TL;DR – Today we find yet another side of life on Moclus, and it’s not great, to be honest.
Score – 4 out of 5 stars
Well, tonight’s episode of The Orville was an interesting one because it was an episode full of contradictions. It is an episode trying to shine the light of prejudice, but in a really ham-fisted way, but then it works when it really shouldn’t. It also contrasts this really serious storyline with a really silly one, and still all works.
So to set the scene, the USS Orville is preparing itself for a long-term mission into unexplored space by returning to Moclus to get a deflector upgrade. This involves a Moclan engineer Locar (Kevin Daniels) coming on-board to assist, which is a bit awkward because he is Bortus’ (Peter Macon) ex. While this is going on Kelly (Adrianne Palicki) realises in a conversation with Cassius (Chris Johnson) that they both want different things out of the relationship, so she decided to end it, which does not go over well. This is all before Locar reveals a secret that rocks the ship to the core, and may have set in motion something uncontrollable. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.
is a long history in Science Fiction in lever letting the main romantic pair
stay in a romance. You can see it in shows like Farscape and Stargate SG1,
and it was frustrating to see this at the end of Season
One. But this week both of our main leads are single again, and they
clearly have chemistry in the show. It was interesting to see Cassius go from good-natured to a
creep at warp speed, so yer Kelly dodged a bullet here. It was also good
to see Kelly stand up for the notion that why does everyone care if I get
married or not. This led to an interesting dichotomy in the episode and it will
be interesting to see how that plays out over the rest of the season.
Then we get to Moclus, which has started to be quite the ethical problem for the show. It is clear that they are a very closed off and traditional species, so it is interesting to see how they fit into a Planetary Union that seems at odds with that. Well in tonight’s episode we find out that they actually don’t and it is more of an alliance of convenience. This has real implications for the series because as we will get to, this is another episode that shows that they are a really difficult species.
core narrative of tonight’s episode revolves around Locar the engineer
confiding in Talla (Jessica Szohr) that he is attracted to women. Moclus is a single sex species (mostly) so it
is a grave crime for someone to engage in relations with a member of a different sex. Now the ‘what if everyone was gay and being straight was the crime’ storyline did feel a little on the nose at the
start because it is a concept that feels dragged
right out of a bad 1990s sitcom. However, they take what is a bit of an icky
plot line and elevate it by giving some real character growth from it. The
first is with Talla, who has not had much to do so far, so having an episode
based around her and her security knowledge was a bit overdue and really
welcome. Adding to this we see Bortus show that while he might be progressive on
some fronts, he is not in others, which is how people are in real life.
All of this lead to the finale of the episode when Talla doing her job leads to Locar being found and Klyden being set free after he was framed for Locar’s murder. If the show had just ended there it would have been a failure but it takes it one step further and commits to it. It is here where Klyden asks if there is anything he can do for Talla, and she responds ‘if you see me walking down the hallway, turn around and walk somewhere else.’ She freed him, but what Klyden did was undefendable and inexcusable, and it was good to see someone finally call him on this. From his actions in season one with Topa (Blesson Yates) and in Primal Urges you see that he is ruled by his prejudice. Now, this is a prejudice created by a society that favours tradition among all things, and Klyden has been directly impacted by this. But he is an adult and it is time someone called him on his shit.
In the end, do we recommend Deflectors? Yes, we do. I had a concern at the start that it was going to be one of those episodes that did not get the balance of absurd and sincere right, and I mean we do get Bruce Willis as a talking plant at one point. However, it all gets brought in to the end of the episode that really sticks the landing, and I have a feeling that it will have significant repercussions going forward.
By Brian MacNamara: You can follow Brian on Twitter Here, when he’s not chatting about Movies and TV, he’ll be talking about International Relations, or the Solar System.
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Trailer – Click Here to View (all trailers have heavy spoilers)
Credits – All images were created by the cast, crew, and production companies of The Orville
Directed by – Seth MacFarlane
Written by – David A Goodman
Created by – Seth MacFarlane
Production/Disruption Companies – 20th Century Fox, Fuzzy Door Production, Fox Network & SBS Viceland.
Starring in Season Two – Seth MacFarlane, Adrianne Palicki, Penny Johnson Jerald, Scott Grimes, Peter Macon, Jessica Szohr, J. Lee & Mark Jackson also Chad L. Coleman, Mike Henry, Chris Johnson, Kevin Daniels, Wren T. Brown, Norm McDonald, Rachael MacFarlane, Blesson Yates & Bruce Willis
This review was spot on. Other reviews (especially from the fans) completely missed some of the points you make. Thanks.