Hulu’s The Orville this week did its spin on “The City on the Edge of Forever,” leading Captain Mercer to have to make a very difficult decision.
This season’s sixth episode opened with a “house” party hosted by Gordon, during which Charly noticed the replica of the “cell phone” communication and “selfie” device once owned by Laura Huggins, the 21st-century woman Gordon became enamored with in Season 2’s “Lasting Impressions.”
The next day, LaMarr reported to the captain that the Aronov device/quantum accelerator has now been upgraded to facilitate exact jumps in time (as he demonstrated with an egg salad sandwich) as well as transport something as large as a spaceship. Recognizing the potential for such a device to be weaponized if it fell into the wrong hands, Admiral Perry orders The Orville to deliver it to a Union facility — but as the vessel pulls up to its destination, the crew realizes that the space station has been destroyed!
Kaylon ships show up and get into a firefight with The Orville and other arriving Union vessels. When The Orville is locked into a Kaylon tractor beam, the decision is made to direct all power to the deflectors, to break the hold. And though that maneuver works, the energy pulse in engineering activates the Aronov device just as Gordon was about to destroy it. Gordon goes missing, and the receipt of an audio transmission from the year 2015 confirms that he was transported back in time some 400 years, and is now stranded in the past.
Things then get worse as it is discovered that Gordon defied the “leave no footprint” temporal laws during his stay in the 21st century, so Ed has the Aronov device fired up to send The Orville to 2015 to scoop up the displaced helmsman. The Aronov device, however, only gets them as far as 2025, where Ed and Kelly find Gordon working as a pilot and blissfully married to Laura (played again by Leighton Meester), with a rugrat son and a second child on the way!
After Laura regales Gordon’s friends with the story of their years-ago “meet cute,” Ed and Kelly privately confront Gordon about his defying temporal law. Gordon explains that he in fact toed the line for his first three years, living in a cabin in the woods and killing game for food, but deducing that no rescue was happening, he sought out his dream girl and made a life for himself. A life he has no intention of abandoning!
Laura overhears the crewmates’ quarreling, after which Gordon reads her in on his extraordinary backstory — and affirms his want to stay put in 2025. Ed and Kelly return later with some muscle (Tala), but Gordon refuses to leave with them. Before things get physical, Ed gets word that Isaac (who had been cloaked as a human aka portrayer Mark Jackson!) and Charly were able to procure some dysonium by posing as lovebirds and burrowing beneath a house that was for sale. As such, he informs Gordon, they will instead go grab him from the year 2015, meaning that the life he is now living won’t ever happen.
Despite an emotional Gordon’s protests, Ed & Co. do just that, and after returning to The Orville with the Gordon from 2015 — and using schmience to fly the ship back to the future, saddled as it is by a fried Aronov device — they eventually explain to him what all went down in 2025. In my opinion, knowing about the wonderful life sorta lived would seem like a lot for Gordon to deal with, but for the time being at least, he was only apologetic, for his disobedience/insubordination.
Elsewhere this week: Amid all the timey-wimey drama, Tala helped LaMarr with his achey back via a nearly orgasmic Xelayan massage, after which the two — who you will remember got a bit flirty at the Old West holodeck — hungrily hooked up, against a wall in engineering.
What did you think of the episode “Twice in a Lifetime”?