In Review: The Orville (S3 – EP4) – Gently Falling Rain

In an attempt to sign a peace treaty with Krill to join the Union against the Kaylons, the Orville crew finds themselves in a politically volatile situation
Orville

Synopsis: In an attempt to sign a peace treaty with Krill to join the Union against the Kaylons, the Orville crew finds themselves in a politically volatile situation, which lead to some heartbreaking revelations for Ed Mercer.

 

Story

On Krill, Teleya  (Michaela McManus), a Krill prisoner Captain Ed Mercer (Seth MacFarlane) once had an affair with (while she masqueraded as Lt. Janel Tyler), and set free from a Union prison, leads a political movement to unseat the current Supreme Chancellor. With an imminent contentious election, Teleya pushes for a xenophobic society that rejects outsiders or alliances with planets in the Union.

Supreme Chancellor Korin (John Fleck), representing the Krill, is ready to sign the peace treaty with the Union in their capital of Dalakos, to solidify an alliance against the Kaylons. He diplomatically puts up with a performance of the musical, Annie, which the Krill find offensive. The sun coming out tomorrow is a bad omen for them. The Orville is to take a Union delegation to Krill for the signing.

The Orville greets the Union delegation, including President Alcuzan (Bruce Boxleitner), Admiral Halsey (Victor Garber), and Speria Balask (the late Lisa Banes, to whom the episode is dedicated).

Teleya’s small, but vocal following, is akin to the people behind the January 6 incursion in Washington, D.C. Her rise in popularity is partly due to “influence operations,” Krill versions of internet troll farms and bots used to stoke outrage toward the opposition. Both sides use it, but the fictitious scenarios put out on video are particularly damning for Korin, making him look like a violent and oppressive leader.

As the crew of the Orville arrive on Krill, they learn that Chancellor Korin was narrowly defeated by Teleya in the election. Before there can be a proper recount,immediately arrest Korin and take his visitors as prisoners, by order of Supreme Chancellor-Elect Teleya. Teleya kills Korin in front of millions of followers.

As this occurs, the Orville finds itself in a battle with Krill forces. Admiral Perry (Ted Danson) informs the Orville that the Union was now at war with Krill over the incidents there.

Teleya calls for Mercer to meet with her in private, where they discuss her deception when they first met. Teleya thanks Mercer for freeing her so she could make the political upheaval on Krill possible. Initially, she didn’t know he was part of the Union delegation. He tells her that her holding him and the leaders of other worlds prisoner will lead to war with the Union.

She orders Mercer be taken back to his cell, but the guards are subdued by other Krill, who take him to another location. At that location, he is introduced to a little girl named Anaya. She is half Krill and half human. The girl is the daughter of Mercer and Teleya. Teleya provides for the girl, but has no contact with her.

Mercer meets Anaya, and is enchanted by her. Her caretakers see the girl as the key to peace on Krill. They want Ed to reveal that Anaya is the child of Teleya and himself, but he ultimately refuses to put her in the middle of a political conflict.

At the same time, he meets again with Teleya, who still has feelings for him, which is why he hasn’t been killed. She also reveals that she had the baby, because women on their world are forbidden from having abortions, and are humiliated and shamed for considering having their pregnancies terminated. So, instead she hid her pregnancy, had the baby, and hid her away, because she would have thwarted Teleya’s political ambitions. She tells Ed that Anaya means gently falling rain.

Union forces are sent to join the Orville, which is orbiting Krill. In a public rally, Teleya stabs President Alcuzan, but the Union delegation is rescued by the Orville crew disguised as Krill.

In a Star Wars-like battle on the planet, the crew manages to escape to find a battle going on between Krill and Union forces. Once the rescue party and delegation are on board the Orville, they and Union forces leave the battle.

The story ends with Ed Mercer knowing he has a daughter he can’t see. The treaty is dead, but now he has more motivation to try to achieve peace with Krill.

 

Acting

The episode was a great vehicle for MacFarlane. He was commanding, perplex, but it was ultimately the bittersweet ending, knowing he has a child on a world they are at war with, where his performance was most moving. Adrianne Palicki, as Commander Kelly Grayson, was in fine form as the ship’s commander while Ed was imprisoned on Krill.

 

CGI & Effects

The effects in this series are Star Trek-level effects. They’re great for the small screen, but there’s also a very cinematic, Star Wars-like feel to them.

 

Overall

If this episode felt like an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, it might be because it was written by Brannon Braga and Andre Bormanis, both writers for multiple Star Trek series. This felt like a straight up Trek adventure, and while they attempted some humor, the series is clearly no longer a parody.

9.3
The Orville (S3 - EP4) - Gently Falling Rain
  • Story
    9.5
  • Acting
    9.5
  • CGI & Effects
    9
  • Music
    9
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