Completing my catch-up with The Orville, the immensely enjoyable take-off on Star Trek, I watched episodes 1.6-9 last night. They each were superb.
- 1.6 is a classic undercover story, that was done so well on Star Trek: TOS. The worst enemy (so far) in The Orville universe are the Krill, who don't look like Klingons but resemble them in penchant for aggression. Interestingly, Bortus and the Moclans look more like the Klingons, and have some of their ferocity, but are more like the Worf-kind of Klingon on the bridge of Star Trek: TNG. But neither are the Krill like the Romulans, who in effect are evil Vulcans not evil Klingons. In any case, 1.6 was a great hour, and even had some tenderness with the Krill teacher, who also provided a great parting punch with her remark that the children Mercer saved will grow up to hate humans.
- 1.7 with its Like and Dislike buttons and their life-and-death impact is a little masterpiece in itself, and could have been a episode of Black Mirror, or even a satirical movie about life on Earth in 2017. The Orville is doing a great job of reprising, updating, and injecting with humor the full range of Star Trek tropes, ranging from immersion in 20th (now 21st) human cultures to undercover missions on enemy worlds.
- 1.8 also delivers on another Star Trek staple, giving major characters their own episodes. We saw this with Bortus in 1.3, and with the doctor and her boys in 1.8, as well as Isaac (LaMarr had the limelight in 1.7). We also get a good post-civilization reduced to barbarity in 1.8, an always-necessary warning about our own world.
- But 1.9 was the most important of the foursome I saw last night. The revelation that Kelly slept with Darulio because she was under the influence of his pheromones is a game-changer for The Orville, because it tells Ed (who was also under that influence in this episode) that Kelly's dalliance with Darulio was beyond her control. Since I think Ed and Kelly are a great couple, I was glad to see that. It was also good to see poor trodden-upon Yaphit finally get some with the doctor, for the same pheromonic reasons.
See also The Orville 1.1-1.5: Star Trek's Back ... The Orville 1.10: Bring in the Clowns