The Orville star, Mark Jackson, explained why he was initially worried about the show’s wedding scene in the season 3 finale. The Orville is an American sci-fi show that was created by Seth MacFarlane. The series was inspired by Star Trek and follows the space adventures of Ed Mercer (MacFarlane) as he captains the U.S.S. Orville along with his first officer, Commander Kelly Grayson (Adrianne Palicki), who also happens to be his ex-wife. The Orville started off releasing on Fox, but was switched to the streaming platform, Hulu, for its third season under the title The Orville: New Horizons.
MacFarlane’s show has received some mix reviews. The reviews for the first season of The Orville were markedly negative, but reception picked up significant with seasons 2 and 3. Season 3 officially wrapped up on August 4th, 2022, with the premiere of the season finale. It is unclear if there will be a renewal for a fourth season, especially because the series ended on a strong, fairly final note. It ended quite happily, by showcasing the wedding of Isaac and Claire (Penny Johnson Jerald). While it is quite a touching scene that ended the season on a gentle note, Jackson initially had some reservations about the scene.
In an interview with Screen Rant, Jackson explained why he was initially worried about the wedding scene in The Orville season 3 finale. His main concern was that the scene would be too light-hearted, given the very heavy nature of the season’s prior content. After all, one of the main characters, Ensign Charly Burke (Anne Winters), died in the episode just before the finale. However, it turned out that the happy note was just what everyone needed after the whirlwind of emotions that rest of the season put them through. Check out Jackson’s statement below:
Okay, well, I found out about all this, the whole arc of Isaac, including the Clisaac arc, before we started shooting from Seth. He does have it all mapped out, you’re absolutely right. That was great for me, because I just thought, “Wow, this is a perfect way for Isaac’s arc this season to end.” I was just kind of freaked out about how cool it would be to have a human/artificial intelligence marriage. That’s taking, that’s what The Orville does, isn’t it, it takes it just that little bit further that other shows wouldn’t do and I thought that was really fun. I did try to tell Penny all of this, but she wasn’t having any of it, part of her process is that she doesn’t want to know what’s going to be happening to her character in the future, because you can’t play that. It’s a very good point. I was slightly worried, because we’ve got some really heavy-hitting stuff this season, particularly in the episode before it, “Domino,” when Charly dies. I was slightly worried that it would feel a bit too light after all that, but it seems from looking at the reactions that it’s kind of what everyone needed in a way, which is lovely. It’s exactly the dessert everyone needed. after the 10-course meal of the season.
Jackson reiterated that he felt that the wedding was the perfect culmination of Isaac’s character arc. It was simply the change in tone that made him hesitant about the finale. However, as he stated, it turned out very well for the series. After all, as a Kaylon and artificial life form, getting married isn’t exactly an easy feat. Isaac must deal with the fact that his partner is mortal and has a finite lifespan. He has also struggled quite a bit throughout the series to gain the acceptance of his fellow crew members and has faced bullying and prejudice. Hence, him getting married and having his fellow crew members in his wedding, was the perfect way to tie up his storyline. It gave Isaac a happy ending, and also gave the season a happy ending despite some losses.
Still, it isn’t difficult to understand Jackson’s hesitation. The Orville took an emotional toll on the audience for sure with Charly’s tragic death the episode prior, especially considering she selfishly sacrificed herself and received a heartbreaking eulogy from Isaac himself. Then, in very next episode, Isaac goes from eulogizing to partaking in a wedding as the groom. However, The Orville knew what it was doing and provided a satisfactory ending to the show’s biggest plot lines that have developed across three seasons. This means, even if The Orville doesn’t get a fourth season, it still wrapped up effectively and didn’t leave viewers with some tragic or shocking cliffhanger. The Orville‘s wedding scene showed how effective a season finale can be by giving audiences what they need, rather than what they might expect.