This week’s new episode of The Orville titled “Firestorm” easily convinced me that the episode should have been released during the Halloween season. As the 10th episode of Fox’s hit show, “Firestorm” focused on Alara, played by Halston Sage, who feels responsible for the death of a fellow crew member. She requests immediate leave from Ed Mercer because she feels that she is unfit for her job on the ship. The episode starts off with the crew of the Orville trying to convince Alara that she is worthy of her position and that they won’t allow her to leave the ship. Unexpectedly, Alara encounters a clown while walking down a narrow hallway and quickly becomes terrified of the clown’s appearance. Members of the Orville, along with Alara, are worried that an alien life form is on board the ship.
As a viewer, I wasn’t sure where they were going with the episode. The beginning of the episode seemed like it was going to focus on Alara trying to redeem herself and see herself as worthy of her position. With the introduction of the clown sighting, it felt like two different episodes mixed into one as it seemed that the writers had forgotten about Alara’s inner conflict. The show introduced several other phenomena that terrified members of the ship and the episode quickly turned into the crew battling their own personal phobias. To my surprise, both the plotlines of Alara questioning her self-worth and the countless clown and spider sightings all eventually tied in with each other.
I found both storylines to be compelling and Alara finally had her time to shine in the episode with the writers providing more than enough moments to strengthen her as a character. This isn’t the first time that Alara has had a whole episode dedicated to her character, and both episodes really showcased her abilities and worth to the ship. I see Alara as a character who will face obstacles head on and cares about the well-being of her fellow members of the ship. There’s a scene involving a large spider-like creature that attacks Alara and Gordon and her reactions to the attack showed that she is someone with heart despite being from a different planet. Along with this moment were some well-crafted visuals involving scary creatures and a large storm outside the ship. I found each scene involving either phobias or storms to be quite impressive and on par with movie CGI. I’ve read a few articles about Seth MacFarlane creating the show and knowing that he wanted each episode to feel like viewers were watching a movie and I really admire his determination to craft such a beautiful looking show.
Themes of this episode were generally terrifying with how they executed some of the phobias presented. Some of the moments provided genuine suspense surrounding the clown haunting Alara which was very reminiscent of September’s release of Stephen King’s IT. I thought this episode would have been more effective if it was released in September or October around the Halloween season.
This was an interesting episode that mixed two genres together and had several genuinely suspenseful moments that left me on the edge of the seat. Alara once again has some heroic moments that reminded me she is an interesting character and worthy member of the ship. The first season of The Orville is quickly coming to an end and Seth MacFarlane has written a wide variety of episodes that have pleased me on many levels. After the first episode, I wasn’t expecting to enjoy the series as much as I do now. I’m looking forward to what the last two episodes of Season One offer for fans of The Orville.
The Orville returns Thursday, November 30 at 9:00 PM on FOX.
What do you think this episode? Sound off in the comments below!