During a routine extraction mission, The Orville landing crew encounters a 21st century like civilization, but the society rules are very different here putting everyone in danger. “Majority Rule” is my favorite episode yet, settling into a great groove with an Earth-like unfortunate adventure. Things quickly go awry on what should be a standard reconnaissance mission, after being told to blend in with the locals, LaMarr makes an innocent but grave mistake. Two Union anthropologists had been studying the culture on this alien planet, it resembles a 21st century Earth and the civilization isn’t aware of alien life yet. After the Union stopped getting updates from them, The Orville is sent to check things out. But this society has rules that are extremely differently than what any of the crew are used to, a mob-rule justice system subject to popular opinion.
The away team consists of Kelly, Dr. Finn, LaMarr and Alara. Though on a planet where they are supposed to “blend in” with humanoid lifeforms, Alara might not have been the best choice. She spends the whole mission in interesting head-wear with a band-aid on her face. I know she’s the chief of security but she ends up drawing some unwanted attention to herself and almost ends up in the same mess that LaMarr does. While having a tad bit of fun, he ends up landing himself in hot water with this society’s strange justice system. After video of him dancing with a statue of a beloved figure gets uploaded into the main feed, he begins receiving thousands upon thousands of down-votes. See, at the age of 18 on this planet, you get a badge to wear, do something nice and you might get an up-vote, but do something wrong….
After a million down-vote you are detained by the police and begin what is their system for a “trial.” Though instead of being judged by any forms laws by a group of well-informed peers, you get thrown onto talk show after talk show to begin an apology tour. If people think you’re genuine in that apology, you might get some up-votes. At the end of that there is one final vote, if your down-votes are over a certain amount you end up going through a “correction.” Which is essentially a lobotomy. Unfortunately for the missing anthropologists one died before correction and the other is no longer himself after correction. All because they didn’t notice a pregnant woman standing behind them and offer her a seat. Captain Mercer doesn’t get clearance to intervene below, so LaMarr is on his own.
And damn is he doing a really bad job on his apology tour. It isn’t looking good for him, so Ed has to make a bold decision. He was told that The Orville could not send anybody else down to intervene, but he doesn’t say that they can’t bring someone up…With the help of a local girl, Lysella, they might have a chance to help LaMarr and better understand the society below. She of course is amazed at The Orville and all the lifeforms aboard. Isaac is able to hack into the main feed just as LaMarr’s last vote begins. With Lysella’s help they flood the main chat feed with videos, facts, and images of LaMarr all fake of course, but effective. He ends up just a few down-votes shy of being corrected.
Government by American Idol. – Malloy
Once again The Orville can take a super important message and wrap it into a well-written and enjoyable story. Delivering laughs and an exciting space adventure with a not too subtle not too strong message of caution or advice. Gordon and Isaac described it the best (above and below quotes) and the live tweeters all got behind this episode. Making notion of how funny it is they are liking the shows tweets when the show is about giving too much power and credence to social media’s in general.
I think you’re confusing opinion with knowledge. – Isaac
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