The Season 2 finale of The Orville left fans with a number of questions, including a renewed interest in why Halston Sage, who played Alara, left The Orville. Is there any chance she might come back? This post has major spoilers for the Season 2 Episode 14 finale, so only read on if you’re OK with being spoiled.
This is your last spoiler warning.
Fans were shocked when Halston Sage (aka Alara) returned to The Orville for the Season 2 finale. She was only on the show briefly, but it left a lasting impression. Although Jessica Szohr, who plays Talla, is amazing on the show, fans still miss Alara.
Her appearance also left some tantalizing clues about the type of storyline she might have if she had stayed. In the alternate timeline, Alara was still a brave ally to the Planetary Union, but she and John had some history. They didn’t expand on it, except for Alara to make a comment about how she learned that she can’t believe anything John says. It seems that the two characters dated in the alternate timeline, but things didn’t end so well.
The cast of The Orville hasn’t said anything about Sage possibly returning to the show. (We don’t even know yet if the show’s renewed, for that matter.) But they were also quite tight-lipped about Sage returning to the show, so I’d say anything is possible. Szohr won’t be leaving any time soon as Talla, but I’d say there’s room for both on the show if they really wanted it.
At the end of Season 2 Episode 3, Alara 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. She also had that little issue with her body adjusting to gravity, but Dr. Finn figured out a painful way to compensate for that if she wanted to stay. By staying on her homeworld, however, she’ll also cure that issue, giving her the option to come back some day if she wants.
But why did Halston Sage leave the show? No one has ever been quite clear about that part. ComicBook.com reported that after Episode 3, 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.
Sage might have left the show because she has gotten quite popular lately. She will be on The Last Summer, a movie where she’ll star alongside K.J. Apa, who plays Archie on Riverdale. 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. This might even be the main reason why she left the show.
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:
However, there have always been hints that Sage might come back.
David A. Goodman, Brannon Braga, and Jon Cassar were asked point blank in ComicCon 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.”
It looks like we’ve now seen that big surprise. But if she’ll return to the show later still remains unanswered.