Review: The Orville: Season 2

Series: The Orville: #2

And another season! Got away from it for a while, but it’s finally done. I’m glad they’ve managed to stay away from pure comedy and stick to a scifi show that’s also funny. It’s much better that way in my opinion–even if we do get some pretty ridiculous bits. The Great Release. I rest my case.

Other than that, we get a lot more to shake up the status quo. The Moclans and their all male* society take a front seat, but we also have quite the story line for Isaac and his people, more Krill, digging into how real simulations can feel, and so much more. It’s a lot.

I’m looking forward to the third (and final?) season!

Reviews by Episode

1. Ja’loja

“The Great Release”. They only pee once a year. It’s like the Vulcans’ Pon Farr taken a few levels more ridiculous—but at the same time, makes roughly as much sense evolutionarily.

Capt. Ed Mercer: Okay, now I know this is going to sound utterly insane to most of you, and your first instinct will be to laugh, but we’re all going to take this seriously, so I don’t want to hear any jokes, no snide remarks, nothing. Now… Kelly?

Cmdr. Kelly Grayson: We’re diverting course to Moclus to… watch Bortus pee.

Lt. Cmdr. John LaMarr: You wanna… you wanna elaborate on that?

Isaac teaching piano is cute. Isaac trying to ‘solve’ the new teenager problem by chemically stunting growth is… so very Isaac.

Kelly moving on… and Mercer not… is not at all unexpected. Oy.

Dr. Finn: Isaac, do you think I’m a bad parent?

Isaac: Yes. (Turns immediately back to work)

He’s wonderfully robot. Are… they going to end up together? That’s certainly a thing.

2. Primal Urges

Bortus living a virtual double life! Nope. Porn addiction.

That’s certainly a choice.

Weird much more should be serious B-plot (was it?) too.

3. Home

Alara, feeling weak after time in low gravity. It’s an interesting inspection of being ‘Gifted’ as a youngster. And family.

Also John Billingsley—Dr. Phlox. I’m amused how many actors from Star Trek they’ve gotten.

And then Alara is leaving?! I hope the new guy isn’t sticking around…

4. Nothing Left on Earth Excepting Fishes

First vacation in a while? Of course everything will go wrong.


He does not stop talking. And he makes loud noises when he consumes food. And he comes to the mess hall wearing … sandals.

That’s certainly one way to accidentally diplomacy.

5. All the World is Birthday Cake

First contact! What could go wrong?

Astrology. Apparently.

It’s weird to me that neither party seems at all interested in just… letting them go?

I fail to see how this solution is at all better…

6. A Happy Refrain

Bortus with a mustache. That is all.

More importantly… Dr. Finn and Isaac. That’s exactly the sort of thing sci fi can explore. As awkwardly as possible.

I really do appreciate Isaac.

Making it rain on the bridge .

Lt. Gordon Malloy: We are, without a doubt, the weirdest ship in the fleet.


7. Deflectors

The Moclans. The (entirely too) perfect vehicle for really digging into gender issues. It’s amazing seeing a relationship bloom and implode (violently) within a single episode.

8. Identify, Pt. 1

Isaac is down! Off to his home world–where no human has gone before–to save him!

Oooh my.

9. Identity, Pt. 2

An armada of Isaacs.

Ooooooooh my.

Some serious enemy of my enemy vibes going on here. And an impressive big battle scene. Sci fi doesn’t need it… But it’s so fun to watch.

I do wonder politically… What can possibly come next?

10. Blood of Patriots

A potential peace with the Krill? So of course things have to go so very wrong.

Also… old and new friends. Also of course it will go wrong.

Also seeing (hearing really) Michael from the Good Place (Ted Danson) was amusing.

11. Lasting Impressions

And this time the guest is Lt. Tuvok from Voyager (Tim Russ). Talking about Delta something and getting back to Earth no less. Man they get everyone.

The idea of taking a person’s phone… all their pictures and messages and plans. And turning that into a simulated person. It feels like the changes in AI we’re going through. It’s all pattern matching, saying what’s most likely to be said… but if it feels completely real, then you might just fall in love.

Lt. Gordon Malloy: [commenting on Laura’s singing] I still can’t believe how good you are. Laura Huggins: Tell it to my landlord. Lt. Gordon Malloy: No, seriously, I think if the right person heard you, you’d be a huge success. Laura Huggins: But I don’t even have to be a huge success. I just want to be rich enough to be unhappy but not enough to be miserable. Lt. Gordon Malloy: Fair enough. Laura Huggins: No, more important than that, I just think it would be nice to be remembered for something. You know? I mean, we all live and die on this planet, and… most of us are just forgotten. To me, there’s nothing sadder about the world than that.

Also, B plot. Cigarettes. So many cigarettes. Take a normal problems and turn it up to 11. It’s certainly interesting.

12. Sanctuary

Moclans. An obvious stand in for trans rights and just about any other form of racism / sexism / anyism. We’ve seen it before, but now it’s turned way way up.

Scifi. Exploring humanity.

It’s not nearly enough time. And the compromise really isn’t one. But it’s about all you can do in an episode’s time.

With so many more Moclans though, one does wonder. Can they reproduce? With males and females? Just females? It’s not at all grounds for any sort of justification, but I wonder about the future of this Sanctuary.

13. Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow

Capt. Ed Mercer: You guys will not get me into a discussion of time travel logic; I’d rather chew broken glass.

Of course they had to go there. It wouldn’t be sci-fi without it.

It’s interesting seeing the people come to terms… but what’s even more fascinating to me is how bureaucracy would deal with that. One person is now two. You can get it for you. Although I suppose if you have aliens that reproduce asexually (for example) this is probably a solved problem?

Another chance for Ed… both completely weird and not at all unexpected.

And now… even if it’s dangerous… we have time travel.

14. The Road Not Taken

Never try to change the past (in a TV show). It always makes things worse.

Capt. Ed Mercer: [to Kelly, regarding his date with her] You know, I remember having a really great time with you that night. And then when you basically ghosted me, I-I thought it was the end of the world. Turns out, I was right.