As The Orville opens, Bortus (Peter Macon) and Klyden (Chad L. Coleman) lay in bed. The couple bickers. Bortus’ time commitment to the ship is taking up too much time. Where are their priorities? Angry at Klyden, Bortus storms from the room in order to start work early. Meanwhile, Klyden drifts out into the living room. There must be something to cure depression. Easy! The computer suggests rocky road ice cream and The Sound of Music. Settling down on the sofa, Klyden digs into the ice cream as Bortus leaves for work. 

Later, Bortus settles down as an alert comes over the bridge. Looking up, the crew of the Orville find themselves in front of a gigantic structure. What could it be? 

The Orville

It appears to be a ship. While it is a massive structure, it is drifting. Its engines are inactive. Since the ship is made of an unfamiliar material, it’s impossible to tell if there are any life signs aboard. However, there is a dock for a boarding party to land. Captain Mercer (Seth MacFarlane) leaves Bortus at the helm and ventures out with a team. 

As they enter the ship, Mercer struggles to open the door. He looks to Alara (Halston Sage), “You wanna open this jar of pickles for me?” Crossing through a number of corridors, they look around in awe as they step into a picturesque meadow. It turns out the ship is a “bio ship”. 

They split into groups and set about exploring. Mercer’s team is the first to find find something as they come across a shack with three lifeforms. However, they are momentarily surprised when the woman who opens the door slams it back in their face. As they talk with the frightened family, the crew find themselves even more confused. It seems the locals have no idea they are on a spacecraft. A boy named Tomilin (Max Burkholder) looks up at them, “Are you from beyond?”.

Meanwhile, Kelly (Adrianne Palicki) and Alara walk through the meadow. It’s picturesque, peaceful and they’re talking… about boys. While they discuss Ed’s hang-ups, they stop as a noise grows in the distance. Without warning, a jeep comes to a screeching halt. Two armed men jump out, and when the women aren’t able to show identification, they are overpowered. 

The Orville

At the same time, Mercer’s party cross a field with the boy from the village. He tells them about the sociological make-up of the planet. He talks about “The Creator”, and “The Reformers”. They quickly come upon a group of “The Reformers”. The people are an extremist sect on the repressed planet. They want to find answers to “The Great Beyond”.  The groups sit down to dinner as they further discuss the social make-up of the planet. However, the moment is interrupted by a transmission from Alara, informing them she’s been shot. Mercer quickly gets up. They have to go find her. 

Meanwhile, Kelly is brought to the center of town where she meets Hamelac (Robert Knepper). The man seems to be at the center of the restrictive dictatorship dominating the planet. They stare each other down as Kelly struggles to keep power in the situation. However, her options are few and far between. 

The Orville

Later, the team comes across Alara. Thanks to science fiction medicine, they are able quell the bleeding from her wound. She quickly recounts what happened with Kelly… she’s been captured! However, just as the team needs back-up from the Orville, they have a problem. It seems Bortus answered a distress call from another ship. The boarding party is on their own. 

While the team descends on the capital, Kelly holds up well under torture. Hamelac looks her over, “Where are your friends?”. Kelly looks up, visibly bloodied, “There’s a small coffee shop on Lafayette Street, called Central Perk. My friends are there”. However, he quickly injects her with a poisonous serum. The only way Kelly gets the antidote is if she reveals the location of the crew. 

Meanwhile, Mercer and his team arrive to save the day. Alara is easily able to overpower Hamelac as the others tend to the panicking Kelly. While they quickly make their case to the man… they’re trying to save this ship after all, it quickly becomes clear he isn’t listening. Tired of arguing, Mercer stuns him and the group leaves. 

Together with Tomilin, they find their way to a strange structure. It seems it’s the bridge of the ship. As they look over the expanse of space, a video suddenly plays on the wall. It’s Darral (Liam Neeson). The Reformers described the man as “The Creator”, but it turns out he was the first captain of the ship. As they watch, he tells the story of the vessel’s earliest days. It turns out, an ion storm crippled the ship millennia before. Since then, they’ve simply been drifting. As time passed and generations aged, the passengers gradually forgot their origins. 

As the episode comes to a close, the team from the Orville open the roof of the ship, showing the crowds of people below a sky filled with stars. 

The Orville airs Thursday nights on Fox. Earlier episodes stream on Hulu. 


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Kimberly Pierce

A film nerd from my earliest years watching Abbott and Costello, that eventually translated to a Master’s Degree in Film History. I spend my time working on my fiction projects in all their forms, as well as covering film and television.
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