So I did end up watching this one without taking any notes and figured that I wouldn't bother posting an episode breakdown as more than a day or so had passed, however I hate the idea of not finishing off the season or perhaps even doing a breakdown of a later episode and straight skipping this one.. so after that brief week long debate with myself here is the latest episode (for me as I've yet to watch the next episode) breakdown!
The episode opens with a 35 or so second shot of a shuttle approaching and then docking within the Orville shuttle bay but lets take a moment to say that while the stories so far have been a bit hot and cold the visuals have been amazing!
The first signs
Talla Keyali steps out of the shuttle in civilian clothes and makes her way through the ship eventually arriving at Kellys office/quarters - Kelly notes she's back early from her vacation to which Talla responds that her father is somewhat annoying to be around thus she is back early and ready to go, just prior to this tho she tells Kelly she will be submitting a report as she picked up some Kaylon ships in a nearby sector, seemingly very far from what they are expected to be.
Once back in uniform and back not he ship she hands out some Xelayan chocolate truffles which the bridge crew all seem to really enjoy except for Bortus who politely turns her offer down as he's getting his summer body...unsurprisingly this is Gordon's idea..
But before we can deep dive that, Isaac interjects that a dead planet is showing signs of life, it's suggested that he's incorrect but others confirm his findings and upon arrival they find a complete industrial planet .. a confusing point for a web known dead planet...
What's going on
So after checking and rechecking with engineering Captain Mercer decides it's something they should confirm and checkout themselves so they head to the planets surface.
Perhaps the most confusing part about this scene is we have Captain Mercer, his first officer in Kelly, the second officer in Bortus, the chief of security in Talla and then the main/best pilot in the form of Gordon - kill that shuttle you take out nearly the entire main crew of the ship .. Riker would have never let this happen....
After another very impressive shuttle flying over a very alive planet but seeing no signs any industrial city the crew lands, disembarks the shuttle and appear to be in the middle of a forest... not a city... Gordon quips that even if the city isn't here the forest shouldn't be either...
Kelly contacts LaMarr back on The Orville bridge and he confirms the cities are gone and have now been replaced by vegetation of the dense variety..... Bortus picks up life signs and with weapons on stun but at ready they follow Bortus to find these signs of life..
Gordon does his best what the hell and shocked face as seen below
Turns out those signs of life are coming from, of all things a school.. and the intro hits
Ed asks John LaMarr to scan infant of them and advise what he picks up, he reports back just plant life, no school nothing additional just plants so after here this they decide to head into the school. The school looks like a normal high school nothing overly weird about it, Bortus does note that they are not alone just at that Ed tries to contact the ship but comms are down.. the door then slams shut .. Ed tries to get it open but fails, Talla tries and surpassingly also fails, Kelly shoots it several times and the door shows no signs of damage..
A bell then rings out and now the corridors are filled with various high school children, Ed asks one of the students where they are she replies in the corridor, Gordon tries to find out the year thinking it may be time travel but they end up getting nowhere and splitting up to try find out more.
Back on the ship it seems the original landing party are no longer on sensors, LaMarr says he wants to send down a rescue team, Isaac logically suggests that unwise and right on time we are reminded that ensign Charly Burke doesn't care for Isaac and chastises him for giving up on the crew mates and they would never do that etc etc LaMarr cuts them both off saying his decision is made, get to it.
We cut back to the school and Talla, Bortus and Talla are scanning various areas before Bortus opens a classroom door and asks for a way out, it's suggested he goes to the guidance counsellor, Talla gives the windows a back and they are then told to get out of History 303 ...
Gordon who has wandered off on his own is then grabbed by three bullies and when he questions why he's getting his ass kicked it's because Randall wants his money... the beating is fairly significant and includes a head flushing .. Gordon tells the bullies that while he has no idea who they are or who Randall is he'll get him his money
Bortus and Talla find Gordon after the bullies have left and meet up with Kelly and Ed and they conclude his wounds are real so it's clearly not a holodeck... Bortus runs into some mean girls in the bathroom and lets one of them known, via Gordons insistence that she has a five head
So they try to find out who Randall is and turns out everyone pays Randall .. a point that concerns Gordon, meanwhile back on The Orville Isaac, doctor Quinn and two redshirts head towards the planet.
Time to pay
So the bells rings and the front doors of the school are open, Captain Ed says this could be a way out.. the shuttle is nowhere to be seen and they cannot contact The Orville - they decide that Randall may be worth talking too so they head to the bleachers to find Randall
As it turns out Randall is some massive 15ft Orc like thing with a giant club and sadly for Gordon, he still hasn't got the money .. the rest take aim and shoot at Randall but he seems entirely unfazed by the energy weapons and continues towards Gordon.
Randall grabs Gordon and squeezes his before the others start again shooting at Randall as they try to free Gordon from his grasp - we then get a close up of Gordons terrified face as he seems to get dead eyes flash for a moment (hard to put in words.. see picture....
Talla launches a bench into Randalls face/eyes which forces him to drop Gordon the crew then wisely decides to make a run for it .. Randall in chase manages to fall over a fence flat on his face giving the crew a fairly clean escape as they run back into the school onto an aeroplane......
Time to fly
An air stewardess asks them to sit to which Ed suggests they do so, Kelly scans the plane as they move towards some seats before sitting down, very weirded out... Gordon then says something weird happen, that his whole brain froze and he felt like he was outside of his body for a moment..
Meanwhile the other shuttle that was sent down arrives and finds.. the planet is a desolate desert with no signs of life at all, the original shuttle is present however which leaves doctor Quinn and Isaac curious and confused as to where they could have gone...
The plane turns out to be a rocky ride, Gordon lets the air hostess know that he's a pilot and if the crew need a hand .. he's able to help.. Gordon says that its weird how they seem to be aiming for the turbulence, Gordon insists he is going upfront and finds the cabin door rightfully locked, Talla easily pulls off the door and Kelly eventually decks the air hostess that's spent the entire time demanding they go back to their seats..
They find toe cockpit is empty, fuel is low and then the engines give out - Gordon does his best to keep the plane level and then as the plane crashes we see Captain Eds eyes do the dead eye thing
The plane comes to a stop dangling over a cliff
They decide to wisely exit the plane but after turning around they notice.. no more passengers, the plane is now empty, Bortus waisting little time opens the emergency door and they all stumble out into a dark room with minimal red lighting.
Ed lets Gordon know he felt the same feeling Gordon did as they slowly walk through the latest premise - they come into a room filled with numerous floating pods - Bortus is aware of what this room is advising the others it's a Moclan morgue and that the pods contain the dead...creepy..
Gordon asks why they hang them like this, Bortus advises that it's done for 9 days to allow them to stand and finish any affairs they have in the living world, as they look around a panel presents itself to Talla whom decides to press the button... the pods open and Kelly shocked calls over Bortus to a specific pod which contains the corpse of Klyden... his mate
The Klyden corpse then wakes up and starts to choke Bortus as the others work to try free him he gets the eye thing and is then seemingly let go as the Klyden zombie goes back to being dead.
A door then opens which seems to have a staircase to nowhere. Meanwhile on the planet Isaac confirms everything is fine with the shuttle and they did land safely LaMarr calls the team back.
Stairway to nowhere
They head down the stairway which has another exit which leads back to a beach on Xelaya which seems to comfort Captain Mercer as he remarks that he now knows its all an illusion because if they were really on Xelaya all but Talla would be dead already due to the gravity.
They see a light flashing in the distance, flashing at intervals.. a raft then seems to appear as if out of nowhere and they decided to split up with Kelly, Gordon and Talla checking out the light while the Bortus and Ed hand back (Ed has a head wound so he's somewhat ordered to sit back by Kelly) hang back ..
So while in the middle of the lake they see a massive creature death them and they decide to keep an eye on it as they look up the light is no longer flashing and Kelly is then grabbed and pulled deep under the water towards the massive creature .. an alien Kraken if you will Kellys eyes did the dead eye thing which we see and Talla says she felt it too .. but we don't see it.. soooooooo
Another door then constructs itself on the beach and Captain Ed says no more, kill us or let us go we are done with your bullshit and they start to walk in the opposite direction.
They walk for some time before coming across a power signature in a cave so they decide to head towards that and it's at this point you may be thinking is this just a Kaylon experiment being conducted on them ? They find a holographic power generator and Bortus sets to work on getting past its shield not before Gordon cooks his finger, Ed decides to destroy the holographic thingie and just like that they are now looking at a barren desert planet.
Back on Board
They get in touch with the Orville and advise they will be back on board soon - they take the now visible shuttle and heads towards The Orville, back on board Doctor Quinn says that all 5 of them have had some form of invasive neurogenic scan done on them.
LaMarr confirms they device or what's left of it is of Kaylon design - the crew theorise it's some form of Matrix like device which is designed to warp reality, Captain Ed and Kelly get in touch with admiral Halsey who tells them to hand over the fragments of the device to an incoming ship.
The convoy arrives and Isaac right away says they are Kaylon spheres and of course Burke objects suggesting he's trying to trick them into firing on other Union ships.
Kelly and Captain Ed decide to trust Isaac and get shields up, just in time it would seem as they are being battered by the now no longer hiding Kaylon spheres
The Orville is being beaten to bits by the Kaylon vessels and just as Captain Ed orders a jump with the Quantum drive it turns out that's cracked and no longer an option - things don't look good for The Orville as LaMarr breaks down the issue to Kelly from engineering
We then cut to The Orville receiving a tramission from Talla with LaMarr now in the captains chair ? The transmission as it turns out is not transmitting from the planet but she's in her shuttle and has been waiting rot he Orville for 3 hours .. John says we picked you up hours ago.. she insists this is not the case.
We then flip to The Orville again and see it still under heavy fire, it's now seemingly obvious that the away party are still trapped in some form of shared reality - Captain ed orders all hands to abandon ship and a missile comes hurtling towards the Orville as they crew see it incoming they instantly cover ... but as they do .. everything except them freezes...
We get the very cool shot above which just lingers for a moment showing just how close to annihilation the away team was - confused and puzzled they look around before Talla stands and changes into some form of RGB iron character called Dinal
Upon seeing her I honestly thought this was the 2D universe looking to get some revenge for perhaps some damage The Orville may have done but alas no I was wrong she is from the multiphasic planet that would appear in 'our' universe every 11 days having advanced 700 years in those days .. and Kelly was a god to them for a short time.
It seems that they have kept an eye on humans for some time, as for them its been 50'000 years (2 years for us) and they have evolved and progressed to the point of immortality and to some degree their science is almost magical - it seems they wished to experience death as, being immortal they cannot see past their own immortality .. Kelly and Ed suggest this experiment was wrong and they didn't appreciate it.
Before giving them some advice about becoming more than they are she says they will meet again - at this point Captain Ed contacts the ship, lets them know they are back and will fill him in with the details soon as they return...
After a brief back and forth between Kelly, Ed and Gordon with Bortus saying very little other than that death is part of life .. that's the episode
Not my favourite episode and felt like a plot line up for something in the future, if anything it gave me Q'esk vibes (Robin Hood anyone?) Visually it was as is becoming the normal very impressive but still lacked the humour sadly.