The Orville continues to be a shockingly solid scifi series that, even though billed as a Comedy series, seems to be moving further away from it’s Family Guy roots. This season so far has seen some of the most impactful episodes including an invasion and even drama that rivaled many of the classic Star Trek episodes. This trend continues with Blood of the Patriots.
Taking place immediately after the events of the two parter, Identity, The Orville is sent to broker peace with the Krill. However, events transpire that threaten the possibly of peace when one of Lt Malloy’s friends arrive on the ship, hellbent on killing the Krill.
Is it a ‘Good’ Episode?
This one is a pretty by-the-numbers episode that gives Lt Malloy (Scott Grimes) much more of the focus than previous entries. When Malloy’s old friend arrives with a justifiable hatred toward the Krill, he must descide whether to join his old friend, Orrin Channing, in attacking the Union’s worst enemy or betray his old friendship by informing Mercer of Channing’s plot to undermine the peace efforts.
Deep down, this episode is about old wounds and how it is hard to trust an enemy when a new friendship is shown as a possibility. This very issue occurs many times on the battlefield when a peace treaty is signed after a major war. Those who have been on the front lines have seen many of the wartime atrocities first hand and tend to find it hard to forgive their former enemies than those not witnessing the actual war itself. That hate travels with them to their homes and can infect others easily, generating even more hate for things that those at home can not comprehend. For Channing, he has been at war with the Krill for much of his adult life. Having been captured and tortured by them, even witnessing his family killed, to him, every Krill is the enemy, no matter how much they they claim that are willing to come to peace. It is this mindset that makes him a threat to the ship even though his feelings are not entirely unjustified. We saw a similar thing in Star Trek TNG and DS9 with O’Brien and the Cardassians. After fighting a war with the Cardassian people, O’Brien surprised himself with how much he despised the ‘Cardies’ which directly affected his abilities to do his duty aboard the Enterprise and subsequently, DS9. While Miles O’Brien was able to work through this hate, Channing embodies the much more realistic nature of the human psyche. These feelings soon begin to rub off on Malloy and, for a brief moment, it seems that he may feel the same way.
The biggest standout on this episode is Scott Grimes as Lt Malloy. Throughout the series, Malloy has been the cause of much of the humor and, for the first time, he has to really get serious when one of his oldest friends arrives on the ship. You can genuinely see the struggle of his torn opinions when faced with whether to follow his trusted Captain or believe one of his oldest friends into a suicide mission. Grimes really gets a chance to show his acting chops and, I have to admit, the man can do drama pretty well.
All in all, I love the direction this show is going, while not really pushing any boundaries yet, this is a very strong sci fi series that fills a much needed gap on network television that was once filled by Star Trek. With it’s more emotionally realistic nature, it is a joy to watch the ‘not so Utopian’ society in the future all the while retaining that optimistic nature that the original Trek was known for. Thankfully, Star Trek Discovery is also proving to be strong as well this season giving us the start to a nice selection of scifi tv for the first time in a while.
Gleanings, Questions and cool bits: (slight spoilers here)
- So, peace with the Krill huh? Yeah, this is not going to turn out well.
- So we have been introduced to a new species, the Inval (sp), who’s blood turns explosive when exposed to air. Makes me wonder about the Xenomorphs from Alien and their acid blood…
- So Planet of the Apes still exists. In fact the Statue of Liberty seems to be around since Malloy knows about it.
- I love the extended inspection scene with new Chief of Security Keyali. I honestly don’t think Alara could have pulled that off.
- Yaphet getting a medal at the beginning of the episode was a really great touch giving the show a solid continuity.
Thanks for reading the SciFi TV Review I look forward to discussing the rest of the series with you!
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Late To The Game 3/16/2019