In Review: The Orville (S3 – Ep8) Midnight Blue

In Midnight Blue The crew visits Haveena's sanctuary world and embarks on a journey that may leave the Union more vulnerable.
Midnight Blue

Synopsis: In Midnight Blue The crew visits Haveena’s sanctuary world and embarks on a journey that may leave the Union more vulnerable.


The Story

When the Orville is invited to survey a new all-female Moclan colony, which Haveena has built. It puts the Union and the crew on shaky ground with the patriarchal Moclan hierarchy, which views females of their species as an abomination. However, Commander Grayson and Bortus go and take Topa with them so she can meet Haveena, which she considers to be somewhat of a hero. As they arrive they are met by a couple of disapproving Males who take offense at Topa, but Commander Grayson rather quickly puts them in their place.

Upon seeing this colony. Topa who is still getting acquainted with her true female form absolutely beams with a smile as she recognizes like-minded people that she feels at home with, and she enthusiastically drinks in everything that is on offer to her. When she meets Haveena Topa is understandably a little awe-struck. Especially given that Haveena fought for Topa’s right to remain female. As the two get to know each other. Haveena reveals to Topa that she has relaunched her underground network, which has been rescuing natural-born female babies from Moclus and having them brought to her colony. She asks Topa to help and Topa enthusiastically agrees.

While Commander Grayson and Bortus are enjoying the party. Topa wonders off to follow the lights, but once she is out of sight of the colony she is grabbed by a few male Moclans and taken to a Moclun Blacksite where she is beaten and interrogated. Realizing that the Mocluns have taken his daughter Bortus and Commander Grayson launches a daring rescue attempt.


Dolly Parton is still a Hero in the 25th Century



Meanwhile back on the Orville Mercer is getting worried as Kelly and Bortus haven’t checked in and it has been some time. Realizing the potential of the situation he orders the ship to go to the colony where he meets with Haveena and gets her to reveal what she has been up to. In order to fix things, he has to convince Haveena to testify to the Union’s Council so that they can make a case to have the Mocluns give Topa back. Haveena is reluctant to do so as she fears what the implications would be on her colony given the hatred of the Moclun hierarchy toward their females. However, after a chat with Dolly Parton, which Haveena considers to be a hero. She decides to do the right thing and testify.

During the Council meeting. The Moclun delegate denies all knowledge of Topa’s kidnapping and seems to have the Council at a stand-off. Thankfully, Bortus and Kelly having managed to rescue a beaten Topa bring her directly to the hearing in order to show the Council what the Mocluns had done to Topa. After seeing what the Mocluns have done. The Council overwhelmingly votes to dismiss Moclus from the Union for their cruel narrowmindedness.


The Acting

Once again we get a brilliant and very mature performance from Imani Pullum as Topa. The scenes where she meets Haveena are really nicely done. As is Topa’s very understandable reaction to finding like-minded females of her own kind with whom she can relate too. But it is the torture scenes that are particularly grueling to watch, and likely very challenging for such a young actor. In fact, the scenes afterward where we see a more subdued Topa really make you empathize with her journey. This is what makes the reunion with her other father Klydan so heartwarming at the end.

We also get a great performance from Rena Owen as Haveena. All her scenes were really good. I particularly enjoyed her sit-down talk with Dolly Parton whose very simple down to earth advice made her seem a little like Haveena’s fairy godmother.

Of course, this episode would not have worked too well has it not been for Adrianne Palicki and Peter Macon in their roles of Kelly Grayson and Bortus. The scene where Kelly gets hurt on the planet during their rescue of Topa was sold wonderfully well by both actors. Especially the moment where Bortus tells Kelly that he and Topa consider her to be a member of their family. This heartwarming moment gets touched on again at the end of the episode when Klydan who has reconciled with Bortus and Topa invites Kelly to have dinner with them.



Midnight Blue is another really powerful episode, which does a great job of following up on the story and character arcs that were put into motion a couple of weeks back in A Tale of Two Topas. The actors did an outstanding job of bringing this story to life. And as a viewer, I was really invested in Topa’s journey and really empathized with her joy at meeting other people like her. I also enjoyed the relationship between Bortus and Kelly. How she has kind of become a sounding board. And finally, I really appreciated the reunion between Bortus and Klydon at the end. I guess I’m sentimental and like a happy ending.


The Orville (S3 - Ep8) Midnight Blue
  • Story
  • Acting
  • CGI and Stunts
  • Incidental Music

Ian Cullen is the founder of and has been a fan of science fiction and fantasy from birth. In the past few years he has written for 'Star Trek' Magazine as well as interviewed numerous comics writers, television producers and actors for the SFP-NOW podcast at: When he is not writing for Ian enjoys playing his guitar, studying music, watching movies and reading his comics. Ian is both the founder and owner of You can contact ian at:
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