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Can a simple agrarian society save their world from the aliens stealing their resources?

Season 2, Episode 3

Originally aired January 10, 2019

Written Cherry Chevapravatdumrong. Directed by Jon Cassar.

Starring Adrianne Palicki, Penny Johnson Jerald, Scott Grimes, Peter Macon, Halston Sage, J. Lee, Mark Jackson, BJ Tanner, Kai Wener, Chad L. Coleman, and Norm MacDonald.

Alara breaks her arm during her regular Friday night arm wrestling match with Isaac. Dr. Finn notices that she has lost twenty percent of her muscle mass and warns that she must return to Xelaya or lose her super strength. Her parents' take her to a seaside cabin where she has to deal with her parents' less than stellar opinions of her. Then the insane parents of her father's colleague attack, torture, and attempt to kill everyone.

Ildis Kitan, Alara's father is played by Robert Picardo, the EMH from Voyager. Cambis Borrin, the insane colleague, is played by John Billingsley, Doctor Phlox from Enterprise. They both look great in their Xelayan ears. It is fun to watch the two actors play off each other as Cambis chases Ildis around sticking his hand in boiling water and trying to shoot him.

Back on the Orville, Alara's replacement is a silly caricature of a snuffaluffagus spouting off juvenile slang. This character is simply not a replacement for Alara. For one thing, how would a creature with a long snout connected to the middle of his stomach fair in a fist fight. All his assailant has to do is grab and pull.

The special effects, flying around Xelaya and landing the pods are beautiful. The story is never dull. Although, it did leave me with a few questions. How come the pod only had one heavy gravity suit? Why do the ocean waves look the same as earth? Wouldn't the heavy gravity damp them out?

This is not a world class episode, but it is the best one so far this season.

Reviewed by Romana Drew January 11, 2019

Primal Urges

Season 2, Episode 2

Originally aired December 31, 2018

Written Wellesley Wild. Directed by Kevin Hooks

Starring Adrianne Palicki, Penny Johnson Jerald, Scott Grimes, Peter Macon, Halston Sage, J. Lee, Mark Jackson, BJ Tanner, Kai Wener, Chad L. Coleman, and Norm MacDonald.

Bortus is addicted to holographic porn, and the crew must rescue people living deep inside a planet that is about to be eaten by its sun.

Bortus still hasn't forgiven Klyden for forcing a sex change operation on their child, so he goes to the holodeck and participates in sexual fantasies. Kayden tries to kill him, and Dr. Finn counsels the warring couple.

The Orville has stopped to let the crew study a sun as it engulfs a planet. Just before the planet breaks apart, they discover a society living deep inside and attempt a rescue. A virus from one of Bortus' holodeck programs wreaks havoc.

Moclans are so stiff, and the dialogue so flat, that both humor and emotional empathy fall flat. Had the main story been an exciting and danger-filled rescue, the Bortus/Klyden affair would have made great comic relief, as the main story, it is tedious. The rescue felt as if it got tacked on so the eposide could end on an exciting note.

Rescuing people trapped inside a planet as it gets pulled into an exploding star while a computer virus attacks the ship's systems is worthy of an entire episode. This is good hard science fiction. Since the crew can't rescue everyone, it delves into social issues and self-sacrifice. But that story is glossed over, so it a never lives up to its potential.

The special effects in this episode are fantastic. The ship flying in front of the boiling sun looks realistic, even the lighting effects on the ship add to the realism. The Moclan body suits and makeup are also excellent. I wonder how the actors feel about being inside those rubber suits. Are they cold, hot, itchy, smelly? They can't be comfortable. And Moclans must grow extra fast. Bortus and Klydan's kid looks to be eight or ten years old.

This should be a great episode, but it isn't. I now know more about Bortus and Klyden than I ever wanted to know.

Reviewed by Romana Drew January 5, 2019


Season 2, Episode 1

Originally aired December 31, 2018

Written and directed by Seth MacFarlane

Starring Adrianne Palicki, Penny Johnson Jerald, Scott Grimes, Peter Macon, Halston Sage, J. Lee, Mark Jackson, BJ Tanner, Kai Wener, Chad L. Coleman, Norm MacDonald, and Chris Johnson as Cassius

Ed pines for Kelly, but she already has a new boyfriend. Dr. Finn can't understand why her teenage son is so rebellious. Isaac gives questionable child rearing advice. Alara bemoans her lack of companionship. Gordon Malloy just can't get up the courage to ask the new cartographer for a date. Bortus needs to pee and invites everyone to watch him.

About the annual Moclan's pee, what goes in must come out. If Moclans only urinate once a year, what happens to all the fluids they drink? I'm not sure I want to know.

The first episode of the second season is all about character development. Although it is an easy watch, and brings us up to date on the crew's lives, it lacks pizzazz. There is plenty of emotion and humor, but most of it is lightweight and predictable. Orville lacks the depth and intensity of science fiction series such as Star Trek, Stargate, Babylon 5, Battlestar Galactica, and many others. The repeated references to present day slang and culture take it out of the future and often sound silly.

On the plus side. This is a fun show. The humans in the cast are very human, with all the foibles of normal people. And the aliens are an interesting mix of the predictable such as Isaac, and the absurd, like Yaphit.

Reviewed by Romana Drew January 1, 2019