The Orville season 2 finale recap: The Road Not Taken


The Orville wraps up its second season by dealing with the fallout from Kelly’s decision to not go on a second date with Ed when she returned to the past at the end of the last episode.

The final episode of this season of The Orville opens with two masked men breaking into a facility and stealing a food synthesizer.

As they’re leaving, a Kaylon ship lands and three Kaylons get out and chase after them as the men run back to their shuttle. The two are barely able to make it to the shuttle (thanks to Kaylon aim that would make stormtroopers proud). As they take off from the planet, they take off their masks to reveal they’re Gordon and (a very scruffy) Ed.

The two get back into space successfully, only to be chased by yet another Kaylon ship. Their shuttle is pretty beat up, so they can’t jump to quantum speed. They decide to try to buy some time flying through an ice planet to give their quantum drive time to reset.

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It works and they’re able to jump to quantum speed to get away.

As they escape, we learn that the two have barely eaten real food in a while. The Kaylons have wiped out half of the known galaxy. So, getting this food synthesizer was crucial for them.

Just as the two are able to get the synthesizer working (and split a Twinkie), they’re forced to drop out of quantum by another ship. It’s a scavenger ship that flies over them and pulls them in with its tractor beam.

Nervous, the two men grab their guns and prepare to fight their way out.

However, once the ship has been pulled in and the door opens, they’re met with Kelly, Talla, Claire, and John. Ed explains to Gordon that he knows her because they went on one date and then she stopped taking his calls. Kelly says that’s exactly why she’s there.

Kelly gathers the group and explains that the six of them, in an alternate timeline, were the crew of the Orville. Carefully, Kelly tells them about her trip to the future and how her decision to say no to a second date with Ed resulted in a massive change in history. Because the Orville wasn’t captained by Ed in this timeline, the Kaylons were able to use it to get through the Union defenses and start their decimation of the galaxy.

Kelly has gathered all of them so they can find a way to go back and restore the real timeline.

They decide on a plan to find and use the time travel device (which is still on the Orville somewhere) to send Claire back in time to make sure the memory wipe on Kelly actually, fully works.

Without knowing her future with Ed, she’ll say yes to him and restore the correct future.

First, they need to get materials for Claire to perform the eventual memory wipe. This takes them to a hidden Union base. When they get there, Yaphit is at the door and (surprise!) Alara is in charge. It’s only a brief stop with Alara, who gives them the medicine they need moments before the Kaylons attack the base.

Alara and her crew fight off the Kaylons while Ed and company escape on their shuttle.

Unfortunately, the scavenger ship (being piloted by Gordon) is also being attacked by Kaylons. Thanks to some nifty flying by Gordon, they’re able to hide from the Kaylons inside of the event horizon of a nearby black hole. Light can’t escape, so they Kaylons won’t be able to see them.

(No, that doesn’t really make sense. But, this timeline won’t exist if they’re successful, so who needs physics.)

As they wait, they watch the Kaylons. Due to the gravity, seconds on their ship equate to hours for the Kaylons. By the time the Kaylons leave and their ship emerges, two days have passed for our group.

Next up, the crew has to go to Earth (or what’s left of it) to find the Orville, which is apparently at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean. John needs access to the time machine and Isaac’s data to be able to send Claire back in time.

Meanwhile, John is using a Kaylon that Ed and Kelly shot while escaping the last planet to try to get more information from it.

Ed calls Kelly to his room where he has a romantic dinner by candlelight set up for them. He’s making this their second date. The two catch up on what they’ve been up to over the last seven years before Ed asks Kelly what alternate timeline is like.

After she says that he was a good, kind person, he wonders why she didn’t want to go on a second date with him. Kelly explains that she thought she could save them from the pain she knows other Kelly and other Ed went through. Though, she admits, she sees that the two still really care for each other.

Back at the Kaylon, John has been able to hack into it and access the Kaylon “brain web.” He’s not sure what to do with that information yet, but it could potentially be helpful.

The crew finally makes it to earth, which looks decimated and gray. The moon has also been obliterated.

They are able to locate the Orville. Unfortunately, it’s fallen into Mariana Trench (aka, the home of the lowest known point in Earth’s oceans). They’ll need to go seven miles down to reach the Orville. It’s possible the shuttle can handle the pressure, but it’s risky.

Everyone piles into the shuttle and heads down to Earth. They dive underwater. Everything is fine until they get to around six miles down. That’s when the shuttle starts to creak and blow sparks.

Thankfully, they’re able to make it inside the Orville’s shuttle bay, where John accesses the Orville’s computers and pressurizes the bay. They’re safe. For now.

Inside, the Orville is a wreck and they shockingly find one life sign still on board.

The group makes its way to the bridge. On the bridge, Ed is hit by Bortus, who had stayed behind on the ship to make sure all of the rest of the crew was able to escape in the escape pods. Bortus puts down his weapon seeing that John has survived the attack on the Orville.

They bring Bortus up to speed and the crew sets to work, with John heading to engineering to restore power.

Still on the bridge, Ed is reluctant to take the captain’s chair. However, with encouragement from Kelly (and a bit of force from Bortus), Ed takes the seat. Then, with John giving them power, Gordon flying the ship and Kelly at his side, Ed leads the Orville out of the ocean and back into space.

Refocussing on the real goal, John realizes that Isaac’s calculations for the time machine are incomplete. He thinks the information might still be in Isaac’s head, but Bortus says Isaac was taken back to Kaylon and disassembled.

Still, John says he has an idea on how to get that information.

Later, Ed pours himself a drink at the bar. Kelly joins him and asks him if he thinks she’s a bad person for secretly wanting this current timeline to continue. Together they daydream about what would happen if their efforts to fix the timeline failed. Maybe they’d get a place together and live happily.

The two kiss.

Finally, John gathers everyone together. He has a plan. Using the Kaylon hive mind, he should be able to find Isaac’s consciousness. But, he cautions, he’ll need all available power (meaning they need to park the ship) and the search will act as a bright beacon for the Kaylons to find the Orville’s location.

It’s a risk they have to take, so they set to work.

John is able to find Isaac’s memories, but almost immediately, the Kaylons find the Orville. They’re only two minutes away.

John works quickly to get the calculations he needs. He then runs down to engineering to reroute power to the time machine.

Claire preps to make the journey back in time as the Kaylons close in. There’s not enough power, so they divert all of the power the Orville has (including life support) to the machine.

As tension builds, Ed asks Kelly if she’ll marry him if this plan doesn’t work.

Back in engineering, the ship starts to overload and crack.

The Orville explodes.

Cut to Kelly waking up in her bed. We’re back in time, everything outside her window is as expected. Kelly gets some coffee but drops it as she’s transported away.

A second later, we see Kelly reappear, just like at the end of the last episode. But this time, seconds later, Claire appears. Claire tells Kelly what Kelly already knows, the memory wipe didn’t work. Claire takes Kelly back to the bed and redoes the memory wipe.

This time it works.

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Alternate timeline Claire and the memory wipe machine disappear.

This final episode of the season for The Orville wraps up with Kelly being awoken by a call from Ed. Ed, of course, asks her on a second date. This time, thankfully, she says yes.

What did you think of this episode of The Orville? Let us know all of your thoughts on the episode and this season in the comments.