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Recap / The Orville S2 E7 "Deflectors"

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For those who still miss Alara, fear not - Talla also has bad romantic luck.
A Moclan engineer comes on-board to test a new deflector system. An engineer who happens to be Bortus's ex-boyfriend. But his eyes are drawn to someone else.

Tropes in this episode include:

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  • Bait-and-Switch: Kelly receives what appears to be a huge flower as a romantic gesture from Cassius. The flower actually turns out to be a sentient alien who's good friends with Cassius and dropped by Kelly's quarters to try and convince her to give his buddy another chance.
  • But for Me, It Was Tuesday: Talla initially assumes that the current murder investigation is the strangest thing to ever happen on the Orville — and without missing a beat, Malloy and LaMarr bring up several past incidents that prove Talla wrong about the scale of the current situation.
    Talla: I mean, this has to be the most insane thing that's ever happened on this ship.
    Lamarr: One time I almost died 'cause I humped a statue.
    Gordon: Isaac once cut my leg off.
    Lamarr: The captain and commander? They got put in a zoo.
    Gordon: And Bortus almost crashed the ship 'cause of porn.
    Talla: ...I see.
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  • The Cameo: Cassius sends Kelly a novelty talking flower to try to win her back. A sentient novelty talking flower. The kicker is that the flower is voiced by Bruce Willis.
  • Cry Cute: Poor Talla. After she calls Klyden out for what he set in motion, she starts weeping over everything that happened to Locar.
  • A Day in the Limelight: It sets up as a Bortus episode, but it turns around quickly and becomes an episode for Talla, who really proves herself here as a damn good security officer.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Locar's sexuality (as in, he is attracted to females) is a subject of controversy and harsh prejudice among his all-male species. Surely, one can see the parallels between the Moclans' apparent heterophobic culture to that of homophobia among some people.
  • Downer Ending: Talla did her job well and solved the big mystery, but it's a Pyrrhic Victory. Locar is outed as heterosexual, and brought before the Moclan justice system to answer for it. Klyden and Bortus's relationship is once again on the rocks due to Klyden being indirectly responsible. And Kelly and Ed must come to terms with the fact that the cultural differences between Moclus and the Union might be insurmountable.
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  • Extra! Extra! Read All About It!: In the hologram simulation that opens the episode, a newspaper boy strolls by the main characters announcing the surrender of Japan.
  • Faking the Dead: Locar fakes his death when Klyden discovers his secret, as he would be executed on Moclus anyway.
  • Frame-Up: Locar frames Klyden for his supposed murder, as he needed to fake his death and Klyden made the perfect patsy.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Locar is almost twice the size of Talla, due to the significant differences in height between Jessica Szohr and Kevin Daniels.
  • Interspecies Romance: A brief abortive one between Locar and Talla. Since Locar is attracted to females, and he's from an all-male race, this means that the bulk of his romantic experience has been this.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: A bait and switch version: The first act of the episode seems to be setting up Locar to be a jerkass, but it turns out he's a nicer guy than that. Best exemplified in his behavior toward the crewman who made cupcakes: he angrily snaps at her when she presses him on his refusal to have one, but after the deflector test is a success, he says to her that now he'll have a cupcake, with a friendly smile.
  • The Missus and the Ex: Locar is Bortus's previous boyfriend, which gets awkward when he joins Bortus and Klyden for dinner.
  • No Heterosexual Sex Allowed: Heterosexuality is a crime on Moclus.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: A rare instance where stoic, deadpan Bortus actually raises his voice, during a confrontation with Talla.
    Bortus: That will be all, Lieutenant.
    Talla: I thought you'd feel differently. After what they did to your daughter.
    Bortus: I SAID... [pauses, calms himself down] That will be all.
  • Plant Aliens: Groogen, a giant, talking flower.
  • Rage Breaking Point: Talla dresses down Bortus over his refusal to help Locar, who manages to restrain himself until Talla brings up what happened to his own daughter, which finally infuriates Bortus. He tells her to Get Out!.
  • Realpolitik: Kelly and Ed are confronted with the grim reality that, despite all the aspects of Moclan culture that they personally—and the Union as a whole—find objectionable, the Union needs the Proud Warrior Race on their side, and must begrudgingly respect their culture's foibles.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Klyden goes to thank Talla for proving his innocence, and quickly wishes he hadn't when Talla chews Klyden out something fierce for his prejudice.
    Talla: You wanna repay me? Here's how—when you see me in the corridor, walk the other way.
    Klyden: ...I do not understand.
    Talla: Locar didn't hurt you. He didn't hurt anyone. All he wanted was love. And yet because of you... his life is over. Except for no reason other than your own prejudice. So as far as I am concerned, you can go straight to hell.
  • Revealing Cover-Up: Talla eventually realizes that Klyden incinerating Locar must be some sort of cover-up, because it's just too neat. As John points out, it was almost too easy for them to deduce the shooter's identity, and if Klyden was really guilty of murder, he would probably be denying he was there at all, since otherwise he's the only suspect.
  • Sadistic Choice: Talla's got a whopper. Either let an innocent bigot (Klyden) rot in jail for a crime that never happened, or expose the frame-up, which would get Locar either killed or jailed for life for no reason other than preferring women. She exposes the frame-up, but makes it clear to Klyden that she only did it out of her duty as security chief.
  • Secret Keeper: Bortus found out that Locar was attracted to women during their early years in the military, and Bortus abruptly decided to join him on shore leave on an alien planet. He broke up with him as a result, but didn't tell anyone else about the real reason because he didn't want to ruin Locar's life.
  • Shipper on Deck: Talla has no idea why Ed and Kelly don't just get back together, after seeing how good a rapport they still have.
  • Take a Third Option: After telling Locar that she can't allow Klyden to be imprisoned for a crime he didn't commit, Talla offers Locar asylum aboard the Orville. But having failed in his initial attempt to hide from Moclan prejudice, he declares that he's tired of running and submits himself to his fellows.
  • Took a Level in Badass: The Orville gets an upgrade to her Deflector Shields.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Talla calls out Klyden for ruining Locar's life out of prejudice and warns him to stay away from her. She was also quick to call out Bortus as well, concerning his and Klyden's son.
  • You Are What You Hate: Klyden, who was born female, destroys Locar's life out of his own prejudices.

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