In Review: The Orville (S3 – Ep2) – Shadow Realms

Shadow Realms Follows a classic horror story trope, the Orville officers, with the help of Admiral Paul Christie, negotiate to explore Krill-held space
Shadow Realms

Synopsis: Shadow Realms Follows a classic horror story trope, the Orville officers, with the help of Admiral Paul Christie, negotiate to explore Krill-held space, only to find there are places best left unexplored.


The Story

Admiral Christie (James Read), who was once married to Dr. Claire Finn (Penny Johnson Jerald), bargains for the right to explore a sector of space controlled by the Krill. One of the Krill (John Fleck) warns them not to go to what they call the Shadow Realms, where they claim demons dwell. The Krill leave, one citing a prayer for those who are about to die. With the consent of Admiral Halsey (Victor Garber), the Orville proceeds to the Shadow Realms.

The Orville responds to a distress signal from the new expanse of space. There are no stars to be seen, but they enter anyway. They find what appears to be a space station, but they can’t communicate with anyone on it. Taking a landing party into the structure, Mercer (Seth McFarlane) and crew find glowing pods with energy flowing through them. One of them opens in front of Christie.

Upon returning to the Orville, Christie has a seizure, then grows new, additional eyes on his face. His face and body continue to distort, until he transforms into a multi-eyes, sharp-clawed creature. It turns out, he was exposed to a bacterial spore, which replaces the DNA in its host’s body. Christie disappears from sickbay, locks out the crew from all controls, and shuts down all systems.

LaMarr (J. Lee) determines the distress beacon they responded to from the space station, lures ships to the vessel full of spore pods. The species reproduces in the hosts that find them, and spreads their spores to anyone they encounter.

Claire searches her kids, leaving her nurse alone in sickbay. Christie has completely transformed into multi-eyed creature. Marcus (BJ Tanner) and Ty (Kai Wener) wander the ship looking for their mother. They encounter the Christie creature in the mess hall. A security red shirt helps them, but is killed (or possibly transformed) by the creature.

LaMarr & Lt. Keyali (Jessica Szohr) work to deter the creatures. Keyali renders Christie-creature unconscious, and brings him to sickbay. Claire determines a virus would wipe out the creatures. After synthesizing a virus, they release the toxin into the ship’s atmosphere, defeating the creatures.



The acting on this show is excellent. This episode was mostly Penny Johnson Jerald centered, and she does not fail to deliver.


CGI & Effects

While Shadow Realms isn’t big on action or spectacle, it’s certainly on a par with any Star Trek series in terms of CGI and special effects. We’ve gotten to a point where we take much of the background art for granted, but it’s clearly crafted to advance the story, rather than show off.



This show is what more recent versions of Star Trek forget to be. While it was originally intended as a comedy, it’s turned out to be top notch science fiction. There’s still humor in it, but it’s more low key, and thus better, than earlier in the series. While this particular episode does not contain the emotional blow that last week’s episode dealt, it was still engaging from beginning to end.


The Orville (S3 - Ep2) - Shadow Realms
  • Story
  • Acting
  • CGI & Effects
  • Music
2 Comments on this post.
  • Peter Cigaraelo
    11 June 2022 at 10:00 pm -

    I love the show in general…but this rip off of aliens movies about spores and horror bug like creatures?
    A disappointment to say the least.

  • Renee
    19 June 2022 at 11:04 pm -

    I’m very disappointed in general about the first 3 episodes. They are heavy in “death” tones and I can’t stand Charlie. Since when does an Ensign sit in on meetings involving the Senior staff. I was so excited for the series to return but am hoping it gets better.

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