After ComicBook.com reached out, FOX confirmed that “Home” was Sage’s last episode as a series regular, but that the door remained open for her to return in the future.
FOX did not provide a reason for Sage’s departure.
“Home” aired on January 10th and saw Sage’s character, Lt. Alara Kitan, resign her post aboard the USS Orville. The episode led to speculation and discussion among fans of the show about Sage and Alara’s future.
There have been rumors about Sage’s departure for months as she was noted to be working on other projects while The Orville’s second season was still in production. The Orville also added Jessica Szohr as a new series regular in Season 2. Szohr’s character, Talla, still hasn’t made her first appearance, but photos from The Orville’s set suggest that Talla is a Xelayan security officer, just like Alara. This has led to speculation the Szhor’s character is meant to replace Alara.
Alara was the chief security officer aboard the Orville. She is incredibly strong in Earth-normal gravity after growing up in the exponentially stronger gravitational pull of her home planet, Xelaya. The episode “Home” revealed that Xelayans who spend a long time away from their homeworld eventually adjust to Earth-normal gravity and lose their strength. For some Xelayans, this happens more quickly and more suddenly. Alara discovered she was one of those Xelayans when she broke her arm in an arm-wrestling match with Isaac.
Alara returned to Xelaya to reacclimate herself to its gravity. This meant spending time with her family. Her parents and sister are all scholars who never understood or appreciated Alara’s calling to join the Planetary Union fleet, but after Alara saved the family from vengeful home invaders during the episode, she finally gained the respect of her father.
Dr. Finn devised a treatment that, while painful, would have allowed Alara to return to the Orvilleand still regain her strength. Alara decided not to go through with the treatment. Instead, she chose to return to Xelaya to reconnect with her family. She left a gift on Capt. Mercer’s desk, a large jar of pickles, which is a reference to several jokes between the two characters in the show’s first season.
We’re sad to see Alara leave The Orville but very excited to see what Halston has planned for the future! We can only hope that we may see Alara onboard The Orville soon again!