Spoilers THE ORVILLE S1, E12: "MAD IDOLATRY" - SEASON FINALE

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Serveaux, Dec 7, 2017.

?

Rate the episode:

  1. ***** Excellent

    26 vote(s)
    36.1%
  2. ****

    27 vote(s)
    37.5%
  3. ***

    13 vote(s)
    18.1%
  4. **

    6 vote(s)
    8.3%
  5. * Fear the banana

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. Serveaux

    Serveaux Boomer American Premium Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2013
    Location:
    Go die on that hill.
    Yeah, what Conscientious Consumer said.

    The show wasn't that great, but still a fairer treatment of religion than that TNG episode.

    There IS NO PRIME DIRECTIVE. The Fleet has policies and regulations about contact with other civilizations, from all appearances based on tech levels, and as demonstrated on the show and explicitly stated by MacFarlane these are applied and sometimes waived on a case-by-case basis.
     
  2. Danlav05

    Danlav05 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2006
    Location:
    Rutland UK
    Did they make Episode 13 (now presumably s2e1) or not?
     
  3. Serveaux

    Serveaux Boomer American Premium Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2013
    Location:
    Go die on that hill.
    Yeah, but they're holding it over.

    I guess to some extent this episode is kind of a corrective to "Who Watches The Watchers." In that story, Picard assumed full responsibility for what everyone agreed was huge damage done by a violation of the PD. In "Mad Idolatry," Kelly frets herself half to death over having done a decent thing in the moment, only to eventually be told "Don't condescend; you're not that big a deal. If not you, someone or something else, because we just did what people do."

    There's a lot of that kind of message running throughout the episodes this year, and i like it.
     
    Shaka Zulu and Bgt like this.
  4. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2012
    Location:
    JirinPanthosa
    Kind of clever to remix Who Watches The Watchers and Blink of an Eye.

    Orville is like a Star Trek DJ set. Like a DJ might find a way to splice a Metallica song with a Kelly Clarkson song and add a drum beat, Orville does that with Star Trek episodes.

    Interesting how every time a spaceship comes upon a civilization where time moves a thousand times faster, they just happen to arrive in the exact few days where mankind industrializes.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2017
  5. Star Wolf

    Star Wolf Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2003
    Location:
    ciudad de Los Angeles
    I did like that they hammered home the point that Chief was the honorary title for the engineering officer, much like Number One, and not a rank. I can't remember any enlisted versus rank structure spelled out.
     
  6. Romulan_spy

    Romulan_spy Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2000
    Location:
    Terre Haute, IN. USA
    I think the episode treated religion somewhat better than TNG did. In this episode, we at least get an acknowledgment that religion played an important role in the culture's social evolution towards scientific enlightenment. And the people actually embrace their religious heritage and are not ashamed of it. On the other side, the only portrayal of religion that we get is rather negative. We see a culture in a Dark Age where heretics are killed and a glimpse of a 21st century society with the stereotypical megachurch preacher. So the final message of this episode seems to be that religion is a wacky but intermediary step in a culture's development towards true scientific reason and progress.

    Also as a religious person, I am a bit irked that shows tend to use the European Middle Ages as an example of religion, complete with ignorant peasants who think technology is evil magic and corrupt religious leaders killing "heretics". It is very trope-y and stereotypical. Stargate SG1 did this too. And yes, that is a part of human history and religion can be like that, but it is not the only form of religion. There are positive aspects to religion like people who do religious charity work to feed the hungry or people who use spiritual meditation to find inner peace. The other cliche being the cheesy megachurch TV evangelist. This episode sadly used both.

    Also, I don't think there was any need for Kelly to go back to the planet. The planet would have followed the same evolution either way. Just look at Europe. After the Dark Ages, it experienced the Protestant Reformation, followed by the Enlightenment Period and then embraced scientific progress. Religion still exists in Europe today but it is much different than it was during the Middle Ages. I think the same would have happened on the planet if Kelly had just left them alone. The planet would have progressed past the Dark Ages, through the Modern times, and eventually getting the highly advanced civilization we see at the end.

    When I saw the planet at the end, all covered in greenish technologically advanced cities, I immediately thought of the Borg. I think the episode missed a great chance to create the Borg of The Orville universe. Plus, it would have made perfect sense since Isaac is an advanced humanoid who thinks he is superior to everyone else, that he would have caused the society to become like him. And maybe they don't become cyborgs, but actually upload their minds into AI robots that look like Issac? But what a great origin story that would be! Our heroes, trying to fix their mistake of cultural contamination, send their AI robot to help the culture, only to have it turn into a race of cyborgs or robots who think they are superior to everyone else and must assimilate the universe! Also, it would have made a great cliffhanger for season 1 and would have introduced a new scary villain for season 2.
     
    137th Gebirg likes this.
  7. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2012
    Location:
    JirinPanthosa
    My favorite thing about this episode was the way the church continued to use faith to control power even after seeing physical proof to the contrary. That's a relevant and possibly controversial statement.
     
    137th Gebirg and Bgt like this.
  8. Serveaux

    Serveaux Boomer American Premium Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2013
    Location:
    Go die on that hill.
    I had the same thought. A little too dark for them, I suspect.

    "Mad Idolatry" might as well be a swipe at that other show's bizarre and continual fixation on their Prime Directive.:lol:
     
  9. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2012
    Location:
    JirinPanthosa
    II look forward to the next arrival of Lt Jesus.

    Of course we'd probably kill Isaac and secretly use his advanced technology to make billions, Matter of Time style.
     
  10. Jayson1

    Jayson1 Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2017
    I liked it but it does make me wonder what kind of religions existed before Kelly showed up and what other religions are on the planet besides the one founded by Kelly. Also I have my doubts that Kelly helping one little girl on a huge planet could alter the entire planet's population. I mean why would anyone even believe a little kid and not just dismiss it or even see it's as a insult to whatever current religion they had? Still the joke with the ball with a knife that pops out was a very funny joke. Also liked Ed getting caught mocking the Admiral though it was kind of out of place in that moment. I also thought Issac would return and be kind of altered. Maybe a more human personality or a update on his look.

    Jason
     
    Skipper and Ghel like this.
  11. Ghel

    Ghel Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2005
    I appreciated this episode especially from the perspective of a counter-argument for "Who Watches the Watchers" as well. As I was initially watching, I was inwardly groaning that the episode was going to simply be a retelling of that story, only to be pleasantly surprised by the twist. I loved the fact that: A. the people of the planet assert that had they not used Kelly as their focus of worship, it would have just been someone or something else, B. The crew can't simply "fix" a religion that is deeply ingrained over a 700 year period by telling one priest that Kelly is a person and C. That at the end of the day, even having a robot arrive on the planet made only a temporary splash before the day-to-day of life took back over and he was little more than a novelty. Even a super advanced android ultimately isn't enough to affect an entire planetary culture.
    While I also agree with Romulan_Spy that the religious aspects of the society could have been handled more even-handedly, I also get that there was only an hour, and Kelly probably woudn't feel nearly as guilty if she were walking down the Holy Kelly Hospital for sick kids or the Commander Kelly homeless shelter :) Also, for me, the murder of the priest who wanted to tell the world about Kelly was as much about people's lust for political power in spite of religion as it was about violence because of it. I also did appreciate that the highest-ranking priest with the most to lose was the one who was most willing to tell the truth to the world.
     
  12. Serveaux

    Serveaux Boomer American Premium Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2013
    Location:
    Go die on that hill.
    The lethal load of implausibilty early in the show - and I'm always willing to grant The Orville a lot of leeway here, believe me - was too much for me to really enjoy it.

    It did become a good deal more enjoyable later in, and I'm liking it better the more I think about it. Maybe it'll improve on rewatch.
     
  13. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2001
    Location:
    The Wormhole
    Yeah, this one really didn't do it for me. It was so predictable to the point of being telegraphed. As soon as the spatial anomaly was established and Kelly used the dermal regenerator (yes, I'm using the Star Trek term, deal with it) to heal the child's wound, it all fell into place that each time the planet "phased" we would see jumps ahead in the timeline and a religion form around Kelly. And while I generally agree with the message of the episode, and its attitude towards religion, the truth is there is nothing covered here that MacFarlane hasn't already harped on a dozen times or more on Family Guy. And don't even get me started on the subplot regarding Ed and Kelly possibly rekindling their romance. I pointed out in another thread, that this idea was already toyed with when they were being kept in the alien zoo, and after a day or so living together again, they quickly got on each other's nerves, so I'm not really sure what there rekindle. They bring up the fact that Kelly was likely under Darulio's influence when she first slept with him, but again, it's a non-issue since the marriage between her and Ed was already deteriorating and they would likely have been divorced by now anyway even if Darulio never showed up.

    Also, didn't MacFarlane say there is no Prime Directive on this show? Because it sure seemed like they were supposed to be following it, even to the point that it is more acceptable to let children die because saving their life will contaminate their culture. And okay, it did, but still to suddenly pull out the Prime Directive now after telling us there isn't one seems rather odd, to say the least.

    Thankfully the show did have some nice jokes and character moments, mostly clustered around the beginning. I liked John scoring, and Bortus's game. Likewise, it was nice to see a friendlier scene between Bortus and Klyden. The best, though was when Ed began making fun of the Admiral, who hadn't yet disconnected the transmission. That had me laughing a lot more than it probably should have.
     
    shivkala and Nakita Akita like this.
  14. Serveaux

    Serveaux Boomer American Premium Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2013
    Location:
    Go die on that hill.
    They treat non-interference as a regulation like other regulations.

    Bluntly, "to the point of letting a child die" is not likely to be a "get out of jail free" card to bureaucrats at the top. OTOH, Kelly certainly didn't give a second thought to the rule, in the moment.

    Picard would have freaked the fuck out if Riker had done this.
     
  15. Bgt

    Bgt Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2003
    Location:
    Greece
    I think it was a good episode.
    Overall a good first season. Only a couple of episodes I didn't enjoy.. the "Krill" one and the Rob Low one.
    I hope the 2nd will have more episodes (do we know ?).
     
    Shaka Zulu likes this.
  16. Kevman7987

    Kevman7987 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    May 20, 2013
    Location:
    Erie, PA, USA
    Riker's done things similar to this and many other things that Picard just rolled his eyes and fixed.
     
    Shaka Zulu likes this.
  17. ITL

    ITL Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2004
    Location:
    Palace Of The Brine
    Nice to see Perd Hapley reporting from the field which is what he was doing as a reporter in the field.
     
    shivkala and Locutus of Bored like this.
  18. ChasFink

    ChasFink Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2017
    Location:
    ChasFink
    I thought it was a good solid story, but poorly executed. The main plot seemed much more superficial than it should have been. They could have trimmed down the Ed 'n' Kelly scenes (very unrelated to the main action) and Ed's time with Bortus and Klyden (great as it was) to fill out the main story better. Specificaly:
    • We need an explanation of why, after a brief meeting with a handful of people in a bronze age society, the image of Kelly is so accurate and universal 700 years later that she is instantly recognized as the one true Kelly and not an impostor. After all, I wouldn't recognize Jesus if he walked down my street. I can think of at least three ways this could have been done.
    • Why didn't Kelly go down with Isaac to introduce him as her representative? He must have had to fight against a lot of skepticism without this.
    • The scene with the natives when Isaac returned seemed very rushed. A few more lines like "many other religions came and went, some committing horrors worse than the ones in your name" would have made the planet seem more real and complex, and would have gone a long way towards making Kelly's change of attitude more believable.
     
    shivkala likes this.
  19. Star Wolf

    Star Wolf Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2003
    Location:
    ciudad de Los Angeles
    They were showing scenes or religious terrorism and the fight over religion in the public schools when the plan to leave Issac around was thought up. No way in that environment does god or a prophet drop down to introduce his messenger without facing the same fate that the medieval bishop did.
     
  20. Mr Awe

    Mr Awe Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2002
    I thought this was a nice episode. I didn't think I'd like the Kelly/Ed stuff, but it was very nicely done. I hope they don't keep it a running thing though. The downside, though, was that it was obviously not going to work out. But, their interactions more than made up for that. They handled the situation like adults, which is rare on TV.

    I liked the stuff with the weird planet. Again, the resolution was fairly obvious. It was clear that the planet needed some mythology so if it wasn't Kelly, it would've been something else. And, it really was poor judgement for Kelly to get closer to the village. She's completely unfamiliar with the terrain while that's their home turf. Despite those drawbacks, I still enjoyed it.

    Humor was incorporated nicely and good character moments. It reminded me of a TOS/TNG mix. The parts on the planet were TOS like while the preachiness was TNG. Fortunately, the preachiness didn't dominate the episode. Instead, the dominant part was Kelly's understandable concern that people were being killed in her name.

    It's going to be a long wait until season 2!
     
    Shaka Zulu likes this.