The Orville: The Road Not Taken
April 29, 2019 7:21 AM - Season 2, Episode 14 - Subscribe

Season Finale! The crew of the Orville have to deal with the disastrous consequences of Kelly's decision at the end of lat episode.

The Kaylon have conquered half the known galaxy and Ed and Gordon are alone in a small shuttle craft and survive by scavenging supplies. Kelly has obtained a beat-up ship reunites the Orville officers in hopes of restoring the original timeline. To do so they need to find the Orville, which was believed to be lost at the battle with the Kaylon at Earth.

AV Club: In a thrilling season finale, The Orville shows how much worse it can get when you try to avoid mistakes

IO9: The Orville Wraps Up a Strong Second Season With Its Most Ambitious Episode Yet

Den of Geek: The Orville ends Season 2 with a swashbuckling homage to Star Wars
posted by fimbulvetr (6 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Thanks for posting this! It was a fine episode. I've written elsewhere on Metafilter that if you can't do better than Primer, don't write a time travel plot. But they didn't aim anywhere that high; this was a straightforward alternate future plot, with someone who remembers A Better Way, and they did the silly heroic stuff to fix things. I even liked the silly "let's fly into the black hole but not too far in just the edge" thing mostly because it let them have that tense scene of watching the Kaylons searching for them.

The only thing I would have changed is to leave Claire's kids out of this episode. They didn't really do anything and made no sense being dragged into The Danger everywhere. Well except lil Ty sure can press a button.

It's funny I didn't even notice all the Star Wars homages while watching, but in retrospect duh.
posted by Nelson at 7:31 AM on April 29, 2019 [2 favorites]

I liked how important this episode made the relationship between Claire's family and Isaac, too. That's probably why the kids were there -- it was the Kylon threatening Ty that was the last straw in Isaac deciding to go rogue.

I love this show and I really hope it gets renewed!
posted by rue72 at 7:44 AM on April 29, 2019 [4 favorites]

From the AV Club review:

So it was a welcome continuation of the show’s core concept of average people in space that it wasn’t Ed’s genius, but instead the almost incidental relationship Isaac formed with Dr. Claire’s children that proved to be the key to holding off the Kaylon invasion. Isaac and the kids growing friendship were handled naturalistically enough that it never seemed like a giant neon arrow pointing to Isaac’s newfound humanity. And while that certainly was happening, the relaxed humor that defined their time together kept the relationship from feeling too portentous. It’s a nice confirmation on how important seemingly small things can be, and a good example of the show’s capacity for showing, not telling.

I have a different take on it -- I don't think that the relationship between Isaac and Claire and her kids was ever incidental or a small thing. I think something fun/refreshing about the Orville is how it consistently centers relationships as THE important thing, THE point of it all.

Kelly-7 thought that because Ed and Kelly ultimately divorced, that their relationship was a "failure" that she would have to try and avoid, but in reality, their relationship was a success in the sense that it was genuinely meaningful. Same thing for Claire's relationship with Isaac -- they didn't get married and have lots of cyborg babies and climb any relationship escalator, but their relationship was a success because it was meaningful.

I like how the show centers relationships like that, because it's such a humanistic point of view. (Is "humanistic" the right word there? You guys probably know what I mean...).
posted by rue72 at 7:53 AM on April 29, 2019 [7 favorites]

I enjoyed it and appreciated how they spun one conscious decision not to take a second date into a humanity ending disaster. I think Rue72 is right, however, because it really does focus on the importance of relationships. The majority of the stories on The Orville feel like they revolve around them, be it married couples (Meet the Mochlans!) or a certain security officer going home and trying to work things out with her parents. In "The Road Not Taken," it's not so much a relationship built in the present, but one that had existed in the past. I think this is a very good analysis.

I've enjoyed the second season, perhaps more than the first, as it's kind of turned down the volume a bit on the overall McFarlane crassness that peppered the first season's episodes. I think gradually, McFarlane and his writers are more and more starting to see their show as a legit Trek rather than just an homage by the people from Family Guy. Count me as another person who hopes it's renewed.
posted by Atreides at 9:24 AM on April 29, 2019 [1 favorite]

I mean, if DISCO gets a third season but this doesn't? well i guess that would figure, what with the state of things in 2019 and all that, but I'd still be very disappointed. This show is more Trek than Discovery, and I generally like Star Trek. One of the things I liked the most about DS9, for example, was the intepersonal stories and character arcs.

I actually like this show. I will re-watch an episode if I fall asleep while watching one - that's the true sign that I like a show, like daydreams of frolicking in the butterfly filled meadows with this show, maybe a nice picnic lunch with a bottle of Barolo. This season of Discovery I passed out midway thru like 3 episodes and after reading the fanfare threads, saw no need to subject myself to re-watching to the end. The Orville, however, I have watched to the end of every episode. My brain's too fried to articulate much better than this for now but I hope that my proclamation of enjoyment of this show hasn't doomed it like it did with Hannibal. (still upset about that not getting a fourth season.)
posted by some loser at 6:15 PM on May 2, 2019 [1 favorite]

The show's (finally) been renewed for a third season. I get the feeling this must have been a really close call.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 9:25 PM on May 12, 2019 [2 favorites]

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