The Orville season 2 episode 12 recap: Sanctuary

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THE ORVILLE: L-R: Guest star Victor Garber and Seth MacFarlane in the ÒSanctuaryÓ episode of THE ORVILLE airing Thursday, April 11 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2018 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Kevin Estrada/FOX

The Orville returns after a short break with an episode that takes another controversial look into the customs of the Moclans. This time, it’s an issue that threatens to tear the Union apart.

This episode of The Orville opens with Admiral Halsey (Victor Garber) telling Ed, Kelly, and Bortus about the Moclan plan to upgrade some Union ships with bigger guns in response to the Kaylon attack. It shouldn’t take long. Halsey also gives the Orville an assignment to transport a Moclan engineer.

Later, the upgrade to the Orville weapons is complete and the Moclan engineer (Toren) and his mate (Korick) have arrived on the ship.

As Talla escorts them to their room, she learns that they’ve been together for nine years. Korick then notes that ships like the Orville typically give special attention to guests. However, he and Toren would rather be left alone during the trip.

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Talla says that’s fine and says they can get in touch with her if they need anything.

Inside their quarters and alone, Korick says that they’ve made a mistake and they’ll get caught. It’s clear the two are hiding something, but Toren thinks they’ll be ok. Toren then opens his large suitcase and, as a blue light shines on their face, he tells Korick that they have nothing to fear.

The Orville transitions to a classroom where Topa gets in trouble for pushing a girl to the ground. He had taken a toy from her because his parents told him females are weak. When she tried to get her toy back, he pushed her.

Topa’s teacher sits down with Bortus and Klyden and says that this isn’t Topa’s first time being disrespectful, but this time Topa has crossed a line. Klyden suggests separating males and females. Bortus then jumps in and apologizes for Topa’s behavior and says they’ll talk to him.

Back in their quarters, Bortus learns that Topa started thinking that women were inferior and their opinions don’t matter from Klyden. Bortus sends Topa off to his room.

Then, Bortus and Klyden argue. Bortus wants Topa to learn his own way and can’t believe Klyden’s ideas toward things like treating women fairly hadn’t changed while being on the Orville. Klyden argues that he’s simply teaching Topa the traditional Moclan beliefs in case Topa wants to live on Moclus some day.

Bortus shoots back that if that’s the case, they’ll need to teach Topa the truth about what happens to Moclan women (including the fact that both Klyden and Topa were born female before infancy sex reassignment).

Klyden defends his traditional stance, saying that one Moclan disagreeing doesn’t make the whole system wrong. He also says that, if it were up to Bortus, Topa would still be female.

Just then, Ed and Kelly radio to Bortus and ask him to check in on Toren and Korick. They’re using up a lot of power for something, but it’s unclear what.

When Bortus gets to Toren, Toren tries to blame the power drain on the food synthesizer. But, when Bortus scans the room, he finds that the synthesizer is fine. His scan also leads him to the mysterious suitcase. Inside, he finds that Toren and Korick are carrying a baby girl.

Toren then admits that he and Korick are on the run. They don’t want to have their daughter undergo the gender reassignment and they don’t want their daughter to live as an outcast, so they’re running away to Retepsia where they have been granted asylum. Toren begs Bortus to not say anything for the next few hours until they get to the research ship. They know about his trial on Moclus so they hope he will be on their side.

Bortus is uncomfortable lying to Ed but goes ahead with the plan. Bortus makes up an excuse to tell Kelly and gives Toren and Korick the power they need.

Later, Bortus pulls Topa out of class early and takes him to Toren’s quarters. Topa promises not to say anything about what he sees and Toren shows Topa their baby girl. Bortus explains that a few are born every generation and they’re no different from the male Moclans. The Orville transitions without Bortus telling Topa the truth about his birth.

The Orville picks up with the ship meeting with the research ship. Toren and Korick say goodbye to Bortus and Talla and board the research ship.

After the ships part way, Bortus is called to Ed’s office. Ed, Kelly, Talla, Claire, Klyden, and Topa are all already in the office when he arrives. Ed confronts Bortus and Bortus readily admits that there was an extra person on board. Ed has Klyden and Topa leave and Topa apologizes for telling. Bortus says it’s ok, but has a long, hard look at Klyden.

The crew then confronts Bortus, pointing out that Toren and Korick may have been lying about their intentions. They may have kidnapped the baby. Claire could have done a DNA test to be sure. Now, if anything bad happens, it’ll be on the Orville crew’s heads.

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Bortus tries to say that he didn’t know how the crew would react if he told the truth. Plus, he didn’t see any reason for them to be lying. But Talla points out that they did lie about why they got on the Orville in the first place, so they could be lying about this too.

Ed orders the crew to find the research ship and intercept it.

On the bridge, they find the research ship and it’s not going anywhere near Retepsia. Ed has Gordon put the Orville in pursuit. Ed doesn’t think the ship is meant to do any research at all. Bortus sits quietly at his station during this.

They catch up to where the research ship’s trail led and find a small star system hidden inside of a neutron cloud. They go into orbit around the one habitable planet and find the research ship and thousands of Moclan life signs.

Ed, Kelly, Bortus and Talla take a shuttle down to the surface. They’re immediately met by a group of armed, female Moclans who escort them to their village. At the village, they’re taken to the leader, Heveena—the same Moclan woman who came forward during Bortus’s trial.

Heveena then explains that there are over 6,000 women in their colony. More Moclan women are born that the Moclan government will admit, she says. Most are corrected, while others risk their lives to make it to their sanctuary. Moclus thinks their planet may exist, but, so far, Heveena and her people have been able to stay hidden.

But now, the Orville risks exposing them. And if the Moclans get to them, they’ll kill them all. Heveena starts to plan an evacuation.

However, Ed suggests they let him talk to the Union to see about getting them recognized as an independent state. If it works, they’ll be protected by the Union. Heveena agrees and will accompany Ed to stand in front of the decision making council.

Later, Ed and Kelly talk to Admiral Halsey. The Moclan delegation is furious and wants to know where the sanctuary is so they can arrest and prosecute the women. Therefor, the Orville is going to stay in orbit around the planet to protect the women, just in case. Meanwhile, another ship will take Ed and Heveena to the council meeting.