Here we go again with episode 2 of season 3 of The Orville, this episode is titled Shadow Realms which instantly brought visions of YouTuber SuperGT, not related (as no cars flying through space are present in the episode)
This time around I took notes while watching the episode so it should all be somewhat in order and I’m making an effort to blabber less so hopefully this write up is much shorter and finally I’m marking everything below this as spoiler … easier for myself
Quantum Drive engaged!
We have a bit of an intro about a treaty that’s about to be negotiated with the Krill for passage through a specific section of Krill space, Ambassador Paul Christie will be picked up by the Orville for negotiations, Claire seems a little off about the whole thing.
We then meet Paul Christie as he leans against Claire door in sick bay, they talk and he seems a little flirty, we learn through this discourse that he was once her professor and seem to have some past together, Claire notes to him that she has kids and he is entirely unaware of this fact so we know they have not seen each other in a long time.
Krill Partying ?
After the intro we cut to a scene where the Krill are at a fancy pants party on The Orville, they remind Captain Mercer that once the Kaylon are defeated all treaties are off the table and it will be business as usual once again.
Admiral Christie gives a speech about cooperation and all that fun stuff, in the midst of this Claire bottle naps a bottle of booze and Kelly and the now familiar sight of these two ladies drinking and talking occurs, Claire tells Kelly that she was married to the Ambassador a long time ago - typical professor dating student till she leaves and then marrying them kind of thing.
Claire makes the claim that he wanted someone in his bed and to look good while she wanted a partner and when she asked for such he declined, she issued the ultimatum and he left her.
The Krill seemingly with very little effort grant the union access what they want, a few conditions are attached such as the Krill want access to a specific planet for mining purposes as it’s rich in something or other that they use for powering their ships, additionally only one ship will be allowed at a time, a strict path is to be followed and a tracking device is to be attached to that one ship - Kelly objects to this issue and Ed looks nervous about having a tracker on his ship but agree to the terms.
The Union advise the Krill where that they wish to explore the Kalarr expanse - The Krill look a little puzzled to the point of concerned asking if they intend to enter the Expanse, Kelly asks them why not to which to respond with it is a domain of evil Captain Mercer asks what they mean and the Krill relay elements back from the Anhkana which warns them about the Shadow Realms
The ambassador and captain seem somewhat unworried about this issue and declare intent to head into the expanse, to which the Krill say they will not stop them but neither will they help them if they get into trouble.
As the Krill leave the ambassador dribbled about the gift of knowledge to which the Krill reply with “Sala tallo ka vespa ko loy” Talla ask what does that mean? The Krill say its a prayer, for those about to die.
We cut to Claire, she seems to be having dinner and doing some reading/work when the admiral approaches her, he’s all smoozy and clearly looking to get some Claire asks when he’s leaving and he lets her know he’s not, he intends to stay onboard for this journey into the unknown, Claire confused asks if that’s not a little unusual - he wips out his wedding ring and goes back into smoozing mode but Claire asks him to keep things strictly business.
Captain Mercer is prompted by Kelly to make a speech given this is a momentous event and he says he hasn’t prepared anything, but he decides to wing it ending the speech with may the force be with you
Favourite Sexual Positions
We catch up with the admiral as he’s talking to Isaac, seems he is aware that Claire and Isaac were together and he’s looking for information from Isaac on how to reach her, Isaac advises him that her children are her priority, going as far as to say she would die to protect them, after a little more conversation Isaac rattles off some of Claire favourite things including sexual positions, the ambassador taken a little off guard by Isaacs straight forward delivery of information thanks him
Into the unknown
We see The Orville has arrived at the star cluster which apparently contains 347 habitat planets but no signs of life at all… and almost on queue a distress signal is picked up and of course.. The Orville heads towards it!!
Gordon seems thrown off by the lack of stars in this part of the system as we cut to a few shots of The Orville seemingly moving through devoid space, perhaps where the Shadow Realm name comes from ? Eventually they arrive at the source of the distress signal which is a massive bug looking station type thing .. again devoid of life signs.
The Captain, Claire, The Admiral, John, Kelly and Talla hope in a shuttle and towards the space station, deciding to enter the creepy looking station, upon arrival Claire notes how organic things look, eventually Captain Mercer devices they should split up to try find the distress signal source.
John and Talla discover the source of the distress signal, an automated and very bright beacon meanwhile Captain Mercer the admiral find some pod things in the wall, ed suggest they are power relays of some sort… the former professor and admiral uses his brain by putting his face closer… the orb thing opens and as he pulls his head away it closes again… but head first honestly ?
Its life but not as we know it
We cut back to the ship and they again relay that no life signs have been detected and Ed suggest no life as we know it and then the admiral drops down in agony wriggling around as he seems to be having some form of reaction .. half his face all looking like melted cheese
We cut to him now in sickbay and for some reason nobody has decided it would be a good time to to enact any form of quarantine - Claire notes that the ambassadors DNS is being rewritten and what seems to be a new set of eyes are now growing out of his head.
They head back to big station to try gather more info this time in hazmat suits, so perhaps showing just a touch of caution this time, they relocate the Orb things and establish it’s pushing out some spores of some kind
Back in sickbay the admiral now has one giant bug eye and two smaller bug eyes above that one and a small tusk coming out of his face … he looks like crap in fairness. Claire and admiral brain box have a talk about getting better, after some back n forth he asks her to put the ring on him .. she does and she says she will save him and makes the mistake of promising clearly she hasn’t watched Brooklyn Nine-Nine!
The nightmares begins
The away team are coming back with a sample of the spores and it seems admiral bug face has vanished and then the ship goes nuts, blinky lights and all… seems the now missing admiral is taking over the ship and shuts down the Orville because a visiting admiral has a higher clearance code than the resident Captain….
The Orville is now dead in space, Bortus and Isaac get on the way to engineering, Claire goes to check on her kids - Nurse Henry Park is left on his lonesome and after a creepy who’s their moment he finds some clothing in the hallway and then i jump out of my skin as he turns back and we meet creepy bug dude aka the admiral who has now fully transformed!
Elsewhere the away team manually docks the shuttle and are now back on the silent and creepy ship .. which seems to lack emergency lighting, that has to be a safety issue to take up with HR. Claire went to look for the kids and they are not in her quarters… turns out they went to look for her in sick bay and welp seems admiral bug is now stalking the kids of the women he loves so much, not sure reconciliation is going to occur for these two.
We catch up with the kids who are now in what looks like the mess when the bug comes to get them, they run and hide behind the bar before some random crewmen jumps scares us all and he’s wearing red so he will be dead soon, the kids say some spider thing is here he is like nothing here lets go
This leads to the him getting jumped and gets goo faced by the original bug things which turns him into a bug thing too, the kids have already engaged run away mode and meet up with Claire where they tell her about a monster on board and Slaire rather than suggests bullshit she takes them to the bridge and they retell the events to the bridge crew.
Claire suggests that this is how the parasite breads and the distress signal wasn’t a distress call at all but a mating call … Talla goes to find John who happens to be in the worse place to be … one of those engineering tubes/conduit things. John manages to get minimal power up and running Claire and Bortus go to sickbay to try find a cure but.. we sadly cut back to John when….
John hears noises in the tube, he peaks around the corner and hey look it’s a bug man which behinds chasing him … he crawls like a toddler on crack through the tube things and manages to narrowly escape then once before locking himself in behind a force field in the brig.. quick thinking but he’s not of course locked in the brig
Talla comes in and gets them to chase her, into what looks like a storage area Talla then proceeds to hand out an ass kicking and of course she destroys them fairly easily in a fight but they keep coming after her eventually she kicks a large container seemingly killing one of the bugs
We cut to Isaac who is walking down the corridor when one of the bugs approach him and well it has no interest in Isaac seemingly aware that the none biological lifeforms is of no use to him/it.. the bug
Isaac then proceeds to get John out of the brig after the bug leaves and Claire says she needs one of the bugs to work out how to take them down, almost like magic Talla shows up and drops one off for Claire
A plan emerges
Another ship is detected to be on route, the crew know that they need to move quickly or they will be outnumbered, Claire discovers that the white blood cells are weak near none existent from the transformation process, Claire figures that a virtual virus should kill then off fairly easily with the crew at worst getting the sniffles. This leads to a debate about not killing former crew mates but trying to give them the opportunity to leave she wants to find admiral bug face… she can get through to him - they track him via the ring we mentioned earlier which has some rare metal in it/or it’s made of one…
They get a signal from engineering and on route Talla and Bortus put down (stun) numerous bugs with some energy riffle weapons, Claire finds and speaks out to Paul (The admiral) saying he needs to hear what she says … a bug emerges wearing the ring and Claire says get off ship or we will use the virus, take the ones you transformed and leave or die.
The creature looks on as Claire speaks, he then responds she will see, they will be one of us - Claire advises The captain to release the virus and start with engineering… the bugs in response agrees to leave the ship but not forever … so zombie bugs vs Kaylon in the future!
all seems back to normal as we catch up with Claire who is having a drink when Isaac approaches, Claire asks what’s up and he lets her know he was just checking up in her, Isaac then offers his condolences on the loss of her friend, Claire thanks him and after a little awkward note Claire says she has missed Isaac and invites him to sit down
We also between all this learn that exploring the expanse is off the cards for the foreseeable future and that’s out episode!
I thought the episode was really well done, visually it was very impressive with some computer stuff (a lot) and some practical stuff in between, it was another episode that feature a lot of Claire and by proxy a lot of Isaac but it did pick up the comedy a bit more.. it felt like the nailed the story but the comic muscles are still stretching out a little but it got where it intended to go but still felt like a setup for something in the future.