The Orville - 2.13: Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow

Dave

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"Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow" is Shakespearean. It is a speech by Macbeth, which is fitting for a series that continues to pay homage to Star Trek TNG. It is hard to find a new time travel story, and for this episode the homage was to Second Chances TNG, when a duplicate William Riker was created in a transporter accident and left behind for years.

Okay, I'm being more than a little unfair though, because this Orville episode took that idea and ran away with it. While Thomas Riker was supposedly bitter about being left behind on a planet to fend for himself and denied the opportunity to date Deanna Troi or gain promotion, here we have time travel involved (Second Chances did not) and the duplicate of Kelly is seven years younger. So, this brought a whole host of factors into play that the TNG episode could not.

Older Kelly was quite right to think younger Kelly naive, but then younger Kelly could quite rightly ask why she hadn't succeeded in any of her life goals, while still having the opportunity to do so herself if she could. It is the Cat Stevens song, Father and Son theme - " You're still young, that's your fault" and "If they were right, I'd agree, but it's them you know not me." The problems of leadership and holding a Command post would be real, if your younger self was gossiping and partying with the crew. Of course, once younger Kelly saves the Orville, she realises what a difficult and tough job older Kelly actually has.

Then you have Ed dating a younger Kelly, which is exactly the same way that many older men cast off their older wives for younger models. When Ed tells older Kelly that either she try and make their relationship work again or he’ll date her time-travelling younger self, he does cross a line I think. Eventually, he does realise that a large part of his love for Kelly is their shared experiences of growing older together, something these men forget when they divorce, and must surely regret later. I'm not sure about the disco scene though, wasn't that simply being ageist?

So, I thought it was another good episode. I was caught out at the end too. Unlike TNG who kept Thomas as a recurring rebel character, they decided to return Kelly to the past she was taken from. I was disappointed in this and that they were going to wipe her mind and make this a reset button episode, but then she declined the second date from Ed. Everything changes. Unfortunately, Ed had taken the blame for the failed marriage, while it was actually Kelly who has the affair. They never told younger Kelly that. At least this might give some closure to the Ed-Kelly on-off romantic friction, that isn't particularly interesting, or funny, and is bad for the ship itself.
 

BAYLOR

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Kelly's decision not to date Ed a second time is likely going have dire repercussions on the timeline.
 

Dave

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Kelly's decision not to date Ed a second time is likely going have dire repercussions on the timeline.
I don't think they will do that but if you are correct, huge repercussions. It would be interesting and radical if they did though. What could they then do? Would they have to mount a mission to go back to the past and force Kelly to date Ed a second time (Back to the Future??) and then also make sure that they marry and then divorce? Or maybe they just need to make sure the 'Mind Wipe' actually works properly? (And how does that thing get past medical ethics anyhow? I realise that it is a Sci-Fi staple Total Recall, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind but usually those are illegal, or back-street quacks.) But how would any of them 'know' that they were living in a "changed" timeline? And will Ed authorise such a mission given that he said he would "rather eat glass" than deal with temporal mechanics.

However, time travel in Sci-Fi is generally dealt with in a very small number of ways. In the first there is a fixed linear timeline, and when you go back in time and change something, then it immediately changes in the present. They mentioned this twice in this episode. Kelly even said that sending her back must work because nothing had changed and other Kelly was still here. But it didn't work and she was still there. Confused yet? I am!

The second way is to think of time as a continuously branching tree of possibilities. When you change something in the past, you make a new branch but your own branch remains unchanged. When younger Kelly was brought to the future, a new branch was created in which she disappeared, but in the original branch she never did, and that is the branch we are seeing. So, nothing will change and all that has happened in sending her back not to date Ed is to create an additional entirely new and separate branch.

A third way is to mix and match the first and second together whichever way suits the story (or the joke.) This is what I think they will have done here. It isn't logically consistent but then this isn't a documentary either. Which is why I don't think there won't actually be any repercussions.
 

REBerg

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When Ed tells older Kelly that either she try and make their relationship work again or he’ll date her time-travelling younger self, he does cross a line I think.
I was initially offended at what seemed to be an ultimatum from Ed. Then, I thought that he was seeking permission for a decision he had already made and knew he would regret.
. I'm not sure about the disco scene though, wasn't that simply being ageist?
Maybe, but man, Bortus and Klyden can really rock! :ROFLMAO:
The second way is to think of time as a continuously branching tree of possibilities.
The best way to think of it, if one prefers not to mentally "chew glass."

I liked this episode. Who among us has not pondered on a road not taken -- in a relationship, a location, a career path -- and imagined where those "branches" may have taken us?
 

Dave

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Who among us has not pondered on a road not taken -- in a relationship, a location, a career path -- and imagined where those "branches" may have taken us?
I'm not sure about that. I seem to be the only person in the entire world who cried at the ending of La La Land. It appeared everyone else thought it was upbeat.
 
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