DISCLAIMER: This recap of The Orville: New Horizons season finale episode “Future Unknown” contains spoilers. Prepare to engage quantum drive, and proceed at your peril. 

Welcome back, Union fleet officers! The Orville wraps its third season with a hilarious and lighthearted finale, brimming with warmth and the show’s signature sharp humor. It’s an excellent palette cleanser compared to the heaviness and high-octane action of last week’s penultimate outing. Claire and Isaac’s marriage ceremony is sweet and joyful, while Alara Kitan’s return is delightfully unexpected. 

Additionally, “Future Unknown” boasts fun gags, hearkening back to the show’s freshman and sophomore seasons, which were inherently more light at their collective core. Bortus as Elvis had me rolling in my seat. 

Ready to delve into “Future Unknown”? Let’s get to it. 

RELATED: The Orville: New Horizons Recap: (S03E09) Domino

A Renewal

We open with Isaac (Mark Jackson) going about his day. He interacts with cheerful fleet officers in the corridors. The Kaylon assists Lt. Cmdr. John LaMarr (J Lee) with some engineering duties. Isaac snags a banana for his lady love, Dr. Claire Finn (Penny Johnson Jerald). 

Then, Isaac enters the bridge, wherein Lt. Cmdr. Bortus (Peter Macon) explains the importance of the Renewal ceremony for Moclans wishing to reconfirm themselves as mates. Lt. Gordon Malloy (Scott Grimes) pokes fun at it, while Lt. Cmdr. Talla Keyali (Jessica Szohr) believes the ritual sounds lovely. Isaac wishes to attend for observational purposes. 

Dr. Claire Finn and Isaac embrace on the ship on The Orville: New Horizons Season 3 Episode 10, "Future Unknown."

The Orville: New Horizons — “Future Unknown” – Season 3 Episode 10 — Dr. Claire Finn (Penny Johnson Jerald), and Isaac (Mark Jackson), shown. (Photo by: Gilles Mingasson/Hulu)

Later, the ship lands on Listak Two for Bortus and Klyden’s (Chad L. Coleman) Renewal ceremony, officiated by Capt. Ed Mercer (Seth MacFarlane). Topa (Imani Pullum), Claire, Cmdr. Kelly Grayson (Adrianne Palicki), Isaac, LaMarr, Malloy and Keyali are in attendance. 

RELATED: The Orville: New Horizons Recap: (S03E08) Midnight Blue

After Mercer commences the festivities, Bortus and Klyden run naked through the forest. The objective is for Bortus to catch Klyden. Once he overpowers Klyden, they mate in the presence of Mother Nature. The crew members are present as “witnesses” to the consummation. 

Next, our fave Moclan couple emerges from the forest, victorious in their renewal. They stand with their foreheads touching for quite some time, causing our crew to clap awkwardly, unsure how to react to the event. It’s hilarious. 

A Proposal 

Back aboard the Orville, Isaac proposes to Claire in the mess hall. Claire confronts him later, asking Isaac if he comprehends the massive responsibility accompanying marriage. While Isaac cannot reciprocate “feelings” of affection, per se, he wishes to watch over the Finn lineage for all eternity. He vows to protect Claire’s kids after she dies. How sweet!

RELATED: The Orville: New Horizons Recap: (S03E07) From Unknown Graves

Later, Claire seeks advice from Grayson and Keyali during a requisite girls’ night. The trio also gets Mercer’s thoughts on the whole thing. They categorize the pros and cons of marrying Isaac, with the former outweighing the latter.

Cmdr. Kelly Grayson and Lysella stand in a simulation of the interior of an asteroid on The Orville: New Horizons Season 3 Episode 10, "Future Unknown."

The Orville: New Horizons — “Future Unknown” – Season 3 Episode 10 — (Photo by: Gilles Mingasson/Hulu)

Sargas Four Retrieval 

Then, Mercer and the crew receive a hail from Lysella (Giorgia Whigham) when approaching Sargas Four. The vessel picks her up, and Lysella begs Mercer and Grayson to grant her asylum aboard the Orville. She informs them that the situation on Sargas Four has only worsened with time. Mercer and Grayson allow her to stay, but she cannot return to her homeworld. 

Meanwhile, Isaac seeks counsel from LaMarr regarding the latter’s decision to marry Claire. LaMarr believes the Kaylon should “play the field” for a while. Try before you buy! Claire prepares to tell her sons Marcus (BJ Tanner) and Ty (Kai Di’Nilo Wener) about Isaac’s marriage proposal. Side note: When did these boys get so big? They already know about it because, you know, small ship. Marcus and Ty enthusiastically give their mom their blessing. 

RELATED: The Orville: New Horizons Recap: (S03E06) Twice in a Lifetime

Next, Isaac enters Grayson’s quarters, brazenly and nonchalantly asking her if she wants to have sexual relations with him. Awkward!

A New World

Later, Grayson takes Lysella under her wing, explaining how things work in their world. Lysella struggles to wrap her mind around a non-capitalist society. Not working to live? Inconceivable! Grayson informs her that a good reputation is their form of currency. 

Lt. Cmdr. Bortus impersonates Elvis at a bachelor party on The Orville: New Horizons Season 3 Episode 10, "Future Unknown."

The Orville: New Horizons — “Future Unknown” – Season 3 Episode 10 — Lt. Cmdr. Bortus (Peter Macon), shown. (Photo by: Gilles Mingasson/Hulu)

Afterward, Grayson discloses Isaac’s peculiar proposal to Claire. Mind you; this reveal occurs after the good doctor asks Grayson to be her Maid of Honor. Claire confronts Isaac, who tells his wife-to-be that he sought advice from LaMarr. Claire lays into LaMarr in a hilarious monologue. She put the fear of God in him!

RELATED: The Orville: New Horizons Recap: (S03E05) A Tale of Two Topas

Then, Grayson takes Lysella to the simulation room to show her what they do for entertainment. Standing in the interior of a breathtaking asteroid is undoubtedly better than watching a mere movie. 

Bortus, the Best Man 

Meanwhile, Isaac asks Malloy to be his Best Man, but Bortus butts in, claiming he was a hoot and a half on Moclus. He can be funny! Doling out good-natured jabs is what Moclans do! Much to Malloy’s dismay, Isaac accepts Bortus’s offer to be his Best Man. 

Next, Isaac invites the Kaylon Primary and the entire Kaylon fleet to his wedding. As part of the next leg of their ship tour, Grayson shows Lysella the impressive quantum core. Lysella grapples with absorbing the magnitude of this new world. She confesses she feels like she’s abandoning her friends on Sargas Four. Grayson reassures Lysella she’s not — it’s merely a form of survivor’s guilt. 

RELATED: The Orville: New Horizons Recap: (S03E04) Gently Falling Rain

Malloy vents to Mercer and LaMarr about Isaac choosing Bortus over him as his Best Man. Suddenly, the sandwich he sent through the Aronov device three months ago reappears. Huzzah! Sometimes, all one needs is a delicious sandwich to satiate that hanger

Ty Finn, Marcus Finn, Lt. Gordon Malloy, Lt. Cmdr. Talla Keyali and Lt. Cmdr. John LaMarr clap in the audience of a wedding on The Orville: New Horizons Season 3 Episode 10, "Future Unknown."

The Orville: New Horizons — “Future Unknown” – Season 3 Episode 10 — Klyden (Chad L. Coleman), Ty Finn (Kai Wener), Topa (Imani Pullum), Marcus Finn (BJ Tanner), Lt. Gordon Malloy (Scott Grimes), Lt. Talla Keyali (Jessica Szohr), and Lt. Cmdr. John LaMarr (J. Lee), shown. (Photo by: Gilles Mingasson/Hulu)

Party Planners 

Later, Lysella joins Grayson and Keyali in planning Claire’s bachelorette party. Lysella learns about the food synthesizer onboard, which conjures up anything you want, including glasses of water. Lysella believes it’s the Orville’s responsibility to share this life-altering, life-saving technology with those who need it. Starvation and poverty still exist on Sargas Four. 

However, Grayson and Keyali explain the ramifications of meddling in an underdeveloped society’s technological progress. Lysella excuses herself, clearly having second thoughts about joining the crew. 

RELATED: The Orville: New Horizons Recap: (S03E03) Mortality Paradox

Elvis Enters the Building

Then, we see the guys at Isaac’s bachelor party in the simulation room. It appears they’re in a Vegas-style establishment. Isaac’s even donning a tie for the occasion! Suddenly, Bortus enters a stage while impersonating none other than Elvis Presley. This scene might be the funniest in the history of The Orville. The camera cuts to another location before he opens his mouth to sing. May this running gag never die. 

Klyden, Topa and Lt. Cmdr. Bortus stand together happily at a wedding reception on The Orville: New Horizons Season 3 Episode 10, "Future Unknown."

The Orville: New Horizons — “Future Unknown” – Season 3 Episode 10 — Klyden (Chad L. Coleman), Topa (Imani Pullum), and Lt. Cmdr. Bortus (Peter Macon), shown. (Photo by: Gilles Mingasson/Hulu)

Meanwhile, the ladies party it up at Claire’s bachelorette party. They programmed a Kaylon stripper to take the stage, complete with nipple tassels. Claire grinds on him in classic bachelorette party fashion. 

After Bortus finishes singing “Love Me Tender” (and receiving enthusiastic cheering from Klyden), we cut to a later scene, wherein Lysella reveals she wants to return to Sargas Four. Grayson informs Mercer, Keyali and Claire while the latter tries on potential wedding gowns. 

RELATED: The Orville: New Horizons Recap: (S03E02) Shadow Realms

A History Lesson

Later, we see Lysella boarding a shuttle bound for Sargas Four, piloted by Malloy. Mercer tells Lysella that this is it — she cannot return to the ship a third time. Unfortunately, Grayson and Keyali find a com scanner concealed among Lysella’s belongings (Remember when she stole one the first time?). Grayson takes Lysella back to the simulation room to show her something alarming. 

Lysella receives a history lesson in what happens when an advanced civilization “facilitates” the technological growth of an underdeveloped society. The world they currently inhabit in the simulator collapsed five years after the Union tampered with its progression. What was once a prospering community is now a mess of debris and decay. Grayson explains how it’s their responsibility only to observe and never interfere. It’s a powerful, hard-hitting monologue. 

Then, a bewildered Mercer finds thousands of Kaylon vessels stationed outside the Orville. Believing they’re under attack (again), he learns from the Kaylon Primary that Isaac invited them to his wedding. Unfortunately, their simulator can only fit a select few Kaylon. 

RELATED: The Orville: New Horizons Season Premiere Recap: (S03E01) Electric Sheep

Wedding Day 

Next, we see the wedding in full swing, with a gorgeous outdoor setting in the simulation room. Mercer stands with a human-looking Isaac, while Bortus and Grayson are next to them as the Best Man and Maid of Honor, respectively. Ty walks down the aisle as the Ring Bearer. Marcus accompanies his mother next, and if the tears aren’t flowing at this point — give it time. We see the Orville crew on one side of the aisle and the Kaylon attendees on the other. 

Dr. Claire Finn and Isaac stand before Capt. Ed Mercer, who officiates their wedding, on The Orville: New Horizons Season 3 Episode 10, "Future Unknown."

The Orville: New Horizons — “Future Unknown” – Season 3 Episode 10 — Dr. Claire Finn (Penny Johnson Jerald), Capt. Ed Mercer (Seth MacFarlane), and Isaac (Mark Jackson), shown. (Photo by: Gilles Mingasson/Hulu)

After Mercer delivers a short speech, Claire and Isaac recite their vows. Isaac’s vows are inexplicably sweet for being devoid of “emotion.” They seal their official union with a kiss. 

A Familiar Face

Later, the gang kicks up their heels for a fun-filled reception. Suddenly, a familiar face enters the festivities: Alara Kitan (Halston Sage). It’s so lovely to see her again! She reunites with our crew, and we finally see our resident Xelayans, Keyali and Kitan, in the same space for the first time. 

RELATED: Catch up on all the sci-fi goodness with The Orville recaps!

What transpires next is Bortus’s rousing Best Man speech, chock full of jokes that would’ve killed on Moclus. Isaac interrupts Bortus, revealing he wishes to hear what Malloy has to say. Malloy delivers a hilarious and heartwarming monologue. Then, he follows that up with a stunning musical performance. 

Let the Music Play 

We see everyone gather together for said performance. I love the subtleties and nuances of this scene. Lysella (who decided to stay aboard the ship) leans into Alara. Isaac places a hand on Ty’s shoulder in a surprising display of affection. Claire and Marcus embrace. Bortus, Klyden and Topa huddle together sweetly as an adorable family. 

Dr. Claire Finn clasps hands excitedly with Alara Kitan on The Orville: New Horizons Season 3 Episode 10, "Future Unknown."

The Orville: New Horizons — “Future Unknown” – Season 3 Episode 10 — Dr. Claire Finn (Penny Johnson Jerald) and Lt. Alara Kitan (Halston Sage), shown. (Photo by: Greg Gayne/Hulu)

Finally, Grayson and Mercer join hands. Could this hint at a potential rekindling of their romance? We’ve been heading in this direction for a while now. 

Lastly, we see a shot of the U.S.S. Orville as it speeds away into the starry expanse of space. Beautiful. 

RELATED: Star Trek: Strange New Worlds Pays Homage to ‘Alien’ Franchise

“Future Unknown” feels like a series finale. While I’d love for this show to receive approximately 100 more seasons, I’m glad the writers gave fans a potential sendoff should the series not move forward. There aren’t any significant cliffhangers, and it’s a happy ending. That said, I feel there are plenty of storylines ripe for exploration — the Krill/Moclus alliance, for example. Here’s hoping we get that fourth season. You know what to do, Hulu!

Overall, The Orville: New Horizons blessed us with wall-to-wall brilliance, from its stellar writing and stunning visuals to its resonant themes and top-tier performances. You won’t find a more immersive, intricately-constructed show on TV right now. 

Seasons 1-3 of The Orville are now streaming on Hulu

Geek Girl Authority Crush of the Week: DR. CLAIRE FINN

Melody McCune
Follow me!