Tread Perilously — The Orville: Sanctuary

Tread Perilously takes its annual look at The Orville with “Sanctuary.”

When the Orville takes on two Moclan passengers, Bortus learns they are harboring an infant female. Soon, he assists them in their escape from the law against female Moclans on their home planet. When Captain Mercer finds out, he leads the ship into a nebula and discovers an entire colony of female Moclans. Now discovered, their leader Heveena plans to move their entire group, but Mercer suggests taking their plight to the Union Counsel and apply to be recognized as an independent world. And while the Orville remains in orbit over the colony to defend it from a Moclan ship, the Union worlds debate the issue of their sovereignty. Also: Dolly Parton is the voice of the revolution.

Erik immediately gets distracted by the surprising guest cast and the show’s expanded connections to Star Trek: The Next Generation — including episode director Jonathan Frakes! Justin notes some of the ways The Orville hits on subjects TNG was squeamish about. He also explains Moclan biology and society. Erik names one character “Alexander Rozhenko” and admits to getting distracted by Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.‘s very handsome Agent Keller. Sci-fi aliens get an examination and Erik expresses his worries about Star Trek: Picard.

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Tread Perilously — Star Trek Discovery: New Eden

Tread Perilously takes its annual look at Star Trek: Discovery with the Season 2 episode “New Eden.”

When a Red Angel signal sends the U.S.S Discovery to a planet in the Beta Quadrant, they discover a colony of humans resettled there in the midst of World War III. How they got half across the galaxy will lead Captain Christopher Pike, Commander Michael Burnham, and Lieutenant Joann Owosekun into a conflict of faith and science. Meanwhile, Commander Saru, Ensign Tilly and the rest of the Discovery crew must stop one of the planets outer rings from raining radioactive dust on the planet and the away team.

Justin distracts Erik by pointing out his love for Captain Christopher Pike. But he gets distracted himself by a guest actor who offers a Mass Effect Andromeda style performance. The behind-the-scenes staff changes become more apparent as Erik notes the Red Angel is clearly different from what it ultimately became. Justin admits he found the season-long plot less engaging. Thoughts inevitably turn to Star Wars. The Beta Quadrant gets examined as a poorly thought-out element of Star Trek‘s universe. Erik realizes Taoism would’ve solved everything and praises the competent Discovery crew under Saru’s command. Also, Justin reminds Erik of A Song of Ice and Fire‘s Lord Manderly and both celebrate the wealth of various Sci-Fi properties in various formats.

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Tread Perilously — 3rd Rock From The Sun: The Thing That Wouldn’t Die

Tread Perilously’s month of series finales goes into overtime with one last installment: 3rd Rock From The Sun‘s final two-part episode, “The Thing That Wouldn’t Die.”

When Mary learns the truth about aliens, Dick and the rest of the team are recalled to their homeworld. Dick wants to bring her with him — well, once she’s okay with him being an alien — while Sally wants to help Don find his way back to being a cop after an incident leaves him doubting his initiative. Tommy fights his conflicted feelings about leaving and Harry has a crappy subplot about dating someone he believes to be twins.

Erik and Justin speak from the past and the future as this episode was recorded long ago. Erik tries to develop a John Lithgow impression, landing on Saturday Night Live announcer Don Pardo, Master Thespian, and Brian Blessed instead. He also defends Lithgow’s right to ham it up. Justin defends Blade and Wesley Snipes. Jane Curtin becomes the episode’s MVP thanks to one scene in which she recalls the entire series. Justin theorizes Thanos was behind the disappearance of belly chains in the late 2000s. Erik remembers a number of Elvis Costello songs — but not the one featured in the episode — and a case of mistaken identity leads to a discussion of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine executive producer Ira Steven Behr.

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Tread Perilously — The Big Bang Theory: The Change Constant/The Stockholm Syndrome

Tread Perilously’s month of series finales nears the finish line with a look at the final two episodes of The Big Bang Theory — an ending so epic, it required 12 writers.

When Amy and Sheldon win the Nobel Prize, Sheldon’s selfishness goes into overdrive. He hurts Amy when she decides to get a haircut and becomes afraid of all the changes coming to his group of friends. But matters only get worse when he forces Penny into revealing her pregnancy; leading to all his friends threatening to bail out of his Nobel Prize acceptance speech. Lessons may or may not be learned as the series draws to a close.

In an attempt to avoid talking about The Big Bang Theory, Erik and Justin discuss other towns South Pasadena has played in movies. Erik reiterates his issues with three-camera sitcoms not called One Day at a Time. The films of the Wachowskis are discussed. Erik tries to point out local Pasadena customs the show doesn’t quite get right. Erik mistakenly calls Johnny Galecki’s character “Luther.” Justin tries to compare The Big Bang Theory to comfort food and tries to recall a Latinx Marvel superhero. Raj gets a spotlight; leading to a discussion of assimilation. We promise there are at least a few jokes during the proceedings.

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Tread Perilously — Game of Thrones: The Iron Throne

Tread Perilously finally makes its way to Westeros with the final episode of Game of Thrones. And though we didn’t know it during our recording, the episode was called “The Iron Throne.”

When Jon Snow is advised by just about everyone that his aunt — the Mad Queen Daenerys Stormborn Targaryen the Unburnt, First of Her Name, Queen of the Andals, The Rhoynar and the First Men, Queen of the Seven Kingdoms, Mother of Dragons, Breaker of Chains, and Protector of the Realm — will definitely kill him at the first opportunity, the Prince of Indecision debates the merits of killing her first versus his own desire to see her naked again. After he finally makes a decision, the Realm must deal with the repercussions.

Despite a Targaryen plot against Tread Perilously’s sound quality, Erik points out the absence of Jon Connington, Little Aegon, and a few other Ice and Fire characters. He also admits he missed one episode of the series. Justin discusses the difficulty with endings. He also praises the visual excellence of the episode. Superior air power comes into play. Erik loses his mind over the sudden appearances of Edmure Tully and Quentyn Martell. Issues of plot convenience are discussed and Daenerys’s heel turn is examined at length. Also, Erik makes a bold Winds of Winter prediction regarding Little Finger.

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Tread Perilously — Friday Night Lights: Always

Tread Perilously’s month of series finales continues with a look at “Always,” the final episode of Friday Night Lights.

As Coach Taylor gets ready to take the team to the state championship, Matt Saracen returns with an important question for Julie. Coach’s wife considers a job offer in Philadelphia and Tyra ponders her future. Jess finds that she must move to Dallas. Tim Riggins tries to build a house and Luke offers Becky a chance at a very different life. Will everyone get what they want? Will the Lions win State?

Erik latches on to a flaw in Coach Taylor, suggesting to Justin that he wants to hate Friday Night Lights. Justin defends the show’s choice to address only long-running stories in its finale. Erik defends the quality of Die Hard 2. Justin reveals his football knowledge is limited to the specifics of Dillon, Texas. Erik notes the presence of Killmonger, Black Lightning and Black Canary in the cast. Both recommend the film Tuff Turf for various reasons. Justin defends Arya’s recent decisions on Game of Thrones (though Episode 3). Erik temporally accepts the existence of Tim Riggins so Justin can explain the union of House Riggins and House Collette and Erik learns that Grandma Saracen matters.

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Tread Perilously — Alf: Consider Me Gone

Tread Perilously’s month of series finales continues with the final 21 minutes of Alf. An episode they had to call “Consider Me Gone.”

When Alf gets a message from Rhonda and Skip, he prepares to leave the Tanners and join his friends as they head for New Melmac. Meanwhile, the United States Air Force has intercepted the message and begins to hunt for the alien living among humans. Back at the Tanner home, the family throws the world’s saddest goodbye part for Alf. But soon it is time to make for Will Rogers State Park, where Alf will have a date with destiny. Will he escape the Earth or end up a lab experiment?

Erik begins to devise a better Alf impression while Justin searches for a way to sound like Max Wright. They also imagine Alf turned down the chance to be the Herald of Galactus when the planet-eater came for Melmac. The discussion quickly veers on to Cobra Kai and Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. The “International Date Line” joke gets dissected. Justin turns Alf’s dream for New Melmac into a punishing plantation nightmare. Erik tries to explain the Alf Extended Television Universe and the pair reveal what it will take for them to finally watch Small Wonder.

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