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Digressions, Pt. 1 is the first part of a two-part episode known as Digressions. The issue follows the people who would have been on the USS Orville as they live completely unaware that their destinies were altered by Kelly Grayson's decision to reject Ed Mercer.

The episode was written by executive producer David A. Goodman, inked by David Cabeza, and colored by Michael Atiyeh. Lettering was done by Richard Starkings and Comicraft's Jimmy Betancourt.

Chronologically, Digressions takes place between the episodes Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow and The Road Not Taken, which take place at the close of Season 2. The episode is the fifth issue of Season 2.5. Goodman found this story to be especially difficult to write. "[It was] a real exercise," he later said. "Trying to figure out a way to connect the episodes and fill in the blanks."[1]

The issue was published on May 5, 2021. It was later published in the book The Orville Season 2.5: Digressions.


The issue opens with young Kelly Grayson summarizing the events of the episode Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow: that aboard the USS Orville in the year 2421, she met Isaac the Kaylon, encountered an older version of herself, made friends among the crew, and fell in love with Captain Ed Mercer. At the close of the summary, young Kelly is back in her apartment in the year 2414, having been sent back in time by the Orville. To her horror, she remembers everything she learned about the future. Just then, young Ed calls to ask Kelly out on a date but Kelly declines. "I thought not seeing him again would save us pain," she narrates. "I was wrong."

That night, young Gordon Malloy and Ed go out for drinks, and Gordon and the bartender make a mediocre attempt to console him. Setting his career ambitions aside to get away from Kelly, Ed vows to take the first ship assignment he can get.

In September 2419 in the Shuttle Bay of the Orville, Captain Griffith welcomes Science and Engineering Officer Isaac to the crew. Bortus acknowledges that there may be "some competition" with Isaac. Griffith explains that Steve Newton has been promoted from Chief Engineering Officer to First Officer while John LaMarr was promoted to take Steve's place. The Orville then sets course for Epsilon 2, paralleling the events of Old Wounds.

Meanwhile, Ed - now Second Officer - sits at the Mess Hall bar of the USS Watson chatting with Olix. Ed's old ambition has returned and he wants to transfer to the USS Jefferson due to personality conflicts with his current commander, Captain Barrett. Shortly thereafter, Barrett denies Ed's request. Even though she does not like his personality, his intelligence and job performance make him too valuable an asset to lose, and she promotes him to First Officer.

Ed calls Gordon with the good news. Gordon is stuck on administrative work, and Ed promises to help him out if possible. Ed is unenthusiastic about the promotion; he wanted the spot on the Jefferson to work with its first officer, Kelly.

On the Jefferson, Admiral Ozawa walks onto the Bridge and orders the ship to call the Orville. The Orville had narrowly won the Battle of Epsilon 2 against the Krill and has a quantum accelerator from the Epsilon Science Station. In her first officer's chair, Kelly watches the Orville on screen in dismay, silently knowing Isaac aboard the Orville will betray the Planetary Union.

Later, Kelly confides in her husband Cassius what she knows. Cassius believes her, but advises against telling the admiralty. "The universe will take care of itself."

The crew of the USS Orville in an alternate timeline meets Isaac.

Back on the Orville around September 2420, Chief Security Officer Alara Kitan's body weakens due to the ship's earth-like gravity. John tries to mollify her, but she knows she needs to return to her home on Xelaya. The decision made, John and Alara share a kiss.

Barrett leads the Watson's away team to a planet. Ed recommends Gordon for a position on the ship, but the conversation takes an embarrassing turn once she sees his poor personnel file and Ed says he will find another officer.

In the Science Lab of the Orville, Isaac talks with John when he suddenly deactivates. The senior staff is flummoxed by the complexity of his Kaylon body and agree to return him to Kaylon 1.

The Jefferson docks at a space station for a cargo transfer and the unexpected arrival of three guests: Claire Finn and her sons Ty and Marcus. Kelly mistakenly believes Claire works aboard the Orville, not realizing that in this timeline, Claire accepted a different assignment. Realizing that since Claire never worked on the Orville, then she will never fall in love with Isaac, Kelly rushes to her quarters to contact Admiral Halsey to tell him everything. Halsey tells Kelly that the Orville is already on its way to Kaylon 1. Kelly, to her horror, realizes she is too late.


The idea for Digressions came during production of Season 2.5. On April 28, 2020, executive producer David A. Goodman publicly announced that he had run an idea past his editor at Dark Horse Comics for a new project after Season 2.5 that would hopefully include artist David Cabeza.[2]


  • Digressions was originally released independent of a season. The creators eventually ushered this episode and Artifacts into Season 2.5, which had been released the year before.
  • The issue thanks Seth MacFarlane, science adviser André Bormanis, executive producers Brannon Braga and Jason Clark, writer Gerry Duggan of Marvel Comics, digital effects supervisor Brandon Fayette, production secretary Rahne Keith, Joy Fehily (who manages MacFarlane and Fuzzy Door Productions), publicist Cassy Brewer (who works with Fehily), Sheri Conn of The Consultancy Project, and executive director Carol Roeder of 20th Century Fox.
  • Barrett is visually based on Sigourney Weaver.
    • A figurine of the Alien from the movie Alien sits behind her in her office.
  • Olix tells Ed that "every pot has its lid," which is in fact an old Yiddish saying that means each person has someone special for them.
  • Alara Kitan does not appear in the inside title page art of the cast despite playing a prominent role in the issue. On the other hand, Talla Keyali appears on the page while only appearing in the story in a single frame without a speaking role.
  • The Watson is named after geneticist James Watson.
  • The captain of the Watson has a black-and-white photograph of geneticist James Watson hanging on her office wall.
    • The photo itself is an April 23, 1993 photograph of Watson in Paris, France by Daniel Mordzinski (follow link in footnote).[3]
  • David Cabeza, who inked the comics, makes a secret cameo as a Shuttle Bay officer speaking with Kelly at the end of the issue.[4]



  • Gordon tells Ed of his mother, "I've told you, she's trash." This refers back to Home when Gordon says his family is trash.


  • When Ed pulls up the profiles of Captain Mosley and Kelly of the Jefferson, both profile descriptions have lorem ipsum placeholder text probably left behind by the colorist Michael Atiyeh.
  • Both Bortus and Steve have the shoulder badges of Lieutenants even though Steve is a Commander and Bortus is a Lieutenant Commander.
  • The Road Not Taken established that Yaphit was aboard the Orville in this alternate timeline, and New Dimensions established that Yaphit was the senior-most officer in the Engineering section after Steve Newton. Considering how upset Yaphit was in the main timeline when John was promoted to Chief Engineer over Yaphit in April 2420, he would have been outraged that an even less-inexperienced John was promoted over him in September 2419.
    • Additionally, John was only promoted because Kelly stumbled upon his academic record around the same time Steve departed the ship. John carefully guarded his record as a secret and loathed the idea of senior command. Given that Kelly was not on the Orville in this timeline, it beggars belief that another officer would discover his record as well and then push a promotion on him - even though he would hate it.


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  1. David A. Goodman, Executive Producer and Writer. Quantum Drive. May 10, 2022.
  2. Mainframe Comic Con | Sunday | Part 2. Chuck Load of Comics. April 26, 2020.
  3. Picture taken 23 April 1993 in Paris of American. Getty. Last accessed May 18, 2021.
  4. Conversation with David Cabeza. Twitter. June 8, 2021.