If you are a devotee of time travel...

Sunday, June 5, 2022

The Orville 3.1: Life and Death

Well, I said in my review of the fifth episode of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds that its attempts at humor paled in comparison to the funny stuff in The Orville.  I watched the debut episode of the long awaited third season of The Orville last night, and although there was a funny line here and there, there wasn't much occasion to laugh in this episode which was as profound and philosophically probing as any episode I've ever seen in any Star Trek series.

[Spoilers ahead ... ]

The story picks up in the aftermath of the battle with the Kaylons that lit up the last part of the second season.  Although Isaac the robot came through for The Orville in the end, he facilitated the attack in the first place, and was responsible for a lot human deaths.  Most of the crew hates him, including Dr. Finn's older son Marcus and an ensign we haven't seen before, Charly (well played by Anne Winters).   Even Captain Mercer has his concerns about reinstating Isaac, only Finn's younger son Ty still likes him, and eventually Marcus tells Isaac he'd like to see him dead.  Isaac soon implements this suggestion, and commits robotic hara kiri.

This raised a whole series of important questions:  Can someone or something which was never biologically alive commit suicide?  But maybe Isaac was alive, which raises the question of what does it mean to be alive?  Does life have to be biological?  Such questions, of course, have long been addressed in Star Trek via Data (The Orville is most based on Star Trek: TNG).  Every time Data's existence was in danger, the crew and we the viewers felt the cold grip of that possible loss, and it was very deep.  Maybe life is at least in part in the eye of the beholder.

And speaking of life and death, it was good and sad to hear the late Norm Macdonald's voice again as Yaphit, the intelligent slime who was one of the funniest best characters in The Orville.  The episode noted his loss at the very beginning, and that set the tone for a lot of what came after.

In case you haven't seen this episode but you nonetheless have read this far, I won't tell you whether The Orville's people are able to bring Isaac back to "life".  I will tell you this was one excellent episode, and I'll be here with reviews of every episode on Hulu every week.

See also The Orville 2.1: Relief and Romance ... The Orville 2.2: Porn Addiction and Planetary Disintegration ... The Orville 2.3: Alara ... The Orville 2.4: Billy Joel ... The Orville 2.5: Escape at Regor 2 ... The Orville 2.6: "Singin' in the Rain" ... The Orville 2.7: Love and Death ...  The Orville 2.8: Recalling Čapek, Part 1  ... The Orville 2.9: Recalling Čapek, Part 2 ... The Orville: 2.10: Exploding Blood ... The Orville 2.11: Time Capsule, Space Station, and Harmony ... The Orville 2.12: Hello Dolly! ... The Orville 2.13: Time Travel! ... The Orville Season 2 Finale: Alternate History!

And see also The Orville 1.1-1.5: Star Trek's Back ... The Orville 1.6-9: Masterful ... The Orville 1.10: Bring in the Clowns ... The Orville 1.11: Eating Yaphit ... The Orville 1.12: Faith in Reason and the Prime Directive

watch The Chronology Protection Case FREE on Amazon Prime

No comments: