Star Trek Best Trek

Electric Sheep

In case you skip it...

As the first episode after a significant hiatus (over three years), Electric Sheep seems to feel obliged to cover a lot of ground. Unfortunately, it does so clumsily and I don’t really recommend watching it. But there are a few things to be aware of.

The show seems to have a bigger budget for visuals this season. Some of the sets (especially the quantum drive in engineering) are much more impressive, explained in-story by the Orville having put in for a refit and upgrade. There are also new cooler-looking shuttles including a one-person fighter called the Pterodon.

Gordon in the Pterodon in the Orville's shuttle bay

Also, many crew members are suspicious of and hostile toward Isaac after the Kaylon attack. This seems to be especially true of junior officers who didn’t know him personally, but even Gordon apparently disagrees with Ed’s decision to reinstate him.

One of the most directly confrontational about it is the new navigator, Ensign Charly Burke.

Ensign Charly Burke at the navigation station

Charly has the unique ability to visualize four spatial dimensions and had previously been stationed on the Quimby as an astrometrics officer. She is the sole survivor of that ship’s destruction in the Kaylon attack and blames Isaac for the death of her crewmates, particularly her best friend Amanda.

For some reason, she has come to serve on the Orville’s bridge just a few meters from Isaac’s station rather than transferring to literally any other Union ship.

Because of the hostility toward him, Isaac concludes that his presence is reducing crew efficiency. On top of this, Marcus’s poor handling of his trauma from the Kaylon attack results in him calling Isaac a murderer and telling him that he wished he were dead. Isaac doesn’t really have anywhere else to go since he is a traitor to the Kaylon and distrusted by the Union; therefore he attempts to deactivate himself which is treated by the other characters as a suicide attempt.

The senior staff find Isaac deactivated on the floor of his lab

John figures out a way to reactivate him, but it requires Charly’s four-dimensional visualization skills. She refuses to help, but reluctantly changes her mind after a conversation with the guilt-ridden Marcus, apparently saving Isaac on his behalf. Claire gets Isaac to promise to talk to her if he finds himself considering deactivation again.