The last episode of Fox’s The Orville has finally arrived. The Orville was ordered for a 13-episode season, but Fox decided to have the 13th episode be part of season two, so episode 12 was our long-awaited season finale. This episode, titled “Mad Idolatry”, is about the crew of the Orville who crash land on a nearby planet from another universe. The planet is unique because eleven days in space for the Orville is equivalent to 700 years for this planet. Kelly approaches a young girl on this planet who falls and hurts herself and heals her with a device that can heal wounds instantly. The period for this planet is in the early 1400s so Kelly has to be careful not to disturb their society by appearing to not be from their time. Townspeople see her and worship her as their god over the next 1400 years. A First Officer’s job is to avoid contaminating the culture and Ed decides to hide this in his report to give himself and Kelly a chance to fix their mistake from many years ago.
I think the season was hurt by losing the 13th episode as their finale. I was expecting some grand exit for the first season or maybe even a cliffhanger leading into the next season. My expectations were certainly high for the season finale and I was left thinking, “that’s it?” As I was watching the last episode, it felt like just another typical episode I could imagine being placed in the middle of the season and it wouldn’t disrupt the flow. In my experience, season finales should have a climactic feel that builds your excitement for the next season and unfortunately I didn’t feel that at any point in the last episode.
The idea for the episode is a fascinating one and I admire when a sci-fi show delves deeper into new universes and their timelines. One of my favorite moments from Interstellar is when Matthew McConaughey journeys to a planet where one hour for them is seven years on Earth. The idea of worm holes and other universes really blows my mind, so I stayed interested in the plot for the show and the effects Kelly had on this culture. I’ve heard that this episode, amongst many others, mirrors episodes from classic Star Trek shows. I understand how people can view Seth MacFarlane’s The Orville as a copy cat, but I admire MacFarlane’s love for science fiction and willingness to adapt it for a younger audience.
I felt that this episode was rather bland at times when it came to the humor. The only time I laughed was the beginning of the episode which started off with jokes led by Gordon and John. This one was particularly funny because it showcased Bortus’ favorite game for his species that Ed Mercer was interested in. While Bortus and his partner found humor and enjoyment in it, Mercer did not. I feel that the opening of each episode is classic Seth MacFarlane and the only moments that are truly reminiscent of his humor.
Overall, I was happy with the direction of the show. It balanced comedy and drama quite well and there were plenty of terrific characters that received ample amounts of character development. I was disappointed with the choice for the final episode, but I’m excited for what the second season will bring for members of the Orville. I would love to see more celebrity appearances just like this season had Charlize Theron and Rob Lowe appear for an episode or two. With Seth MacFarlane’s great storylines and celebrity connections, season two of The Orville will probably be a wild ride.
The Orville will return to Fox in 2018.
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