If you’re wondering who plays Janel Tyler on The Orville Season 2 Episode 4 (tonight’s episode), it’s the very talented Michaela McManus. Read on to learn more about her and her character. This story also has major spoilers for a plot twist in tonight’s episode. We’ll warn you before those spoilers appear.
Michaela McManus plays the role of Janel Tyler, whom we previously saw in the pilot of The Orville and other earlier episodes this season. She’s a new crew member — the ship’s cartographer.
She and Ed become romantically involved and are dating by the time Episode 4 premieres. Ed’s happy about their new relationship and decides they should go public with their romance and go on a vacation together.
McManus’ many previous credits include SEAL Team (Alana), The Magicians (Callie), Aquarius (Grace), Necessary Roughness (Noelle), Awake (Tara), The Vampire Diaries (Jules), Law & Order SVU (Kim Greylek), One Tree Hill (Lindsey), and more.
MAJOR SPOILERS BELOW FOR TONIGHT’S EPISODE.
But tonight, we learned that McManus was playing another character too. She portrayed Teleya, a Krill, last season. Not all fans realized this was her. She was in Season 1 Episode 6, an episode called “Krill.”
Telaya is the Krill that Ed met when he went undercover looking like a Krill near the end of Season 1. They formed a bond, until he ultimately betrayed her and caused the death of her brother. The last we heard, she was in prison with the Union. This was the episode called Krill (Episode 6 of Season 1), where Capt. Ed Mercer and Gordon Malloy infiltrated the Yakar destroyer after they recovered a Krill shuttle. The Yakar was going to test a prototype bomb on a colony planet. Gordon hacked the computer to emit blasts of light that killed the Yakar crew. But Mercer and Malloy saved some schoolchildren and their school teacher Teleya. Mercer had developed a bond with Teleya, and she was angered when she discovered the truth. The children were sent back to their homeworld, but Teleya was taken into Union custody.
Here’s a quick refresher of that episode:
Teleya doesn’t reveal how she escaped from Union custody. But when the Krill wanted to take a Captain hostage, she offered to take on the job. She underwent a very painful procedure in order to “become” a human and pass the Orville’s scanners. From there, she wooed Captain Mercer until she could get him to go on a mini-vacation with her, where he would be captured.
Capt. Mercer can never be happy. :(
McManus did an amazing job in both roles, changing her mannerisms and demeanor depending on who she was portraying. I’m glad they’ve left the door open for her to come back.