Mid 2022 The Orville finally returned with its 3rd season after a three-year hiatus! Three years between two seasons, which was mostly because of covid. Fans were constantly disappointed with the release date being pushed further and further into the future. The network change of course didn’t help with this either. Season 3 would now run on Hulu with the title: The Orville – New Horizons. We’ve talked about this in the earlier blogs that this SCI-FI show comes very close to the reboot of the 90’s Star Trek shows, much more so than Star Trek: Discovery or even Star Trek: Picard, although I really hope and beginning to expect a wonderful 3rd Picard season as sort of a thank you note to the shows from that era, but we are talking about The Orville here, and after watching the 3rd season a second time, I am convinced that the 3rd season is absolutely my favorite season! One new character was added to the main cast, ensign Charly Burke, portrayed by Anne Winters. Charly Burke is an ensign in the Planetary Union. She served aboard the USS Quimby until its destruction by the Kaylon during the Kaylon invasion of Earth and has joined the Orville as its navigator.
The 3rd season has a different name, because Hulu, of course, wants to make it their own show, but besides that there is another huge change. While it aired on FOX it had a standard running time of 45-48 minutes approximately, on Hulu an episode lasts between 60 minutes to approximately 90 minutes! So while the 3rd season on Hulu has 10 episodes, in airtime (I did not do the calculation), it most likely isn’t so far of the first two seasons, which have more episodes, respectively 12 & 14 episodes.
About the episodes, because I want to spoil as little as possible, sometimes what I write down may sound cryptic, but it is only to not ruin it for potential new viewers.
The first episode, “Electric Sheep”, deals with the aftermath of what happened during the war with the Kaylon, episodes Identity Parts One and Two. Charly, the Orville’s new navigator, has lost her love during the war and cannot forgive the Kaylon and Isaac. In her eyes Isaac was too late in realizing what the Kaylon were doing was wrong. There seems to be two sides on the ship, one who hate him and the ones who acknowledge his actions which stopped the Kaylon. Although Isaac cannot “feel”, his actions as a response to what Claire’s oldest son Marcus says, makes you wonder if he indeed doesn’t have feelings. Charly, the one who hates him the most, becomes very essential in what comes next. Note – This episode addresses the Kaylon war which hadn’t been done till now, so that is a good thing, but I have to say that it sometimes became uncomfortable (in a good way…if that makes any sense) to watch. It is a very good season opener.
Episode two “Shadow Realms” is the Orville’s “Event Horizon”! Horror in space and I thought it was very well done. The Krill warns the Union and the crew of the Orville, but they think it is superstition or something! We get to meet Claire’s Ex-husband, Admiral Christie who joins the Orville. For me, season 3 has only one letdown episode, “Mortality Paradox”. Not that it is bad or something, but it didn’t hold my interest throughout the whole hour. It is a Follow-up on episode “Mad Idolatry” where the Universe wherein the Orville resides, passes 11 days, it takes 700 years on that planet they are orbiting. Away team of 5 goes down to a planet what should be a desolate planet. Each of these members experience a moment where they think they die.
“Gently Falling Rain” is another great episode. The Krill are back in the limelight. There are elections on Krill and Supreme Chancellor Korin is convinced he will win, prolong his reign. But Zeleya is the other candidate and with the rhetoric that she doesn’t want a treaty with the Union, to become of piece of them instead their own identities, rapidly gains followers. Meanwhille President Alcuzan (Bruce Boxleitner), Senator Speria Balask, General Halsey, Ed and Charlie are on Krill to sign the treaty when all hell breaks loose. This really is great SCI-FI, a great adversary, Zeleya, someone who should have been locked-up, had Captain Ed Mercer listened to his first officer Kelly Grayson. “The Tale of Two Topas” is another very well-done episode, it addresses certain social issues in the same way Star Trek has always done this. At times this is a very emotional episode. Topa, son of Bortus & Klyden, is unhappy, he has been unhappy all his life. He knows there is something wrong, but he does not know what! Commander Kelly Grayson really has a hard time because she of course knows why he is unhappy, and to her it feels like she is lying to him. I won’t spoil anything more but as said, you may well get wet eyes watching this!
“Twice in a Lifetime” The Kaylon wants the Aronov Device, a time-travel device, created by the Union. In an attempt to destroy rather than letting device falling into Kaylon hands, Malloy travels back to 2015 as a result of the explosion. He sends a message shortly after he receives, hoping that he will be rescued. The Orville however arrives back in time in 2025. But at that moment Molloy has made a life for himself, with Laura, the girl from the telephone in season two. While he should have gone into hiding, to protect the timeline. Note – Great episode, some tears at the end when we as an audience what the ending means for Gordon and his family. I think I do understand Gordon.
“From Unknown Graves” is another really good episode! Although negotiation skills of the Orville crew are not always obvious. They pretend to have the same values as a species with whom they are negotiating, never good to start a relationship like that. Orville receives a transmission from the planet they’re orbiting and when they check they find Dr. Villka and a Kaylon Timmis. She and her father have modified the residing Kaylon and this one has emotions! Claire would like Isaac to undergo the same procedure. John and Talla are in a relationship but she keeps hurting him, unintentionally, during sex. Timmis explains to Charly their origin story, which gives Charly something to think about regarding the way she feels and acts towards Isaac. Note – Get ready for some tearjerker moments!
“Midnight Blue” is another fantastic episode; it again revolves around Topa. Year has passed since the Female Moclan colony was discovered and now it’s time for inspection from the Union and Moclans. Topa gets to go with Bortus and Commander Kelly Grayson but is being abducted and brought to a Moclan black site. Kelly and Bortus go find her themselves, they don’t want to wait till they are back on The Orville. Topa is being tortured because the Moclans know Neveena is not holding up her end to the deal. The Moclans maintain that they do not know where she is and that they aren’t responsible for her kidnapping. In the end we see the return of a certain character which makes the ending fulfilling.
The 9th episode, “Domino” is an almost perfect episode. The Union has a device that can destroy all Kaylon, but they use it as a deterrent. Not everyone within the Union has the same idea about that. One of the higher-level commanders seeks an understanding with the Krill. When the Union learn of this, they have to ask help from the very race they created the device for. A very important role has been laid out for Charly, who has overcome her hatred for the Kaylon since Timmis talked to her. Note - It’s most likely one of the best episodes of the entire series.
The season finale, or perhaps series finale, still not sure at this point, is “Future Unknown”. I think this title has deliberately been chosen. The last episode is not a grand spectacle or something, on the contrary, it actually is a “small” but very satisfying and enjoyable episode! It is a feel-good episode! I am not going to say too much about it, but it involves a character from season one episode “Majority Rules”. There is a happy event and we see another familiar face we hadn’t seen in a while. It has lots of laughs and I think some of you will shed a tear or two. Funny thing is, if indeed this is the final episode, I could live with that. On the other hand, I so much want a 4th season!
Well, I said it already, it is a season finale, it can become a series finale, we don’t know yet but what I do know is that for me, the 3rd season is by far the best season. I really enjoyed this one the most. Only one episode “Mortality Paradox” which I wasn’t really fond of, but the remainder of the season is just fantastic! The Orville has so much rewatch value, like my DS9 and Babylon 5 favs, I will repeatedly rewatch this show in years to come!
Screencaps taken from: cap-that.com