There’s one thing that we have to credit The Orville season 2 with more than anything else: Guts. This is a show that is intent on finding some new ways to surprise us, and tonight we had a chance to see that with a love story that was almost like no other.
At the center of this installment was rather simple: A love story. We’d seen some signs over the past few weeks that Claire had some feelings for Isaac, and tonight, everything really went full circle. It was a romantic hour of television at times and a heartbreaking one at others.
On paper, Claire knew that this was a terrible idea. Isaac is not capable of human emotion and doesn’t understand the proper ins and outs of a proper relationship. Yet, Claire and her kids both liked the AI and wanted to see what it would look like if they went on a date together. The end result was fascinating since, as a result of getting some advice, Isaac did his best to create an environment that felt romantic — including him dressing up for the occasion. The date had its awkward moments and at one point, Claire wanted to break up with him. This is where Isaac came to the rescue.
Tonight, we saw Isaac actually go so far as to create an alternate reality, one in which he could appear as a human and actually kiss her and give her some of what she needed. That was really sweet, but the aftermath of it was devastating to her — right after sleeping with her in the hologram, Isaac determined that he had experienced the entire arc of a human relationship and with that in mind, he was ready to end things. He broke her heart, even if he did not understand why. In the end, he had to deal with some of the ramifications of it.
Here’s where things got interesting — after learning that Claire was angry at him, Isaac did something that he never had before. He made a mistake in a calculation. Because of that, he self-diagnosed his issue and he came to realize that, in one way or another, he did have feelings for her … at least in a way robots can. He was so used to having her around that when she wasn’t, his programming had to adapt and it was causing him to malfunction.
This is why, in the end, Isaac realized that he made a mistake and the best solution was to offer up an apology. He made an effort to try and win her back, effectively saying in his own way that he was better with her and that he needed her. So, in the end, they found their way back to each other.
There were some really fun things about this episode — Mark Jackson actually got to appear on the show in a human form tonight, and the same went for Norm MacDonald. There was dancing, orchestra music, and romance galore in this episode. It was weird sure, but this is a story that only The Orville can tell — and also tell earnestly. All the credit on-screen goes to Penny Johnson Jerald and Jackson for being able to tell this story.
What did you think about The Orville season 5 episode 5 overall? Be sure to share now in the comments. (Photo: Fox.)