This The Orville review contains spoilers.
The Orville Season 2 Episode 7 Review
This episode of The Orville starts harmless enough before turning into a murder mystery. It also gets deep, examining the difficulties of coexistance between people who have fundamental differences.
The episode starts in New York circa 1945. Kelly and her boyfriend Chris are enjoying a meal, but Kelly is bothered by something. She asks Chris where he thinks their relationship is going. He says he hopes it continues to get better and eventually ends up in a marriage and family. Kelly says she understands what he wants versus what she can give as a Union officer. She was in the same position when she was married to Ed. But now she understands Ed’s situation and decides to break off the relationship because of their disparate needs.
The question now is whether she will get back with Ed. He is still in love and is very happy about the news of the breakup, although he pretends not to be. If the two of them can not get in a serious relationship with anyone else because of their jobs, and they are both currently assigned to the Orville, maybe they should be together. I have a feeling we will see the show explore the idea of a leader dating his second in command and the difficulties that can raise.
This situation sounds pretty deep for a comedy. And yet it gets even deeper. I do want to interject here, though, that the show is funny. The storylines are often serious, but the conversation is often hilarious. It would be hard to tell, given just an outline of what the show is about. Producer Jason Clark once asked me, “Why shouldn’t the future be funny?” The past was funny, right now people are funny, so they will likely be funny in the future too. Good point.
The other serious storyline in this episode relates to a visit by Bortus’ ex-boyfriend. He is a famous engineer on their home planet of Moclus, and he has come to the Orville on a business trip to test and install modifications to the ship’s deflectors. Bortus is not happy to see him, and there is some tension.
I was disappointed to see Bortus no longer is sporting his mustache from the last episode. I thought that it was hilarious and strangely suited him. It added an extra chuckle every time he walked in the room.
There was a funny scene in the cabin when Gordon asked what Moclins do when they break up. We found out in a previous episode Moclins stab each other to divorce one another. It turns out when they break up they each pull out a tooth. Gordon jokingly guesses their next mate must have to eat the tooth. He was right.
Even more Moclin peculiarities are introduced when Locar, Bortus’ ex, confesses his attraction to Talla. For humans that might not be surprising, she is a very lovely Xelayan. However, it is taboo and even illegal for Moclins to be attracted to the opposite sex. Locar is fearful to come out about his sexuality because back on Moclus his family will also be blamed and shunned for his crime.
Talla is shocked but also seems to be attracted to Locar. They go on a date in the 1945 New York hologram program and have a good time. However, Talla is called away. When she leaves Kyden, Bortus’ mate, enters. He says he knows Locar’s secret. Queue the dramatic music and a commercial break.
When Talla gets back from dealing with a potted plant-looking alien sent by Chris to try and talk Kelly into taking Chris back, Locar is gone. When she reviews the hologram records, it appears someone walked in after she had left and disintegrated Locar with a laser gun.
Someone has messed with the and hologram, and the image of the killer is distorted. Isaac and John are able to clear it up, and they see the killer is Klyden. However, Klyden admits to confronting Locar but denies killing him. Klyden said he was appalled by Locar’s disgraceful behaviors, but he planned on turning Locar into the Moclin authorities, not killing him.
Talla is disgusted by the Moclin point of view, and she and Bortus fight over the issue. During their discussion, Talla speculates that Locar might have wanted to kill himself. Bortus explained that their culture also shuns suicide and his family would still be held responsible. That gave her the idea that Locar must have faked his murder and framed Klyden to escape without his family being held accountable. She was right.
Talla finds Locar, and he asks her to let him go. She says she would, but that she can not let Klyden go to prison for a crime he did not commit. She is forced to turn Locar over to the Moclins.
Later, discussing the Moclin with Kelly, Ed observes, “Our differences go right to the core of our values.”
He wonders how long an alliance can exist between two cultures that are so different. In previous episodes, they have had to allow the Moclin to perform a sex change on Bortus’ daughter because Moclin does not allow female children. When Klyden wanted to divorce Bortus, he stuck a knife into his chest, as is the custom on Moclin. It was a little shocking to the crew of the Orville and illegal.
This situation, of course, mirrors current real-world issues. Right now the Taliban is proposing peace talks in Pakistan. But like Ed wondered, how do two cultures with such different core values get along?
Deep stuff for a comedy. Wait, I mean science fiction, or is it drama? I do not know how to categorize the show, which I think causes problems for some viewers. I find that if you go with it, especially as a fan of comedy, science-fiction, and Star Trek: The Next Generation-like philosophical space musing, it all works out in the end.
Alejandro Rojas writes and blogs about science, entertainment, and the paranormal. Alejandro has spent many hours in the field investigating anomalous phenomena up close and personal. You can find him on Twitter here.