A really satisfying, gratifying season 3 finale of The Orville on Hulu this past evening, especially welcome after last week's harrowing, kinetic masterpiece in which a major crew member was lost.
[Spoilers ahead ... ]
The two main themes were a treatment of the Prime Directive ala The Orville, and the marriage of Claire and Isaac. Not doing anything that might unhinge a less-than-space-faring civilization is of course a theme that goes back to Star Trek. The Orville handled it well -- as it did back in the first season in episode 1.12 -- this time with its story of Lysella (well played by Giorgia Whigham), back from the "Majority Rule" episode 1.7 of the first season. The short lesson Grayson gives her is a fine primer on the dangers of what contact too early can do,
And speaking of the first season, it was also good to see Alara (Halston Sage) back from the first two seasons -- as a guest at Claire and Isaak's wedding. That ceremony and its build-up had all kinds of goodies, including Bortus's atrocious effort at being best man, Gordon's excellent job at it, the wedding vows, the Kaylon guests, and Ed and Kelly holding hands at the end.
I've been raving about the music in the past two episodes, and the concert in space of songs in my lifetime continued with Aretha in the background, Bortus giving an atrocious rendition of Elvis (I know, you're not supposed to use the same word twice in such proximity, but there's no other word for Bortus's performances), and Gordon on guitar singing James Taylor's "Secret of Life". Now, I liked Gordon and Charly's harmony last week more than just Gordon alone tonight, and the same for Simon and Garfunkel a little more than James Taylor, but Gordon's performance was still memorable, and an excellent capstone to the role music has played this season of The Orville.
Gordon also figured in the time travel nod in which the sandwich he sent to the future a few episodes back suddenly appears. That's what I call continuity! And the expression on Mercer's face, who knows that he made Gordon forget what happened to him after he sent the sandwich ahead, was just right.
The Orville has really grown up this season into a wonderful science fiction series. It has managed to retain its humor -- see what I said above about Bortus -- while presenting consistently superior stories, such as tonight's marriage of a human woman and an android. I'll see you back here with reviews of every episode of the 4th season, wherever and whenever it might be.
See also The Orville 3.1: Life and Death ... 3.2: "Come and Get Me ..." ... 3.3: What Do Bill Barr and Ed Mercer Have in Common? ... 3.4: The Captain's Daughter ... 3.5: Topa ... 3.6: Masterpiece of Time Travel with a Missed Opportunity ... 3.7: Seconding that Emotion ... 3.8: Dolly Parton and Topa ... 3.9: Why It's Becoming Better than any Current Star Trek
And see also The Orville 2.1: Relief and Romance ... The Orville 2.2: Porn Addiction and Planetary Disintegration ... The Orville 2.3: Alara ... The Orville 2.4: Billy Joel ... The Orville 2.5: Escape at Regor 2 ... The Orville 2.6: "Singin' in the Rain" ... The Orville 2.7: Love and Death ... The Orville 2.8: Recalling Čapek, Part 1 ... The Orville 2.9: Recalling Čapek, Part 2 ... The Orville: 2.10: Exploding Blood ... The Orville 2.11: Time Capsule, Space Station, and Harmony ... The Orville 2.12: Hello Dolly! ... The Orville 2.13: Time Travel! ... The Orville Season 2 Finale: Alternate History!
And see also The Orville 1.1-1.5: Star Trek's Back ... The Orville 1.6-9: Masterful ... The Orville 1.10: Bring in the Clowns ... The Orville 1.11: Eating Yaphit ... The Orville 1.12: Faith in Reason and the Prime Directive