Bortus talks upgrade
"If you are ready to begin the upgrade, Lieutenant Keyali will show you to engineering."
Parts of this article have been identified as no longer being up to date. Please update the article to reflect recent events, and remove this template when finished.
The Orville
The Orville Wiki has a collection of images and media related to Ed Mercer.

Look, Admiral, ever since I was a kid, I have wanted to serve on an exploratory vessel. And for you to put me in the captain's chair... yes, I'm ready.— Ed Mercer to Admiral Halsey[1]
Ed Mercer is the Human Captain of the USS Orville. Since his days at Union Point, Mercer was respected as a gifted, young officer who seemed destined for admiralty. However, an affair between his wife, Kelly Grayson, and another man leaves him emotionally devastated and his performance suffered. A year later, Mercer is given command of the Orville based on Kelly's secret recommendation to Planetary Union Central.

Ed is portrayed by Seth MacFarlane.

Early LifeEdit

Ed Mercer was born in Boxford, Massachusetts on Earth sometime in the late 24th century. He appears to have a good, albeit somewhat irksome relationship with his parents who are very nurturing and friendly but a bit quirky and lacking in personal boundaries. Ed apparently dreamed of being a starship captain from a very young age and took every opportunity to learn and prepare for it, eventually enrolling in the academy Union Point, where he met Kelly Grayson, a beautiful, fiery, and like-minded young woman whom he would eventually marry.

Mercer was at the top of his class at Union Point, surpassing all his peers by a wide margin. Upon his graduation into the Union Fleet, Ed worked tirelessly day and night on multiple ships to advance up the ranks and secure both a ship of his own. With it, a stable future for himself and his new wife, Kelly, who like him had also graduated into the Union Fleet. Ed's obsessive work-ethic evidently put considerable strain on his marriage to Kelly, who claimed she tried on numerous occasions to talk about it but that Ed would simply shut her out, while Ed retorted that she never showed any appreciation for his supporting them and working for their future.

Tensions finally came to a head when one fateful day Ed came home only to find Kelly cheating on him with the Retepsian archaeologist Darulio. Dumbstruck and at a loss for words, Ed simply turned and walked out, refusing to listen to Kelly as she begged for a chance to explain. Ed subsequently filed for divorce and moved in with his best friend Gordon Malloy. After the affair, Mercer's work ethic collapsed and he started self-medicating with alcohol. After a year, Grayson quietly recommends Mercer to Admiral Halsey for command of a starship. Halsey hesitatingly assents, and promotes Mercer to Captain of a mid-level exploratory vessel as his "one last chance."


I just want to say I am thrilled to be your new captain. I want this to be an efficient ship, tightly run, but also one that you're glad to be serving on.🔈ℹ︎— Ed Mercer[1]
Mercer is introduced as a depressed, even cynical officer who was cited at least six times for coming into work hungover. Despite this, Admiral Halsey promotes Mercer to command of the Orville, which recently lost its captain, restoring Ed's spirits after a year of melancholy. Mercer quickly recruits Gordon Malloy as Helmsman while awaiting for a new First Officer.

After meeting with his new crew and senior officers, the Orville begins its first mission: bringing supplies to the science station on Epsilon 2. Along the way, the ship rendezvouses with their newly-assigned First Officer; Mercer is horrified to learn that the officer is his ex-wife, Kelly Grayson. Though she tries to apologize for the affair, Mercer refuses to accept her serving on the Orville and demands she reassign herself.

At the Epsilon Science Station, Mercer is accompanied by Grayson, Lieutenant Alara Kitan, and Doctor Claire Finn. Their mission to the science facility is sabotaged by spy Derek Ashton, who contacts the Krill military. A Krill warship arrives and deploys troops in an attempt to steal a time-acceleration device from the scientists. The ground team manages to return to the Orville with Doctor Aronov and the device. Outclassed by the heavier Krill ship, Mercer and Grayson devise plan to distract the Krill long enough to use a redwood seed and accelerate its age with the device. They deliver the device to the Krill with the seed inside, and remotely initiate the device, causing the seed to erupt in growth and destroy the Krill ship. Mercer acknowledges Grayson's abilities afterwards and asks that she remain First Officer.

Zoo ImprisonmentEdit

After some time has passed, Mercer is approached by Lieutenant Commander Bortus, who explains that he has laid an egg, and requests relief of duty for 21 days to incubate it. Mercer happily grants Bortus leave.

The Orville is requested to help the civilian ship USS Blériot fend off a Krill attack. When the Orville arrives, hostilities with the Krill have ended and Mercer bizarrely enough learns that his parents, Jeannie and Bert, are aboard. After an awkward reunion, Ed along with Commander Grayson agree to personally pick them up by shuttle and escort them home, temporarily leaving Alara Kitan as acting captain.


Ed sits in his Captain's chair for the first time, fully prepared to lead the Orville to the final frontier.

Mercer and Grayson connect to the Blériot and attempt to enter, only to realize as they walk in that they have entered a replica of the apartment they shared while married in New York City. Unable to force the doors of the apartment open, the two make themselves comfortable and chat about their happier memories of marriage and Grayson's affair.

The next morning, Ed wakes to find a group of Calivon children watching him through what should be the apartment's skyline window. He attempts to communicate but is repelled back by a powerful force field. A fellow prisoner, Lurenek, explains that they are exhibits of the Calivon Zoo. Their apartment is simply a recreation of what the Calivon interpret as Mercer and Grayson's "natural habitat." As time goes by, and unable to escape their cage, relations between Mercer and Grayson fray. Mercer scrutinizes Grayson's loud chewing and she criticizes him for drinking beer in the morning. Mercer concludes that their mutual inability (or disinterest) to rise above petty bickering was why their marriage failed.

Several days later, Alara and Isaac barter with the Calivon for their release from the zoo and the pair return to duty aboard the Orville.

Moclan DilemmaEdit

Ed along with the rest of his crew admire Bortus and his mate Klyden's newly born daughter, Topa. Shortly afterward Ed and Gordon begin an 1800s western adventure in the simulation, which Gordon reprograms to have the main villain, Vásquez, challenge both of them to a dance off as opposed to a gun slinging match.

Ed temporarily observes the odd decision until the simulation is interrupted by Bortus who requests Ed to come to his office so they must discuss an urgent matter. He complies and after seating himself, Bortus says how Doctor Finn refuses to perform gender reassignment surgery on Topa to make her male like all other members of the Moclan species, and wants Captain Mercer to force her under order to do it. Ed claims he won't make Doctor Finn do anything and that his request is unethical. Bortus argues insisting forcing a Moclan to live as a female would be unethical from his cultural viewpoint, but Ed stands by his position and refuses to heed the request.

Ed returns to his duties as ship captain until he is hailed by a vessel from Moclus. He accepts it and Minister Kaybrak explains that they received a rendezvous message from a member of his crew, and are there to take Topa to Moclus for surgery. Confused by the turn of events, Ed goes to Bortus and demands to know if he called the ship, the Moclan proudly claims he did and cites that if Captain Mercer won't allow for Topa to get the proper reassignment surgery he will go back to his Homeworld and have it done there. The Moclan vessel soon arrives and Captain Vorak demands Topa be given to them, and implies action will be taken against Mercer if he refuses. Bortus, unexpectedly, however sides with Mercer during the debate and requests that the issue be handled through Tribunal on Moclus.

During Tribunal, Kelly is chosen to represent Bortus in Topa remaining female, but due to her lack of legal experience quickly begins failing to convince the Moclan Council to support her case. Mercer, wanting to help has Isaac search the surface of the planet for any female Moclans. In the mountains, Mercer along with John LaMarr and Alara Kitan are able to locate Heveena, who in spite of being female was able to lead a happy & prosperous life. Mercer bring her to Tribunal and she tells her life story, unfortunately though it is not enough to sway the Council and Kelly loses the case.

Bold New FrontierEdit

Captain, it seems we have encountered a dictatorial theocracy.
Oh, great, those are always fun.
🔈ℹ︎— Isaac and Ed Mercer[2]

While leading on The Bridge, Captain Mercer is informed that a large Bioship nearby is set to collide with a star in six months. He asses that he, along with an exploratory team, will need to go onboard and inform them of the situation. They take a Shuttle to the Bioship's docking bay and begin to walk inside, noting the door into the hull doesn't appear to have been used for hundreds of years. Despite that, Alara is able to open the door and the team awes in how the Bioship has a fully functioning ecosystem built within.

In order to cover the most ground, Mercer insists that Isaac and Claire Finn follow him while Alara Kitan and Kelly Grayson explore in the opposite direction. While grazing through the fields, Isaac begins wondering to Ed about the nature of his marriage with Grayson and why it ended so abruptly. Mercer is clearly annoyed by the questions but answers candidly that he and Kelly simply grew apart to the point that their relationship was no longer working.

The group soon comes across a hut in the middle of the field with a hostile native outside. He is tries to shoot Ed with a shotgun but is stunned by Isaac. They enter his hut and try to inform his wife and son, Tomilin, that their Bioship is on collision with a star, with the three of them eventually realizing the natives aren't aware they're onboard a vessel. Nonetheless, Tomilin is understanding about the news and tells Captain Mercer there is a group in their society who believes there to be more to the world then what they can see. He leads them to the base of the Reformers while explaining the theology of his people who believe the Bioship is the entire world created by an omnipotent deity called Dorahl. Once there, Ed Mercer is personally greeted by their de facto leader, Kemka, who explains that the Reformers and their philosophies of a world beyond the Bioship are being rooted out by the First Guardian of Dorahl, Hamelac.


Ed Mercer rescues Kelly Grayson from Hamelac's torture.

He then offers Mercer and his crew food. Ed takes one spoonful of soup, quickly becoming disgusted by the flavor and subtly discards it into the waste bin. Kemka then mentions he has something to show them, before leaving to see it though, Alara Kitan messages them through the Comscanner and explains Hamelac's men have shot her and kidnapped Commander Grayson. Mercer along with Claire Finn find Alara bleeding out and heal her back into health. Realizing they need to save Grayson, he instructs Isaac to get a rescue team from the ship to get her from the Capital. He informs Mercer that unfortunately, the Orville had left to quell a Krill attack on the USS Druyan. He sends Isaac to try to hail them back and the Reformers dress Mercer, Kitan, and Finn in Dorahlian attire before attempting to rescue Kelly themselves. Mercer tries to get in acting as though he and the front guard know each other, hoping his behavior might confuse him enough to sneak through. The plan fails though and the team knocks out the guard before entering. They free Grayson and Mercer and brashly tell Hamelac the true of nature of the Bioship.

Hamelac confesses that even he acknowledges the possibility of a world beyond the Bioship, but that he must continue to have the populace worship Dorahl and believe the vessel is all of existence to keep order and stability within their society. The crew incapacitates him and after Isaac returns, Kemka reveals what he tried to show them before, a door the Reformers located on the edge of the ecosystem. They go inside and take a long Lift to the Bioship's bridge where they watch a recording of Jahavus Dorahl explaining the origins of the vessel and revealing it has a retractable hull made so that all those living in the ecosystem could see the stars. Mercer, after hearing this is overwhelmed with a strong desire to simultaneously pursue Dorahl's vision and expose the truth to all who live on the Bioship. He has Isaac open the hull and everyone onboard witnesses the brilliant cosmos above.

Meeting PriaEdit

While enjoying an episode of Seinfeld on the Bridge, Mercer picks up a distress call from a miner named Pria Lavesque that her ship is being sucked into the gravity field of a nearby star. Determined to help, Ed along with Malloy and Kitan take a shuttle to her spaceship and quickly escort her to safety onboard The Orville. Ed asks Pria why her ship had landed in such a dangerous position and she explains how she works for the Vega Mining Consortium but was attacked by a Krill Battlecruiser. She managed to outrun it, but the ordeal depleted her Dysonium and she had to land or risk being lost in space. On The Orville, Mercer explains to Pria he'll assign her an empty room to stay until they reach a Union planet.

After Alara makes the arrangements, Ed begins conversing with Pria more and she makes the off handed comment how she could use a drink to relieve her stress. Mercer replies that the ship is hosting a cocktail party that night in the Mess Hall and she's welcome to join alongside the crew. During the party, Mercer and Pria continue to bond more over the fact they both grew up in Massachusetts and visited the same Salem Witch Museum. Kelly speaks to Ed sometime later about her concerns regarding Pria, mentioning that she searched the Vega Mining Database and found no reference to her working for them. Mercer dismisses this as simply being an oversight, common in mining companies, and encourages Kelly not to look into it further. Much to Mercer's chagrin however, he is later informed that Grayson along with Alara Kitan forged a fraudulent security search in order to investigate Pria's quarters for anything suspicious. Mercer strongly scolds them for such an action but Kelly defends herself by claiming she found a bizarre grey rectangle in the room, Ed remains unimpressed and sticks to his initial response.

Outside his office, Kelly tells Mercer that she thinks his physical attraction to Pria is causing him to ignore legitimate evidence. Ed is then called up to the Bridge where Isaac informs him that they are stuck in a Dark Matter Storm that's attacking the ship's defenses. But since they can't detect where it's coming from they have no way to avoid it. Pria takes control from Gordon Malloy and says she has experience handling Dark Matter Storms and through hard work is able to successfully guide The Orville through it safely. The ship's communication signals are too damaged from the storm but Lavesque mentions she knows a Consortium four days away with friends they could help repair the ship. To thank Pria for all she's done Ed takes her to the Environmental Simulator and replicates the beautiful surface of the planet Unuk 4. They talk about her piloting skills and where she learned it, Pria glossing over the topic and eventually having sex with Ed in his quarters.

Ed confesses that Pria is the first person he's slept with since his divorce with Grayson and the emotional damage the affair left on him. Later, Mercer returns to work on the Bridge and is hailed by Steve Newton to come down to Engineering in order to investigate a strange object he has found, a gray rectangle not unlike what was found in Pria's quarters. Mercer confronts Lavesque and demands to know what is going on, Pria confesses she's a smuggler from the 29th Century. That the Orville was originally supposed to be decimated in the Dark Matter Storm, but that she saved them and used technology to hijack the ship's controls to bring them to a stable wormhole, where Pria's Benzian collectors will bring it back to the 29th Century to sell on the black market.


Captain Mercer and Pria Lavesque develop a close bond soon after meeting.

Ed asks for the rest of the crew to excuse themselves while he & Pria talk more. He bluntly asks if the moment and sex they shared before was a lie, she claims that she does care about Mercer but he has a hard time believing her. The Captain then rendezvous' with Grayson apologizing for neglecting her hunch about Pria before. She forgives him and they have Chief Engineer Newton and Isaac try to scan data on the Gray Rectangle in Engineering, but it explodes incapacitating him before anything can be observed. Pria on The Bridge barters with the Benzians, before Grayson and Mercer arrive. Grayson is then able to defeat Lavesque in combat.

Pria is taken to the Brig by Alara and Mercer tells Kelly that he'll never make the mistake of doubting his First Officer again. Later, Kitan takes Lavesque to Ed's office and she pleads with him to come to the 29th century with her, that the Orville's continued existence stands in direct contradiction to the original timeline and could create unforeseen errors in space-time. Mercer reminds Lavesque she changed the timeline, and only her future is truly going to be affected by it. He commands the Orville use its Plasma Cannons to close the stable wormhole, which causes Pria to be erased from the Paradox.

Infiltration of the YakarEdit

Ed, they're sending you into enemy space, and you're acting like it's some big joke. My God, if you are discovered.
Look, Kelly, why do you think I'm trying to lighten the mood here? I'm scared off my ass.
— Kelly Grayson and Ed Mercer[3]
On the Bridge, Ed leads The Orville in helping answer a distress call from the mining colony Kastra 4 for defense from a hostile Krill cruiser, the Kakov. He instructs Alara Kitan to open a hailing channel to the Krill Battlecruiser where he offers them a chance to stand down diplomatically. The Kakov responds to the message by ceasing fire on the colony and instead turning its attention to the much smaller Orville. It then begins rapidly attacking The Orville and damaging their deflectors. Captain Mercer tells Gordon Malloy to bring the ship into Kastra 4's atmosphere and use the friction to hide itself from the Kakov, Mercer then has Bortus shot the all of their Plasma Torpedo stock into the Krill vessel, successfully incapacitating it. Ed then hails the Harry Leidecker on the planet who explains that they suffered badly from the Krill assault, and Mercer assures him the Orville will send a medical team down to help with mitigate the damage.

Admiral Ozawa visits the Orville sometime later and notes how impressive it is for them to have "found" in an in-tact spaceship from the Krill fleet. She then explains to him how the Planetary Union would like to obtain a copy of the Anhkana, the holy text of the Krill religion in order to better understand and diplomatically prevent any further attacks. She cuts right to the point and tells Mercer she wants him and his Helmsman, Malloy, to go undercover on the Yakar Krill battlecruiser and make copies of an Anhkana they find onboard. Kelly strongly tries to talk Ozawa out of allowing Ed to perform such a dangerous mission, but the Admiral insists they need to take advantage of their possession of the Kakov before the Krill realize that they have it.

Mercer and Malloy are given Holographic generators, reverse-engineered Calivon cloaking technology from Isaac, to disguise themselves as Krill. Kelly expresses concern over the mission and Ed admits he's nervous too, but that he will try to be careful. Afterward, the two board the Kakov's shuttle and begin their voyage. Mercer reads the intelligence briefing prepared by Admiral Ozawa and tells Malloy facts about the Krill, including how their homeworld is covered in thick clouds that hide the sun, leaving their world in a perpetual nightfall. Ed though, suddenly comes from an unfortunate realization that he and Gordon never came up with Krill pseudonyms to call themselves onboard. They banter between each other over what a "Krill name" would sound like but aren't able to figure out anything worth using.


Ed undercover on board the Yakar as "Chris"

They approach the Yakar and switch on their disguises. They dock inside the ships' Shuttle Bay and are escorted by two soldiers to Captain Haros. He welcomes them onto the Yakar and introduces himself, Ed likewise responds that his name is "Chris" and Malloy's is "Devon", Haros commenting those are strange names. The High Priest by Haros' side, Sazeron, questions them on what happened to the Kakov and they explain how it was attacked by a Planetary Union vessel, and how they were the only two survivors who escaped. Sazeron comments its fortunate they were the only two who survived, but Ed explains that they were doing maintenance within the Shuttle right when the attack happened. Ceremonial Bells then ring across the Yakar and Sazeron tells them it is time for a religious service. On the way, Haros mentions he enjoys taking a break from his duties as Captain to worship Avis, which allows for Ed and Gordon to learn he is the God of the Krill religion.

They seat themselves in the chapel next to a woman named Teleya. Mercer and Malloy once again explain their story to her of being on the Kakov, which prompts Teleya to mention her brother, Arnak, served on that ship and passed away during its destruction. The service starts with Sazeron taking the severed head of a human and stabs repeatedly it with a ritualistic dagger. Once the service concludes the Krill leave the chapel and return to their duties, Mercer and Malloy stay behind and sneak to the front. Locating the Yakar's copy of the Anhkana and using Ed's Comscanner to manually make copies one page at a time.

Sazeron enters the chapel again, which forces the duo to cease their task and feign a story about wanting to read the Anhkana simply for more guidance. They hastily exit and go to their assigned quarters, where Ed translates the scanned pages and checks the ship's logs for when the nightshift starts so they can enter the chapel again and continue. There, they browse the Anhkana until they find a picture of Avis, intimidated by how violent he is depicted in the artwork. Suddenly, the Comscanner and their Holographic generators begin to act irregularly and stop working. Malloy realizes he and Mercer are reverted to their human selves and worse yet, a guard opens the Chapel door to investigate at the request of Sazeron. Ed and Gordon are able to hide at the last second and quietly sneak out without being seen into their quarters. There, they figure out the reason their technology didn't work was because of an electromagnetic interference, which they correct by adjusting its frequency.

Gordon and Ed investigate on the lower levels what could've caused the interference and find that the Krill have a powerful bomb stashed onboard. Gordon insists they have their information on the Anhkana like Admiral Ozawa requested they obtain, and should just head back. But Mercer insists the bomb could be used to kill billions across the Union and they need to find out how to dismantle it. His idea to start is to try and befriend Teleya. Ed asks her about the bomb in casual conversation, and Teleya says it is a Neutron field generator that can wipe out all life of a continent in only a matter of minutes. She mentions they have plans to test it on a defenseless farming colony, Rana 3.

Later, Ed suggests he and Gordon can try to create a feedback loop and use their own emitters to trigger an overload of the field generator from the Orville. They leave their quarters but are approached by Teleya, who asks if they can take time to speak to the trainees in her classroom. They answer questions from the children before excusing themselves. Mercer tells Malloy after he refuses to go through with the plan of detonating the bomb if it means killing innocent Krill children. Coja, a trainee child visits their quarters and attempts to ask them more questions. He asks why humans look the way they do and Ed begins explaining it in detail which causes him to come up with a new plan. He escorts Coja from the quarters and tells Gordon they need to brighten the Ultra violent lights onboard the Yakar, which would be deadly to Krill who have adapted to survive in almost complete darkness. In order to save the children, Ed and Gordon agree to knock out the lights in the classroom before enacting said plan. Gordon implants the surge and sets a ten minute marker before it takes effect on the vessel. Mercer learns that Coja is missing from the classroom and leaves to go find him, soon after unfortunately, a report is sent out over the Yakar to detain him due to Gordon being caught and brought to the Bridge. He eventually locates him and brings Coja to the classroom.

The surge goes off and kills the entire crew with the high ultraviolent rays, in addition to giving Malloy a sunburn. Teleya survives from being contained in the classroom and is brought onboard the Orville. Mercer tells her the children have been sent back to their families on the Krill homeworld. She insists the children will fight Ed in the future for what he's done on the Yakar, and he quietly accepts the possibility of her being right.

Darulio's ReturnEdit

Look, Ed Can I call you Ed? I, we've never actually met.
Well, you were screwing my wife at the time, so I guess we all kind of just forgot our manners.
— Darulio and Ed Mercer[4]
Captain Mercer along with Commander Grayson are called into the Briefing Room and are informed by Admiral Halsey of the Planetary Union requesting a service from the Orville. That DNA on an ancient artifact could be the key to finding out if either the Bruidians or Navarians are the true natives to the planet Lopovius, ending generations of conflict between the two races over it. Halsey says that the Navarians and Bruidians have agreed for the Orville to act as a neutral party to host the artifact while a chosen Forensic Archeologist from the USS Olympia conducts the necessary research and analyzes the results.

When the ship arrives, Captain Mercer walks to the Shuttle Bay alongside Kelly to personally greet the archeologist, who in a shocking turn of events turns out to be Darulio, the man who Kelly cheated on Ed with during the end of their marriage. Darulio tries to break the ice between them, but the Captain responds to his advances with distant and cold remarks. Mercer has Alara take him to his lab and quickly leaves for the Lift. Kelly joins him and they begin to argue about Darulio's behavior, Mercer insisting he was patronizing him and Kelly trying to apologize, yet again, for the affair until being suddenly interrupted when Dann enters alongside them.

Captain Mercer resumes his position on the Bridge while Isaac informs him that there is no one in the Shuttle Bay to receive the upcoming ship holding the Navarian ambassador. Ed remembers Kelly was supposed to do that and goes to find her in her quarters, only to walk in on the Commander and Darulio having sex once again. The Captain has Kelly get dressed and come to her position in the Shuttle Bay, while walking there she tries to explain herself to Ed but he refuses to listen. At the Shuttle Bay, tensions begin to rise between the Navarian and Brudians ambassadors until Captain Mercer is able to gracefully calm both of them down and have the two peacefully leave to their guest rooms.


For the sake of the mission, Ed is forced to work alongside Darulio, in spite of their history.

Later, Ed vents to Gordon Malloy about his frustrations with Kelly sleeping with Darulio again and in his anger, decides that he's going to fire Darulio and the Orville will just have to find a new forensic archeologist to analyze the Lopovian artifact. He goes to the Science Lab and informs Darulio of his decision. He respects Mercer's command, but before leaving offers Ed the chance to see his research. Physically leading him to the stethoscope and explaining the artifact is a birthing bucket, which could be definitively used to find out which species are the trues natives of Lopovius. Afterwards, Ed not only allows Darulio to stay working onboard, but bizarrely asks him if he'd like to get a drink with him that evening. Darulio accepts the offer and Ed excitedly begins to prepare.

Mercer calls Gordon into his quarters and asks him for advice on the upcoming date, in particular what he should wear. Malloy asks if he should be meditating the peace talks instead, but Ed only focuses on trying to impress Darulio. Gordon comments that Ed seems to acting like he's infatuated with Darulio sexually, but Mercer aggressively dismisses the idea. Going on a long rant about how relationships are so quick to be labeled and that Gordon is being judgemental. He goes to the Mess Hall and is stopped by the Navarian ambassador, who claims his people are growing restless from waiting. Ed tells him to wait longer and hastily makes his way to Darulio's table. There, Ed spots him and Kelly in the middle of chatting. Darulio invites him to sit down alongside them and he uncomfortably agrees. Growing impatient he cuts Kelly off in a middle of a story and tries to get Darulio's attention all to himself. He gets up to pick up some more drinks from the bar and Kelly questions Ed's motives, surprised to find out he seems to be genuinely interested in wooing Darulio just as much as she is.

The two begin competing childishly to gain Darulio's attention in any way possible. Ed eventually getting them to have dinner in his quarters together. Mercer is encouraged by the crew once again to have a meeting with the Navarians and Bruidians over the artifact results. But Ed, too excited for his date, ends the meeting prematurely to get ready for his dinner. He goes to his quarters and the night get more intense as Darulio and Ed prepare to have sex. Darulio though, notices outside the Navarian and Bruidian fleets are preparing to destroy one another, and how callus it would be to not force Captain Mercer into reliving tensions as his Bridge had been suggesting. Ed refuses claiming he's bored of constantly working there and Darulio proceeds walk out on him to do what is right.

After the fleets are disengaged, Mercer is taken to Sick Bay and revealed by Dr. Finn to have been infected with a pheromone released by Retepsians when in heat, that made him suddenly attracted to Darulio. Ed instantly goes to apologize to Kelly but she tells him that it is better if they just don't talk about the embarrassing ordeal. Darulio enters the office alongside both of them and reveals the Artifact contained both Navarian and Bruidian DNA, meaning they have a common ancestor and must share the planet.

New Dimensions of TruthEdit

Commander Grayson recently learns after reprimanding John LaMarr for a prank that he scored some of the highest aptitudes rankings in Union Point history, and suggests to Captain Mercer he be promoted to Chief Engineer. Ed is skeptical of this due to his history of irresponsible behavior, but after the Orville collides with a Spatial Anomaly and strange happenings begin occurring on the ship he reconsiders the proposition. Mercer delightfully claiming that Kelly's instincts are usually on par about these things, and she unwisely states how Ed wouldn't even be Captain if not for her actions.

Captain Mercer is furious over this revelation, despite Grayson and even Admiral Halsey insisting he has proven beyond a reasonable doubt his merit as a Captain, he still can't shake the feelings of betrayal. Strongly citing that he has a new found lack of confidence, learning he wasn't originally considered for the position based off his skills alone.

Kelly tries to apologize later, and brings up how Gordon Malloy received his position as Helmsman because of Captain Mercer vouching for him. That earlier that day he said he trusted her and that she stands by her decision to have him become Captain. Despite this, he stubbornly remains angered over it. Later, the Orville is forced to enter the Spatial Anomaly marooning the ship inside of a 2-D pocket dimension. While there, Ed has time to sit and take a break from his duties on the Bridge. Kelly joins him and Mercer makes an analogy about the book Flatland, an allegory about social inequality that connects to the literal dimension the Orville currently resides in. Kelly acknowledges this observation and brings up the drama from before about Ed's promotion, how she has a strong desire to make things right with him, bluntly calling him a "prideful ass" for his behavior.

Mercer defends his stance again and Kelly accuses him of being two dimensional for not realizing that every one gets help for everything at some point in their life, and it doesn't do anything to discredit their abilities or achievements. Going back to the shape allegory, Kelly points out the reason Ed is such a great Captain is due to his ability to see all sides of a problem, except when it comes to himself. Humbled by this, Mercer confesses he knew Kelly's decision came from a place of good intent, but that he still needs time adjusting to it.

After escaping the Anomaly, Ed comes to Kelly's office and apologizes to her for how he acted. Telling her how near and dear he holds being the Orville's Captain. He says how he complained tirelessly when he should've been thanking Kelly for all she did instead. That if he ever questions his ability to be a proper Captain, he'll remind himself of how he got the position and who has his back. Ed then proceeds to kiss her on the cheek and then return to the Bridge to resume his work.

Kelly's DeificationEdit

After hurting his hand during a game of Latchkum, Mercer asks Kelly later in the night to get him a Dermoscanner the next day to heal it. He then asks if she'd like to get a drink with him in the Messhall and they meet there shortly afterwards. Ed mentions how Darulio strongly implied before that it was his Retepsian pheromones that prompted Kelly to cheat on him two years ago. He then says how lonely he's been recently, she asks if he's trying to imply he wants them to get back together. Mercer suggests they should try and have a date night sometime that week and see what happens.

The next day, the Bridge crew discovers an uncharted planet behaving irregularly, which a ground team is sent to investigate. Captain Mercer is ordered by Admiral Ozawa to remain in orbit for 72 hours and if they still can't figure out the unusual occurrences around the planet they'll send a science team to take it from there. He neglects to mention to her that while on the ground team mission, Commander Grayson had used a Dermoscanner to heal a little girl, despite the planet's natives not having a technological level comparable to that of the Planetary Union. Kelly insists he shouldn't have to cover for her, but he responds that he thought she did the right thing and shouldn't have to suffer for it. He also points out that they still have their date planned soon.


Ed is shocked to see the planet is centuries more advanced a mere eleven days later!

Isaac later informs Ed his theory that the planet is in a Multiphasic orbit, which explains the unorthodox activity. It will take approximately eleven days before it remerges in their universe and they can study it further. In the meantime, Ed and Kelly have their date. While eating dinner they both agree that they want to keep their independence but don't want to be lonely. They then proceed to kiss. The Multiphasic Planet reappears after the necessary time has elapsed and the civilization has progressed 700 years, now worshipping Kelly as a deity for what she did during its last cycle. Realizing the severity of her mistake, Mercer finally informs Admiral Ozawa about the situation. She's angry that he withheld the information from her, but doesn't pursue anything against him due to the unintentional context of landing on the planet in the first place. Warning him that if he neglects to inform her of any blunders of that nature in the future again, she will not hesitate to have him demoted. She then orders them not to visit the planet's surface again.

Kelly is upset the Orville is forbidden to try and correct her mistake, Ed attempts to comfort her but to no avail. Wanting to make it right, he disobeys the Admiral's orders and returns to the Multiphasic Planet along with Commander Grayson to convince the natives to stop worshipping her. They return to the ship and after another cycle see footage from planet and that Kelly worship remains a stable aspect of their culture, inspiring political controversy and terrorism. Isaac is eventually sent to the planet to live there for one cycle as a consistent reminder of Kelly's status as a non-deity. He eventually returns along with natives Baleth and Fadolin, who introduce themselves to Captain Mercer and explain the evolution of their species alongside Isaac.

Mercer and Grayson meet in the Messhall shortly afterwards, Ed anticipating them to relax together with alcohol but Kelly telling him she doesn't think a relationship between them would work. The fact he lied to an Admiral and sent Isaac to be exiled just to fix a problem she started, is proof of that. Them being together would make him an inferior Captain. Ed is sorrowful from this turn of events, but ultimately agrees with her conclusion.

New BeginningsEdit

Ed meets bird people

Ed meets a new species.

Failed ReboundEdit

Months pass after Ed and Kelly agree not to see each other and the Captain is bored and depressed. Frequently drinking in the Mess Hall and venting his feelings to bartender Olix. After getting to know Kelly's new boyfriend, Cassius, better Mercer is able to move on and finds new love with the Orville's recently appointed Dark matter cartographer Janel Tyler. After a month together, Tyler suggests that they go on a vacation together and Ed, having been Captain without break since the Orville took off, agrees with her. While on the way to their destination Ed and Janel's shuttle gets ambushed and taken in by a Krill destroyer. Mercer is imprisoned and Janel is separated from him. The Captain is shortly after interrogated with the prison guard demanding to know the Union command codes. Ed refuses to cooperate and the guard retaliates by ordering Janel be tortured. Mercer, not being able to see his girlfriend in pain, gives him fraudulent codes to buy more time.

Satisfied with his compliance, the guard takes his leave and Mercer is shocked to see Teleya, whom he had meet and imprisoned months ago, approach him. Ed asks her what will happen to Janel and Teleya confesses that there is no Janel Tyler. That she was simply an identity and disguise conceived by Teleya after escaping Union custody, to get revenge on Mercer for what the Orville did on the Yakar. Before Ed can react to this revelation, the Battlecruiser is ambushed by a group of Chak'tal pirates who savagely murder all who stand in their way. Mercer convinces Teleya to let him go free so they can escape and they both make it to a pod crash landing on a nearby moon.

In the crash, Mercer is knocked out but Teleya is unharmed and able to take his Plasma Blaster. She soon learns that that she'll need to find higher ground in order to send a distress signal. After Ed wakes up, Teleya forces him at gunpoint to accompany her on the long hike. In the middle of walking they both realize the sun will be rising soon and need to rest until nightfall, else Teleya's will die as per her Krill physiology. The two find a nearby cave and decide to settle in there. Inside, Mercer begins to debate with Teleya over the reasons for Planetary Union and Krill's rivalry, confessing his hope for both their factions to overcome it one day. The conversation eventually leads to Ed claiming he thinks that parts of Janel Tyler's personality (the one she showed when they dated) were genuine, despite Teleya's insistence it was all fabricated.

After resting for a couple hours, Ed learns that the moon they landed on has exceptionally long daytime cycles and with their limited supplies, have to reach the summit soon or else they'll both die. Covering herself with Ed's Union jacket, she hikes with him in the middle of sunlight to a high enough vantage point that the Captain is able to send out a signal. Soon afterwards, the two are found and attacked by a legion of Chak'Tal before being saved by a Shuttle piloted by Gordon Malloy. The Orville picks both of them up and when asked what to do with Teleya, Ed orders she be returned to the Krill instead of Union imprisonment. Wanting to make a statement that he thinks Janel Tyler was more real than Teleya leads on, and that there is hope for peace between both of their people.

Kaylon WarEdit

Finding the SanctuaryEdit

Kelly's Time DisplacementEdit

Alternate TimelineEdit

Ed alternate

Ed in the alternate timeline.

In an alternate timeline where Kelly declined a second date with Ed, Ed never became Captain of the Orville. Focusing on his career, Ed served on several ships before becoming Commanding Officer of the Epsilon Eridani outpost. Though getting close a couple of times, he remained unsuccessful in achieving command of a starship. He anticipated only needing "another year or so" if not for the outbreak of the Kaylon War. Unlike the original timeline, the Battle of Earth ended disastrously, with the Kaylon purging Earth of all life before proceeding on a campaign to wipe out all biological life in the galaxy. Acquiring the shuttlecraft ECV-342-1, Ed joined with his best friend, Gordon Malloy, and fled from the Kaylon.


Ed, in the eyes of the admiralty, you've proven yourself worthy of that chair. You have validated our trust in you.— Admiral Halsey to Ed Mercer[5]
Ed Mercer has many desirable personality traits that make him a respectable Captain within the Planetary Union. Often naturally taking a leadership position whenever the Orville is in trouble or using his own knowledge and ingenuity to resolve conflicts that inevitably arise during a mission, making it a priority for everyone to come back alive. Examples include when John LaMarr was about to face Social Correction on Sargus 4, Mercer worked with Isaac to sway the votes, or when Claire Finn's shuttle isn't reported to have made it Arboreus he demanded the Orville go look for her, insisting they use star charts to navigate while their Spatial manifold was under maintenance.

Captain Ed Mercer

Promotional image of Ed from the first season.

Mercer also shown to have a deep understanding for his crew and all they go through to maintain the Orville, especially vocalizing these feelings to his former Chief of Security, Alara Kitan, whom he knew suffered from continuous issues of poor self-confidence and inadequacy. He also seems to have an appreciation or sympathy towards foreign cultures that the crew encounters during their travels. This is especially noticeable when he attempted to play Devil's Advocate with Commander Grayson in regards to Moclan male chauvinism. However, Mercer does occasionally support cultural revolution if he believes it will ultimately benefit the civilization in question. On the Dorahl Bioship, Ed told Isaac to open the hull for the native Dorahlians to see space for the first time, both spiritually and literally releasing them from their deeply ingrained veil of ignorance. He was also very quick to dismiss the Astrological superstitions on Regor 2 when it lead to Bortus and Kelly's imprisonment.

Mercer, in spite of his usually calm nature sometimes allows personal feelings to cloud his judgement. He initially viewed Kelly Grayson as unworthy to work on the Orville despite consistently proving her value, due to cheating on him with Darulio a year prior. He also defended Pria Lavesque in spite of compelling evidence she had malicious intentions for the entire ship. Above all else though, Captain Mercer has also shown to be passionate about popular culture and humor, consistently drawing parallels to television shows or movies and often quipping about the strange situations he frequently finds himself in.

Relationship with GordonEdit

Gordon Malloy and Ed Mercer have been close friends since their training at Union Point. The two share a deep fondness for 21st Century pop culture and humor. In particular, practical jokes which they often enjoy playing on the crew during their leisure time. Malloy, unlike the majority of the Orville personnel was not given the position of Helmsman under the ship's previous Captain. He was instead personally recruited by Mercer himself, despite Malloy's history of irresponsible behavior while working on Union vessels. Because of this though, Mercer often tries to keep Gordon focused while working and discourages him from engaging in reckless behavior.

Ed and Gordon work well together on the field, using their combined intellect and similar thinking patterns to survive their infiltration of the Yakar. The two of them also enjoy engaging in adventure games within the environmental simulator.

Relationship with KellyEdit

Ed and Kelly didn't speak for a year after the affair with Darulio. After she is assigned to work as Commander aboard the Orville by Admiral Halsey, Ed originally becomes disgruntled about the situation, but soon comes to put his personal feelings aside and appreciate Kelly for her skills as an officer. Since then they both manage to successfully maintain a strong connection to one another as Captain and Commander, enough to efficiently run the Orville through its missions as smoothly as possible. Animosity occasionally arises between them, but most instances of it are usually connected to the affair from years ago and often resolve themselves shortly after they start.

Almost a year after serving on the Orville together, Ed reveals he still has feelings for Kelly, but they both decide soon not to act on it, believing themselves to not be compatible in the Episode "Mad Idolatry". Since agreeing not to see each other Mercer has been struggling with chronic melancholy which only worsened after finding out Kelly has started dating Cassius. Even going as far as to fly a shuttle outside of their quarters to spy on them through the window. When called out for this though Ed gained perspective on his behavior and ceased such actions, even attempting to build a friendly relationship with Cassius as well as Kelly once again.

Production Edit

Ed Mercer sketch

A concept sketch of Mercer by the show's wardrobe designer Joseph Porro and illustrator Luca Nemolato. Note the name is "Ed Stevens," which was changed only late in production.

Ed Mercer is the first character created by Seth MacFarlane for the show, a reaction against the traditional approach to make captains in science fiction virtuous, wizened leaders.[6] According to MacFarlane: "There's a consistency to the classic starship captain model that they are paragons of virtue, that they are these models of nobility. That is what I was trying to steer away from, because I haven't seen a captain who is kind of that mediocre, accounting kind of guy."[7] Instead, he wrote the character of Ed as a flawed, but ultimately good person, and then added a co-worker who is also his ex-wife to flesh out Ed's foibles and add drama.[6]


  • Mercer's original name was Ed Stevens, but was changed sometime after completing the first draft of the script and before shooting the pilot.
  • According to Admiral Halsey, Ed was not only top of his class at Union Point but was so highly regarded by his professors that they believed he would be captaining a heavy cruiser before 40, a feat practically unheard of in the Union Fleet.
  • Ed seems to be a fan of The Muppets judging by a Kermit plush found on his desk, whom he also claims to admire as a leader.
  • Ed has hypocritical standards when it comes to the consumption of alcohol. He criticizes Helmsman Gordon Malloy for getting drunk in the morning during Old Wounds, but attempts to have a beer shortly after waking up in Command Performance.
    • However, this may be due to Ed disapproving of intoxication while piloting a vessel, and not an overall resentment towards alcohol consumption.
  • According to Kelly, when Ed is really in pain, he gives straight answers with no cursing.
  • It seems as though Ed Mercer is highly educated on television shows from the 20th and 21st century judging by his continuous references to pop culture from those eras.
  • When he was ten, his mother took him to the Salem history museum, which "Scared the crap out of him", due to the holographic recreation of the origation, which caused him to have nightmares for a month afterwards.
  • Ed implies that he had been bullied throughout primary school, even claiming he had a Anti-Bullying law specifically named after him. It's unknown if this is simply hyperbole or a legitimate fact about the Earth's legal stance on bullying.
  • He has arachnophobia (a fear of spiders).
  • He and Dann have the same birthday.


References Edit

  1. Episode 1x01: Old Wounds
  2. Episode 1x04: If the Stars Should Appear
  3. Episode 1x06: Krill
  4. Episode 1x09: Cupid's Dagger
  5. Episode 1x11: New Dimensions
  6. 6.0 6.1 Pascale, Anthony. "Interview: Seth MacFarlane Talks Mission Of ‘The Orville’ And Defends Star Trek: TNG’s Replicators". Sept. 4, 2017.
  7. "Brannon Braga & The Orville Cast Full interview 2017 Panel NYC convention". NYC ComicCon. Nov. 20, 2017.
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.