The Orville (2017) s03e03 Episode Script

Mortality Paradox

Come in.

Hey!
Welcome back.

You're early.

Yeah, well, if you spent a week
with my parents,
you'd want to come back to work too.

You have a restful trip at least?
Yeah, you know, for the most part.

How are your mom and dad?
My mom's good, my dad's also good.

He's his usual self.

Work hard, play hard?
I think the Fleet's the only thing keeping him
from pursuing a full-time career
as an alcoholic,
but if the uniform's on, we can handle it.

Sounds relaxing.

Compared to the trip back, yeah.

I put my report in your file.

Report? You were on vacation.

I picked up the residue of a Kaylon
quantum signature
out by the Avior system.

It was pretty faint,
so my guess is they're long gone,
but anything near this sector is concerning.

What the hell would they be doing out here?
No idea.
But I thought
the Captain should know.

I'll make him aware.

Permission to return to duty?
Go to it.

It's good to have you back.

Oh, my God, these are insane.

Are you kidding me?
Oh.
What are they called?
Xelayan chocolate trusses.

My mom makes them.

This is the most dense chocolate
I've ever tasted.

Heavy gravity, heavy desserts.

Bortus, you want one?
No thank you.
I am dieting.

Since when?
My shore leave is in 30 days.

Klyden and I are visiting
the Belajok Sea on Moclus.

Lieutenant Malloy has advised me to get my
"Summer body.
"
You'll thank me.

Klyden'll thank me, too.

Captain.

This is most peculiar.

I am detecting narrow-band
electromagnetic emissions
from the surface of Narran 1,
13.
4 light-years
from our present position.

That's impossible.

You must be reading it wrong.

Negative.

I am incapable of error.

Narran 1 is a barren rock.

It always has been.

Sir, I'm reading it too.

Coherent pulses, not background noise.

Maybe somebody's down there.

Mining crew or something.

The electromagnetic emanations
are far too numerous.

Such intense and modulated signals
can only be produced
by the collective energy output
of a substantial population of life forms.

Gordon, alter course for Narran 1.

Aye, sir.

Isaac?
Scans are showing industrial power sources
and transportation networks,
which would indicate the presence
of multiple advanced cities,
all operating at
a 25th-century level of development.

Planet-wide population 8.
5 billion,
concentrated mainly
in the northern hemisphere.

It has to be a mistake.

Mercer to Lamarr.

Confirm forward scanners
are functioning properly.

Confirmed, Captain.

I'm seeing it here too.

I have no explanation.

Every Union record of Narran 1,
every scan ever taken,
shows a desolate world.

That is correct, Commander.

However, this scan does not.

Talla, hail them.

Hailing.

Nothing.
Let me try a different channel.

Scans show they have the infrastructure
for communication,
they're just not answering.

Gordon, prep a shuttle.

You, Bortus, and Talla are with Kelly and I.

Mercer to Lamarr, report to the bridge
and take the conn.

- Charly.

- Aye, sir.

Gordon, verify landing coordinates.

Verified, Commander.

We should be looking at downtown Manhattan.

Set us down.

So much for our day in the big city.

Forget the city, this shouldn't even be here.

There are no forests on Narran 1.

Scans are confirming what we're seeing.

These trees go on for
thousands of square kilometers.

Grayson to Orville.

Lamarr here, Commander.

I was just about to contact you.

What are your scans showing?
The cities are gone, sir.

We're reading dense vegetation.

Forest all across the continent.

Captain.

Look at this.

What is it?
Life forms.

Several hundred humanoids,
in that direction.

All right, let's go.

Sir?
Weapons?
Yeah.

What the hell?
Mercer to Lamarr.

Lamarr here.
Go ahead.

Scan the immediate vicinity of our location.

We're just reading the landing party, sir.

Just the landing party? Nothing else?
Like what?
A high school?
Say again, Commander?
A high school.

Like a 21st-century high school.

Lamarr, are you reading
a structure of any kind?
Negative.

Just plant life.

What is this place?
An old Earth high school,
in the middle of the forest, on an alien plant.

Completely normal.

How's your day going?
Captain.

We are not alone.

Mercer to Orville.

Mercer to Orville.

Lamarr, do you read?
Talla.

Come on.

Um, do you mind?
What?
You're like right in front of my locker.

Captain.

They read as human.

- Excuse me.

- Hm?
Where are we?
We're in the hallway?
Who are you?
Ashley.

This is a fun conversation,
but I have to get to bio.

Hey, hey.

Um, what's today's date?
Uh, I think it's the 19th?
No, no, the year.

What's the year?
What are you, high?
Possibly, that's what I'm trying to find out.

Could it be time travel?
I don't know
Somehow I don't think so.

All right, first things first,
we need to find a way out.

Kelly and I will search this direction,
the rest of you check
those corridors down there.

We'll meet back here in ten minutes.

Have you tried a subsurface
tomographic analysis of the planet?
Affirmative.

I have also run a full biometric scan.

The shuttle appears to be intact,
but, there is no trace of the landing party.

All right.

I'm sending down a rescue team.

Sir, that may not be wise.

If they have been harmed,
the same fate could
befall a second contingent.

They're our crewmates, Isaac.

The Kaylon may throw people away
like garbage, but we don't.

It is not my intent to minimize
the value of the missing officers.

- I merely suggest
- We don't have time to argue.

Isaac, prep a second shuttle and take
a security detail down to the surface.

And bring Dr.
Finn.

- They may be injured.

- Yes, sir.

So by 1914,
when things were close to a boiling point,
the European nations found
themselves divided into two factions:
the Triple Entente, which included
Russia, England, and France,
and the Triple Alliance,
which consisted of Germany, Italy
Can I help you?
Perhaps.

I am looking for a way out.

Well, I think you should talk
to the guidance counselor.

This is History 103.

Are you supposed to be in this class?
Hey! Just what in the hell
do you think you're doing?
Hey, hey, hey, knock it off!
Okay, if the two of you don't leave right now,
I'm calling the principal's office!
It's impenetrable, just like the doors.

It could be a forcefield of some kind.

Out, now!
Where's Gordon?
Hey! Hey!
What the hell!
Uggh!
What the hell is going on?
Who are you guys?
- Shut up!
- What Uggh!
Randall wants his money, asshole!
Who the hell is Randall?
You're pissin' him off,
and you're pissin' us off, now where is it?
Guys, I seriously have no idea
what you're talking about.

I don't even know where I am.

Oooh!
Look!
His comscanner.

Come on, where is it, you little bitch?
I swear to God, I have no idea.

Okay, okay!
I'll get him
I'll get him his money, okay?
I just don't have it right now.

All right? I need a little more time!
You got till 3:15 to pay up,
or Randall's gonna put you
in a world of shit, you got me?
Yeah.

Yeah, yes.
I gotcha.

- Yeah?
- Uggh!
Lieutenant.

- Are you all right?
- Yeah, I think so.

- What happened?
- Those guys jumped me.

Who were they?
I have no idea, they wouldn't tell me.

My God, what happened?
I'm okay, Commander.

I just had a little run-in.

- With who?
- Bullies.

- What did they want?
- Money.

They said I have till 3:15
to pay some guy named Randall.

Captain.

His wounds are real.

Which means that even
if this is a hallucination
We can be hurt.

We need answers.

Now what?
Find someone who looks friendly.

May we sit with you?
- No.

- Why not?
Because our table's full.

There are several available seats.

Not for you.

I am prepared to take them by force.

Bortus.

Let's look someplace else, huh?
You have a five-head.

- It's not true.

- No, you don't.

Hey.

Can we sit here?
Sure.

Jeez, what happened to you?
Maybe you can tell me.

Do any of you know a guy named Randall?
Yeah, of course.

Oh, wait, dude, that's you?
Well, I don't know.

I was just told I owe him money.

Yeah, everybody's been talking about it.

Dude, you gotta pay him.

Pay him for what?
Who is he?
You pay him not to beat you up.

We've all been through it.

I had to do it all freshman year.

Then I got like massive on TikTok,
and he stopped messin' with me
'cause my followers, would flame his Gram.

What?
They're saying that he's gonna
come looking for you after school
unless he gets the money.

Where do we find this guy?
He hangs out behind the bleachers.

And what happens if I don't pay him?
You should pay him.

All systems ready for departure.

Let's go.

Come on, this could be our way out.

There's no sign of the shuttle.

Grayson to Orville.

Ideas, anyone?
Perhaps this "Randall"
could give us some information.

Wait-wait, the Randall
who just had me beat up?
The guy who wants to kill me?
It's the only lead we have.

Maybe we can talk to him.

All right, let's find the bleachers.

Great.

We're looking for Randall.

You found him.

Oh, shit!
What the hell is going on here?
I'm gonna have to ask you folks
to please take your seats.

We'll be landing soon.

What do we do?
I guess we sit.

Ladies and gentlemen,
the Captain has turned off
the fasten seat belt sign
and you are now free to move about the cabin.

For your continued safety, we require
It's the same as before.

Pressurized oxygen atmosphere.

As far as the scans can tell,
this is an ancient aircraft.

Captain.

Something happened
when that creature had me in the air.

What do you mean?
It was like my whole brain froze.

You know, I was there, but
But, I wasn't.

- Were you in shock?
- No, no, no.

I mean, yeah, I was,
but I've been in shock before.

This
This was something different.

Perhaps, whatever is
causing these hallucinations,
is affecting our minds in other ways.

We don't know if these are hallucinations.

I mean, you said yourself,
Gordon's injuries are real.

And I think until we get to the bottom of this,
we have to assume, that everything is.

Finn to Orville.

Lamarr here.

We've reached the surface.

It's exactly what it's supposed to be.

Completely desolate.

Scans do not detect any other life forms.

We appear to be alone.

Any sign of the Captain's shuttle?
It's here,
at its original landing coordinates.

Stand by.

Finn to Orville.

They're gone.

Um, excuse me, ma'am?
Hi.

Um, I'm a pilot,
and I just wanted to let you know,
that if the folks in the cockpit
need any help, I'm here.

You're in good hands, but, I'll let them know.

Thank you.

What's wrong?
Well, these old planes
were generally at the mercy
of the atmosphere, but
Feels like they're goin' outta their way
to hit the rough stuff.

Every time we hit a smooth patch
of altitude, they climb or they dip.

What happens if we get hit?
Planes used to get hit by lightning
more often than you think.

Even old ones like this
were designed to withstand it.

That's not what's worrying me.

Oh!
Flight attendants, please take your seats.

Gordon, what's going on?
I'm going up there.

Excuse me.

Hey, you can't go in there!
Sir, what are you doing?
- Talla, get this door open.

- Ma'am!
Ma'am, you can't go in there!
Oh, my God.

I need you to take your seats!
Sir?
Excuse me!
Are you out of your mind?
There's no one flying the plane!
I'm sorry, but I need all of you
to go back to your seats,
and fasten your seat belts right now.

Sir? You need to return
to your seat immediately!
Sir, I need you to g
Sorry.

It was distracting.

- You know how to fly one of these things?
- We're about to find out.

Okay, altimeter, air speed, VSI,
flight director.

- Fuel gauge light's on.

- Oh, man.

Fuel's low.

- How low?
- Low.

See if you can spot a patch of open space.

It's all mountains out there.

You better hope not,
'cause if it is, we're dead.

Oh, no.

No, no, no, no, no!
- What?
- Engines are out.

There!
Flaps!
I'm gonna have to glide her in!
Come on, baby, come on!
Come on!
Grab onto something!
Hang on, this is gonna be rough!
Come on, let's go!
What the hell?
Where are we?
Oh!
Captain.

Your head.

- I'll be all right.

- Are you sure?
Well, there's not much I can do about it.

There is an open chamber,
that way.

You know that feeling,
you said you had,
when the creature attacked you?
Yeah.

I felt it too.

It was right before we crashed.

It was almost like
Like I was somewhere else.

Yes.

Exactly, like
Like your mind wasn't your own.

I wish Claire were here.

We could both use a brain scan.

What is this place?
It is a Moclan morgue.

Wait, so those
Those pods
They contain the dead.

We never should've left the ship.

I should've smelled something
was wrong at the start.

Let's look for an exit.

Why do you
Hang them like this?
We honor the dead by raising them,
for a period of nine days.

Traditionally, it is to allow them to resolve
any unfinished affairs
on Moclus, before moving onward.

Oh, that's considerate.

Jesus
Bortus?
Uggh!
Bortus, are you okay?
I
F-felt it.

Felt what?
I was
For a moment
Outside my own body.

Come on.

Orville to Isaac.

Anything yet?
According to the scanner logs,
the landing party arrived without incident.

All five departed the shuttle.

After that, there is no record
of their whereabouts.

All right.

You've done everything you can down there.

Return to the ship.

Maybe there's something wrong
- with the shuttle's systems.

- Negative.

My diagnostic indicates
full functionality.

Well then, what if we sent out a search party?
It's a big planet, Doctor.

We need a lead.

Besides, we've already had
one team vanish, we can't risk two.

Return to the ship.

Captain, there's a portal
about a thousand meters down.

Looks like an exit.

What's, uh, directly beneath us?
Scans show nothing.

Bottomless.

Terrific.

Now where are we?
This is Lake Ruell.

On Xelayah.

Well, I guess now
we know this is all an illusion.

- How?
- Gravity.

If we were on Xelayah, we'd be dead.

What is that?
It's a pattern.

Repeated intervals.

Communication?
Possibly.

From who?
Whoever's behind all this?
Or someone else in the same boat.

Or a trap.

Captain.

Look.

All right.

Talla, you, Gordon,
and I will take it across the lake,
find out what that is.

Ed
You should stay here.

I'll go.

- If there's a possibility
- That's a nasty head injury,
whether you want to admit it or not.

You could have a concussion for all we know.

If we encounter anything hostile over there,
I don't want you putting yourself
at further risk.

Is that an order, Commander?
Yes, it is.

All right.

Be careful.

That's also an order.

Um
- Guys?
- I saw it, let's keep moving.

What the hell is that?
It's big, whatever it is.

Wait.

Look.

What happened to the light?
Commander!
Kelly.

- Are you all right?
- Yeah, I'm I'm okay.

Captain.

When we were under, I felt
Let me guess, same thing we all felt.

Out of your own body.

I felt it too.

Right before I lost consciousness.

No
That's enough.

If you can hear me,
whatever this goddamn game is, it's over!
We're done!
So either kill us, or let us go,
because we are done with this bullshit!
Well, so, now where do we go?
Anywhere but there.

This time we're not taking the bait.

Come on.

What is it?
A power signature.

Emanating from that cave.

I'd say we've found our culprit.

Bortus?
It appears to be a holographic
power generator of some kind.

The projection radius is significant.

Ow!
There is an axionic shield in effect.

Thanks for telling me.

Its frequency is constant.

I believe I can deactivate it.

The shield has been neutralized.

What do you want to do?
It's Narran 1.

The real Narran 1.

Right where we parked it.

Mercer to Orville.

Lamarr here, sir!
What happened?
Are you all right?
We're okay.

I'll explain everything
once we're back on board.

Mercer out.

We should take these fragments back with us,
have Isaac do an analysis.

Look at this.

It's a residual polarization
along the cognitive pathways
of the cerebral cortex,
and, it's present in all five of you.

So whatever it was,
it affected all of us the same way.

This is evidence of a highly
invasive neurogenic scan.

Think of it as electromagnetic ayahuasca.

So you're saying we all just had a bad trip?
Partly.

Doctor, you saw our injuries.

I mean, Gordon got beat up in a bathroom,
that's not a hallucination.

Bortus, you said
the device's power signature
indicated a holographic generator.

That is correct.

Well, if you shut off the
safeties in our simulators,
you could be hurt.

Even killed.

Now, I'm just theorizing,
but, if this were a technology
that combined neurogenic
and holographic elements,
in effect, they could split the workload.

The holograms would
outline the environment,
and the neurogenic scan
would prompt the brain to color it in.

It would explain how such a small device
was able to create such vast simulations.

To align and synchronize such technologies,
would require a highly
sophisticated operating system.

Who'd be capable of that level of technology?
And why those specific illusions?
Lamarr to Captain.

Go ahead.

We've finished
our analysis of the fragments.

I think you better come to the lab.

There are vestiges of unfamiliar technology
present within the device's components,
but, the primary elements
appear to be of Kaylon design.

- Oh, man
- Talla.

You said you picked up Kaylon quantum
signatures,
on your way back from Xelayah.

I did.

Then it's possible they planted
the device on Narran 1.

For what purpose?
Got me.

So the Kaylon have figured out
a way to mess with our minds.

- Great.

- It makes sense.

With the Krill at our side,
they can't outgun us.

But with this, they may not need to.

If you can control someone's
perception of reality,
peaceful conquest is easy.

Between Talla's initial report
of Kaylon activity in the sector
and what we've discovered on Narran 1,
I think there's something big
brewing out here.

It looks that way.

We'll dispatch a convoy to begin
a tactical survey of the region.

They'll be escorting a science vessel
with instructions to retrieve
the device fragments
and return them to Earth for further study.

They'll rendezvous with you at Narran 1.

Thank you, Admiral.

Keep me posted with any new developments.

Halsey out.

Sir, we're being signaled
by the USS Franklin.

The convoy is two minutes out.

Tell them the fragments
are ready for transport.

Aye, sir.

Convoy is approaching the system.

On screen.

Captain, those are not Union ships.

They are Kaylon vessels.

What?
It is a trap.

Bortus.
Scan and confirm.

Scanning.

Verified.
It is a Union convoy.

Captain, they are Kaylon spheres.

It is possible there is another
neurogenic device in use.

You are being deceived.

Charge all weapons.

Prepare to go to quantum.

- Aye, sir.

- Whoa, hang on a second!
Captain, you're not just
gonna take his word for it?
If there is another device in use,
Isaac is the only one
who wouldn't be affected.

Or he's trying to trick us,
into firing on our own ships,
with their deflectors down.

- Why?
- With all due respect, sir, do you have to ask?
I assure you,
- my statement is accurate.

- Is it?
You don't know what kind of sleeper programs
the Kaylon could've hidden inside your head.

Sir, please, we can't trust him.

That's enough, Ensign.

The vessels are closing.

Go to red alert.

Gordon, bring us about.

- Evasive maneuvers!
- Aye, sir!
All sections reporting heavy damage!
Engage quantum drive.

Helm is not responding, sir!
John!
What's happening?
The quantum core
has been fractured, Commander!
We can't risk a breach!
Sir, I'm receiving a transmission
from Lieutenant Keyali.

Thank God!
Put her on.

Sir
It's not coming from the planet.

Talla, can you hear me?
John?
Yeah, I hear you fine.

Are you on the bridge?
Yeah, I am.

Must be busy out there.

Well, yeah, we've been trying to find you.

Are you okay?
Yeah, I'm I'm fine.

I've been at the rendezvous
point for three hours.

What?
Yeah, I mean, if you don't want me back,
I'm happy to take another week off,
but, I'd rather get back to work.

Talla, we picked you up hours ago.

You
Say again?
We were at the rendezvous point.

We picked you up.

You went down to the surface of Narran 1
with the Captain, Commander Grayson,
Bortus, and Gordon.

You all disappeared, and we've been trying
to find you ever since.

John, I left Xelayah two days ago.

I came straight here.

Look, just meet us in orbit of Narran 1.

All right, I'll see you in a bit.

Keyali out.

What the hell is going on?
- Isaac, you're still scanning, right?
- Yes, sir.

Still no indication of the landing party.

Return fire!
- Tactical array is down!
- Deflectors are failing!
Captain, the quantum core has been breached!
Deflectors are gone!
So is the navigational array!
I have no helm control!
All hands abandon ship!
Repeat, all hands abandon ship!
What's happening?
Who are you?
Don't be afraid, Captain.

I'm not going to hurt anyone.

My name is Dinal.

Are you
Responsible for all this?
Guilty as charged.

You still look unsettled.

It's really okay.

You can relax.

Can I offer you some tea?
We'll, pass, thanks.

I understand.

You want to know what's been happening.

That'd be nice, yeah.

We never left the planet.

A point for Gordon!
You are correct.

What have you done with Lieutenant Keyali?
Oh, she's fine, don't worry.

In fact,
she's back aboard your ship right now,
safe and sound.

You still haven't told us who you are.

You don't know me,
but you knew my ancestors.

Your ancestors?
Oh, Kelly.

Our goddess, lord, and savior.

Or, more accurately,
a simple human woman,
with a less-than-simple relationship
to our forebears.

About two years ago, by your perception,
you encountered a planet,
locked in what you would
call a "multiphasic" orbit.

That's right.

Every 11 days, it would enter our space,
and during that time, it advanced 700 years.

And also during that time,
you watched as a religion sprang up.

A religion devoted to you,
thanks to your clumsiness, amid one of our
More primitive eras.

I'm sorry for that.

Ancient history, it's irrelevant.

Is that why you're here?
- To check up on us?
- No, no,
we've been watching you for some time.

Don't worry, we're very discreet.

But your significance to our past
made you a logical choice.

Or, at least as good as any other.

A choice, for what?
By your chronology,
roughly 50,000 years have passed for us.

I won't bore you with the details, but,
suffice it to say
We advanced.

You've evolved 50,000 years?
"Evolved" is an arcane term in this case.

Evolution is blind and drunk.

It stumbles along, by trial and error,
and emerges with a barely adequate
excuse for a being.

No offense.

None taken.

Long ago,
we learned to take the reins of evolution
and guide it with a greater efficiency.

Let's just say
Things moved faster.

A lot faster.

You're immortal.

Gold star, Captain.

The cultivation of the mind
becomes a lot less stressful
when you don't have to worry about dying.

None of this explains why
you created these hallucinations.

Oh, everything you experienced was real.

Think of them as
custom-made micro-universes,
tailored just for you.

The content was gathered from your own minds
and cultural databanks.

That's not what mattered.

What did matter,
is that each of you, experienced a moment,
when you thought you were going to die.

And we were there to experience it with you.

I apologize for the brief disorientation.

That's what happens when you share a mind.

Why would you wish to experience death?
Immortality has its rewards.

But after a while,
the drive to advance begins to atrophy.

Once you've seen it all, and done it all,
and time has no worth,
all that's left is
Idle play.

We've become complacent,
because none of us can conceive
of our own mortality.

That's why we had to see it through your eyes.

Well, I'm glad you got
your existential rocks off,
but the fact is, you put us through hell.

It was all in the interest of knowledge.

You poke a worm to see what it'll do,
you could still kill the worm.

Centuries ago,
my people used other species,
for experimentation,
in the name of knowledge.

Didn't take us 50,000 years
to realize it was wrong.

You were never in any real danger.

I promise you that.

What's it like, immortality?
You outgrew your gods,
and your nations, as we did.

You left your training wheels behind,
and, you made it to the stars.

Your next hurdles are really no different.

You simply must outgrow self.

These abstractions that you inhabit for now:
Captain
Explorer
Husband
Man
They are irrelevant,
when you become one with the cosmos.

And when you do
Sculpting a universe, will be as simple
as blinking an eye.

You're an interesting species.

We'll meet again.

Mercer to Orville.

Lamarr here, sir!
- Are you okay?
- We're all right.

We'll see you soon.

Sir, what happened?
We
Ran into an old friend.

Mercer out.

Well, I'll tell you this:
here's to reality, with all its troubles.

You know, it's interesting
As far beyond us, as those people are,
there's one thing we have in common:
neither of us can fathom our own mortality.

We all know we're gonna die,
but, it's impossible for us to visualize it.

Oh, I can visualize it.

Yeah.

Big funeral,
lots of people weeping,
wishing they'd been nicer to me.

I'm not talking about your funeral,
I'm talking about your actual death.

I mean, it's impossible.

I guess it'd be like a
Black emptiness?
Yeah, but even in that scenario,
you're still there,
as an observer, picturing that void.

Nonexistence is beyond
our capacity to imagine.

The only difference is,
they never have to worry about it, we do.

Death is an essential part of life.

It is a noble rite of passage.

Yeah, that's the conventional
philosophical wisdom, but,
it doesn't work for me, never has.

- You'd live forever if you could?
- Yup.

Why?
I want to see what happens.

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