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Bill Mimbu
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Posted: 13 April 2019 at 3:01pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply

A lot of Trek alumni in this episode.

With Tony Todd as the Moclan ambassador addressing the Union assembly from the podium... One of camera shots reminded me a lot of his speech as Admiral Ramirez to the Federation in "Prelude to Axanar".
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Rick Whiting
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Posted: 13 April 2019 at 5:50pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

Another good and thought provoking episode. One question this episode raises is whether or not most female Moclans are attracted to either male Moclans or female Moclans (or both)? Also, is it possible that the Moclans (regardless of their gender) are all hermaphrodites?

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John Byrne
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Posted: 13 April 2019 at 6:54pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply

They seem to be drifting towards establishing that the all-male Moclan society was a CHOICE, made at some distant point in their past.
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Richard Stevens
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Posted: 13 April 2019 at 9:41pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply

That was a real good one. I caught myself wondering where the heck it was going to go after the first act... and it went somewhere really interesting.

Great to see Marina Sirtis.
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Michael Roberts
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Posted: 13 April 2019 at 11:41pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply

Also, is it possible that the Moclans (regardless of their gender) are all hermaphrodites?

-----

The biological definition of a female is the sex that produces ova. So technically, Bortus should be considered a female, regardless of his other characteristics, because he can lay an egg. If he can also produce sperm, then he's a hermaphrodite.

Also, female Moclans have breasts, which implies they are similar to Earth mammals and had/have the ability to nurse their young. I'd not be surprised if they revealed that the egg-laying Males are actually "corrected" females or that the egg-laying was something that was genetically engineered in their males.

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Michael Roberts
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Posted: 13 April 2019 at 11:46pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply

I was slightly disappointed at the first act that this was going to be another "Moclans suck" episode, but the rest of the episode was so good that I quickly forgave it. Still, fewer Moclan-centric episodes next season please.

One subtle moment that I really liked: Ed had to look to see who sang "9 to 5" instead of having an encyclopedic knowledge of the 20th Century.
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John Harrison
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Posted: 14 April 2019 at 12:12am | IP Logged | 7 post reply

My parents were quite the fan of country music I grew up with Dolly even went to Dollywood as a child.  Thought it was rather unique way to include her music.  

"She speaks the might of a hundred soldiers!"

I hope Dolly saw the episode I think she would get a kick out of being the voice of the revolution.

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Doug Centers
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Posted: 14 April 2019 at 7:43am | IP Logged | 8 post reply

"I was slightly disappointed at the first act that this was going to be another "Moclans suck" episode, but the rest of the episode was so good that I quickly forgave it"

...

Those were my feelings also Michael!

Also, I started to draw comparisons between Moclan/Planetary Union and the U.S./Saudi relationship.
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Eric Sofer
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Posted: 14 April 2019 at 9:51am | IP Logged | 9 post reply

I saw the Moclan situation as something of a China/Taiwan situation... complete with an uneasy compromise as the status quo.

"Compulsory surgery" - the phrase sends shudders through me. Forced, unnecessary surgery makes me think of one specific dictatorship.

I liked Marina Sirtis, but I thought she kinda got short shrift in the credits. Not an "and" or a "with"... not even a single credit of her own.

I thought that "9 to 5" was a fantastic choice for the defiant theme of the female Moclans. Once we get past the amusement factor... it fits.

IMO, an underground railroad has a lot of stops. Once the female Moclans learn of Sanctuary, I suspect the emigration will continue again. That's probably right. This show was obviously written to touch on human rights violations (reference China and girl babies again), and I do not suspect that it will be a major theme or topic again... but a little update in future episodes will be nice.

This show is still the highlight of my week.* I'm sorry its season is so short, but better a short season than none.

*Well, yes, right now, my week is kinda limited. But you know what I mean...
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 14 April 2019 at 2:54pm | IP Logged | 10 post reply

This show is still the highlight of my week.* I'm sorry its season is so short, but better a short season than none.
++++++++++++

Yep. Highlight of my week, too.


Unlike the last few years of orthodox TREK (VOYAGER and ENTERPRISE), sitting down to watch each new ORVILLE episode fills me with a giddy, "anything could happen" sense of excitement and anticipation.


Still no word on a third-season renewal, though?
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Brian Floyd
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Posted: 14 April 2019 at 11:23pm | IP Logged | 11 post reply

I liked Bortus going off on Klyden and calling him out on some of his crap.

Lets face it: Klyden is a straight up asshole, and he whines too frickin' much. 

And I agree with Eric about it being a China/Taiwan situation.


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Brandon Frye
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Posted: 15 April 2019 at 12:38pm | IP Logged | 12 post reply


 QUOTE:
They seem to be drifting towards establishing that the all-male Moclan society was a CHOICE, made at some distant point in their past.

That is the only explanation that makes any sense to me. 

Biologically speaking, an all-male species would have no need for females if they are capable of reproducing on their own.  

We also know that some Moclan's are attracted to females, which would also suggest they were a male/female species at some point. 

  
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Rick Senger
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Posted: 15 April 2019 at 2:09pm | IP Logged | 13 post reply

I'm not saying THE ORVILLE won't be renewed, but every single episode in the second season has been lower rated than the first and the overall ratings are about 38% down from last year.  Several of the most recent episodes (including the last) have been the lowest rated of the entire run and overall this show is in the bottom third of all FOX scripted shows.   The x-factor is Seth MacFarlane's clout and certainly getting the tax incentive doesn't hurt, but I have a feeling it may come down to the last two episodes ratings and right now the trend is not good.  Hope it works out because the show has been more consistent this year and quasi-scratched that Trek itch better than anything Paramount has offered up in a while.


Edited by Rick Senger on 15 April 2019 at 2:24pm
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 15 April 2019 at 3:24pm | IP Logged | 14 post reply

Even if it does get the axe from Fox, surely some streaming service or other would be more than happy to pick it up, unless certain contractual legalities exist which would prevent that.
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Shane Matlock
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Posted: 15 April 2019 at 4:11pm | IP Logged | 15 post reply

I hope with the ratings they are taking into account how many folks like myself are watching it on Hulu later. I cut the cord on cable years ago as I'm sure a lot of folks have and are likely watching it on Hulu or on Fox's own website (which has it before Hulu sometimes after the episode premieres).

With the tax incentives they are getting for this show it can't really cost much to produce and I would think Fox would want to keep Seth McFarlane happy lest he jump ship and go to Netflix like other big TV creators have. 

Also, I loved the Bortus smile in the latest episode. 
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Peter Martin
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Posted: 16 April 2019 at 7:07am | IP Logged | 16 post reply

Very good latest episode. The resolution was satisfactory without seeming forced or contrived. They got a solution, but not without things getting pretty messy first and I appreciated the tension of each character knowing that sticking to their guns was sending them down a terrifying route, but not wanting to just turn their backs on their principles.

Seth McFarlane looked wan and pale in this episode -- I hope he is all right.

Bortus is my favourite character in the show. Looking forward to him ditching Klyden!
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Vinny Valenti
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Posted: 16 April 2019 at 7:35am | IP Logged | 17 post reply

Finally caught this last night since I was away. Very strong and satisfying episode. I feel like they are focusing a bit too much on the Moclans, but when they do, they make for great episodes.

Once again I'm pleased to see a new writer hit the ground running. He's written for other Trek shows (including STD), but this is his first ORVILLE. Macfarlane has stepped back a bit on the writing this season, but the show hasn't suffered at all for it.

 JB wrote:
One thing I love about this show--especially the second season--is that they don't go for the easy out. No "Prime Directive" to allow a Picard-like shrug and a "Nothing we can do." So no guaranteed happy endings.

Plus, there's no guarantee that the decisions make by Mercer and the Union are necessarily the right ones. The left a huge loophole this time - There are still no explicit protections for females yet to be born on Moclus, only those that have already made it to the Sanctuary. I imagine the Moclans will clamp down even harder on female births, as well as allowing females to flee the planet.

I also noticed that Bortus explicitly did not tell Topa that he was born female. I'm sure that will come up in the future.

 JB wrote:
(Speaking of which, Bortus smiles!!)

There was also a wry twitch from Kelly when Mercer unofficially gave her permission to intervene that I liked.

Plus, this is the first time we saw Talla take command of the ship, and she proved once again that she's not Alara! It's unsaid, but I like to think that her distaste for Moclan culture from a previous episode fueled her aggressiveness.

Speaking of which, I see no happy ending for Bortus and Klyden in their future. I didn't even catch that Klyden didn't even bother addressing Kelly in that one scene, but I'm glad that Bortus did. Nice and subtle writing, there.
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John Byrne
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Posted: 16 April 2019 at 7:45am | IP Logged | 18 post reply

Klyden started out as a wimpy, kind of goggly-eyed "girl" to Bortus' more masculine character. Making it amusing that it was Bortus who laid the egg.

They seem to be pushing Klyden away from this characterization, tho, making him more of a strong counterpoint to Bortus, who seems himself to be becoming more and more acclimated to Union ways.

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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 16 April 2019 at 9:45am | IP Logged | 19 post reply

I also noticed that Bortus explicitly did not tell Topa that he was born female. I'm sure that will come up in the future.
+++++++

Yep. I was waiting to see if he’d drop that bomb or not. It seems likely that he brought Topa to see the baby in stasis as a way of warming him up to the eventual revelation, in addition to telling him that females should be treated respectfully.

It’s nice to see that the events of that key early episode, “About a Girl”, are having long-term ramifications throughout the entire series’ run. It’s become a throughline which has led to many interesting tangents—both on the macro and micro levels—and has impacted numerous characters, planet, and relationships.
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Vinny Valenti
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Posted: 16 April 2019 at 9:48am | IP Logged | 20 post reply

Agreed. I was a bit miffed by the ending of "About a girl" when it aired on its own, but I'm relieved to find that my issues were intentional by the writers. Bortus is still very much ticked off about Topa's sex change, as he should be.
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John Byrne
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Posted: 16 April 2019 at 12:06pm | IP Logged | 21 post reply

He's written for other Trek shows…

••

Amusing brain slip, Vinny. THE ORVILLE isn't a TREK show, even if it is currently the best one one!! ;-)

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John Byrne
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Posted: 16 April 2019 at 12:14pm | IP Logged | 22 post reply

I found myself pondering the origins of the Moclan same-sex species. Given that Bortus laid an egg, I suggest that they are more properly to be viewed as hermaphrodites, with male or female aspects being more developed from individual to individual. At some point in their past, the predominantly male Moclans decided they didn't need "females" to reproduce themselves, and so set about eliminating those who were more female than male.

Since such a (presumably) surgical approach would not get rid of recessive genes, occasionally Moclans are born who are predominantly female, and they are "corrected", but breeding between predominantly male Moclans will produce predominantly male children. Klyden having been born "female" skewed the mix for him and Bortus.

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Vinny Valenti
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Posted: 16 April 2019 at 2:22pm | IP Logged | 23 post reply

"Amusing brain slip, Vinny."

--

Oof. I think that Sirtis' and Frakes' involvement in this episode subconsciously threw me off.
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 16 April 2019 at 2:39pm | IP Logged | 24 post reply

Agreed. I was a bit miffed by the ending of "About a girl" when it aired on its own, but I'm relieved to find that my issues were intentional by the writers. Bortus is still very much ticked off about Topa's sex change, as he should be.
++++++++

The overall structure of the show has been very clever, since they’ve been doing satisfying, standalone episodes which also occasionally tie into a more expansive mythology. Seeds are planted in subtle ways, and then grow into whole episodes, later on, such as Issac’s backstory and the forced gender reassignment of Topa. 

It’s not just setup episode/sequel episode, setup episode/sequel episode. The gradual exploration of Moclan culture has taken a number of different paths which have all branched out from “About a Girl”, including the deterioration of Bortus and Klyden’s relationship, an examination of Talla’s character, the relationship between Moclus and the Union, and (most recently) the Moclan female-rights issues.
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Vinny Valenti
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Posted: 16 April 2019 at 6:55pm | IP Logged | 25 post reply

"Klyden having been born "female"

--

Geez, I completely forgot about that. Really makes him an even bigger hypocrite, doesn't it?
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