The season’s biggest plot anchor, the surprise attack and resultant war with the Kaylon, continues to infect the storylines of the episodes that have followed – and I mean “infect” in the best possible way. It’s great to have a show with such well-threaded over-arching plot narratives instead of a lengthy string of disconnected “standalone” episodes. Kudos to Seth MacFarlane and his creative team on this front.
WARNING: Spoilers for this episode of ‘The Orville’ lie ahead, obviously. If you haven’t seen the episode and don’t wish for any of its content to be spoiled for you, the time to turn back is NOW!
RECAP: In the wake of the Kaylon attack, it’s time for the Orville – along with the rest of the Planetary Union fleet – to get some weapon upgrades. Moclus is happy to help, and Ed is instructed to take the ship to their world for the necessary install & adjustment. Ed is advised that at the conclusion of the work, they will be transporting two Moclans to rendezvous and transfer to a Moclan ship.
The passenger Moclans seem pleasant enough to the Orville crew – but they are harboring a secret, and Bortus is the first to find out: the duo is secretly transporting their female daughter, and they are working with the Moclan ship to secure transfer to a planet that will allow them sanctuary. Moclan culture, of course, sees the female gender as a genetic mistake, and all females are forced to undergo surgery to convert them to male – the exact fate that befell Topa, the child of Bortus and Klyden. Bortus feels that he understands the parent’s plight, so he agrees not to tell the crew anything, and the Moclans are transferred to the other ship without incident.
The truth is revealed, however, and when Ed and the senior staff work to track down the Moclan ship, they find that it has masked their engine trail. Obviously, there is more going on than meets the eye – and when Ed and crew finally do discover the truth, it becomes a burgeoning incident that threatens to tear Moclus out of the Planetary Union altogether…
- Guest star a-go-go! The Planetary Union all-star admiralty squad that we’ve all seen individually over the past episodes are all finally together in one room for one scene: we have Victor Garber and Kelly Hu, of course, along with the always-cool Ted Danson and positional newcomer Ron Canada. But that’s not all – the new onboard youth teacher on the Orville is none other than ‘Star Trek: The Next Generation’ alum Marina Sirtis! Even though her reunion for this episode with director and fellow ‘TNG’ stalwart Jonathan Frakes was revealed on Twitter a while back, it was still great to have her in this episode, and here’s hoping for more appearances coming.
- Does it feel to anyone else that ‘The Orville’ is getting a bit heavy on the usage of the Moclans to drive lots of plots in these first two seasons? Don’t get me wrong, I think they are an intriguing species, but they’be been the Union “token alien species” on the forefront of many stories so far. I’d like to see some of the other Union species – particularly those we met this episode in the Union Council scenes – featured as well.
- Oh, Klyden – what a bag of crap you are. Chad L. Coleman deserves all the love for effectively bringing this character to life as someone that we all grown to love to hate. Is divorce in the near future for Klyden and Bortus? As we know from previous episodes, Moclans have a rather, shall we say, aggressive way they prefer to end relationships…
- The scenes in the nebula this episode were excellent, and immediately evoked shades of “Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan,” for sure.
- I, for one, loved the Orville/Moclan battlecruiser space battle set to the background of one of Dolly Parton’s greatest hits. Such a fun and unexpected juxtaposition in presentation – MacFarlane is one of the best at this kind of thing.
CLOSING THOUGHTS: With only two episodes left in the season, I’m intrigued to see what MacFarlane and company have in store for us in terms of a “season finale” – likely not a big, hard-hitting space battle, since we just had that a few episodes back with the Kaylon. Time will tell!
PRINCIPAL CAST FEATURED IN THIS EPISODE:
Seth MacFarlane as Ed Mercer
Adrianne Palicki as Kelly Grayson
Penny Johnson Jerald as Dr. Claire Finn
Scott Grimes as Gordon Malloy
Peter Macon as Lt. Commander Bortus
Jessica Szohr as Lt. Talla Keyali
J. Lee as John LaMarr
Mark Jackson as Isaac
New episodes of ‘The Orville’ are premiering on FOX every Thursday this season.