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Will The Orville's Ed And Kelly Ever Get Back Together? Seth MacFarlane Explains

the orville Adrianne Palicki Seth MacFarlane
(Image credit: Fox)

The Orville: New Horizons is taking some narrative leaps in Season 3 and really leaning into serious storylines that further the arcs of its characters. Among such advancements, viewers might wonder whether or not the end of the season will feature some big developments for crew members like Ed Mercer and Kelly Grayson, who have displayed temporary flashes where it seemed they could rekindle the romantic feelings they shared after their divorce that occurred before the events of the show. Fans have long wondered if they’ll ever get back together, and Seth MacFarlane shared his perspective on that in a recent interview. 

Adrianne Palicki's Kelly and MacFarlane's Ed haven’t made any major strides in advancing their relationship on a romantic level in Season 3 of The Orville, and it might very well stay that way. Speaking with TVLine, Seth MacFarlane revealed how he changed direction for the characters' story in that respect, and that he had a good reason for doing so. In his words:

Initially, it was supposed to be a Will They/Won’t They thing. There are a lot of people who think that this idea of a divorced couple that can co-exist and be friends and work together and have a normal civilized relationship is a lot more profound than two people who we want to fall in love again… So lately, I’ve been playing to that — they have this past, and they have this connection with each other, but there’s something kind of potent about their ability to work as partners, even given all that.

Ed and Kelly have a great dynamic as Captain and First Officer, and it’s looking like it will remain that way on The Orville: New Horizons. Seth MacFarlane didn’t give any indication that he intended to have them get back together, and with Season 4's chances relying heavily on steady viewership from anybody with a Hulu subscription, there’s a big chance they could keep their current dynamic going until the end of the series. 

With that said, Seth MacFarlane and the cast of The Orville: New Horizons haven’t been privy to revealing anything that might be considered a spoiler in this latest season. In that respect, there’s a definite possibility that fans will see some romantic development between Ed and Kelly before the season’s end, even if it doesn't turn into anything longterm and permanent. Since MacFarlane isn’t too willing to dole out extra information before upcoming episodes air, we'll just have to keep the faith while waiting. 

The Orville has certainly been privy to romances between its walls prior, though not so much with Ed and Kelly. LaMarr and Talla recently entered a steamy (and painful) relationship, and there’s a chance we’ll see that develop further in the future, assuming they can overcome one big hurdle, and that LaMarr gets showcased in more episodes

As for Ed and Kelly, there is some speculation that Ed could face fatal consequences, considering Seth MacFarlane and co-star Scott Grimes are working on a Ted series together. That, paired with the fact that The Orville: New Horizons might be the final season of the series should Hulu opt out of renewal, makes the odds slightly higher that we’ll won't see the crew together after this season, romantically or otherwise. Hulu originally picked up the series due to loyal viewing on the platform, however, so it seems that means Season 4 is a definite possibility. In short, there's hope for Kelly and Ed fans yet, even if Seth MacFarlane likes what he's doing with the characters now. 

The Orville: New Horizons streams on Hulu on Thursdays. Season 3 is hands-down the best season to date, so now is as good a time as any to tune in and see where this season ends up. Personally, I’m hoping for many more seasons with Ed and the crew, but I can’t deny I’m a little worried to see what’s coming up as the Kaylon war continues. 

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.