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Recap / The Orville S2 E10 "Blood of Patriots"

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As Ed and the Union try negotiating a lasting peace with the Krill due to the Kaylon threat, an old academy friend of Gordon's turns up alive, putting the already tense peace in danger of breaking.


Tropes:

  • Abandon Ship: Gordon jumps out of the shuttle in a space suit when Orrin activates the bomb.
  • Alien Blood: Envall blood is yellow. It also reacts explosively with nitrogen, which is common on most habitable worlds.
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  • All According to Plan: Gordon shoots Talla as he and Orrin sneak off the Orville. She gets back up, revealing that it was all a part of a ruse to lull Orrin into a sense of security. She does grouse, however, that Gordon could have put his blaster to a lower setting.
  • Being Tortured Makes You Evil: Orrin spending twenty years in a Krill prison after they killed his family has driven him to get revenge no matter the cost.
  • Better to Die than Be Killed: Orrin would rather blow himself up than accept Gordon's offer to save his life, because the Union likely would have approved his extradition once they learned he really was responsible for blowing up several Krill destroyers, which would have been a death sentence far more terrible than going out on his own terms.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The treaty is signed between the Krill and the Union, but to get it done, Gordon had to lose his old friend.
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  • Bizarre Alien Biology: The Envall have blood which reacts explosively with nitrogen, an element that is pretty common in the atmosphere of any species that breathe. Their atmosphere is able to negate the effect, but they don't interact with the Union much because that isn't true of everywhere else.
  • Call-Back: When the Krill point out that Orrin is responsible for the death of 1200 Krill, Ed calmly recalls the Krill being perfectly fine with wiping out a peaceful Union colony of hundreds of thousands not too long ago. The Krill deliberately fail to acknowledge that.
  • The Cameo: John Fleck (aka Silik) as the Krill ambassador.
  • Dead Person Impersonation: Orrin's daughter Leyna died in the Krill attack 20 years ago along with his wife. The young woman he's traveling with is really a Human Alien whose blood can be weaponized.
  • Foreshadowing:
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    • The Krill captain mentions Orrin holding an ultimate weapon on the shuttle he stole. Turns out the ultimate weapon isn't an object, but a person, namely an Envall.
    • Leyna does not want to be scanned when Dr. Finn approaches her after Orrin crashes the shuttle, and for good reason too.
    • The movie that Gordon and Leyna are watching near the middle of the show, Planet of the Apes (1968), foreshadows Leyna as the weapon, as Charleton Heston's character in the movie exclaims the famous line "YOU BLEW IT UP!".
    • Even the title of the episode itself is a clever foreshadowing. The "Blood of Patriots" refers to the explosive blood of Layna, a patriot, albeit an extremist patriot.
  • Gun Struggle: When Orrin reveals his true plan to Gordon, a fight ensues over Gordon's blaster, which Gordon wins.
  • Hidden in Plain Sight: Orrin's "daughter" Leyna is in fact his weapon, since in reality she's an Envall, who have explosive blood. No one thought to investigate her until Talla noticed the needle marks on her arm.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: Gordon downs a shot of scotch before admitting to Talla that Orrin wants to steal a shuttle.
  • I Owe You My Life: Gordon outright says this to Orrin. The latter then uses this in an attempt to persuade Gordon to join him. However, when Orrin admits that he wants Gordon to take part in a Suicide Attack, Gordon points out that it sorta undoes the whole "saving my life" thing.
  • Irrevocable Order: Orrin's bomb. Once activated, the countdown can't be stopped.
  • Literary Allusion Title: The episode's title refers to a well-known quote by Thomas Jefferson, "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants."
  • Make It Look Like a Struggle: Gordon sells his supposed attempt to help Orrin by stunning Talla.
  • Mandatory Line: Interestingly, coming off "Identity," Isaac only gets a couple of lines here.
  • Mugging the Monster: Played with. Leyna holds a knife to Talla's throat. Talla responds by asking if she's ever met a Xelayan before, and then tosses her into the nearest wall one-handed. Talla looks completely unimpressed... before Claire arrives, spots the Envall blood, and points out that this woman is incredibly dangerous in her own right.
  • Noodle Incident: We never learn what specifically the Krill did to earn Leyna's enmity.
  • Oh, Crap!: Finn, when she sees Leyna's yellow blood and realizes that they have seconds to prevent an explosion that could cripple or destroy the Orville.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • Just because they face a common enemy doesn't mean the Krill are ready to accept the Union as equals. They still have their near-fanatic sense of superiority and know full well how the Union needs them.
    • After losing his wife and daughter and spending years in a Krill P.O.W. Camp, it's no surprise that Orrin isn't at all sanguine about the idea of a peace treaty.
  • Realpolitik: The Union and the Krill don't have an extradition treaty, but the admiralty considers handing Orrin over to the Krill should he turn out to be guilty of destroying their ships if it will help the peace process.
  • Redemption Rejection: Gordon tries to save Orrin's life when his plot is foiled, but Orrin is too far gone and opts to blow himself up rather than admit defeat.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The basic plot of the episode is like "The Wounded" from Star Trek: The Next Generation, in which Miles O'Brien is reunited with his former captain, who has gone rogue against the Cardassians.
    • Orrin himself also has similarities to Tahna Los from the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "Past Prologue" — a prisoner who escapes on a small ship that our heroes rescue and who turns out to be friends with a main character, whom he then tries to manipulate into blowing something up only for said friend to stop him.
    • The concept of Leyna's explosive blood also harkens back to the Star Trek: Voyager episode "Basics, Part 1", where a Kazon, a recurring gang-like enemy, activates an explosive compound in his blood in order to disable the ship to allow its capture.
      • There was also a Star Trek: Enterprise episode where religious fanatics use explosives in their blood to hijack the ship and attack another religious faction.
  • Suddenly Voiced: Leyna pretends to be mute, but when she realizes her cover is about to be blown, her personality changes completely and she threatens Talla with a knife.
  • Suicide Attack: Orrin tries to do this with Gordon's help, since without the Krill shuttle he doesn't have a delivery system for his makeshift bombs.
  • Sunk Cost Fallacy: Orrin thinks the treaty is an insult to everyone who died in the war, making their deaths "meaningless", even though it could lead to fewer deaths in the future.
  • That Man Is Dead: In the end, Ed tells Gordon he's sorry about Orrin's death. Gordon simply replies that the Orrin he knew died a long time ago in a Krill prison.
  • War Is Hell: It's mentioned more than once that war is hell and that peace isn't an easy thing for those who have been victims of the war between the humans and the Krill.
  • Wham Shot: Leyna gets a nosebleed after being thrown into the wall, and the blood is yellow.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Last we see and hear of Leyna, she's been sealed in her quarters by a forcefield. The episode never explains what they did with her.
  • The Worf Effect: Averted twice by Talla. When Gordon shoots her it looks like a straight example, but it was All According to Plan. Later, when Leyna has a knife at her throat, Talla calmly smashes her against a wall. She even throws in some snark.

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