Kelly is portrayed by Adrianne Palicki.
Kelly Grayson's father served within the Planetary Union and she followed suit, enrolling at Union Point. While there, Grayson recounts that her diplomacy professor, Professor Fincher, falsely told others that she wanted to hook up with him and, enraged, she pushed him into a pool.
Eventually she met Ed Mercer, a cadet in training to be a Captain. The two hit it off and fell in love. During Ed's officer exam, Kelly suprised him with a picnic date of sandwiches, banana bread, and rosé wine.
Kelly and Ed lived in New York City happily married for years until Ed's duties on behalf of the Union made him start to become distant, Kelly feeling lonely and miserable in their failing marriage began to have an affair with a forensic archeologist named Darulio. One day during a love making session, Ed walks in on them and leaves in disgust. Promptly getting filing for divorce and entering a deep depression shortly afterwards.
Spurred by regret by her actions, one year after the affair Grayson successfully petitions Admiral Halsey to promote her former husband to Captain of the USS Orville. She also requests to be assigned as part of the ship's main crew to work alongside Ed as they did before.
Due to being close friends with her father, Halsey heeds her request and Grayson is assigned to the Orville as its new First Officer. Mercer is incensed that his former wife is now a part of the crew and, after a brief argument, Grayson agrees she will request a new assignment when another first officer becomes available. Exiting, she meets Gordon Malloy and asks if the two could have a professional relationship as Commander and Lieutenant in spite of Ed and Kelly's divorce.
After, Grayson accompanies Mercer to the Epsilon Science Station of Epsilon 2. Their mission is sabotaged by an undercover Krill operative, who calls for a Krill destroyer seeking a secret time-accelerating device created on Epsilon 2 that was taken aboard the Orville. The vessel is outgunned by the much heavier Krill ship, whose Captain threatens to destroy the Orville if Mercer does not cede the device.
Grayson devises a plot to give the device to the Krill with the seed of a redwood tree inside. After the Krill take the device, Captain Mercer sarcastically wishes the Krill Captain Happy Arbor Day as the Orville remotely initiates the device, causing the redwood to grow rapidly and destroy the enemy ship. Kelly insists afterwards that Got Wood would've been a better pun based quip, the rest of the Bridge agrees as well.
Back on Earth for repairs, Grayson tells Mercer that a new post is available on the USS Chanute. However, Mercer acknowledges Grayson's wisdom and talent and requests that she stay. Grayson meets with Admiral Halsey, whom she thanks for promoting Mercer to Captain and assigning her as his First Officer.
Weeks later, the Orville detects a distress signal from the USS Blériot. To the crew's surprise, Mercer's parents are aboard the craft. After reassuring Alara that she will be a competent interim captain, Mercer and Grayson travel to the Blériot via shuttlecraft only to be teleported away. The two awaken in their old apartment but are unable to exit. After making sure the food synthesizers work, Ed and Kelly slowly begin to bond again and reminisce about the good times in their marriage.
The next morning however, Ed discovers they that have been abducted by the Calivon and placed in their zoo. Over the course of the day, Ed and Kelly begin to irritate one another with the quirks and attitudes that led to their divorce in the first place before Alara and Isaac arrive and barter the two's freedom in exchange for a collection of Human reality shows from 21st century Earth. On the Orville, Kelly praises Alara for her leadership.
Mere days later, Bortus gives birth to a female Moclan. He attempts to gain permission from the captain to have her undergo a sex change operation who refuses. Later on however, Ed confesses to Kelly his uncertainty about his decision and whether or not he is forcing Human customs and conventions on an alien society before a Moclan ship arrives intending to take the child to Moclus. After seeing Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer however, Bortus wishes the child to remain female and asks Kelly to debate that position on the child's behalf. Despite Kelly's best efforts however, Topa is ultimately forced to undergo the procedure to become male.
When the Orville encounters a massive spacecraft, Kelly joins the away team to investigate it. Upon learning it is a bioship, she joins Alara in exploring the environment. The two walk through the fields of the artificial ecosystem and discuss their past relationships. Kelly emphasizing that while she does regret cheating on Ed with Darulio, it was an inevitable accumulation of their failed marriage. Suddenly, Alara and Grayson are both ambushed by armed men who shoot down Alara and capture Kelly. After Bringing her to their city, she witnesses the mob justice of the highly-religious society worshipping a deity called Dorahl. She is soon then interrogated by their leader, Hamelac.
He questions her on who she and where she came from. Though she initially tells him the truth, he dismisses her talk of a greater universe outside the ecosystem as lies. Kelly gets frustrated by his stubbornness and eventually begins taunting Hamelac, which results in him demanding she be physically tortured. Fortunately, the rest of the away team eventually arrive to rescue her shortly after. Kelly is freed while Hamelac is soon then incapacitated. Captain Mercer reveals to Kelly that he has befriended a group of native rebels called the Reformers, who have managed to locate another door leading outside the ecosystem. The crew enters through it and after a long elevator ride up only to find the Bioship's bridge.
Isaac turns on a large monitor which plays a message from Jahavus Dorahl, the ship's long deceased captain, who reveals that the Bioship was designed for his people to explore new worlds but that they became marooned in space after collision with an Ion Storm. The revelation of this message confirming Dorahl was indeed not a god.
Captain Mercer proceeds to open the hull revealing the stars for the first time to the natives in the Ecosystem. Kelly tells Kemka that the Orville has given the people their future back before promising to send a Union ship to aid the process.
After the crew rescues mining captain Pria Lavesque from an asteroid hurtling towards a star, she is brought aboard the Orville and given temporary quarters until they can drop her off somewhere safe. In the meantime, Pria joins Kelly and other crew members to a cocktail party that night in the Mess Hall. The entire time she overtly flirts with Captain Mercer which causes Grayson to become suspicious of her motives. Kelly eventually searches the Vega Mining Consortium database and is unable to find any mention of Pria Lavesque in any of their records. In Engineering, she informs Ed of this but he dismisses her findings as being a non-issue. Insisting mining companies are notorious for poor record keeping.
They argue about it further and the Captain wonders why she's so passionate about this, and Kelly backs down, saying that she doesn't think it's a good idea to give someone they barely know access to the entire ship. Afterwards, Kelly still can't shake the feeling of doubt and goes to Alara requesting her to search Lavesque's quarters as a favor to her. Lieutenant Kitan agrees to do it as long as Kelly promises her it is strictly due to her concern for the ship, and not jealousy from Mercer's obvious attraction to Pria. They then go to look in her quarters and at the foot of the bed find a grey rectangular object. Before either of them can investigate further Pria enters the room and both of them are busted.
Mercer scolds them for the misdeed, but Kelly defenders herself saying that they discovered the mysterious rectangle and how she thinks it could be something dangerous. Ed claims it could very well be a belt buckle for all they know, he dismisses Alara and tells Kelly he thinks the reason for her distrust of Pria is due to him having intimate feelings for her. Their conversation is cut short due to an emergency on the Bridge, where the Orville is caught in a dark matter storm. Malloy has difficulty navigating through it but Pria offers to help, Kelly signals for Ed not to let her but he does anyway and she is fortunately able to get them to safety.
Later, Grayson and Mercer get called to Engineering where they find the Gray Rectangle from Lavesque's quarters now attached to the Orville's engines. They confront Pria and she confesses that she is a bounty hunter from the 29th century, and that the rectangle is a piece of futuristic technology that gives her control over the entire ship. Kelly leaves to try and figure out what to do while Ed profusely apologizes to her. She quietly forgives him and they return to engineering to figure out how to remove the rectangle.
They learn the hard way that the device is too advanced for them to dismantle and try their luck on Bridge. The Orville reaches its assigned destination and Pria teleports out of her quarters into the room and takes them to the 29th century. While distracted Mercer tries to regain control of the ship and Kelly challenges Pria to a physical fist fight. Beating her down in a tough battle as they return to their native time. Ed proudly tells her that he will never make the mistake of not trusting his First Officer's instincts again.
After Union anthropologists Tom and Lewis go missing on the planet Sargus 4, Kelly is assigned to lead an away team to find them and investigate the nature of their disappearance. After getting Sargun appropriate clothes from the Matter Synthesizer, Kelly and her team subtly land on the surface and blend in with the population. They all note how similar Sargun culture appears to be to 21st Century Earth. Kelly then approaches by a local vender showing him a picture of Tom and Lewis asking if he knows who they are. He insists that he does and proceeds to question the team about why they aren't wearing Vote Badges. He offers to give them all one in exchange for currency. Realizing the importance the Badges must be in Sargun society, Kelly makes the transaction and the team realizes that the planet is governed by up votes and down votes on one's badge.
Grayson leads the team to find out more about Tom and Lewis but John LaMarr, unfortunately, gets too comfortable and as a joke, begins to perform a suggestive dance next to a statue of Mella Giffendon, earning him over 500,000 downvotes. He is soon placed under arrest by the Department of Corrections. At the police station, Kelly accompanies John and learns that in order to be freed he must undergo an Apology tour as a means to convince the public he is truly remorseful for his actions and regain a substantial amount of upvotes. Kelly joins LaMarr on the tour, learning soon after the first interview due to John's ignorance on Sargun culture, his attempts at apologizing simply make the situation worse, as he indirectly blurts out more offense remarks.
Explaining the TruthEdit
It would not be incorrect to compare Kelly to a female version of Ed Mercer. Much like her ex-husband, Kelly possess a dry wit to the world, responding to emotionally stressful situations with a witty comeback or a sarcastic quip. Compared to her ex however, Kelly is a much more serious individual and is able of switching to a serious mind-set at a moment's notice. This was best highlighted by Ed falling into a deep depression following the divorce while Kelly took the initiative and arranged for Ed to get the Orville. While also quite familiar with the bridge crew, Kelly can also affect a much more serious style of command. She is a very responsible women, taking responsibility for the public debacle of Sargus 4 and doing her best to make amends for the emotional devastation that their divorce caused Ed. While Kelly abides by the rules of the Planetary Union with regards to dealing with other species, she places this as second compared to her heart, and does what she can to aid any lifeforms she encounters in whatever way she can.
After being unintentionally deified by the Multiphasic Planet however, Kelly's self-confidence was shattered, causing her to become more withdrawn.
Relationship with AlaraEdit
Since coming aboard the Orville, Kelly has closely bonded with security chief Alara Kitan. Becoming something of a mentor to her often, comforting Alara and/or giving advice. Likewise, Kelly often confides in Alara regarding emotional difficulties.
Kelly was the second character created by Seth MacFarlane, after Ed Mercer. MacFarlane originally devised the persona of Ed to be a flawed, but ultimately good leader, and thought to add a co-worker who is also his ex-wife to flesh out Ed's imperfections and create drama.
- Her favorite part of being a fleet officer are the arts and crafts.
- Kelly's last name may be a reference to Amanda Grayson, Spock's mother in Star Trek.
- Kelly taught Alara Kitan the "basics" of boxing during About a Girl.
- Episode 1x01: Old Wounds
- Episode 1x02: Command Performance
- Episode 1x03: About a Girl
- Episode 1x04: If the Stars Should Appear
- Episode 1x05: Pria
- Episode 1x06: Krill
- Episode 1x07: Majority Rule
- Episode 1x08: Into the Fold
- Episode 1x09: Cupid's Dagger
- Episode 1x10: Firestorm
- Episode 1x11: New Dimensions
- Episode 1x12: Mad Idolatry
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Episode 9: Cupid's Dagger
- ↑ Pascale, Athony. "Interview: Seth MacFarlane Talks Mission Of ‘The Orville’ And Defends Star Trek: TNG’s Replicators". TrekMovie.com. Sept. 14, 2017.