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The Orville - Home - Review

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After two middling episodes to start the season, The Orville got back on track this week with an emotionally fueled character sendoff.

Being so early in the series, viewers never really got to know Halston Sage's Lt. Alara Kitan as much as we would've liked to but the characters grounded, endearing personality made her someone hard not to like. Thus, the rumors spreading around that she would be leaving the series was heartbreaking news, and one many hoped would not be true.

'Home,' unfortunately, was Alara's sendoff and it was done in a very classy and profoundly emotional way.

First off, the story was excellent. Kudos to the writers. This whole idea of Alara losing her strength due to her bones normalizing to the lower G gravity on the ship was entirely plausible. The need for the security chief to re-acclimate to the high G atmosphere of her planet made for a good excuse for her to go home, though what awaited her was not all sunshine and rainbows.

Star Trek alum guest star Robert Picardo, returning after his appearance in season 1, was terrific as the stubborn, anti-military dad who put his beliefs ahead of his daughter's happiness. It was heartbreaking to see Alara being crucified by her own family for going out and doing what she wanted to do. Actress Halston Sage did a fabulous job portraying the disappointment, heartbreak, and anger that Alara was experiencing.

The sweeping music by Bruce Boughton added to the emotions of many of these scenes, especially when Alara was sitting by the beach starring out at the oceans and the stars above. It had a very Star Wars: A New Hope feeling to it, particularly when Luke Skywalker was looking out at the galaxy from his own home.

It was a surprise to see another Star Trek alum and doctor, John Billingsey aka Dr. Phlox from Enterprise, appear. If only he and Picardo could draw from the skills from their other Trek roles to help Alara heal faster.

I did not expect Billingsey's Borrin to turn antagonistic, and that hostage scene was well played out and tense - something not often seen in this show.

To balance out that tension was a sprinke of some brilliant humor too. The indistinguishable Patrick Warburton was hilarious as interim Security Chief Lt. Tharl. From the surfer lingo to the slurping of his stew and second esophagus, it all just had me dying in laughter.

What I loved about the humor in this episode was that there was just enough to remind us this show is also partially a comedy too, but it never went overboard and overstepped the fact that this was Alara's story - a more serious than usual, but nevertheless very emotional character sendoff.

There is still no reason why Halston Sage is leaving the show, but at least they left the door open for her to return in the future. What I can say is that her exit could not have been done in any more of a classier way. The jar of pickles was a nice touch to fade to black, alluding to the Captain's, "will you open this jar of pickles for me" saying.

'Home' was a brilliantly written and well acted episode. Alara Kitan will be missed.

What did you think of 'Home'? Leave your comments below!


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