After a particularly disappointing episode last week, it looks like The Orville is back on course with a story that balances humor and morality.

After luck delivers a Krill shuttle to them following a battle, Captain Mercer and Gordon are ordered to go undercover on a Krill ship and find a copy of the Krill Bible to better help Earth understand the hostile aliens, but when the Orville officers, disguised as Krill, discover that the aliens are planning a devastating attack, they resolve to destroy the ship… but there is a problem: To do that, would mean becoming killers like the Krill are.

Okay, I won’t lie… I loved this episode. I love episodes that expose a moral dilemma and forces characters into impossible situations where there are no heroes and no right answers. I just get off on that kind of thing. I also love how The Orville managed this week to quickly cloud the ethical waters by suddenly revealing the Krill children on the ship. It’s strange saying this about a Seth MacFarland television series, but plots that make a 90 degree turn like that in an instant are an example of masterful storytelling.

I also enjoyed the fact that, when all is said and done, Mercer and Gordon return to The Orville as winners. Their mission was a success, they’ve saved thousands of human lives, and their morality is left largely intact, doing what they had to do to safeguard their own and, yet… they still lose. They still perpetuated the cycle of hatred and it’s even more tragic when you realize that it was completely unavoidable.

The Orville is a strange creature… it’s part parody, part slapstick, and part hard science fiction. At this point, I would say that it’s Star Trek with the stick removed from its butt. Sure, some of the character stupidity gets a little old and doesn’t mesh with the tone that the episode is going for, but I’m willing to forgive it and just embrace The Orville for what it is… a throwback to a simpler time… with wiener jokes.

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Written by Jason Gaston

Father, teacher, writer, photographer, artist, actor, male model, and inventor of the semicolon.

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