For our review of the last episode of The Orville, click here.
Synopsis: Ed and the crew discover a planet about to be destroyed by its sun; Bortus struggles with a controversial addiction that throws his marriage to Klyden into crisis. (TV Guide)
Writer: Wellesley Wild
Director: Kevin Hooks
Running Time: 44mins
Airs: Thursdays at 9pm on CityTV (Canada)/Fox (United States)
After a much welcomed season premiere earlier this week, The Orville settled into its regular time slot to debut its second episode, Primal Urges, in which the show takes a much more serious tone while its main story is grounded from a comedic subject – Mocklan pornography (Yes, it exists).
With the central storyline this week, Bortus is discovered to have a Mocklan porn addiction that is causing him to spend far too much time in the simulation room and neglecting his duties as an officer as well as a husband to Klyden. As a secondary plot line, The Orville arrives upon a planet that is slowly being dissolved by a star. As they research the planet further, they discover there is life still on the planet and attempt to rescue the remaining survivors.
When his addiction finally comes to light, Bortus is forced to come to terms with where the source of his need for affection outside his husband originates from and with a clever callback to one of last season’s best episodes, About A Girl, in which Bortus and Klyden debate on whether their daughter (now son) should undergo Mocklan surgery to become a male as is their custom. Ever since that point, Bortus has been unable to move beyond Klyden’s decision to force Topa to become male which has caused a fissure in their relationship. Up until now, he has been unable to voice this feeling to Klyden which forces the two of them to open up to one another in an attempt to heal the wounds they both have caused.
This is juxtaposed with the escalation of the dissolving planet as the crew of The Orville are forced to take drastic action in an effort to save the survivors. Once on the planet, they realize they will only be able to make one trip and their ship only seats 30 forcing the survivors to draw lots. A touching moment between the planet’s leader and her husband forces Bortus to reevaluate his position with Klyden and just how important life with your partner is despite disagreements.
If you are completely sold out for The Orville then this episode probably did its best to test your resolve as it featured very little comedic moments and instead doubled down on the serious subject matter choosing to convey a specific message of love and understanding rather than to go for easy laughs that are plentiful. However, if you were paying attention and were open to a different style of episode, The Orville’s risk paid off beautifully which is admirable and makes me all the more committed to it on a weekly basis.
While it was nowhere near a funny episode, Primal Urges had something important to say this week that deserved your patience. There will be plenty of time for laughs as the season progresses, but what will truly stand out, much like About A Girl last season, are the episodes with which the show takes a more difficult path in hopes of achieving something different.