The Orville season 2 episode 7 recap: Deflectors


The Orville returns after a week off with an emotional episode that again deals with the fundamental differences between Moclans and humans. It’s also the first real taste of the unique issues the Orville encounters for Talla.

This episode of The Orville opens with Kelly and Cassius on a date in the simulator—it’s 1945 in New York City. He’s begging her to finally take a vacation with him, but she’s reluctant. She says there’s too much going on on the Orville for her to leave.

Cassius says she needs to find a balance between work and their relationship. This statement makes Kelly recognize that it’s the same conversation she used to have with Ed when he didn’t prioritize her. She asks what Cassius is looking for in their relationship. He says he wants to get married, but Kelly is hesitant to jump into things again after what happened with Ed. As they talk, the conversation becomes an argument.

Kelly centers herself and tells Cassius that they should break up. They want different things right now.

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Just then, Ed calls Kelly to the bridge. Cassius wants to talk about things later, but Kelly tells him pretty matter-of-factly that she doesn’t want to see him anymore.

In the shuttle bay, Ed and the team greet a new Moclan engineer (Locar) who is being brought on to help with upgrades to the Orville. Locar heads off to start his duties and Bortus tells Kelly and Ed that Locar is his ex-boyfriend.

In the engineering bay, Locar says he hopes to have a chance to talk with Bortus later, but Bortus says he’ll be too busy. As Bortus leaves, Talla hangs back and tries to be hospitable, sweetly saying she’s around if Locar needs anything.

In his quarters, Bortus talks with Klyden and Topa about Locar. Bortus is very closed off about Locar, but Klyden is open to discussing his presence.

Right then, Locar shows up at Bortus’ door. Not wanting to be rude, Klyden invites Locar in to have dinner with them. Klyden asks Locar if he has a mate of his own. Locar says his work keeps him too busy. As they eat, Locar tells Bortus that he hopes they can be friends.

On the bridge, everyone is curious about Bortus and Locar’s history. Bortus reveals that rather than stab each other when they break up (as is the Moclan custom when people divorce), Moclans exchange a tooth. Their next partner then eats the previous partner’s tooth. (Not relevant to the plot, just worth noting.)

They’re ready for a deflector test with the Moclan ship firing at the Orville to make sure Locar’s upgrades work. As Locar works in the engineering bay during the test, Talla and Locar bond when John threatens to shut down the test when something looks to be going wrong with Locar’s upgrade. Talla tells John to trust Locar. When things go right, Locar looks to Talla and they smile at each other.

Later, Kelly tells Ed that she broke up with Cassius. Before they can talk too much, Bortus and Talla come in and tell them that the upgrade is ready to be finalized. It should only take 48 hours before they’re ready to go.

Talla returns to her quarters to find Locar waiting for her. After some hesitation, Locar tells Talla that he’s attracted to her (which is unexpected, since Moclan’s are an all male species). Some, Locar says, are attracted to females, but they’re not allowed to say out of fear of imprisonment.

The only reason he brought it up is because he thought Talla felt the same way. Talla, reasonably, says they just met and she can’t know if she feels the same way. She tries not to hurt his feelings, but Locar leaves.

Ed and Kelly share a meal in the cafeteria. Ed is Kelly’s confidante when she wants to talk through what she’s going through with Cassius. It’s awkward. He’s trying to be a “girlfriend,” but he seems uncomfortable.

Elsewhere in the cafeteria, John and Gordon joke that Isaac and Claire have the most stable relationship on the ship. Talla, perhaps thinking about turning down Locar, wonders why Ed and Kelly don’t get back together. John and Gordon laugh off the idea.

Talla then goes to find Locar. Locar confides in Talla that he hasn’t even told his parents about his feelings toward women. Locar feels that Talla must feel like an outsider to her people, much like him, since Xelayan’s don’t usually serve in the military.

They decide to go for a walk using the 1945 New York City simulation. As they walk, they see a couple in the window slow dancing together. It’s a weird concept to Locar, but Talla offers to show him. Slowly, she teaches him a slow waltz. After a moment, Locar kisses Talla.

Their makeout session is interrupted by Kelly calling for Talla to come to Kelly’s quarters. Talla leaves Locar to enjoy the city simulation. He practices his dancing.

Just then, Klyden comes in and says he knows what Locar is.

When Talla gets to Kelly’s quarters, she sees that Cassius sent Kelly a large talking plant. The plant (a “he”), was sent exclusively to convince Kelly to get back with Cassius. Unsurprisingly, it doesn’t work.

NOTE: Was that Bruce Willis as the talking plant?

Talla gets back to the simulator and sees that Locar is gone. In fact, after checking the security info for the ship, she finds out Locar isn’t on board the ship at all and didn’t take a shuttle back to his own ship. She asks the simulator to replay what happened after she left and she sees an unidentified person shoot and kill Locar. She can’t tell who the killer is because the file had been corrupted.

Later, the ship’s leaders sit in the conference room and try to figure out who would want to kill Locar.

When discussing why Locar was in the simulator in the first place, Talla confesses to everyone, including Locar’s Moclan captain, that Locar was attracted to women and that she had taken him to the simulator. The Moclan captain doesn’t take too kindly to this information and starts yelling at Talla. He says she must have done something to him. Eventually, Ed has to ask Talla to leave the conference room to diffuse the situation.

Bortus seems stunned by this information about Locar.

In Ed’s office, Ed and Kelly say that Talla should have said something about the potential relationship with Locar so they could be ready for these repercussions. Talla says she’ll make it up to them by finding the murderer.

Talla goes and talks to Bortus. Bortus says she encouraged a dangerous impulse in Locar. Talla shoots back that Locar came to her and she felt something for him. Talla says that she expected more from Bortus, especially considering what his people did to his daughter. He yells at her to leave.

John and Isaac work to fix the simulator to find out who Locar’s murderer is. Eventually, Isaac is able to fix the problem and they see that the shooter is Klyden.

When confronted by Ed and Kelly, Klyden says he only went to the simulator to tell off Locar, not kill him. He says he was just going to turn Locar into the Moclan authorities. Ed, Kelly, Talla and Bortus talk off to the side. Talla says Klyden has the means and motive, but she’s unsatisfied because Klyden didn’t confess.

Bortus asks to talk to Klyden alone, so the others leave. Bortus asks again if Klyden killed Locar and believes Klyden when he again says he’s innocent.

Later, John, Gordon and Talla talk about the case. John says that he thought there was something fishy with how the simulator was corrupted—it was too easy. It’s almost as if someone wanted them to decrypt it.

Talla goes to talk to Bortus and apologize. During their conversation, Bortus confesses that he had previously caught Locar with a woman. He’s known about Locar the whole time. He again talks about how unforgivable Locar’s “condition” is and Talla flippantly says she’d kill herself if she lived on Moclan. Then, Bortus mentions that suicide is an unforgivable crime on Moclan.

It dawns on Talla—Locar isn’t dead.

Talla gathers everyone in the simulator and tells them that she thinks Locar, a brilliant engineer, faked the shooting. Knowing he was going to be exposed, he plotted to place the blame on Klyden so he wouldn’t disgrace his family.

Ed gives Talla permission to start an extensive search for Locar. Her whole security team starts looking high and low trying to find Locar.

When checking one of the shuttles, Talla is able to find Locar, who had been using a cloaking device. Locar begs Talla, as a friend, to let him go. She says she can’t let him go because she can’t let an innocent man go to jail. She suggests Locar request asylum on the ship to avoid Moclan punishment.

Feeling betrayed, he says no. He’ll go home and face the Moclans. He puts whatever happens to him squarely on Talla’s shoulders.

Talla takes Locar to his ship to go back to Moclan.

Ed and Kelly sit in the cafeteria later and wonder how long an alliance with the Moclans, a culture with some big fundamental differences, can last. Before they can talk too much, Cassius comes in. Ed excuses himself so they can talk.

Cassius asks point blank if Kelly was still in love with Ed. She skirts the question, unsure of her feelings. Moving past it, Cassius says he’s put in for a transfer.

Elsewhere, Klyden thanks Talla for what she did. Talla says she was just doing her job. She tells Klyden to stay away from her if he sees her around the ship. Emotional, she unleashes her frustrations with the Moclans on Klyden, saying that it’s his fault Locar’s life is over. As Klyden leaves, she cries.

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This episode of The Orville ends with Klyden and Bortus sharing an emotional silence in their quarters and Locar, in handcuffs, being brought in front of a judge.

What did you think of this episode of The Orville? What would you have done in Talla’s shoes? Let us know your thoughts on this week’s episode of The Orville in the comments.