Warning! The following contains spoilers for The Orville: New Horizons episode “Domino.” Read at your own risk!
The Orville: New Horizons just set the stage for the Season 3 finale with some drastic changes to its universe in the penultimate episode. Fans who still have yet to pick up their Hulu subscription and watch the new season should do so as soon as humanly possible because we’re all going to want to see Season 4 after some of the big developments in this episode.
If you haven’t had a chance to watch the episode yet and don’t want to be spoiled, now is the time to check out. This is one of the most important episodes the series has released to date, and it lays some groundwork for stories that might be revisited in a fourth season. Let’s dive in, and break down the major parts of the episode that will change this universe forever.
The Planetary Union Developed A Weapon That Temporarily Ended The Kaylon War
It took some time, but thanks to the combined efforts of Isaac and Charly Burke, the duo developed a weapon that could effectively erase the Kaylon threat. The Planetary Union held a meeting and decided to allow Captain Ed, Admiral Halsey, and The Orville crew to negotiate a ceasefire with the Kaylons. The Kaylon leader, Kaylon Primary, conceded that they had no answer to The Union’s powerful weapon and said it gave them no other option than to cooperate. It was a pretty huge moment and a big win for the universe with the Kaylon threat temporarily over (though Mark Jackson’s comments on the Kaylon threat have me suspicious).
The Moclans Aligned With The Krill
Unfortunately, the Moclans and Krill immediately threatened the new peace after they decided to align and end the Kaylon threat themselves. Thanks to an assist by Union Admiral Perry, they retrieved the Kaylon-destroying weapon and went to work reverse engineering it to kill all Kaylons in the galaxy. After that threat was finished, it seemed they’d then turn to the Planetary Union and go against the organization that criticized their extremist values.
The Planetary Union learned of the now-dead Admiral Perry’s betrayal and went to the Kaylons for help in stopping the device. The Kaylons, with no other choice besides death, agreed to aid the Union and raid the planet where a prominent Moclan scientist worked on the weapon. (It looked a lot like the space battle scene in the trailer). These are pretty massive alliances, and ones I hope we continue to see further developed should Season 4 happen.
Ensign Charly Burke Sacrificed Her Life For The Kaylons
The Kaylons and Union forces successfully destroyed the weapon and thwarted the combined Krill and Moclan forces, but it came at a price. Ensign Charly Burke had to lay down her life for the Kaylons to survive, which as many of The Orville’s fans might know, is a bit ironic. Charly hated the Kaylons for an attack that took her best friend (and potential lover) and made no effort to hide it during her time on the ship.
Her sacrifice greatly confused Kaylon Primary, who couldn’t comprehend why someone who so deeply hated their species would give up their life to protect them. (Anne Winters did warn us not to judge her.) For once, the villainous Kaylon leader was speechless, and there was a sense that even with the destruction of the weapon that forced the Kaylons to surrender, the Union didn’t have to fear them any longer. That is a good thing because I can’t imagine the Union surviving attacks from the Moclans, Krill, and Kaylon all at once.
The Orville Crew Captured Supreme Chancellor Teleya
The assault on the Moclan planet also yielded a big-time hostage for the Planetary Union: Trill Supreme Chancellor Teleya. Teleya, as some may remember, had a romantic encounter with Captain Ed Mercer that resulted in the birth of their half-human/half-Krill love child Anaya. Teleya was able to orchestrate Ed and the crew’s escape when they were taken captive on Krill, but as Ed told her this time around, he couldn’t do the same.
The Orville: New Horizons left fans hanging on what Ed might do to ensure his daughter’s future and safety. Ed doesn’t have enough pull to get Keleya out of answering for her war crimes, and it may cost him his chance of ever seeing Anaya again. Hopefully we’ll get more answers in the Season 3 finale, and then wait and see if Hulu thinks the viewership was high enough for another season. The the upcoming premiere on Disney+ could help the odds of renewal even further.
What’s Ahead For The Season Finale?
With the Kaylon threat allegedly over, one might wonder if The Orville: New Horizons didn’t jump the gun with its finale. The giant space battle, the collaboration with the Kaylons, and the unexpected alliance between the Krill and Moclans were some real game-changing reveals, so is it fair to assume the season finale will just be a lot of falling action?
Personally, I wouldn’t bet on it. The fact that Ed has an ultimatum from Teleya on the table and she saved him and others on Krill by using her influence has me suspicious that she won’t actually make it in front of the Union Planetary counsel. I’d also expect the Krill to want to mount an attack to save their leader, and the Moclans to aid just out of spite for the Planetary Union. I feel relatively sure one or both of those things might happen, but honestly, I can’t be certain.
I also can’t help but think of Timmis, the Kaylon with emotions we met in the previous episode. Kaylon Primary was able to understand and grow from his shared experience with the humans in this episode, which kind of indicates that the Union’s belief that Timmis’ emotions could be vital to peace with Kaylons was unnecessary.
I’m not sure what it all means, but Timmis seems to fall into the classic trope of the character who seems so good that he’s absolutely secretly evil. Perhaps his true purpose was to try and leave a memorable impact on Charly that ultimately led to her sacrifice, but I’m still leery of him. If he shows up, I’m expecting trouble.
Finally, let’s remember that while plenty in the cast are hoping for another season, Seth MacFarlane and Scott Grimes are working on a Ted adaptation for Peacock. I’m just saying, I wouldn’t be surprised if more people die before the season ends, but perhaps both actors can make time in their schedules for both Ted and The Orville: New Horizons. We’ll just have to wait, see, and hope an announcement about Season 4 is on the way.
The Orville: New Horizons season finale streams on Hulu (opens in new tab) on Thursday, August 4. Tune in for what might be a very exciting episode, and hopefully not a series finale.