‘The Orville’ Season 2 Episode 14 Finale Ending Explained: Is the Timeline Fixed?

The Orville Season 2 Finale Explained

FOX The Orville Season 2 Finale Explained

Tonight’s episode of The Orville – Season 2 Episode 14 – was sadly also the season finale. But it still felt a bit like a cliffhanger, even though the main issues were supposedly resolved. Things are always a little confusing when time travel is involved, so here’s a review and a look at just what that ending meant. This post will have spoilers for the latest episode of The Orville. Skip to the last section to read about the ending and what it meant. 

The Apocalyptic Feel Was Fascinating

I loved this episode of The Orville. As a post-apocalyptic fanatic, the apocalyptic feel of the show was a fascinating change. In the correct timeline, the Orville is part of a positive and optimistic future, although the Kaylon threat is always just over the horizon. But in the alternate timeline, the Kaylon have succeeded like the Cylons did. They’ve decimated Earth, shattered the moon (which was a stunning visual imagery), and destroyed all life on the planet — even the fish. They’ve taken over a lot of planets, even destroying Moclus. So of course, Kelly and the rest of the crew must fix the issue.

Why Didn’t Kelly Warn Anyone Sooner?

There was just one potential plothole that bothered me. Kelly knew exactly what went wrong and how. In “present day,” she figured out that by turning down Ed’s date, she was not on the Orville to recommend that he be captain. And because he wasn’t captain, Dr. Finn didn’t join the crew to become the person Isaac connected to, leading to his rebellion.

But if Kelly knew this, why didn’t she warn someone? Surely she tried to get Dr. Finn onto the Orville, right? Wouldn’t it have been OK for her to warn a few key people in the Planetary Union about the impending apocalypse so they could try to avoid it? I’m left to assume that she did try and no one believed her, but this isn’t explicitly addressed.

Alara Was Back & Fans Rejoiced

I also loved the unexpected appearance of Halston Sage as Alara. She and John had some history in this timeline, which makes me think of the unexplored storylines. I hope she comes back again in some form.

At the end of the episode, they come up with a solution. By hacking Isaac’s brain, they can find his equation (experiment) for time travel. He has the knowledge in this timeline still, even if he’s against humans and never told the crew about his idea.

So John successfully hacks Isaac, but the sheer power needed to do so causes the Orville to explode. It makes sense this would happen. The Orville barely made it through the time travel exploit in the first timeline, despite being in pristine condition. So of course an Orville that’s been crashed and underwater wouldn’t survive. (But hey, why didn’t Bortus know how to help the Orville take off while he was stuck underwater all those months? It’s another question we won’t get answered.)

The plan works.

The Ending Explained

I thought they were going to send Dr. Finn to that moment when Kelly was given the mind wipe on the Orville. But instead, they send her to the moment in the past when Kelly woke up without the mind wipe working. Kelly got out bed, got her coffee, and then was whisked away by the time travel mistake. That’s why when she woke back up, she was on the ground next to her broken coffee mug.

Dr. Finn realized that Kelly just needed an additional injection since her body was kind of immune to the mind wipe serum. So she explained the situation to Kelly, who wasn’t mind-wiped, and then mindwiped her again. Kelly wakes back up and accepts Ed’s date.

So we should be left to assume everything will go back to normal in the timeline.

However, timelines are never that easy, so I wouldn’t necessarily assume that’s the case. It’s possible that Kelly’s mindwipe didn’t work a second time either, and she decided to accept Ed’s date and ultimately marry him because she was told what will happen if she doesn’t. Or perhaps the mind wipe does work but she will subconsciously take some memories with her that will affect her in the future.

There’s also the question of why Dr. Finn took the risk of mindwiping Kelly again anyway. We learned last week that brain damage is a risk of mindwiping, so I’d imagine the risk would be greater doing it twice in a row. It might have been safer to simply tell Kelly the things she needs to do to keep the timeline intact. But either path — telling her or simply mindwiping her again — brings risk.

As viewers, I think we need to assume the timeline has been restored with the episode’s conclusion, but also realize there’s a chance that we’ll see things slightly different if the show comes back for Season 3. I’m hoping the timeline is changed a bit, because that would be fascinating.

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