Is Ed Mercer worthy of being Captain of The Orville?


Well we’re getting to the last few episodes of Fox’s successful new show The Orville. After the show received a break from Thanksgiving, I was ready to get back into it, hoping to watch it finish strong. In the eleventh episode, titled “New Dimensions”, Kelly has learned that John is smarter than he appears and pushes him to apply himself in other fields on the ship. The Orville was damaged due to a spatial anomaly leading to disastrous effects to all its crew. Kelly sees this as a perfect opportunity for John to help on the Orville rather than just navigating through space. This episode also allows for Ed Mercer to have some moments of revelation where he finally understands his purpose on the Orville. I enjoyed the story it told and how members of the Orville were developed into stronger characters, but moments of this episode felt flat.

Just like previous episodes, this one allows for smaller, lesser known characters to get enough screen time to develop. John, played by J. Lee, gets chewed out along with Lt. Gordon by Kelly because of a juvenile prank on Yaphit that results in a formal reprimand on both. When Kelly reads John’s profile, she finds that John is incredibly intelligent. This leads to John going through trials that test his intelligence and character at its core. I’ve always enjoyed John has a character because he makes clever jokes about human pop culture. The seventh episode showcased his humor and his willingness to take responsibility for his actions while he was being put on trial. This episode builds on John’s character who until now may have been viewed as just the funny side character but now plays a vital role on the ship.

Seth MacFarlane’s character learns some information from Kelly which leads him down a path of self-discovery and teaches him who he really is. I enjoyed the moments of some deep conversation between Ed and Kelly which strengthened their rocky relationship and definitely could be viewed as a stepping stone for Ed and Kelly’s storyline in season two.

Although I found the character development to be fascinating, I found this episode rather forgettable. Episode 11 focused on its characters yet again, which isn’t a bad thing, but slacked on bringing us any interesting storylines. Nothing about this episode was thrilling or heart-pounding and a good majority of the episode was spent waiting for something to happen. Seth MacFarlane has done well balancing humor, action, and drama with its wide cast of characters on board the Orville but that isn’t the case this episode. There were a few rare moments of comedy, but it certainly wasn’t the focus or even really a side note in this week’s episode.

I really hope Seth MacFarlane ends the season strong next week in the final episode of the season. I’m pleased that the show is getting a second season and I’m curious to see how some of the characters we’ve gotten to know will come into play in the next season. The effects and characters have quickly become the best part of The Orville, but I would like to see Seth MacFarlane focus on a little more humor and action to make the last episode a memorable one.

The Orville season finale airs Thursday, December 7 at 9:00 PM on FOX.

What do you think this episode? Sound off in the comments below!



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