The Orville: New Horizons: Electric Sheep
June 1, 2022 5:46 PM - Season 3, Episode 1 - Subscribe

Season Premiere: The crew deals with the aftermath of the Kaylon battle. (IMDB)

The episode airs in a few hours on Hulu in the US, with more to follow weekly. Other countries can find the show on Disney+. The new season promises longer episodes (over 60 minutes runtime), an 11 episode season, and a few cast changes. The late Norm Macdonald finished voice work for the Yaphit character before he passed away in 2021.
posted by Monochrome (22 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I watched all of Seasons 1 and 2 over the weekend in preparation for this. Really excited and there's less than 30 minutes to an episode I haven't seen before! THE NIGHT IS OURS!
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 8:35 PM on June 1, 2022 [1 favorite]

OK, wow. That was a lot more intense than I had planned on it being. The aftermath of the Kaylon attack on Earth screwed a lot of people up, including the new ensign. Also Ty and Marcus have really grown in the three (!) years since the last season.

Everything leveled up when we weren't watching—the special effects, acting, writing are all at levels we haven't seen before.

Also, there should probably be a MASSIVE content warning on this episode, there's a lot more about trauma and suicide here than you'd expect from a show that led off with Rob Lowe spraying blue goo all over in the first scene of the pilot.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 10:25 PM on June 1, 2022 [3 favorites]

Still processing how I feel about the episode. One thing I don't think they quite addressed - or at least not to my satisfaction - is overriding Isaac's decision. The pillow talk with LaMarr made a case for respecting Isaac's decision but then they went and brought him back anyway.

One thing I really respect about the show is that it refuses to "stay in its lane." It doesn't always quite work, but it's like an indie album that hasn't had its personality sanded away by slick production and label interference. Seth must have enormous creative control over this show to start off the Hulu era with a deep feels episode rather than an appeal to a new audience episode.

Looking forward to the rest of the season. I'm hoping that it gets a little lighter from here, though.
posted by jzb at 10:17 AM on June 2, 2022 [4 favorites]

Very happy to see my old friends of course but... was it just me, or did some of the cuts drag? Ie, when Lamar says “We need someone who can visualize in multiple dimensions”, I expected a quick cut to Charlie saying “”No”. Instead we pan to Ed, who says “Charlie Burke”, then a pause and a fade to black. Come up on an exterior shot and then (and only then) do we cut into Ed’s office and see Charlie saying no.
posted by Mogur at 5:09 PM on June 2, 2022 [1 favorite]

I thought this was fairly boring and glacially paced. Why was this 70 minutes?

Also dropping this the same day that new Strange New Worlds episodes come out is... a choice.
posted by rhymedirective at 9:06 AM on June 3, 2022 [1 favorite]

then a pause and a fade to black.

I presume cuts like these are for ad breaks.
posted by schoolgirl report at 8:06 PM on June 3, 2022 [3 favorites]

I liked this episode but there was no need for it to be this long. So many indulgent shots of ships flying, etc. I appreciated they took the time to dig into the situation but it did drag.
posted by crossoverman at 6:41 PM on June 4, 2022

Also dropping this the same day that new Strange New Worlds episodes come out is... a choice.

Especially given this week's ep of SNW was hilarious and this supposed comedy was deadly serious nearly the whole time.
posted by crossoverman at 6:42 PM on June 4, 2022

Three whole years, wow! It feels like they filled the time with a bunch of CG animation production. Sort of gratuitous, but good fun space shots.

I agree the main plot was a lot more complex than we expect from this show. I liked it! Curious to see where they go from here. The show has always had a tonal inconsistency and I wonder what the plan is for the season.
posted by Nelson at 10:00 PM on June 5, 2022

Yeah, it felt like they had 3 years worth of payments to their effects house to burn so by golly we're gonna do it!

I don't envy the writers having to pick up a 3 year old story and just running with it - I barely remember the Kaylon storyline - that was, y'know, in the before times. And you're going to make it the focal point of a slow moving 70 minute episode? Good luck, guys! And yet, it's not like they really could just skip past it, either.
posted by Kyol at 5:19 AM on June 6, 2022

Reading that back I should clarify - not generally the whole "kaylons are the bad guys" part of the plot, I think that's pretty straightforward, sure. But Isaac's specific role in everything? I kind of remember there was a story there, sure, but not really well enough to center a whole episode of blame and grief on it.
posted by Kyol at 5:51 AM on June 6, 2022

It was a good episode and I enjoyed it. I'm especially relieved that bit at the beginning was just Marcus' nightmare because I really don't like space battles where everything's exploding and people are getting sucked out into the void. Can't we make ships that don't have windows that blow out?

I do miss when Isaac was just a goofy robot who once severed Gordon's leg and hid it somewhere on the ship as a practical joke. In retrospect, I guess that was just foreshadowing how cold and sadistic the Kaylons could be. But that bit where the command staff has a conference and after someone walks out of the room the leg falls from the ceiling is one of the best moments in the series.

Overall I think The Orville functions great as a "this is not the flagship" series. I tried watching Lower Decks but I found the humor too self-referential and it didn't feel as lived-in as The Orville.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 6:22 AM on June 6, 2022

This episode continued the the "it was good, actually" reaction I remember having to the bulk of S2. I felt the pacing was fine. The opening sequence was exhausing even though I pegged it as being a dream sequence pretty quickly. If I had a complaint it was about the long "dogfighting" sequence—it just wasn't for me. First, if it was trying to do the "showcase the ship & station designs" but in a non-ST way, it didn't work for me with a constant feel of crowding & awkward angles. Second, it didn't seem plausible that you'd actually conduct your test flight with live fire so close to the station, when you could easily go a small distance away. The usefulness of a single fighter craft to The Orville is also something that's not quite clear to me.. It did provide a way to refer to Charly's special abilities in passing, I guess. Not that the sequence really sold me on the idea that her spatial perception/reasoning ideas were anything special.

In this long episode I wish they'd taken a moment to show Marcus actually getting some mental health help of his own.

It was interesting as a coincidence that this show and a recent SNW episode both had unusual use of ship torpedoes within an atmosphere and a faked destruction of the whole ship, with the vibe of (or explicit reference to) submarine warfare. It wasn't the fancy new fighter ship that they immediately blew up, was it?
posted by the antecedent of that pronoun at 2:27 AM on June 8, 2022

We just caught up with this, and it was weird and great to once again watch this show that feels more like Star Trek than anything the current Star Trek shows are doing. It was also a pleasant surprise to hear Norm Macdonald again. I have complicated feelings about the guy (he was a great comic who really, really didn't like trans people) but he was good on this show and it was nice to have Yaphit back, even if only for a while.

I'm glad they did a deep dive into Isaac's place on the ship and all the resentments and weirdness of it, because they just kind of punted on the issue in season two. He just went back to work, it seemed like all was forgiven, and then his character was kind of sidelined for a while. This episode finally explored all of that. It got really dark and mostly handled it well, but I'd agree with those who said it dragged a little. I don't think there were any scenes that felt wasted, but there were a few shots that held just a little too long. I was sure that things were wrapping up when they had the funeral for Isaac and then when they cut to LaMarr in bed with the poky alien lady I was like, "Wait, what? The episode is over, show. Why are we having a scene with LaMarr and an alien in the bedroom?"

OK, I'll just be the crude one and ask it: How the hell did LaMarr's lovemaking with the poky alien lady even work? I mean, she was covered with poky things! Her inner arms didn't look poky, but everything else did!
posted by Ursula Hitler at 10:37 PM on June 12, 2022

OK, I'll just be the crude one and ask it: How the hell did LaMarr's lovemaking with the poky alien lady even work?

I think there is an old joke that covers that one . . .

Q. How do porcupines make love?
A. Very, very carefully.
posted by fimbulvetr at 6:38 AM on June 13, 2022 [1 favorite]

Poky alien lady, for your memory. I like to think in the 25th century of the Union it's OK if a man wants to get poked by his girlfriend.
posted by Nelson at 7:28 AM on June 13, 2022

It's also possible those spines are soft and bendy like those rubber scalp massagers. In that case, it wouldn't be painful, or even unpleasant.
posted by Karmakaze at 7:21 AM on June 23, 2022

I think we were meant to assume her spines were sharp, for the sake of it being weirder/funnier. They sure look sharp. (Also, not judging, but your definition of "not unpleasant" differs from mine. There's obviously a beautiful woman under all that but just looking at her quills made me flinch.)
posted by Ursula Hitler at 3:19 PM on June 24, 2022

Perhaps they're erectile tissue, like nipples.
posted by Nelson at 5:52 PM on June 24, 2022

I guess she was happy to see him!
posted by Ursula Hitler at 10:33 PM on June 24, 2022

I think we were meant to assume her spines were sharp, for the sake of it being weirder/funnier.

Irillia: You okay?
John: Yeah, I think my hips are bleeding a little bit, but...
posted by hanov3r at 8:27 AM on June 27, 2022

I read the long CGI bits as an homage to Star Trek: The Motion Picture's infamous Enterprise flyby scene.

They sexed up the shuttles a little bit. I'd grown to like the deliberately goofy ones they used to use; I'd have liked a throwaway joke or something about it.
posted by 4th number at 6:17 PM on January 31

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