The Orville season 2, episode 6 recap: A Happy Refrain


Last week’s episode of The Orville saw the crew deal with first contact with a planet that had very different ideals. This week Claire and Isaac’s relationship takes a new turn.

This episode of The Orville opens with Claire in her office working on a paper and she needs Isaac’s help. Before Isaac can get to her, Bortus comes into her office and asks for a mustache (because Gordon told him he’d look good that way).

Claire double checks that he really wants to go through with it and then goes ahead and runs a follicle stimulator over Bortus’ face. He should have a mustache in an hour.

As Bortus leaves, Isaac comes in and takes a look at Claire’s paper and makes any necessary revisions. Claire says she owes Isaac a favor. On his way out, Isaac notes that Claire is doing something different with her hair today. That, combined with bringing her a banana to eat, are oddly…human acts by Isaac.

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On the bridge, Bortus walks in with his new mustache and everyone just stares at him. However, it starts to make perfect sense once Gordon points out that it was his idea.

Claire comes in and reminds everyone that Ty has a piano recital that evening (which she hopes they won’t forget because of the excitement surrounding the symphony coming on board soon). She also takes a minute to thank Isaac for his help teaching Ty.

This cuts to Ty’s recital where every seat is full with the crew listening to him play really, really well. Ty receives a standing ovation.

After the recital, Claire notices Isaac standing off to the side alone and goes up to him, asking him to have a drink with her. She mentions that Ty really enjoys being with Isaac. Isaac says she should be very proud of Ty.

Claire later goes to Kelly’s office and says she’s developing feelings for a member of the crew. She’s worried if it’s appropriate and Kelly says she trusts Claire’s judgment. Well, until Claire mentions that it’s Isaac that she has feelings for.

Kelly immediately gets them wine.

Apparently, these feelings have been developing since Isaac, Claire and Claire’s children crashed on a planet last season. She thinks she’s actually starting to feel the warmth from Isaac. Kelly warns that maybe Claire is projecting those feelings onto Isaac.

In the end, Kelly trusts Claire and says that if Claire feels this way, there must be something there. Kelly jokes that, if it doesn’t work out, Claire could write an award-winning research paper about what happened. But, on a serious note, Kelly tells Claire to watch out for herself to make sure she doesn’t get hurt.

Later, Claire finds Isaac at work and asks Isaac if he’d like to go on a date with her. After a series of misunderstandings, because Isaac just can’t compute what she’s asking, he finally agrees to go on a date.

Elsewhere, Gordon and John talk in the engineering bay. Isaac interrupts to ask John how to prepare for a date. Isaac says he’s going with Claire and everyone (including Claire obsessed Yaphit) is shocked.

Step one, in John’s mind, is making sure Isaac has the right clothes. He also tells Isaac to pick Claire up for the date and bring her flowers. As soon as Isaac leaves, John and Gordon sprint to the bridge where they tell everyone that Claire and Isaac are going on a date.

Talla thinks maybe it can work, after seeing the two talking after the recital. But Bortus says they’re clearly incompatible. Ed agrees, but Isaac walks in before they can talk too much about it.

Fast forward to Isaac picking Claire up for the date. He’s wearing actual human clothes and brought her flowers. Claire is obviously impressed by the effort he’s put forth.

As they walk, Claire admits she’s nervous. They head down to the shuttle bay where an orchestra is tuning up their instruments before the concert.

Bortus sits with Klyden and Klyden tells Bortus he should get rid of the mustache. He thinks people are staring at Bortus, plus he doesn’t like the way it feels when they kiss. But their son, Topa, says he likes it.

The orchestra, who travels from ship to ship (similar to a USO tour), starts the concert by playing some light music: “Singin’ in the Rain.” This transitions to Claire and Isaac at dinner where Claire says she misses the rain on Earth. Isaac says the simulator can reproduce the environment, but Claire says it’s not the same. Claire notes that they’re having dinner in a really nice simulation—Isaac says he mined her personnel file to find her favorite restaurant.

As they talk, Claire starts to realize that Isaac knows everything about her because he has access to all of her information. It takes the fun away, she notes. It’s not a real first date if you don’t get to know the other person. Isaac says his way is more efficient. She decides to talk about him and his history instead.

Isaac talks about how he’s researching for his home planet so they can decide if they want to join the Union. Claire struggles to ask what his analysis says about their future relationship.

Back at her room, Claire isn’t sure there’ll be another date but isn’t totally against it. She kisses Isaac on the cheek(-ish area? he’s a robot) before going inside.

The next day, Isaac comes onto the bridge and Gordon immediately wants to know how the date went. Isaac gives a logical run down, boring everyone. Talla asks if he had fun or if there are any sparks. Isaac reveals that Claire didn’t seem happy. Kelly and Ed suggest that Isaac try to be more spontaneous and surprise Claire a little. Kelly tells Isaac about the time Ed surprised her by bringing her a cake.

Back in the medical bay, Kelly and Talla talk to Claire about her account of the night. Claire says she didn’t feel what she thought she would. She said things were too rigid. It is a robot, Talla points out. Claire thinks maybe Kelly was right and she was just projecting her feelings onto Isaac.

Cut to Claire asleep in her bad. She stirs and finds Isaac in her room, standing over her holding a cake and asking her to go on a date with him right now.

Claire is stunned and annoyed. She tells him she’s made a mistake and says she wants to go back to the way things were between the two of them.

This transitions to Gordon and John bowling in the simulator room. Isaac comes in, saying he wants to examine John’s relationship with his girlfriend so he can figure out what he did wrong with Claire. Isaac plays the recording of what Claire said to him and John says he has an idea.

Isaac sends Claire a message to meet him in the simulator room that night. When she does, he has the restaurant simulation back up. But this time, he simulates a human face and body onto himself.

Additionally, Isaac has deleted all info on Claire so he could get to know her. For real this time. They sit down and Claire gets to actually tell Isaac about her hometown. As she tells him about Baltimore, occasionally dipping into parts of conversation they had on their last date, Isaac says he’d like to see Baltimore.

Claire takes his hands and leans in for a kiss. Then, she asks the simulator to simulate her quarters and she takes Isaac to bed. (I, for one, hope she locked the simulator door, considering how many times we’ve seen people barge into that room…)

This transitions to Claire telling Talla and Kelly about everything. She’s amazed by the way a logical being could decide he wanted to try to please and be with her.

She admits that she thinks she’s in love with him.

This abruptly cuts to Isaac telling John that he wants to break up with Claire because his experiment is over now that they had sex. John suggests his method: making the woman break up with him. Isaac asks how and this cuts to Isaac sitting in Claire’s quarters where he awkwardly sits in human underwear holding a beer.

He says a lot of mean things and as Claire is about to kick him out, Claire realizes that he’s intentionally trying to get her to break up with him. She figures out that Isaac only slept with her to finish his experiment and now he’s done.

Visibly hurt, she says fine. He gets what he wants. She asks him to leave.

Later, on the bridge, Gordon calls Isaac a jerk under his breath. Talla and Kelly talk about how Claire is doing well, considering how angry the two of them would be if someone was that mean to them. It doesn’t seem like the message sinks fully in with Isaac that they’re talking about him.

In the simulator, Claire is drinking her sorrows. Yaphit shows up, taking Isaac’s trick and transforming himself into human form. Claire is incredibly uninterested.

Isaac goes to Claire’s room for Ty’s piano lesson. Claire tells Isaac that Ty has a new piano teacher now. She doesn’t want Isaac in her life other than their work relationship. She tells him off and closes the door in his face.

The Orville pulls up on a white dwarf star. In analyzing the star, Isaac makes an error in his analysis—something no one has ever seen before. Isaac runs the diagnostics on himself. Ed checks in on him and Isaac says that he’s made changes in his programming to not interact with Claire. But her life is so ingrained in his programs that changing them has affected his programming.

Isaac says he’ll need to rewrite his programming. Ed suggests that, instead, Isaac just needs to win Claire’s back. Ed says Isaac needs to take all the knowledge he has on Claire and find a way to be creative.

Back on the bridge, Bortus has shaved and he admits the mustache was itchy. (Ah, an unnecessary B plot.)

Claire walks in saying she got a message from Ed, but really Isaac had called for her. He plays “Singin’ in the Rain” and starts a program that makes it rain on the bridge. Everyone is very confused, except Claire who kind of enjoys it. (Though she’s still mad at Isaac.)

Isaac admits that he’s better with Claire than without her. They make up. As everyone watches on, soaking wet, she hugs Isaac and kisses him.

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The episode ends with Claire and Isaac walking to another date in the simulator room.

Is this relationship going to last? How bad is a breakup going to be if this goes on for a while? How jealous is Yaphit? Let us know your thoughts on The Orville in the comments.