Hello again, welcome to the newest review of The Orville, this one centering on their deadly enemy – the Krill!
From now on, with this show, I’m going to start with the MST3k theme song….at least, the last part.
If you’re wondering how he eats and breathes
And other science facts,
Just repeat to yourself “It’s just a show,
I should really just relax
For Mystery Science Theater 3000.”
Seriously, this show is finding some legs, for me. Perhaps it’s because it’s almost halfway through the first 13 episode order. Perhaps it’s because they didn’t start with a dick joke, or the blobbie guy hitting on the doctor and making a dick joke. Maybe it was just a good episode?
I liked the beginning, where the senior officers were eating a meal together. It’s nice to see a little ‘down time’ interactions. The best part was when they found out Bortus was able to eat almost anything, so they started giving him things to eat: a Napkin, a replicator-created cactus, a drinking glass. It started with him downing an entire ball of wasabi (Malloy was having sushi), and just grew from there. It seemed….genuine. It seemed like what real people might do in a similar situation.
One of the biggest things about this show, is rather than bing the prim and proper Captain of the flagship of Starfleet, Ed Mercer is a bit of a schlub, his crew is kind of lax, and formalities aren’t really a concern, in most cases. Ed’s bridge is one where his second in command calls him by his first name (and is his ex-wife), his best friend is the navigator/pilot, and practical jokes on boring missions are commonplace.
So it was a surprise, with the tone of this episode. First, during their meal, an emergency call is received, and the Orville has to fly to the rescue of a mining colony.
The Krill are attacking a nearly defenseless colony, and the Orville is the only Union ship nearby. They show up, and demand that the Krill stop bombing the colony immediately. The Krill respond by turning their ship, and their guns, to the Orville.
Out-gunned, and out matched by the sheer size and power difference, the Orville is getting hammered by the Krill’s weapons. And this is where Ed shows he is somehow a competent captain. First, he has Malloy skim the surface of the atmosphere. Malloy questions the maneuver, but follows orders. The Krill follow, but are now having a hard time locking weapons on the Orville. The friction of skimming the atmosphere is blinding their sensors (for some reason). He has Bortus load all their photon torpedoes and ready them to fire at once. Bortus questions him, but Ed simply says “follow my orders!” and goes back to commanding the bridge. A really good moment, showing they are actually a fairly competent crew when they need to be, and respect the Captain. It really provided a solidifying moment for me, bringing them together as a fully functioning team.
Once the Krill are blinded, they take a hard turn upwards, and back into space, with the Krill trying to follow. They never see the dozen torpedoes screaming at them. The Krill ship is destroyed, and the Orville has won another fight….with the addition of a special treat, a shuttle survived the explosion.
An Admiral or other high-ranking Union official comes on-board congratulating Mercer and his crew for capturing the ship. Mercer jokes about the Union techs tearing it apart to understand the technology better, but he is shocked to find out he’s about to go undercover on the Krill ship, and try to steal/copy one of their ‘holy books’.
It turns out the Krill are religious fanatics. The Admiral says that every ship carries a copy of their holy book, and Mercer and Malloy are going to go in the captured shuttle, and try to steal one. She also makes a comment about how “Usually the more technological a society becomes, the less religious they become.” The Admiral hopes they can use the Krill bible as a way to make an inroad for peaceful relations, hoping to steer away from a war, which she fears might last a decade or longer.
They are provided with devices by Issac (the robot science officer, if you’ve forgotten), that allow them to look exactly like a Krill, and even give off the bio-signs of a Krill, so they can hide as Krill, enabling the mission.
Malloy and Mercer take off on their very dangerous mission, but not before Grayson tells the Captain to come back safely. Clearly, she is still very affectionate towards her ex.
This is where I started singing the MST3K theme song in my head. The ridiculousness of two humans trying to infiltrate an alien ship, which they have virtually no clue about, is beyond absurd. Somehow, this doesn’t stop it from being entertaining, and downright fun.
When Mercer and Malloy are trying to make up names, with no idea what to expect from the Krill, they start riffing, and it’s a great scene. They are clearly friends, and I laughed several times at the names they were suggesting. Of course, Häagen Dazs was the capper.
When introduced to the Captain of the Krill ship, Mercer says their names are “Chris” and “Devon”. The Captain calls them strange names, and they move on. The more they stayed undercover, successfully, the more absurd it got.
When they found out the name of the Krill god was Avis, Malloy couldn’t help but start making Avis Car Rental jokes. When they were giving prayers before a meal, Malloy asked Avis to cover the loss of their vehicle. It didn’t let up, and even dropped a Hertz reference for good measure.
They were there to copy the Krill bible, but while there, they discover the ship is carrying a new kind of weapon, a neutrino powered bomb. It will, they are told, allow them to kill everyone on an entire continent, allowing them to kill Humans on a colony with ease. Of course Mercer decides they need to stop this weapon from being deployed. So, suddenly the mission is a lot harder, and even more dangerous.
Unfortunately, they find out the ship has kids, so Ed doesn’t feel very good about blowing up the entire ship, with the kids in it. I don’t know why, as they’ll just grow up to be more murderous Krill, but hey, human morality!
So, it turns out, the Krill are “like space vampires!” and are super sensitive to sunlight, due to evolving on a planet with almost no light penetration. So the two humans decide to flood the ship with UV and sunlight from the overhead lighting. The MST3K theme song started playing again, so I gave up wondering why a Krill ship would have lights that could produce UV or sunlight levels of light, or why they would ever go brighter than super dim – but that’s not important, because this is pretty entertaining.
So, they kill off the entire crew except for the kids, and the one female Krill they had befriended. They take the captured Destroyer back to the Orville, and Mercer says the kids will be sent back to Krill-space. Mercer doesn’t know what will happen with the female, but she tells him, in no uncertain terms, that the children will be his enemies. It was scary, and showed that his act of human mercy is going to have (maybe?) lasting repercussions. It was a fairly dramatic ending.
The entire episode was fairly dramatic. Even with Malloy and Mercer being the jokey, clueless guys they really are, somehow they pulled off the suicidal mission, and brought back an entire destroyer as a prize.
This was, by far, the most enjoyable of the shows. There wasn’t a huge morality-play at it’s core, like some others, but it was entertaining and had plenty of action. Oh, and jokes, there were jokes. Like Malloy forgetting where the rendezvous point was supposed to be, and had to be reminded it was the bridge of the Krill ship.
It was moments like that, unexpected, and REAL, that is making me like this show more and more.
More like this one please!