The Orville: Cupid's Dagger
November 10, 2017 9:59 AM - Season 1, Episode 9 - Subscribe

A tense mediation hosted on the Orville gets even more precarious when a key Union scientist turns out to be the blue alien Ed caught in bed with Kelly.
posted by Small Dollar (14 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Things I liked: 1) they absolutely did not go in the male-gazey direction (with the possible exception of the Good Doctor's dress) that so many other shows would have gone; 2) after so many episodes of TNG where the crew attentively listens to a string quartet in Ten Forward, to see karaoke was a true joy.

Things I just noticed now: they were notified by Admiral Halsey. How did I not notice that was Victor Garber's character's name before???
posted by Mogur at 10:16 AM on November 10, 2017 [3 favorites]

Yeah, I think we're reaching a point where we have to admit that this show doesn't suck and is actually kind of good. So far I think it's better than Enterprise was at this point. This seemed like a pretty obvious riff on The Naked Now, but better. (Of course, first season TNG is a pretty low bar.) All the goofy stuff with karaoke and the way the relationships were handled, it actually struck me as being like a middling episode of DS9 more than TNG. (The reference to Finn "going for a swim" was a straight rip from DS9.) The alien makeup was really well-done. Same-sex stuff was treated without any homo-panic. And how about Rob Lowe as the creepy alien guy? (Macfarlane must have a very impressive rolodex.)

I would've liked some closing scene between Finn and the Norm Macdonald goo guy. What the hell did they say to each other, after that?
posted by Ursula Hitler at 9:19 PM on November 10, 2017 [1 favorite]

Elaan of Troiyus - esque.

Good casting with Rob Lowe as the alien guy.

I expect our two leads are going to get back together...
posted by wittgenstein at 7:39 AM on November 11, 2017 [1 favorite]

They're owing Bortus singing Celine Dion and Malloy some RnB-style tune.
posted by lmfsilva at 9:02 AM on November 11, 2017

Really uncomfortable and upset with many of the scenes in this episode after clear and repeated instances of 'no' from Finn to Yaphit's constant advances. In fact the whole 'here's a drug that will make you have sex with someone' is just ... perhaps The Orville isn't the show for dealing with this topic?
posted by ewan at 12:01 PM on November 11, 2017 [1 favorite]

I think this show has found its stride. I'm still weirded out by the mix of humor and Star Trek seriousness but they are finding their way to it and it's good. I also have to grudgingly accept that Macfarlane is acting much better now, as much as I still want to punch that face. Particularly that face when he's making goo-goo eyes because of the Love Drug. Honestly he acted all that lovely dovey stuff remarkably well. Rob Lowe was a great foil for him.

They really are taking the "aliens are humans with bony forehead prostheses" thing pretty far, aren't they?
posted by Nelson at 4:18 PM on November 11, 2017 [1 favorite]

Mercer looking increasingly more smitten with Darulio was the best acting MacFarlane did on the show so far.
posted by lmfsilva at 5:31 AM on November 12, 2017 [5 favorites]

> In fact the whole 'here's a drug that will make you have sex with someone' is just

It makes you fall in love, which addresses more the reasonable unease people have with their feelings, even their must revered and profound feelings, being the result of a chemical soup in their heads which can be manipulated against their initial will. It's difficult to really engage the fact that your very personality comes from the drugs your brain prescribes for itself.

Also, I understand it's a new can of worms, but this episode was pretty conspicuously avoiding any discussion of the idea that Grayson was under the influence of love-sweat when she cheated on Mercer. I thought his apology scene at the end was going to go there, but I don't recall it doing so.
posted by Sunburnt at 12:03 PM on November 12, 2017 [1 favorite]

Sunburnt: At the end Kelly asks Darulio if he was in heat when they first met. He responds "maybe". However, before the pheromone was discovered, Kelly discussed the affair with Alara. In that conversation she comments on how different things feel this time around. My takeaway was that no, she wasn't under any kind of external influence beyond relationship stress the first time but Darulio gave her (and Ed) an 'out' if they wanted it. Darulio really does seem like a pretty decent guy, all things considered.
posted by Grimgrin at 1:56 PM on November 12, 2017 [4 favorites]

Except that he’s not telling people his pheromones are making them fall in love with him! Even with his change of heart, that’s just crazy irresponsible.
posted by corb at 11:31 PM on November 12, 2017 [2 favorites]

Well sure it's irresponsible and self-serving. As long as you're engaging big issues, are you ready to deal with "well that's his culture?"
posted by Sunburnt at 8:44 AM on November 13, 2017

This was a pretty fun episode, and I really appreciate the absence of gay panic.

I loved it when Ed was questioning what "box" even meant, and why do we have to call it anything, and Gordon said "I think it's better if we... have words." Great delivery.

I felt bad for Penny Johnson Jerald. Ick.

Halston Sage does a great job of being present and invested in a scene even when she's not talking. I've noticed this in pretty much every episode. She reminds me a bit of Donna Lynne Champlin from Crazy Ex-Girlfriend in that regard. It seems like an obvious skill for an actor to have, but a lot of people just don't seem to have it.

They're either setting up Bortus to sing at some point (he mentioned he sings in a previous episode) or they're setting up a running gag where he gets cut off just before he sings every time. I hope it's the former. Bortus is awesome.
posted by under_petticoat_rule at 11:46 AM on November 23, 2017 [3 favorites]

... this episode was pretty conspicuously avoiding any discussion of the idea that Grayson was under the influence of love-sweat when she cheated on Mercer. I thought his apology scene at the end was going to go there, but I don't recall it doing so.

KELLY: Listen, I Can we just not talk about it? Ever?
ED: You know, I was gonna ask you the same thing, but I was afraid I'd sound like a dick.
KELLY: You don't.
ED: Well, even so I'm sorry.
KELLY: Well, we have a more immediate problem anyway. What happens when the pheromone wears off? ...

And later
KELLY: Darulio, wait. A year ago, when we met were you in heat then?

(Cleaned up from this rough transcript)

So Ed apologized briefly and broadly, and Darulio said that maybe Kelly was under the influence of his pheromones a year ago.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:24 AM on December 5, 2017

Annnd... the moral is that it's just ok and fine to secretly use bio weapons to control the other (if the good guys do it for "good(tm)" -- in this case warring aliens)

I have seen just a few episodes and agree that this episodes is fine tuned more than the first clunky tries but something about this show throws me totally into "hate watch" mode from the opening theme.
posted by sammyo at 8:47 AM on March 26, 2018

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