So, The Orville is back, my weekly readers! (I’m assuming I have them. I might, who knows?) And this week, it has a special guest star of Charlize Theron!
Last week The Orville paid tribute (I’ll call it that) to it’s very Star Trek origins. I’m no longer going to compare it to Star Trek. The reasoning is simple. First, Discovery is the actual, honest-to-God, Paramount version of the newest Star Trek franchise. It looks and feels nothing like Star Trek. If Discovery is what the real Star Trek producers thought we wanted – then I will watch The Orville and be happy it’s the closest thing we have.
This week starts off with the crew watching Seinfeld. It was the episode where Kramer drops a Junior Mint into a patient during an operation. As usual, Issac doesn’t get it, and the crew tries to explain it to him. During the explanation, a ship’s distress call is picked up, and off they go to save them.
Turns out ‘them’ is Charlize Theron, and the male crew members hang a lampshade on how pretty she is (so it’s imperative to save her). The crew shuttle over to the sun-diving comet and attempt a rescue. They are, of course, successful, with 11 seconds to spare. Though the gravitational pull of the nearby star is too powerful for the shuttle to get away successfully, a little tricky tractor beam-age from The Orville and the crew, plus survivor, are safe.
Back on the ship, Captain Mercer had an evening of drinks with the officers arranged, and he invites the new Captain along. At the shin-dig, Mercer and Pria seem to hit it off immediately. Pria is from Massachusetts, the same as Mercer, and she even knows the same scary museum he went to as a kid. Their conversation sets off alarms in Commander Grayson’s head, and her jealousy is readable in Adrianne Palicki’s eyes. Good scene, setting up the drama for the episode.
After the party, Pria comes to Ed’s quarters, and has a short conversation. She basically made up an excuse to come say “good night” to him. A little peck on the cheek, and she is off. The smoldering tension is so thick you could cut it with a knife. This scene is all Charlize!
Back in her office, Kelly is pondering about Pria. She starts to look up details, and finds nothing. Suspicion grows, until she can’t take it anymore, and she heads to the Captain’s office. He’s not very receptive towards her attitude, and blames her for being jealous. She says he is letting his emotions blind his better judgment. She winds up even more frustrated than before, and now Mercer thinks she is jealous. Which she might be.
Next stop for Kelly is Security Chief Alara’s office. She begs Alara to find an excuse to search Pria’s quarters. Alara finally caves, and together they head off to search Pria’s quarters.
Honestly, they just saved her from a comet that was diving headlong into the sun. She left everything behind. What did she have to bring that they could find? It turns out, there is a small, metal rectangle of unknown makings hidden….under her bed.
As they are examining the small rectangular object, Pria comes back, catching them. They make some lame excuses about radiation, and awkwardly make their exit. BUSTED!
So, of course Ed finds out, calls the two of them into his office, and the two formerly married couple start to argue as only a formerly married couple can. He blames her for being jealous, and having no grounds to search her room. She says he is blinded by her looks and charm, and is ignoring a danger to the crew by giving her near total freedom on the ship.
Their argument is interrupted, however, by a giant colossal space complication. This complication is in the form of a “dark matter storm”. Uhh…sure. You’ve got a quantum drive, I’ll accept a dark matter storm as a space complication.
The white guy at the helm (Still don’t know his character well enough to remember his name) says he can’t navigate through the storm. He has no idea what to do. The Captain looks around for ideas. Pria says she can get through the storm. With no other choices left to them, they give her the helm, and she flies through the storm, and saves the ship. The only damage is the communications array, which is gone for the duration of the episode. That won’t be important later, I’m sure!
The ship is saved, the crew is happy, and Ed now completely trusts Pria, as she saved the ship. Kelly is still unconvinced, and keeps watching for anything suspicious.
Ed and Pria celebrate by going to an environmental simulator (the holodeck), and taking in the sights. Pria leans in for a kiss again, and Ed leans back in. He pulls back, saying that he’s just gotten out of a nasty divorce, he wants to keep it slow….
And cut to them in the sheets, post-coital glowing.
Just to be clear – Seth has invited Charlize as a guest star, and has kissed her, and now is acting in a scene where she is topless. He is living out a LOT of geek fantasies right now!
So, the pillow talk starts between Pria and Ed, and they discuss his past relationship with Kelly, as well as other subjects.
They cut to the next scene on the bridge, where the white guy from the helm is missing a leg. This is a call back to earlier in the episode when he put Mr. Potatohead ears, eyes, hat, and mouth on Issac, as a way to explain practical jokes. Issac, in return, took his leg. Ha ha? Issac has hidden the leg, as a final part to the joke. So, the Captain tells him (The white helmsman, I still don’t really know his name) to go get his leg regenerated as Ed and Commander get called to engineering.
Down in engineering, they find the metal block of unknown composition. Only now it’s in the circuits. They have no idea what to do about it, but suspect it’s nothing good for the ship. Issac tries to interface with it, and it blows him up, frying his circuits. The engineer declares “He’s dead!”
They head to Pria’s quarters, and demand answers.
Turns out, she’s from 400 years into their future. She is a dealer in ancient, lost artifacts. The Orville was supposed to have been destroyed in the Dark matter storm. She came back to save the ship. Not the crew, she says they’ll take the crew to the 29th century where they get to meet Amelia Earhart.
The missing leg falls from the roof, bringing some levity to what would have been a very serious scene. The characters don’t laugh, of course, but I got a good chuckle out of the absurdity of it. Almost Monty Python-esque. Alara take the leg, and leaves with Kelly. Ed demands to know how Pria could do this to him. Her answers are unsatisfying to him, and he tells her to go to hell. She doesn’t get it, and he storms off after telling her “It’s very bad!”.
Pria takes control of the helm, and sends it to the wormhole, which they use to travel from the 29th century to The Orville’s time. Pria sends the ship through the wormhole, and off to speak with her buyers, who are waiting for her. She starts negotiating payment with the aliens.
During this conversation, Issac somehow materialized Junior Mints on the helm, signaling the captain he is ok. Seizing a moment, the crew reasserts control of the ship, and fly back into the wormhole, and back to their own time.
As Mercer explains – “If I destroy the wormhole, then you’ll have no access to the past, and thus will never have visited to steal the ship.” She tries to explain they are changing the time-line, as they were supposed to be destroyed by the Dark Matter storm. But Mercer lays it on her feet “You saved us from the storm. You changed the time-line, not me.”
He blows up the wormhole, and Pria fades from existence, never having had access to the wormhole.
This is a real timey-wimey wibbly-wobbly episode. If the wormhole never existed, then Pria should never have come back in time, and The Orville should have been destroyed in the Dark Matter storm. Except, she did come back, she did save the crew, and they did blow up the wormhole, which caused her to fade from existence (or at least from their time), and SHOULD have undone all her actions! If she hadn’t come back, and hadn’t saved the crew, then the crew would have been destroyed, and the wormhole wouldn’t have been blown up. But she only faded from their time-line after he blew up the wormhole….*HEAD EXPLODES*
Ok, enough. It was a fun, entertaining episode. It is much more Star Trek than anything else on TV. I’ll take it.