Review: ‘The Orville’ Impresses With A Nuanced Look At A Controversial Issue In “Primal Urges”

Review: “Primal Urges”

The Orville Season 2, Episode 2 – Aired Thursday, January 3, 2019

Written by Wellesley Wild; Directed by Kevin Hooks

Seth MacFarlane and his fellow producers have often said they hoped The Orville could address contemporary social issues through the lens of science fiction – indeed, McFarlane believes that it must. Harkening back to the tradition of classic Star Trek, the first season of The Orville looked at gender reassignment, social media phenomena, religion, and racial privilege. Like with classic Trek, the results have been mixed. Episodes like “Mad Idolatry” and “About a Girl” explored issues with a surprising degree of nuance, whereas “Majority Rule” and “If the Stars Should Appear” came across with a preachy ham-fistedness. 

In “Primal Urges,” writer Wild and director Kevin Hooks explore a surprising and controversial issue – pornography addiction – with sensitivity and intelligence, while simultaneously piling up some ugly dialogue at the expense of one character. The result is a good episode with a dark side that I hope is explored more fully in a future storyline.

DISINTEGRATION

While observing the destruction of a planet by its expanding red giant sun – a “stellar incineration”, as Isaac describes it – the crew of the Orville discover that a small group of survivors still exists in caverns beneath the surface of the planet, and mounts a rescue mission to try to save as many as they can. 

This scenario results in some absolutely gorgeous shots of the Orville herself, and of the red giant star devouring the planet, though I kept wondering why it seemed the planet was in a far more advanced stage of destruction than the dialogue indicated. Massive chunks of the planet’s surface are seen being pulled into the star’s embrace from the very earliest scenes, to the point where it seemed as though an underground refuge would be impossible to maintain. Regardless, the shots were breathtaking and the FX crew should be enjoying a “day drink” to celebrate.

A dying planet in “Primal Urges”

At the same time, Bortus’ relationship with his mate, Klyden, is also deteriorating. Bortus returns to their quarters late and spends very little time with their child, Topa, claiming the need to work late for one reason or another. In reality, Bortus is spending time in the ship’s Environmental Simulator, The Orville‘s version of TNG’s holodeck, enjoying pornographic simulations of an increasingly fetishistic nature. What starts as straight-up sexual situations quickly becomes BDSM, which then becomes medical fantasy, and finally turns into a Moclan orgy, as Bortus becomes bored with each type of stimulation. As Bortus becomes more distant, Klyden decides to divorce him in the Moclan way, with a knife to the chest. I guess Moclans take “till death us do part” very seriously. After some life-saving surgery and negotiation with Captain Mercer, the two are ordered into to couples counseling with Dr. Finn.

Addiction to holographic fantasies is ground that Star Trek poked its nose into – most notably in the TNG episode, “Hollow Pursuits,” in which Engineer Barclay escaped from his insecurities in fantastic, and somewhat sexual, holodeck programs involving other members of the Enterprise crew. But “Primal Urges” takes advantage of both a more open societal discussion of the effects of pornographic addiction and advances in the understanding of its medical and psychological basis to treat the question in a more forthright manner than TNG could in 1990.

Disclosure: part of my work in real life involves working with (primarily) men who are struggling to free themselves from porn addiction, so this is an issue I have studied in some detail and have a good deal of experience in addressing. From my perspective, this episode gets a lot right about the causes of porn addiction and its cure.

The issue has gained public notoriety in the past five years or so due to the rise in internet porn and the resulting relational and emotional carnage that has resulted. Both religious and non-religious organizations have arisen, including Christian (The Conquer Series, Pure Life Ministries and many others), Mormon (Fight the New Drug), and Muslim (www.productivemuslim.com) approaches, as well as secular ones (like Sexaholics Anonymous and NoFap). A recent set of articles in National Geographic among many others has explored the effects of how addictive behaviors of many kinds – including drugs, porn, and gambling – rewire the human brain to decrease the person’s ability to resist temptation and increase their need for repeated and increased stimulus. The research is not without its controversy, and many question whether there’s a need for scientific research on what some think of as a moral question, but there’s no doubt that this is a sensitive and timely topic. What’s surprising is that The Orville, a show known for its frank approach to sexuality as well as baser bodily functions, would come out so firmly in the “NoFap” camp.

While the couples counseling Dr. Finn offers unfolds at a ridiculous speed, as with most television depictions of counseling, her approach is excellent. Dr. Finn recognizes porn addiction as a disease, and explores the emotional trauma that drives Bortus to self-medicate with pornography. It turns out that he is not as settled over the decision to subject Topa to gender reassignment surgery when she was born female, as is the Moclan custom (“About a Girl”). He remains angry about it, and is resentful towards Klyden. The shame and helplessness he feels have driven him to seek release in pornography. This goes beyond Trek’s depiction of Barclay as shy and anxious, and digs deeper into what psychologists are discovering about the roots of porn addiction. This episode realistically depicts the shame that Bortus feels, his increasing isolation from the other members of the crew, the disgust that some feel toward him when his addiction is revealed, and the powerful effect that non-judgmental acceptance and love can have on reversing the pull of the addiction.

Peter Macon and Chad L. Coleman in “Primal Urges”

Sadly, this illustrates something I brought up in my review of the second season opening episode, “Ja’loja.” In that episode, Bortus’ journey to his annual urination ceremony comes off as empty and meaningless. There is talk about the need for “release” and “cleansing” on an emotional and spiritual level, as symbolized by the physical act of urination, but there is very little dramatic weight put on this by the screenplay of that episode. Had this episode preceded it, Bortus would have had ample emotional need for release and cleansing, and Klyden’s responses to him would have had far greater emotional heft. Indeed, this episode was intended to air late in the show’s first season. Numerous details hint at this, including the puckering of the uniforms that increased as the first season progressed, the chummier relationship between Ed and Kelly that was destroyed in “Ja’loja” but was normal in the first season, and even the less-detailed head makeup on Dann that was seriously upgraded for the second season. While the episode was shot during the first season (originally intended to be the 12th episode), certain elements were retooled to help it fit better in the second season, including reshoots of scenes involving Topa, who has grown significantly since appearing as a baby in “About a Girl.” But the seams still show, and in my personal head canon, I will place this episode as the season opener, with “Ja’loja” to follow it.

(Editors Note: “Primal Urges” was indeed scheduled to be the first episode aired for season two, then last month “Ja’loja” was moved up in its place.)

Mike Henry and J. Lee in  “Primal Urges”

THE UGLY

Perhaps the most glaringly ugly aspect of this episode is not its depiction of porn addiction, which as Dr. Finn says, should be treated with “care and compassion,” but rather its depiction of the treatment of Isaac, the show’s artificial intelligence character. Isaac is written as a very unlikeable character, expressing himself with no emotion, and no understanding of human emotions, leading him to be tactless and blunt in every interaction. This leads to some very funny lines, such as an exchange between Bortus and Isaac in the shuttle late in the episode, when Bortus opens up about his feelings, and Isaac responds coldly, “I see. It is prudent that you are in therapy. Prepare for landing.”

It is a bold choice to make Isaac unlikeable. Interestingly, though, the show runners have chosen to make every other character (except Dr. Finn) respond to Isaac with ugly insults and rude comments. When Isaac is not around, Kelly says to Ed, “What a dick.” To which Ed responds, “He’s a glorified Speak-n-Spell – screw him.” Later on, Bortus says boldly to Isaac, “I may be a ‘primitive’ organism, but I am happy I am not like you.” Now, Bortus and all Moclans are depicted as uniformly blunt people, such as when Topa pokes at his food and asks, “Papa, can I be all done now?” and Bortus responds, “No, Topa, finish your plokta. Remember, if you do not eat, you will die.” But the treatment of Isaac seems to be uniformly ugly from every character but Dr. Finn. Perhaps this is intentional and will be addressed down the line, but if not, it is a dark approach for modern television.

Mark Jackson and Peter Macon in “Primal Urges”

Wrapping it all up, this episode is an “issue” episode that only briefly gets preachy, and embodies the best of recent research about a sensitive topic. It features some gorgeous effects, some humorous bits, and a dark streak of bigotry toward Isaac that I hope is addressed in the future.

BRIEF BITS:

  • There is a cool, six-limbed alien character named Unk who hooks Bortus up with the Moclan orgy program – it is an astonishing and excellent alien creature effect.
  • The Orville loses a whole lot of hull plates and sustains some major damage in this episode. The sequence is stirring.
  • The episode realistically depicts Bortus’ underlying dissatisfaction and shame. “I should have fought harder to keep him female, but there was nothing more I could have done. No-one could have stopped what happened to her except Klyden, and he did not. I resent you, Klyden. I resent what you put our child through, and I don’t know if I can ever move on.”
  • “You have worked late every night this week. It is too much. Come home. I have made pudding.” – Klyden
  • “I know we’re supposed to be tolerant of alien cultures, but man – there has got to be a limit.” – Kelly, voicing a difference between this show and TNG
  • “This is insane – I – I can’t have a normal ship, with normal people? It’s gotta be all stabby?” – Ed, embodying the same limit to toleration
  • “Couples counseling helps married people – such as yourselves – discuss and resolve conflicts with the goal of improving your long-term relationship. I am here to guide that process.” “Will we select our own weapons?” – Dr. Finn and Bouts
  • “I am ashamed beyond measure, Captain.” “It’s okay, dude, everybody does it sometimes – I went to town on myself this morning – it’s why I look so relaxed right now.” “God, this whole ship is gross.” – Bortus, Gordon, and Kelly. Sadly, I often feel the way Kelly does about the show.
  • “I swear to God I’m never looking at porn again.” – LaMarr in the show’s preachiest and most on-the-nose moment
  • “I have been a bad mate. I have been disrespectful. Instead of speaking my mind aloud,  I have retreated into a fantasy world.” “Dr. Finn says if you talk about it, you get rid of it.” “Klyden, I do not know if I will ever fully be at peace with what happened to Topa. But today, I have witnessed events that – I am very fortunate to have you and Topa in my life, and I do not wish to lose you again.”
  • This episode is rated DLSV – for suggestive dialogue, crude language, sexual situations, and violence, and it earns the rating.

Lieutenant Unk with the porn program hookup

The Orville sustains some nasty damage

The orgy program is open to all kinds of life forms

 


Keep up with all the The Orville news, reviews and interviews at TrekMovie.com.

68
Leave a Reply

19 Comment threads
49 Thread replies
1 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
35 Comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest
Notify me of
noraa

The design of Lieutenant Unk was pretty impressive, especially considering it costume vs. CGI (though I think the tongue was CGI). However, Unk’s dialogue was just awful. I understand the urge to have some fantastical creature speak just like any other “dude” to catch the audience off guard…but geez, he just sounded like a douche-bro.

The River Temarc

Part of the problem with this show is its habit of creating highly realistic alien prosthetics and then having said aliens behave — and *speak* — like early 21st-century bros, down to the hipster accents. TNG got criticized for “foreheads of the week,” but at least its aliens tended to act, well, alien.

It’s a comedy! These aliens act like 21st century bros for a reason. Even if you didn’t find it funny, don’t take it too seriously.

The main problem I had with Unk was his storyline. Bortus infects the Orville’s computer with a virus when he downloads some porn? Really? A bit cliche, but again it’s a comedy.

But I think the biggest problem I have with this episode is that everyone accepts that this is just a porn addiction. I have to disagree… Bortus is having SEX with holographic creatures. They may script it out with some cheesy porn dialogue/scenarios, but this is more akin to Bortus going to a whorehouse! A Moclan orgy? Really?!? I’m no prude or anything, and I’m sure there are couples out there who might agree/disagree that even masturbating is considered “cheating” on your partner, but Bortus is LITERALLY having a Moclan orgy on the holodeck! A modern day equivalent would be having sex with a sexbot and calling it masturbation. That might’ve made sense when it was just a sexdoll made of plastic, but if your sexdoll can tell you the time and temperature after you’re done f***ing it–you’re cheating on your girlfriend with a sexbot!

Edward Kowalski

The article writer said that the alien had 6 limbs. I didn’t see that. I saw a huge penis and the second crew member not to wear clothes.

swgs

He is Tardigrade. At least we know where Ripper went XD

Marja

Tardigrade has 8 limbs ;)

The River Temarc

THE ORVILLE showed some promise in the second half of season one. I liked the “Flatland” episode and the social media episode. But the two opening episodes of season two have regressed to the mean: more pointless storylines, more hackenyed Sam-and-Diane dynamics between the captain and first officer, more sophomoric humor. I can’t claim to be a licensed porn addiction counselor (!), but gimme a break; “Hollow Pursuits” handled holodeck addition with infinitely more finesse than this episode, and there were real consequences to how the addict interacted with his shipmates beyond a computer virus. And I can’t take this a serious character development when the previous episode was an extended urination joke.

I like the visual design of The Orville, and yes, it pays homage to TNG. But beyond that, this show is not the second coming of TNG by any stretch.

If I’m not mistaken the was an episode written by Wellesley Wild. I noticed a trend with The Orville, if an episode is written by Set Mecfarlen it’s usual week and full of jokes that do not land. The first episode was really bad. The second blew me away in the first 15 min as i could imagine where it goes.

Somehow Bortases obsession reminded me of Reginald Barcley ;)

I actually felt this was a pseudo remake if Hollow Pursuits

Cygnus-X1

William

Interesting point. Both episodes are about a crew member losing himself in a rather embarrassing holodeck fantasy to the detriment of his job performance. Of course, “Primal Urges” goes the extra step of morally judging the means of escapism — porn is bad, mmkay? — where “Hollow Pursuits” focuses on the psychology, emotions and reasons for the indulgence, making it a more meaningful story, in terms of the human condition, and more relatable generally. “Hollow Pursuits” is also more charming and humorous in its depiction of the holodeck fantasies. “Primal Urges” could have been an interesting story had it been used as an opportunity to clarify and disambiguate whatever the thematic statement of “About a Girl” was supposed to be. Instead we get a moral lecture, about how porn is bad and people should talk with their spouses, that manages to be both vapid and cloying, with the most stereotypically complained-about wifely attributes (nagging and hen-pecking) assigned to a hulking male alien with an insufferably whiny voice.

Curious Cadet

@William — yes it was. A hollow remake of “Hollow Pursuits” … ;-) Braga must be out of stories …

kmart

Might be my favorite this far, as I really liked the GENERATIONS-plus color the ship VFX as much as I did the storytelling. I’ve been saying since the beginning, give us more Bortus, and while this is not what I had in mind, it definitely worked for me.

Interestingly enough, the feedback I’ve seen elsewhere was largely negative (why couldn’t he be using the holodeck to have sex with females? was one of the main gripes, which at first sound like right-wing bashing, but if you think about it, suggests something even more kinky given that race’s genetic makeup.)

I did find the ‘speak and spell’ line to be an appalling one, given that Isaac regularly saves them all (though I guess this was supposed to air right before the one where he spends hundreds of years on a planet, which maybe should have shown a change in Mercer’s opinion … aired as-is, they should have looped another line in or cut this.)

While I don’t see the crew’s negative response to Isaac as appropriate, I still do think that Isaac ultimately turning bad or taking a turn in that direction when his race decides to enslave carbon-based units for the good of the galaxy would be a good thing to play at some point on the series. For now though, I hope the speakNspell line gets leaked back to Isaac and that he publicly humiliates Mercer over it. Kermit on the cap’s desk would have empathy enough to be ashamed, to be sure: it’s not easy being silica-based.

Michael Hall

“Kermit on the cap’s desk would have empathy enough to be ashamed, to be sure: it’s not easy being silica-based.”

Haven’t seen the ep yet myself, but that’s not bad, Mr. Martin. :-)

Danpaine

I really enjoyed this episode. Just the right mix of current social commentary, some humor that had me chuckling out loud a couple of times, and a sense of adventure with the colonist rescue, tempered with the reality that not all endings are happy (no pun intended), in that not all colonists could be saved. Very cool sfx too. A very enjoyable hour, imo.

kitbashcanon

Agreed, overall pretty good. Still like the annual urination episode better, though. I like a generous helping of “raspberry sauce” on my space operas these days (“sweetness”). After being a fan of ST/SW space opera for fifty-two years, I’ve learned to lighten up.

Je’loja was Je’loja number 2.

Anthony Dickson

I have to disagree with the title, this episode doesn’t impress. The season opener may have lacked the sizzle and action that some prefer but had far better pacing and storytelling. Primal Urges seems too “gimmicky” and forced, lacking a true thought process with many plot conveniences to a fault.

Spiked Canon

I haven’t enjoyed either of the first two episodes. Bladder release and a Porn virus just aren’t my thing. Yes, porn addiction is an issue, but a 2nd officer not even punished for introducing unauthorized software and releasing a virus. AND did the the virus have to only cause feces in the food synthesizer? The season is way too over the top. I thought they said they were going to tone it down this season?

J_Randomuser

Two Bortus/Moclan episodes back-to-back? The fact that “JaLoja” got moved to the season opener doesn’t make a lot of sense. This is a stronger episode and should have opened the season. Let “JaLoja” be some mid-season filler. Even Berman-era Trek wouldn’t have put two seperate Klingon episodes back-to-back like that.

Curious Cadet

@J — it think they decided the audience would be quite low for the Sunday before New Year’s Eve … one long party weekend. So they burned off the less interesting episode. And that means the back to back Bortus episodes also are less of a problem. I haven’t seen last night’s episode yet, but I’m curious to see how it turns out now. Anything has to better than last week’s premiere episode.

Legate Damar

JaLoja wasn’t really a Moclan episode. The Jaloja itsself was barely focused on, and the episode was about the crew’s relationships.

ML31

This episode was indeed the better one to start the season with. Although I’m thinking the subject matter played a part in it’s move. It was better in that it was funnier. Which is typical of “The Orville”. It totally feels like the better the jokes, the better the episode. And I am more sure than ever that my stance the show should be more comedy than drama is the right one. I am so hoping they are going to embrace the comedy but my fear is the show is moving more towards serious drama with comedic bit sprinkled in. And so far, even those bits are rarely working. The only gags that have really worked so far have been the bluntness of ISSAC and Bortus. Malloy is quickly getting tired.

The reviewer I think is off the mark regarding ISSAC. I find him to be one of the better characters in the series. His bluntness (and probably the fact that he is artificial) seems to turn off the organic life forms. Which, oddly enough, is probably a more realistic view of such a thing. DATA should have been a very scary thing.

kmart

Regarding the Data thing … depends on the treatment. I mean, s2 TNG’s Pulaski when dealing with Data came across to most like somebody kicking a puppy.

Marja

Because Data made such an effort to fit in among humans, and admired them so much.

ISAAC is damn handy to have around, just as Data was. The difference is that Data culturally enriched others by trying to socially stretch himself, but ISAAC doesn’t give a rat’s about human culture &c. ISAAC just is what ISAAC is.

It will be interesting to see if ISAAC stages some sort of AI rebellion.

ML31

Actually, ISSAC IS trying to better understand organic life forms. That was part of why he was on the ship. And certainly why he is following Dr. Finn and her family around. The difference is DATA was trying to BECOME human. Which he really should have known was a physical impossibility. That said, a sentient computer should have scared everyone out of their minds. Instead, the crew treated DATA like ‘one of the boys’. I fully understand DATA’s function in the show’s structure. But DATA was never a fascinating or even mildly interesting character. DATA was more like photon torpedo. Handy to have around but the potential for catastrophe was monumental. DATA was just one line of code or an error away from becoming LORE.

Cygnus-X1

But DATA was never a fascinating or even mildly interesting character.

I don’t understand how anyone could watch “The Measure of a Man” back in the late 1980s (or even today) and not find Data even mildly interesting.

Seems like you missed out on a major aspect of what TNG had to offer.

ML31

A lot of people hold up Measure of a Man as some sort of fantastic episode. But I found it awful. DATA WAS more tool than being. It shouldn’t even have been in question. The fact that he had an “off” switch, which Riker demonstrated, should have been enough right there. But be that as it may, please explain what I missed regarding TNG. Perhaps if you enlighten me I can few the episodes again and see them differently.

Cygnus-X1

ML31

Well, for starters, you missed the point of “The Measure of a Man.” The point was that Data satisfied two (self-awareness and intelligence) of the engineer’s three criteria for being a sentient life-form and it was unclear as to whether he satisfied the third, consciousness. The issue of what, exactly, consciousness is remains a hot topic in, not only philosophy, but also in biology and even among physicists. The meaning and the definition of consciousness remain elusive to this day — everybody believes themselves to be conscious, but nobody knows what that actually means. “The Measure of a Man” cleverly makes the issue the premise for a legal drama in order to dive into the rather cerebral topic in a way that has real, emotional ramifications for the characters. There’s also the secondary, ethical issue of whether AI’s can be “slaves.” It’s all pretty thought-provoking stuff. It’s interesting that you were persuaded by Riker’s argument, but with respect to Data’s “off-switch,” humans basically have one, too. Put an object over a person’s face that prevents them from breathing, and they’ll be off in about 10 seconds or so.

Michael Hall

Agreed, Marja. It’ll be interesting if Isaac’s role in the series takes an unexpected turn, and his loyalties truly tested. For now, he’s just an unlikable version of Data, a literal deus ex machina without personality.

ML31

I don’t know if either DATA or ISSAC are “likable” but I do know that ISSAC is a ton more interesting than DATA ever was.

Sara

To each their own. I find Isaac annoying, rude, and boring. There is no sign that he can grow – although I thought there might be back in the episode when he took care of Dr. Finn’s kids. Data was a much richer character as he explored how to become more human, and made others better for it.

ML31

Yes. To each his own. ISSAC only comes across as rude because he is not fully understanding the social aspects of organic life forms he is living among. Data was like that as well. Although he often said he strived to improve himself I never really saw it. His own programming seemed to forbid such things. But then, I didn’t really see Data as anything more than 1/2 the Spock character. That was his function on the show. Without the other half, the character was severely lacking.

Cygnus-X1

Marja

I agree. Isaac is portrayed as being amoral or relatively amoral compared to Data. This makes Isaac less endearing and actually a tad disturbing, as though, at any moment, Isaac might decide that saving the inferior humans isn’t worth the bother. Which raises the question of why is Isaac even working for the Planetary Union, given his disdain for humans? And, why the hell did they hire him?!?

kmart

I assumed his position to be something like an envoy/ambassador w/o portfolio, who will be reporting back, or maybe he is constantly doing that by livestreaming to some space cloud. PU gets the benefit of a form that is like having a computer from an advanced race, and the chance to demonstrate that humans are okay folk.

I remember telling a friend after seeing the first couple shows that this might play out like a long-term version of one part of ST-TMP — Isaac is kind of like the Ilia-probe, reporting on everything, trying to learn all that is learnable about humanity.

Cygnus-X1

kmart

That’s not a bad a idea. If the writers intend something like that, then they should make it clear in the show. It could serve as a premise for interesting stories.

ML31

I never made that connection but that feels more like what ISSAC is in The Orville. Good call.

Why are you people typing Isaac and Data in all caps?

jerr

“After a slow start to the season, ‘The Orville’ gets back on track.” with an episode made last season.

Andrew SD

This should have been the session premier because episode 1 was crap. Hopefully the rest of the session will be more like this. Because if so I can finally start to take this show seriously.

Season. Not “session.”

capt.Roykirk

I disagree about Issac being written as unlikable. His deadpan delivery is hilarious and I think he is one of my favorites. His race is supposed to be racist against all the humanoids, but he does not seem to really have disdain for them. While he is not like Data and wants to human, he does willingly put himself in dangerous situations to save them. What I didn’t like was capt. Mercer’s line of him being a glorified speak and spell.

I also was not keen on all the kinky stuff Bortus is doing in the holodeck, or whatever they are calling it. It does bring up a good point though, assuming we had such tech someone is going to use it in such a manner. While I’d like to think humanity can aspire to be like Picard and co, I am sure holotechnology would be used for something like this.

Mike strawn

I agree I did not like the epsisode at all and will not be watching it any longer. I thought it depicted too inappropriate sexual content. Orville last season was funny. This is just a bore.

Ricky

Agreed…I couldn’t finish watching. Unbearable.

Curious Cadet

@Ricky — yup. I fell asleep. Just so horrifically boring …

ML31

It’s not like this is a franchise that one has fallen in love with over decades. I do not understand why people who didn’t like it from the start continue to watch it. (There are a number of franchises that started that I felt were bad from the start and never watched again) I guess they have a right to complain, though. But still…

Inappropriate for whom?

Marja

I thought the episode where ISAAC, Claire and her kids were stranded on the planet was great as far as ISAAC’s interaction with humans. Fighting over the toy? ISAAC will come up with a logical solution to your problem. LOL!!

Kevin Lee

Considering the wealth of human history as evidence, it’s safe to say holotech would become widespread orgies and bloodbaths. Humans have shown what they will do when allowed to feed their worst natures at will, especially when they feel there would be no witnesses or repercussions. It seemed obvious that was the way Ferengi marketed their holosuites on DS9.

Curious Cadet

@Kevin Lee — that’s actually an interesting area of exploration, which unfortunately is not what ORVILLE did with it. And yes, it was hinted at more than once that the Holodeck was used for more than Shakespeare and romantic walks on the beach with a significant other.

Sycorax

Do you remember Minuet from TNGs “11001001”? I really don’t believe that Riker made a woman, that we later learn he was in love with, and he only had a couple of drinks with her. It was implied that this holoprogram was more than that. And Quark’s holosuites from DS9?, it was very clear that they were hi-tech brothels.

Mick Russom

Love the Orville. Far better for me than STD/disco. But if this garbage with these disgusting mocklins continues I’m done. Stick with the nice tng formula.

Tuskin

Disgusting lmao. Grow up.

Cygnus-X1

Mick Russom

I sympathize. Bortis began as an entertaining comedic character, and they’ve turned him via Clyden into a heavy-handed didactic storytelling device. Naked mocklans groping each other is visually unappealing, and that’s as charitable as I can be about it. I’m guessing that my longer comment got flagged for my inclusion of the word “p0-rn,” but I can hardly be blamed for that given the subject matter of this post. I don’t find the Clyden character entertaining, interesting or even likeable. I don’t need to see any more of his domestic situation with Bortis, hear his whiny annoying voice, or hear about their marital strife. And I don’t need p0-rn mixed in with my sci-fi any more than I need ketchup in my ice cream. The main theme of this story is mundane and uninteresting, which leaves only the visually repulsive execution to entertain me. My plea to Seth MacFarlane: please, no more mocklan domestic relationship, biological functions or p0-rn-ographic stuff. And no more coitus of any kind than is absolutely necessary for the telling of a thought-provoking story. That’s not what I watch Trek for and it’s not what I expect from The Orville.

Is it the homosexuality that bothers you or the fact that they’re black? Asking for a friend.

GarySeven

I loved this episode. In my view, it had it all- the right balance of social commentary, character development, and humor. To me it is an excellent example of what makes The Orville special and unique- it is a elixir of these differing components never quite seen before this way. The first couples counseling scene had me laughing out loud. The porn simulations were brutally honest and true to life, which is why some people are offended. That was brave of them to show it like it is.
I love Bortus. He’s my favorite character. He’s strong, kind, vulnerable, dedicated, and his character can be hilarious, usually unintentionally, which makes it more funny.

Cygnus-X1

This heavy-handed lecture had me lightly cringing throughout. Gay sex? OK. Alien sex? Fine. Porn? Alright, if it’s relevant to the story. But, somewhere in that mix of all three at once in a sci-fi TV show is a bridge too far for me. Some things are better left private. And it’s become painfully obvious by now that the main purpose of the Clyden character is to teach the audience social progressive values. There’s nothing entertaining or even interesting about Clyden or his relationship with Bortis. It’s basically just broccoli. Or orthodoxy, if you prefer.

And calling any addiction a “disease” is already a stretch. A disorder, yes. A mental illness, sure. But, a disease? Chicken pox is a disease. Chlamydia is a disease. Cancer is a disease. Porn addiction and sex addiction are psychological maladies. And the fact that Bortis’s so-called porn addiction was brought on by his resentment of Clyden demonstrates that the term disease is terminologically inappropriate. A disease is typically not something that you can be talked into or out of. But, whatever. That’s a minor point. The high point of this episode for me was when Clyden was ejected from the ship. Finally, I thought, the lamest part of the show would be corrected. But, of course, Clyden gets a second chance. This is by far the worst episode of the series so far, in terms of my enjoyment. Blech.

Science fiction has definitely never sought to teach progressive social values to audiences, that’s for sure…

Cygnus-X1

And the big, monstrous porn dealer who’s also a crew-member on the ship…?

Gimme a break.

kmart

Homage to Ellison’s drug dealer in the unshot version of CITY ON THE EDGE OF FOREVER? (assuming any of these folks have even read it.)

0dkinWood

What’s sad is the impending loss of Alara. They needed to lose Kelly and do more with her. Now she’s leaving.

ML31

Yeah. That is a loss. Kelly I find to be kinda dull and I feel like they have done all they can with the having your Ex as your Ex thing. But Alara had that wide eyed newbie aura around her that was a little refreshing. I’m wondering if her replacement is going to be like for like.

Q__

“They needed to lose Kelly”

No! Kelly is the one of best/most competent characters in ORV.

ML31

Just goes to show you that everyone is someone’s favorite character.

Cygnus-X1

Were my comments deleted automatically?

Not sure what’s going with the automatic comment filtering, but I’ve restored your comments. You’re not alone, this happened to others too.

Cygnus-X1

Thanks, Matt.

navamske

Have they gotten rid of the green Jell-O character, Yaphit? I thought he was funny, as long as he wasn’t overused, which for the most part he wasn’t.

ML31

We did see him working a panel in Engineering in one quick scene. So he is still there. Just had no lines.