Welcome to this week’s installment of Geek Girl Authority Crush of the Week, wherein we shine a spotlight on strong women and nonbinary folks who inspire us. This includes fictional characters in geeky media and creators as well. They are a prime example of empowerment and how crucial it is for youth to have said example to follow.
DISCLAIMER: The following contains spoilers for Hulu’s The Orville.
Dr. Claire Finn
Dr. Claire Finn (Penny Johnson Jerald) is a Lieutenant Commander and the Chief Medical Officer aboard the USS Orville. She was born in Baltimore, Maryland, and spent her formative years with an unnamed mother and sister. During her time at Union Point, she married Paul Christie (James Read), her professor. However, the marriage was short-lived, as Claire and Paul’s interests did not intersect.
Eventually, Claire joined the Planetary Union, working on many vessels while specializing in various fields such as molecular surgery, psychiatry and DNA engineering. Claire gave birth to two boys, Marcus (BJ Tanner) and Ty (Kai Di’Nilo Wener), via artificial impregnation. She raised her sons as a single parent.
Aboard the Orville
Claire transferred to the Orville after discovering the ship would receive a first-time captain. When Ed Mercer (Seth MacFarlane) assumed this role, Claire offered her invaluable expertise. While working as the Chief Medical Officer, Claire embarked on a romantic relationship with Isaac (Mark Jackson), a Science and Engineering Officer hailing from Kaylon.
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After a few bumps in the road, Claire and Isaac consummated their relationship when Isaac adopted a human form in the simulator. Unfortunately, their relationship ended abruptly following Isaac’s defection to the Kaylon. Thankfully, he later betrayed the Kaylon and assisted the Union in their victory in the Battle of Earth. Claire forgave Isaac for his initial betrayal, and the pair resumed their relationship.
Later, Claire tried to help Topa, Bortus (Peter Macon) and Klyden’s (Chad L. Coleman) child, receive a procedure that would allow her to live as her true self. Claire attempted to resign from the Union to adhere to protocol so that she could perform said procedure. However, Isaac carried out the surgery in her place so she could retain her position.
In the most recent episode, “From Unknown Graves,” Claire encouraged Isaac to have his receptors modified by Dr. Villka (Eliza Taylor) so that he could feel emotions. Isaac underwent the procedure, and he spent a lovely evening with Claire. Unfortunately, the process reversed itself due to Isaac’s model. Isaac offered to modify his receptors again despite an inevitable memory wipe, but Claire claimed she didn’t want him changing himself for her.
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The Real Deal:
Claire is wholly independent, having raised two children while working as a renowned and reputable Union officer. Her intelligence is unparalleled, as is her sharp wit. Her vast knowledge of science and medicine makes her formidable. In addition to her brilliance, Claire is a kindhearted, empathetic soul, often implementing that empathy by acting as the Orville‘s therapist. Claire’s many strengths lie in her innate honesty and willingness to set concrete boundaries. She’s also incredibly loyal to her loved ones and a dedicated mother to her kids.
Why She Matters:
Claire’s an invaluable asset to the Orville crew, with her countless talents spanning multiple branches aboard the ship. She might not be a physical fighter like a Xelayan, but Claire’s a bona fide badass in her own right. She wields her intellect like a weapon, utilizes reason to solve problems, protects her family with the ferocious tenacity of a mama bear and contributes to the overall welfare of everyone around her.
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So, be like Dr. Claire Finn. Don’t “dumb” yourself down to appease the naysayers. Put your intelligence on display like the boss you are. Don’t let anyone stop you from pursuing your dreams. Love with all of your heart. Oh, and consider dating a (friendly) Kaylon. You might find they’re pretty eager to please while in human form in the simulator.
THE ORVILLE: NEW HORIZONS Scrapped Episode To Release as Novella
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