For our review of the last episode of The Orville, click here.
Synopsis: Kelly breaks up with Cassius, while the Orville has its deflectors upgraded by a Moclan engineer who used to be Bortus’ boyfriend.(IMDB)
Writer: David A. Goodman
Director: Seth MacFarlane
Running Time: 44mins
Airs: Thursdays at 9pm on CityTV (Canada)/Fox (United States)
After a brief hiatus, The Orville continues its streak of strong and relevantly topical episodes with “Deflectors.”
The Orville is undergoing upgrades to its shields from one of the Moclan’s top engineers, Locar (Kevin Daniels). His knowledge is a welcomed change-of-pace for the ship’s engineers, however, his presence is not when it comes to Bortus who previously dated him. Tensions run high during his time aboard The Orville but it is slowly revealed that his incompatibility with Bortus was derived from his preference towards the female species which is an abomination in the eyes of the Moclan race. It is because of this that Locar has been forced to hide and suppress his feelings throughout his life for fear of persecution from his own kind. It is only when he begins to trust someone that he opens up this particular part of himself to them, a trust that he finds in Chief Security Officer Lt. Talla Keyali (Jessica Szohr).
The episode begins to take a dark turn towards the end of the second act as the feelings that were beginning to develop between Locar and Keyali are cut short due to Locar’s murder. Upon further investigation, the Isaac and Lt. Lamarr discover that the murderer is perceived to be Clyden, Bortus’ mate, who is shown killing Locar while inside the simulator waiting for Lt. Keyali. As Keyali slowly begins to peel back the density of this crime, she realizes the extreme lengths and repercussions of the Moclan way of life and just how far yet they still need to evolve in their approach to diversity. Clyden does not deny being in the simulator and confronting Locar about his choices, threatening to expose him to his superiors, but denies being his murderer.
In time, Lt. Keyali uncovers the true nature of the murder to be a cover up created to grant Locar a way of escape from his people in hopes of establishing a new life. This comes at the expense of Clyden being framed for his murder, a sentence that Keyali does not allow Locar to get away with instead helping him to clear Clyden’s name and face his fellow Moclans. The episode avoids a happy ending instead leaving all those affected by this ordeal forced to reckon with the cost of Clyden’s freedom against Locar’s impending judgement and assumed death by the hands of his people.
As a secondary story and brief comical reprieve, “Deflectors” is book-ended by the break-up of Cassius and Kelly. Cassius has a different life plan in mind for the two of them that involves marriage and more while Kelly, having already been married, is in no rush whatsoever to move that quickly back into that level of commitment with someone else. Throughout the episode, Cassius attempts to win her back by relentlessly messaging her and reaching the level of desperation where he sends a giant sentient flower to apologize on his behalf. [SIDE NOTE: I could swear that the flower is voiced by Bruce Willis but am unable to confirm it] This storyline ends with Cassius requesting a transfer from The Orville and leaving Kelly with the question of if she stills loves Captain Mercer. This is something that will surely continue to play out over the next several episodes.
As previously mentioned, The Orville continues to push the boundaries of its second season as it has spent an ample amount of storylines on the issue of acceptance of cultural differences in the name of peace and understanding. This is a goal that the show has done an excellent job in reaching and continues to find its voice on as the season progresses. While its second season has lacked in comedic occurrences compared to its first, The Orville has strived to move beyond that of just a rudimentary space comedy and has put forth a concentrated effort to actually embed its story with a positive message that is highly relevant today.