The Orville - 3.05: A Tale of Two Topas

ctg

weaver of the unseen
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Tensions rise when Kelly helps Topa prepare for the Union Point entrance exam

This one is the longest episode so far, with 76 minutes of playtime.
 
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When I saw the trailer for this episode, I thought it was going to be one of those exoarchelogy missions that I've been wanting to see for a long while. No lucky. We only get to see the pyramid and its contents for a brief time in the beginning.

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There is also that odd bird in the picture. Four wings and a no feathers. Almost a homage to Avatar's flying reptiles. The thing that surprised me more was the fact that they were looking for a treasure. Not exoarchelogical findings that could explain things, like that monster ship in the Krill space.

The captain also explained that he was writing memories to the starchild, just in case one day they'll meet again. Thing is, a big find would put daddy's name on interstellar news and probably cause a bit of pressure on the Krill dictator ... if the relationship had seen the daylight. Now, it's gone, probably for good.

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Topa, the Captain ain't Kirk, the captain, even if they share the same ideas on proving themselves in the simulator. I also did find it strange that Orville's holodeck can stimulate real physical damage. Why?

I get that the boy wants to prove himself, as he probably sees the life in space as the ultimate adventure, the life even though he has not even lived the life and faced all the choices. At his age, I remember that I was going to be an architect. That didn't happen, just like W Crushed didn't end being part of the Federation personel.

What I liked was the fact that Kelly showed from the beginning that the Union is about union of species, not just about the rules and protocols. And thus, she started moving the boy towards all the options, as it should be. If he then chooses the life aboard the spaceship, after experiencing all of it, then it's all good. It was what he was meant to do.

I was also glad that Kelly chose to explain her motivations on choosing the fleet duty, as she always felt most comfortable in being in a commanding position. Toby explained his needs as a feeling towards being a "bookmark, or someone incomplete. A place holder."

Why Kelly took it to captain's meeting? So strange. Ultimately, she reasoned that it was about the boy clashing with the sex issue and captain suggested: "How about talking to Bortus about it?"

Yeah, that's their issue, as Kelly explained, "...there are so species on board that there's going to be culture clashes." When she brought it up to the daddies, they said, "The time isn't right," but they'd talked about it "several times," almost as if it'd been a topic far too many times and the problem was overwhelming them.

The argument afterwards were fair and pointy, with the important message being, "Life of unhappiness is better than despair."

In the aftermath, Kelly could not tell the real reason why Topa couldn't continue training with her, even though Topa was feeling the connection between the two. It's interesting how he was seeing her as a role model, more than his daddies. Maybe it's because Kelly, the outsider, is providing the answers, when he needs them, except the one.

Is that because the boy is seeing the lustre in the leadership, or is it because he is feeling that female connection, and not really being the boy in the boy's body?

What I didn't like was that boy's next port of call was Isaac, and the question about the death? It is almost as he was screaming of unhappiness and wanting to do the stupid thing. He explained it even as a curiosity.

"Second mouse gets the cheese," - T Pratchett. That's what I'd tell the boy and not explain it.

Isaac, however, took it back to Kelly. And Kelly were forced to do the "... if there is anything you want to talk about..." routine, which I personally hate, as it has been forced on me a couple of times. It is the last job anyone should do, especially with a potential self harming victim.

What she did next is something I feel not so sure about as it was a hack, showing the boy the recipe to a special cake. And thus the boy presented the question, "was I born female?" to the daddies.

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Oh boy, that face is talking about the ef up of the lifetime. Klayden explained the situation as "uninthinkable," that the boy turned to "aboration." But at least Bortus showed being the better daddy for loving Topa for whatever he/she is.

Klyden took the problem back to the commander. To be honest, I felt that she'd let out a toad and were unable to call it, and instead of accepting she reared her high horse and stayed in her corner, while Klyden raged to her face.

I loved that it ended with a brawl. Why? Well, it was the highlight of the conflict, the peak moment, and it could not have gone in any other way. Especially when Kelly suggested it at the beginning of their argument.

It wasn't a surprise that Bortus was the next to appear in Kelly's office. After all the trouble was her own brewing. So the whole command crew got involved into the family drama. Then again, when you're living in starship, you're all part of one big family and all the drama is your drama.

The interesting bit was when Kelly decided to show the courtcase that decided the fate of the boy's sex. At least, that was the right thing to do and even though Klyden loudly objected, the child had made her mind, after all his, er, her findings.

The surprise was the issue became an Union political issue, with the Moclan's forcing the Union's hand. Bigger surprise was Isaac's emissary position being used a story device to perform the sex alteration, almost as if it was framed as a deus ex. Rather than extending this already very long episode.

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Beautiful Topa. As a result, the admiral parked her vessel next to the Orville, and gave a rightful bollocking to the Captain and the Commander. :giggle:

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I felt this episode was a bit too long. It was an important one as it allowed Seth to talk about the cultural issue, but in the editors shoes I might had cut and rewritten some scenes to be shorter.
 
I felt this episode was a bit too long.
I didn't think it was too long, I just find yet another extremely politically allegorical episode, one too much. One moral maze, socio-political episode, once in a while is okay, but I wouldn't be keen on any more this season.

Anyway, so in the future, we still loot archaeological sites for "fun"? I'm assuming that the containers "offloading artifacts" meant that they were being removed from their homeworld?

They've given us a new "Q" already this season, now they want to give us a new "Wesley Crusher" too??

They've also got that guy from Police Academy (Larvell Jones) down in Engineering now???

After that, it kind of escalated quickly and suddenly....

However, the most unbelievable thing - Claire and Issac back together as an item????
 
Heavy. The Orville dramedy pendulum may have swung too far toward the drama side in the last two episodes. I hope it moves back to the middle.
Question: How long will the late Norm MacDonald keep getting lines? ;)
 
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Heavy. The Orville dramedy pendulum may have swung too far toward the drama side in the last two episodes. I hope it moves back to the middle.
Me too, but there's also the fact that they're now in the middle of multiple conflicts and Seth had whole lockdown time to write and rewrite serious stories. Maybe we'll get back to middle in the next season.

How long will the late Norm MacDonald keep getting lines?
I had to google him. Sorry for my ignorance. Don't know is the answer.
 
How long will the late Norm MacDonald keep getting lines? ;)
I had to google him. Sorry for my ignorance. Don't know is the answer.
Me too/neither! Yaphit doesn't say very much though (and does he even have a real voice-box?) I did think that that naked alien had a valid point because Yaphit isn't forced to wear any clothes at all. Also, wearing some trousers on his religion's Holy day isn't a compromise. A compromise would be giving him the day off, and letting him be naked in his crew quarters.
 
Also, wearing some trousers on his religion's Holy day isn't a compromise. A compromise would be giving him the day off, and letting him be naked in his crew quarters.
Well said, and also it's kind of strange, since they're all one big family that we almost always see them on their best. Clean suits, shaved, no bags under eyes, no stress lines, or thin smiles trying to hide the pain. For a geezer doing his cultural stuff, Kelly most certainly went overboard, and then it got even bigger when she got into the transformation mess.

Das Boot is a perfect example about how people look after a long voyage inside a tin can. It still happens these days, but before they pull in at a port, they'll get better since it's the inspection time. Out there, nobody really complains if you're showing a crack or cleavage.

The only thing that really matters is the health and safety reason, because fire is still a thing, and it's equally dangerous in the spaceship as it's in the submarine. So looking sleek is only for the cameras.
 

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