The Orville Puts Viewers On Edge With a Very Dark, Very Discomfiting Twist

Orville Kaylons Invade Ship

More than 12 hours after watching this week’s The Orville, I remain quite shook (if I may appropriate the slang of a different generation).

Seriously, WTF was that?!

The seventh episode — the first half of a two-parter — of the Fox adventure series’ strong sophomore run found the crew setting course for Isaac’s home planet of Kaylon, after the science/engineering officer suddenly powered down. Upon arriving on Kaylon 1, Captain Mercer & Co. received as warm a welcome as one might expect from a species of synthetic, mechanical lifeforms. Their leader, Kaylon Primary, explained that Isaac had been deactivated now that his mission to observe the humans — ostensibly to inform a decision on Kaylon joining the Union — is complete.

After Dr. Finn (who had just informed her sons that she and the Kaylon were dating) led a plea for Isaac to be powered back up, Primary acquiesced. Isaac, though, would not be returning to The Orville, a fact with which he was coldly OK. When an understandably upset Claire beseeched her beau to at least return to the ship to say good-bye to Ty and Marcus, he begrudgingly obliged. Aboard the ship, Ty gifted Isaac with a picture, but when the lad later found it discarded, he ran away to Kaylon, to find his would-be “new dad.” Talla and Bortus tracked down Ty, but were agog to lay eyes on what he had discovered: one of what we learn are thousands of underground caves, inside of which were piled the skeletons of organic beings. More than a billion, in all.

Confronted with the find, Primary matter-of-factly explained to Ed and Kelly that the dead were the organic race that created them. And upon proving to be incompatible, they were annihilated.

But it gets worse. Much, much worse.

The Kaylon population is booming, necessitating new homes to hang their… domes. And Isaac’s mission was in fact to survey the humans as part of an analysis of Earth as a planet to inhabit/conquer! No sooner had Ed’s emergency broadcast to the ship been cut short did scores of Kaylons board the ship, their heads tricking out with side-mount laser rifles. The crew made an effort to thwart the takeover, only to lose several lives in the process.

Ultimately, Ed and the landing party were escorted to the bridge, as prisoners, left to watch as the Orville made tracks for Earth, accompanied by hundreds of weapon ships that had been dispatched from Kaylon 1’s surface.

What could possibly happen next? I can’t imagine Isaac is surreptitiously acting as a “double agent” and plans to subvert his own kind, seeing as he has thus far allowed so much loss of life. In the end, will the Kaylons be defeated in the style of The AvengersIndependence Day and many other examples, by having their “primary” vanquished/infected with a virus, thus causing the hive mind to shut down en masse?

What did you think of this week’s The Orville? Is the series, as Penny Johnson Jerald promised, going “really deep this year” and exploring “places that we thought could be borderline”?

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