FOX's The Orville has come a long way as Seth MacFarlane's experimental science fiction show, blending his tempered low-brow humor with the universal themes of Gene Roddenberry's Star Trek. Following the show's first season, the series found its groove and hit its stride in season two – focusing more on internal strife within the Planetary Union, a truce with a sworn enemy, and an ominous threat in the Kaylon.
So where do we go from here? Funny you should ask…
Here's a look at five things we hope/need to see when (positive thinking!) FOX decides to renew The Orville for a third-year mission:
How is Isaac Readjusting to Being Back with the Crew?
Found it awkward how everyone on the Orville picked up where they left off with Isaac (Mark Jackson) after he betrayed them in the two-parter "Identity." There's been no follow-up with him and Dr. Claire Finn (Penny Johnson Jerald) since their breakup. The most Isaac's been involved since was the season finale.
At the end of "Identity: Part 2" Claire mentioned "forgiveness" to him and it's a shame we're not seeing how he is trying to do that aside from just doing his job.
Ed and Kelly's Relationship Needs Resolution
Over the course of the past two seasons, Captain Ed Mercer (MacFarlane) and his first officer/ex-wife Commander Kelly Grayson (Adrianne Palicki) have been trying to reconcile their failed marriage. While Ed's been trying to get back with Kelly, she's rejected him at every turn because of the conflict of interest and their painful past.
Things came to a head in the season finale "The Road Not Taken," where we see how important Ed and Kelly's relationship is to the The Orville timeline and universe.
For the interest of moving the story forward, they just need to come to an agreement and stick with it.
Biological Survivors/Rebels from Kaylon
There are a number of options The Orville has for Kaylons. There could be biological survivors not yet detected underground or taken refuge on another planet. There's potential for Isaac to "free" a group of Kaylon and perhaps cut them off from the presumed "hive" mind. While the Kaylons seek to destroy compared to Star Trek's The Borg seek to assimilate, the comparison is undeniable – so there are comparable threads to be explored.
Introduction to Other Races in the Planetary Union
The Planetary Union council featured a variety of worlds represented – but we know nothing about them. We know they helped make critical decisions like in the episode "Sanctuary" but beyond that? Not much.
There were many episodes concerning Moclan ways and traditions with Lt. Commander Bortus (Peter Macon) – but those left him feeling like a pariah among his own people. Don't get me wrong: we love the Moclans, but the events throughout the second season should been spread throughout the show's run.
A third season needs to provide better opportunities to explore what truly makes the Planetary Union so planetary.
More Memorable/Recurring Villains
One of the defining characteristics of a great sci-fi show is how memorable and impactful the villain is as a thorn to the main character. Star Trek has characters like Harry Mudd, Khan, Q, Gul Dukat, Lore, and more.
On the other hand, The Orville has two characters that fit the criteria in Teleya (Michaela McManus), the Krill who infiltrated the ship to win the heart of Ed; and in Pria (Charlize Theron), who attempted to control the ship by stranding them into the 29th century.
The show blends a mix of exploring the absurd with the basic themes of life that apply to all races to thoroughly contrast the intricate cultures of their universe – a thematic trait the show needs to build upon moving forward.