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The Orville: New Horizons Blasts Off at Hulu

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The Orville recently returned to our screens after a three-year hiatus. However, it’s not quite the same Orville we know from before. The show which was inspired by and often parodies Star Trek was created by and stars Seth MacFarlane. Otherwise known as the man behind Family Guy, American Dad, the Ted movies, and more. It was originally produced by and aired on Fox but was dropped after the second season in 2019. It was announced that Hulu would pick up The Orville and rebrand it as The Orville: New Horizons. I loved the first two seasons of the show and was so disappointed when it was announced that it wouldn’t return for a third. I was ecstatic when I found out that Hulu picked it up but I was also a little scared because I questioned whether the rebrand would do the original justice. The first two episodes of The Orville: New Horizons are now streaming on Hulu and here’s a breakdown of what’s happened so far and my initial thoughts. THIS IS YOUR OFFICIAL SPOILER WARNING: There will be spoilers going forward so if you haven’t seen the first two episodes of season 3 yet and don’t want to be spoiled save this article and come back!

S3 E1- Electric Sheep

Credit: Hulu

Breakdown:

The Orville: New Horizons begins shortly after The Battle of Earth with the Kaylon from season two. The Orville itself is docked at a space station where it continues to get repaired. The first episode is centered around Isaac, well more so the crew’s reaction to Isaac after the Kaylon attack. Even though in the end he saved everyone, most of the crew still resents him for his involvement in the first place. The season begins with Marcus Finn (the son of Chief Medical Officer Claire Finn) having a nightmare about the attack and Isaac turning evil. Then we’re introduced to The Orville’s new navigator, Ensign Charly Burke, who has perhaps one of the strongest distastes for Isaac on the ship. This distaste comes from losing her best friend Amanda and the rest of her crew mates on the Quimby during the Battle of Earth. She told Isaac exactly how she feels about him after introducing herself in the lunchroom and she wishes he could feel so he could feel everyone’s rejection of him. He then returns to the engineering room to find “murderer” written in red paint on the wall. We later come to find out that someone may dislike Isaac more than Charly and that’s Marcus. He continues to have nightmares about Isaac during the Battle of Earth and resents him for what he did. When Marcus is caught for the writing on the wall he admits to it but doesn’t apologize. In fact, he states that if Isaac stays on board he doesn’t want to remain on board. His final words to Issac are that he wishes he was dead. The episode takes a turn and goes to one of the darkest places the show has ever been. Isaac sends an electromagnetic pulse through his system to shut it down and wipe the memory, which is essentially robot for committing suicide. Initially, there’s no hope for Isaac, his memory is wiped and he’s essentially just a metal casing. That is until the crew finds a way to reboot Isaac but there’s only one person able to do that and it’s none other than Charly Burke. When she refuses to help reboot Isaac she is relieved of duty by Captain Mercer. She is insistent on not helping until Marcus comes to her regretful of what he said and blaming himself for Issac’s suicide. Charly decides to be the bigger person and does the procedure to reboot Isaac to ease Marcus’s conscience. She makes sure to let Isaac know that it was not for him when he’s rebooted. The episode ends with Marcus walking in on Isaac working and smiling as he sees he was successfully rebooted. 

Review:

Right from the start, I think that the set and design in this season are much more visually appealing than in previous ones. The spacecrafts and stations looked so much cleaner and I thought they made space look absolutely stunning. Now it’s been a long time since we’ve seen Captain Mercer, First Officer Grayson, and the rest of the Orville crew fly threw space, and it looks like we may be waiting a little bit longer. The ship is docked and getting repaired for most of the episode so there wasn’t much flying or action in this episode. It was more focused on giving us a sense of the repercussions after the Battle of Earth and answered some questions we fans had. The major one, is how is the crew going to react to Isaac after what happened? I definitely would not want to be a crew member on that ship after what happened, it’s a truly conflicting thing. On one hand, Isaac did go back to the Kaylons and help them in the battle but on the other hand, he came and saved everyone. However, just because Isaac did good in the end, the people who died because of his actions are still gone and all the damage is still done. I honestly don’t know how I would feel, but I bet a lot of people would feel somewhat like Marcus. I know I’ve said things I didn’t mean in anger and have come to regret it just like Marcus did. This episode was a very emotional one and took us to some dark places when all the events and crew mate reactions led Isaac to take his own life. The show may be rebranded and look a little different but it still has the feel of the same old Orville and dare I might say even better. This episode was a great way to kick off this rebrand and season. I can’t wait to see where the shows go from here, but it looks very positive! 

S3 E2- Shadow Realms

Credit: Hulu

Breakdown:

Episode two begins with the crew picking up Admiral Paul Christie to assist them in negotiating with the Krill. The Orville has the opportunity to explore a new section of space but they need to get approval from the Krill. Admiral Christie is an expert negotiator so the Union sent him to help ensure they work something out with the Krill. When he arrives on the ship we find out that he happens to be the ex-husband of The Orville’s Chief Medical Officer Claire Finn. He was her professor in college and they started a secret relationship her senior year and got married shortly after she graduated. They divorced many years ago and Claire went on to have her boys and Christie went on to become an admiral. During the meeting with the Krill, they grant the ship access to explore the section of space. However, they give them a very specific path to a place called Naklav Sector and advise that they are forbidden to deviate from the path given. The Krill places a tracking beacon on the Orville to track their location at all times. Admiral Christie advises they intend to enter a sector called Kalarr Expanse. The Krill highly advise against it due to it being a domain of evil demons and gateways to Hell, otherwise known as Shadow Realms. When Admiral Christie doesn’t take no for an answer the Krill says they won’t stop them but they also won’t save them. During dinner Admiral Christie finds Claire sitting alone and takes a seat. He reveals he still has his wedding ring and feelings for her after all this time. Claire relays that she doesn’t reciprocate any feelings and has moved on with her life. Then the crew heads out to the Naklav Sector with the end goal of exploring the Kalarr Expanse. Admiral Christie seeks advice from Issac about Claire in hopes to win her back. When the crew reaches the Expanse they find that there are no stars, and space is completely black. The crew voyages deeper into this black space and finds a giant space station releasing a distress signal, but it doesn’t seem to have any signs of life on it. The crew decides to take a shuttle to the space station to investigate. Once on board the station, the crew finds the inside to be covered in some organic matter that isn’t yet known. As they make their way further inside they find a room and split up in pairs. Admiral Christie and Captain Mercer find these pod things on the wall and one expands and shoots an unknown mist in the Admiral’s face. Isaac and Lieutenant LaMarr discover that the space station is made out of highly advanced biotech, but they have no idea how it’s there or why. The crew then questions if perhaps there is life on the station but their scanners didn’t pick it up because it’s something undiscovered. Admiral Christie then has a seizure and starts to mutate. Claire says something is rewriting The Admiral’s DNA but she doesn’t know what and she can’t stop it. She needs more information in order to try and help the Admiral so some of the crew return to the space station. They collect a sample from the pod’s mist and take it back to the ship. The Admiral continues to mutate at a progressive rate. He wakes up and tells Claire that if he dies he wants their wedding ring with him. Claire ensures him that he’s not going to die, but she puts the ring on him as he requested. She then promises she will save him as Mercer calls and advises he is returning with the sample. Claire finds that The Admiral is gone from sickbay and just as she notices this, his codes are being used to shut down the entire ship. Claire leaves the nurse alone in the sick bay while she goes and checks on her boys. That’s when we see a fully mutated Admiral Christie as he attacks the nurse. As Claire returns home to find her boys, her boys are out looking for her. That’s when they run into not one, but two alien-looking creatures. Lieutenant Woodson finds the boys but then gets attacked by the creatures. We’re then shown that the creature’s intentions aren’t to kill the crew, but to mutate them. The boys run and find Claire and tell her about what happened. They meet with the rest of the crew to try and get to the bottom of what’s going on. Lieutenant LaMarr is attacked when he restores the power to the ship but he locks himself in the ship’s prison where the creatures can’t get in. Lieutenant Keyali distracts the creatures and knocks one out in a fight. Isaac rescues Lieutenant LaMarr while Lieutenant Keyali brings in the creature she knocked out to Medbay for testing. The people that once inhabited the bodies of those mutated are no longer. Their DNA is gone and no tests can even sense that they were once u human. This means that Admiral Christie and everyone else who’s been mutated is essentially dead. Claire finds out that she may be able to kill the creatures by creating a basic virus since their immune systems are still weak after mutation. They locate Admiral Christie by tracking the sunstone from his wedding ring. Claire tries to bargain with the creature and says that if they don’t leave they will release the virus and kill them all. The creature says that they will turn every crew member into one of them as Claire calls to release the virus. The creature calls to the others it mutated and advises that they will leave the ship, but not forever.  The episode ends with Clara sitting alone at the dinner table and Isaac coming up to her wishing her condolences. She asks him to take a seat and they have dinner. 

Review:

This episode reminded me of why I fell in love with The Orville in the first place. We see the familiar frenemies The Krill, space exploration, and lots of action! Don’t get me wrong the first was a good episode but it definitely lacked some of the best Orville qualities. This episode while having the action and space exploration aspect it still has that emotional aspect. There’s a conversation that Kelly Grayson and Claire Finn have that really stuck to me. They were discussing Claire’s marriage and separation from the Admiral and Kelly asked if Claire was devastated. Claire says at the time yes she was devastated and she kept blaming herself for making the mistake of leaving. However, when she looks back on it now she says “It’s like I’m watching someone else’s daughter; I’m sad for her, but I know she needs to learn her own lessons.” This really hit deep for me because it’s so true. Every time we face something devastating we may feel like it’s the end of the world and not know how we will get past it. Then years down the road you realize if that particular thing didn’t happen you probably wouldn’t be the same person you are now. The show goes on to the mystery of the mutating crew and it is a fun ride that even includes a couple of jump scares! In the end, the crew of course manages to set up a potential future foe with these creatures as they say they will leave, but not forever. Could we see these creatures again this season? The ending of this episode was touching as Isaac who seemingly lost everything including his life last episode and Claire who lost her ex-husband in this one reconcile and have dinner together. Could this perhaps reignite the spark between them? I guess we’ll have to watch the rest of the season to answer the questions this episode left us with! This season is looking to be perhaps the best yet, Hulu does put out some great shows so I’m very excited to see what they all do with this rebrand!

The Orville: New Horizons is streaming Thursdays on Hulu

Donavan Rose
Donavan Rosehttp://thedonavanrose.com
Better known as “TheDonavanRose” on all social media, Donavan is a lifelong pop culture enthusiast, and avid TV & movie watcher. He’s binged over 200 shows from start to finish and is almost always watching something, even if it’s on the background! While he loves most genres, Marvel holds a special place in his heart. After growing up being bullied and unexpectedly losing his mom when he was eleven, Donavan found a lot of himself in characters like Peter Parker and Tony Stark. Ever since then he has felt like Marvel is more of a home, rather than a franchise. He takes his love of Marvel to the next level by owning an extensive Marvel collection with over 400 Funko Pops, replicas from the movies, and even a full-sized Marvel vs. Capcom arcade. He aspires to get those who are passionate about pop culture excited about the same things he is!

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