this case the apparent "demotion" seems like less of a slap in the face if the old Olympia wasn't just lost...changing naming conventions, tonnage creep, changing fleet makeup and other causes all lead to real life navies reassigning names to larger or smaller vessels over time, and in this instance there would have been a measure of preplanning involved). Finally, it could be possible to ignore the name on Ozawa's ship since it was never mentioned in dialogue and is only really visible as a freeze-frame bonus, perhaps retconning it to something similar-sounding like USS Olympus.

     Why doesn't Darulio tell anyone about his "condition" right away? 
Why doesn't Darulio immediately tell Mercer or anyone else that he's in heat and that this can have a severe effect on anyone who interacts with him? Isn't he concerned that this will caused the peace talks to the fail and the planet will be plunge back into war? Whatever he thinks about Ed or Kelly, surely he is most concerned about making sure his mission will succeed, right? Seems ridiculous that he treats the effect he has on them as though it's just innocent fun when it could sabotage everything he's been working on.
  • Also, why isn't he legally required to do so? His pheromones result in people having sex under conditions of questionable consent. Ed, for example, goes from resentful over Darulio's affair with Kelly to getting in bed with him. Claire ends up having sex with Yaphit just because of brief physical contact. You would think this sort of thing would come with an obligatory warning label.
    • You're asking an entire race to legally register their racial-ness. That's... ethically questionable at best.
    • His race is obvious on sight. What is apparently not obvious, and not commonly-known, is that their annual pheromones can compel people to have sex even with others they would normally have no interest in. If he is only in heat at specific times then it could be considered ethical to either limit his exposure to others during that time or to warn people about the risks. Or, barring that, at least avoiding physical contact — such as not offering to shake hands when he knows exactly what will happen.
      • Also wouldn't the Union let the Captain of a ship know about Darulio's racial effects on people whenever one is assigned to come onboard? Obviously ship captains can't know about the racial traits of every alien race in the Union, but you would think the Union would maintain a database of races with significant effects on people that are important for everyone to know about, and issue a standard warning to captains whenever one is assigned to come on board their ship.
      • Nurse Park and Isaac note that there is nothing about the pheromone in the Union medical database and what they do know about it comes from studying a sample taken directly from Darulio himself. Maybe Darulio's people are seen as oddly promiscuous by the rest of the Union, but knowledge of the pheromone thing is kept to themselves? After all, Kelly is well-educated enough to be a First Officer and even she didn't know about it despite having had a prior affair with Darulio.
      • That certainly is odd the Union didn't know this information by now. You'd think they would take a hint when on certain times of the year pretty much everyone who comes into contact with a Retepsian soon ends up wanting to have sex with them. That really couldn't have any "normal" explanation. Was it ever stated if the Retepsian are members of the Union? Maybe they aren't and as a result the Union just hasn't had much contact with them up to this point.
      • It was not made clear that the Retepsians are members of the Union. Darulio may have been a freelance worker employed to maintain the appearance of neutrality. Plus, getting speculative, it is never actually stated that all Retepsians go into heat at the same time. Darulio merely said that they do so "once a year". It would actually be biologically unnecessary for them to all put out pheromones to attract mates at the same time if they all went into heat at once. So it is quite possible that their species merely has a reputation for getting lucky a lot, but nobody has put two and two together to realize that it is due to pheromones. Especially if other Retepsians are more ethical about it than Darulio.
      • I didn't mean to imply the Retepsians all go into heat at the same time. What I meant was, if a Retepsian was assigned to a Union ship, people would start to notice that once a year, everyone who interacts with him ends up wanting to have sex with him, even if he's an ethical guy who turns all the sex offers down. This would get noticed and people would want to know why.
      • Only if they actually touch people. The pheromones are spread by touch, not scent. Union Fleet uniforms do not expose a lot of skin. Kelly and Ed were only affected because they shook hands with Darulio, who also touched Yaphit. An ethical Retepsian might go out of their way to avoid physical contact while they are in heat. That is assuming that they are commonly encountered to begin with. Alara, a Xelayan, is one of only a small number of her people in the Fleet. Isaac is the only Kaylon. Retepsians might be similarly rare away from their own world, and they are not always in heat. It could be hard to make the connection if the few Retepsians running around avoid touch during heat or restrict themselves to their own species. Although the Union certainly knows about them now due to the Orville incident.
  • First of all, he's pretty clearly a self centred asshole. Maybe normal members of his species actually do warn people, and he is just the asshole that doesn't and tries to skate by on his victims being too embarrassed to lodge a complaint and claiming differing cultural values. He doesn't really seem to care all that much about peace treaty either, so that seems like as good an answer as any others. As to why there is no warning label, we've seen with the Moclans earlier in the season that the Union seems to give a huge amount leeway on what its members do and do not disclose to each other about their societies. Maybe they should be more into information sharing, but it seems that for whatever reason they just are not.
    • He does care - he helps the problem of the week. The challenge is found in what he said in the episode itself - he comes from a society where sex is freely given and offered so the implication is that he does not have the same human restrictions against it nor the same awareness of it. He also starts to recognize this which is why he doesn't tell Kelly or Mercer if he was in heat during their marriage - he knows either answer would cause harm. If he said he was in heat, then he forces them to realize that their year plus long hatred was unfounded and they could rely on an excuse (but still lacking trust). If he said no, then he forces them to realize that there is no excuse - that both of them really did have valid concerns and reasons.
    • One, he's an archaeologist, and one that seems to work primarily off-world. Even if his own culture makes Brave New World look like a paragon of monogamy, he should at least have a vague idea that other cultures don't operate that way. Secondly, seeing as "problem of the week" was about to blast the ship he was standing on to atoms in the crossfire? Yeah, even the most selfish asshole would help with the situation to save his own skin. Thirdly, he deliberately touched Ed and Kelly; Kelly after she told Darulio that she didn't want to be with him and Ed after Ed was using a lot stronger language to tell him to get out. He asked Ed for a handshake. Darulio knew what he was doing. He deliberately used his pheromones to have another roll in the hay with Kelly and to persuade Ed to not kick him off the ship with a roll in the hay as a bonus. All indications point to this guy being a very nasty sexual predator who would probably be disowned by his people if they really are a planet of EthicalSluts.
    • Darulio has been with other races for years, more than long enough to have realized how what his pheromones do to other people is considered wrong by most if not all other species in the Union. His species should as a matter of course be required to wear full body except probably the head suits that prevent any transmission of the pheromones particularly gloves when interacting with other species at all times precisely to prevent the sort of events as what happened in the Cupid's Dagger episode. The only reason this wouldn't be the case would be if Darulio's species were extremely new to galatic society, like a few weeks at the most, thus making it understandable that Darulio's species wouldn't understand what was going on and thus wouldn't have protocols in place for dealing with other species in the galaxy, but that's not the case. The only way Darulio's actions in that episode could be interpreted is as using his pheromones to have sex with others because he can, especially since he was perfectly aware he was entering the time of year where he might be in heat at any moment. I also find it a dubious idea that his species couldn't at least have a very good idea if not know for certain if any of them were at heat and when they would be.
    • It should be remembered that this is an alien, with an alien culture and an alien psychology. Technically we as homo sapiens also have pheromones playing a role in sexual attraction, is just not that extreme, from an alien point of view whose culture is much less prudent about sex and that thinks casual sex is something people should enjoy a lot, he's not doing anything wrong. Would be like if a human goes to a planet and discovers that no one there sneezes (they take pathogens out of their breathing orifices some other more subtle way) and doesn't warn anyone that humans sneeze and it turns out that human sneezing causes everyone to get sick in several miles.
    • That would be valid... if Darulio and especially his species themselves were in a position to not be able to recognize that other species had different means of attracting mates and different views on sex than his species does, but that's not the case. Both Darulio and his kind have been members of the galactic community more than long enough to see how other species view sex. Darulio in particular has been working with other races for years as an archeologist, being aware of and understanding how other species think even if it's completely alien to him is his JOB. There's simply no way Darulio could genuinely be ignorant that what he was doing what wrong given the information about him presented unless the whole story with him is a plot hole.
    • Aliens in this universe seem to keep a lot of things for themselves. It's almost unknown that the Moclan have females, the Krill are practically unknown and a lot of aliens seem to not know some basic things about human history like that humans use to have money, so it's likely that for some reasons aliens here keep that information for themselves.
    • There's a big difference between not knowing the finer points of another alien race as it is with the Moclans and other aliens towards human history and not knowing the fundamental biology. Even if for whatever reason Darulio's species keeps the knowledge of pheromones to themselves they MUST know that plenty of other species would see what they can do with their pheromones as wrong and thus act accordingly. There is no way outside of an outright plot hole that Darulio could possibly be ignorant of what he was doing in that episode was wrong, it's either a plot hole or Darulio is a deliberate date raping dick.
    • We homo sapiens also use pheromones for sexual attraction, are we all date rapists? The effect of our pheromones is not that radical, or at least is not that visually obvious, but exists. From an alien perspective whose species does that naturally, he/she is not that difference to what humans do.
    • No. At most our pheromones very very slightly influence our attraction to each other, they can't be controlled or prevented by us either, and any influence they have can be easily overridden. The pheromones of Darulio's species can only be passed through touch and force the person to develop an uncontrollable sexual desire toward the originator of that pheromone even if it's completely against the actual free will of the person involved. Someone can outright DESPISE one of Darulio's kind and be touched by that person and suddenly worship the ground they walk on, believe they are in love with them, and do everything they can to have sex with them. It's date rape because the pheromones completely subjugates the free will of the person affected and because Darulio willingly accepts the advances that result while being aware that his pheromones are responsible for their behavior.
    • It seems to me that the above troper already made up hes/hers mind about the issue, thus there's no need for an answer. In any case, it's a sci-fi comedy show and probably this kind of stuffs should be taken with more humor.

     Why does Yaphit have sexual urges? 
I mean, its species is established as reproducing asexually in the very same episode where it has sex. To it, sex should be bizarre at best, grotesque at worst.
  • Maybe Yaphit nonetheless derives tactile stimulation from enveloping non-amorphous lifeforms? Not all sex acts are reproductive in nature after all.
  • In addition to the tactile stimulation, it also seems he had romantic feelings for Claire, and not just lust. Flowers and a serenade? Confessing that he was attracted to Claire's compassion and intelligence? Romantic. Very stupid in how he couldn't take no for an answer, but romantic.
    • Also, there are people who want to pleasure their partner (read any Daoist text on the matter). Wondering if Yaphit now falls for "Not If They Enjoyed It" Rationalization, as Claires screams still could be heard on Krill...
  • It's also possible that, despite the actual reproductive act being asexual, the species is capable of a sex-analogous procedure that allows for the the spread of genes. Just because a species can reproduce asexually doesn't mean that it's incapable of reproducing sexually.
  • "New Dimensions" actually establishes that Yaphit experiences everything his body touches, as he describes going down Bortus' throat, and he also explains to Claire how his biology works. It actually makes perfect sense that, for him, sex might involve enveloping another being the way he does here. "New Dimensions" also shows what he can do with his, uh, appendages. I doubt he has sexual urges for reproduction reasons, but for the rest of it, why not?
  • Sexual in his case may be less uh... bow-chika-bow-wow and more a matter of pleasure (when done for that) and for a matter of DNA (or whatever) exchange. For instance, while bacteria don't sexually reproduce, they do have a method for physically swapping DNA strands. And there are other multi-celluar creatures that are asexual but still require a partner for reproduction (whether simply for stimulation or whatever). Really, the strange part is that he's attracted to a different species... but even then, we have real life examples of species that require other species to reproduce. Really the Headscratcher is why Gordon and Lamarr though it would be funny to remove a piece of him and get another crew member to eat it - given that Moclans can eat almost anything, Yaphit's probably lucky he didn't get partially digested.

     Directive 38 
A security measure in place to remove the captain from command in case of alien influence or extreme drunkenness? Awesome idea! Question: Why wasn't it used in the last episode, especially after it became pretty obvious that the captain was Not Himself? Or was it, and we just didn't see it?
  • It wasn't necessary. He already wasn't being the captain.
  • They do make the point that it's only for extreme situations. If security people removed their Captains every time they thought the Captain was doing a bad job it would be chaos.
    • Indeed. Pulling what amounts to a legal mutiny and removing a captain from power over ... well... whatever you want to call it with Darulio (and we'll leave it at that all things considered)... seems like overkill. As pointed out, if used incorrectly, it's about as close to treason as one could get. Yes, Mercer was acting like a moron but there were other options available before 38 such as Kelly assuming temporary command (or the next in line after that).
  • What would doing so have accomplished? Both Ed and Kelly were actively avoiding their command duties due to their infatuation with Darulio. If anything, the problem is that they weren't trying to maintain command while they were mentally compromised. Bortus was stuck in the hot seat with neither superior even answering the comm. Why bother relieving an officer of duty when they are already trying to dodge it on their own?

     Yaphit's insubordination 

  • In "New Dimensions", Yaphit enters Mercer's office without permission, screams profanity at him, and calls him a racist. And the captain is just totally okay with this? He doesn't seem to get mad at Yaphit for trespassing in his office while he's away or the blatantly insubordinate conversation that follows. It's pretty odd when you consider how angry he was at Kelly in the same episode for doing something that actually helped him. If any sailor in the real life navy did what Yaphit did, you can be sure they'd be facing Captains Mast soon after, if not a full court martial. Kind of odd how there is no hint Yaphit will face disciplinary action for this, or even a verbal reprimand.
    • Ed clearly prefers a softer style of leadership rather than enforcing strict discipline. Plus having had his own career temporarily derailed during his divorce depression he is probably more sympathetic to others who feel like their careers have stalled. His best friend is Gordon after all...
      • Yaphit didn’t get the promotion he was due for, which is already a serious consequence. And he is later seen to be much more cooperative, even submissive, which suggests there probably was follow-up.
      • Even in real world militaries there are a wide range of approaches a commanding officer will take depending on the situations; even if they are entitled by regulations to tear a strip off someone, they don't need to do that. In this case, Ed was right to let Yaphit complain at him. Yaphit had a solid point and a legitimate grievance, especially given that earlier in the same episode Kelly was highlighting to LaMarr and Malloy that if she didn't manage to bring Yaphit round that he could bring serious charges against them both (presumably for assault), and now LaMarr is being promoted over him? He's right to be upset and angry, and while Ed could have been a hardass and insisted on formality of regulations, then chances are all that would do is make Yaphit angrier and more likely to put in official grievances. Letting Yaphit vent his anger was probably the right thing, even if it was the improper thing.
      • Given that the ship is as a sub versus a surface ship in a real life context, the informality is probably more tolerated in general as well as is the norm on subs - they're stuck on the ship for a long time so making a fuss over somethings doesn't help. Also, considering Yaphit had very valid reasons to bring charges of the sort he was talking about and then some as well as Ed's clearly sympathetic ear, it's likely as well that he would allow a new department head some leeway - he was well aware Yaphit was next in line and didn't really have any doubts even after Kelly brought up Lamarr; it was more whether he was taking away a promotion from someone who had clearly earned it. Lastly, while Yaphit did ooze in, notice that he was otherwise patiently sitting in the guest chair and not say... poking through files or dicking around. Ed probably noticed and didn't immediately jump to the conclusion that Yaphit was doing another inappropriate above and beyond just barging in.
      • Yaphit's complaints were valid, but trespassing in the Captain's office was not. At the very least you'd think he'd want to make it clear that trespassing in his office is not okay, especially since Yaphit has the physical ability to do so with ease.
      • At that point in the episode, Ed was also doubtful LaMarr was up to the job. If Ed read the riot act to Yaphit and LaMarr didn't prove himself so Yaphit got the job, then he'd create resentment on the part of his new Chief Engineer. If he'd lowered the boom on Yaphit and LaMarr got the job, then Yaphit would be even angrier. Letting Yaphit get it off his protoplasm was the easiest course of action.
      • Ed is also fresh off an argument with Kelly which has left him preoccupied with his own self doubts, he is distracted by that so Yaphit oozing under the door is more just another annoyance to him than insubordination in his mind. Ed wants to be done with the argument so he can get back to brooding.
      • Was he really trespassing? I was under the impression that as doors open by themselves anyway every time someone is near, if the captain is not in the office and you want to talk to him you can wait inside, is just that Yaphit does not need the door to open at all.
      • The first thing Ed does when he sees Yaphit in his office is he asks how he got in. Ed wouldn't have asked that if his door wasn't locked and anyone could get in whenever they wanted.
      • That could be because if someone enters to the office they'll keep the door open whilst Yaphit doesn't open it in the first place giving the impression that no one entered.
      • I don't think so. Asking how one got in clearly implies that getting in is supposed to be something they can't actually do. Granted we did see Alara access Bortus' room in episode 2, but I assumed that was because as a security chief, she has a special code to enter anyone's room if necessary. I doubt they would give everyone that ability.
      • We have yet to actually get the full back story on Ed and Yaphit. For all we know they could be very old friends.
    • Also consider that Yaphit was just talked out of pressing charges against the senior staff by Kelly for literally taking a part of him and feeding him to the rest of the crew. Considering Yaphit can experience every part of his body AND that a part ended up in a Moclan who can eat anything, Yaphit is lucky he didn't get to experience being partially digested. Then after that, the same people who were protected get a promotion? I think Ed would be both sympathetic as well as understanding the really really delicate situation he was in - Yaphit would have reasonable grounds to not just charge the senior staff with protecting each other but then also favoring each other, despite Yaphit presumably having the qualifications. Remember also that this is a reputation-/skill-based economy (or whatever) - promoting a previously unqualified individual ahead of the lead candidate would probably seen as bribery. So yeah, Ed could have gone fully CO and charged him with treason but he and the senior staff would then have to face a lot of charges themselves.

     Naming conventions 
  • In an organization that draws so much from conventional naval tradition (ranks, for example, discipline, nomenclature) why does the titular ship use the *first* name of the person for whom it's been named. Isn't it always the person's *last name* (or, occasionally, both names i.e. USS Abraham Lincoln, etc.) that is used when naming a vessel? It was the battleship Bismarck, not the battleship Otto.
    • Presumably because there were two Wright brothers, Wilbur and Orville. Naming the ship the Wright would be ambiguous as to whether it referred to one or both brothers. The Union may prefer to avoid two-word names and they have 3,000 ships according to Ed. So maybe there is a sister ship the Wilbur out there?
    • Also we don't actually know if the ship is named after Orville Wright. It could be named after someone else. For example, there was a famous US Navy meteorologist named Howard Thomas Orville.
    • For all we know it could be named after the racehorse.
    • Ed has a model of the Wright brothers' flyer on his desk. Regardless of what the original intent of the ship's name was, it seems apparent that Ed at least interprets it as being based on Orville Wright.
    • He also has a doll of Kermit the frog on his desk. That doesn't necessarily mean he thinks the ship is based on Sesame Street.
      • This was already explained. Kermit does not symbolize the ship, he symbolizes Ed. He's a humorous figure who leads a group of oddballs successfully and well despite expectations to the contrary.
    • It could be named for some much-revered person with the surname "Orville" who hasn't even been born yet. Just because this crew has a 20th/21st-century-culture fixation doesn't mean the Union does.

     Latchcomb Victory Conditions 
  • After playing Latchcomb with Bortus and Klyden, Ed tells Kelly that he won the game. So getting your hand impaled with the spike is how you win? Then why pass the ball around? I thought you pass it around in order to get the other players impaled. Victory conditions for the game don't seem to make sense.
    • That's rather like saying, if the purpose of Monopoly is to get as much money as possible, why don't you just take the money out of the bank and declare it to be yours. In both cases the rules of the game don't allow you to do that. The rules of Latchcomb say that you have to pass the ball rapidly, so you can't simply hold onto it. Actually Ed probably broke the rule because he stopped passing to ask if there were other rules. Bortas and Klyden were probably just being polite.
      • So if you are supposed to get impaled, then it's basically a game of Russian roulette that rewards you for shooting yourself. So the next question would be, where is the skill involved? I thought the skill would be trying to predict when it will impale someone and then making sure you aren't holding the ball when it does. But if you are supposed to be impaled, but you have to pass it to other players anyway, well then it's basically just random chance.
      • Moclans are a stand-in for Klingons, they probably value resistance to pain and not being afraid to be hurt or something like that. It's an alien culture with a different alien psychology too. The show's doing a good job in presenting alien cultures as really alien (and thus hard to understand through human eyes), and not just the usual just copy-pasted human cultures with weird make up.
      • I understand they can handle the pain. But when they call Latchcomb a "game", that would seem to imply there is a skill it takes to win it. What I find odd is that it seems to be based on pure random chance. There doesn't seem to be anything you can do to increase the chance of winning.
      • Thing is, their culture and psychology might be too alien for us to truly get the idea of the game or the rules.
      • Or it could be that the point of the game is to hold the "ball" as long as possible as a test of nerve, like Hot Potato. I've seen an electronic version of Hot Potato that delivers an electric shock if you hold the ball too long (at random, so the longer you hold it the greater the chance you'll be shocked). The Moclans probably consider a spike through the hand the same way we'd think of a painful but non-fatal jolt. Unlike Hot Potato where you don't want to be holding the ball when the music stops, you're demonstrating your nerve if you hold the ball long enough to get spiked.
      • Not all games are skill-based. Whether that qualifies them as a game from an academic standpoint vs social or semantic standpoint is another matter.
      • It was akin to Something That Begins with "Boring": called a game, but more an activity that you do to preoccupy yourself when there's nothing better.

     So is Isaac's mission to learn about organic beings over now? 
  • In the last episode of season 1, Isaac spent 700 years watching a society nearly identical to humans evolve. So is it same to assume his mission to learn about organic life forms is over now? I mean after 700 years, he should know pretty much everything that can be learned. He should be more of an expert on organic life then most actual organic life forms are.
    • Not really. He would certainly be an expert on that particular planet and species, but that doesn't really say much about Humans or the other species in the Union.
    • In addition, species, cultures, and societies evolve over time. In short, there's always something to observe and learn particularly on geologic timescales.
  • The other question is, what did Isaac actually do for seven centuries? The society progressed from 21st century to well beyond the Orville crew’s time. They spread out through their galaxy. Did he go along, perhaps spending a few decades here and there on other worlds, observing other cultures? What predictions about the future might be made? Does it resemble what they know of Pria’s future? Both developed teleportation, for instance. What technological advances did he see and learn, that he could share with Union science?
    • On the other hand, maybe he just stood still in one unobtrusive spot for all that time. That might explain why he returned in the exact same condition as he left. No replacements, upgrades or modifications. Not even so much as a scratch or other signs of wear. Man, that’s quality maintenance!
      • Of course we don't actually know if he needs maintenance. We never see him getting any in the series. It could be he's made of super-futuristic materials that don't corrode. Isaac thinks he's superior to humans. In order to think that, he must be extremely self-sufficient and not require much to sustain him long term.
      • We see his chassis get trashed in "Pria", and the crew has a copy of his schematics on hand in case such repairs are needed. Also, the planet had advaned beyond Union tech by the time of the final visit, so it's likely they progressed to a point where he trusted them with his chassis's maintenance.
      • Yes we see him need repairs as a result of deliberate hostile action. But it may be that as long as no one or thing tries to deliberately assault him, Isaac doesn't need much maintenance. Perhaps his parts don't wear out the way current machines do.
      • The one line they have mentions he mostly just observed at a point. I imagine that means, on one hand, he was a special cultural observer wherever he so chose to go, but on the other hand, he probably wandered and watched with as little interference as possible. He probably didn't reveal any secrets of 'the future' such as giving them tech before they already knew about it, but he probably also had to intervene if he was personally at risk - if a volcano was about to erupt under the city he was in at the time, for instance, I imagine he would first be passive and get out of the way, then encourage the people to help him, and then if all else fails, actively do something. In short, he probably followed the 3 Laws of Robotics. As for his body, he mentions that his body was built to last millions of years with the implication that that was millions without significant need for maintenance. I imagine that if severe damage did happen, he could guide people to fix his body or, once they got advanced enough, simply replace it. Alternatively, as he's more a consciousness (a program) than a body, he could go so far as to transfer himself into their computer systems for a while or potentially 'clone' himself for exploration/observation purposes and then re-integrate when time was up. He's got options.

     Reputation-based economics 
  • Kelly tells John that since the elimination of money, reputation is what people strive for. How exactly does that work? Does reputation equal fame? Does it mean that celebrities get preferential treatment and perks, sort of like we have now except it’s officially enfranchised? And how do you measure reputation? Upvotes and downvotes?
    • From context it is about demonstrating competency in your personal field of endeavor. It doesn't seem like it is hard currency, nor like the upvote-down vote system, but inwardly directed sense of personal attainment coupled with people seeing that you are competent in things and they want to promote you for that competency. The currency is that you feel pretty good about your achievements, spendable upon only yourself.
    • Consider a real-life example; actors get a reputation from being judged good enough to earn awards like the Oscars. Being "successful" in the field isn't necessarily about making the most money or being in the most popular films, but being considered as among the best by your peers and the audience. Other actors do take pride in being regularly cast in blockbuster films not necessarily because of the money either but because of the fact they're demonstrating they can put butts in seats and people will show up for their work.
    • True, lots of writers, musicians and other artists may tell you that they are in it for love and recognition and not for the money —although of course, money is not unwelcome if it comes with it—, in fact some artists even reject very well paid job offers if such will damage their careers. Same with scientists; working for a prestigious university may not pay as much as having a talk show like Dr. Oz or promote pseudoscience in television and Internet, but most scientists would prefer the former than screw their careers for ever.
    • Some professions are doubtless more prestigious than others. Notice how Ed and Kelly, Captain and First Officer respectively, have quarters that are two stories tall aboard the Orville. The economy may no longer use money as we define it, but that does not mean that everybody receives the same tangible benefits for what they do.
      • That may be a perk of the job and not the person, though. Hard to say without a lot more information.
      • Exactly. Just like higher pay is a perk of a successful career in a monetary economy. The main difference is that, without money, you wouldn't see people acquiring assets without earning them (e.g. such as via inheritance).
    • If replicators are invented tomorrow and everyone would get free food and clothes without the need for work forever after that, yes, I can understand that is not like everyone is just going to lay back and do nothing like in the movie Wall-E, realistically actors would keep acting, filmmakers making movies, writers would keep writing (and even maybe would do better jobs as they won’t have to hurry to end the next novel to pay the bills), musicians would keep making music, painters painting (well, artists in general would keep doing art), scientists and scholars would keep researching, lawyers would keep going into court (maybe won’t dedicate so many hours nor would be able to squish interns and junior partners so easily tho), psychologists would keep giving therapy, politicians most certainly would keep doing their jobs as everyone likes to hold power and prestige and most politicians do not really get paid enough for the amount of work they do and/or are already rich and certainly don’t do it for the money. I get all that, most people work in what they love and money is just a side effect of their careers, lots of writers kept writing even in extreme poverty or the opposite, kept writing even after having more money that they need for the rest of their lives. Even small jobs, a lot of people love to be carpenters, plumbers, mechanics, etc. to the point they keep doing long after they can retire. Heck even criminals, although this would definitely reduce criminality as a lot of people are in criminal activities just for survival, there are criminals who are in it for the chills and/or power that gives them (gangsters, mafia members, drug dealers). BUT, what happens with all the jobs that no one wants? Those kind of jobs people only do it because they need money? Things like garbage disposal, fast food restaurant workers, call center agents, dead-end boring bureaucratic works, prison guards, Donald Trump’s assistant, factories and maquiladoras (the kind of work that you need immigrants escaping extreme poverty to do because no one wants to do it). Who is going to do all that without money?
      • Some jobs might simply be automated away — after all, advanced technology has to exist anyway, just to make the post-scarcity economy possible to begin with, so you might as well let it handle some of those boring jobs. Who really needs factory workers when the "factory" is just a bank of industrial-grade replicators? Who needs truck drivers or janitors when delivery drones and self-driving vehicles and... next-gen Roombas exist? Other jobs might become entirely obsolete. Like telemarketers — sure, some of those politicians and artisans you mention might need to be able to reach out to people, but in a post-scarcity economy, would anyone actually need room-fulls of bored telemarketers selling products or services they don't actually believe in?
      • Additionally, there would still be social forces encouraging people to work. Aside from the prestige and pride that comes from being among the best in your field, as mentioned on the Orville, an important social driver is community and "belongingness." Think of the kindly neighbour who helps you fix your fuse box — not for pay, or prestige, or because the task is interesting, but rather just because it's pleasant to feel needed, and pleasant (for most people, anyway) to build social bonds. Humans are social animals, after all. So, for example, if your community's janitor-bot is imperfect and leaves some garbage behind, there might still be volunteers willing to go out and help clean up the streets — simply because they'd feel fulfilment from contributing to the community, and a sense of pride in living in a clean, tidy place that they helped create. They wouldn't do it for pay or prestige, but to feel needed; and in return the community probably wouldn't look at them as lowly "garbage-men," but as valuable contributors.
      • Another answer: Perhaps to one extent or another, the problems you describe really will be an issue in the Orville's future (or any other post-scarcity economy). Remember the Union's fleet staffing shortages? Maybe they can't convince enough people to get up and be productive when there's no urgent need to do so. But... Well, any society has its problems. Our society has economic problems, and perhaps the Union's society has very different, but equally troubling problems. Is one worse than the other? Well, is it really all so great to live in a civilization where billions of people have to do boring or unpleasant work for the simple reason that if they don't, they will starve or freeze to death? An economy based on fear of poverty may work, but does it make for a particularly pleasant world to live in? Maybe it's better to live in a world where poverty doesn't exist. You'll still have economic problems to deal with — like finding enough people willing to crew your spaceships — but maybe these problems are no worse than the problems we deal with today... And maybe people will still be happier, on average. In short, maybe the answer is that there is no perfect answer, so we just accept that no society is really an utopia, and just do the best we can.
      • Another part of the answer is that some, maybe many, of those 'undesirable' jobs are in fact... desirable to some people. Some people LOVE truck driving, for instance. And Mike Rowe of Dirty Jobs fame has a story about a septic tank cleaner who owned his own septic tank cleaning business. That guy didn't give a crap about crap but over time, actually started to give a crap about crap and is now both very happy with his job and passionate about other people's crap and also very wealthy. While certainly it's likely that these initially 'distasteful' jobs would see lower employment, there also would exist an upswing in 'boutique' economics - after all, look at our current food and video game markets where, at least in highly developed nations, scarcity is not a thing. We have 'artisan' food. We have niche games being a sustainable business. Lastly, post-scarcity would create new jobs - someone's gotta fix the replicators for instance so I could see some amount of social pressure and interest in, say, a mechanical engineering university program suggesting replicator repair person as a career path because it would be highly desirable and important to society.
      • It does make you wonder how certain professions work. Is sex industry still a thing? Would porn actors do it for the prestige of being good at their job? and so do prostitutes? They won't get paid nor need to so if this is still a thing would be out of pure pride and recognition. How corruption works? would you bribe someone by offering to have his/hers name into a prestigious research he wasn't part off or having undeserved credit for a mission? That's interesting to explore.
      • Corruption and bribery would probably work by having "friends in high places" grant you access to prestigious jobs with perks, power, and influence — e.g. "help me pass this law that benefits the Fleet, and I'll make sure your nephew who just entered the service gets a cushy post on a prestigious ship!" etc. It already works that way quite often in real life. Sex work would doubtlessly change a lot, since yeah, nowadays most people go into it out of a need for some income, rather than because they enjoy having sex with random strangers. Porn might well still exist, since some kinkier people might indeed take pride in their work there. Of course, the entire attitude towards sexuality in such a society might be very different from what exists in our world today. Maybe sex workers would exist, but would be viewed with more respect than they are today — think of the "companions" in Firefly, who were seen (by the more likeable characters, at least) as prestigious, dignified high-class entertainers. If they were viewed similarly in the Union, one could indeed imagine some people going into sex work for pride and recognition. Advanced medical technology (to eliminate the stigma of sexually-transmitted diseases, etc.) could also help!
    • Well, in the Star Trek: Voyager pilot when Paris is introduced as an inmate in a prison he's doing some sort of manual labor with other inmates, I suppose one way how a post-scarcity no money needed society solve the issue was restoring "forced" labor for prisoners or at least voluntary programs that help you get out early for some of the unwanted jobs. But indeed as above mentioned many of those jobs would be obsolete by the replicators themselves; you won't need fast food restaurants for example and thus no workers, and the need for factories and maquiladoras would be minimal if existing at all. In any case, in a similar way how most Western countries have a mandatory military service period for students after high school that in practice is community service as they are in peace, making them work for their community for one or two years, I don't see the societies in ST and TO to be much different, I think is kind of implied at least with ST that cadets for example do a lot of community work.
    • It's likely that a great many people in the Union spend their entire lives basically on vacation. They take selfies on the mountains of Moclan, eat lunch in Tokyo, take a duckface picture on the moon, etc. And many others find fulfillment in safe ways, like arts and crafts. Only a small percentage of people need to be fulfilled in some manner that is inherently dangerous like exploring or the military. Hence the difficulty finding people to man ships.
    • John's description of his childhood reveals that life on Union colonies can be very rough. Presumably those who don't find fulfillment in the Union's post-scarcity economy can volunteer to become colonists and try out more laborious lifestyles.

     Krill relations 
  • I get that the krill follow a religion that holds non-krill as soulless abominations. The show seems to zig-zag on this; are the dictates for krill to subjugate non-krill or destroy them? There are krill who can speak civilly (even giving Ed marriage advice) yet there's the bombing of the colony and mashing up a severed head while chanting some krill equivalent of "Allahu Akbar". This show seems set on The War on Straw against religion (overused especially in sci-fi to the point Outgrown Such Silly Superstitions is a discredited trope), yet they try to get a copy of krill scripture, it doesn't make sense.
    • Different individual Krill are going to have different position, it's possible that some Krill are not as fanatics as are others and some may even be skeptical of religion but still follow their peoples' policies out of nationalism (we're use to the Planet of Hats trope were everyone has the same culture and mindset in other worlds, but realistically speaking a whole planet would have people with different thoughts). This happens in real life, in any case Reality Is Unrealistic, believing that some people has no soul is something that many religions did for a long time, there was a debate during the Middle Ages whether women had souls or not, Black people and other enslaved ethnicities were considered souless by many churches at the time, yet is likely that apart from the cruel treatment of those populations some people still treat them with at least the minimal amount of decency or were nice to them in some ways. Even today most religions do no believe animals have souls (apart from most Eastern religions like Hinduism and Buddhism) yet you have a lot of people in the Western and Islamic world that treats animals nicely and given them a humane and decent treatment out of pure ethics.
    • Not every single member of the Krill religion will think and act exactly alike. For all we know there are Krill equivalents of Catholics and Protestants, of Sunni and Shia - and branches that are more or less fundamentalist and violent in each one, along with how hardcore individual believers are. It may well be that there is a debate in Krill society about things like whether other species should be outright murdered or just enslaved, etc. In fact the whole point of Mercer's mission was to get a copy of the holy book precisely so the Union could learn the details of their religion, probably to help answer questions exactly like this.

     Effects of low gravity 
  • How is it that Alara’s physical deterioration is coming as a surprise to anyone, when we’ve known about the effects of low gravity since the beginning of the space program? Astronauts on the space station have a thorough exercise regimen specifically to counter muscle atrophy and loss of bone density. You’d think Alara would have a similar ongoing program. And how is this only catching up to her after presumably spending years off-world?
    • It’s also odd that the crew only just now figured out how to construct a gravity tank. Surely Union engineers would have already been all over that. And if not them, the brilliant minds on Xelaya should be well aware of the risks of going off-world and have established protocols.
    • Given that Xelayans seem to be one of the few species on the ship that are used to stronger gravity, it's possible that while they know of the problem they've sort of forgotten it, or at least filed it to the side, since it's not a concern for most of the crew. Also, dialogue in "Home" stated that she spent only a year off-world.
    • It's also stated that most Xelayans disapprove of joining the military. It's entirely possible that with so few of their own leaving home to serve on Union starships, and with those who do being regarded with scorn and dismissiveness, they might simply not care about dealing with a problem they'd rather ignore.
  • Xelaya is more of the magnificent eye-candy we’ve come to expect from the show, but the delicate architecture we see would be impossible (or at least highly impractical) on a planet with gravity strong enough to instantly flatten a metal bottle.
    • We have to assume their structures are made of alien materials from that planet that can withstand that planet's gravity.
    • Artistic License – Physics to be honest, a planet with such gravity a) won't have such a humanoid life form evolving in it and b) Their cities won't be nearly as similar to ours. Building civilization with materials adapted to such gravity is possible but their structures would be very different.
  • Pretty sure they did mention that this happens to Xelayans who serve on Union ships, it's just that the effects became serious in Alara much sooner than anticipated. They surmise that it's because she's so much younger than most of her people who've left Xelaya were, hence her skeleton was still maturing and suffered the consequences despite her exercise regimen.
  • The easiest way to deal with this is to just have the gravity in Xelayan quarters set to their homeworld's gravity. That way they won't need an exercise regimen if they are under their own planet's gravity while they sleep.

     Alara's fantasy 
  • In "Home", Alara briefly fantasizes herself happy as a human (since she has no ridges on her forehead and ears in the shot). Where did this come from? Prior to this, she didn't ever express self-loathing towards being Xeleyan. Did I miss something?
    • No, you didn't miss anything. It's pretty bizarre.
    • Possibly it's a fantasy of being able to blend the two worlds she's torn between: being more like a human so she can keep working as a Union officer without her own body letting her down, yet also being able to interact with beautiful Xelayan animals and environments.
    • It's a bit brilliant. She never fit in with her own family or her own people. Humans were much nicer to her than anyone else was, and she was frequently seen appreciating human "art forms" like boxing. Even sadder is that she did appear to have a crush on Ed and dated several human men. So, she was already Going Native as a human, but thought her only value was in her species Super Strength.

     Why did Mercer tell Teleya the truth about the decoy codes? 
  • When Teleya asks Mercer about whether or not the codes he revealed under interrogation were real, he tells her the truth and says they were decoys. Why? Now the whole Krill military will know that all Union Captains memorize decoy codes in case they are captured and will adjust their tactics accordingly. Wouldn't it have made more sense to lie and say they were real? There's a chance that Teleya didn't memorize the decoy codes he gave, and the codes were lost when the Krill ship was captured, so she would have never found out the truth. Seems like a pretty big op-sec violation to tell that to an enemy you are planning to release.
    • He may have felt it cost him nothing to admit. Even if she tells her superiors, the information doesn't give them any leverage over future captures. The codes read as valid either way. Interrogators may suspect they're being lied to, but they can't prove it without doing exactly what the fake codes are intended to do.
      • I wouldn't assume that information is harmless. While of course the Krill would always be suspicious their prisoners would lie to them, they might not have known Union captains memorize decoy codes that are programmed to look and function exactly like the real thing, and take weeks to crack.
    • It could also be less of a Union thing and just a Mercer thing. Mercer relies more on guile and tricks than your standard SF action hero. He's no slouch in a fight, but it's his last resort. There's also some incredible fridge brilliance in why he may have set that up; he's clearly not over Kelly, and Kelly's pointed out time and again that she's expendable as XO and that Ed may have to sacrifice her to save the ship.
      • It’s not clear how making up fake command codes would have any impact whatsoever on the decision to send a crew member on a potentially deadly mission.
    • The tactic would only work once, if the Union was lucky maybe twice, before the Krill figured out the trick anyway. And by telling them that, it simply causes them greater headaches: okay, the first set of codes a prisoner gives up is fake, but why should they assume the second set is real and simply not an additional decoy? What if the first set is real and the second fake? Or the first fake, second real, and third fake? How do they know Mercer wasn't lying to begin with about there only being the one decoy code? In the end, Mercer may have spared future prisoners from interrogation because the Krill can't know if they're being played or not so it's simply not worth it.

     Why not ally with the Shak'tal? 
  • Why didn't Mercer try forming an alliance with the Shak'tal? He only has Teleya's word that they're savages, and she thinks that about everybody who's not a Krill. If Mercer had let the Shak'tal know they have a common enemy in the Krill, they might have been willing to help him escape, and maybe even formed a mutually-beneficial alliance with the Union. As it stands, now the Shak'tal think humans are on the Krill's side, so they won't be very quick to trust humans.
    • Thinking “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” has a way of going very badly. The Shak’tal at that point were living up to Telaya’s analysis. Mercer had to choose between making surprise contact with soldiers who were very likely to blow him away on sight, or staying with a known enemy he was slowly establishing a rapport with. Leave negotiations to diplomats; even if the Shak’tal knew Mercer had been there, telling them he was a prisoner rather an ally of a murderously xenophobic race wouldn’t be hard to believe.
    • It's not really a good time to engage in diplomacy with a faction that is actively shooting at you. The Shak'tal thought Mercer was a Krill ally and tried to kill him on sight. They didn't really give him a chance to talk to them. Also we don't know if they speak English or have translators compatible with it. Probably best to stick with the one person you can talk to, even if she is a Krill, until they get out of their situation. Though in the future, diplomacy with the Shak'tal obviously would be something worth looking into.
    • I think the real issue was that Mercer was trying to protect Teleya. Even if he manages to talk down the Shak'tal and convince them that he was a prisoner and that the Union could be an ally, they still would want to kill Teleya and, even without Mercer's feelings for her, most likely is against Union's law to allow the execution of a prisioner if avoidable.

     23 Earth days 
  • Ed remarked that one day on the planet he and Teleya were stranded on was equal to 23 Earth days. The math actually checks out, however the sun seemed to be pretty high in the sky when he says that (Ed looks at and points up at the sky indicating where the sun is). Surely unless they'd spent a good 2 to 3 Earth days inside the cave the sun should still be pretty close to the horizon and the environment more resembling sunrise?

     No cure for sleep apnea in the future? 
  • Ed snores. Even in the real world, that can be fixed with maxillomandibular advancement surgery, or treated with a CPAP machine. But Ed has never gotten this fixed with advanced Union science?
    • Probably the same reason that plenty of people who snore today don't use the machine or various other snoring cures. It just doesn't bother him enough to do something about it.
    • Because snoring isn't sleep apnea. If you're snoring, air is moving in and out of your windpipe - it's just vibrating the walls of the pipe on the way. Apnea is what happens when your windpipe collapses and air CANNOT move through it. Essentially it's only a problem when you stop snoring (and breathing) from a couple of times a minute to even every few seconds in severe apnea. An overwhelming majority of adult men, and a large number of adult women, snore - some quite loudly - without any danger at all. It's loud and annoying, but not harmful unless the snoring (and your breathing) routinely stops. Much like in the present day, sleep docs probably don't treat snoring medically unless it really is apnea or is causing the patient some other form of harm. Ed can be annoying when he's awake, so why should it be different when he's asleep (so long as he keeps breathing)?

     Suspicious timing for a Star to appear 
  • It really didn't occur to anyone on Rigor that the star that just appeared in the sky could be a Union trick? They know the Union has technology far more advanced then theirs. They know the Union is doing everything they can to get their people released. Considering that, you would think the timing of the star appearing right after the Union ship shows up to be very suspicious, even if their satellites are telling them the star is authentic.
    • The Rigorian belief in astrology is so cemented that their belief in it being a divine sign probably overrode any doubt anyone might have had.

    Are the people of Rigor all brain dead? 
  • I'm sorry for being rude, but...what‽‽ Firstly, if the people of Rigor have reached the point where they can launch astrometric satellites into space, they have got to know what parallax is and that their astrology constellations all fall apart - literally - as soon as you leave your home star system. Second, bleeping kidnapping two aliens which you know have technology way ahead of you? Are they trying to start a war? They should count themselves lucky the Planetary Union opted to respect their (however ridiculous) laws and not go in guns blazing. Even if you could use the "they're religious, they don't care about logic" reason Seth is fond of, come on - wouldn't the far less suicidal option be to tell all of them to GTFO and don't come back? They get a benefit out of it, too, in the form of two less mouths to feed.
    • There was no justifiable reason whatsoever for them to be thrown into a prison camp. And Mercer should have gone with that. Instead of criticizing their superstitious nonsense (which never goes over well), he should have just said, “Give me my people and you’ll never hear from us again.” Done. Everybody was carrying the Idiot Ball in this one.
      • Mercer in fact tried that. The leader refused on the ground that releasing even one would undermine the system.
      • The leader also believed that the Regorian system also applied to off-worlders. To him, he was protecting the Orville crew by keeping Bortus and Kelly locked up and didn't understand that Mercer would still want them back, astrology signs be damned.
      • Which is still stupid. He told Mercer to get the hell out of here, so he wasn’t concerned for them at all. Rather, he was furious that Mercer brought violent criminals...who sat and were very polite at a state dinner. The only way this makes any sense at all is if the leaders know their whole system is a house of cards and can’t risk anything disturbing it. That would explain why the other ministers were so hesitant about sending a message into space in the first place. But I’m not sure I can give the writers that much credit. It was just an Idiot Plot.
  • And on this subject, why would the Regorians assume that the Planetary Union follows the same astrological system, despite the two societies knowing nothing about each other?
    • Because he considers Astrology to be an objective fact. So assumes the whole universe can see the same thing, just as the whole universe can see that 2+2=4 and the laws of thermodynamics.
    • Which is something of a screaming at the TV kind of thing, because Claire recognized that they were using astrology very quickly. If Mercer and the others had any sense, they should have just played along and disputed Kelly and Bortas's birth signs by whipping out astrological charts for Earth and Moclas and making up some bull about them occupying the correct career positions for their birth dates on their respective home planets. This gets worse when you consider that Earth and Moclas almost certainly have different year lengths than each other and Rigor II, so Kelly and Bortas's birthdays probably land during different signs on Rigor over the course of years. Most of the problem here was in trying to convince the Rigorans that their belief in astrology was wrong, rather than just playing along with it and arguing that each star system has it's own constellations, planets, moons and orbital periods, and that different rules apply to them by virtue of this.
      • He can't dispute birthdates. The Rigorans have that tooth age dating thing which is apparently super accurate. Or at least the Rigorans believe it to be super accurate, and that puts Kelly and Bortas in the bad people's birth sign. all of this is all kind of the point of the episode, facts get ignored because they conflict with an article of faith.

     What is the point of Rigor astrology if you can cheat the system with caesarean deliveries? 
  • No really, what is the point? It raises way too many questions as to whether or not it's possible for someone to simply pick and choose their child's destiny by having a c-section under a particular sign. If the "stars don't lie," and they dictate everything about Rigor society, shouldn't it be considered a heinous act to intentionally alter the birth date of a child via artificial birth?
    • No religion or social system is ever completely logical or rational, they are all riddled with special exceptions, the Rigors are no different. Plus, from an out of universe context, knowing Seth's own views on religion the hypocrisy is probably intentional.

     No one cares about dead guards? 
  • Bortas and Kelly killed at least half a dozen guards during their escape attempt. But once the new star is discovered, suddenly that no longer matters? Even if the Rigorians do decide to close the camps, I can't see them granting instant pardons for that. Also you would think at least Kelly would be somewhat traumatized by the fact that she was responsible for several deaths that turned out to be needless since all she had to do was wait for Mercer to come up with a plan. Finally, you would think the Union high command would be upset with them. At least in the modern world, the military generally advises their soldiers not to resist or attempt an escape if they are apprehended by the authorities from a nation they are not at war with. Usually the only exception to this rule is if your life is in immediate danger, which wasn't the case with Kelly and Bortas. The camp conditions were brutal, but it wasn't going to kill them any time soon.
    • The camp commandant threatened Kelly with summary execution at least once, so there was a threat of immanent death.
      • The commandant threatened to kill them if they broke the rules. As long as they followed the rules they would live.
      • The commandant literally put his gun to Kelly's head and told her he would kill her if she didn't say she was trash (at the 35minute mark, not including commercials, the scene where they confiscate the baby). He placed the muzzle of his gun under her chin and pushed it into her flesh. That crosses the line between obey the rules and you'll be fine; and risk of summary execution.

     Krill emergency protocol 
  • The escape pods on Krill ships are programmed to go to the nearest habitable planet. So why aren’t they stocked with protective gear in case there’s, y’know, daylight?
    • Telaya mentioned that the pods seek out the dark side of the planet. They apparently just hadn't considered that they should make sure the landing place is not only dark, but would stay dark for a long time.

     Moclan "divorce proceedings" 
  • Similarly to the gender reassignment Headscratcher, why isn't knowledge of the Moclan method for divorcing one's mate more widespread? Arguably, this would be crucial information for both COs and CMOs to have on hand.
    • The Planetary Union is starting to look like the European Union in that their haste to expand caused them to accept member worlds whose local culture and laws may not work well with others. Moclas has a culture that humans find appalling. Xelaya openly looks down on other Union members and enjoys a certain degree of isolation thanks to their world's heavy gravity. It appears that the Union wants members more than it cares about the details of how those members' societies work, hoping that problematic members will assimilate over time.
    • This. Realpolitik seems to be in play for this universe. Remember what they told that astrology-obsessed planet? They swoop in and recruit before someone like the Krill show up. This isn't the relatively peaceful and unchallenged Federation of Kirk and Picard, this is something more like Archer or Sisko's situation or the notoriously messy Republic of Star Wars, where it's more important to have an ally and their numbers and the messier parts of their customs get swept under the rug because there's an imminent threat. And it's not like the Federation hasn't looked the other way on questionable practices from their members. Just look at the emotion-embracing dissident movement on Vulcan in TNG's "Gambit" or how the Trill handle the whole symbiont thing.

     Isaac still clueless about romance after observing an organic humanoid society for 700 years? 
  • Did the show just forget that Isaac observed a society nearly identical to humans evolve for 700 years back in season 1? He shouldn't so clueless when it comes to romance as he was in "A happy refrain". Obviously that other society would different romantic practices then humans would, but it would still provide a baseline for him to work from. He would still have something to make a comparison to. This is why that episode really bugged me. It makes his main character quirk, the lack of knowledge about how biological lifeforms function, highly illogical.
    • Just because Isacc observed one alien society's relationship culture doesn't necessarily means it's the same across all societies. This would explain why he officered to be in a relationship with Alara, as he's trying to find out more about multiple societies and their practices throughout many years. Even if there's overlap, he's a machine. He wants to know as much as he can find out, so he can thoroughly tell the differences and similairities in their practices. The humanoid society he observed was mainly religious for centuries, so how their relationships may have differed due to their beliefs to a higher power (i.e. Kelly). Since humans have abandoned religion, their relationship habits may drastically differ. If the Krill ever joined the Union, then Isacc would want to know about how their relationships are, as there's no noted information on them and may in fact have some similarities and differences to human relationships. Finally, there's another possibility that you haven't considered: there's a difference between observing relationships and having them. You can watch a video on how to repair a car engine, but it's different from actually doing car engine repair. Plus, how many people do you know are willing to allow a mysterious cybernetic alien to stay with them to see how you have any kind of relationship in private? Who you are in public differs from who you are in private. These are all just possibilities I've just presented. As if to any being valid, it's hard to tell for now.
      • As I said in the original post, obviously there would be differences, but my point is his experience on the other planet would still provide him with a baseline point of reference for how romantic relationships work. What I found odd is that this episode made it seem like Isaac has never observed a romantic relationship in any way. When he goes to his fellow crewmates for advice, I think it would have been more logical for him to explain what he saw on that other planet and then ask if human relationships work in a similar manner.
      • Observation is of minimal value in such matters, even in real life. How many of us have observed the romantic interactions of others, tried to do the same thing and utterly humiliated ourselves? Add to this the fact that Isaac processes everything as a set of systems, with no intuition and an emotional intelligence rating of zero. It’s like aspergers up to eleven. It’s remarkable he came through the experience as well as he did.
    • By way of analogy, there are people who go their whole lives without learning how to drive. They might have spent plenty of time watching other people drive, but it would be entirely different, and possibly disastrous, if they were to try to take the wheel themselves.
    • Can we be sure he actually learned about romance during those centuries? Isaac's goal was to get that society to realise Kelly isn't a god, if he was doing his job correctly he shouldn't have had any romantic encounters.
      • But certainly he would have observed a ton of them. Several lifetimes worth.
      • Where? It would be safe to presume convincing a society their god is not a god Isaac would spend his time around priests, scientists and national leaders. Churches, research labs and whatever their equivalent of the White House is are not exactly places where romance develops.

     Isaac and Yaphit's human simulated forms on the holodeck 
  • Anyone else wondering how the holodeck managed to make Isaac look completely human? Assuming all it does is simply project an image over top of his robot body, wouldn't that make him look bigger then a normal human? But instead his human form looks smaller then he is normally. Another issue is his hands. Isaac's robot hands are much bigger and thicker than human hands. So even if the holodeck is projecting an image of human hands over them, shouldn't they look disproportionately thicker and bigger then normal human hands?
    • The larger question is, why doesn’t he just download himself into the Simulator? We already know he can do that with the ship. He doesn’t really need to involve his physical body at all (although then we wouldn't get that charming last scene). But that opens up a much bigger question. He would effectively become a simulator “program,” so how would he be qualitatively different from, say, Bortus’ The whole thing raises profound issues of the nature of identity. The way this show has gone so far, it wouldn’t surprise me to see that get further exploration.
  • Yaphit is also somewhat of a mystery. The only way I can imagine the holodeck simulation making him look human is if he can somehow shape himself into human form. I suppose that's possible, but that also makes me wonder why he doesn't shape himself that way all the time. You would think that would make his job easier, if for no reason other then it would make it easier for him to reach the controls on the ship.
    • The fact that we’ve seen him perform complicated procedures using multiple tentacles suggests that adapting humanoid form wouldn’t offer any advantages, and could even reduce his efficiency. Adopting a more vertical orientation and specific shape is probably tiring and uncomfortable (imagine extending your arms over your head with your fingers in a very specific, complex gesture for long period of time), and there’s simply no real need to do so. The Simulator gimmick probably never occurred to him until John suggested it to Isaac.

     Moclan mustache 
  • If Moclans don’t naturally have facial hair, how could Bortus possibly have follicles to stimulate in the first place? Is Dr. Finn’s follicle stimulator actually a follicle implanter?
    • The follicles may still be present but no longer active, suggesting that they're on the evolutionary path to disappearing altogether (kinda like the human appendix, what's left of what used to be an additional intestine).
    • It is also possible that a follicle stimulator is just a colloquial name used for a much more complex piece of equipment in order to get the point across.

     Are the Krill at war with the Union or not? 
  • I mean, they've done several things that would be considered acts of war. Yet they seem to be forgotten most of the time, which suggests that the Krill are at peace and that a few of them are just terrorists. So which is it, war or random terrorists?
    • It's not that they are forgotten, it's that they usually aren't part of the Orville's missions due to the fact that Orville isn't a warship. It's an exploration vessel (I highly doubt their war ships would have spouses and kids on them), so it isn't assigned to military duties very often.
    • The Krill are at war with the universe, but the Union is not prepared to be at war with them on their end of things and is dealing with them as an annoyance to be dealt with one incident at a time. So, kinda both.
    • While there's some kind of combat between the Union and the Krill it seems doubtful that formal war declarations were exchanged not to mention the wacky nature of "international" space.
    • The show seems to treat the Union and Krill as two opposing powers that have the occasional flare up/skirmish along their border similar to North and South Korea or India and Pakistan. The situation is volatile enough that a full war is a possibility but the Union would like to avoid one while the Krill would welcome one.
    • This will be like asking: Is the US at war with ISIS? Well yes, but it doesn't mean 100% of the time of all military, scientific or exploratory US operations are facing ISIS, is more like; if we found each other in some place we'll fight each other.

     Testing shields by firing on a populated ship? 
  • Testing that on a ship full of people seems foolish. Would it not be safer to test a shield upgrade by putting the shield-generator equipment on something unmanned, and preferably cheap? You put it on something unmanned, then gradually increase the attacks until it fails and the unmanned object is destroyed. And then you do that again and again until you have a consistent range on what the shields can survive and for how long. Would not testing this just once be foolish, and would not testing it on a manned ship be criminally reckless?
    • It may not have been said on-screen, but the Moclan engineers may have already tested the shields on dummy objects. The next step would be to test the upgrades in conditions more akin to actual combat.
    • It is a Moclan system, the guys who have a casual game of holding a handstabbing object, whose divorce proceedings involve someone stabbing another, and merely breaking up requires removing a tooth. Testing shields (which are said to be in their final testing phase) by live firing in battlefield conditions is pretty much in keeping with their species' hat.
    • This is done in Star Trek all the time (and the show has an almost pathological tendency to keep everything from Star Trek), lots and lots of episodes of Star Trek are about new technologies/weapons/navigation systems, etc tested in a incredibly risky way in a populated ship where you even have children on board. However, in their defense it is likely that shooting at the Orville with minimal power and even without the upgraded shields is very safe, the ship is designed to resist full power attacks from the Krill for example.
    • It was set up in Season One's "About a Girl" that Moclan weapons testers tend to play fast and loose with basic safety when running tests.

     Klyden had no evidence against Locar. Why was Locar afraid of him? 
  • Was it really reasonable for Locar to fake his death and frame Klyden for murder because Klyden threatened to rat him out as a closet heterosexual? Klyden had no evidence at all. It would just be his word. Why would anyone believe the word of Klyden, a total nobody, over Locar, a world famous engineer?
    • Evidence isn't always necessary to get someone Convicted by Public Opinion. Just look at the history of our planet. The mere suggestion of someone being gay or a rapist or whatever else has ruined many lives, even without tangible evidence.
    • The simulator did have some recording ability. One leaked tape of Locar kissing Talla and it was all over. Klyden would be enough of a jerk to skip the blackmail and just hand it over to the authorities.
      • The show clearly established Locar as an elite engineer who could manipulate the simulator to do whatever he wanted. Certainly that would including deleting the recordings, or at least alter them to cover his tracks.
      • It was not a matter of his word against his, or about covering up proof of the kiss. It was the accusation itself and what it would set off that was the problem. If the Moclan authorities received an accusation from Klyden then they would have to investigate. Especially if it’s in regards to one of their top engineers. Bortus would be dragged into it, and forced to reveal what he knew. Talla would have to choose between her duty to be honest in regards to an investigation or lie. Locar's fear was the accusation itself, what it would lead to. Even if he managed to cover it up, he would always be watched for any signs of deviance from the norm. Fear of exposure of one’s sexual identity, especially when considered taboo in one’s general society, has led to fear, acts of rashness and sometimes suicide.

     No guards at the exit when the Orville lands? 
  • So when the Orville is on the ground, anyone can leave at will without any sort of accountability system? They don't bother to post guards at the exit, or at least some sort of automated security system? That would be pretty absurd even if there were only adults on the ship. But the fact that this is the case for a ship with children on it makes it even more ridiculous. You'd think they would they would have security measures in place specifically to prevent what we saw on "Identity"; small children leaving the ship on potentially dangerous alien planets without adult supervision.

     Contacting the Kaylon 
  • So the Union has no communication channel with the Kaylon? No way to call them up and say “Hey, your observer broke”? The only means of contact at all is to fly a ship right up to their planetary defenses and wave?
    • The episode establishes them to be extremely isolationist and well outside Union territory, such that the Orville would be moving out of communication range just to reach them.
  • What I want to know is how Isaac was sending reports back to Kaylon if Kaylon is out of communication range.
    • Kaylon technology is more advanced than the Union's, therefore it is likely their communication systems are much more advanced too.

     The Orville can land? 
  • Why in the world would they fly the entire ship down to the surface of Kaylon? Surely it would be more practical (and more prudent) to use a shuttle ... like they have for every single other planetary mission we’ve seen so far.
    • Seeing as the Kaylon were shown to have the ability to shut down the entire ship while it was still in orbit, I don't see how that would have made any difference.
      • My point is more about why they took the whole ship down there in the first place when they’ve never done so anywhere else; it was a bit of an Ass Pull. It might not have made much difference in preventing the invasion, but it certainly would have made it harder for the Kaylons to board en masse. It would have kept Ty from leaving the ship. And from discovering the ossuary. It would have potentially impeded a number of significant plot developments. So I guess I have my answer...
      • Maybe the Kaylon told them to land the ship. It's not like they were in any position to say no.
      • That seemed the implication. They sent landing coordinates, not shuttle coordinates. Perhaps the full message was a little more explicit, but it was obvious from Talla's tone of voice that it was the whole ship they wanted on the surface.

     Why does Isaac shut down when his mission is complete? 
  • Is programming Isaac to deactivate when his mission is complete really the most efficient way to get him to come home? Wouldn't it have been better to just program him to tell Mercer "My mission is complete now. I must return to Kaylon with my findings." Just turning him off doesn't ensure they will bring him back. There was a chance they could have tried to repair him themselves, and in doing so ended up damaging him. In fact, the Orville crew actually considered doing that for a moment.
    • Isaac spent all these years sending them reports, there's no indication they need any further imput from him, it is possible that a) There was some sort of communication between the Kaylon world and him, maybe on the lines of "all right, we have enough info, you can shut down now" (in fact his eyes start to blink right before he shuts down like if he was receiving some sort of signal) or b) My program came to the conclusions that the reports I sent are enough information, so I will shut down now. In any case it's a clever strategy because it avoids the host civilization being able to extract any secrets from Isaac.
      • I was under the impression they wanted Isaac back on Kaylon. If they had no further use for him, why did they re-activate him when he returned?
      • Perhaps Isaac’s job at that point was to keep the crew complacent while the final steps to take over the ship and launch the invasion were being prepared. Mercer did point out they seemed to be stalling.
      • Agreed. It also seems like the Orville is a key part of their plan since they took it with them for the invasion, presumably so they can use it to get past the Union's early warning detection systems. So it would appear that both Isaac and the Orville were needed for their plan, which brings me back to my original question of why did they shut Isaac down. It probably would have been more efficient to simply order Isaac to ask Mercer if he could get a ride back to Kaylon. I'm sure Mercer would have agreed.
      • Considering the lack of empathy the Kaylon have, it is likely that they didn't expect Isaac to be returned. In fact they said it themselves ("We recognized who you were seconds before our defense systems would have opened fire"). They were clearly not expecting visits. They do re-activate Isaac once the Orville brought him, probably, as another troper said, to distract them.

     Future tech 
Did Isaac retain whatever information on 29th century technology he might have gained when he hacked Pria’s device, or was it erased when the wormhole was destroyed?

     One planet provides enough resources for the Kaylon to take on the entire Union? 
  • As far as we know, the Kaylons only control one planet. We know this because the Kaylons tell Mercer they have to expand because they have basically done all they can do with "this planet" and "we must now expand to other worlds" (implying that they haven't expanded to any other worlds yet). So if they only control one planet, what makes them think they can take on the Union, which has 300 planets? Even if they defeat Earth, that will still leave them fighting the very pissed off inhabitants of 299 other planets. And of course, that's just the bare minimum of what they will have to deal with. They will likely also have to fight plenty of other forces outside the Union as word gets out that they intend to wipe out all biological life forms in the galaxy. As such, their whole invasion scheme seems really premature. They probably should have taken over some uninhabited words and established an empire before taking on a faction as large as the Union.
    • I think the implication is that, yes, yes they are exactly that advanced technologically that they do not fear taking on 300 to 1 odds. These are beings who could make a variation on the speech the Daleks made to the Cybermen, and back it up.
      • "This is not war! This is pest control! ... We would destroy the Cybermen with one Dalek!"
      • Exactly, they had the technology to hijack and shutdown The Orville at will. Deprive everyone else of their tech and suddenly it becomes a lot easier to kill them.
      • Apparently they only had the tech to shutdown ships approaching their planet. Obviously if they had the ability to take that technology with them when they attack other worlds, they would have used it in the fleet battle we saw in part 2, but they didn't. I'm guess their technology for shutting down ships is so bulky and cumbersome that they haven't found any way to make it mobile. It probably involves some complex grid of buildings and/or satellites stationed all across the planet and/or in strategic orbiting positions.
    • It doesn't matter even if you have infinite resources if you don't can't use them. Them going for Earth is probably the equivalent of destroying California or Texas; take out the industrial powerhouse of the Union and it may still not be an easy fight, but at least you don't have to worry about new ships coming your way and it becomes a matter of slowly whittling down the enemy.
      • Is there any reason to believe Earth is the only planet out of the 300 planets in the Union with the ability to make ships? I don't think so. Even your example doesn't hold up. Destroying Texas or California would not eliminate America's industrial capacity (though it would certainly hurt it).
      • Careful with that strawman. There is a difference between being able to make ships at all and being able to make them fast enough. If you have a shipyard and enough metal to make 10 000 ships but it'll take you 2 years to make a single one (I'm not even exaggerating the time - warships take a freaking long time to make), that's not really going to help. And from what we've seen, the Kaylons, unlike the Borg, plan to keep their entire armada together in a doomstack, so it's going to be that one ship you've built against 20+ Kaylon death spheres. Good luck.
      • Okay but that doesn't change the issue that the manufacturing capacity of one planet isn't going to top the manufacturing capacity of 300 planets. Even if we assume the Kaylon have the ability to outproduce 100 planets with their one, that still wouldn't be enough.
    • The Kaylons, being machines, obviously have no need of land use upon their planet for farming or for cultural purposes, only for resource extraction and manufacturing, and can devote all of their efforts towards a single purpose (in this case, an invasion). Being a machine intelligence and somewhat of a Hive Mind, they would be far more efficient than individual organic beings in their utilization of resources from their planet and its solar system. So it's plausible that they might utilize their one planet more effectively than the 300 discrete members of the Union manage theirs.
      • Farming may not be an issue, but population size and war material is. They don't build their population, ships, and weapons from nothing, and their extreme isolationism means they can't get any more resources from foreign trade. So I'm wondering how could they build enough ships and weapons from one planet to take on the combined might of 300 planets? Likewise, how would the population of one planet have the numbers to take on the combined armies from so many others? Even if Kaylon has a population of weaponized cyborgs 10 times the population of Earth, that still wouldn't come close to the combined population the whole Union has. Also as a side note, I think it's very clear the Kaylon do not have a hive mind like the Borg do. The Kaylon are clearly all independent and not under the control of one unit. We know this not just because of Isaac, who can obviously think for himself, but also from the other Kaylons. When some Kaylons are killed or wounded on the Orville, the rest of the Kaylons on the ship do not instantly know about it. That must mean they are not all part of some interconnected collective. It seems more like the Kaylon maintain loyalty by constantly monitoring each other for signs of dissent and immediately reprogramming or eliminating any bot who shows the slightest trace of non-conformity.
      • Is there any indication they wanted an invasion? I was under the impression they were just going to kill all humans, in fact they say they will wipe out all life on Earth. If that’s the case they probably don’t care for staying around nor for resources, just will go planet to planet killing the populations, and not only of the Union but of every other world (they say so too, they want to eliminate all biological life of the galaxy, not only of the Union).
      • Regardless of what the Kaylon want to do, they still run into the same problem: Taking on the entire galaxy with nothing but the resources from one planet.
    • This was asked somewhere in the many Star Trek headscratchers, more or less like this: How could the Klingon Empire being only one species be a threat for the Federation which has 150+ planets. The answer is more or less like this. Can the entire European Union defeat the US? Not really. Or what about the African Union? Again, no. These are unions of several dozens of countries together, some of them world powers like Germany, France and the UK and yet the US has the biggest army in the world. Of course, if such conflict would happen the US would also be hurt gravely, same if it fights Russia and/or China. Now let’s imagine that the US starts a war against the entire rest of the world, as you can see in this video it still has a pretty big chance to win. Now change the US for a race of machines who have no problem with their own casualties, need no food and no water, suffer no psychological or medical trauma and do not have any political issues like internal opposition or worry about the economy.
      Of course, again, the US is not invincible but is pretty strong. Thus in the Trekverse the Klingon Empire could be the equivalent of the US, the Federation is the European Union, the Romulans are Russia, and so on, I mean, these powers can easily fight each other but in a total war no one really know who will win and how long it would take. Same applies for the Orvilleverse, is the Union really the US of this setting or is it more like the European or African unions? Are these 300 members really powers on their own merits or are they more like the Non-Aligned Movement which encompassed most of the Third World? Maybe the Kaylon will be the equivalent of the US and the Krill are Russia? Who knows, thing is we don’t know the size or power the Union has, they may be strong but not enough to take the other powers. Besides we don’t know how these 300 planets are, are colonies included? Maybe some of these planets are really not very good for war or are very poor. Moclus looks like a third world country to me, Yaphit’s race may not be very war-like, etc.
      • In regard to the Klingons, they may be smaller then the Federation, but at least they do have an empire of multiple planets and colonies. So that seems a bit more plausible then the disproportionate ratio of 1 vs 300.
      • But technology and fight power wins over. As mentioned before, we have an example in our own world on how one country could face hundreds of countries and win (even if it will be very costly but has a chance), of course it could also lose but it can take its chances if it wants to try. However it seems that the issue with the Kaylon's logistics is resources, but what resources do they need? Certainly not food or water, nor medicines nor oxygen. Only raw materials which they can easily take anywhere in the universe. Just have to mine one of the many asteroid belts in the galaxy. That’s assuming they don’t have replicators like the Union, with the difference that whilst the Union requires energy into making the replicators creating food, et al, they can use them just for pieces of equipment.
      • One big difference between the US vs. the world and Kaylon vs. the galaxy, though, is that the former one is purely going to be a war of attrition. The US will win via sitting and waiting for everyone else to give up, which they can do because they have the supplies to support themselves and because they know an invasion of the mainland won't be happening. The Kaylon on the other hand are trying to take over the galaxy, which means they're going to be taking land and trying to hold on to it. Even the US doesn't have the resources and manpower needed to conquer the planet and hold on to everything.
    • The Kaylon may be powerful but so far the Calivon have shown off much more fierce technology. They likely chose Earth, particularly, for its value of a capital (in some capacity) versus the threat of the Union fleet; perhaps after they established a perimeter, factories of some description would be brought in to exponentially expand the war effort.
    • The point of destroying Earth is a tactic as old as time. "Cut off the Head and the Body follows." By taking out Earth (and from the looks of it a good amount of the Union fleet in the bargain) the Kaylon would throw the entire Union into disarray, heavily demoralize the Union, Earth provides resources to build more ships and Kaylon, and the Kaylon would pick off one planet after another, getting more resources and thus more ships and Kaylon. I'd be surprised if half of the planets in the Union would still be around by the time what's left of it can actually get organized enough to present something resembling a coordinated effort against the Kaylon, and by then it's too late. Once the Union is dealt with, the biggest threat to the Kaylon is gone and they'll have plenty of resources to steamroll over the rest of the biologicals in the galaxy.
    • It is possible that the Kaylon were also planning on following the same basic strategy the US applied in WW2 with the removal of Japan from the Pacific Islands. Basically island hop, only with planets. Attack, dig in, subdue, reinforce, resupply, then repeat as necessary. As super long lived life forms they probably do not mind that it might take a millennium or so to rebuild their forces from each planet's raw materials. The can work on a much longer timescale than fleshy organics.
      • Except America's WW2 strategy was based around having numerical advantages over Japan in everything: More troops, more factories, more tanks, more planes, more resources, more fuel, more ships, etc, etc. Because Japan had so much less numbers, they couldn't effectively counterattack to regain lost territory or take the fight to America itself, and it wasn't long before they were locked into a constant declining spiral where they could do nothing but defend less and less of what they had. That's not the case with the Kaylon with their one planet vs the Union with their 300. Regardless of their efficiency in production and construction, I just don't see how the Kaylon achieve a numerical advantage in resources or population when the Union outnumbers them in planets by so much. The Union would have the advantage in a long-term war of attrition, not the Kaylon.
      • The Japanese need food, water, air, medicines, fuel and a lot of things that the Kaylon don't.

  • Kaylon Primary uses slavery in America as an example of why Isaac should not show sympathy when ordered to kill Ty; no one catches the irony that Ty is Black...
    • The Kaylon wouldn't care. One biological is as bad as another in their eyes.
    • They may not have known the difference.
    • We're not certain that any of Ty's ancestors were slaves to begin with. The overwhelming majority of Africans were never taken into slavery.
    • By that time in the setting, the trans Atlantic slave trade had ceased to exist nearly a millennium ago, and it's not as though blacks were the only ethnic group to be enslaved throughout history.
    • Moreover, the Kaylons were observing humanity's potential for practicing slavery, not any particular example.
    • Fridge Brilliance: Primary, like a lot of so-called "liberators", is high on his own PR and looking for excuses to justify doing something destructive to a group he blames for all his people's problems. It also has the added benefits of boosting his own power among his people, uniting them against a perceived threat, and an excuse to deactivate or reprogram anyone who calls him out on his crap. Ten to one, Isaac had read that book or something similar already, judging by his access to the ship's media archives. And Isaac had enough time and context to process the context of the book. It probably helped him realize that his people had become even worse than the organics who allegedly enslaved them. And on a meta level, Ty's ethnicity probably helped in driving the point home just how full of shit Primary was.

     Ship-wide EMP doesn't damage any ship systems? 
  • Is it just me or is Isaac's EMP tactic to take out the Kaylon a bit too convenient? Leaving aside the issue of how the ship even has this ability or why it would have it, wouldn't a ship-wide EMP cause massive damage to the ship itself? Why would it only shut down the Kaylons while leaving all the ship systems completely intact? Also, was it really necessary for Isaac to sacrifice himself? Since he had already secured the bridge, couldn't he have just programmed the EMP burst to affect every area of the ship except the bridge? There must be a way to seal the bridge off.
    • It may have been an EMP specifically calibrated to only affect the Kaylon and not anything else on the Orville.
      • “Hey, Isaac, before you’re completely shut down, could you maybe make a note about that EMP frequency so we can figure out how to blast it across the entire battle zone?”
      • I don't think there is any way to project an EMP across outer space.
      • There wouldn’t be ionizing radiation, but there are EMPs associated with, for instance, solar activity, that project great distances through space and would play hell with electrical systems on Earth if it weren’t for the magnetosphere.
      • But that's different than projecting an EMP from one ship to another one. And you also have to factor in the enemy ships's shields. Now don't get me wrong, maybe they could make some sort of EMP weapon like that, but the point is you can't just assume they have the ability just because Isaac was able to cause an EMP inside one ship. Making an EMP inside a ship is completely different from projecting it from one ship to another.

     Inconsistent punishment 
  • There are a whole bunch of ways Kaylon Primary doesn’t really get this whole hostage thing. He tells the command crew that failure to do as instructed will result in the entire crew being blown out of the shuttle bay, but never really follows up:
    • When Mercer tries to use a codephrase, the Kaylons destroy the other ship, but then space a single redshirt, rather than opening the shuttle bay as threatened.
    • If the Kaylons need to keep Mercer (and the rest of the command crew) alive, returning them to the shuttle bay with the hostages makes it kinda hard to kill said hostages without killing Mercer et al. as well. It also allows them to create plans and stuff. Surely they should have been kept separated from the start. For instance...
    • The crew steal a shuttle, which is beyond egregious, but there’s no punishment at all. You’d think the easy response is to just turn off the force field and bye-bye crew. Instead, more guards are sent in but do nothing. Bortus is standing there holding the gun he used to take out two Kaylons; at the very least, that should have been an instant death sentence.
    • When Ty is captured (after which they apparently just left Yaphit sitting there?), Mercer isn’t brought in at all, meaning the whole punishment thing has been pretty much abandoned. Instead, Isaac’s “sympathy” is tested. But if there were any doubts at all, he should have been shut down immediately; it’s not like he was actually needed for anything at that point, and was clearly becoming a liability. Even worse, ordering him to kill Ty would have a very high likelihood of pushing him over the edge to rebellion. Which it did. Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!!
    • Bottom line, instead of reading Roots, Kaylon Primary might have wanted to download the Evil Overlord List. Just sayin’...
      • Yeah, for some reason Kaylon Prime was suffering from a severe case of Bond Villain Stupidity during that episode. As much as I liked it, it's a shame the writers simply gave the Kaylon an intelligence nerf rather then have the crew come up with a way to retake that ship that didn't make the Kaylon look so dumb.

     Okay, explain again why there are children on the ship 
  • It’s an exploratory vessel, meaning unknown dangers are an anticipated possibility. It would be one thing to bring your family when you’re just doing the regular supply run to Deneb IV, but this is kinda like a cop taking the kids along on patrol. “We’ll go for lunch right after Mommy busts these armed drug-dealers.”
    • At least we must hope there’s a very large staff of child psychologists to address all the frequent trauma.
    • They measure risk differently in the future. It is a Necessary Weasel for the genre.
    • It's probably just a shout out to Star Trek: The Next Generation. People have been asking why there are kids on the Enterprise ever since that show was on. As for the reason, well, it's probably due to the amount of time the crew spends away from their home planets. Starships aren't like the ocean navy we have now. They don't just go out for 6-9 months or so and then come back home. They are away from the respective planets of their crewmen for years at a time. So unless they expect their crewmen to just willfully abandon their immediate family members (not very realistic expectations), the only way to prevent that is to allow the family members to be on the ship. I'm sure before bringing their spouses and kids onboard, the crew probably have to sign about a million forms accepting the Union is not liable for any horrific fate that might befall them, such as getting sucked into a black hole or getting shot to pieces by a Krill boarding party.
      • In The Orville even more than in Star Trek it seems like they do not have a "home" to return to. Home is the ship, and they live a spaceship based lifestyle. They are not planetbound at all. An ancestral home planet is something you visit occasionally for recreation, or pee breaks, but not where you actually live. They may even think planets are more dangerous than ships; what with all the uncontrolled weather, shifting ground that comes with plate tectonics rather than artificial gravity, no way to flee from an oncoming space based menace unlike a ship which can warp to safety, sickbay is not just down the hall on a planet, and so on.
      • Well I wouldn't go that far. Remember back in the early episodes of season 1, we saw that Mercer does have an apartment on Earth.
      • All right, I can buy that there are civilians who treat The Orville as their permanent residence in general; what is egregious is said civilians, especially children, remaining on The Orville during high-risk missions - missions that are known to carry an elevated chance of gruesome death. Wouldn't it have been far more prudent, for instance, to disembark all non-essential crew/passengers to a relatively safe outpost before going knocking on the Kaylons' door? Even when they had no idea the Kaylon were Omnicidal Maniacs, and just thought of them as a particularly stuffy race of androids, they knew they were venturing outside Union space, had no reinforcements, no backup — heck, Halsey straight-out tells Mercer "you're on your own"! Suppose the Kaylons' automated perimeter defenses had blown them out of the sky, every last civilian on the ship would have died a perfectly avoidable death.
      • I think the idea is if you bring your family onto a Union ship, it's on you if they get killed as a result of that ship going on a dangerous mission. The Union isn't going to take responsibility for them or take additional steps to keep them safe (other then what they would normally do to keep the crew safe). Seems horrific by our modern standards, but I guess that's just what they roll with. Star Trek used pretty much the same logic. The Enterprise never dropped off their civilians somewhere before going to take on the Borg.
      • We never saw it [the Enterprise dropping off civilians], but that doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. We also never saw them loading up extra torpedoes at a starbase, but they presumably did. Probably while unloading civilians...
      • Obviously they didn't evacuate any civilians first, seeing as how Finn and Bortus' families were still on board.
      • Yeah, that’s my point. I was responding to the TNG example, saying the Enterprise probably evacuated civilians before engaging the Borg (I don’t recall seeing any children in “Best of Both Worlds,” but I could be mistaken). Anyway, sorry that wasn’t clear.
      • Sorry, my mistake. We never see civilians being evacuated at any time before a dangerous mission in Star Trek. In Star Trek: Generations, they don't evacuate the civilians before going into battle with the Klingons. In that movie, we see the civilians evacuating when the ship is about to crash. The way I see it, military ships like the Orville and Enterprise (I know the Federation likes to claim it's not military, but let's face it, it is) can't be bothered to suck up extra time and resources by going out of the way to drop off civilians every time they might face trouble. That's just too much extra inconvenience and too much of a waste to be constantly picking them up and dropping them off when they are on call for handling dangerous situations at a moment's notice. I figure they just tell their crew "bring your family with you at your own risk, if they get killed it's on you". What I do wonder about, though, is how they can afford all the extra space for the civilians. I get that the senior command staff get large rooms that could handle extra people. But what about the rank-and-file crewmen? Surely the lowest guys in the chain of command wouldn't get that much space afforded to them, would they? It's why I wish some day they would make a Star Trek series where at least one of the main characters is a low-level deckhand instead of making them all the senior leadership.
      • That would be cool. I still think we don’t see them evacuating civilians not because there’s no time to do it, but because there’s limited time in the episode and that would be boring to show compared to the action scenes. And by this point this has turned into a discussion, so I’m going to stop.
      • In theory (and this is a complex issue, that’s why this is a very big in theory) both Federation and Union vessels are not military ships, they are for exploratory and scientific purposes. The Federation at least does have some military vessels, for example the Defiant, also there’s a reason why the Voyager has no children other than Naomi Wildman (who was born there due to a pregnant crewmember) as the Voyager was on a specific military mission (chasing Maquis) when it got lost. Harry Kim mentions in a future episode (I think it was the finale) that he embarked on a mission in deep space that will take him years before he can come back, as did Riker’s clone once to justify him being Put on a Bus (he says it takes him six months just to get there), now in these two latest examples there’s no indication those ships have no children but it’s this troper’s impression that they don’t. We do know however that the Defiant and the Voyager don’t, and in the case of the Defiant they don't even have accommodations for potential children or families (they outright say so).
        What does this mean? Well, at least in the case of the Federation, they do have specific ships that they assign military or intelligence missions that are too dangerous and/or too far away from Federation space to carry children or families in general. People assigned to these missions are generally aware of this and are generally lone wolves with no family (i.e. the old Harry, Clone!Riker), in other cases like Voyager they maybe will be back to normal once the mission ends, and in others like the Defiant it doesn’t have a permanent crew.
        Thus, the Enterprise and most Galaxy-type ships have a scientific, diplomatic and exploratory function. The crewmembers there, some are military, but it has a wide variety, and due to their missions has a lot of scientists, astronomers, anthropologists, archeologists, and so on, therefore it's logical to assume most of these non-military professionals would want to have their families on board, or would meet, fall in love, marry and have children. They even have pets (Data mentions there are several cats on the Enterprise aside from his). This is logical from this perspective after all, they are not in the military, they are scientists and other professionals. This would create the need for teachers, medical specialists (pediatricians for example), etc. Military personnel assigned to ships like the Enterprise are probably aware of this dynamic and probably they choose this kind of ship precisely for this reason or at least are okay with it, and take advantage of the more family-friendly environment. I mean, if you’re a hardcore loner who wants to have a constant adrenaline rush, living by the day fighting the Borg or the Dominion, or making intelligence reports for what those pesky Cardassians are doing, you probably feel more comfortable in one of the deep space mission ships I mentioned before. If you like to play jazz, play poker and take part in theater presentations like Will Riker, you probably prefer a non-military ship like the Enterprise.
        However, the Enterprise is still A SPACE SHIP, and space is full of dangers. Whether natural phenomena, unknown alien threats, hostile civilizations or attacks from enemy races, all these can happen. You could argue the same; “How can they bring children in a ship that can be swallowed by a black hole or destroyed by a pulsar”. Heck, half the time in TNG the danger didn’t come from hostile enemies but from the space phenomenon of the week. Whether this is wise or not, that’s another matter, you can ask the same about almost any sci-fi setting including those with generational ships, but the Enterprise is supposed to be in space for decades! Which is pretty difficult to imagine someone would volunteer to be there if they have to resign from any kind of family bond. And yes, the Enterprise does take on military missions once in a while, and whether it evacuates its civilians or not is a matter of debate. (In fact it is true, it’s never shown but in some episodes about specific military or intelligence missions we normally don’t see any children nor is it ever mentioned they are in danger, it could be that when the Central Command says: “Hey Picard, we have a report about Romulan militias invading Federation space, go investigate” they do evacuate the children beforehand. Most cases where children are shown in danger is when they are attacked by surprise).
        Going back to The Orville, which basically follows Star Trek logic to the letter, this is more or less the same logic. We don’t know if the Union has military-specific ships like the Defiant, but the ships like the Orville are supposed to be like the Enterprise, diplomatic, exploratory and scientific vessels that sometimes may front military missions mostly in emergency situations (like having your home planet invaded by an army of alien robots) but is not their primary function, and if they engage in military problems it's mostly because of some unexpected condition. An example of this is the visit to the Kaylon world itself. Remember that to that point they thought the Kaylon were deliberating to become members of the Union and they thought they were on a diplomatic and peaceful visit with a friendly civilization. Not like they were sent to face the Krill.
      • When I say the Orville and the Enterprise are military ships, I don't mean they are warships. I mean they are in a military organization. Not everything military-related is meant for combat. A supply ship isn't meant for combat, but the military has supply ships. A Chinook helicopter isn't meant for combat, but the military has plenty of them. As much as the Federation pretends it isn't military, they clearly are. They have a formal rank structure, they have a military system for discipline and promotions. The Union in this series is pretty much the same, though thankfully they haven't pretended to be anything else.
      • All right, then, the issue is not so much whether the Orville and the Enterprise are military ships, as they are by definition, but whether they are combatant ships; this in fact happens in Real Life, as a lot of military bases house families (including children) of military personnel (despite the fact such bases can be targets of attacks), and some children constantly travel across the world with their military parents. Check The Other Wiki's article on Military brat (and no, the "brat" part is not pejorative), it's basically the exact situation we see on the Orville and the Enterprise.

     What happened to Alara’s gift to Ed? 
  • You’d think Ed would have a jar of pickles on the shelf behind his desk.
    • Pickles spoil without refrigeration.
      • Not if they’ve been properly canned. Pickling was a common method of preserving food in the days before refrigeration.
      • Well I don't claim to be a pickle expert, but when I order them online they always come with warnings saying they must be refrigerated and they arrive in boxes with ice packs in them to keep them cold.
      • That’s one kind, probably high quality. But I refer you to the condiments aisle in your local supermarket (at least in the US): jars of pickles at room temperature. And I think that’s all that can be said on this topic.
      • According to the Other Wiki, modern pickles are just cucumbers marinated in vinegar. Not sure what exactly is the difference between that and proper pickling, but there you go.
    • He ate the pickles.
    • Maybe he keeps the jar in his quarters, rather than his office.
      • Maybe he ate the pickles, drank the juice and has the empty jar sitting in his quarters (no point in letting a good jar of pickles going to waste).

     Klyden’s attitude 
  • Bortus chews out Klyden’s undisguised contempt for females, which holds up...mostly. But in that case Klyden should have completely rejected the mere idea of marriage counseling from Dr. Finn. Or is prolonged separation from Moclus and having to associate with aliens just making him more isolated and reactionary?
    • In the specific instance of when Bortus chews out Klyden for not greeting Kelly, it's possible Klyden didn't even realize he was being rude. Most instances of offensive behavior are born out of ignorance, not malice. This could also be a case of Depending on the Writer, as Klyden had shown no hostility to females of other species prior to this episode. His attitude toward the teacher and the little girl might just be a writing gaffe for this episode, since previously, Klyden only really got hot under the collar about Moclan females.
    • Is it really "undisguised contempt"? It seems like Klyden's attitude towards females is simply condescending, viewing them as inferior in the same way one might view an insect. In that case, he likely saw marriage counselling with Finn as undesirable, but since there isn't a qualified male doctor he begrudgingly accepts it.

     Helvina’s timeline 
  • A year ago, Mercer tracked down Helvina living as a hermit in the middle of nowhere, and he convinced her to come forward and make a stand. Since then, she turns out to have been coordinating a massive off-worlding operation for years, so what was she doing hiding in the desert?
    • The key to Heveena's off-worlding efforts is that it's secret. She's in hiding while she's on Moclus because if the Moclan government found out about her and the operation, they'd have come down hard and forced all the females they scooped up in the process to undergo reassignment surgery.
  • And how did she get off Moclus at all once she came forward at the hearing, when there appears to be a mandatory policy of forced sex-change and life imprisonment for anyone like her? Because of her high regard as a poet, surely she would be an ideal candidate to be “made an example of.”
    • After she came out in public, she presumably used her underground network to flee as soon as possible. She revealed herself to be one of Moclus' greatest writers, someone who is regularly cited and quoted by the general public. The confusion and outcry resulting in Moclans discovering that Gandis Eldin isn't who they thought he was might have been enough to let her slip away as the government tried to figure out how to deal with her.
  • And furthermore, wouldn’t her sudden reveal have seriously jeopardized the operation? Surely she should have instead told Mercer, “There are people who can help Bortus.” Even though they probably would not have been able to accept such an offer under the circumstances, it still leaves her and the entire operation under much less risk.
    • The trial in this episode is the first time Moclan parents tried to go against their government and the law requiring forced gender reassignment. It is already a highly public affair before Heveena became involved. If Bortus were to suddenly disappear with his baby, it would raise questions and begin drawing attention to the underground network.
    • As the trial is a momentous occasion, Heveena probably believed that it was worth risking her safety and that of the operation to show the world that female Moclans are just as capable as males. Remember, at this point, Moclans still believe that female births are an uncommon event and that the fact that females are born quite regularly is being suppressed. The people would have automatically assumed that Heveena was the unique female birth of her generation and not that there are many females being born and that a large-scale smuggling operation is taking them off world.

     "We have soldiers, but we can't fight the invaders without two people from the Orville" 
  • When the Orville crew goes down to the Moclan female colony, they are immediately confronted by armed soldiers ready for a fight. But when the Moclan battleship sends down an invasion force, the colony doesn't seem to put up any resistance at all until Bortas and Kelly show up to assist. Why does two crewmen from the Orville make any difference? Come to think of it, why was their assistance needed at all? How big could the invasion force from the battleship have been? Let's assume at least 1,000 of the 6,000 planetary inhabitants are armed and trained for combat. Shouldn't that have been enough to defend the colony against an invasion force from one ship? And I think 1,000 is a pretty low-ball estimate. Seeing as this is rogue colony under constant threat, you would think a very large percentage of the population would be armed and trained.
    • It's quite possible that the conflict was planet wide but only the assault on the "capital" was shown, having a rogue colony with a hundred 60 person settlements makes sense. Perhaps others put up a better fight.

     So, do the Kaylon know that Isaac is active and on the biologicals' side? 
"The Road Not Taken" says that all Kaylon are connected, like Borgs in Star Trek. Do the Kaylon in the Prime timeline know Isaac is still active?
  • Yeah, knowing that the Kaylon have a hive mind brings up a lot of issues. Such as, how did they not know when Isaac was turning against them? Shouldn't they have been able to know that immediately and stop him before he could take action?
  • WMG, but the hive mind only appeared in the alternate timeline, so Prime timeline Kaylon might not have it.
  • Unlikely. Why would their be some advancement to that degree that happened within less than a year, that for whatever reason they upgraded a shut down Issac with, for them to be able to pull Issac through it later, or something they developed in 7 years when seemingly most of the rest of the timeline would've been identical? Presumably they know, and he's presumably disconnected from it so they don't send a remote shutdown or takeover via it. It might also be something you need to send info over, rather than being a 'hive mind' of sorts, given how seemingly none of the other Kaylon were aware of Issac's betrayal, also unusual that an artificial species couldn't send a signal in the time it took Issac to physically attack the other Kaylon in the room. I assume it's what he's been sending his reports through, in fact, as there's no mention of the ship being able to contact Kaylon itself.

     The that way! 
Yes, it's supposed to be a joke, but the crew do remember that they're on a holodeck, right? Surely a holographic bathroom wouldn't work?
  • Why not? If is like Star Trek's then the waste would just be reconfigurated into different matter like everything else.

     Bloody Patriots 
(snark mode on) "No, we can't hand over Orrin to you. That's because he stole a shuttle and tried to bomb you. You surely noticed the big kaboom left of you, that's when his plan went south. Y'know, his secret weapon was his daughter. Only it wasn't his daughter (which you killed, you really should keep notes) but an alien Envall whose blood can nuke whole ships. Never heard of them? That would explain the lousy security in your prisoners camp. No, we can't hand over her either, because she blew up too from nosebleed. Not for swooning over me, it was a right hook from Talla. So all of your enemies are dead, take our word for it, would an Earthling lie? So can we now go over to the bloody pact? Yes? You're fine with it? Gooooood!" (That should subsume everything, and in case Leyna did not explode, they would have an even greater problem explaining. Would Ed then really hand her over to the Krill, although that would make a great present?)
  • Where's the headscratcher part?

     Does the Union have any Xenobiologists? 
Is no-one doing any research on several of the core species that make up the Union? There are a half-dozen surprises regarding Moclan physiology that a Captain who has one as his second officer should already know about, and they follow up by having Alara, one of the few Xelayan officers, get caught by a surprise gravity weakening issue, which is something humans already know about in our short period of space exploration. And good lord, Darulio! How is the incredibly ethically dubious rape pheromone not something the Union already know about? Why are any of these things a surprise?
  • Is there any indication that Darulio's species is even a Union member?

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