Review: ‘The Orville’ Falls For The Past In “Lasting Impressions”

“Lasting Impressions”

The Orville Season 2, Episode 11 – Aired Thursday, March 21, 2019
Written by Seth MacFarlane
Directed by Kelly Cronin

When a time capsule from 2015 is opened, Gordon uses the simulator to recreate the life of a 21st-century woman, with whom he falls in love. Meanwhile, our favorite Moclans experience the joy of nicotine addiction.

This is not really a science fiction story, at its heart. It is a quiet meditation on the importance of the interweaving threads of every life, making the same point as TOS’s “Tomorrow is Yesterday,” by way of TNG’s “Booby Trap” with a dash of “It’s A Wonderful Life” thrown in for good measure. It’s a nice episode with a chance for Scott Grimes as Gordon Malloy to spread his wings, but it’s not an episode you’ll need to re-watch when the Season 2 DVDs come out.

Time capsule opened in “Lasting Impressions”

Warning: This is not the sort of episode that can be truly spoiled, because the plot is beside the point, but below this line, there be whatever SPOILERS are possible.

Boy meets girl

We open on the contents of a time capsule, spread out on the Orville’s conference room table. Star Trek: Voyager‘s Tim Russ guest stars as Dr. Sherman, a historian who is transporting these 21st-Century artifacts to a museum on Delta Pavonis. The capsule had been buried by the residents of Saratoga Springs, NY in the year 2015. Among the items inside it is an iPhone, thought to still contain data, though the circuitry is corrupted. Lamarr offers the help of his engineering team to restore the device, a suggestion which pleases Dr. Sherman.

Russ has only a few scenes, all of them plot-related, but it is always pleasant to see him on television. The last I remember seeing him was in an episode of Supergirl. He is a charming and warm presence.

When Yaphit and Lamarr are able to repair the device (“try turning it off and turning it back on again,” Yaphit suggests, tapping in to 21st-century Geek Squad expertise), Gordon Malloy expresses fascination about the digital fingerprints of an entire life, stored in this small device. They watch a video recorded by the phone’s owner, Laura Huggins from Saratoga Springs, a cute thirty-something girl played by Gossip Girl‘s Leighton Meester, who longs to be remembered beyond her years. Malloy is immediately struck, perhaps because she’s cute and vulnerable, or perhaps because he’s expressed bits of longing to be more than he is, too. Whatever his motivation, Malloy takes the phone to the Simulator Room and asks the computer to compile the text messages, videos, photos, voicemails, and other digital fragments, then extrapolate a simulation of Laura Huggins and her world.

Gordon meets Laura in a simulation

Of course, Gordon falls in love. And of course, Laura falls in love with him. She is just off a messy break-up of a nine-year relationship with Greg, and trying to find her way forward. There are throwaway lines here and there about how strange 21st-century culture is to the Orville’s crew, but the show has always portrayed these people as our contemporaries in their taste in music, slang, and attitudes. When even the giant, exoskeletal aliens use 21st-century bro slang, it’s hard to make the case for culture shock in this instance. Instead, these bits are played for mild laughs along the way. This is not an episode about a future guy falling for a 400-year-old girl, this is a story about a guy and a girl, and that’s all.

The B-story in the episode is about Bortus and Klyden, that wacky Moclan duo, falling in love with another 21st-century item from the time capsule: cigarettes. This story also follows exactly the path you would expect it to, given what we know about Moclans. Will someone eat a cigarette? Of course. Will they get addicted? Of course. Will it cause tension in their relationship, leading to violence? Absolutely. The only benefit of this storyline is that it gives the Gordon/Laura story somewhere to cut to, and it is humorous to see Bortus puffing on a cigarette on the bridge of the Orville. Much like his quick fascination with mustaches a few episodes back, these moments are there for little light humor, not for any deeper meaning. Although, damn—is there anything Moclans won’t get addicted to?

Bortus picks up a new habit

Boy and girl fall in love

So Gordon and Laura fall in love. The episode takes its time here, building the relationship through lots of small scenes with light conversation and nothing of huge significance. The episode lingers, helped by light direction by Kelly Cronin. Scott Grimes and Leighton Meester have good chemistry, and neither overplays it. Malloy tells her as much of the truth as he can about himself, and she is impressed. Huggins talks freely about her life and dreams. She works in a Macy’s, but she wants to be a professional musician. Malloy attends a pub gig that she plays, singing Art Garfunkel’s ballad (penned by Jimmy Web), “All I’ve Got to Say,” apparently with new lyrics written for Meester to perform. She’s got a lovely voice—the producers of the show released a promotional music video of Meester singing the song the day before the episode aired (which you can see below). These scenes play out as you’d expect, but are done well.

And really, that’s all I’ve got to say.

Laura sings in “Lasting Impressions”

Boy loses girl

Malloy starts to involve his friends in his relationship with Laura, and they express concern. Falling in love with someone who’s not real is something many characters on The Orville have had to reckon with this season, and references are made to Ed “banging” a Krill imposter, Dr. Finn’s relationship with Isaac, and Bortus’ Simulator Room addiction. There’s a good, necessary conversation about what makes a person “real” in a world of advanced computing and artificial intelligence. Ed stresses that he fell in love with someone who was lying to him, but he never lied to himself. Gordon insists that how we relate to someone is what determines whether or not they are real. It’s an irresolvable question, but it’s nice to see it addressed.

Laura invites Gordon and his friends over to her apartment for a game of Pictionary (do people still play Pictionary in the 2010s?) which Lamarr, Keyali, Mercer, and Grayson thoroughly dislike. Gordon and Laura have sex, and his relationship with her starts to impact his job performance. He gets calls from her on the bridge. He is late for work. And then she decides to get back together with Greg. Malloy is heartbroken, turning to his friend Lamarr for consolation in an amusing and touching scene.

It’s in this section that the episode starts to feel a bit long, and where I started looking at my watch. It becomes clear that Gordon’s relationship with Laura is not the actual point of the story, and so we begin to wonder what is.

LaMarr, Tala, Kelly and Ed visit the Simulator for a game of Pictionary in “Lasting Impressions”

Boy deletes the competition

When Malloy deletes Greg from the simulation—effectively editing Laura’s life story, making it less of an extrapolation and more clearly a fantasy—he comes face-to-face with the reality that the absence of one life can have huge ripple effects of unintended consequences. Without Greg’s encouragement and support over their nine-year relationship, Laura never found the courage to sing on stage, and has instead pursued her job at Macy’s as a career. She still looks like Leighton Meester, but she is no longer the dreamer and musician that Malloy fell in love with. Without Greg, Laura was not Laura—but with Greg, Malloy loses Laura. George Bailey is vindicated. Every life matters. Etc. etc. The rest plays out predictably—Gordon restores Greg to the program, and says his goodbyes, singing a final duet with her onstage at the pub in what is probably the true point of the episode.

Greg takes a goodbye photo of Gordon with Laura in “Lasting Impressions”

Boy learns a valuable lesson

In the end, this episode is a quiet, pleasant reflection on the importance of every life, no matter how small, interspersed with scenes of Moclans smoking like fiends and smashing furniture. There are small laughs here and there, and when the credits roll, you feel as though you spent a pleasant hour and a half watching pretty people fall in love with each other.

Where does this episode fit in with the larger story being told by The Orville? There’s no real exploration of the grand theme of the season—whether people divided by deep differences can coexist with each other—and there is still no follow-up on Isaac’s betrayal of the crew three episodes ago. Isaac himself appears in one shot of one scene and is referenced in dialogue in another, but otherwise is not a factor in this episode.

I liked “Lasting Impressions,” but it will not leave me with … lasting impressions. It’s a light bit of romantic comedy with no real science fiction edge. Worth seeing, enjoying, and forgetting. Oh, and buy the new Leighton Meester CD!

Kelly consoles Gordon in “Lasting Impressions”

Brief bits

  • Tim Russ (Star Trek: Voyager’s Tuvok) appears as historian Dr. Sherman, I eagerly looked for a character named “Peabody” – to no avail.
  • Items in the time capsule include: an empty can of Coca-Cola, a bottle of Instant Energy drink, a compact fluorescent light bulb, a Snickers bar, Fifty Shades of Grey, a can of SPAM, a bottle of nail polish, a pack of cigarettes, stereo headphones, a New York Yankees cap, about $2.02 in bills and change, a Purell dispenser, suntan lotion, ibuprofen, a copy of USA Today, a birthday card, flip-flops, Double Stuff Oreos, an X-Men tee shirt, sunglasses, a Fitbit, a toy minivan, Minecraft, and menus from a local pizza place and The Hungry Diner, as well as a copy of US Magazine. And of course, the iPhone.
  • The Hungry Diner is a farm-to-table restaurant in Walpole, NH, on the New Hampshire/Vermont border. Saratoga Springs, NY is about 2 ¼ hours away. I’m not sure a time capsule buried in Saratoga Springs would include that menu, but it was fun to discover that it’s a real place.
  • The X-Men film franchise is owned by Fox, which is currently owned by Disney.
  • The song playing at Laura’s party is “Lips Are Movin’” by Meghan Trainor, which includes lines in which the singer claims to be from outer space, and wants to be her boyfriend’s “Number One.” Another song on the soundtrack is “Uptown Funk “ by Mark Ronson, heard in the pub scene near the end of the episode.
  • Laura’s gig is at a “pub over on Dunhill.” I was unable to locate a “Dunhill” in Saratoga Springs, NY, but there are a great many pubs in what is a fantastic little college town.
  • 838-555-0146—Laura’s phone number—does have the proper area code for Saratoga Springs, NY
  • Kelly can cross one eye at a time.

Kelly shows off her talent in “Lasting Impressions”

Notable quotables 

  • “Look at this: she’s clearly asking her friend where she can find the nearest repair service for her device, but instead of writing, “wireless telecommunications facility,” she just wrote, “WTF?”” — Sherman
  • “The sensation is…wonderful! I feel like I have been standing my entire life, and I just sat down.” — Klyden, feeling the nicotine high for the first time
  • “The device is not recognized.” The simulator seems to know exactly what we 21st-Century people most dreaded hearing.
  • “Are those pajamas, or are you a NASCAR Driver?” “Oh, wait, let me guess – are you in a marching band?” — 21st-century guesses about Malloy’s uniform
  • “God, they were on the verge of a major climate disaster, and there’s a whole page about teeth whitening.” “It’s a miracle the human race survived.” — Mercer and Grayson, reading USA Today
  • “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.” — Laura Huggins
  • “You can’t just pick and choose which parts of your past you want to change and be able to know how it’s all gonna turn out.” — Kelly

Tim Russ as Sherman in “Lasting Impressions”

Bonus: Leighton Meester Music Video

Preview for episode 212


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

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Michael Hall

This sounds. . . pretty okay, like a low-key later-season TNG episode you could embrace as a decent, quiet character study if nothing else. But not having seen the show yet, how does “Greg” re-enter the picture if the latest data the program has to work with says that he’s an ex? What’s creating that input, if not Gordon?

Legate Damar

Later texts show that they really did get back together later. Gordon just never bothered reading ahead.

Pretty okay is a good description of this episode.

Joshua Dawson

It’s offhandedly mentioned that the computer extrapolated that they would get back together based on the last texts

Ensign Crusher

It’s similar to the Voyager holodeck episode “Lasting Impressions”.

Professor Spock

The X-Men film franchise is owned by Disney now not Fox. The X-Men and Avengers will team up one day. X-Men in the Marvel Cinematic Universe MCU. Disney will continue to make Deadpool movies in rated R. Disney owns every Marvel character except Spider-Man, Hulk, and Namor. Spider-Man is owned by Sony. Hulk and Namor by Universal.

The X-Men film franchise is owned by Disney now not Fox.

Saying Fox owns X-Men is still correct. And you’ll note the review also said Disney bought them. So what’s the problem?

Disney bought Fox, Fox is now a wholly owned subsidiary of Disney, but it didn’t cease to exist.

Furthermore, when this episode was written and produced (Spring 2018), Disney had not bought Fox yet.

The entire point of the comment in the review was simply to show the Fox synergy — The Orvile and X-Men are both Fox productions.

Now that Disney owns Fox, that’s no less true.

Professor Spock

Matt Wright CBS can’t compete with Disney now since they completed their Fox deal on March 20, 2019. Disney is too big and too powerful. Star Trek is not enough for CBS to survive. CBS and Viacom need a merger ASAP to compete with Netflix, Apple, Amazon, Disney-Fox, Warner Bros., Comcast, Hulu etc.

Brian

Fox kills sc fi. Got Firefly?

CBS prices the shows out of reach. I pay plenty for Direct and Hulu. The Expanse will be on Amazon for $$.

Screw ppv Star Trek. I have the Orville. Being on Fox it will be canceled.

I am tired of todays tv.

Afterburn

Fox never owned X-men. THey simply licensed the movie rights from marvel. Now that they are part of Disney they can void that deal.

“own” was shorthand for who controlled the rights to the movies.

EggKookoo

Strictly speaking, Disney owns Spider-Man, Hulk, and Namor. What they don’t have are the film rights to those characters, but the only real obstacle is Sony and Spider-Man. Marvel has the film production rights to the Hulk (and possibly Namor?) but not the film distribution rights. This means Marvel can put the Hulk in an Avengers or Thor movie without consulting or paying Universal, but they can’t make an outright Hulk movie without involving them.

Even the situation with Spider-Man might be similar now that he’s in the MCU.

Professor Spock

I liked this episode. It is a typical boy meets girl episode. Same old falling in love story with a sprinkle of that The Orville magic. 6 out of 10.

Hat Rick

Something about this reminds me of “The Sound of Her Voice” (DS9).

HubcapDave

It was nice to see Geordi…er, Gordon have a relationship with Leah….er, Laura!

Given the dramatic re-orientation of the series in season two, I was afraid the “twist” was going to be super-dark. Until about two-thirds of the way through, I dreaded a reveal that Laura had died right before her phone went into the capsule. In fact, when Gordon entered her house, I feared that he would be walking in on the wake from her funeral. In retrospect that probably wouldn’t have made much sense; how would pictures from her own wake have wound up on her iPhone? But as the episode was spooling out, my imagination definitely went there.

Instead, we got a nice little story about how pulling on one thread in a life’s tapestry can change everything, and I have to admit that I was relieved Seth didn’t “go there”. Poor Gordon… I really hope that he finds love before the series concludes. Scott Grimes and Leighton Meester had terrific onscreen chemistry… excellent work by both of these actors.

And now accursed college basketball will keep the show off the air for three long weeks. #%&! I suppose I understand Fox not wanting to burn new episodes against the CBS sports juggernaut, but another long hiatus can’t be much good for the ratings, either. Oh well, I look forward to the show returning in April, even if it is for what will likely be the final three episodes of the series.

Martin

That’s a bit misplaced anger at basketball. This episode came on during the first night of the NCAA tournament, and yes, next Thursday will be NCAA tournament Sweet 16, but the following week – there will be only 3 games, and none will be on Thursday.

Tony

Fox will renew for at least one more year.

Philk

As someone whose school is in the tournament and stomped their first round appointment: “ja’loja on basketball hate!”

NunyaBidness

As someone who has no clue or concern if either of his colleges are in the tournament because NCAA Basketball is meaningless and any of the good college players go pro immediately making it doubly so… Who cares?

One of the reasons I learned to loathe TV sports is having TOS syndication (and sometimes TNG later) preempted by a stupid game.

Phil

Well, the ratings are down without sports competition, so your anger is misplaced. My wife’s Alma Mater is in the tournament, so Go Zags!

Denny C

Ratings for The Orville are steady this season, equaling or outperforming offerings on NBC and ABC. Assuming a renewal for next season, I suspect that they’ll move it to 8:00 p.m. to replace Gotham.

ML31

My alma mater is terrible at cheating so they rarely even get invited.

J.P.

If FOX was stupid enough to cancel either HULU, Netflix, or Amazon would pick it up. The show is too good. It’s the best sci-fi series on television currently (and as far as I’m concerned the best sci-fi since Moore’s BSG).

Martin

Meh. Good touch bringing in Tim Russ to represent Trek here – because the getting lost in the holodeck, or falling in love in the holodeck, or malfunctioning holodeck stories are now just the worst trope from the TNG & Voyager years.

Thanks for the review. It aligns closely with my reactions.

It’s interesting for Gordon to get two episodes with the A plot so close together. He had really been the one who hadn’t carried an episode up until recently.

A few compare and contrast thoughts with Discovery…

First, the Orville has an ensemble of 8 principal characters instead of Discovery’s 4-5n but manages to get 1-2 lead episodes for each in a 13 episode season.

The Orville has fewer secondary characters, but they seem much more 3 dimensional than Discovery’s.

It’s not just because it’s episodic that this is possible, rather that McFarlane is willing to share with an ensemble in spite of his tight creative control. He could have made Ed a Mary Sue, but has done quite the opposite.

Discovery’s was created not just to be serial but to be Burnham’s story. I’m not sure it’s working, but Kurtzman is unwilling or contractually unable to back out of this it seems. There are certainly serials that are ensemble…it seems to have been unnecessarily courageous to have gone with a Trek product that changed in both dimensions out of the gate.

Last thought, Gordon certainly isn’t willing to let go of Ed’s romantic entanglement with a Krill, and even Admiral Ted Danson mentioned the relationship in the previous episode.

I suspect that there is a third act in that relationship coming up before the end of season.

I thought of TNG’s The Inner Light, where Picard lives the life of Kamin so his doomed civilization would not be forgotten. Both made me cry.

John Ruschmeyer

Gordon’s story also owes a lot to TNG’s “Booby Trap”. This is the episode where Geordi tries to solve an engineering problem by creating a holodeck simulation of Leah Brahms, the developer of the Enterprise’s Warp Drive. Suffice it to say that the two get along rather well. He ultimately meets the real Dr. Brahms in the episode “Galaxy’s Child” and discovers aspects of her life that he did not know or take into consideration when creating the simulation.

The two TNG episodes, taken together, form an interesting counterpoint to this episode.

As for the Bortus storyline… I personally found it hilarious and thought it was almost an homage to classic storylines where characters try to quit smoking (e.g. the movie “Cold Turkey”).

Sean

Ohh!.. wouldn’t it be a subsequent twist in a future episode that Gordon meets a direct descendant of Laura (of course played by the same girl…) and they explore that relationship where he expects the descendant to be just like the gt gt gt gt gt gt grandmother he fell in ‘love’ with? But of course she’s not. She will be her own personality, one that he doesn’t really agree with – but which he ultimately accepts.

ML31

Oh… So THAT is where it is similar to “Booby Trap”. I did not recall that episode. In fact, most of the TNG episodes I do not recognize by title. I need something like, “the one where X happened.” And even then I may still need more. Too many TNG episodes just weren’t memorable and I’ve only seen a handful more than once.

Ian

This episode feels like it’s an hour and a half long, eh? I believe it!

Zipp

The BIG problem I had with the episode is that Laura’s ultimate fate is unknown. A nice bookend to the story would have been Gordon asking the computer for a brief summary of Laura’s life after she donated the phone. And it would have been nice if she actually DID become a successful singer and end there, with him listening to her music during the fadeout. The creepier ending would have been Gordon finding out she was a distant relative.

kmart

After hearing about one of her exes (not sure if it was Greg or not, I dozed a couple time), I was sure from her descript the guy cited was supposed to be an ancestor of Gordon. My wife liked it enough that I think I should probably try showing her the Binar TNG with Minuet, even though she dislikes or only tolerates most TNG.

Cynth34

That’s where I thought it was headed when Gordon said his dad’s name was Greg. I’m glad it didn’t go down the distance relative road. Great episode!

John Ruschmeyer

Agreed. I was kind of surprised that no one even tried to look her up in “the archives”. I also sort of pictured her ending up as a sort of virtual tour guide at the museum’s exhibition of the time capsule.

alphantrion

I think it worked better without knowing her ultimate fate. This way everyone who watches the episode can make their own decisions on what was her fate. I think this works the imagination better.

Sean

I had the same thoughts

That was a great episode!
Especially when watching it after the newest Discovery outing (“Red Angel”). They killed of a Character, that was part of the show from the very begining, hat an emotional funeral (that was a TWOK Ripoff) and I felt nothing.
Here they’ve introduduced a new character that will most likely never pe part of the show again … and I am so going to miss her. She hat great chemistry with Gordon. And the Idea of recreating people from the past by means of their Smartphone-Data is great … and something, that hasn’t exactly explored by Star Trek (because, there hasn’t really be a new show since 2005). The only analog I can think of is the Black Mirror Episode on the topic, but that expored a different aspect.

The only criticism I really have ist, that all the topics weren’t explored more. And I could have done without the B-Story, though it was funny.

PS: That’s my opinion; I’m not a native-speaker; please be civil ;-)

anthony martin

Thank you for a review on an unaired Uk programme………………cheers !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Freddie W

If you’re a Tim Russ fan you should check out “Pen15”; he has a supporting role and the show’s great in general.

FrostUK

Good episode. The A & B stories were fun in their own ways. Good cameo from Tim Russ as well. He’s always great.

I loved this episode! I was worried this was going to take a more predictable route, and cross over into melodrama. Instead it was a light, sweet meditation on how love changes us for the bette, even when it’s bittersweet. This one is a definite re-watcher for me. I never much cared for Seth McFarlane, but he has won me over with the Orville. Bring on Season 3!

TrekFan

Overall, I enjoyed this episode more than the others this season. I think that’s because Seth was barely in it. He is by far the weak link in the cast. The man cannot act – he is totally unbelievable in any live action role he plays. His writing CAN be good at times like it was with this episode. But the story is pulled directly from any ST episode with a holodeck. Scott Grimes really shows off his acting chops here and plays the part well instead of the usual comedy relief. The B plot was ok – I just found it a little cartoonish at times. Tim Russ’ cameo was a little small and he was wasted. I would have liked to see him interested in Gordon’s holodeck program due to the fact that he was talking about how they didn’t know much about actually living in the past.

Little trivia for you: Scott Grimes appeared in TNG. Do you remember the episode?

Thorny

Well I’ll be. Never knew he was in it. First thing I remember him in is Band of Brothers (I never watched Party of Five.)

TrekFan

He was Also in ER.

ML31

I agree that Seth is not a very good actor. But he CAN do comedy. If the show rolled back to being more comic he would be just fine.

Drew

Yes, this is fiction, but it was also one my favorite episodes. It’s a great commentary on us as human beings and how our experiences build upon each other. I hope people in the future remember us like this. We certainly live in exciting times.

Jace M. Rahman

I felt your last episode was horrible Seth. You made a lifetime movie instead of show about space and science. If we want drama I will tune into Hallmark channel. I thought Scott character (who I love) will travel back to time to find her instead he falls in love with the situation.

alphantrion

What, the next episode is in three weeks? WTH is Fox doing with this show? In terms of the episode, I liked the fact that it tried to tell a small, personal love story. In this day and age of everything trying to be “epic” (such an overused word) and constant universal stakes, I think it was a breath of fresh air to watch a very emotional and personal episode. I think Discovery needs to do full episodes in this manner and not just relegate the full character episodes to the short treks.

alastair87

It might well be due to the upcoming episodes not being finished. Particularly if its some season finale epic that needs a lot in post.

Thorny

Many/most broadcast shows are in reruns now until mid-late April. A few have already ended for the season (such as Manifest and The Good Doctor). They save the last few episodes of the season for May sweeps.

ML31

Yes. The three week break was weird. One episode in 5 weeks? Feels wrong. But the show hasn’t been nearly as good this season so it doesn’t bother me as much as it would have last season.

Chris Carlisle

Loved this episode, the orville at its best. WTF I laughed and laughed at the non star trek humour. Simulator…500 cigarettes!.. hiding them everywhere after they quit, fantastic observational humour, and at the heart of it undertones of its a wonderful life, which btw is still my favourite film.Bravo Orvill, keep it coming.

JJjackson

Why didn’t he just delete Greg just before he comes back into her life? Dork….

Praetor Tal

Thought this too. “Computer: kill Greg at time index —-.” Then Gordon could be there to comfort her. It wouldn’t reflect well on his character, though, so perhaps that’s why he didn’t.

Cygnus-X1

This is a charming episode. At the start, I was expecting a rip-off of TNG’s “Booby Trap.” But though “Lasting Impressions” is heavily influenced by “Booby Trap,” it takes the TNG concept in a new direction that adds meaning and value to the borrowed premise. The main story has a solid overarching theme that motivates the plot nicely, and the B-story (there’s actually a B-story!) is also entertaining, despite its inclusion of the Klyden character whom the show appears to have reset since his attempt to kill a secretly heterosexual Moclan earlier this season.

“Lasting Impressions” is a good illustration of what The Orville can do well. The story does not rely on science fiction or serious organizational-politics themes, which The Orville has handled ham-handedly in previous episodes. The Orville is not TNG, and the sooner it comes to terms with that fact of life, the sooner it can spread its wings, fly its own way and do what it’s best equipped for, as demonstrated in “Lasting Impressions,” which turns out to be one of the series’ best episodes by not trying to fill the shoes of TNG and coming up short.

Cygnus-X1

The Orville still needs to bring back some of the humor that it’s lost since Season 1. The smoking B-story offers a bit of comic relief, but it’s not quite laugh-out-loud funny. I’m still befuddled at how the show has managed to include Norm MacDonald, perhaps the funniest man on the planet, for over 20 episodes and not once given him a funny line. I just don’t get it. Also, moving LaMarr to engineering has completely eliminated his comedic contributions for not much gain in terms of character value. LaMarr should be back on the bridge next to Malloy adding to the humor of the show. Either that, or Malloy should be in engineering next to LaMarr. But, having LaMarr on his own tinkering with objects is a waste.

ML31

I agree that the show is in DESPERATE need to return to the comedy. It has been all but completely gone this season. Which is why the B story worked so well. It might have appeared funnier than it was just by the absence of decent jokes this season.

That said, as much as I loved the comedy from last season, the worst of it came from the Malloy-Lamarr pairing. Their shenanigans never worked and went beyond lame. If the choice was for the show to stay with the season 2 tone or they get the LaMarr-Malloy team back together… I would say just end the show instead.

Much like Greg influenced Laura’s path, TNG has influenced Seth’s. Seth is brilliant in they way he honors TNG’s legacy with The Orville.

TardisCaptain

Half way through the episode, I realized I was bored. Past Orville episodes have taught me that I’ll expect one thing, and get something else that I wasn’t expecting (which is a good thing). This episode’s A plot was just… dull. I was expecting something other than another soap opera level of a story. I was expecting that Tim Russ’ character was going to find out about the sneaky download or that some tech pirates may have stolen the items (including the simulation) and Gordon was going to have to decide if he was going to risk his life for a holographic girl. They set up a good relationship between Gordon and the holographic girl, then did nothing with it other than end the relationship. The Moclans smoking was funny, but this episode did not live up to the title. Blood of Patriots was a good Gordon story, this episode was not. The Orville has had a really up and down season so far. I hope it can be renewed for another season.

Roger

I liked it! I hope the Orville is renewed. Can’t please everyone everytime. Sad that “WTF” is lost in the future.

Paris Chantelle Clark

Did anyone watch this and also think of the Star Trek: Voyager scenario with JANEWAY and her holodeck Michael Sullivan?! I thought that was pretty glaring..

alphantrion

Yup, it especially reminded me of her famous “Delete the Wife” line :))

Corporal Punishment

“Cereal man…man with cereal, uh…cereal man, CEREAL MAN!!!!!”

“Dr. Finn advised that chewing gum can be helpful in overcoming addiction.”
“Is it helping?”
“It is not.”

DRB

It’s funny – I’m more likely to rewatch a show like this or “A Happy Refrain” than I am something like “Identity” (which I liked a lot).

Trek TOS consisted largely of what trufans now call “filler shows.”

ML31

I think you mean, TNG. Not TOS.

Jgoo

To answer your question – 838 is currently a valid area code for Saratoga, but it wasn’t created until 2017, two years after Laura’s phone was buried.

Dave

Saratoga Springs area code is 518 not 838 so they did not have the correct one.

sweetwillow58

I was hoping Malloy would try to look up Laura’s great-great-great-great…..well, most current female progeny. The ultimate stalker.

Valerie

838 is actually a valid area code for Saratoga Springs – or at least it is now (though it couldn’t have been Laura’s area code when she put her phone in the capsule); it was established as an overlay over 518 in 2017.

As someone who lives in NY’s Capital District, what got me is that Laura lives in Saratoga Springs but works at Macy’s. The nearest one is in Colonie Center Mall half an hour away. Saratoga Springs isn’t exactly a cheap place to live, so it seemed like an unrealistic place to live given her job. It probably would have been more realistic if she worked at JCPenny or the Bon Ton, both of which have locations in the nearby Wilton Center Mall. In any case, it was cool to see my area of the state get featured on the Orville, though it does make it easier to get drawn out of the narrative by these things.

Denes House

Have you ever eaten at The Hungry Diner?

Greg Marshall

Wow, you need to get out more. This is a FICTIONAL television show.

J.S.

“Wow, you need to get out more.”

And you need to be less condescending, wow.

Joshua Dawson

What got me I know it was a joke but our movies and TV shows survived we know this because Ed is a huge cineophile so how does at least he not know what wtf means

Xavier

One thing was missed = Yes 838 is one of two phone area codes for Saratoga Springs, NY, Now Today ( I live 40 min away near Albany ) – 838 was not a available area code in the Year 2015 – It was first used in 2017 when all the 518 phone numbers finally ran out.

This is something I was looking for if correct right away when living here and most other people would not even know. At least they made a good effort to keep correct.

JKP

I love this show. It has a heart and soul that Trek hasn’t had in a long long time. This episode shows it. Hope there’s word on a season 3 soon…

Sean

Thoughts:

I thought the stuff in the time capsule looked too new, too pristine. Even stuff that comes out of a time capsule after a few decades (my former primary school recently opened one that we had buried in 1979) look rather rough and weathered.

I am *really* over Moclan centered storylines… I could not have cared less that they got addicted to ciggies. I also wish they’d kill off Klyden for good just so I don’t have to see him again. (What *does* he do onboard to earn his keep?)

I feel they missed an opportunity in the storyline. It’d have been nice at the end of the episode for Gordon to do an historical data search for what really became of Laura after 2015. Maybe someone like Kelly or the Doc or Lamar could have done it for him? There must be some records that still exist even after 400 years. That would have been a nice closing shot of Gordon browsing through Laura’s history and subsequent life as we (perhaps) faded away or pulled out through a window and then switched to an external shot of the Orville zooming off to its next adventure.

Jarma13

This was my final episode with the Orville. Once again it’s another episode about love.
We call it #MelroseSpace because it’s just a soap opera
It’s not a scifi show.
It’s geared to girls and needy lovefools.
I should have seen it coming when they kept the ex wife on.
She was their first mistake.
No one is rooting for them. No one wants them back together.
Unenlightened Americans are obsessed with love. With an notion of love that doesn’t even exist. It’s mental illness. Pandering to it to make money is classless.
Making it the focus of a scifi show is insanity.
The show had promise.
The first season showed possibilities
But every episode this season has been about love
Not to mention how wildly inappropriate their relationships are. When they ganged up on Gordon… Omg like no one has used the holosuite before.
If your friends crawl up your ass like that, drop those toxic losers. They’re just soothing their egos by projecting problems onto you.
Any way
I held on. Even when my partner demanded i stop torturing him with it.
But I cannot deny the show has been destroyed.

But hey everyone in 2550 is as needy and maladjusted as today’s people.
No one learned a thing.

Congrats

Annabell Raulerson

Episode 11 could continue. His love could met again by the “future”. He could find her in his time. She had good genes.

jako

The Smoking Moclans is the funniest thing I have ever seen!
It bursted out of me… I couldnt stop laughing. My Brain doesnt even realsized why… every scene the same. I just laughed the shit out of me.

And than they apear on the bridge… smoking. Holy Shit! Epic!

ML31

It was funny, yes. But not nearly as funny as Issac in his tighty whities going all trailer trash on Dr. Finn. That was the one really laugh out lout moment of the season. Sad that there was only one. There were plenty in season 1.

ShawnP

I feel exactly the same way. Laughing out loud, yet couldn’t explain it…except perhaps the idea that Bortis is addicted – again.

DetroitBORG

Really charming episode with a familiar but worthwhile message about what makes us who we are. These episodes remind me of Star Trek TNG the most and it’s kind of amazing to see this type of storytelling again. The Orville is by no means a clever show, but it gets the tone and characters right.

Tiger2

Just watched it and agree with most, a really great and charming episode! I had to ignore some of the set up for the premise to play out but once it did I was completely enthralled by it. I really like how they took it another angle that Gordon wasn’t just falling in love with another simulation but since it’s all based on a real person’s life he saw her as real. It’s been done before on ‘other’ shows but never in this way. And the Bortus and Klyden B story was hilarious. That’s what I do like about this show, when the laughs are genuine it’s really fun even if its still mundane. Oh and loved the Tim Russ cameo. I literally gasped when I saw him lol. I wish he was on it longer but it was great to see him.

And I liked how it ended too. A little pap but realistic when he realized that if he just changed her real situation then it would just be another program and not the ‘real’ her. I have to say out of this and Discovery this week, I definitely enjoyed this more. But to be fair it wasn’t an episode they built 10 episodes on to be disappointed over the outcome. ;)

kitbashcanon

I agree with you. I really enjoyed this epi. I hold onto Orville eps on my DVR for rewatching. My wife really enjoys Orville too. Well done, Seth.

Danpaine

Just saw it last night, and as usual, both my wife and I very much enjoyed it. This one really pulled at the heartstrings, and again, Orville touches on life’s experiences in a very light and entertaining way. Please Fox….renew.

skyjedi

I must be the only person who hated this episode. I thought i was watching a Sitcom not science fiction. I quickly tuned out. Never really been a Gordon fan anyway.

ML31

It’s sad but this was arguably be best episode of the season thus far. And that was entirely from the B story. It was amusing and had a fair share of laughs. What the show was marketed to be from the beginning. The A story was meh. I don’t think a decent B story counts as a “more comedic” episode. And again, I read that they did have more than 1 comedic episodes this season. There are what… 3 episodes left? And still no comedy at all. Season two has been a complete jumbled mess. I used to think this whole exercise was just an expensive excuse to let Seth play Star Trek. Now I’m thinking it is also possible this show has no idea what it wants to be. The first season had far more direction than this jumbled mess.

G H

How does Gordon know the Avis car rental company, but not know who Dick Van Dyke is?

Marko

Do the writers even try anymore? Is season two entirely dedicated to anachronisms from the late 90s? Kermit and the Wright Bros plane on Ed’s desk are one thing, but an iPhone? How is Laura sending texts when the holodeck suspended? And this week’s morality lesson is again about addiction? Someone needs to Bortuss into Passages Malibu stat!

**Ralp**

Sorry, I just vomited in my mouth contemplating the train-wreck that this series has become.

Marja

Can I just say that Scott Grimes has a wonderful singing voice? He had such a nice song for Isaac, and sings beautiful harmony here.

I continue to be very impressed by “Orville’s” visuals. Although I think it’s ironic that a lot of Trek fans bitched about JJ Abrams’ Enterprise bridge looking like an Apple Store. This one is WAY too brightly lit. I do like the 180-degree viewport.

Jeff Haas

Does anyone else think it’s weird that crewmembers regularly have sex in the Orville’s simulator? Isaac puts on a fake body, there’s a Moclan fantasy camp, then Gordon spends the night…and apparently no one else wanted to use the simulator for hours…

Cygnus-X1

There could be more than one simulator. If you start questioning the logistics of ship operations in this show, you’re bound to find much that is unexplained. What’s more noticeably problematic for me is that the crew speaks in slang and vernacular from late 20th and early 21st Centuries, which is very weird in a 24th Century setting. When they go into the 2015 simulation, the 400 year-old people are all talking in the same fashion as the crew talks.

Jeff Haas

I think the slang is a hold-over from the first season, when they were trying to be a send-up of TNG. Obviously Fox likes aliens who talk like frat bros, they use that one saying “Bitchin!” before every episode.

But now that they’re trying to actually be just like TNG, it’s weird.

I still think the fact that the simulator can act like a partner, brothel, or whatever is weird.

ML31

What did you think Quark’s Holosuites were used for? Rock climbing?

Danpaine

Good point, ML. Realistically, that’s what such a device Would be used for. Not, imo, dressing up as Sherlock Holmes, unless of course the two intertwined. To each his own :)

Jeff

You’re right. I completely forgot about the episode where Wesley lost his virginity to a holo-hooker. Good times!

Danpaine

I turned to my wife while watching this last night and suggested if we all had simulators, no one would ever leave them. She heartily agreed. That said, I like that on Orville, people use them for what people really Would use them for, fantasies, sexual or otherwise. On TNG, unless they were being used in the process of solving a larger plot mystery, the holodeck programs the crew created were quite bland, in comparison.

Dr Zaius

I really liked the episode. So what if the plot points weren’t entirely original. I still think it was better done than the holodeck malfunction of the week or another outing with the perpetually neurotic Barkley.
Considering how much Discovery has been retreading TOS characters and settings theres no reason for finger pointing.

Vice Admiral Nakamura

There are those who pointlessly rip this show for borrowing from Trek, but look at this installment. It is more engaging and charming than just about all the Trek episodes dealing with holo addiction. And while many Trek episodes had historical figures in the holodeck, none that I recall dealt with the particulars of recreating an average person from the past using their records and correspondence. So once again, MacFarlane adds some new wrinkles to a familiar Trek plot device, complemented by his particular sensibility.

That Meester is so memorable in her guest role and Grimes is so quietly affecting is a testament to MacFarlane’s underrated skills as a dramatist, as many are accustomed to bashing him for the broad comedy found in Family Guy etc. Folks, this is what a professional hour of television is supposed to look like, as opposed to the confused and hysterical train wreck that is Discovery.

Kelly

How did you not notice the creepy age difference between Malloy and Laura? He’s old enough to be her father! UGH.

zin

Can’t stand in the way of love, who can explain it, age makes no difference.
On another topic, I was surprised there’s been no mention of the last iphone snap of Gordon, does such a picture “still” exist on her time capsule phone (or was it not the same phone)? Twilight Zone time!