Having just finished watching the first season of The Orville, the episodes are still fresh in my mind. Some, I suspect, will remain that way for a long time to come. Episodes that make you think or feel something, even if it’s shock or anger, are the ones that are unforgettable. That’s why these three are ones that I don’t see myself ever forgetting.
Majority Rule (Episode 7)
Grayson, LaMarr, Alara, and Claire travel to an Earth-like planet to find two missing anthropologists. While there, LaMarr dances with a statue in a manner which the citizens deem as lewd. He’s arrested and, based upon what the majority of the people decide, he faces “correction,” which is a disruption to the brain that could cause permanent damage.
Millions of people voted against LaMarr, and a young woman who lives on the planet was able to save him because she provided information to Isaac that enabled him to chance the metrics in the voting process by making LaMarr more appealing. In essence, the people of the planet liked him, felt sorry for him, and therefore, voted to save him from correction. An eye-opening episode that truly shows the power of voting and how majority rule can destroy.
Into the Fold (Episode 8)
This episode allows Isaac and Claire to shine when their shuttle goes down and crash lands on a planet that has been overcome with famine and disease. Claire’s two sons end up being trapped with Isaac when the shuttle splits in half. Claire is found by a survivalist who locks her in a room in his house.
While Isaac and the boys try to find Claire, she is forced to kill to escape her captor and find her way back to her sons. But before help can arrive, they face an attack by armed cannibals, and Claire’s oldest son fights alongside Isaac to ward them off until The Orville can save them. An action-packed episode that shows the fierceness of a mother’s love. And the boys fell in love with Isaac even though he isn’t sure what to do with the emotion.
Mad Idolatry (Episode 12)
When Grayson is leading an away team that is forced to land on a planet that has suddenly appeared out of nowhere. While there, despite knowing she needs to limit contact with the society, she heals a little girl’s wound with her medical device. After the crew return to the ship, they discover the planet phases in to the universe for a short period every eleven days. During that time, 700 years passes on the planet. During the next phase, Grayson is shocked to discover that she is now considered a deity, and people are being killed in her name.
This episode shows the crystal-clear reasoning behind Star Trek’s Prime Directive. One small interaction cost lives and created a religion that revolved around threats of harm to those who did not believe the same. Grayson is devastated, and it takes some machinations from Isaac to set things straight. Even then, she remains shaken, and it affects the new relationship she’d been trying to established with the captain.
All three of these episodes are straight out of the Star Trek playbook which is probably why I loved them so much. Beautifully written and acted, they are ones that I know I’ll watch again.