Warning: Spoilers ahead for “The Orville” season 3, episode 1
Can you believe it’s been over three years since “The Orville” hit our screens? Three years, a month and eight days, more or less. But hey, who’s counting?!
Space.com actually had a chance to visit the set in 2020, when principal photography was still being filmed and just weeks before the pandemic shut everything down. We then saw how stunning the new engineering set was, as well as the new shuttles, etc. So we knew how amazing ‘The Orville’ Season 3 was going to be, but we weren’t allowed to whisper as much as a word. Ssorry about that.
The first episode on Hulu (opens in a new tab) from season 3, titled “Electric Sheep” – for the obvious reason that will quickly become clear – is an impressive, action-packed and pumping powerhouse of an episode that also focuses primarily on Isaac (Mark Jackson) and the aftermath of the Earth battle. The time-traveling deceptions and alternate-universe escapades of the two-part season two finale aren’t important at this point, as everything is back to how it was supposed to be. More or less.
However, thousands died as the Planetary Union mounted a desperate last stand against the seemingly unstoppable Kaylon fleet. Only the intervention of the Krill prevented the total annihilation of the Earth. And it’s clear that many still feel animosity toward Isaac for his role in that attack.
Immediately, we plunge headlong into explosive action and witness even more of this battle than we saw in the second season episode “Identity: Part II” (S02, E09). Somehow, in the middle of it all is Marcus Finn (BJ Tanner), the eldest son of Dr. Claire Finn (Penny Johnson Jerald). There are mid-tier ships, heavy cruisers, everywhere you look there are a hundred ships, all buzzing around each other like angry hornets.
We zoom in, in amazing VFX shot to a hallway aboard the Orville where explosions puncture the hull left and right, crew members are blown into space and somehow , in the middle of it all is Marcus Finn. He barely manages to escape to his quarters as Isaac enters as well. His face suddenly changes to resembling Venom when Marcus wakes up. It’s a memorable opening for a season premiere.
The Orville is actually docked to a space station orbiting above Earth and is still being repaired and refitted. The Engineering section has had a makeover, as has Isaac. The deck and overall look are pretty much the same, with just a few tweaks here and there. However, the shuttles have also received a complete overhaul, and a new Wraith Dart-like fighter has been introduced in what looks like the first collaboration between Krill and human technology. Lt. Gordon Malloy (Scott Grimes) takes him out on an incredibly and unnecessarily dangerous combat simulation test flight that takes place inexplicably in and around the space dock.
Interestingly, there are no real plot subchapters in this episode, it all revolves around Isaac one way or another. It all starts in the dining room when no one wants to see him sit at their table. (There’s even an appearance by actor Mark Jackson in “human form” as one of the people at the table.) Next up, newcomer Ensign Charly Burke (Anne Winters) — who replaces Lt. Cmdr. John LaMarr (J. Lee) as Deck Navigator after his promotion to Chief Engineer – sits down and shares his thoughts with the Kaylon.
Unfortunately, she lost her best friend, Amanda, in this attack, and she couldn’t hold back from telling Isaac her thoughts and feelings about being reintegrated aboard the Orville. The Charly Burke ensign is new in season three, but it fits right in. She has a bit of an attitude, which will be perfect fodder for later episodes of the season.
Then a combination of someone writing “murderer” in red paint on an engineering console and a confrontation where Marcus Finn tells Isaac he wishes he were dead ultimately causes the Kaylon to commit suicide using a droid module. EM amplification to force a narrowband frequency spike into his central processor, effectively frying his brain.
The rest of the episode is a deep dive into everyone’s prejudice towards Isaac as, at first, it seems like he was so thorough in the way of his suicide that it could very well be beyond repair. By the way, it’s a fun coincidence that there are so many exterior hull rides this week in sci-fi – the other being in the recent “Star Trek: Strange New Worlds” Episode 4.
What’s even more incredible is that to avoid a single Kaylon ship, the Orville plunges into the atmosphere of a gas giant and releases a shuttle loaded with torpedoes to detonate, simulating the destruction of the Orville. – or “submarine warfare” like Cmdr. Kelly Grayson (Adrianne Palicki) says so. Ejecting debris, oil and even bodies from a submarine in an attempt to trick attackers into thinking it had been destroyed was a tactic used in “Operation Petticoat”, “U-571” and “Run Silent Run Deep”.
This is absolutely a coincidence, because space battles often draw on this subgenre for inspiration and this episode of “The Orville” was filmed a long moment even before Episode 4 of “Strange New Worlds” was written. The fact that they aired seven days apart is nothing short of extremely entertaining.
It’s a much more serious season premiere, especially when you remember the near-perfect Season 2 opening episode “Ja’loja”, which was much more of a blend of subtle comedy, drama, and even music, reflecting all the qualities “The Orville” has. However, there’s enough here to remind us of those other elements and the music, oh, the music. The show’s creator, Seth MacFarlane, is incredibly gifted with music – as well as being a stunning voice actor, writer, producer, and more. in the score of “The Orville”. And this episode is no exception.
It turns out that LaMarr has an idea of how he could get Isaac’s personality back, and naturally Ensign Charly Burke is the only one who can pull off the complicated task. Ultimately, everyone, including Marcus Finn and even Dr. Claire Finn – who, let’s not forget, had a relationship with Isaac last season – needs to reevaluate their feelings, good and bad, towards the form. of artificial life and of course we learn that even Isaac has feelings.
It’s a great start to “The Orville: New Horizons” and we very much hope that Hulu realize the potential (opens in a new tab) in this sci-fi musical/comedy/drama/thriller and continues for many seasons to come.
The first and second seasons of “The Orville” are available to watch on Hulu and Disney+ in most countries, and US plans start at $6.99 per month. New episodes of Season 3 will be released every Thursday. Viewers in Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Norway, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan and the UK can watch on Disney More (opens in a new tab), with accessibility coming soon for Japan and South Korea. Latin American viewers can watch on Star Plus.