Warning: Spoilers ahead for “The Orville” season 3, episode 9
Wow, if you thought there was a lot going on in last week’s episode – and there was – then hold on to your potatoes, the penultimate episode of Season 3, titled “Domino”, exceeds that and more. Although it’s not as long as the previous episode, only five minutes shorter at 1 hour and 18 minutes, it looks like 10 times the action has been packed.
We begin with a brief, no-nonsense pre-credit sequence on Krill’s homeworld. The gritty atmosphere of the perpetually dark, cyberpunk cityscape we first saw in the episode “Gently Falling Rain” (S03, E04) has been deftly heightened by the addition of falling rain and instantly creating a sensation effective dark at the opening scene.
Newly elected Chancellor Teleya (Michaela McManus) meets with a Moclan ambassador to discuss an alliance between their two cultures, since Moclus was expelled from the Planetary Union directly after the events of last week’s episode “From Unknown Graves” (S03, E08) where young Topa was kidnapped and tortured by Moclan forces.
It appears Moclan and Krill have confirmed reports that the Kaylon are amassing thousands of ships and preparing to launch a full-scale invasion. According to Teleya, the closest worlds are Vikarris and Xelayah. And while we don’t know anything about the first planet, you have to admit that a ground war (if it ever got to that stage) on Xelaya would be an extremely interesting prospect, given its significantly stronger gravitational field. An alliance is proposed… Fade to black, opening credits roll.
We immediately cut off the bridge from the Orville to battle stations as a fleet of Kaylon ships engage a fleet of Planetary Union ships who in turn defend Xelayan space. Desperately outnumbered, the Union ships form a defensive circle, much like a 25th century version of “circling the wagons”. However, it seems Ensign Charly Burke (Anne Winters) and Isaac (Mark Jackson) have secretly developed a weapon that could destroy the Kaylon.
Related: Episode 8 of “The Orville” is a complete mini-movie experience
And that’s the case. Sixty-one Kaylon Spheres are instantly wiped out without the loss of a single Union cruiser. It turns out that while studying Timmis (remember him?), they learned that every Kaylon and every one of their ships are connected through a synchronization matrix. This is how they coordinate all their actions, even light years from space. This devastating device uses quantum energy to trigger a feedback loop in its interconnect chain, turning relays into a row of dominoes. Once the initiation sequence has been transmitted, it cannot be undone.
Obviously, a weapon as lethal to the Kaylon as this raises a number of ethical questions and the question of whether or not to wipe out the entire race is quickly posed. However, the Orville is sent to the homeworld of Kaylon in an effort to save billions of lives of all species. The Kaylon send a number of spheres to intercept and when they refuse to retreat, the weapon is activated again. Eventually the Kaylons grant Orville safe passage to the surface and it is only for the second time after “Identity: Part I” (S02, E08) that we see Kaylon-1.
The planet’s surface design has seen some tweaks, boasting a considerably larger VFX budget since we last saw it, and the menacing musical score has a hint of David Arnold’s “Independence Day.” Interestingly, the design of the Kaylon has also been improved in the same way, as has that of Isaac, which now, more or less, delete any notion of an alternate universe variation after the second season finale.
Related: The Tin Man gets his heart in the episode ‘From Unknown Graves’
Negotiations ensue and before you know it, there is an agreement in principle between the Kaylons and the Planetary Union. Naturally, celebrations abound, and the Orville’s command crew assembles a log cabin where we hear the singing talent of Ensign Charly Burke and Lieutenant Gordon Malloy (Scott Grimes). Not everyone is celebrating, however, and a “Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country”-style plot takes shape, with Admiral Perry (Ted Danson) taking on the role of Admiral Cartwright and conspiring with the Krill to steal the device and eliminate the Kaylon once and for all.
However, since Ensign Charly Burke and Isaac are the only individuals capable of using the weapon, a secret R&D facility has been prepared so that the Moclans and Krill can reverse it and pair the device with a quantum core large enough to expand the weapon’s capacity. carried by thousands of light-years.
Naturally, the site is deep underground and heavily fortified. To get a team inside, the Orville – plus a fleet of Planetary Union starships and Kaylon Spheres – along with several squadrons of these small Wraith Dart-like fighters, now officially known as Pterodons, will engage the Moclan and Krill ships in orbit. Oh yeah, we’re in a mother of a space battle, something this season of “The Orville” dialed up to 14, completely skipping over 11, 12 and 13.
Related: Malloy suffers an emotional ordeal in ‘The Orville’ Season 3 Episode 6
And we are not disappointed. The plan works, although casualties on all sides are high, but the shuttle carrying Cmdr. Kelly Grayson (Adrianne Palicki), Lt. Cmdr. Talla Keyali (Jessica Szohr), Kaylon Primary (Graham Hamilton), Isaac and Ensign Burke come to the surface. Not only is there a slew of high-octane dogfighting action in the planet’s atmosphere, but the team deploys to the surface using jet packs after the main power supply. of the shuttle has been damaged! It’s cool ? ! The interior package is clearly a minimal repair of the Moclan Black Site package used last week, but you know, we’re okay with that.
The Quantum Core begins to approach full power, creating a countdown device to increase the tension, as the fight continues in orbit, in the atmosphere and in the corridors of the facility, which includes a full brawl between Kelly Grayson and Teleya, which ultimately ends with the Krill being captured. However, the team is unable to bypass every security lock on The Device in time, before it activates and potentially kills every Kaylon within 10,000 light years. The only way to stop it is to create an overload and thus destroy the Quantum Core, the device, and a significant portion of the planet all at once. Ensign Burke tells everyone to leave and she makes the ultimate sacrifice.
Yeah, Ensign Charly Burke won’t be in the fourth season of “The Orville” (when it does, because it will) because she was completely wiped out at the epicenter of an explosion equal to many million megatons. And much like the recent death of Lt. Hemmer in the “All Those Wandering” episode (S01, E09) of “Star Trek ‘Strange New Worlds'”, it’s completely unexpected.
Related: ‘The Orville’ Season 3 Episode 5 Revisits Moclan Gender Controversy
And when you think about it, there have been a couple of weird coincidences between this third season of “The Orville” and season 1 of “Strange New Worlds” – but that’s exactly what they were: coincidences. weird. One didn’t influence the other at all and that’s evident when you consider the production schedules of the two shows.
This episode isn’t the best we’ve ever seen – it was “Mortality Paradox” (S03, E03) – and it suffers a bit in style rather than substance, but what a style it was. As we’ve touched on before, the difficult issues that have plagued principal photography for this season of “The Orville” during the COVID pandemic may not be as noticeable as they were last week, but every sci-fi TV show should take note of the jaw-dropping production values showcased in season 3 of “The Orville.”
There are all the reasons why Hulu should renew “The Orville” and it will more than likely come down to just whether Seth MacFarlane wants it or not. But we’ll add this: when “The Orville” gets renewed, give it an even bigger budget and cut 20 episodes instead of just 10.
The first and second seasons of ‘The Orville’ are available to watch on Hulu (opens in a new tab) in most countries, and plans in the US 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.