The Orville - 2.12: Sanctuary


Registered Alien
May 27, 2013
Nothing enhances the Star Trek flavor of The Orville like a visit from a former Starfleet officer.

Even with the hair style and color changes, Enterprise -D Counselor Deanna Troi was easily recognizable. I was not surprised that she had gone into teaching.

The guest appearance by Marina Sirtis was not the only pop cultural frosting on this episode. Heveena’s instant adoption of “Nine to Five” as the perfect song for her planet of female Moclans’ struggle against male oppression was funny enough, but using the song as the background for the fight with the Moclan soldiers was hilarious.

The only thing that would have made it better would have been a cameo by Dolly Parton. With such a cluster of guest stars this time, she might have snuck in there, and I didn’t notice.

I liked the look at the Planetary Union inner workings. Beyond the theme of female rights, this episode also offered a lesson in the importance of compromise.

I also liked the final scene in which Bortus is watching his now more tolerant son at play. Was that the Moclan equivalent of a smile on his face?

I just watched it this morning. The tension was great, left me wondering how they could resolve it.
I have to say, my heart fell when I discovered this was going to be yet another Moclan story - Surely that well had run dry? What more could possibly be said on this subject? However, I was surprised at the turn of events and the allegorical likenesses to current nationalistic and international politics and arms supply trade made it very poignant. On the whole, I thought it was another really good episode.

However, it was a revelation that there are equal numbers of Moclan males and females born, and quite different to what we had been informed before. I think that changes everything. The birth of a Moclan female is not some genetic anomaly and so it cannot be a mistake. The treatment of females on Moclan has no basis at all that can be defended. It has always been wrong and this was just a problem waiting to boil over.

Now the Union is clearly and very obviously not the Star Trek United Federation of Planets, because Moclan would never have been allowed to join that, but really, did no one think this would never become a problem when they were allowed to join? Or is Captain Mercer correct when he says that this is all about arms sales. I think the latter must be true and not only is that a political comment within the Union, but Seth McFarlane is clearly making a political point himself here.

The resolution, wasn't really a resolution but more of a holding pattern. Nothing has changed, and I'm surprised that given that non-decision compromise, every Moclan on the planet and in the ship above just gave up. Their misogyny is very strong and conditioned from childhood. Is that how it works in real life when people with polarised viewpoints lose political fights on ideas that they hold so strongly? I would have liked to have seen a better ending here; something more permanent, and I think it shows that the Union is a very weak organisation indeed. That isn't what we have been shown up until now.

Another thing about that fight on the planet. I only saw about half a dozen Moclan shuttles leave the ship at most. I saw no female Moclans on the planet with weapons until after the Orville shuttle landed. They had no trouble earlier rounding up the Orville crew and plenty of weapons then, so why were they not already fighting back, rather than running and waiting to be saved? Do all females just need to be saved?

Also the big joke - I actually think Dolly Parton is inspirational. She is an incredible songwriter as well as a singer, but also a shrewd businesswoman, a successful actor. She came from a poor family, her father had no formal education, and she was one of eleven siblings yet has become one of the richest women in the world. I think the joke here is on Seth McFarlane.
All great points about how interesting this episode was. I loved the Dolly Parton but and didn’t notice the ST guest star until you pointed it out. I think the Union is still a strong organization, it just has its dependencies like any organization. I wasn’t surprised by that part. But I loved the allusion to arms dealers IRL and the message of women’s rights. Great point about Moclan women not fighting back until Orville peeps showed up. I also thought compromise was a good message but the holding pattern leaves room for more plot in later episodes so that’s good. My problem was with the inconsistency. If Moclan females would all be forced to have the surgery then how would Heveena have not been forced into surgery upon her discovery during About a Girl. Shouldn’t that revelation have led to her being forced into surgery? If not all females have to have surgery, it’s just an outcast situation, then why does Heveena say the women from the colony will be forced to have it? (Don’t get me wrong. I love Orville and have seen it dozens of times.)

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