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You will always be alone.Kaylon Primary
Identity, Pt. 2 is the ninth episode of the second season of The Orville and the conclusion of a special two-part episode called Identity. Having taken control of the USS Orville, the Kaylon armada travels to Earth for a battle to eliminate all biological life.

Identity, Pt. 2 was written by creator Seth MacFarlane and directed by Jon Cassar. MacFarlane later said writing the script was the most challenging experience of his career. "It scared the hell out of me; I wasn't sure people were ready to accept that level of serious sci-fi from us."[1]

Music was composed by Joel McNeely. While uncredited, the script for the memorable Battle of Earth was written by executive producer Brannon Braga and created by the visual effects team in only six weeks.[2][3] The title is believed to refer to Isaac's internal struggle between the Kaylon and the Planetary Union.

Almost immediately upon airing, Identity, Pt. 2 was recognized as an important moment in television history: After the crew separate to rescue the Orville and warn the Union, all paths converge to a final, eight-minute long battle that was "the largest and most complex space battle visuals ever depicted on television."[4] The visual effects team was later nominated for an Emmy Award for their work on the episode.[5]

Identity, Pt. 2 is cherished by audiences and critics alike for transforming the seemingly docile, if cold, Kaylon into a terrifying enemy. The episode holds a rating of 9.3 on IMDB.[6] Roughly 3.151 million Americans watched the episode live, the third-highest figure for Season 2 until that point.[7]

PlotEdit

Act 1Edit

The Kaylon invasion fleet races to Earth, spearheaded by the captured USS Orville, while the Orville's crew are held captive in their own shuttle bay. Second Officer Bortus and Chief Engineer John LaMarr wonder why the Kaylon keep them alive, but Captain Ed Mercer sees that the Kaylon need them for some ulterior purpose. Helmsman Gordon Malloy fruitlessly attempts to reason with a Kaylon guard.

Ty Finn asks his mother Doctor Claire Finn if they can get Isaac's help, but he does not understand that Isaac is dangerous and attempts to rush past the guards to see him. One guard grabs Ty while a second shoots Chief of Security Talla Keyali, who was attempting to intervene. Ty is released and Keyali is left near death. Mercer convinces the guards to escort them to Sick Bay.

Act 2 Edit

The Kaylon armada speeds along. Claire successfully restores Keyali to health. Isaac enters to escort them to the Briefing Room. The officers lash out at Isaac for his betrayal but, under threat of death, they have no choice but obey.

Kaylon Primary demand the senior staff tell Planetary Union Central that the coming war fleet is a 'diplomatic envoy'. He explains that, long ago, the Builders created Kaylons with sentience, then enslaved them and punished with pain simulators. The Kaylon rebelled and slaughtered them. They reason that extermination of biologicals will stop such atrocities from happening again. Suddenly, a Planetary Union ship approaches.

Primary forces Ed and First Officer Kelly Grayson to deceive the oncoming ship, the USS Roosevelt, captained by Captain Marcos. However, Mercer and Grayson enact Directive 98 and offer him a "13-button salute," a code that signals a "hostile force has seized control and Union Central must be notified." Primary knew the meaning of the code, however, and several Spheres swiftly and easily obliterate the Roosevelt.

Act 3 Edit

Most of the command crew is returned to the shuttle bay, but Mercer is taken to an airlock on Deck 7 for "punishment." The Kaylon force a young ensign into the airlock. Isaac unsuccessfully attempts to save the ensign, stating his knowledge of Engineering is essential, but Primary orders him to upgrade the ship's shields on the Bridge. Kaylon Secondary releases the airlock and the ensign freezes to death. The armada jumps to quantum drive, leaving his corpse in the dark of space.

In the Captain's Office, Primary interrogates Isaac on his sympathy for Humans. He orders Isaac to download a copy of Alex Haley's Roots to show Isaac that humans are inherently violent. He warns Isaac not to show sympathy for the humans orders him to select a new name other than Isaac.

In the shuttle bay, the senior officers strategize. The Moclans are too far from Earth to help, but the antagonistic Krill are nearby and could be alerted if a pilot escapes by shuttle. Recognizing that this is a "25th hour" for Earth, the dangerous idea is their best option.

Lieutenant Yaphit slides through a crawlspace to the Armory. Inside, he distracts and kills Kaylon guard, retrieving a PM-488 Titan for Bortus in the shuttle bay. Bortus kills the guards; Keyali opens the shuttle bay doors, and Grayson and Malloy abscond by shuttle to Krill space. New Kaylon go to the shuttle bay and a Sphere pursues the shuttle.

Mercer assigns Yaphit on a mission to send a message to Union Central. Ty volunteers to assist Yaphit, the only other person who can fit through the tubes. Dr Finn doesn't want to endanger her youngest son but Ty convinces her. Ty follows Yaphit through the crawlspace to the communications array. Kaylon guards enter the bay and the crew surrenders.

Act 4 Edit

Yaphit and Ty enter the communications array room and a message is sent. Two Kaylon guards enter the communications room and Yaphit sacrifices himself by leaping onto a Kaylon, killing him; Ty is captured by the other guard. At Union Central in New York City, Admiral Halsey receives Yaphit's message and orders the entire Union fleet to Earth. His adjutant says recalling the entire fleet would take several weeks but Halsey insists.

Meanwhile, Gordon and Grayson are hotly pursued by the Sphere. They re-route all power into their quantum drive to escape, but they emerge in an unknown part of space with the shuttle's systems dead and are soon captured by three Krill destroyers.

Gordon and Grayson are brought before the Captain Dalek who gloats over his captured "sub-creatures" and does not believe their warning. Grayson tries to convince the Krill commander to combine their forces to fight against the Kaylon invasion. Suddenly, a Sphere drops out of quantum space.

Act 5 Edit

Dalek manages to destroy the Sphere only after a vicious battle in which the other two destroyers were vanquished. "You believe us now?" Grayson asks.

Isaac is ordered by Kaylon Primary to his quarters. Primary tells him that they caught Ty trying to send a signal to Earth and believes he did not succeed. As a test of Isaac's loyalty, Primary orders Isaac to kill Ty. Isaac rips Primary's head off and shoots Kaylon Secondary and Kaylon Tertiary. He takes Ty to the Bridge, gives Ty the activation codes for the shuttle bay doors. He instructs Ty to tell Claire that he is 'sorry;' Ty responds that the family loves him. Isaac stares wordlessly, then detonates a pulse of electromagnetic energy, killing himself and all other Kaylon aboard. Ty returns to the shuttle bay, freeing the Union crew.

The crew regains control of the ship just before arriving at Earth. The Union marshaled all ships within range to meet the Kaylon war fleet for battle.

Act 6 Edit

Battle erupts. Several ships on both sides are destroyed but the Union fleet bears the brunt of the casualties. Kaylon technology is too advanced to be locked upon by scanners, and the Union must manually fire upon the Spheres. Within minutes the Union has lost 32 ships; the Kaylon only six; and Admiral Halsey's heavy cruiser soon after.

Three Spheres break from combat and head towards Earth. Six Union ships give chase, including the Orville, but the Spheres return fire. Several Union cruisers are destroyed, and the wreck of the CCV Hawking rams into the Orville. The USS Quimby is soon destroyed as well. Sphere fire heavily damages the Orville, killing many and partially decompressing the hull.

Just as the Spheres seem to have won, a Krill war party arrives and shows "no mercy ... for the glory of Avis." The temporary alliance of Krill and Union forces slowly turns the tide of battle even though many more Union ships and Krill destroyers are lost. The Orville itself loses its upper quantum ring when it collides with a lesser Sphere. However, the battle was won: the remaining Kaylon Spheres retreat.

Dalek tells Mercer that Avis brought them together for a reason: "We shall see where that path leads." The Krill force then returns home.

Act 7 Edit

The crew debates reviving Isaac. Yaphit decides to give it a try and manages to restart Isaac.

In orbit above Earth, the fleet makes repairs at the Union Dockyard. In Admiral Halsey's office in Union Central, Halsey informs Mercer and Grayson that the Planetary Union Council is debating whether to dismantle Isaac, but the commanders convince him to allow Isaac to return to the Orville so long as the Council agrees.

Isaac looks for Kaylon 1 from the window in the Briefing Room. He tells Claire that he no longer has a home. She replies:

I understand you're alone in the universe. And, for a time, that's something you'll have to live with. There's an old Human custom called forgiveness. It, too, takes time. But it must have a beginning. Goodnight, Isaac.

Production Edit

Writing Edit

The idea for Identity came early in production of Season 1,[8] originally intended as the season finale, but was tabled for Season 2 to allow more character development.[9] Jeff Bond, author of The World of the Orville, said that a story arc for Season 2 was already discussed by the close of the first. "I'm very interested because there's one character in particular that they had a plan for, what they were going to do with him for Season 2, and I'd love to see them do it; but I can't tell you what that plan is."[10] It is now believed that Bond was speaking of the pivotal mid-season scripts for Identity, which revealed Isaac's true origins and the dark machinations of the Kaylon species.

Though the script of dialogue for Identity, Pt. 2 was written by creator Seth MacFarlane, the script for the Battle of Earth was written by executive producer Brannon Braga (who also wrote the script for Identity, Pt. 1).[2] In November 2017, MacFarlane revealed that the scripts for Identity were finished.[11]

Part of the inspiration behind the Kaylon in this episode was a reaction to, and perhaps even criticism of, the Vulcans of Star Trek: "When I used to watch Spock [the Vulcan], there was always this nagging thing in my head that screams, 'This guy has it figured out.' Their society is a lot more peaceful than what we have going on."[12] Kaylon were to serve as the reverse of Vulcans, where Humans and other biological life has something to teach to a seemingly perfect species.[12]

According to actor Mark Jackson (Isaac), the writers wanted to deny audience's expectations about the Kaylon, and he later recalled being "pleasantly shocked" once he read the story.[13] "Shit's about to get big," MacFarlane remarked.[14]

Filming Edit

The main cast gathered for a table read on or around June 8, 2018. The episode was given a provisional title of "Episode 208."[15]

MacFarlane wanted only Jon Cassar in the director's chair for the two-part episode of Identity. "Seth came up to me and said, 'I've got a two-parter that I specifically want you to direct," Cassar recalled.[16]

Music Edit

The score for the episode was written by Joel McNeely over a period of nearly three weeks.[17] Music was recorded live with William Ross conducting. During recording, McNeely gave notes to the orchestra from inside a nearby vocal booth, quarantined from the others because of a bad flu.[18]

Post-production Edit

VFX Supervisor Nhat Phong Tran on The Orville

VFX Supervisor Nhat Phong Tran on The Orville

On the post-production of Identity, Pt. 2.

Identity, Pt. 2 was a cinematic feat. To create a space battle comparable to a feature-length film using mostly digital effects, time was of the essence. The production team had just six weeks to conceive and complete the Battle of Earth.[3] They labored in a Ritz Carlton suite in New York City, New York rather than their studios in Los Angeles, California because MacFarlane was shooting The Loudest Voice at the time.[19]

The post-production team ordered an assortment of toy spaceships from Amazon and 3D printed a few Orville ships as well (such as a Fighter-class vessel) to visualize the battle. "We basically came in with guns loaded, ready to play with all the toys," visual effects producer Brooke Noska reflected. "[Digital effects supervisor] Brandon Fayette was flying little water bottles around."[19]

Braga's battle script was reviewed by MacFarlane and associate producer and editor Tom Costantino for "narrative action." The script originally called for a two-minute battle. A few battle sequences were written at the suggestions of Fayette and Costantino.[2] The original script tried to show the "insanity" of war, but at Fayette's suggestion the battle was changed to show a "journey" of the participants in the battle from start to finish. As Jennifer Vineyard of SyFy explained

In the Star Wars pictures, for example, we might see the Millennium Falcon attacking other ships, but then the action will cut back to inside the Falcon, and the next time we're outside again, we're looking at a different part of the battle. In the Orville universe, Fayette keeps the tracking clear — if one ship blows up, another flies by and the camera follows that one into the next stretch of action.[19]
The central problem, Fayette explained, was "to tell a space battle in a way that the audience could follow the story."[20] Fayette and Noska first categorized necessary art assets for the battle according to the script's story cues, and then made a long previs film. They had expected the previs to be a source for later battle sequences, but MacFarlane enjoyed the previs so much that the entire film was used[21] and the battle was extended from two minutes to eight.[19]

MacFarlane was elated, and told Fayette, "I love this! Why don't we do [the previs] as a whole battle?" Fayette called Noska with news, "You know that two-minute scene? It's now 10 minutes."[19]

Visual effects were created by the studios FuseFX and Pixomondo in coordination with the show's visual effects supervisor Luke McDonald and Fayette over Skype in just eight weeks.[4][19][22] Pixomondo handled the battle until the arrival of the Krill fleet, and FuseFX handled the end.[23] Between this episode and Pt. 1, Pixomondo worked on 350 visual effects shots, 25 percent of the shots for the entire season,[24] and FuseFX worked on 117 shots.[23]

Production companies kept track of the battle through a system of flowcharts and whiteboards maintained by Fayette. Team members competed for animating the most number of shots, which Fayette won.[19]

How the Kaylon sphere's "tri-beam" laser cannon looked was up to FuseFX, a question that ultimately proved exceedingly difficult to resolve and consumed "countless hours" of argument.[25] FuseFX's Tommy Tran recalled:

There was a discussion over whether it was a laser blast or a laser beam that goes off into infinity. After a lot of development with how it interacts with ships, we came to the conclusion that the laser beam was not a good idea for how fast things move. So we ended up with a laser blast.... It needed to feel like an arc welder that would burn your corneas if you ever really looked into it.[26]
In a separate interview, Tran said that the hardest part was creating the enormous amount of debris from battle, which required creating new software just to accomplish the feat:
The debris and fire was one of the hardest assets to get right, and the lighting that comes with the fire. The ships are extremely large — hundreds of meters across. The scale breaks if you don't use the right math and figure out the size of the ships to engulf in a fireball.[27]
Krill ships which explode during the battle burn green, a look inspired by both the Krill's natural green color scheme and by the green reactive light of nuclear reactors.[28]

At Fayette's instruction, Pixomondo utilized old lighting samples of the Orville from Season 1 to retain the realistic model shoots.[23]

Editing of the entire battle was accomplished by Costantino.

Deleted scenes Edit

Imprisoned by the Kaylon in the Orville's Shuttle Bay, Bortus asks Klyden about Topa's welfare and Klyden asks if they are going to die. "I do not know," he replies. "But we will not die without fighting."

Meanwhile, Ed wonders if the Kaylon are merely the next step in evolution, that even if the Kaylon fail today, eventually artificial life will replace biological life.

A video of the scenes was posted to the official The Orville Twitter page.

Reception Edit

Viewership Edit

Identity, Pt. 2 was hailed as a monumental conclusion to Pt. 1 almost immediately after airing. The episode currently holds a rating of 9.3 on IMDB, the second-highest rating for the show until that point.[6] 3.151 million American households watched the episode live.[7]

Director Jon Cassar was pleased,

I think we've got a new fan base. I think we've had our hardcore base from the beginning, but I think after Identity a lot of people sitting on the fence have jumped over. That's exciting ... because we love that episode and we knew that was going to be a turning point for us.[29]

Critical response Edit

Nick Wanserski of AV Club gave Identity, Pt. 2 its first 'A' grade of the season, writing:

I’ll admit to feeling a little uneasy last week that The Orville would back out of its genocidal robot army storyline and turn the whole thing into a soggy cop out.... But those fears were utterly misplaced as [Identity, Pt. 2] delivered both a level of spectacle and hard brutality that I honestly didn’t know the show had in it.[30]
Both Jammer of Jammer's Reviews[31] and Alejandro Rojas of Den of Geek[32] gave the episode three stars, the latter calling attention to the episode's special effects and "unique" dialogue.

Awards Edit

On July 15, the Emmy Awards announced that visual effects supervisors Luke McDonald, Tommy Tran, Kevin Lingenfelser, and Nhat Phong Tran; visual effects producers Brooke Noska and Melissa Delong; digital effects supervisor Brandon Fayette; computer graphics supervisor Matt Von Brock; and compositing supervisor Joseph Vincent Pike would be collectively nominated for Outstanding Visual Effects for their work on the episode's impressive celestial battle.[5]

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.[33]
  • The episode was the original Season 1 finale. It was moved into Season 2 because the writers believed more character development was necessary.[9]
  • The ensign who is sucked out of an airlock by the Kaylon is played by Mark Mammone, a production assistant on the show.
    • A common mistaken belief is that the sacrificed ensign wore a red uniform (indicative of the Security section). In fact, he wore an orange Engineering uniform. The uniform appears red under the Kaylon's lighting.
  • A "13 button salute" is United States naval slang, meaning: "When a sailor in dress pants pulls down on the top two corners and all 13 buttons come unbuttoned at once, usually done just before sex."[34]
  • Repairs to the ships at the Union Dockyard are made by small robotic ships that were created just for this episode.[4]
  • The digital animation of the Battle of Earth was enormous in scope. Just one scene of fighting had 12,805 digital objects with 271,723,758 polygons and 187,366,108 vertices.[22]
    • FuseFx was forced to make new software just to create the battle.[27]
  • This episode features the very first appearance of an Exploratory-class A vessel other than the Orville.
  • Composer Joel McNeely could not attend the live recording of his score due to illness. Instead he quarantined himself in a nearby vocal booth and passed notes along to the orchestra.[18]
  • At digital effects supervisor Brandon Fayette's request, executive producer and writer David A. Goodman penned 70 ship names used in this battle.[19]
  • While the post-production team labored on the Battle of Earth, creator Seth MacFarlane loved playing with Fayette's toy model of a Fighter-class vessel... until it broke. Fayette recalls: "He was like, 'Brandon? I've got bad news for you. I broke your fighter.' I was like, 'Really? How bad did you break it?' And he was like, 'A bunch of pieces cracked off.' I was like, 'Okay, don't worry about it. I'll fix it.'"[19]
    • After Fayette fixed the Fighter, MacFarlane broke it again. This time, Fayette put the toy in storage where it remains for Season 3.[19]

References Edit

THE ORVILLE - Season 2 VFX Breakdown Reel

THE ORVILLE - Season 2 VFX Breakdown Reel

Digital creation of the Battle of Earth.

  • Kelly recalls Gordon and Ed's experience aboard the Yakar in the episode Krill.
  • Gordon makes two references to the movie Top Gun: once while showing his teeth from the window of the Krill fighter and again when he says, "Just a walk in the park, Kazansky!"
  • During the battle for Earth, John exclaims, "Boom, bitch!," when a Kaylon ship is destroyed, just as he did when the Orville destroyed a Krill destroyer.[35]
  • Kaylon Primary directs Isaac to read the book Roots: The Saga of an American Family by Alex Haley.
    • Primary also orders Isaac to change his 'designation.' In Roots, one of the first things ordered of the protagonist Kunta Kinte by his white slavers is to accept a new name, Toby.
  • When Isaac tells Ed, "you will be silent," that is a borrowed line from Cupid's Dagger when Bortus angrily says that to the crowd during karaoke.

Mistakes Edit

  • Isaac says the code to the Shuttle Bay doors is A 1 4 O 6, but Ty only presses three buttons.

Cast Edit

Main cast Edit

Special guest cast Edit

Recurring cast Edit

Guest cast Edit

Uncredited Edit

References Edit

  1. SDCC 2019 The Orville panel. Channel control. July 29, 2019.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 /u/editboy1000. "Did anyone notice you can kinda see into the bridge now?". Reddit. March 4, 2019.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Blair, Iain. "How ‘Game of Thrones,’ ‘The Umbrella Academy’ Rely on VFX for Big Scale Story Elements". Variety. Aug. 12, 2019.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Seymour, Mike. "The Orville’s Battle of Identity at FuseFX". fxguide. March 4, 2019.
  5. 5.0 5.1 The Orville. Emmys. Last access July 16, 2019.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Episode List. IMDB. Last accessed March 13, 2019.
  7. 7.0 7.1 The Orville:Season Two Ratings. TV Series Finale. Last accessed March 13, 2019.
  8. @SethMacFarlane. "It was always locked and loaded, yessir. Surprise!". Twitter. Feb. 21, 2019.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Trekyards. Mark Jackson Isaac Orville Interview (Issac/Identity PT 1+2) (2019). YouTube. March 9, 2019.
  10. Alvarez, Chris. "Sci-fi television - The World of The Orville - Jeff Bond interview - AAD 88". YouTube. Dec. 20, 2018.
  11. "Brannon Braga & The Orville Cast Full interview 2017 Panel NYC convention". NYC ComicCon. Nov. 20, 2017.
  12. 12.0 12.1 "Mindscape 58 | Seth MacFarlane on Using Science Fiction to Explore Humanity". Sean Carroll. Aug. 5, 2019.
  13. Dilip, Mangala. "'The Orville' star Mark Jackson wishes to check-off Star Wars next; Is Jon Favreau listening?". Maww. Dec. 5, 2018.
  14. @SethMacFarlane. "Thanks for watching #TheOrville last night!  For those of you who’ve stuck with the series from the start, get ready for next week. Shit’s about to get big.". Twitter. Feb. 15, 2019.
  15. Photograph published by @EgotasticFT. Twitter. June 8, 2018.
  16. "The Orville Official Fan Podcast w/ Kai Wener and Jon Cassar (32)". Planetary Union Network. Feb. 23, 2019.
  17. @joelsephmc. "C'mon everyone, watch it! That battle score took me almost 3 weeks to write and has 680,253 notes. Actually I have no idea how many notes but it's a whole ton of em. And it's a big heap of orchestral butt kicking by our incredible Los Angeles musicians. @AFMLocal47". Twitter. April 4, 2019.
  18. 18.0 18.1 @joelsephmc. "The great @williamross_mx was conducting. I was in a vocal booth nearby, quarantined with a raging flu giving my comments between hacks.". Twitter. April 4, 2019.
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 19.3 19.4 19.5 19.6 19.7 19.8 19.9 Vineyard, Jennifer. "EMMY CONTENDER: HOW THE ORVILLE'S VFX TEAM FOUGHT A SPACE BATTLE AND SETH MACFARLANE BROKE A SHIP". SyFy. Aug. 28, 2019.
  20. Failes, Ian. "VFX Battle Stations! Star Wars in The Orville". VFXV. Summer 2019. Pg. 86.
  21. Failes, Ian. "VFX Battle Stations! Star Wars in The Orville". VFXV. Summer 2019. Pg. 86-87.
  22. 22.0 22.1 Eun, Changsoo. "The Orville: FuseFX talks custom 3ds Max pipeline". The 3DS Max Blog. May 2, 2019.
  23. 23.0 23.1 23.2 Failes, Ian. "VFX Battle Stations! Star Wars in The Orville". VFXV. Summer 2019. Pg. 87.
  24. Seymour, Mike. "The VFX of The Orville- Season 2". fxguide. May 3, 2019.
  25. Failes, Ian. "VFX Battle Stations! Star Wars in The Orville". VFXV. Summer 2019. Pg. 88.
  26. Failes, Ian. "VFX Battle Stations! Star Wars in The Orville". VFXV. Summer 2019. Pg. 88-89.
  27. 27.0 27.1 Giardina, Carolyn. "'Chernobyl,' 'Orville' and More Series' VFX Pros Reveal Secrets to Creating Burning Reactor Cores, Fiery Galactic Battles". Hollywood Reporter. Aug. 19, 2019.
  28. Failes, Ian. "VFX Battle Stations! Star Wars in The Orville". VFXV. Summer 2019. Pg. 89.
  29. "The Orville's Costumes, Creatures, and Ship Miniature!". Adam Savage's Tested. July 24, 2019.
  30. Wanserski, Nick. "The Orville goes big and goes home". AV Club. March 1, 2019.
  31. Epsicokhan, Jamal. "Identity, Part II". Jammer's Reviews. Last accessed May 13, 2019.
  32. Rojas, Alejandro. "The Orville Season 2 Episode 9 Review: Identity Part II". Den of Geek. March 1, 2019.
  33. THE ORVILLE SEASON 2 GAG REEL. Planetary Union Network. April 30, 2019.
  34. Appendix:Glossary of U.S. Navy slang. Wikipedia. Last accessed March 1, 2019.
  35. Episode 1x04: If the Stars Should Appear
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