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The Orville: New Horizon’s J. Lee Has Major Praise For One Co-Star Following Emotional ‘A Tale Of Two Topas’ Episode

Klyden on The Orville: New Horizons on Hulu
(Image credit: Hulu)

The Orville: New Horizons is churning out some of the series’ best episodes and laying out some emotional arcs and serious storylines for the characters. “A Tale Of Two Topas” might be the most emotional of them all, as it revisits Bortus and Klyden’s son Topa as he has questions about himself but can’t figure out why. The episode serves as the latest follow-up to Season 1’s “About A Girl,” and according to actor J. Lee, it features a performance from one of his co-stars that deserves a lot of credit. 

The follow-up episode in Season 3 features Topa experiencing a lot of questions and confusion. Many on The Orville crew know the underlying reason why but don’t wish to directly reveal that Topa's sex was changed at birth due to Moclan customs prioritizing a male-dominant species. Topa ultimately discovers the truth due to a hidden file and decides to change back to female with the help of the ship’s robot Isaac. The move enrages Klyden, who tries to no avail to convince Topa that the sex change was ultimately much better than the cultural stigma associated with being a Moclan woman. 

By the episode’s end, Klyden leaves The Orville, but not before ending his marriage with Bortus and telling Topa that he wished she was never born. John LaMarr actor J. Lee gave major props to the storyline when speaking to CinemaBlend, and praised actor Chad Coleman’s performance: 

I think the Topa storyline has been amazing to follow from Season 1. What Peter Macon and Chad Coleman are able to do with Bortus and Klyden–I have to give Chad some love right now because that’s a hard character to play. It’s hard to play a character that everyone seemingly hates. But, if you look at it from Klyden’s perspective, he’s been abused. He’s been through the ringer and is only speaking from his experience. You know they have that quote, ‘Hurt people, hurt people.’ I just think what they’ve been able to do with that has been amazing.

Topa’s storyline on The Orville is incredibly heavy so far, and Chad Coleman’s Klyden serves as an integral piece to the story. His actions at the end of “A Tale Of Two Topas” are upsetting, but fans and those keeping up with their Hulu subscription are aware of his history with the issue. Klyden's knowledge that he was born female served as a massive trauma in his life, and as such, he hoped to prevent Topa from feeling that. Meanwhile, Bortus worried that if they didn’t tell Topa the truth, their child may never truly be happy. 

Stories like “A Tale Of Two Topas” show off the effects of Seth MacFarlane’s decision to take The Orville: New Horizons even further in a serious direction and presents a strong case for the series to continue to tell more serious stories in Season 4 (which isn't guaranteed). It’s also a chance for the show to work in more adventures that center on John LaMarr, which is something the actor confirmed to CinemaBlend he wouldn’t mind seeing more of. Hopefully we’ll see a lot more of him in another season, and maybe even Chad Coleman’s Klyden as well. 

The Orville: New Horizons releases new episodes on Hulu (opens in new tab) on Thursdays. If we're lucky, we’ll get some news on a renewal soon, and fans will be able to enjoy the back half of the season without the weight of uncertainty about the show's future.

Mick Joest
Mick Joest

Mick likes good television, but also reality television. He grew up on Star Wars, DC, Marvel, and pro wrestling and loves to discuss and dissect most of it. He’s been writing online for over a decade and never dreamed he’d be in the position he is today.