DISCLAIMER: This recap of The Orville: New Horizons episode “Gently Falling Rain” has spoilers. Prepare for quantum drive, and proceed at your peril.
Welcome back, members of the Planetary Union! The Orville: New Horizons‘ fourth outing, “Gently Falling Rain,” is an enthralling hour of sci-fi, brimming with action, political intrigue and breathtaking, immersive visuals. The episode’s political premise feels more resonant today than ever, especially with the vast divide in the US.
The Orville: New Horizons brings a new plot into the fold that’ll undoubtedly reverberate across the remainder of the season, with consequences affecting the show’s universe. I’m excited to see how the series explores this.
Ready to delve into “Gently Falling Rain”? Let’s get to it.
The Fires of Revolution
We open with Teleya (Michaela McManus) on Krill, stoking the fires of revolution before a massive gathering. She hopes to dethrone the Supreme Chancellor in the upcoming election, especially since he wishes to sign a peace treaty with the Union.
Meanwhile, on Earth, Admiral Halsey (Victor Garber), Admiral Ozawa (Kelly Hu) and Admiral Perry (Ted Danson) host the Supreme Chancellor and President Alcuzan (Bruce Boxleitner) for a night of Broadway and fine dining. They discuss the upcoming peace treaty and how they hope that showing an allied front against the Kaylon will prevent unrest in the galaxy. The SC wants them to sign the treaty on Krill in their capital.
Next, we see our Orville crew partying it up 1800s-style in the simulation room, which showcases a saloon. Capt. Ed Mercer (Seth MacFarlane), Cmdr. Kelly Grayson (Adrianne Palicki), Dr. Claire Finn (Penny Johnson Jerald), Lt. Cmdr. Bortus (Peter Macon), Lt. Gordon Malloy (Scott Grimes) and Ensign Charly Burke (Anne Winters) sit around a table while donning cowboy garb. Everyone’s drinking.
Isaac (Mark Jackson) bursts through the saloon double doors with a cowboy hat and fake mustache. He informs Mercer and Grayson that Halsey wishes to chat with them.
Halsey reveals the peace treaty is a done deal, and he wants the Orville to transport the Union delegation to Krill. They’ll be the first Union members to set foot on Krill soil.
Breaking New Ground
Next, President Alcuzan, Halsey and the Union delegation arrive on the Orville for transport. Halsey shows Mercer and Grayson footage of Teleya’s rally, sparking alarm among the group. However, the Supreme Chancellor seems unfazed by Teleya’s rhetoric, citing that he still leads in the polls by a wide margin.
Then, Grayson checks in on Mercer after the Teleya reveal. If you recall, Mercer and Teleya got intimate, and he released her from Union imprisonment. He feels responsible for her rise as a revolutionary. Mercer apologizes to Grayson for not heeding her advice to keep Teleya under lock and key.
Later, Mercer and Burke accompany Halsey, President Alcuzan and Speria Balask (Lisa Banes) to the Krill capital. They meet with the Supreme Chancellor in his quarters while he keeps tabs on the election results. Everyone seems captivated by the surrounding metropolis. It’s like stepping into Blade Runner!
Suddenly, the group learns that Teleya won the election by a slim margin, so the SC tries to challenge the results. However, Teleya’s lackeys barge into the SC’s quarters, promptly arresting him by order of Supreme Chancellor Teleya, even though she hasn’t been sworn in yet. It’s a bloody coup, y’all.
It’s a Coup
Teleya’s guards also apprehend Mercer and the Union delegation throwing them in a small cell. Meanwhile, on the Orville, the Krill lock in on our vessel, so Grayson orders LaMarr to enact Directive 21. We see more Krill ships appear on behalf of Teleya, and they fire at the Orville.
Next, Teleya executes the Supreme Chancellor while her followers watch, enraptured. Halsey demands to speak with the now-deceased Supreme Chancellor or at least Teleya, but the soldier guarding them refuses to relent.
Burke tells Mercer that they need to persuade the Krill masses that a treaty benefits everyone, especially since the Kaylon will strike the Union when they’re most vulnerable, a.k.a. now. Mercer feels it’s too late, so they’ll have to fight a two-front war.
Supreme Chancellor Teleya calls Mercer to her quarters, revealing she killed her predecessor and beheaded him. Mercer feels betrayed — he thought he “got through” to Teleya, and they saw things eye-to-eye. She plans to execute Mercer in the morning.
Teleya communicates with Grayson and orders the Orville to depart Krill space immediately. She informs Grayson that Mercer and the Union delegates are dead (which isn’t true). Grayson refuses to budge. Grayson, Bortus and Keyali check in with Admiral Perry, who reveals he’s sending a fleet of Union vessels to help rescue our crew on Krill.
Meet Your Daughter
Meanwhile, some guards order Mercer to don a cloak, leading him through the marketplace. He winds up in a mysterious home, which houses none other than he and Telaya’s daughter, Anaya (Charlie Townsend). She’s half-human, half-Krill. Teleya knows of Anaya’s existence and provides monetary assistance, but she never visits her daughter.
There are still those who support the Krill-Union treaty. Mercer’s new pals propose he and Telaya introduce Anaya to the Krill people in the hopes that it’ll spur them to think differently about the said treaty. Perhaps they’ll see that co-existence is possible.
Mercer chats with Anaya under strict orders not to reveal he’s her dad. Before he departs, Mercer learns that Teleya spared him, so he returns to her quarters to confront her. Teleya, taken aback by Mercer’s presence, demands he leave. She was merely returning the favor since Mercer released her first. Mercer reveals he met Anaya, and we learn the name means “gently falling rain.” Title of the episode!
Mercer suggests they show a united front by revealing Anaya to the masses. Peace isn’t out of reach. However, Teleya opposes this idea. She changes her mind about sparing Mercer, throwing him back in a cell.
Public Execution/Public Escape
Later, Teleya parades Mercer, President Alcuzan, Halsey, Burke and Speria Balask for all to see, withdrawing her blade to take her first victim for the public execution. She stabs Alcuzan, who falls backward. Suddenly, two Krill guards toss a blinding agent into the air, distracting Teleya and her crew, while they quickly usher Mercer and the others to a ship.
Guess what? It’s LaMarr and Dr. Finn, disguised as Krill as per Directive 21. They saved the day! Dr. Finn tends to the president’s wound while Burke assists LaMarr with flying them off Krill. We see a flurry of Krill vessels on their tail.
Next, Grayson and the Orville find themselves locked in a brutal battle between the Union fleet and Krill ships. We see Grayson communicating with Admiral Ozawa, who leads her fleet in the fight. Thankfully, LaMarr and Burke guide their transporter onto the Orville, so the Union fleet quickly enacts quantum drive, making a beeline for Earth.
Looking Toward the Future
Later, on Earth, Halsey informs Mercer and Grayson that President Alcuzan will make a full recovery. He plans to address the council that day. The president will leave it up to Mercer to decide if it’s prudent to reveal Anaya to the universe to reinstate an alliance with the Krill. Mercer wonders if it might make the little girl’s life worse if they put her on a pedestal. Perhaps Teleya will get rid of her.
Mercer tells Grayson that despite his brief time with Anaya, he misses her. Grayson does not doubt Mercer would make a terrific father. She offers to have breakfast with him to cheer him up.
Meanwhile, on Krill, we see Supreme Chancellor Teleya watching Anaya play with her toys, clearly longing to be with her child.
“Gently Falling Rain” is pure escapism, which is something we all need these days. I’m enjoying the longer episodes — it feels like Hulu’s treating us to a mini sci-fi movie weekly. The plot twists in this episode kept me on my toes. I’m curious if Mercer will see Anaya again, but I have no doubt Teleya will make a universal splash at some point. Union versus Krill versus the Kaylons, everyone?
Do you think Teleya will reconsider a treaty with the Union someday? Will Mercer see his daughter again? Are the Kaylon mobilizing for a massive battle in the future? Join me next week while I recap The Orville: New Horizons, only on Geek Girl Authority.
The Orville: New Horizons drops new episodes every Thursday on Hulu.