Saturday, March 16, 2019

The Orville Season 2, Episode 10: Blood Of Patriots

Yeah, this review's really late. Sometimes these things happen.

This week on The Orville we finally get a Gordon-centric episode, as we learn quite a bit about the backstory of our favorite comic-relief helmsman.

Scott Grimes, aka Gordon, gets a chance to show off his acting chops in this episode, and does an amazing job in my opinion. Even better, he even gets a chance to act with his old friend Mackenzie Astin, who guest stars this week.

Blood Of Patriots is a well-written, well-acted episode all about loyalty, betrayal and revenge. Sadly it had the bad fortune to follow the epic two part Identity saga, which unfortunately made it pale somewhat in comparison. One more reason why Identity should have been the season finale!

The Krill are back this week, and it appears they're willing to make nice with the Union. I'm interested to see where this storyline's headed, as I was sure they were meant to be the show's main adversaries. 

There's some very good scenes between Gordon and Mercer this week, as the two's friendship is tested by an old acquaintance. At the end of the episode, Gordon tells Mercer, "You're my best friend. Nobody's ever gonna come along and mess it up, I swear. I mean, maybe, like, a really hot girl, but other than that, it's rock-solid."

If you've ever seen a TV show in your life, then you'll recognize that last line as a bit of ominous foreshadowing. Remember, you read it here first!

Lastly, so far there's been no official third season renewal announcement from Fox yet. Hopefully they're waiting till the end of the season to give us all the good news. They'd be crazy not to renew it, as The Orville's the best sci-fi show on TV right now, and the only thing I watch on Fox.

Let's make sure Fox gets the message that we want more of The Orville! Copy the above image and post it on Fox's Twitter and Facebook pages! And if you have the ability to stream the series, it wouldn't hurt if you re-watched a few episodes!


The Plot:
The crew gathers in the Mess Hall, as Captain Mercer presents Yaphit with the Saphire Star for his actions during the recent Battle Of Earth.

After the ceremony, Gordon orders Eldorian vodka shots for the senior staff. Mercer says he can't handle the stuff, and secretly dumps his over his shoulder as the rest of the gang knocks back their shots. Kelly notices and calls him out on it, but he's saved by an urgent call from Union Central.

Mercer and Kelly take a call from Admiral Perry, who says that the recent Kaylon conflict
 in which the Union and Krill joined forces against them has opened the door for the two sides to talk. He tells Mercer he wants him to oversee the signing of the Lak'vai pact— a prelude to an actual peace treaty with the Krill.

Mercer says he's flattered, but there must be more qualified diplomats who can handle the situation. Perry says Mercer's the only Union officer who's had personal dealings with the Krill, as he infiltrated one of their ships. And of course the whole secret Krill girlfriend thing. Mercer says he'll do his best.

The Orville rendezvous with the Krill destroyer Davoro'kos (which means "Bringer Of Blood"). As they approach, they see the larger ship firing on a Krill shuttle. Mercer wonders why they're attacking one of their own. The shuttle contacts the Orville and requests emergency docking. Mercer orders Bortus to open the Shuttle Bay, and the small ship zooms in, crashing into the far wall.

Kelly, Talla, Dr. Finn and Gordon (why him?) rush down to the Shuttle Bay. Talla rips the door off the back of the shuttle, and inside they see a badly injured human man and a skittish woman! Dr. Finn examines the unconscious man and says she needs to get him to Sickbay immediately. Unfortunately the woman's too terrified to let Claire get near her.

Gordon enters the shuttle and takes a good look at the man, and is shocked when he sees it's his old friend Orrin Channing.

On the Bridge, the Krill contact Mercer and demand he send the shuttle's occupants back to them. They claim Orrin is a criminal who used a powerful new weapon to destroy four Krill ships after the ceasefire. They want to interrogate Orrin to find out how he did it. Mercer says he's not doing anything until he gets more info, and invites the Krill delegation to talk it over on the Orville.

Mercer tells Talla to stall the Krill when they come onboard, to give him time to figure out what's going on. He talks with Gordon, who says he and Orrin were best friends from grade school through Union Point. They were both stationed at Outpost 73 when the Krill made a surprise attack. Orrin heroically saved Gordon's life, but was captured by the Krill. As if that wasn't enough, Orrin's wife was killed and his daughter went missing. Gordon says that was the last time he Orrin until now.

Orrin wakes in Sickbay, and asks about his daughter Leyna. Claire says she's resting in her quarters, but won't let her get close enough for an examination (Plot Point!). Orrin says Leyna's just skittish, and assures Claire she's healthy. She notes that Leyna doesn't speak, and asks why. Orrin says she hasn't spoken in twelve years, due to the horrors she experienced at the hands of the Krill.

Mercer and Gordon enter, and Orrin's amazed to see his old friend. Mercer says he needs answers, and tells him about the Krill accusations. Orrin says he and his daughter have been in a Krill prison for twenty years, and only recently escaped. He says he doesn't know anything about any destroyed ships.

Gordon talks privately with Mercer, asking if he's going to give Orrin back to the Krill. He vouches for him, saying Orrin was an excellent officer and a stand-up guy. Mercer says he's not handing over anyone to the Krill, but admits Orrin's presence puts him in a really tough spot.

Mercer can't put things off any longer, so he finally sits down with the Krill. The Ambassador asks when they can expect the human criminal back. Kelly says Orrin and Leyna both suffered injuries and need time to heal. The Ambassador reminds them that thousands of Krill died when the ships were destroyed, which outweighs the life of one man.

The Ambassador says there'll be no peace talks if Mercer doesn't hand over Orrin, and gives him twelve hours to decide.

Meanwhile, Gordon catches up with Orrin in his quarters, while Leyna plays Bolodon Discs. Gordon can't get over how much Leyna's grown, as she was a baby last time he saw her. Orrin says prison was hard on her, but she's tough. Gordon thanks Orrin for saving his life on Outpost 73. Orrin says he was just doing his job as a soldier, and he doesn't owe him anything.

Their conversation comes around to the Krill, and Orrin says making peace with them would be a mistake. He says a treaty would be like forgiving the Krill for all the atrocities they committed over the years— including the death of his wife. Gordon says the treaty would give his wife's death meaning, which causes Orrin to blow up at him. He immediately apologizes, says he's tired and goes off to bed.

Mercer meets with Talla and asks what she thinks of Orrin. She says she doesn't trust him, but can't explain why. She admits she thoroughly scanned his shuttle, and it didn't contain any weapons. Mercer tells her to keep an eye on Orrin all the same.

Elsewhere, Orrin wanders down to Engineering, where he's greeted by John. Orrin notes how much technology's changed in twenty years, and John tells him to feel free to look around. Orrin sneaks into a supply room and starts rooting through storage cabinets. He's startled by Talla, who comes up behind him. She asks if he's looking for something, and he says he got lost. Once he leaves, Talla reports the incident to Mercer.

Mercer contacts Admiral Perry and fills him in. Perry says it's imperative that the Krill sign the Lak'vai, as the Union needs them as allies against the Kaylon. He implies it'd be better to hand over one man to the Krill than to let millions die at their hand.

Gordon shows Leyna a movie in his quarters, hoping he can get her to open up and speak. Mercer enters and asks to talk to Gordon in private. He says if there's anything he should know about Orrin, now's the time to tell him. Gordon says Orrin's the most loyal patriot he knows, and there's no way he would have violated the ceasefire. Mercer says the Admiralty is considering extraditing Orrin, which angers Gordon. He admits that Orrin thinks the peace treaty's a bad idea, and that he's starting to agree with him.

Mercer can't believe that Gordon would say such a thing. Out of nowhere, Gordon says that Mercer's jealous of his friendship with Orrin. Mercer tells him that's the craziest thing he's ever heard, but Gordon's convinced it's true. He tells Mercer to do his job and protect a Union officer, as he storms out of the room.

Gordon goes to Orrin and tells him the Union's considering extraditing him to the Krill. He asks him point blank if he violated the ceasefire. Orrin's silent for a few seconds, then tells him they have to act quickly. He tells Gordon if he can get him a shuttle, he can stop the ceasefire from happening. Gordon says he can't do that, and Orrin guilts him by reminding him he saved his life. He tells him not to make him regret the sacrifice he made for him.

John reports to the Bridge and tells Mercer than two quantum storage cells are missing from Engineering. Talla says she caught Orrin snooping around that area. John says the cells are used to transport quantum plasma, which can be weaponized. But he checked and there's no plasma missing. As they discuss this, Gordon sits at his post, looking uneasy.

Sometime later, Gordon enters Talla's office and tells her that Orrin asked him to help steal a shuttle, but wouldn't say exactly what he was planning. She asks why he's telling her this, and he says he needed to hear himself say it out loud. He tells her not to say anything to Mercer, as he'll tell the Captain himself.

Cut to Gordon striding purposefully down a corridor. It appears he's going to the Captain, but instead he enters Orrin's quarters and says, "Let's go."

Gordon and Orrin sneak through the ship and into the Shuttle Bay. As they head toward a shuttle, Talla steps out from behind it, and tells them to turn around. Gordon stuns her with a blaster, and they get in the shuttle and take off.

Once they're gone, Talla sits up and reports to Mercer that the shuttle's underway, and Orrin fell for their plan. The whole thing was a trick to draw out Orrin! Mercer asks how she's doing, and she says Gordon could have eased up on the blaster setting, but he played his part well. Mercer says he hopes this works, as they only have thirty minutes before the Krill return.

On the shuttle, Orrin tells Gordon to set a course for the Krill ship. Once again Gordon asks about his plan, but Orrin's silent. The Orville detects the shuttle heading for the Krill vessel, but unfortunately they can't ask what Orrin's doing or he'll get spooked and abort.

Talla goes to check on Leyna, who shrinks away from her as usual. She notices Leyna has a series of needle marks on her arm, and calls Dr. Finn. Just then Leyna jumps up and holds a knife to Talla's neck, revealing she can speak as she orders her to cancel the page to Claire.

Talla uses her super strength to grab L
eyna and throw her across the room. She smashes into the wall and slumps to the floor. Just then Claire arrives and asks what's going on. She sees the groggy Leyna leaning against the wall, yellowish blood trickling from her nose.

Claire stiffens and tells Talla to step away from Leyna. She pulls Talla out of the room and tells her to lock the door immediately. Claire calls the Bridge and orders them to activate the strongest forcefield possible around Leyna's quarters, and to drain all the nitrogen from the room. Talla asks what going on, and Claire says Leyna's not Orrin's daughter.

On the Bridge, Claire explains that Leyna is an Envall, a race from a distant star system. On their homeworld their blood is harmless, but when it's exposed to a nitrogen atmosphere it becomes unstable and highly explosive. The Envall signed an agreement with the Union promising they'd stay away from planets with nitrogen-rich atmospheres. Claire tells Talla she's lucky Leyna didn't explode when she threw her over her shoulder.

Mercer realizes that Orrin's been extracting Leyna's blood (hence the needle marks on her arm) and using it as a weapon to destroy the Krill ships. John says Orrin must have filled the stolen quantum storage cells with her blood, and fired them out of the Krill shuttle's torpedo launchers. Bortus points out that Union shuttles don't have torpedo launchers (convenient!). Mercer says that means Orrin's on a suicide mission, and is planning to ram the shuttle into the Krill ship. He orders the Orville to intercept the shuttle.

Meanwhile, Gordon demands Orrin tell him his plan or he's stopping the shuttle. Orrin sighs and pulls out one of the quantum cells and shows it to Gordon, telling him it's filled with Envall blood. Gordon asks where he managed to find that. Orrin explains that his daughter Leyna was killed twenty years ago, along with his wife. He encountered the Envall woman shortly after he escaped the prison, and hatched a scheme to use her blood to get revenge on the Krill.

Gordon's furious that Orrin lied to him. He points a blaster at Orrin and contacts the Orville, informing them they're returning to the ship. He tells Orrin he understands what he's been through, but won't let him go through with this. Orrin says Gordon's had a life the past twenty years, while all he's had is torture and brutality.

Orrin lunges at Gordon and grabs for the blaster. He drops the gun, and the two men grapple for a minute or two. Gordon finally recovers the blaster, and aims it at Orrin again, telling him it's over. Orrin grabs the quantum cell and activates it. He says they can either destroy the Krill ship, or die here and now. Gordon tells him to shut down the cell, but Orrin says once it's started, it can't be stopped (that seems like a design flaw!).

Orrin says if Gordon won't set the course, he will. Gordon blasts the console, destroying it. Orrin roars with rage, asking if he knows what he's done. Gordon opens a panel and removes two emergency spacesuits. He tosses one to Orrin and tells him to put it on. Orrin tells him to go to hell. Gordon says he doesn't want to lose him again, but Orrin won't listen.

Gordon suits up and opens the airlock. He looks back, then jumps out of the ship. As he floats away, the shuttle violently explodes behind him.

The blast hits Gordon and sends him wildly spinning through space. Suddenly he's caught be the Orville's tractor beam and reeled in.

Cut to sometime later, as Mercer meets with the Krill in the Briefing Room. He signs the Lak'vai, and the Krill Ambassador does the same. Mercer says he hopes this will usher in a new era of peace. The Ambassador says time will tell.

Gordon sits in his quarters, staring at an old photo of him and Orrin. Mercer comes in and says he's sorry about his friend. Gordon says Orrin died a long time ago in prison. Mercer then admits that Gordon was right about him feeling threatened by his friendship with Orrin. He says he constantly wonders if he deserves the Captain's chair, but can't talk about it with anyone but Gordon.

Gordon tells Mercer he has nothing to worry about, as they'll always be friends. Unless a hot chick comes along. Mercer invites Gordon to the Mess Hall for a beer, so he can tell him all about Orrin.


• At the beginning of the episode, Mercer presents Yaphit with the Sapphire Star for his heroism during the Battle Of Earth.

I gotta say I was a little disappointed that the camera didn't hold on Yaphit for a few seconds, as the medal slowly sunk into his gelatinous body!

Not to take anything away from Yaphit, but why's he the only one getting a medal? Surely Kelly & Gordon deserve one as well, since they risked their lives recruiting the Krill. Heck, I'd even argue that Ty deserved some sort of civilian honor for his actions during the Battle!

Kind of weird to see Isaac right in the center of Yaphit's award ceremony. I know everyone's working to forgive Isaac, but this is a gathering honoring a crewman who fought in the Battle against the Kaylon!

• During the ceremony, we get a good look at some of the gray uniforms that keep popping up on the series. I'm about 95% sure these are supposed to be enlisted personnel.

If you look closely, you can see that even though these uniforms are all grey, they have red or green piping on them. Meaning they're color-coded, just like the officer uniforms! Interesting.

• Admiral Perry's back! I wonder if they have Ted Danson come in whenever they need him for a scene, or if he filmed a whole season's worth of cameos in one day? 

If they did film 'em all in one day though, they'd need to have all thirteen scripts finished at the start of the season. Which is possible, but unlikely.

• The stolen Krill ship crashes into the Orville's Shuttle Bay. The senior staff immediately springs into action, as Kelly, Talla, Claire and Gordon rush to the scene.

OK, Talla's the Chief Of Security, so I get why she's there. Same goes for Claire, as she's the ship's doctor. And I assume Kelly's there to issue orders to everyone else. But why's Gordon there? He's the helmsman! What possible reason was there for sending him down to the Shuttle Bay?

Note that the script makes a feeble attempt at justifying Gordon's presence, as once Talla tears the door off the shuttle, Kelly tells him to "secure the console." Whatever that means. Turn it off?

Of course the REAL reason Gordon's there is so he can enter the shuttle, see his old friend Orrin and gasp in surprise as the camera zooms in on his face!

• This week Talla finally gets to show off her Xelayan super-strength, as she rips the hatch off the back of the Krill shuttle and tosses it aside. She does so again in the third act, as she easily flips Leyna over her shoulder.

I'm pretty sure this is the first time she's demonstrated her strength since she joined the cast.

• Orrin's played by Mackenzie Astin, who started out as a child star on TV's The Facts Of Life in the 1980s.

All through the episode I couldn't stop looking at Astin's right ear. It looked for all the world like someone bit a big chunk out of it. It was really distracting.

At first I thought it was a particularly impressive bit of prosthetic makeup, to illustrate the years of torture Orrin suffered at the hands of the Krill.

Turns out it's not a prosthetic after all it's real! Back in 1996 Astin was in a serious car accident, and lost the top of his right ear! He sometimes wears a prosthetic to fill it in for certain roles.

Mackenzie Astin is the younger brother of Sean Astin, of The Lord Of The Rings fame. They get their acting talent naturally, as their parents are Patty Duke and John Astin!

Astin's also been friends with Scott Grimes, aka Gordon Malloy, since they were kids! Which likely explains Astin's guest appearance this week.

Here's a shot of Grimes and the Astin brothers together. Wow, look at that! Three child actors who grew into well-adjusted adults and didn't turn into horribly damaged burnouts.

• Thanks to this episode, we have a good idea of Gordon's age. At one point he tells Mercer that Orrin saved his life on Outpost 73 when they were both in their early 20s. A bit later Orrin says he hasn't seen Gordon in 20 years. That means Gordon's in his early 40s. 

That's a bit younger than actor Scott Grimes' real age, as he's currently 47.

 Speaking of ages: According to the unofficial timeline of The Orville Wiki, Mercer was born in 2370. It's currently 2420 on the show. That would make him 50 years old!  Eh, somebody's math is off somewhere, as I don't think Mercer's supposed to be that old. Seth MacFarlane's currently 45, so I can't think of any reason why he'd be playing an older character.

As I said, this info comes from The Orville Wiki, which likely isn't considered canon. Or accurate!

 Speaking of ages again (sort of): As of this week, we now have a rough idea of how long the Union's been fighting the Krill. When Mercer meets with the Krill Ambassador, he says, "Look, our two peoples have been in conflict for longer than you and I have been alive."

If Mercer's in his mid-forties, then the Union/Krill conflict's probably been going on for fifty years or more.

 What's Talla have to hide? Twice during this episode we see her in her office, typing away on her laptop. The second someone enters, she instantly shuts off her screen. What doesn't she want people to see? Classified communiques from Union Central? Sensitive reports about the crew? Xelayan fan fiction?

• I liked Talla's attempts to stall the Krill delegation, as she pretended to be confused by their paperwork, and then demanded a urine sample from each.

I think she may have gone a little too far with this scene though. Somehow I don't see the Krill putting up with invasive rectal exams— even with a peace treaty at stake.

We actually learned quite a bit about the Krill from this scene. They're capable of peeing, just like humans. And their wives apparently have maiden names! At one point during Talla's stall tactics, she asks for the Krill Ambassador's mother's maiden name, and he impatiently replies, "Kalavus!"

• This makes the second episode in a row in which someone's peed in the Orville's Shuttle Bay!

• According to IMDB, the blue, bubble-headed alien in Engineering is Brosk. At first I assumed he was being played by another big name actor making a secret cameo appearance, like Jason Alexander and Bruce Willis. Turns out he's played by Jim Mahoney. who I've never heard of (sorry, Jim).

I've been told that the odd, sing-songy alien language Brosk spoke sounds identical to Simlish, the language spoken by the characters in The Sims videogame. Never played it, so I can't confirm, but it sounds plausible.

• Leyna plays the same holographic game that Isaac, Marcus and Ty did in Identity, Part 1. Thanks to this episode, we now know the game's called Bolodon Discs.

I'm calling it now— within six months you'll be able to play this game on your phone!

• Talla tries to get Leyna to come out of her shell by demonstrating her pelpifa, a Xelayan musical instrument that also generates colorful holographic shapes.

It's a cute scene, but there's no way this isn't a shoutout to the Holophonor over on Futurama! Looks like Talla's definitely been practicing, as she can play her version way better than Fry could his.

• In another effort to get Leyna to open up and speak, Gordon plays the original Planet Of The Apes for her. We join them during the movie's "shocking" twist ending, in which Taylor (played by Charlton Heston) discovers the destroyed Statue Of Liberty and realizes he's been on Earth all along. Oh, spoilers, I guess!

Note during during this scene, Heston wails, "You maniacs! You blew it up! Ah, damn you! God damn you all to hell!" 

I've listened to the scene here in this episode ten times or more, and Gordon conveniently steps on the "God" in Heston's last line, making it inaudible. This neatly sidesteps any controversy that'd be generated by saying "God damn," which is prohibited on broadcast TV.

For the record, the network's fine with showing a pile of naked Moclans writhing around on the ground in a sweaty group orgy, but they draw the line at taking the invisible sky man's name in vain!

• John reports to Mercer and informs him that two quantum storage cells are missing from Engineering. He even brings a spare with him, to illustrate his point. 

Note that when the cells aren't holding quantum fuel, they can also be placed in the pneumatic tubes in the drive-thru lane of the bank!

• I love this shot of Gordon eavesdropping on Mercer & John's conversation, as he suspects his friend Orrin is responsible for the quantum cell theft. It's very well done, and ups the tension as we're not quite sure which side Gordon's really on at this point.

• There's some very obvious plot trickery involving Gordon in the third act. As I mentioned in the plot summary, Gordon tells Talla that Orrin asked him to help steal a shuttle. When she asks what he plans to do about it, he says he's gonna inform the Captain.

We then see Gordon marching through the ship, ostensibly to Mercer's office. Instead he goes to Orrin and says he's going to help him.

The two go to the Shuttle Bay, where they're confronted by Talla. She says, "I thought you were going to report to the Captain." He stuns her with a blaster and he and Orrin fly off in a shuttle. 

Talla immediately gets up and reveals that the whole thing was a trick. Gordon's only pretending to side with Orrin to get him to reveal his shady plan.

The only reason any of these scenes exist is to fool the viewers into thinking Gordon's betraying the Union. Unfortunately none of it makes the least bit of sense.

When exactly did the command crew decide to have Gordon pretend to join Orrin's cause? It had to be sometime between Gordon's meeting with Talla and him telling Orrin "Let's go." But these are consecutive scenes, as no time seemingly passes between them. So when did everyone come up with the plan to trick Orrin?

It had to be between these two scenes. And apparently the plan was hatched offscreen, in an effort to misdirect the audience.

I get that they wanted us to think Gordon had switched sides for dramatic purposes, but there had to be a smoother, less clumsy way to do it.

• For weeks now I've been going on and on about how every time we see one of the Orville's shuttles, it's always labeled "SCV-197-1." Every time. Even when two shuttles appear in the same episode, they both have that same number. 

Shouldn't each shuttle have a unique registry number? How's the crew supposed to tell them apart if they're all labeled the same?

This week, at long last, they finally fixed the problem! If you look closely at the shuttle in the far background (you'll probably have to click on the photo and zoom in), you can see it's actually labeled SCV-197-2! Wow! Finally, a shuttle with a different registry number! Huzzah! Well done, FX guys!

Annnnnnnd then ten seconds later they blow it with this shot, in which we see that the second shuttle's registry number has magically reverted back to 197-1! D'oh!

You were thisssss close to a perfect scene, and then you flubbed it. Ah, well. There's always next week.

• This is some heavy-duty nitpicking, but whatever. When Talla tosses Leyna across the room, she bleeds yellowish Envall blood from her nose.

Right before this scene, we saw that Orrin had recently siphoned her deadly blood from her arm. For some reason, these needle marks are bright red. Shouldn't they be yellowish like her blood? Whoops!

• To prevent Orrin from destroying the Krill ship, Gordon blasts the shuttle's control panel. If you look closely, you can see strands of fiber optic cable sticking out of the ruined console. Cool! I wonder... were the fiber optics just futuristic set dressing, or is that how they actually light the panels?

• In order to escape the doomed shuttle, Gordon hurriedly puts on a spacesuit and jumps out the airlock. Note that he's wearing an orange-accented spacesuit that matches his normal duty uniform. It's even branded with the "interlocking gears" insignia that indicates ship's services!

There wasn't time for Gordon to pack a rank-appropriate spacesuit before he left. So the Orville's shuttles come equipped with an assortment of suits from each division. Which means that despite the fact there was a countdown going on, Gordon took the time to root through the supply drawer and find an orange spacesuit!

Apparently this is a thing on the ship, as Bortus wore a blue spacesuit (with a command insignia on the chest) back in Primal Urges!

• Many fans are wondering why Gordon didn't just stun Orrin and save him. Eh, I just don't think it was possible. If Gordon had stunned Orrin, then he'd have to try and stuff his limp body into a spacesuit, which would have taken forever. Remember, there was a countdown in effect, as Orrin had armed the Envall blood bomb. There just wasn't time.

• Tractor beams are normally used to tow ships or other massive objects through space. That means the beam's probably pretty powerful.

Hopefully the Orville's tractor beam has a "gentle" setting, so it doesn't crush Gordon or pull him apart when it reels him in.

• Mercer eventually convinces the Krill to sign the Lak'vai pact. Note that Mercer signs this official document "Ed," rather than "Edward." Odd. I kind of wish the Krill language looked a bit more alien, as the first letter of the Ambassador's name looks for all the world like a "C."

• At the end of hte episode, Gordon broods in his cabin, looking at an old photo of him and Orrin. Since the two actors have been friends since childhood, I wonder if this is just a real picture of them and not a Photoshopped mockup?

• Gordon appears to be using comically oversized Monopoly pieces as decorations in his cabin!

• This Week's Incongruous 21st Century (And Earlier!) References:
Just a couple this week.

Gordon watches the 1968 Planet Of The Apes with Leyna.

When the Orville's chasing Gordon & Orrin's shuttle, Mercer tells John to "run all the stop lights." Are cars and traffic lights really still a thing in the 24th Century? Back in the pilot episode we saw Mercer come home in a little flying pod.

• This Week's Star Trek Swipes:
Blood of Patriots is VERY similar to the DS9 episode Past Prologue. In that episode, the DS9 crew spot a Cardassian (not Kardashian!) ship attacking a Bajoran vessel. They rescue the Bajoran pilot, Tahna Los. The Cardassians demand the return of Tahna, claiming he's a terrorist. Tahna requests asylum on the DS9 station. Later he tells his old friend Major Kira (who's also Bajoran) that he doesn't want Bajor to join the Federation, as he believes they're as bad as the Cardassians. To that end, he wants Kira's help in stealing a runabout shuttle so he can collapse the nearby wormhole, which will cause the Federation to lose interest in Bajor. Kira conflicted, as her loyalties are divided between the Federation and her old friend. Eventually she pretends to go along with his plan, but once they're in space she reveals it was a trap, and Tahna's arrested. She tells Tahna she hopes someday he'll understand that he did the right thing.

It's also somewhat similar to the TNG episode The Wounded. In that episode, Starfleet Captain Ben Maxwell, whose family was killed by the Cardassians (not the Kardashians!) years before. Maxwell begins targeting and destroying Cardassian ships, threatening the peace between them and the Federation. Miles O'Brien, the Enterprise-D's transporter chief, served with Maxwell during the Cardassian War. He's able to beam aboard Maxwell's ship and talk his old friend into standing down. 

• This Week's Best Lines:
Admiral Perry: "If you can secure the signing of the Lak'vai, it throws the door wide open for the admirals to begin official treaty negotiations."
Mercer: "Understood. We'll do our best."
Perry: "Good luck, Captain. This is momentous."
Kelly: (to Mercer) "Bet you wish you'd had that shot."

Orrin: "My God. Gordon Malloy."
Gordon: "Orrin. It's been 20 years. I don't even know what to say.
Orrin: "Last time I saw you, you had a Mohawk."
Gordon: "Yeah, no, believe me, I remember. Not my proudest moment."

(Talla attempts to stall the Krill Ambassadorial delegation.)
Talla: "May I have the fleet registry number for your vessel, please?"
Krill Ambassador: "I've already told you twice!"
Talla: "Oh, yes, of course. It's right here. Mother's maiden name?"
Krill: "These boarding regulations are outrageous!"
Talla: "I'm just doing my job, sir. Mother's maiden name?"
Krill: "Kalavus."
Talla: "And are you carrying any fruits or vegetables, or livestock of any kind? Snails?"
Krill: "Of course not!"
Talla: "All right. Then I'll just need a urine sample, and you're good to go."
Krill: "What?"
Talla: "A urine sample. From each of you. Just go ahead and fill these up, or as much as you got in you."
Krill: "And where are we supposed to do that?"
Talla: "You can go behind the crates over there. I won't look."

Gordon: "Well, for what it's worth, I know Orrin. He couldn't have done what they're saying; he's a good guy."
Mercer: "Look, I know he's your friend, and I understand that he's just been through a nightmare, but honestly, Gordon, he could not have shown up at a worse time. I mean, I got to tell you, this puts me in a hell of a bind."
Gordon: "I know. You know, maybe we could I don't know offer the Krill something else instead."
Mercer: "Like what?"
Gordon: "Free back rubs or something?"
(There's a long silence.)
Mercer: "Yeah, listen, I've got to get back to this."
Gordon: "Yeah, no, no. Do your thing. Do your thing."
Mercer: "Cause I have to..."
Gordon: "I was just pitching ideas."
Mercer: "It's a good pitch. I'll take it under consideration."

Mercer: "Gordon, I'm on your side, all right? But the sooner I know what's going on, the sooner I can figure out a way to help this guy without selling out the Union. Now, just tell me if he said anything."
Gordon: "He just said he thinks the peace is a mistake."
Mercer: "He said that?"
Gordon: "Yeah. What... what, what of it? You know what? I think it's a mistake, too."
Mercer: "Oh, come on. You don't mean that."
Gordon: "Yeah, I do. They're butchering, fundamentalist fanatics. We shouldn't even be talking to them!"
Mercer: "Gordon, you're smarter than that. Don't let him get in your head."
Gordon: "Oh, my God."
Mercer: "What?"
Gordon: "You're jealous."
Mercer: "I'm not jealous. What am I jealous of?"
Gordon: "Our friendship. Orrin and I have known each other longer than you and I have. We're close, and you don't like that."
Mercer: "That's insane. What are we, in sixth grade here?"
Gordon: "I guess so."

Gordon: "Six minutes to intercept the Krill vessel. Okay, Orrin, you got to tell me what we're doing, or I'm stopping right here."
(Orrin pulls out a container of Envall blood.)
Gordon: "What is that?"
Orrin: "Justice."
Gordon: "Looks more like eggnog."

Orrin: "Ungrateful bastard. I saved your life."
Gordon: "And I'll always be in your debt, but asking me to commit kamikaze suicide with you is kind of a backpedal, don't you think?"

Mercer: "Listen, I just wanted to say I'm sorry. It's not easy to have to put duty before friendship, especially when someone dies."
Gordon: "Orrin died a long time ago, back in that Krill prison. The man who died in that shuttle was somebody else."
Mercer: "Well, I also wanted to say that I think you may have been right. I may have felt a little threatened by your friendship with Orrin."
Gordon: "Dude, that's insane. Why?"
Mercer: "Because every moment that I sit in that chair on the bridge, I'm always wondering, 'Do I deserve this?' I mean, should this be someone else?" And that's something I can never vocalize to any other member of the crew because they would lose confidence. I mean, I can talk to Kelly, but that's been a little complicated lately. I count on you, man."
Gordon: "Dude, you can always count on me. That's never gonna change. You're my best friend. Nobody's ever gonna come along and mess it up, I swear. I mean, maybe, like, a really hot girl, but other than that, it's rock-solid."

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