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Sometimes a star is just a star.Ed Mercer[1]
All the World is Birthday Cake is the fifth episode of the second season of The Orville. The USS Orville makes first contact with another world and a new crewmember joins the ship.

The episode examines a society that has taken astrology to its logical extreme. The title was drawn from the song "It's All Too Much" by The Beatles and refers to to Regor 2, where "all the world" believes a date of birth determines one's worth as a person.

All the World is Birthday Cake was written by Seth MacFarlane and directed by Robert Duncan McNeill, who also directed the first season episode of Command Performance. Music was composed by John Debney.

Ratings for the episode were strong. It received a subdued response from general audiences but very positive reviews from professional critics. Roughly 3.176 million American households watched All the World is Birthday Cake live, the second highest for the series until that point.[2] The episode holds a rating of 7.6 on IMDB, somewhat below the show's average.[3]

Plot Edit

Act 1 Edit

Gathered in his chambers, the First Prefect directs advisers to use a large satellite array to send a message into space: "Is anyone out there?"

Act 2 Edit

Captain Ed Mercer and First Officer Kelly Grayson meet their new permanent Chief of Security, Lieutenant Talla Keyali. She admits she has a "rough" reputation, but she promises to protect the crew.

On the Bridge of the USS Orville, Grayson asks Second Officer Bortus to have a joint birthday party, but Bortus firmly declines. Suddenly, a microwave signal from the Gamma Velorum system requesting "First Contact." The crew happily sets course for the star.

Mercer, Grayson, Bortus, Keyali, and Doctor Claire Finn take a shuttle to the signal's origin, a planet called Regor 2. In the capital, the First Prefect warmly greets the Orville's diplomatic entourage. Mercer replies, "On behalf of the Planetary Union, welcome to the galaxy."

Act 3 Edit

The First Prefect and Chief Adviser Makkal show Mercer, Grayson, and Bortus their satellite array. Regorian doctors show Finn and Keyali their obstetrics ward. They are interrupted by an emergency caesorian section, but Finn realizes the baby had no detected medical cause to be born premature. A doctor explains that the c-section was to prevent the baby being born "giliac."

At a banquet, the Orville's crew and the Regorians celebrate first contact and share different aspects of their species. "It really is a utopia," Makkal marvels. Grayson shares that next week will be her and Bortus' birthday. Inexplicably, the Regorians are outraged and the crew is arrested.

In a prison cell, a Regorian dentist extracts dental cores from Mercer, Keyali, and Finn, which verifies that none of them are giliacs. The First Prefect tells them that being giliac means to be born under the astrological sign of Giliac, which means Grayson and Bortus are dangerous and must be kept in a small prison camp. The Regorians force the others to return to their ship.

Meanwhile, Grayson and Bortus find themselves in a prison colony for giliacs.

Act 4 Edit

A warden tells Grayson and Bortus that the prison colony is their new home. They unsuccessfully try to fight their way out of the camp.

Admiral Perry refuses to permit the Orville to retrieve the officers by force. Diplomacy will be their only recourse. Isaac observes that the Regorians host a vast array of astrology satellites in space solely to observe the movement of stars.

Back in the prison, Grayson and Bortus piece together that their only "crime" was being born under the wrong astrological sign. Nearby, a large prisoner attempts to steal food from a couple, Rokal and his pregnant wife Ukania, but Bortus scares him away.

On live television, the First Prefect announces that the first day of Giliac has arrived and any infants born must be ceded to the government. Mercer arrives and attempts a peaceable agreement for the return of his officers, but First Prefect refuses and tells them to forget about Regor 2.

Act 5 Edit

A month later, Admiral Perry concludes that the Planetary Union Central needs the Orville back on active duty. A diplomatic envoy will be sent to Regor 2 for extended negotiations. In the Briefing Room, Mercer directs the senior officers to find a solution before they must leave.

Back on television, the First Prefect announces the first day of Wasanda, the sign of the future leaders of Regor 2.

During meal time at the prison barracks, Grayson and Bortus notice that Ukania is in labor. Grayson assists the delivery of a new daughter.

Studying Regor 2's history, Keyali realizes that a star in Giliac died 3,122 years ago which led to the Regorian myth that giliac people are murderous.

Camp guards inspect the barracks. The warden forces Grayson to admit she is "giliac trash" at gunpoint. Rokal tells the guards that his daughter is wasanda and hidden under the floor boards. Despite Ukania's pleas, the guards forcibly take the child. Grayson and Bortus plot their escape.

Act 6 Edit

Chief Engineer John LaMarr and Helmsman Gordon Malloy attach solar sails to a shuttle, which would reflect starlight and appear in the Regorian night sky as a new star in the Giliac constellation.

Grayson and Bortus steal guns from prison guards and attempt their escape, killing many guards along the way. They blast open the prison doors but are immediately surrounded by many guards and the warden.

Act 7 Edit

The warden initiates an execution of Grayson and Bortus before the prison camp. In space, the solar sail deploys and a new star appears in the night. Just as the guards nearly open fire, everyone marvels and the new star in Giliac. In his office, the First Prefect realizes the new star signals "change."

Now back on the bridge of the Orville, Grayson and Bortus finally celebrate with a joint birthday party. Mercer tells Grayson that the last of the camps were closed. To Keyali, he admits that he is unsure whether lying to the Regorians was moral. Grayson, Mercer, and Finn congratulate her on her brilliant idea. Grayson leaves to dance with her boyfriend Cassius, leaving Mercer alone with his drink.

Production Edit

Filming began in early March 2018[4] under the direction of Robert Duncan McNeill. The return of McNeill, who earlier had directed the episode Command Performance in Season 1, was first revealed in May.[5]

Early cast lists were published to IMDB in early May,[6] which announced the character of Chief Advisor Makkal, and in June.[7] Actress Heather Horton announced she would appear as Science Prefect in June.[8] The surprise appearance of Ted Danson as a Planetary Union admiral was first revealed by director Jonathan Frakes on August 4.[9]

20th Century Fox published a press release on the episode on December 4, 2019.[10]

Reception Edit

Viewership Edit

All the World is Birthday Cake was watched by 3.176 million American households live, of which 0.74 million were ages 18-49.[2] The episode was the second most-watched episode of Season 2 until that point, surpassed only by the Season 2 premiere. The viewer response was more muted, however, by rating. The episode currently holds a 7.6 rating on IMDB.[11]

Critical response Edit

Critics gave All the World is Birthday Cake overall positive reviews. Ryan Britt of Den of Geek awarded four stars, calling All the World is Birthday Cake a "standout episode" with "a brilliant premise."[12] Nick Wanserski of the AV Club enjoyed the episode overall, citing the action sequences in particular.[13] Jammer of Jammer's Reviews gave the episode two stars. He praised the episode for the thrilling conceit of "First Contact," but found the Regorian's "ridiculously absolute beliefs" weakened the story.[14]

Trivia Edit

  • The Orville Season 2 Gag Reel

    The Orville Season 2 Gag Reel

    A composite video with outtakes from this, and other, Season 2 episodes.

    Outtakes and bloopers from this episode were compiled by the show's editors for the Season 2 wrap party and were published by the Planetary Union Network.[15]
  • During Bortus and Kelly's joint birthday party, John, Gordon, and Ensign Turco can be seen teaching Isaac how to dance the robot.
    • Extra behind-the-scenes footage of them was posted in a video by associate producer and editor Tom Costantino.[16]
  • The Regorian government building is actually Oviatt Library at California State University, Northridge.[17]
    • The library building was also used as Starfleet's headquarters in the popular science-fiction series Star Trek.
  • One of the buildings on the planet's surface is the Yokohama Landmark Tower located in Yokohama, Japan.[18]
  • First Contact was made one week before Kelly's birthday and she later states that her birthday party occurred "four weeks late." That means that five weeks pass from landing on Regor 2 to the end of the episode.
  • Ed's line, "We all do better when we all do better," is a quote from a speech by former Minnesota senator Paul Wellstone.[19]
  • Talla is transfered to the Orville from a science-class vessel, identical to the USS Olympia (SCV-183).
  • The identity of "the admiral" whom Ed begged to provide another Xelayan to replace Alara is unconfirmed. However, considering his relations to both Ed and Kelly and his prior role in assigning crew to the Orville, namely Ed himself, it can be conjectured that the admiral in question is Halsey.
  • Talla identifies the Janisi as hailing from the Izar system. In reality, Izar is a name for Epsilon Boötis, a binary star in the northern constellation of Boötes. It is also mentioned in the Star Trek: The Original Series episode Whom Gods Destroy, as the home of the infamous Garth of Izar.
  • Actress Adrianne Palicki (Kelly) says that this episode was her favorite of Season 2 to film (but not her favorite overall) because of the fight scenes. "[Kelly] gets to do a lot of action — and you know how I love action."[20]
    • There is some confusion about which episode Palicki refers to, as she also specifies that it is within "the first four episodes"[20] and All the World is Birthday Cake is fifth. However, because this episode is the first to feature a major action sequence with Kelly, it is believed Palicki was simply mistaken about episode numbering.

Mistakes Edit

  • When Bortus tells the Bridge crew, "I am not amused," he and Topa turn to leave. In the next camera angle, they turn to walk away again.

Cast Edit

Names and titles are as they appear in the credits unless otherwise noted.

Main Cast Edit

Special Guest Cast Edit

Recurring Cast Edit

Guest Cast Edit

References Edit

  1. All the World is Birthday Cake
  2. 2.0 2.1 The Orville:Season Two Ratings. TV Series Finale. Last accessed Feb. 27, 2019.
  3. Episode List. IMDB. Last accessed Feb. 25, 2019.
  4. Charles Maceo's resume lists filming of the episode for March 5, 2018."Charles Maceo". Actors Access. Last accessed May 4, 2018.
  5. "Charles Maceo". Actors Access. Last accessed May 4, 2018.
  6. "Episode #2.4". IMDB. Last accessed May 4, 2018.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 "Episode 2.4". IMDB. Last accessed June 5, 2018.
  8. "Heather Horton". Actors Access. Last accessed June 6, 2018.
  9. Iacovino, Kayla. "STLV18: Jonathan Frakes Reveals Ted Danson And More Stars Join Marina Sirtis In His ‘The Orville’ Episode". TrekMovie. Aug. 4, 2018.
  10. Listings - ORVILLE, THE. The Futon Critic. Last accessed Dec. 4, 2018.
  11. Episode List. IMDB. Last accessed May 7, 2019.
  12. Britt, Ryan. "The Orville Season 2 Episode 5 Review: All the World is Birthday Cake". Den of Geek. Jan. 25, 2019.
  13. Wanserski, Nick. "The Orvillesays superstition ain't the way (no, no, no)". AV Club. Jan. 25, 2019.
  14. Epsicokhan, Jamal. "All the World is Birthday Cake". Jammer's Reviews. Last accessed May 7, 2019.
  15. THE ORVILLE SEASON 2 GAG REEL. Planetary Union Network. April 30, 2019.
  16. @TomCostantino. "For you eagle-eyed viewers, a robot learning THE ROBOT. @TheOrville #TheOrville @SethMacFarlane @markjacksonacts @ScottGrimes @kyrasantoro". Twitter. Jan. 25, 2019.
  17. /u/vpisteve. "Always good to see my alma mater's library show up! First Star Trek 2009 as Star Fleet HQ and now tonight's episode!". Reddit. Jan. 24, 2019.
  18. /u/Bunkyo-Koishikawa. "I knew I recognized that building from the beginning". Reddit. Jan. 24, 2019.
  19. Cunningham, Gary. "WE ALL DO BETTER WHEN WE ALL DO BETTER". Star Tribune. Sept. 22, 2010.
  20. 20.0 20.1 Mitovich, Matt Webb. "The Orville's Adrianne Palicki Teases One of Her Greatest Challenges, Shares S.H.I.E.L.D. Encore Wish". TVLine. Jan. 2, 2019.
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