Halston Sage plays Alara, who is the main focus of tonight’s episode of The Orville. But there have been rumors circulating that she might be leaving. Is that true? This post has major spoilers for Season 2 Episode 3 of The Orville called “Home.” So only read on if you’ve already seen tonight’s episode.
At the end of Season 2 Episode 3, we learned that Alara had decided to leave The Orville and go back to her homeworld to live with her family. She and her father reconciled after being at odds nearly her entire life because she was viewed as intellectually disabled and he disapproved of her decision to join the Orville. But now he finally sees her for her true worth, and she and her family are no longer at odds. It seems she wants to make up for lost time, so she is leaving the crew and returning to her homeworld.
But it also looks a lot like Halston Sage is leaving The Orville entirely. Is she really gone? Signs point to yes, but the producers may have some unexpected twists up their sleeve, according to a video at the end of this article. (UPDATE: After this story was posted, Fox confirmed that this was Sage’s last episode as a series regular. However, the door is still open for her return and Fox did not provide a reason for her departure, ComicBook.com reported. This leaves all the questions in this story still relevant, and the video at the end of this article still pointing to a possible twist.)
As of the time of publication, Sage hasn’t said officially that she’s leaving the show permanently, which leaves me to hope that we might see Alara again sometime this season, or at least in future seasons one day. But for now, it looks like she’s gone and they’ve left the door open for her to come back one day if she wants. In fact, she may even be replaced by another character from her own homeworld, if the current rumors are true. Sure, she’s listed on IMDB for the rest of the season, but those listings are notoriously wrong.
It’s been rumored for months that Sage/Alara might be leaving The Orville. Exactly why isn’t known, but it appears there may have been scheduling conflicts for Sage that prevented her from continuing the show.
Sage has gotten quite popular lately and will be starring in roles outside of The Orville. For one, she will be on The Last Summer, a movie where she’ll star alongside K.J. Apa, who plays Archie on Riverdale. The movie is currently in post-production. According to TrekMovie.com, the movie and The Orville TV series filmed in different cities concurrently, which might have required Sage to be in fewer episodes of The Orville.
She’s also starring in an episode of Magnum P.I. this year as Willa Stone.
While her last episode was airing, Sage posted a photo on Instagram showing her on a beach looking relaxed and happy.
You may also not know that Sage and Seth MacFarlane were rumored to be dating for a while, according to Radar Online. MacFarlane, 44, and Sage, 25, were rumored to be an item for a few months in the winter and summer of 2018. They were photographed together in February going to Sushi Park in West Hollywood. Sage’s grandmother told Radar Online in June that she was happy for them, but also said that Sage’s dad had described Sage and MacFarlane as being “just friends.” If they were indeed ever together, the relationship didn’t last long because Sage is now reportedly with Charlie Puth, according to E News in late September. Here’s a photo that Sage shared in September:
And now for rumors for future episodes. Don’t read on if you don’t want more spoilers.
Providing more fuel to the idea that Alara is gone forever is the news that the character has likely been replaced by a character of the same species who is also rumored to be her security replacement. Jessica Szohr is listed on IMDB as playing the role of Talla. This is her first season on The Orville and she’s already listed as being in 12 episodes. TrekMovie reported that she might be a Xelayan, the same species as Alara. So this very well could be the new “Alara” character, at least for however long Alara is gone.
But there could be more to that story.
David A. Goodman, Brannon Braga, and Jon Cassar were asked point blank in Comic Con 2018 if Halston Sage was still on the show and if Szohr was possibly taking her place. See their reaction below, starting at 8:39:
Their answers weren’t conclusive. “I think that’s really a question for Seth… I think you’re going to be interested in seeing what we do for both of those characters. And I don’t want to spoil it. … It’s unexpected. … What happens with those two characters is unexpected and I don’t want to ruin it. This is a very important piece of our storytelling… If you tell too much, the audience experience can really be ruined.”
“There’s a big surprise this season.”
(Side note: I can understand why they are talking about how important it is for the audience to be surprised. The Walking Dead and AMC have been telegraphing all the major character changes for the last year or more, and it’s definitely ruined the suspense. So I’m going to enjoy waiting and wondering what’s going to happen next.)
So in conclusion, although we don’t know that Alara/Sage is gone permanently, we do know that it looks like she’s leaving The Orville for a while and we won’t be seeing her on the show again in the very near future. Beyond that, the producers are playing their cards very close to their vest. Their comments in the interview above could have indicated there’s more to come for Alara, or the big surprise they hinted at might have been the one we saw in tonight’s episode. What do you think? Let us know in the comments below.