The Orville takes it up a notch this week, tackling gender and identity issues and how various cultures handle what can be a sensitive topic. And who said life on The Orville wouldn’t be fun?! The series continues to offer unique and colorful characters who really jump off the screen. With no one crew member stealing the spotlight, everyone gets their chance to shine and that gives The Orville crew an electric energy viewers can almost feel. Not only are we addressing what many consider current day issues, The Orville does it with just enough humor and futuristic flair that it actually makes you ponder instead of feeling like agendas are being shoved in your face.
Bortus and Klyden are partners and of the Molcan race. They lay eggs, which Bortus did and that is how their species continues forward. They are a single gendered species, only having males. But, Klyden and Bortus just hatched a cute little baby girl…and now they want to put her through a gender modification surgery to become a male so she won’t be shunned in society. This causes some major strife on the ship as Dr. Finn refuses to perform the surgery and Captain Mercer won’t order her to do it. Everyone has to pause and take a moment to think about what is the right thing to do in this situation, considering the morals of all sides, species, religions, and races. Bortus calls for a Molcan ship to rendezvous with The Orville so they can get the gender change procedure done elsewhere, but after a few drinks and a single viewing of Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer with Gordon and John, he’s suddenly had a change of heart.
This leads to a huge conflict not only between Bortus and Klyden, but also between the Molcan ship and The Orville. Bortus and Klyden end up taking the matter to a tribunal where each gets a chance to argue for their case before a panelist of Molcan elders will decide the final outcome. Seems like a pretty terrible way to make a parenting choice such as this, but hey to each their own I guess. Turns out, there ARE female Molcans, the parents just almost always do the gender change surgery right after birth. Kylden himself was born female, unbeknownst to Bortus this entire time. But down on the planet there is one female Molcan in hiding, and not just any Molcan. One of the greatest, well known, loved, and most prolific writers of their entire race….Mic Drop, she’s female!
The tribunal ends and the baby is forced to undergo gender reassignment surgery anyway. But even after the hurt, the lies, the disagreements…Bortus and Klyden show us what is important. That you stick by your partner, you love your partner, you might get mad at your partner, but you have to be a partner. The only thing that matters now is that their baby has the best life possible, and allowing for that baby to become the best Molcan they can be. Luckily Bortus kept an open mind, tucking a tiny Rudolph in the crib with their new baby boy.
If you haven’t been watching The Orville, hop on board! This is one of the best shows on television right now, with a fresh perspective of what scifi can be. The Orville airs Thursday nights at 9/8 c on Fox and trust me, you will not be disappointed if you just give it a watch.
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