Majority Rule is the seventh episode of The Orville Season 1.
Plot synopsis Edit
The Orville has to find missing Planetary Union agents Lewis and Tom who were sent to explore a planet called Sargas 4. Captain Mercer sends a team consisting of Kelly Grayson, Alara Kitan, Claire Finn, and John LaMarr to explore the planet, which is said to be reminiscent of Earth in the 21st century culture and technology wise. Having little to no experience with aliens or the greater universe.
Alara in order to cover her more prominent Xelayan features she needs to wear a hat and band-aid on her nose as a disguise. Claire in addition is concerned about Lewis who she has known for years and nobody has heard anything from since the mission. Captain Mercer insists he's fine and they will find him. After arriving on the planet, Kelly asks a kiosk owner if they know who Lewis or Tom are. He insists that he definitely does, before any further questions could be asked he wonders why none of them are wearing Badges. In order to better fit in they buy some from the owner and stop by a local coffee shop to ask more questions. On the way there John and Alara talk about her ex-boyfriend Andy, when the Xelayan comments how she broke up with him because he was a "grindy" dancer. John finding that noteworthy begins asking Alara exactly how he danced, acting out multiple suggestive dances on a nearby statue of historical figure Mella Giffendon before being talked down and scolded by Kelly Grayson.
In the coffee shop the Barista, Lysella, finds John attractive and gives him an Up Vote on his badge. The crew realizing that votes act as social currency in this society and the more up votes one has the more well received, but the more down votes they can be isolated & discriminated against. Unfortunately, John begins noticing he is gaining a huge amount of down votes because his dancing on the statue of a hero in the planet's history. After gaining a million down votes John is arrested and taken to a Publicity Officer named Willks who claims he needs to go on an Apology Tour to gain his up votes back and be reintegrated in society by behaving well in television interviews. If he can't do that then he has to be forcefully corrected via intense shock therapy. With Captain Mercer forbidden by Admiral Tucker from intervening and the crew finding little other options, agree to have John do it.
Willks and Kelly accompany John to his first interview which ends up going terribly as he only manages to stack up more down votes against himself. Meanwhile, Alara and Claire continue to try and find Lewis and Tom. They approach Lysella again asking until a man insists that Alara's hat is an affront to his Kelvic culture. She argues with him when he demands she take it off receiving large down votes. Claire escorts her to the restroom where she tried to fashion Alara a new hat, however Lysella walks in on both of them finding out that Alara is Xelayan. They both confess to her what's going on over a drink and she agrees to help the two find Lewis' old house. There the two of them find him and notice his behavior is inhumanly docile, Claire verifies that he is acting as if he had a complete lobotomy, all because he got enough down votes and disapproval from the public.
Ed Mercer becomes determined to get John back on the ship so that doesn't happen to him. He comes up with a plan to bring Lysella onto The Orville to try and rack her brain on how to get John enough up votes. They take her there and she insists that the crew's only hope is to simply campaign for him in the Planet's Master Feed. Isaac is able to override the technology and with the help of Lysella flood the servers with information and pictures that make John appear more sympathetic. It works as he just escapes shock treatment being taken back to space.
Lysella returns home and proceeds to shut off the TV when another vote is occurring. Her experience with The Orville teaching her that it's not productive to take part in such a ruthless and demeaning culture.
- Seth MacFarlane as Ed Mercer
- Adrianne Palicki as Kelly Grayson
- Penny Johnson Jerald as Dr. Claire Finn
- Scott Grimes as Lieutenant Gordon Malloy
- Peter Macon as Bortus
- Halston Sage as Alara Kitan
- J. Lee as John LaMarr
- Mark Jackson as Isaac
- In a production error, the reaction of the Sargas 4 populace to posts sent to the Master Feed in LaMarr's favor can be seen on the screen before they are made by Isaac.