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, Grayson successfully petitions Admiral Halsey to promote her former husband to Captain of the USS Orville and assign her as part of the main crew to help him run the ship more smoothly.
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.
Capture by the CalivonEdit
On patrol, 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 praised Alara for her leadership.
After 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. As the two discuss their past relationships, they are ambushed by armed men who shoot down Alara and capture Kelly. Bringing them to their city, Kelly witnesses the mob justice of the highly-religious society before she is interrogated by Hamelac. Though initially telling the truth, Kelly begins taunting Hamelac which results in him injecting her with a "truth serum" before the rest of the away team arrives to rescue her. The crew then discovered the bridge of the bioship and found that the mythical "Dorhal" was in fact Jahavus Dorahl, the ship's long deceased captain. After revealing the stars to the people, Kelly tells Kemka that the Orville simply gave the people their future back before promising to send a Union ship to aid them.
After the crew rescues mining captain Pria Lavesque from an asteroid hurtling towards a star, Kelly becomes suspicious of Pria's flirtations with Ed before convincing Alara to search her quarters. The two discover a nondescript rectangle that the Orville's scanners are unable to analyze. The action results in both of them receiving a dressing down from Mercer.
Kelly's suspicions are further increased when Pria manages to single handedly save the Orville from dark matter storm and she has the rectangle analyzed. After it proves impervious to all forms of technology, the crew use a diamond-tipped drill to penetrate its interior. After Isaac attempts to interface with it, it is discovered that Pria is from the 29th century. When she and Alara bring this information to Ed, the three confront Pria who admits to being a time-travelling collector and assumes remote control of the Orville, piloting it through a wormhole and into the 29th century. Via Isaac existing in the computer mainframe however, the crew is able to catch Pria off-guard with Kelly engaging her in a fistfight until Malloy pilots the Orville back to the 25th century.
After two Union anthropologists went missing on the planet Sargus 4, Kelly led an away team to try and find them. On the surface, Kelly buys the crew Vote Badges before John LaMarr "dry humps a statue" and is arrested for receiving one million downvotes. Kelly makes an awkward report to Mercer as well as taking full responsibility for the event. Learning that John is allowed to take one person on his Apology tour, Kelly joins him while sending Claire Finn and Alara to find the anthropologists and discover the extent of the brain damage that John would suffer should he fail the apology tour.
Watching the apology tour backstage, Kelly reports to Ed that the planet's legal system and society is entirely based on the amount of votes one accumulates. Kelly remains with John throughout the entire tour, scolding Willks for his half-heartened aid before Isaac manipulated the Master Feed to convince the Sargians to spare LaMarr.
Sending Claire AwayEdit
When the Orville stops off at Earth for an upgrade to its navigational array, Kelly informs Claire that John must remain behind to help with the upgrade and loans her Isaac as a co-pilot for her shuttle. Upon being informed however that Claire's shuttle never arrived at the resort, Kelly tried multiple times to hail them before reporting it to Ed.
After finding the Spatial fold the shuttle had passed through, the Orville followed and found their missing crewmates on a moon. After Ty Finn had been cured of the disease he contracted on the moon, Kelly promised to talk to the Admiralty about the moon, hoping that the Union could help cure the natives.
Reunification with DarulioEdit
While singing karaoke, Ed and Kelly were informed that the Orville would soon be playing host to a neutral conference to determine ownership of the planet Lopovius. When the archeologist due to study the Lopovian birthing bucket arrived however, he was revealed to be Darulio. Kelly tried to speak to him about their affair but once again fell victim to his powerful pheromones and had sex with him. When Kelly failed to appear to greet the delegates, Ed found the two and stormed off.
After failing to talk to Ed, Kelly spoke with Alara where she vented her frustrations with Ed and what drove her to Darulio. In the ship's lounge both Ed and Kelly competed for Darulio's affections, ignoring the needs of the ambassadors before Darulio chose Ed, leading Kelly to isolate herself in her quarters.
After the rest of the bridge crew had solved the crisis, Darulio reported that both races had a claim to Lopovius before he took his leave. Before he left, Kelly asked if he had been in heat during their affair. Darulio responded with "maybe".
After Alara's pyrophobia resulted in the death of Harrison Payne, Kelly comforted her and assured her that Payne would have likely still died from blood loss. Alara was still unconvinced and locked herself within the Environmental Simulator, enacting Protocol 38, to better train herself. Kelly, joined by Claire and Ed, watched Alara from above.
Within the simulation, the Orville was haunted by a mysterious clown, an alligator before Doctor Finn turned evil and was interrogated by the senior crew. Returning to her quarters, Kelly opened the door only to find empty space. At a staff meeting, Kelly theorized that the plasma storm might have opened a breach between reality and thought. After the crew split up, Grayson vanished.
After the simulation was completed, the crew explained to Alara what had happened with Mercer looking the other way of Alara misusing Protocol 38 in light of her exemplary service.
Explaining the TruthEdit
After Malloy and LaMarr pulled a prank on Yaphit and Bortus at Steve Newton's going away party, Kelly scolded the two but found the latter was the second smartest person aboard ship and pushed Ed to have LaMarr aid in engineering duties. While insisting to Ed that John be given the chance to prove his intellect, Kelly accidentally let slip that she had arranged for Ed to receive the captaincy of the Orville.
She later met with John where she encouraged him to utilize his remarkable intelligence to elevate his status within Union society before she was called for an away team to a Horvalac ship that passed through a spatial anomaly. Aboard the ship, the captain was found to have died while passing through the anomaly with LaMarr eventually realizing that the anomaly was a doorway to a two-dimensional universe. With a Krill battelcruiser on the way, the Orville was forced to enter the 2-D universe to hide.
In the lounge, Kelly approached Ed where she failed to convince him that how he got his post was irrelevant in the face that he had still retained it for months. After the Orville left the 2-D universe however, Ed apologized to Kelly and thanked her for looking out for him.
After Kelly healed Ed's hand from a game of latchkum, he admitted that he had come to terms with her being under the influence of Darulio's pheromones and asked her to go on a date to begin rebuilding their relationship. She agreed with the two sharing a drink and becoming intensely hungover. The next morning, the crew encountered a planet that suddenly appeared and Kelly led an away team to the surface. Upon arrival however, the shuttle's engines shorted out due to entering a dense atmosphere. Exploring, Kelly found the planet to exist at the Bronze Age level of development and healed a small child before she fled to prevent further cultural contamination. Upon returning to the Orville, Mercer left this incident out his report before the planet vanished leading Isaac to calculate it was in a multiphasic orbit and would return in eleven days.
When the planet next appeared, it had evolved to a 14th century level. When an away team travelled to the surface, a woman asked Kelly to bless her child before the team realized that Kelly had becoming defied as a goddess of healing. Despite orders from the admiralty to wait, the Orville crew returned to the planet where Kelly explained to a priest that she was not divine and asked him to stop the religion.
Upon the planet's next reappearance, it had evolved to a 21st century level with Kelly still being worshiped. At a staff meeting, Kelly offerred to stay on the planet to personally correct and educate the natives before Isaac, who could live for millions of years, volunteered to go in her place. After the next eleven days passed, the planet had evolved to a level beyond the Union. Two natives then teleported aboard with Isaac where they explained that Kelly had not contaminated the planet's development, merely taken the place of whatever deity would have been created with worship of her being abandoned naturally over time. Despite this, Kelly's faith in herself was shattered and she convinced Ed that they needed more time apart from one another.
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 1: Old Wounds
- Episode 2: Command Performance
- Episode 3: About a Girl
- Episode 4: If the Stars Should Appear
- Episode 5: Pria
- Episode 6: Krill
- Episode 7: Majority Rule
- Episode 8: Into the Fold
- Episode 9: Cupid's Dagger
- Episode 10: Firestorm
- Episode 11: New Dimensions
- Episode 12: 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.