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The Orville - New Dimensions - Review

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'New Dimensions' refers as much to the discovery of the new side of John LaMarr's personality, than the space dimensions the Orville explores - giving us one of the strongest character episodes this season, while telling a compelling story to boot.

The last LaMarr centric episode was more of a miss, than a hit. The character was painted as an impulsive dunce, but the execution was, more often than not, annoying rather than humourous. 'New Dimensions,' on the other hand, was a rousing success in giving plenty of depth to a once joke character.

The journey LaMarr took to prove himself to his crew was exceptionally written and worked within his character. His anxiety and hesitation was believable, and so it all felt well earned when he eventually found his confidence and got promoted to close off the show. Now, the character has something to do on top of just sitting around on the bridge cracking jokes, and the show is better off for it.

More importantly, any time now spent with Lamar means more scenes set in engineering and that means more screen time for Dann, who has provided us with some of the most laugh out loud comedic moments over these past few episodes. Apparently, the engineer likes pancakes, as well as, refurnishing antique furniture and having brunch mouthgasms. Actor Mike Henry's timing and delivery as Dann has been just hilariously impeccable.

Amidst the exploration of Lamar, the episode managed to also bring in some hefty dramatic moments between Ed and Kelly. After Kelly lets slip to Ed that she convinced the powers that be to promote him to captain, some great character beats followed. The dialogue between them was full of self-doubt, bruised egos, and regret, and it was all amazingly written.

The chemistry between MacFarlane and Palicki has been a huge positive all season and this episode, which took their relationship to new heights, was no exception.

Amidst the character building, the episode managed to still find time to tell an engaging story. The two-dimension civilization was a brilliant concept, one that acted as a metaphor for all of the character beats going on in this episode. Lamar had to confront this other side of him, this new side of him, to get the Orville out of the new dimension, while Ed and Kelly also had to reconcile their differences and would eventually find a new stage in their relationship.

It was also a positive to see the episode following up on past stories with the inclusion of Claire's kids, who eagerly joined their newfound inspiration from a few weeks ago, Isaac, in his investigation. Continuity is always a big plus, despite the kids still being annoying and unbearable (for the viewer) little brats.

Overall, 'New Dimensions' provided the perfect blend of humour and drama. The relationship between Kelly and Ed was explored with depth, fuelled by the actors' strong chemistry. Moreso, driving the proceedings was the unexpected, but well written development of new chief engineer John LaMarr. This show feels like it took a big step forward following 'New Dimensions' and in good timing with the finale coming up next.


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