The Orville

“Lasting Impressions”

3.5 stars.

Air date: 3/21/2019
Written by Seth MacFarlane
Directed by Kelly Cronin

Review Text

The Orville crew opens a 400-year-old time capsule that was sealed in 2015 in Saratoga Springs, New York, and among the preserved relics is a smartphone, left behind — with all personal data intact — by a young woman. Once reviving the phone and powering it up, the crew discovers a treasure trove documenting a short period of a long-ago life.

(The archeologist assigned to oversee this unearthing is played by Tim Russ, whom I haven't seen in anything since probably Live Free or Die Hard. His performance here suggests a specific eccentricity.)

"Lasting Impressions" is the sort of story that could likely be sold with a single-sentence pitch (which is the very definition of "high concept," even though this story does not at all play like one), simply because of how many possibilities the premise opens up. This could've gone in any number of directions, documenting any number of fictional lives. That it picks the mundane details of a would-be romance is a testament to the writers' faith in the concept.

This story is of such deliberately low stakes that watching it, as indeed I did, right after watching Discovery's "The Red Angel" — in which all life in the galaxy supposedly hangs in the balance — plays like a sort of now-I-can-just-sit-back-and-breathe tonic. It's relaxing and pleasant, and in its completely non-urgent and unassuming way it says something much more significant than its modesty suggests.

The story is about how Malloy finds himself smitten by the idea of this woman, named Laura (Leighton Meester). After watching her videos and reading her texts, he decides to use the ship's computer to analyze all the data on her phone and create an ultra-realistic interpolated simulation of this long-dead woman and the things in her life's immediate orbit, based on the brief snapshot the phone history contains.

The writers opt to use this idea to explore Malloy and his loneliness, and it's probably the best use of Malloy to date. The interactive nature of the program allows him to insert himself into a fictionalized version of Laura's life, where he assumes a starring role. Inevitably (and perhaps too obviously) he begins falling for Laura and wants to pursue a relationship.

Gordon's shipmates are not especially encouraging. LaMarr, skeptical from the outset, warns Gordon to keep some perspective and perhaps not venture down this road at all. Later, when Laura takes enough of a liking to him that she invites him over for game night with her friends, Gordon drags along Ed, Kelly, John, and Talla, who seem to be humoring him more than anything else.

This is all played for a mix of low-key humor and pathos. What's best about the episode is its mastery of tone. It doesn't pretend this is a huge thing that's going to crush Gordon or lead to an unhealthy holographic addiction like in TNG's "Hollow Pursuits." It's more like an earnest VR experiment where Gordon's reality is based on how much he can trick himself into believing it, on the basis of it being based on a real person's life.

Gordon's relationship with Laura is thrown for a loop when the Other Guy, named Greg, whom she broke up with right before Gordon entered her life, re-enters the picture suddenly. (Plenty of us have been the guy who gets hung out to dry when the girl goes back to the previous guy.) Gordon tries to simply delete Greg, but removing him significantly changes who "Laura" is in the program (like her courage to sing on stage) and destroys the illusion for Gordon. (Like in "Tapestry," start pulling on one thread and it all unravels. The point demonstrates how we are all sums of our experiences and relationships, which includes the inputs we get from others.) I like this approach. Gordon lets it play as real in his mind up until it simply can't anymore. And when he realizes the illusion can't be sustained, it's over.

The B-story, meanwhile, is more Bortus-inspired comic gold. You see, also inside the time capsule are cigarettes, which Bortus tries and discovers, because of his Moclan physiology, that he's instantly addicted. Klyden also gets hooked. Dr. Finn says it will take a few days to find a way to counteract the addiction. In the meantime, we get a number of hilarious Moclanisms: Bortus smoking on the bridge, to everyone else's disgust. Bortus and Klyden trying to quit and then jonesing for nicotine, then hiding their secret smoking from each other. Bortus chewing nicotine gum on the bridge, to everyone else's puzzlement. This show rarely goes wrong when using Bortus and Klyden as comic outsiders, and it works here as usual, and even ties thematically into the story of how the past reaches into the future, in this case with chaotic personal impacts. (But it would be nice, for once, if a plot involving Bortus and Klyden didn't inevitably have them fighting.)

The storyline of "Lasting Impressions" is less powerful than the subtext running through it, which is that these mundane things that happened 400 years ago to this one person have become immortalized through (1) preservation with technology and (2) universal emotional connection between people. In its own way, this provides a touching "Inner Light"-like reminder about our collective mortality and the hope that in some small way we might be remembered after we — and all who knew us — are gone. Filtered through Gordon's own romantic travails, it takes on a bittersweet quality: It may not have worked out between these two, but the more important thing — a connection across centuries that preserves the memories — has prevailed.

Watching "Lasting Impressions," I couldn't help but shake the feeling that this is really what The Orville as a series should be, as filtered through the sensibilities its creator has made clear over the past two seasons. In its purest form, it's a show about transplanting our current interests and way of life into a Trek-like future world, where exploring on a starship is not the point so much as the backdrop. (Indeed, the most consistently, if frequently misguided, pursued arc of this series over the last two seasons — the very contemporary-minded relationship between Ed and Kelly — speaks to this.)

The more I think about it, the more convinced I am this is one of the best episodes of this series — in its understated and true-to-self way. It's a triumph in understatement that sneaks up on you after the initial experience has passed. Thanks for the memories.

Previous episode: Blood of Patriots
Next episode: Sanctuary

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Comment Section

177 comments on this post

    So, I'm not going to over think this one. It was an enjoyable episode. The relationship between Gordon and Laura was sweet. The humor with Bortus (mostly) worked (could do without he and his partner always at each others throats). I'm going with 3/4 .... it wasn't an original premise and the stakes were low but I thought it was charming.

    I really enjoyed this episode. While it seems they've been heavy on the relationship episodes this season, this is one of the better ones.

    I was fully expecting him to have Greg take a job across the country and date somebody else. No need to delete him altogether.

    In B4 complaints about the Bortus and hubby antics casting aspersions on the gay community. I'm sorry, but that $#!% was hilarious.

    Very very good. Funny, moving, and sharp. 3.3721 stars.

    At first I it seemed it would be a Booby Trap or a Barclay type episode, but it was better than most of those. The nicotine addiction was great, and was a natural extension of time-capsule plot.

    A note to Jammer and those who believe the Four-Star rating scale doesn't have enough gradation: from "zero stars" to ****, this is really a 9 point scale. I've noticed a few comments to the effect of, "I'll give this a 3.8, but this scale uses half points." Really? a 3.5 or a 3.8--What is the difference?

    Jammer, if you are considering either a 3 or a 3.5 for episode, give it the lower score. Discovery and The Orville are young series and a later season could deliver a truly amazing episode and make an early *** 1/2 or **** episode seem not as good.

    I fully cosign Chris's review. Nothing earth-shattering here, but a very pleasant, entertaining outing. The epitome of a solid, 3 star episode.

    There was one little "deep" moment I liked. Gordon asks how they really know Isaac is self-aware, and what does it matter as long as they relate to him as such. A definite chin-scratcher. I have always been one who rejects the idea of "philosophical zombies": I think if you are such a sophisticated simulation as to perfectly simulate the actions of a self-aware being, there is likely some kind of self-awareness that is an unavoidable emergent property of that simulation (even if it's not the identical "what it's like to be them" that it would be for a human. So Laura probably does have self-awareness IMO, like the Doctor on Voyager (recall that the initial bias of Federation personnel was to think of him as non-sentient).

    A very touching episode with a deft balance of humor and pathos.

    Gordon's loneliness is something J can identify with. I can totally see how easy it would be to fall in love with a simulation that immersive. It's one thing to intellectually "know" it's not real, but when all your senses are telling you otherwise ..... yes, this seems like a logical development of such a tempting technology.

    Leighton Meester did a wonderful job of encapsulating this character, she felt like a three-dimensional woman(no pun intended). Normally I don't buy these one-off relationship episodes because of how little time they have to establish something genuine, but every plot development felt plausible and natural to me.

    The scene in the mess hall where the Ed, Kelly, LaMarr and Talla talk to Gordon about his relationship was pretty raw emotional territory to cover: I want to empathize with Gordon, but they have an obvious retort: she's not real. Still, his comeback about the way the crew anthropomorphizes Isaac Isaac actually has some logical merit to it.

    Also, there's something about Gordon reacting to criticism of his personal choices that is VERY rare in television: here we gave an actual character getting defensive and, when feeling cornered/betrayed by his friends, reacting with a critical comment of his own.

    It felt SO natural and human to me, so different than most characters on TV. (The "banging a Krill lady" comment was another Ed-Gordon "gasp" moment!) Scott Grimes really is an underrated actor, he makes Malloy feel so real to me. I''m glad he's getting the chance to shine in these last few episodes.

    I won't rehash the rest of the plot, but I'm sad that Gordon couldn't even get a program to want to be with him. John should do his buddy a solid and ask Jenny Turco if she has a female friend Gordon could meet. (Also, I gotta mention that J. Lee's acting seems to be getting much better this season,).

    Finally, B-plot was hilarious! All the smoking jokes landed for me ... actually they all did., especially the WTF and Dick Van Dyke quips. I would LOVE to see what Gordon drew for that!

    My summary: the direction was on point, the humor was integrated seamlessly, and we got to explore aspects of future-tech relationships and the virtual resurrection of the dead.

    Seth did a great job with this script!

    I''m gonna go 3.75 stars.

    PS- I haven't mentioned the scoring much this season, only because the music is so fantastic that I'd sound like a broken record praising it week after week .... but seriously, the music is so essential to why this show works. The quality is consistently high and some of it rivals the best stuff written by any Romantic/neo-Romantic composers. I highly HIGHLY recommend buying the first season soundtrack/ streaming it online!

    PPS- FOX released a one-time promo for investors/ audiences yesterday (after the Disney merger became official) and they featured the Orville in it enough to make me think it's not going anywhere.

    Still, WTF is up with making us wait until April 11 for a new episodes?! FOX is really stretching this season out and it's annoying!!!!

    "Oh, fuckin' delete Greg!"

    First words out of my mouth the entire hour once Malloy walked into that dining room.

    Other thoughts: Three goddamn WEEKS?

    I’d like to know more about the song.
    (Don’t hate me if it’s well-known. I’m just unfamiliar) A quick search of maybe-the-title, All I Have To Tell You, didn’t bring up anything useful. Can anyone help with composer, actual title, etc?

    First season did full 12 episodes.

    Second season completed 11 episodes, 12th one in three weeks.

    It's up to the production and contract renewals. No one thought Orville would be THAT GOOD.

    I hope that they reach out to more audiences. Tonight's episode should carry the momentum.

    Bortus was definitely over the top with the cigarettes. clever. I thought Bortus would take a step further by marketing cigarettes in a vintage commercial.

    Leighton Meester was so realistic and natural in the hologram that it brings back memories when Picard was in one the wild west hologram.

    This episode is so good.

    @ Bill Stella

    The original is by Art Garfunkel:

    The Orville's YouTube account also posted a longer "music video version" of the song:

    I first heard this song years ago as a child, watching the The Last Unicorn. It was a animated movie, partially a musical. There were several songs of note in it, but this one really stuck with me. It was sung by the two lead characters. Not sure if that was the original version or not:

    "That's All I've Got To Say"
    (from "Das Letzte Einhorn (The Last Unicorn)" soundtrack)

    [Lir:] I've had time to write a book
    About the way you act and look
    But I haven't got a paragraph
    Words are always getting in my way
    Anyway, I love you
    That's all I have to tell you
    That's all I've got to say

    And now, I'd like to make a speech
    About the love that touches each
    But stumbling, I would make you laugh
    I feel as though my tongue were made of clay
    Anyway, I love you
    That's all I have to tell you

    I'm not a man of poetry
    Music isn't one with me
    It runs from me
    It runs from me
    [Lir:] And I tried to write a symphony
    [Amalthea:] Once when I was searching
    [Lir:] But I lost the melody
    [Amalthea:] Somewhere out of reach
    [Lir:] Alas I only finished half
    [Amalthea:] Far away
    [Lir:] And finish I suppose I never may
    [Amalthea:] In a place I could not find
    [Lir:] Anyway, I love you
    [Amalthea:] Or heart obey
    [Lir:] That's all I have to tell you
    [Amalthea:] Now that I'm a woman
    [Lir:] That's all I've got to say
    [Amalthea:] Now I know the way
    [Lir:] That's all I've got to say
    [Amalthea:] Now I know the way
    [Together:] That's all I've got to say

    A mostly harmless little episode. Not bad, but it seems that I didn't enjoy it as much as most of the others here.

    One missed opportunity, I think, is that the crew never learned what happened to that girl in the real world after 2015. I just waited for them to discover that - in the end - she managed to follow her dream of being a singer. Or maybe she found something else that makes her happy. The entire episode seemed to be building for such a reveal, and I was quite disappointed when the reveal never happened.

    Another thing I'm wondering about:

    Isaac didn't appear in this episode at all. In fact, this is the first episode in which Isaac is completely absent. After the events of "Identity" this cannot be a coincidence. So what are the writers planning? I hope it's something more substantial than "we will let the guy lay low for a few episodes and hope the viewers forget this plotline needs to be resolved".

    "A note to Jammer and those who believe the Four-Star rating scale doesn't have enough gradation: from 'zero stars' to ****, this is really a 9 point scale."

    The scale itself has enough gradation.

    The problem is that Jammer is using a traditional movie critic scale where the bottom half translates roughly to "this film/episode sucks"... yet he only reviews shows that resonate with him.

    So the lower half of this 9 point scale almost never get used.

    Perhaps the lesson here, is that we need a different kind of scale when we come to review episodes of a show that we already like. Perhaps a 0-10 stale that looks like this:

    4 Jammer stars = 10
    (3.75 stars = 9)
    3.5 stars = 8
    (3.25 stars = 7)
    3 stars = 6
    (2.75 stars = 5)
    2.5 stars = 4
    2 stars = 3
    1.5 stars = 2
    1 star = 1
    < 1 star = 0

    (note how the scale has more breathing room at the top)

    It might take some time getting used to the idea that a 4/10 episode isn't a stinker, but it's certainly more *practical* than having all the good ratings clustered at the 8-10 range.

    @Dave in MN
    "I would LOVE to see what Gordon drew for that!"

    I wonder if he drew a Dike or a Dyke. ;-)
    (I just learned the meaning of the second word today. Oh, Gordon, you rascal you...)


    "I have always been one who rejects the idea of 'philosophical zombies': I think if you are such a sophisticated simulation as to perfectly simulate the actions of a self-aware being, there is likely some kind of self-awareness that is an unavoidable emergent property of that simulation".

    The question here is: How "perfect" must the simulation be for this to happen?

    We already have AI that can fool people into thinking it's human under certain circumstances. Yet nobody seriously claims that such AI is self-aware.

    This dilemma is made worse by the fact that actual people don't usually act as if they are self-aware beings. Human behavior is mostly governed by habit and instinct, and simulating these things has nothing to do with self-awareness.

    So while I agree with you *in principle* that there's no such thing as a philosophical zombie, I also maintain that a typical holocharacter wouldn't be an accurate enough facsimile for the question to even arise.

    It was a pleasant watch and certainly well-acted but I feel like it could have gone further into Gordon's character. As it is, it felt kinda fluffy and inconsequential.

    The B-story was almost entirely predictable but it made me laugh my ass off anyway.


    Speculation ahead:

    This episode seems indicates that something happened to the Internet to cause it not to survive/be accessible in the future.

    While it seems that musical, literary and artistic artifacts remained intact until the 25th Century, there seems to be a knowledge gap about 21st Century interpersonal culture that shouldn't exist if the Internet had persisted into the 25th Century. My guess is the Internet completely collapsed at one point while collectors/repositories/archives/ libraries still went unaffected.

    @Dave MN

    Your theory makes sense in-universe.

    But I still think it was a missed opportunity not to tell us how the life of the real Laura turned out.

    @OTDP: "So while I agree with you *in principle* that there's no such thing as a philosophical zombie, I also maintain that a typical holocharacter wouldn't be an accurate enough facsimile for the question to even arise."

    I thought Laura was a lot more complex than "a typical holocharacter".


    So do I.

    I also liked that the unawareness of everyone that 2qst century people might project a sanitized version of themselves for public consumption. While the simulator did have access to a wealth of her biographical info: texts, videos etc. to create a reasonable representation of her, I wonder what Gordon would think had he known "Laura" might have been as little different in real n life than her projected image.

    It kind of reminds me of the holodeck extrapolating Leah Brahms's personality while admitting there's a "9.3 percent margin of error in interaction with the facsimile".

    A simulation will always only be an approximation, no matter how deep and diverse the data on which it is based is.

    At least there's a place where Voyager actors can still get work. Whose up next? Garret Wang perhaps?

    @Alan Roi

    Rhetorical question: is the phrase "Voyager actor" supposed to be pejorative?

    The role he played wasn't central to the plot, but I thought Tim Russ did a very good job of making the character of Dr. Sherman feel like a full-fledged human with his own traits and tics (not just some anonymous scientist).


    No perjorative intended. Just seem to be a collection of Voyager actors getting work on this show who aren't getting a whole lot of work elsewhere of late.

    I enjoyed it. Makes you think just how we will be seen in four centuries. Although I find it hard to believe that digital data from this era would be so rare.

    Would have liked a few sentences to see what happened to that person. You would think Gordon would have looked it up.

    2.5 stars


    As an example, MySpace just deleted all data before 2016. digital data isn't as permanent as stone tablets or books.

    However, considering Molloy has a collection of the Keeping up with the Kardashians, I found it hard to believe he wouln't know what a cellphone looked like.

    This episode gets eleventy billion stars for the "What If The Moclans Started Smoking" B-story, which I think might be the show's funniest gag to date.

    The A-story was predictable and dull - albeit with good performances -and inconsistent with everything we know about this show's version of the future, where most social mores and language seem completely unchanged from today. The best part was the debate in the mess hall, which felt very TNG.

    Side note: for the love of God, can we stop harping on about Jammer's star ratings. They're just shorthand for his specific feelings about an episode. Read the damn reviews and argue the points therein, rather than the arbitrary numerical score. Dude gave Nemesis a rating higher than zero, but I ain't getting bent out of shape about the number.

    The question isn’t would the data be rare, it’s would it be accessible? And how much would they have to sift through? Is it in a University archive? Does whatever version of a corporation that exist in the future control the information? Even if it is publicly available, one has to imagine that after 400 years, that’s a lot of data to go through.

    I honestly thought this was one of the best episodes of the season and the entire series. The smoking plot was fun and this grounded and humanized Gordon more successfully than every other attempt so far.

    This also can be read as an examination of parasocial relationships and interactions. Gordon makes a connection with someone he’s never met. He then literally starts a relationship with that person. Then he’s continuously surprised as he learns new details, even though that information was always there. Getting back with the ex. Why she started singing in public.

    And as others have pointed out, the simulation, as realistic as it is, is based on what she curated and shared. Was she really the linchpin amongst her friends? How much did she really dislike her job?

    Overall, this is a much more insightful look into social media than Majority Rule. More importantly, they finally treated Gordon like a real adult.

    The only issue I have is at the end. Not sure why Kelly has to continually explain things that Gordon should be able to recognize on his own. If he was fresh out of the academy I would get it. But, he’s too old to be that slow.

    @Tim C

    The only reason people are "harping on Jammer's star ratings" is that Jammer himself came to the comment sections and shared his dilemma with us. The specific rating of a specific episode was not the point of these discussions, anyway.


    Here's a question for you: How would you imagine the computer to go about creating the "Laura simulation" from the given data? There's hardly enough info in a 2015 cellphone to reconstruct a human brain. So where would any "self-awareness" come from?

    My guess is that the simulator simply has a template for "human characters" and it used the data on the phone to provide parameters for this template.

    Now let's dig deeper: This template had to be programmed by someone. This programmer had two specific intentions in mind:

    1. To facilitate social interaction that would be believable to the player. A player WHO IS WILLFULLY COOPERATING WITH THE ILLUSION.

    2. To make the creation of new characters on the fly as user-friendly as possible.

    No software engineer would approach the above two goals by declaring "I'll just create an accurate simulation of a human mind" because that would be a crazy overkill.

    Now, I fully agree with you that the Laura character is more complex than the average holo-character. But is it because the program is self-aware? Or simply because it was based so closely on the experiences of an actual person, that it made the illusion more convincing?

    I think it's the latter. Especially since I refuse to accept the idea that the stuff on a contemporary cellphone can turn a non-aware template into an self-conscious entity.

    Using a current gaming anaology:

    It's like the difference between a 1000-polygon 3D character drawn by hand and a million-polygon character based on an actual scan of a real person. The later would *look* more convincing, but it's still not as complicated and intricate as an actual human figure (it would also be skin-deep. No need to simulate internal organs when you never see them anyway).

    Maybe 25th-century holocharacters have a "personality polygon count" and the Laura character was just drawn really well.

    In a lot of ways, this episode is a ripoff of the Voyager episode Fair Haven. You have a main cast member who falls in love with a hologram, tweaks the hologram to their own specifications, and then learns there are repercussions for doing so - that you can't really have a convincing facsimile of a relationship if you're always in "god mode" altering whatever elements make you unhappy. Because real human relationships are about not having things under your control and rolling with it.

    That said, it did a better job pulling this off than the bland Fair Haven. The result was still basically fluff though. It didn't really tell us anything deep about Malloy as a character. We already knew he was kind of a loser when it came to women after all.

    I do wish they hadn't had the "ensemble piles onto Malloy" dynamic though, and just had the A-plot focus solely on Mercer acting not as Malloy's captain, but his best friend. I think there would have been the potential for some good character work there.

    Also, where the hell was Isaac this week?

    @Charles J

    I laughed when you mentioned "The only issue I have is at the end. Not sure why Kelly has to continually explain things that Gordon should be able to recognize on his own. If he was fresh out of the academy I would get it. But, he’s too old to be that slow."

    In real life they are engaged.

    I don't know if it was staged or just for character building. His acting in this episode is the best in Orville to date.

    So Disney is in charge of Fox and this show now and it’s planning 400,000 in layoffs. Hope they don’t pull the plug on The Orville!

    @Roger At least The Orville can take over the chaotic White House!

    I think the extra dimension of this episode that made it really hit home was that, simulation aside, she just wasn't in love with Gordon. His comment later about how he should have known because it was all over her texts and videos was spot on. How many of use have seen people breakup with boy/girl friends only to see them end up with them. Some of it is people who are god matches but they don't realize it, some of it is people who just cant help but make back decisions. But either way, the heart wrenching part is that Gordon, like all of us, has a hard time seeing why someone wouldn't love them like they love someone else. That's what made this feel like a more REAL episode than those others in Star Trek. Those others they all come to the realization that the situation is "simulated". Gordon's realization is that Laura would just never love him.

    I have to admit being a little confused as to how time was working in the simulation. The show made us believe the simulation was basically constantly running - at least in "silent mode" - given his love interest was texting him when he was outside of the simulator, and when he went inside after being gone for awhile, time passed. But this would seem to be a waste of the ship's resources.

    I loved it! LOVED it. I'm glad they didn't do the Yesterday's Enterprise twist and have the picture at the end of the episode actually be on the phone

    @ everyone wondering about renewal

    Like Discovery, the convoluted corporate politics at very top makes guesswork about T.O. difficult.

    The Orville has a lot going for it: a consistent vocal fanbase, social media penetration (Orville trends on Twitter most Thursdays), a healthy +7 ratings score, merchandise sales and it performs VERY well overseas. (In Australia it's a Top 10 program, for example).

    The same day ratings still annoys me (why do so many people with Nielsen boxes prefer to DVR this particular show vs. watching it live?) and I can see how Disney MIGHT have a problem with thar. But then again, Disney pays tons of money for worst performing shows on ABC and the Disney Channel and then renews at least half of them.

    Yes, I'm nervous about renewal too, so I remind myself The Orville has ratings comparable to Good Morning America and Disney wastes a ton on paying those shallow gasbags! I also tell myself that Disney is one of the few corporations out there that knows when a entertainment property has the potential for decades of profit.

    I promised not to bring up YouTube investigations since that seems to cause much consternation, so I'll just say that The Orville creative team may very well be pushing for a long-term commitment and, now that Disney's in charge, Seth & Co. can finally negotiate.

    Fingers crossed!

    I was under the impression that Disney doesn't have all of Fox's assets, that Fox still exists as a broadcasting network, so maybe the Orville still falls under that umbrella. All I DO know is that this show makes me happy

    @Karl Zimmerman

    is it a waste of your phone's resources to set an alarm? The amount of energy/ computational power to create a fake text/ phone call would be equally negligible to a ship like The Orville.

    It certainly would be much less of a "drain" than actually running the program in the simulator would be.

    @ Alan Roi

    While I'm not a huge reality TV watcher, I remember when the very first Real World failed to blur out a phone number and the person was harassed so badly it made national news.

    Since then, reality shows almost always blur out the cast member phones/ emails/ etc. Gordon wouldn't be familiar with what he couldn't actually see.

    @ Spockless

    Disney now owns Fox Studios, but not the Fox TV network. They can continue to sell legacy Fox programming to the TV network, but once the contracts run out, it will cost Fox just as much as buying shows from any other independent studio. As a result it's widely thought Fox is going to pivot away from scripted TV, towards more sports coverage and cheap reality television. It's also widely thought that Disney is going to systematically dismantle Fox Studios and merge it into their existing system.

    It's possible I suppose The Orville survives and moves over to ABC, since Disney owns it.

    The power just went out at home due to high winds. My cell phone becomes a serious necessity so I can project images thru mod add-on.

    I'm thinking that Seth would have some ownership or naming/royalty rights to the science flick The Orville. Seth may have the flexibility to join another network that has more viability or network coverage.

    It should be a win-win scenario for Seth for any outcome presented by Disney's takeover.

    @Dave in MN

    How can one watch the Orville in Australia now on TV, when the network that showed Fox content cancelled its deal with Fox a year ago?

    The Orville is in trouble, even though, of late its actually been affecting to watch a lot more than it was last year, and is producing some of its best content. i would rate this ep as one of the better of the series and definitely a high point of this season, yet it appears to be too late for those put off by a lackluster first 1/2 of this season that has put viewership deep in the red zone and aren't around to watch the show's writing improve as it has for this ep.

    Overall day of release watchers are under 3 mil. Demo ratings have dropped almost 40% from last year. Even with the California Tax Break, it still costs around $6 million a year which is a lot for a show that barely more than half a mil are tuning in to watch and advertisers earn the most bang for their buck.

    Yes, cross your fingers and hope that Seth can somehow convince ABC execs that his little watched and very expensive show with sharply declining viewership is worth saving. IMO, it will take a whole lot of convincing.

    Alan Roi

    it airs on SBS i n Australia.

    And again, TV ratings have become a multi- platform calculation ... networks don't base their decisions on same-day ratings (like they used to).

    @DAVE in MN

    Sure. And that *might* save Orville. But not many shows with Orville's same day ratings coupled with a year to year 40% drop in viewership have survived over the past 5 years to another season. This is me being realistic. I do think the show has had a number of well-realized eps of late, but if you want a show to get renewed, you put them at the front of a season to keep viewers engaged, not at the back when those viewers are gone.

    My opinion has been stated, no need to rehash it at this point.

    I do appreciate your 100% not-faux concern and your conciliatory diplomatic tone.

    The Orville is *not* a top 10 show in Australia. (Hello, Australian here.) It's not even a top 20 show. publishes daily ratings results for our five major broadcasters and a list of the top 20 programs. The Orville does not (and has never, IIRC) make an appearance.

    I wonder if the show could move to SyFy or a streaming service (Amazon, Hulu, or Netflix). I think the fanbase is loyal enough that they would get a bump in subscriptions from people who wouldn't have signed up otherwise.

    @Spockless: "I was under the impression that Disney doesn't have all of Fox's assets, that Fox still exists as a broadcasting network, so maybe the Orville still falls under that umbrella."

    You are correct.

    @OTDP: "The only reason people are "harping on Jammer's star ratings" is that Jammer himself came to the comment sections and shared his dilemma with us."

    Oh, interesting. I didn't see that. What comment section was this?

    Fair points about Laura. It's an interesting topic.

    I wouldn't say her level of complexity was because of just the data on the phone, per se, but because she was created as an open-ended simulation, the computer having the mission "create a realistic person whose motivations would lead her to have done all the things described, but who can be flexible when a new person and new situation is introduced". The way she changed when Greg was deleted hints at this.

    @Karl: "You have a main cast member who falls in love with a hologram, tweaks the hologram to their own specifications, and then learns there are repercussions for doing so - that you can't really have a convincing facsimile of a relationship if you're always in 'god mode' altering whatever elements make you unhappy. Because real human relationships are about not having things under your control and rolling with it."

    Absolutely. There is an excellent 2012 movie called "Ruby Sparks" that explores this exact territory. I would highly recommend it to all of you, with the caveat that it is fantasy or magical realism, not science fiction.

    "I do wish they hadn't had the 'ensemble piles onto Malloy' dynamic though"

    I absolutely agree. I was very disappointed by how churlish they acted, especially at the "Game Night" party.

    As for running in the background: the computer did create the whole thing originally in about two seconds; and presumably the "running in the background" mode takes far fewer resources when it doesn't have to create all the visual/tactile stuff.

    SlackerInc wrote:

    “"I was under the impression that Disney doesn't have all of Fox's assets, that Fox still exists as a broadcasting network, so maybe the Orville still falls under that umbrella."

    You are correct.”

    The thing is, that The Orville is produced by 20th Century Fox TV Studios, which is now owned by Disney. So it’s very much Disney’s call whether to keep production going.


    Jammer's star ratings dilemma was mentioned in the most recent review of the certain television series which we don't mention in The Orville comments.

    I repeated it here because I (perhaps erroneously) felt it was a natural extension of my brief review of this Orville episode.

    I also (perhaps erroneously) believed all who watch-- and comment-- on The Orville also watch and comment on STD-- I mean, the other show.

    My point with the ratings is; Four Stars with half stars gradations is sufficient, and personally rating an episode a 2.7 or a 3.8 or whatever super-fine and super-specific number is unnecessary. *, **, ***, **** and half stars is good enough.

    The end.

    I guess it's good to know that New Jersey ( where I am from) still exists in the 25th century. And Jell-O too. They should have snuck in a Cool Hwip joke.


    Just in case you aren't aware, I didn't realize the Comment Stream existed for my first few years on here. That's usually where I check for the newest posts and that's where I saw Jammer's comment ... but, to answer you directly, it was in the comment section of the other show's episode that was released 8 days ago.

    This was exactly the kind of episode I was hoping for. This episode shares a lot of similarities with Fairhaven, and some with Booby Trap / Galaxy's Child. Similar to Fairhaven it centers on modification of a simulated love interest to suit your whims, and similar to the other episode, and similar to the Galaxy's Child it involves facing the realities of a person you've idealized.

    When the episode started, I was worried we were in for a bunch of pop-culture referential humor, and almost none of the humor was based on that.

    The B-plot was hilarious, and was smart to make it a whole addiction / recovery arc, with different jokes tied into each phase (ie, jokes about inappropriate smoking at first, then hiding cigarettes, then relationship conflict, etc).

    The A-plot was very well-suited to the tone of the Orville. It was very light in tone, with some humor from Gordon being a fish-out-of-water in 2015, and clearly demonstrating that Gordon has a support network on the ship that'll be with him whatever happens - we're at no point worried that he'll lose his job, even when he's late to work, like we generally are in Barclay stories. Instead, the weight of the story comes from Gordon being forced by Laura's character, not any outside factors like his job or friends, to really confront his reality. He edits the simulation and quickly, viscerally, feels that it's wrong - and we feel it because we, like Gordon, have also watched her sing, and we know how Gordon felt about it. Finally, the ending scene was also well-done. The duet was predictable of course, but worked well. And the final callback to the time capsule (which I had assumed the simulation was set immediately after, rather than a week before) made for a nice bookend.

    I really hope The Orville continues to deliver episodes like this. I liked the previous episode too, but I think it was better done in DS9. This is the type of story that Orville can actually tell better than Trek using humor and a different tone. I really want The Orville to carve out its own niche and start telling unique stories that couldn't be better told in the Trek universe, as shows like Futurama and Rick and Morty have found their own ways to do.

    Probably the episode I've enjoyed most so far. Probably precisely for the same reasons many people would put it down for. No space battles or alien threats, fun though these can both be.

    It was good to see Malloy being given a chance to deepen his character. He started The Orville as an irritating clown, anf now were seeing what makes him tick. As for the B plot with Bortus and Klyden, that was pretty funny, and balanced Malloy's doomed love affair well. (Though it would be good to have a scene or two showing them together when they aren't fighting.)

    I do hope that the programme gets another sesson (and a few more too.). It deserves saving - but then, so did the Original Series. I can't imagine why anyone with the basic managerial competence would give any particular weight to same day audience figures. I watch news programmes that way, and sport too, but pretty well anything else I tend to watch on catch-up of one sort or another.

    One thing this episodes showed is that they don't need to pay for space spectaculars like the one in Identity 2 to produce a good episode. The economics of production must be crucial in decisions about whether a show is viable.

    But of course if big space spectaculars are needed to get viewers...

    I really enjoyed this episode, and Bortus smoking on the bridge was hilarious. My only real nitpick was that it seems a bit of a stretch that they would have so little knowledge about life in the 21st century, to the point they didn't even know what a cell phone was, yet they watch old movies all the time and the captain even has Kermit the frog sitting on his desk. It also seems pretty unlikely that all the stuff from that time capsule would still look brand new. Not a big deal though, still a great episode. This show just keeps getting better.


    I think this would have been a stronger intro to the season that what we ended up with. It was a very affecting episode, IMO. However, what it comes down to is will advertisers fork out the cash for comercial time. From what I know, same day advertising brings in the most $$$$, +7 DVR viewing, not so much. I watch it same day, but as I am not a neilsen family I have no input where it counts.

    Very good episode. At last Orville can take it's place among high quality Star Trek.

    This was quite the episode! At first I was worried this would be just another filler episode that tried to sell an old TNG/VOY plot but with an Orville twist. I ended up really liking this episode, not only because it showed depth to Gordon's character besides being the practical joker, but also for the concepts of having affection for simulated people.

    I think this episode hit very close to a perfect balance between humor, philosophy, and pulling on the emotions of the viewers. The latter is IMO the closest any Orville episode has scored since "Home" earlier this season. Viewers like myself who have watched all of Star Trek are reminded of similar episodes with the concept of characters becoming emotionally invested in an illusion, such as Barclay's episodes, "11001001", "Galaxy's Child", and more recently, "If Memory Serves". "Lasting Impressions" is unique in that the main setting is not in the time frame of the rest of the show, but in *our* time. It definitely left me feeling hyper-aware of my own mortality and the meaningless of my daily life in the perspective of humans hundreds of years from now. It was a little unsettling, but not enough to detract from the rest of the episode.

    The episode cleverly pulls its message with an A-plot initially focused on holodeck - er, "simulator" - addiction. This concept is present throughout and is mentioned more than once by other crew members. However, the real thought provoker here is the question posed to viewers: if you know something isn't real, does that diminish the value you place on it? Fortunately this is left open-ended, and for good reason. With the rise of increasingly realistic digital content, is our modern society comfortable placing value on digital content at the expense of real life content?What does that mean for younger generations that are now dependent on technology - they're missing out on the benefits of old-school ways, but is that necessarily "bad"?

    Back to the episode, I also have to give credit to Scott Grimes and guest star Leighton Meester (playing Laura) for playing these characters convincingly. I got the sense that they were "real" people with depth, which in Gordon's case, is something that has been lacking thus far. What would really help Gordon's character was if he had a recurring romantic interest on the show, and over the course of the show we see him develop a legitimate, deep, meaningful, and not holodeck - er, "simulator" - relationship.

    The B-plot played a supplementary role. Bortus' and Klyden's addictions to "ancient" cigarettes played as the "minor" to the A-plot. It's a rather obvious in-your-face method of pushing the addiction concept, which oddly enough works to add subtlety to the other concept. I'm starting to wonder if the writers are able to write stories for Bortus without being 100% serious or 100% comedy, it seems all we get are extremes. To be fair though, I can imagine it's hard to write character stories for such an unemotional species; after all, almost every Star Trek episode featuring a Vulcan has been 100% serious and very little comedy, with the exception of Star Trek VI.

    I don't like to give out ratings, since the method of awarding stars is subjective to each viewer. I'll stick with a Vague Scale™. "Lasting Impressions" is in the upper third on the Vague Scale™ of Orville episodes.

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


    i thought of that too, and I am sure they were tempted to have ti that the photo taken at the end of the episode was always on the phone.. just like Picard knowing how to play the flute. Tempting, fascinating, but I'm glad Seth resisted the urge to go there.

    I loved this episode. I got so much out of it that I'm in tears thinking about how it moved me. Simple, elegant, and perfect

    Did somebody say rating system?!
    *In a strange cloud a social scientist appears*
    Hello peasants!
    So a four star rating is often used because it is easy to understand for the casual viewer. (0 stars: get torches and pitchforks) 1 Star: garbage, 2 Stars: meh, 3 stars: good, 4 stars: exceptional. As you obviously have noticed it is actually a five star system which is very common in social studies. Not much range but very good comparability and easy to understand.
    Of course Jammer also uses half stars. So it is, as some have pointed out, actually a 10 star rating. 10 point scale rating are also often used. It gives a good mix between range and comparability. Everything above that of course lacks in comparability.
    Problem with Jammers rating is that he watches shows that he wants to watch which leaves the

    Sorry, half of my post was los for some reason and I don't want to write it again. Even though the central part is no longer there. Oh well.

    Episode is a take on the "character falls in love with a holodeck simulation" trope but with the clever twist that here it's a simulation based on a real person, and not only that, it's based of off her social media persona. An angle that could not have been done in TNG or VOY days and I wish it was explored even more here, but I understand it wasn't the focus of the episode.

    The episode works best if you accept the fact that the simulator technology aboard the Orville is infallible, bordering on magical.

    Simulator: "Device not recognized".
    Gordon: "Ir's a cell phone".
    Simulator: "Device recognized".

    I guess in the 25th century they don't have issues with compatibility.

    Also, Lamaar hacks into the phone with a particularly impressive bit of ludicrous technobabble.

    It's another episode of the Orville that has its heart in the right place and has some nifty ideas, but the execution is a bit too earnest and on the nose for me. I would like to see the show employ a greater degree of sophistication in its storytelling, but again, Seth is a hopeless romantic and that is his style. He will not let logic stand in the way of making his thematic point.

    Bortus and Klyden getting hooked on cigarettes was funny. These two are a prime example of a dysfunctional relationship.

    This is the second episode in a row to feature Malloy front and center, and the third episode this season to end with a song.

    Isaac's absence was conspicuous. He was not featured even as an extra on the bridge. The actor took a week off?


    One of the Orville slogans I saw on a poster or banner somewhere went something like "in 400 years there have been lots of changes in technology. Relationships: not so much" This show isn't about the tech, or even the ray guns. this is a show about relationships. And the computer recognized the device because LaMar had already hooked it up. Anyway.. I was a bit taken by the fact that the crew already uses a lot of colloquialisms we have today (Gordon even speaks of Manwhich and American Idol in "Majority Rule that constitutes his only dialogue in that episode) yet everything in the phone seems really foreign to them (and where is the internet?) Yet because the story was so sound, none of that mattered.

    @ Spockless

    This is where a little backstory for the Union would come in handy. I''m a firm believer in showing vs. telling, but in this case, maybe a little info-dump about P.U. history wouldn't be a bad thing. Maybe they could have the kids preparing for a history exam?

    As it is, we're left to infer events from what we're shown.

    All of the modern day cultural references we've seen thus far are things that are commonly curated today in a physical copy. Books, albums, films, collectibles, art .... all of these- in our current day- are secure in vaults, atiics, basements, warehouses, etc. Even if we had a worldwide EMP attack, these items would survive (yes, including Kermit dolls and commercials for Manwich and Avis).

    And, as I said above, the lack of knowledge about our 21st Century lives indicates something happened to our primary modern source of record: the Internet.

    Seth, if you're reading, we need backstory! :)

    @ Spockless

    Yeah, I just found it funny that the simulator recognized the device just by having Mallow say what it is. And I don't think the scene was meant to be funny.

    As for the colloquialisms, totally agree, but like I said, in order to enjoy the series one has to let go of conception of consistent universe and just take the episodes one at a time on their own terms. If we judge the Orville by the same benchmark we judge Star Trek, i.e, as actual science fiction, it falls apart. It's just a stage for Seth to explore the themes he's interested in, but it has almost zero logical world-building. Things just don't make sense in the big picture, but the small picture is usually entertaining enough.

    It's interesting that people who are ready to accept stuff that is essentially impossible/magic - devices to create any variety of food, or any environment yoy wish, complete with the people to fit it, hyper light speed travel around the galaxy etc - jib at plot details that are quite possble, just very improbable. We can suspend our disbelief for the impossible, we draw the line at the implausible.

    THIS is what 'The Orville' does well. I don't care if it's plausible, improbable or not.

    They should stick to this kind of stuff. 'A Happy Refrain'... 'Home' ... they are good at this.

    Scott Grimes was simply OUTSTANDING in this episode and realness conveyed by Leighton Meester here sold the episode. While some say their duet was "predictable" I was highly anticipating it knowing how well Scott sings. (thank you Identity PI). Simply put it was beautiful and touching.

    The 'B' story was the funniest thing on TV in a while for me. I rarely just bust out laughing at the TV but I did multiple time watching this one. Maybe it's because I'm an ex-smoker (35 years) I don't know, but this was the funniest thing this show has done and it's not close.

    IMO there is just nothing to complain about here. Is this anything like 'Inner Light' or 'Scorpion' or 'Damage' or 'Duet' or 'City on the Edge of Forever'? .... hell no, but it is true to itself and THIS series.

    This is a 4-star episode in my book.

    Is Isaac on vacation? :-)

    "But of course if big space spectaculars are needed to get viewers... "

    I would be more worried about all these erratic breaks FOX is inserting between the episodes. Three weeks till the next episode?! Sure, the hard core fans will wait. But I suspect many casual viewers won't tune in simply because they have no idea when the show airs.

    As for the big space spectaculars, it looks like we're going to get plenty of that in the next episode. Seen the promos? I also have a hunch that Isaac is going to play a major role in that episode.

    Enjoyable episode. Mind you, the rom-commish A story had an unavoidable been there, done that feel about it, but it was very well executed and provided a few unique twists of its own. The cigarette addiction B story was an inspired bit of silliness. Altogether a much better Gordon episode than the previous entry, and it was nice to see Tim Russ again.

    *** outa ****

    Of course a major element in science fiction has always been precisely that, revisiting old situations and changing them around in some way, finding a different outcome or approach. It's no more of a failure of imagination than it is when a musician plays around with a time honoured piece of music.

    This episode recalls quite a few Trek episodes. Most notably "Aquiel", in which Geordi trawls through the social-media footprints of a fellow Starfleet officer, and quickly falls in love with her image. See too "Booby Trap" and "Galaxy's Child", again with Geordi falling for a techno-fantasy. See too "Hollow Pursuits", where Barclay retreats from the world and into severe hologram/technology addiction. See too Voyager's "Fair Haven" episodes, the first of which contains a underrated subplot about Janeway's loneliness and her desire to "delete the wife" of a hologram she loves. See too "Inner Light", where a long-dead community uploads its memories into Picard. The best comparison, however, is TNG's ahead-of-its-time "The Game", where Wesley's blossoming love for a young woman, evolutionarily spurred by roiling, addictive hormones, echos the techno-sexual addictions overcoming the Enterprise's zombie crew, who can't stop chasing the dopamine rushes of their wacky space phone/Gameboys.

    So "Lasting Impressions" recalls more Trek episodes than most Orville episodes. Its main plot watches Gordon - who the series has now established as being awkward with the ladies - fall for a hologram called Laura. Laura's not just a hologram, though, but some kind of sophisticated AI forged from the historical, social media records of a young woman who died centuries prior (the Orville's holodeck seems way more sophisticated/magical than the Enterprise's).

    As Gordon becomes addicted to this hologram, and the phone that spawned it, another subplot focuses on Bortus' addiction to cigarettes. The metaphor is obvious: modern smart-phones and social media platforms are the addiction of our time, expert at sucking time, attention, engendering dopamine fixes/rushes, and substituting real-life and real experience for something phony and mediated. The episode doesn't deny that such things (phones, holodecks, social media etc) can forge genuine connection and relationships (Gordon's long rant about Issac), and that "normal" love is itself a kind of shared simulation and self-imposed delusion (Gordon's jabs at Ed's love life), or indeed that consciousness is itself a simulation, but nevertheless encourages something richer and more self-reflexive and robust, whatever that may be (and if indeed it's at all possible).

    The Orville has had 5 "relationship/romance" episodes this season. I've liked all of them, but put this somewhere at the top with "Deflectors", another touching tale of doomed romance. It work well as social critique, as romance, as a comedy (both high brow and low- it opens with a copy of 50 Shades of Grey), its sweet, charming, and likeable, and its surprisingly sad and tragic; the ghosts of the past, of whole civilizations dead and lost, of millions of unfulfilled dreams, haunt this episode powerfully.

    And as Dave said above, a large part of why it works is because Laura and Gordon are so well acted. Guest "love interests" haven't typically worked well in Trek, mostly because they tend to feel disposable and perfunctory. For all his walk-on love interests, Kirk's arguably only had two that were great ("City at the Edge of Forever" and "Conscience of the King"?), and Spock and Bones arguably only had 1 each that might be classed a "great". And aside from "Lessons", Picard's love interests have been weak. DS9, meanwhile, was all about that hot bro love (Garak/Bashir, Odo/Quark etc). Here, Laura and Gordon's tale immediately becomes something touching.

    I also thought the song choice was interesting in this episode. I imagine Seth came across the song as a kid when watching The Last Unicorn, a cartoon about a unicorn on the verge of extinction. Maybe the choice was a coincidence, but Laura's an extinct creature of her own, and "Chasing Unicorns" has long been a metaphor for the pursuit of something unobtainable (Laura's chasing of a musical career, Gordon's chasing of Laura).

    By the way, I'd totally forgotten that Data...

    ...grows a beard in TNG's Season 2. Seems Bortus didn't grow a Riker beard, notorious for its longevity, but a less permanent Data beard.

    Another profound thing about the episode: it associates the fear of annihilation, of death, of passing time, and anxieties about feeling insignificant and meaningless, with mediated personalities. We egotistically create and maintain fictional selves on phones and social media, fantasizing about "musical careers" and "phone friends" and even "love", because we want validation, we want permanence, immortality, and to fill a deep lack within.

    @ Trent

    VERY insightful.

    If I ever write an autobiography, that would make a great opening quote.

    The thing I don't like about The Orville, is all the bloody relationships. The writers had the good sense to keep these away from Trek. People who are drawn to science-fiction aren't great at dating. Myself included.

    1 Trek is about duty and honor.
    2 The uniforms mean there's no social status - everyone dresses the same.
    3 Money is obsolete - also, no social status.
    4 Men are in positions of power (a reason why some don't like Discovery.)
    5 The Holodeck. Fantasy life (often with a partner.) Well, that speaks for itself.

    Concentrate on the sci-fi Seth.

    I will leave this to the Orvillians. Let us see how they deal with that. :D


    To be fair, this episode was hardly about relationships. It's about wanting to be remembered, and about the fact that all of humanity is connected. Heck, the only "relationship" depicted here wasn't even a real one. It was between Gordon and a holo-character.

    I do agree, though, that the Orville should put more focus on space-based sci fi. The ship is an exploratory vessel, isn't it? So why aren't they exploring more? Give us more new worlds and new civilizations!

    And if they don't give us that, then at least give us some world-building. Even in a quiet episode like this one, they could have satisfied the explorer in me if they simply told us what happened to Laura and her descendants in the real world after 2015.

    I bet she ended up working in a music store. She never became the successful singer she wanted to be, but at least she enjoys her work now. She also married Greg and had three kids... and one of her great-grandsons was a hit musician who was popular all over the solar-system in the 22nd century. ;-)

    Sorry, but this just came to me: I wonder how a smartphone stays operative after 400 years in a box in the ground. I remember having that thought during the episode but then forgot about it.

    Until now.

    @ OmicronThetaDeltaPhi

    "To be fair, this episode was hardly about relationships. It's about wanting to be remembered"

    While it is part of the episode, I felt the story mostly focused on Gordon and his perspective, and a relationship with a holo-character is still a relationship. I mean, this is the main conflict in the story, that Gordon wants to pursue it but his friends think it's dysfunctional.


    I have no problem with females in power. After all, on The Orville the first officer and the chiefs of security and medical are women.

    As I sort-of touched upon a recent Discovery episode, my only issue is that both the foreground AND the background characters/extras seem to be favored towards women to the point where the disparity is notable/pervasive. As Q would say, "Is this a ship of the Valkyries?"

    Thank you Mr Speaker
    Ist it actually true that there are more women on the Orville? I tried to watch the last Discovery episode through that lens but I think I didn't notice any gender disparity.
    My question: Is the Orville an issue signalling sjw show??


    Can you please *please* troll someplace else?

    I remember you saying, quite a while ago, that you have some stressful things going on in your life and that you come here to unwind. That's perfectly fine, but can you please not... ehm... "unwind" at our expense?

    Thank you.


    Fair enough.

    But even that would make the episode about holo-diction, rather than about any actual relationship. This actually ties nicely to the Bortus/Klyden B-plot.

    In fact, of the seven cast members who appear in 26 episodes, only two are women.
    Boomer's comment suggests that in terma of impact they were punching above their weight.

    @ Omicron
    Oh, don't worry that stress is gone. I'm just doing this to have fun. You on the other hand seem pretty tense. I mean how you exploded in the other thread. phew.
    I'm not trolling. I'm teasing. There is a difference... I think.

    I did suggest that... yes. :)
    I really have no idea.

    and while I'm visiting for a short while I jst want to say.
    Fingers crossed for season three! I hope you guys and gals get that season and many more!

    Based on everything I've liked before, this episode should have been blah, but the ending was more poignant than I'd expected, especially from this show. I keep going back to the end song and playing it.

    For the record, I'd never have learned the lesson here. I'd keep tinkering until the original program was unrecognizable. Shrug, it's just me.

    It's probably just my faulty biased perceptions, but why do I feel like a few people (perhaps fans of another show) comment solely to provoke a reaction?

    What's the point in baselessly speculating on Omicron's mental health?!

    I''m not going to cry for Jammer to come save us, but seriously, the sniping/attacks (from non-viewers of this show) is becoming tedious.

    I am very glad that fans of The Orville have shown continuous restraint. It's becoming apparent that we don't take the obvious bait, nor do we run to the comments section of another show to continue the cycle.

    "I''m not going to cry for Jammer to come save us..."

    But I am.

    This has gone far enough.

    This is supposed to be a place for civil discussion, and not a place for people who look for ways to amuse themselves at the expense of others.

    So I openly and candidly plead:

    Jammer, come and save us.

    "This is supposed to be a place for civil discussion"
    I quote: "Funny how you constantly complain about the rudeness of those who don't like the show (off with their heads for having a different opinion), and then you write shit like this. ...
    Jeez, man, what the heck is wrong with you?"
    Very civil, indeed.

    That after I made a joke. I would call that pretty tense.
    And calling Jammer to be the thought police. I guess you just hate free speech.
    But enough of this whining bullshit. Have fun in your save space.

    For the Orville Fans: If even the Krill and the Union can find common ground to make peace, can't we?

    For the Star Trek Fans: If even the Klingons and the Federation can find common ground to make peace, can't we?

    -- For the Star Trek Discovery Fans: I've got nothing. Haven't seen the show.

    For the Game of Thrones Fans: If even the SPOILER and the SPOILERS found SPOILERS can't we also SPOILERS SPOILERS?

    I'm just saying, fighting over this is like every other internet fight - pointless, time-consuming, and beneath all of us.

    I'm not going to moderate every bit of rudeness, snark, or implied slight. People need to grow up. To the trollers: Don't insult others. To the aggrieved: Have thicker skin. It cuts both ways. I shouldn't have to play referee. I'm certainly not going to crack down on every piece of sarcasm, or where will it end?

    The same people always seem to be involved in these feuds. Do your part to end it, rather than pouring gasoline on the fire. That means not responding to comments that annoy you, rather than continuing the cycle by drawing attention to them and being oh-so-offended by them.

    That's my take.

    To each their own, but I don't consider myself bad at relationships (I'm currently ten years into my second marriage, and had plenty of girlfriends before that although I'm no LaMarr), and I like to see them on screen. I thought for instance that the future-romance short was by far the best of the four "Short Treks" CBSAA released between DSC seasons.

    And of course VOY had a female captain, although I agree that the dearth of regular male characters (particularly straight male characters) on DSC is a little extreme.

    @Trent: Agree with Dave about the insightfulness of your musings. I'm surprised though that in talking about Kirk's one-off loves, you didn't mention Rayna Kapec, who for my money is the greatest, most affecting Kirk love interest of them all.

    @Dave: "It's probably just my faulty biased perceptions, but why do I feel like a few people (perhaps fans of another show) comment solely to provoke a reaction?[...]I am very glad that fans of The Orville have shown continuous restraint. It's becoming apparent that we don't take the obvious bait, nor do we run to the comments section of another show to continue the cycle."

    Dave, I'd be with you except that you might need to practice what you preach here. When I started watching S2 of the "other show", I was a little taken aback by how much you sounded, on those threads, like the people you are criticizing here.

    I imagine I'll get round to watching more episodes of Discovery some time, and find stuff I enjoy well enough. The Orville just matches what I have enjoyed in earlier series better.

    What I've seen of Discovery is that its now essentially SpaceOpera, and that's something different that I'm quite not so interested in. And it comes to space opera there are of course a whole set of other franchises around. If Discovery is outstanding in that genre, good for it.

    But its silly if this gets treated as some kind of quasi-religious battle over who has custody of the Soul of Star Trek.


    Question: I know you read the comments before posting a review, but do any of the comments influence your review before you write it?


    There's a difference between snarky remarks during the heat of debate, and snarky remarks which are posted out of the blue out of sheer malice. What possible reason could you possibly give for allowing the latter in any shape or form?

    Your discussion threads were always known for being among the only places online where people can have a civil discussion about Trek. This has been slowly changing for some time now. People who have been commenting on your site for years are telling you that there is a problem, and that this problem is ruining the fun of hanging out on your site.

    Please do something about it.


    Nobody is asking you to play kindergarten cop or to take sides in an argument. We are simply asking you to remove comments that are obvious personal attacks, and comments that are an obvious attempt to pick a fight.

    "But its silly if this gets treated as some kind of quasi-religious battle over who has custody of the Soul of Star Trek."


    But what's happening here today is even worse then that silly battle. At least when people are engaging in the "Orville vs. Discovery religious war", they usually make statements that can spark an interesting discussion about the two shows.

    Here, OTOH, we just had a guy who posted a few cryptic one-liners and then questioned another poster's sanity. He was just rude for the sake of being rude.

    Yes, I know that Jammer doesn't like it when we talk about the behavior of other posters. But what exactly are we supposed to do? Suffer silently? I'm not willing to do this anymore. As I've already said, this has gone far enough.

    I’d advise strongly against asking Jammer to remove comments. As a long lapsed film critic and former communications manager, I will tell you, no good will come of it. It often backfires. And you have to constantly chase fires for it to be effective even when it does work. I doubt Jammer has time to play whack-a-mole, and turn himself and the site into a target if someone thinks they are being singled out.

    At this point, Jammer’s site is an archive unto itself. While some of these comments are problematic (a liberal said problematic, drink!!!), they do shade the conversations. In ten years*, they will provide context when someone wants to find out what fans and naysayers were saying. Good, bad, downright terrible, this IS the type of discourse that’s out there.

    *hell, in 10 months someone will come across some post or YouTube video and ask “what was that all about?”

    And keep in mind, even if he did boot people, someone else is just going to replace that person eventually.

    Oh...and if you haven’t tried it...writing a response, reminding yourself that no good will come of it, then deleting it, is incredibly helpful. I’ve done it many many times. :-)

    Hello Everyone!

    Well, I'm not going to read all of the responses yet, I'll probably just read them on the comment stream, which I'm only one month behind on now. :)

    Yeah, I knew he'd fall in love in the simulator. It wasn't bad though.

    My favorite moment? *Chomp* *Chomp* *Chomp*. I knew immediately it was gum, and laughed quite hard. And when she asked Bortus if it helped, his immediate "No" put me over the top. I had to pause it for just a moment.

    A close second was when Klyden promptly ate his first cigarette.

    Have a great day... RT

    @Charles J.

    Sorry but no.

    If anybody wants to see fans bickering and fighting viciously, they can go to any of the other Trek discussion sites where such behavior was always the norm. There are plenty of "good" examples of this kind of "discourse" all over the net, so there's no point in turning Jammer's site to another one of those.

    It is the (relative) civility of the discussions here that always made Jammer's site special. That was always the main attraction of coming here in the first place.

    So no, I do not agree that allowing this trend to continue unchecked is good idea.

    I do agree, though, that deleting comments left and right is not going to solve anything either. A more delicate approach is needed.

    Anyway, I'm done talking about this (at least for now). Either Jammer does something about this or he doesn't. If he does - great. If he doesn't - continuing to harp on this topic isn't going to change his mind.

    Slacker said: "I'm surprised though that in talking about Kirk's one-off loves, you didn't mention Rayna Kapec, who for my money is the greatest, most affecting Kirk love interest of them all."

    I'd completely forgotten about that episode. It's one of my favorite episodes too, especially the dance sequences and Spock on the piano.

    Booming said "Ist it actually true that there are more women on the Orville? I tried to watch the last Discovery episode through that lens but I think I didn't notice any gender disparity."

    Orville only has Kelly, the Doc and Talla/Alara. Discovery has Michael, Tilly, Mirror Empress, the female security officer, the admiral, and 3 female bridge crew. So it's the most female heavy Trek series by far.

    IMO DS9 and Voyager had the best written female Trek characters, though the writers never really locked Janeway down well enough (am I the only person who thinks the series would have benefited from a slow-boil Chakotay/Janeway romance?). TNG tried hard, but killed Yar, dropped Pulaski (underrated character IMO) and saddled Troi with too many hokey plots.

    @ Slacker

    Definitely not my best moment. It's no excuse, but for context: at that point I had ssevere kidney stone problems, not enough painkillers, and way too much time .on my hands. if I had a do-over (or a edit button), I'd not have allowed myself to get so irrationally upset over something as esoteric as media coverage/Youtube investigations .

    But, for the record: I never popped in to Discovery discussion just to personally attack soneone, my conversations WERE focused on the show, not personalities of commenters.

    @sc and others who want more sci fi .. I'll remind you that this show is aBOUT relationships. It's in one of the taglines. He is interested in exploring relationships, romances and the life of having a temp job on a ship.. that's his angle.. you want more sci fi or lasers, you might have to wait.

    Hello again, Everyone!

    Please forgive my 2nd post so soon, but I was just reading a comment about how the holodeck in TNG had sitting folks end up standing when the program ended. I, once again, laughed out loud when he was in the simulator, ended the program, and fell to the floor with a *oomph*. It was not only perfect, but a fantastic showing (to me) of how it would actually happen. Along with a subtle jab at the other series that didn't do it that way. :)

    *Note to self, always stand first in the simulator*

    *when I get one*

    Regards... RT

    @ Omicron

    A slim majority of me says to be the be a good ambassador for The Orville and ignore it; while the other 47% of me says "Be the instrument of karma." ;)

    I'm all for fostering constructive conversation, but still, I have a 3 -5 strike rule before losing my patience with insults.

    At the minimum, I'll ignore two ad hominem comments, but not a third. After all, if the mosquito hasn't flown away at that point, someone's got to smack it imho.

    For me, that seems to strike a good balance between turning the other cheek and being a willing accessory to your own roasting.


    A purely rhetorical question:

    if I accept that no one in this thread actually has the moral high ground ...

    ... and I accept that no consequences are forthcoming due to everyone being on a equally dubious ethical footing ...

    .... and I accept no brownie points are being awarded for having measured/ polite interactions ...

    ... AND I were to agree that refuting continuous insults is as bad as lobbing them...

    ... then, technically, what difference does it make WHAT one says or how one says it?

    No need for a response, that was a rhetorical exercise.

    @Omicron and Dave
    Omicron, you attacked and insulted me for no reason in the other thread which you certainly will be happy to hear actually hurt my feelings. That is why I reacted.
    You brought me back to this thread.

    Dave, in his last post in this very thread, is comparing me to an insect he wants to "smack". I just find it puzzling how much people don't see their own patterns while complaining about other peoples behavior and even asking Jammer to enforce their wishes. Both have repeatedly attacked other people in the Discovery thread without any real reason(I know, I know Dave had kidney stones). Yeah, turning the other cheek alright. Butt cheek maybe.

    I haven't said anything negative about the Orville for quite some time and I will not do so in the future. Why would I ?!

    Have fun with the Orville.

    @Troy I wouldn't think anything posted on jammer boards would influence Jammer to rationalize his thoughts on an episode. Jammer is always the last person to write up his formal review. Jammer has spent countless hours scoring through countless reviews in many other tv franchises. It's not a like working in a kitchen doing the dishes, he does his best to correct/interpret/discover things that he missed or not though of. He wouldn't be here doing these things for free if no one offers his input. Trolls on the other hand is a hard one to stop, who wants to be a moderator for a modest fee? Looking forward to the battle zone in the next episode.

    Jammer's reviews are probably going to be read longer than anyone realizes. I'd take my time too if I knew that they might have historical interest/ read by posterity.

    Besides, I know Jammer posted on his blog that he's juggling qf lot of things at the moment and he forewarned there'd be a longer delay on reviews than last year.

    Absolutely loved it. It made me care about the characters and really captured my own deep sentiments about history as a history fan.

    I took it that Greg was intentionally presented as more or less a clone of Molloy - same beard, same mannerisms, and from what Laura said, the same characteristics.

    @Dave MN
    "I'm all for fostering constructive conversation, but still, I have a 3 -5 strike rule before losing my patience with insults."


    The problem is that quite a few commenters here are already way past 5 strikes.

    As for this:

    "A slim majority of me says to be the be a good ambassador for The Orville and ignore it; while the other 47% of me says 'Be the instrument of karma.' ;)

    I'm not the kind of guy who would bite his lip just to be "a good ambassador", yet I still vote for the "ignore" option. Ignoring this kind of trash is the only way to keep our stay here enjoyable.

    As for karma, these guys will get their just desserts when a 25th century dude creates a simulation of them based on their posts here. ;-)

    @ Omicton

    I shudder to think of Future Holo-Me and his future holo-kidney stones. Haha

    @ Gerontius

    I actually like that ithe story was left open-ended .... perhaps Gordon might end up with a Minuet Complex. I can foresee a future plot where Malloy's non- holographic girlfriend feels jealous/in competition with his "perfect" holo-ex and decides unmask the "real" Laura.

    Sorry to throw in an off topic question, but I don't know where else to put it (I looked for a "general discussion" type thread but didn't see one).

    My wife, who only has watched a curated selection of "Voyager" because I basically made her and our daughters watch it with me, got a movie from Netflix called "Please Stand By". I knew it was about a young woman with autism, but didn't realize until it started that it leaned so heavily on Trek lore.

    Is this known in the Trek fan community already, or did I just pass you a good cinematic tip? :)

    Great episode. TNGish, you bet, but I loved it. Haven't watched TV in years but I watch The Orville every week on the Fox app.

    Speaking of, I paused at one point and it happened to be while Gordon was thumbing through the texts. I kid you not, one of them was "Grayson: Send nudes". I think the writers were having a little fun there.

    @slackerInc - no idea if that film is known in "the Trek fan community", since I just watch the shows, and call into jammer's place. But thanks for the tip, since this looks like it is a film I'll watch, even aside from any Trek related content. (It's not on Netflix in England, but I found it online easily enough anyway.)

    I think Omicron is probably right about the idea that Laura and Greg being Molloy's ancestors. Seth's team seem to have resisted the temptation to bring that out as definite, which I think was probably a good idea. It's suggested, but that's enough. No need to invite people to sneer at the massive coincidence involved.

    @Gerontius, you're welcome! There's a scene early on when the main character is winning bets (arranged by a neurotypical coworker) that they could stump her with Star Trek trivia, and I wondered if any of the commenters here would have known the answers (I didn't).

    @Slacker Inc

    How many questions where there?

    I quickly browsed the script and found two question. Are there more?

    (TBH I'm not that interested in watching the film itself. The trivia contest, though, intruged me).


    “Jammer is always the last person to write up his formal review.”

    I’ve caught times where in my opinion the official review does not sound as though the show was watched, but is sewn together from the fan reviews in the forum. Specific unusual words used in fan reviews mysteriously appeared in the official review, much like a hypnotist would use post hypnotic suggestion.

    “He wouldn't be here doing these things for free if no one offers his input.”

    You see those banner and 300x250 ads everywhere? Nothing is for free. You see those older reviews on the other forums getting dredged up with comments like “liked this. Ima Fan” that’s SEO dredging and audience acquisition.

    “Trolls on the other hand is a hard one to stop, who wants to be a moderator for a modest fee? Looking forward to the battle zone in the next episode.”

    Not really. A message board that is balanced will be fine. One that is fan based will erupt when someone who brings either a centrist, or negative view posts. An anonymous sock puppet type forum will be chaotic. There’s no way to block a member who is disruptive, and moderation tools are useless. What else could be the expectation. As readers we are helpless, there’s no way to sift through the noise, block a bully, rate a member, follow someone you appreciate like Elliott. The forum master complains that he has trouble getting through all the posts to find the important ones and then make decisions about what’s right or wrong in context. Well, if that’s a problem for them, SAME FOR US JEEZ LOUISE. It’s 1996 here and that’s the way I’ve been told to accept it so I mostly stay in the current year and drop by when I feels 1996.


    I've strongly disagreed with your reviews in the past, but glad to see you're doing ok.

    No way to block a member who is disruptive? Not too hard. If someone's too much of a pain, they get warned. If they keep being a pain, block their access. All right it's always possible to set up a new address and a new name, nothing's perfect, and you'll always be some people getting up the noses of others. But that kind of rough and ready moderation seems to work well enough with another forum (about something competely different) that I go to.

    In any case, from what I've seen here, the level of sniping and general nastiness is pretty mild, not really worth getting het up about.

    As for the ads, they are pretty unobtrusive and not many. I'm very grateful to Jammer for providing us with this place.

    @Dougie Thanks for your input. I've only being on this reviewer boards for a year or so.

    A lot have changed since 1996, I bet Jammer can track IP addresses of the person responses and use a block by IP address feature provided by the IP provider as long as the site is using ancient coding html.

    I find all this has become equivalency to my writing classes. A good experience for me. Who wants to pay for my college courses that are an essential requirement for graduation?

    I know all reviews are subject to personal taste, but still, I'm happy to see Jammer rated this so highly!

    cool to see Gordon in that time capsule.

    I bet Jammer couldn't add .25 to 3.5 stars for 3.75 stars... but any 3.5 stars is a milestone for Orville.

    It’s possible to have dozens of IP addresses through a day, and with Tor it would be impossible to block someone via IP. I can get a new one on my phone by power cycling over LTE. User agent trapping doesn’t work they’re not unique. Dont minimize it, users walk away. They take thousands of pageviews per year with them.

    If you knew the lifetime value of a visitor to a site with advertising and it was your retirement, you’d get it. It’s an important analytic. After all, this is a business designed to look like a forum.

    True enough, if someone wants to work hard at being a nuisance they can find ways to do it. One of the minor irritations of life.

    But this forum does seem reasonably affable.

    I was glad to see Jammer shared the general appreciation of this episode.

    April 11th for the next episode (in America.) This is why ratings drop on US shows, because they're not consistent, week to week, in their time slot. Even when they are, the amount of adverts and the frequency of them is madness! The show only exists to sell the product(s). In the UK, adverts are longer, which means less frequent.

    I never watch the ads anyway, always wait for catch-up. As I am from the UK, I haven't seen this episode yet.

    It's March Madness in the US. I'm not sure how much overlap there is between audiences, but a lot of shows don't bother airing new episodes during the NCAA playoffs.

    Or of course, in the UK, if a show is on a BBC channel, there are no adverts at all. This is on the Fox channel, but I've never watched it live, so no problem with ads.

    I would call this a middling episode of the series, but I like this show a lot in general, so that's still pretty good--and I'm glad Jammer and others got so much out of it.

    I second the sentiment of being glad Jammer has created all this, and I hope he does make some dough out of the deal!

    Oops, forgot to respond to @OTDP: I don't remember how many trivia questions there were. I thought it was three or four, but you might be right. There are plenty of other Trek references throughout the movie, though.

    Seth just Tweeted:

    "Happy birthday @MarinaSirtis. You can catch her on The Orville in less than two weeks!"

    I'm not going to write a long review. I just wanted to say that I love watching The Orville.

    I look forward to new episodes of The Orville the way I used to look forward to new TNG episodes when I was a kid. Watching The Orville is like a nice massage after the rough ride of that other show where - ironically - people are actually supposed to be on some sort of star trek.

    Thank you Seth McFarlane!

    Easily one of my favorite episodes of the season, among my top 3 for sure. Bortus and Clyde addicted to smoking and hiding it from each other, Bortus chewing gum on the bridge, I busted out laughing few times throughout those scenes.

    And there were so many hilarious little lines like Gordon saying in the last dialogue "That's a hell of a romantic legacy" to Kelly's cross-eye anecdote.. Hahahaha..
    Sherman explaining "WTF" to the crew with Ed replying "Amazing." Golden!

    Yes there are echoes of old Trek episodes but if good humor is added to the episode, I'm all in for the charmed version :).
    Well done The Orville. And nice review Jammer.

    Just looked at some of the comments and see that some posters argued back and forth again and Jammer intervening came into question. Jammer's response is perfect, but I wanted to add my opinion to the mix.

    If there were one single thing that I could wish for some magic hand to impose, that would be to make it so nobody can post more than 4 or 5 posts in one episode's thread. So many comment boards of episodes are hi-jacked by few posters who average 10 or more (and that's putting it conservatively) comments per episode. I mean, there are some episode with comment boards where a few people literally occupy hundred or more of the comments (usually more than half). I find that quite ridiculous and I bet some new people decide to never post because they feel like what they write would get lost in the shuffle, or simply want no part of a confrontational board.

    Just my two cents, I know it will never happen, that is why I said "I wish some magic hand" This was my second post in this episode's board, already getting too close to my limit.


    NCAA playoffs. Surely not the same audience as The Orville.


    The show airs on FOX in the UK. There are usually three adverts. One every fifteen minutes. I've watched shows in America before and there seems to be an advert every five minutes. How anyone can follow the storyline, it must be so annoying.

    @ Mertov

    Tally up the reviews of both T.O. & DSC from two years ago, there's been no actual drop-off in the number of commenters OR comments ... quite the opposite, actually. Not to be combative, but I genuinely doubt that anyone who actually bothers to scroll down and reads through a comment section would be intimated by a healthy discussion.

    Limiting posts in any way would actually scare more people away than it would bring in ... and it would encourage posts that were 100 paragraphs as commenters tried to cram every thought into their limited interactions.

    Despite occasional speedbumps, the system seems to work (says the man who posts a lot, haha).

    Understood Dave, although I disagree with you on some details.

    There are sometimes fleshed-out comments that are great but it happens to be a one-time commenter and his/her comment gets lost in a pool of 50-60 comments of two or three people bickering back and forth or trying to have the last word. And I am not sure that everyone who comes to read the comments actually digs through every comment in a sequence like that to see if they can read the one or two good ones. They see 5 or 6 comments in a row arguing back and forth on menial things (and usually these arguments go totally outside the domain of the episode in question) and say "heck with this" and leave or scroll down fast to 60 comments ahead, thus missing the one good one.

    It would be nice if some commenters (don't take it personally, because I've been guilty of this once or twice too) showed some restraint and didn't hijack the comment section with 15 to 25 comments just to reiterate the same point they already made before or harp on a particular issue/character/topic. Like I will do now and stop here with this topic. Have a good day :)

    One thing I really wish this forum did, is if you click on a comment in the Comment Stream, have it take you to THAT COMMENT in the actual Episode posting. Come on, these are anchor links with a div. html 1.0. By making me scroll and find the comment within the episode post, knowing there are probably a hundred plus, it discourages me from doing that and reduces page views.

    Someone above mentioned the dearth of male characters, “particularly straight male characters” on Discovery.

    This is nonsense - there is no dearth.

    This isn’t a Discovery thread, but just for accuracy’s sake I count — just looking at the regular mains:

    Female: Burnham, Tilly, Georgieu (3)

    Male: Spock, Pike, Saru, Tyler, Stammets, Culber (6)

    Bridge crew regulars: 2 male/ 2 female (with Airiam gone)

    I thought I had made this comment earlier, but I don't see it; so again: if as on Reddit we could upvote comments and choose to sort by "Most Popular", the long and thoughtful comment buried in the middle of a thread could get more attention.

    @SC: I watch both March Madness and (obviously) "The Orville".  Is that really so unusual?

    @Jack: Traditionally the main Trek characters are on the bridge and engineering.  "Discovery" has pulled an interesting move in both its seasons so far.  That is, only one straight white male human each season among that set of characters.  But in each season it has been the captain, which seems to strongly counterbalance things.  OTOH in the first season (SPOILER ALERT) that one dude turned out to be a Trumpian villain.  So Pike, if he is in fact straight (he is "straight-presenting", but who knows) is really the first major such character on the show who is one of the "good guys".  But again, he IS the captain, so that counts for more than just one spot.  It is weird though, like they are kind of trying to have it both ways.

    Also, although he's not part of the bridge or engineering crew, I'd say that in any case most people would consider Shazad Latif (who plays Ash Tyler) to be a "person of color", as his father is Pakistani.  Plus he's not REALLY human, is he?

    solid ep that maybe needed a little bit more plot to chew on. Ironically would have been a better TNG ep because on TNG the future people legitimately act different from contemporary people. Orville they already act like 20th century everyday people so the contrast is lost quite a bit. But a solid foundation for a story, gave a few good things to think about, and Mollow is becoming one of the MVPs of the show (along with Kelly, Bortis, The Doctor, the kids, and Isaac)

    Whoa. Is everyone else seeing "Control" all over the place? At first, I thought it was someone being weird/trollish, but then I realized it was some kind of normally invisible HTML code or something. (If it looks normal to everyone else, this for example is how my final sentence looked in my most recent post before this one: "Control Plus Control he's Control not Control REALLY Control human, Control is Control he? Control. Control. Destroy Control.")

    Yes, Slacker, we're all seeing the same thing. Looks like Jammer's site has been hacked or attacked with a virus by some asshole. All comments to all articles have bee affected. Hopefully there's a backup,

    ...or maybe this is Jammer's doing? If so . . . Hahaha. Haha. Haha. Ha.

    Outstanding review Jammer, thanks.

    Starting to get a little tense about the lack of any news on a renewal.

    That should help the chances of renewal.

    I hope Seth can eventually get every cast member of Voyager and Enterprise to do cameos. But if he wants Jennifer Lien, he's going to have to get somebody to go pick her up, drive her to the set, and bring her home when the day's over. What I'm saying, Jen, is that you HAVE to stop driving without a license. Crossing my fingers that Fox picks up The Orville for a third season.

    After rewatching this again, I agree with Jammer that it is one of the best of the series. It’s a clever use of the sci fi theme to talk about a lot of very real and relatable issues, it makes good use of it’s characters, and is both emotionally compelling and just the right amount of funny. It’s great stuff, and I greatly appreaciate that they didn’t feel the need to throw in unnecessary action. That kind of restraint is wonderful to see. The Orville definitely grew into it’s own this season, but this one really stands out to me as being incredibly brave, thoughtful and surprisingly naunced. 5/5

    From the first five minutes, I genuinely thought this was going to be gold, but AFAIC from this point it drifted gradually into above-averageness. Better than the last two, but that wouldn't be hard.

    Like episodes of this show, not all of my reviews are going to be memorable.

    I liked this episode more than I expected. We've been learning more about Gordon Malloy in season two and he's much more rounded-out and likeable character. It was a real pleasure to see Tim Russ again. I wish there was more of him in this episode. The scenes with Bortus smoking were hilarious. I wish they simply had him continue smoking for the rest of the season.

    [[The archeologist assigned to oversee this unearthing is played by Tim Russ, whom I haven't seen in anything since probably Live Free or Die Hard. His performance here suggests a specific eccentricity.]]

    Tim Russ was in an episode of "The Good Doctor."

    So the time capsule was taken from Saratoga Springs, New York, and instead of opening it there, they launch it into space, then open it on the Orville? Why?

    I've been watching this series lately and wanted to say that it is GREAT. This is the Trek we deserve. I'm super impressed!

    OK, haven't seen the entire episode but the beginning gave me actual trek chills. When these two guys watch this message from the past. Really nice. It gave me this innocent sense of wonder.
    Watched it now. It is a good episode. It never reached eye rolling territory. It is clear what is going to happen, so it is a little predictable but I was still on board. The biggest problem is maybe the b story which sometimes undercuts the deeper stuff.
    Apart from "New Eden" and maybe "The Sound of Thunder" which too felt trekkish and were maybe close or on the same level I must say that this is better than anything NuTrek has created.
    Certainly better Star Trek.

    I found mine ok-ish. But Jammer's review is fantastic. One of his best.

    In the final scene, Laura was going to bury her phone the subsequent week. This means that the computer's ability to, and need to "interpolate" would have ended, since the data available in the timeline would have ended. Assuming the computer could "extrapolate" from there, character-Laura would gain more free will to deviate from real-Laura's script. This means Gordon would have a real chance, just one week in the future of where the simulation was.

    But would such an extrapolation be as realistic as the interpolation that the computer created here? Or would the character become repetitive due to a lack of new information to mine? Was the so-realistic-you-could-fall-in-love-with-it effect basically because it was a recording? Like falling in love with a character in a book or a movie? Or was it a real person?

    Very good. Named I'm sure after the film Laura (detective falls for apparently dead girl) which was sort of made in TNG as Aquiel, which is bad and all. But this makes a real compare contrast with the last one about how to do a Gordon story, and more generally where the show's strengths lie. Gordon's explanation for why this is distinct from other holo-addiction stories (specifically Bortus' porn thing, though on a meta level we know it's also Barclay etc.) is plausible and also is something of a hook for us to get to know Laura as a person, enhanced by the 2015 elements. But it's also clear that Gordon is a lonely guy who doesn't feel like his life is going anywhere, who doesn't entirely fit in with his crew and whose love life has stalled. It's really poignant to watch him and Laura bond, and while the zag that she goes back to her ex feels slightly adjacent to the story they were telling, it does follow naturally, and really it does make sense that it's part of the central issue: Gordon finds a complete person who is long dead, who would have maybe been right for him, but she's right for him because she's already a complete person, whose life is centuries over. I found it very moving, especially Gordon's doomed attempts to share his discovery with his friends. Bortus subplot a scream. 3.5, sure.

    Great episode. The cigarette stuff was hilarious I laughed out loud when Bortus ordered 500 cigarettes from the replicator and then tried to hide an entire pillow full of cigarettes from Krydon. I felt for Gordon. It’s understandable how he just wanted to delete her ex boyfriend from the data but the holodeck relationship thing has been explored before and it just doesn’t work. On some level I’m sure he knew that from the start.

    Still watching but this is just creepy. White Geordie is cyber stalking a 400 year old digi zombie. creepy
    The Mocluns get hooked on synthesized cigarettes.

    Not the best homage of The Wounded from TNG, and the Xeleyan instrument is judt Futurama's holophoner instrument, but the reveal of the girl was pretty cool. Malloy's confession to Talla was a good twist... so was the commercial break cliffhanger where you know something's coming but how they do it still works. The Envall are a really cool idea, though like with the aftermath of Isaac, they don't really follow up with her.

    That said, I felt the acting was fairly solid and well-directed and almost made up for the clichés. Some clichés are inevitable but there could have been more flair to the script. Given Orville often innovating on old ideas in fresh new ways, maybe I was expecting more beyond the Envall.

    2.75 stars from me. Should have been 3.5.

    Oops. My previous post was for the previous episode.

    Lasting Impressions seems overrated, despite the thene of how we're made by the interactions with others.

    But with lots of unresolved arcs with Krill, Moclans, and Kaylons, never mind Claire and her family... and they have nothing else to explore with any depth? And since "Identity" all the crew act as if Isaac didn't do anything, not even looks of cautious worry or optimism as if rebuilding trust as well but after a couple episodes we're used to it, but they'll devote an entire hour to a lame TNG rehash with contrived technobabble so "connect some dots to make a cartoon turtle" that the worst of Voyager couldn't stoop down to.

    It's "90210... in Space!"

    Kelly says it's like learning a different language except these 25th century people (save for the anthropologist for more plot contrivance, played well by Tim Russ) act the same way.

    It feels like an attempt to remake "Hollow Pursuits" but without any direction. Apart from nicking aspects of Star Trek IV.

    The cigarette subplot was oddly amusing. Am amazed they didn't do more with eating it. Like giving chocolate to a dog sad it gets sick, Clyden could have started eating them like popcorn and get sick. Actually, there's a surprisingly suave look with the Moclans smoking away.

    Then again. Even Topa was scribbled out of the story for no reason.

    I sorta liked the brief comedy bits from Ed reading the too-perfect looking newspaper. Amazing how none of the artifacts looked remotely aged, except for the phone's internals - and only until 5 seconds later when the plot now demands a quick fix...

    It's not season 2's strongest. Actually. As sci-fi goes it's far weaker than the season opener that whizzed on by... give me the worst of season 1, even the asteroid episode, and it felt more sincere than this po-faced hour.

    Best scene: Gordon saves and closes the program and the hologram bed disappears and he plops down.

    Worst of all, Talla is made to look like Meg... at least the 1960s TV show reference wasn't shown on screen.

    Or was this one supposed to air before the Moclan divorce ritual? That might make a little more sense.

    The character deletion and its resultant aftersk00l special was fairly decent. But the preceding 44 minutes was a drag.

    Score: 2/5.

    "I feel as if I have been standing my entire life and I just sat down" - possibly the best line ever written in human history.

    It would have been easy to mess this theme up. They did not. What first annoyed was the rest of the crew sitting quite passive on the game night as if they did not like this simulation game. Well, they very early realised that it was not only a simulation and just cared for their friend.

    This episode was a very charming way to do my favourite Sci Fi reflecting on the current society.

    Well done especially as B story was good (although not very good).

    I’d say that within twenty years, and probably even less than that thanks to Overlord Zuckerberg’s Goddamned Metaverse, we would be able to “live” in our own virtual realities, and perhaps even work remotely from there. Some sad-sack schlub could come home from work, slip on the goggles or turn on the program, and while away the rest of the day in some beautiful resort spa with his gorgeous fantasy woman. But here’s the rub (no pun intended) -- I could insert a masturbatory joke here but I’m not going to. We’re not wired for fantasy. Even four hundred years in the future, it seems that pleasure will still have to come with an appropriately equivalent amount of pain, or it isn’t real.

    Does it have to be real? That’s an essential question behind “Lasting Impressions,” and it’s a compelling one based on what we’re presented here. On the surface, Gordon Malloy falls madly in love. He’s late for work, he longs for his new girl to impress his friends, he wants everyone to share in his happiness, he can’t stop texting her--it all sounds familiar except for one thing: he’s fallen in love with a virtual fantasy. There’s no reason this can’t last--all he has to do is tweak the fantasy to make everything perfect. Who is he hurting, after all (other than hogging all the simulator time)? The answer, of course, is that he’s wrapped up in himself and not another person.

    I love the MacGuffin from “Lasting Impressions.” A time capsule from 2015 New York being unearthed is a genius concept that lets The Orville rip on the time at which it was created. And by nailing down such a specific date, it will never seem, well, dated.

    In the time capsule is a cigarette. It was probably Seth MacFarlane himself, but whoever came up with the concept of “Bortus and Klyden try cigarettes and get addicted” deserves an Emmy for writing. Talk about taking pain along with the pleasure. This whole subplot is manically “Orville”--hilarious, telling, madcap and so allegorical (the past can bite you in the ass). I loved every moment of it.

    But also in the capsule is a real person’s iPhone (I hope Apple appreciated this) which is likewise a neat idea. (One of the best lines that made me pause the show, because I was still laughing after it, was Dr. Sherman’s self-congratulatory level of expertise on 2015 texting shorthand: “Instead of writing ‘Wireless Telecommunications Facility,’ she simply wrote, ‘WTF.’”)

    The owner of the phone, Laura Huggins, is played by Leighton Meester and I was practically in love myself. So much is conveyed in her short video -- Laura had a great sense of humor, was warm and humble, and also quite at peace with what she was doing: exposing her life to a future inhabitant who might do God-knows-what with it, but with enough faith in people to think that it will only be a great experience for them. Meester’s performance as Laura is perfect here. This casting is sublime. But even better is her performance as the Laura simulation. (That’s right, and I can’t stress this enough--she plays two characters. We only see Laura for this one scene, her phone video. In the rest of the episode, we see something completely different.)

    When Malloy falls for Laura, and gets bored with just reading her texts, he recreates her “life” with the help of the simulator and ends up falling for her even more--through her avatar. The Laura simulation (let’s call it “Simulaura”--Wow, how perfect, that’s almost ‘simulacra;’ I wonder if naming her ‘Laura’ was an accident) is the presentation of a very powerful AI within the Orville computer that is doing its best approximation of a human experience based on the data one would find on a phone full of emails, videos, pictures and texts. In a way this is inspired, because of something else Dr. Sherman hinted about--media reports are biased and skewed, but the data from a personal cellphone is a lot more authentic and raw. So Simulaura is pretty damn close to what the real Laura might have been like, aided by a virtual-reality program that can adapt to a real user’s input. But it isn’t real.

    Malloy finds it real enough, however, just as we might be swept up in our own virtual realities one day (my God, don’t talk to me about kids and Fortnite). But then the complications start. We’ve all been there -- trying to convince your best friend that his new relationship is a bad match. But in this twisty science-fiction case, it’s a *perfect* match but a *fake* one. Nice. Malloy basically tells his friends, “Hey guys, I’ve just fallen in love with this character in my video game and I really want you to drop by and meet her!” Malloy, LaMarr, Grayson and Keyali are having none of this nonsense. They still humor him though, leading to a priceless scene of Malloy playing Pictionary with Simulara and her simu-friends as they all just sit there cringing in their seats (Malloy’s Dick Van Dyke crack was another line that got me rolling).

    Malloy argues that Simulaura is as real as Isaac is, which brings up a couple of quick points. Isaac is a goddamn sentient AI, designed to have a certain level of computerized imitational self-awareness. Simulaura is *not* sentient. But Malloy’s point is that both Isaac and Simulaura might only have the *appearance* of being self-aware. I agree with half of this. A sentient AI is different from a sentient human. An AI has enough sophisticated programming to literally mimic sentience, so we call it sentient for the sake of shorthand. The “sentience” of Simulaura, by contrast, is possible only because the computer is approximating the actual interactions of a real, sentient person. It’s not the same thing. But Malloy then argues that none of this even matters as long as we believe these simulations are real and treat them as such. And this results in an awesome line by Mercer: “The universe is not governed by individual perception. It matters what’s true.” (Say, does that mean I can finally scream that men can’t get pregnant? But I kid.)

    They can argue about these points until everyone is as blue in the face as Darulio from “Cupid’s Dagger,” but Malloy finally learns the error of his ways completely on his own. When he tries to futz with the simulation by getting rid of the ex-boyfriend that Simulaura inevitably goes back to, it works. In real life, you see, it wouldn’t work. But the way it works is that it robs Simulaura of what Malloy finds to be most endearing about Laura Huggins--Laura’s love of performing in front of an audience. Now Malloy can finally see the simulation for what it is, and for a character study, it’s grounded and even powerful.

    But the heart of “Lasting Impressions” isn’t even about how fantasy isn’t as nourishing as reality or even that being in a relationship means taking the messy with the clean. It’s in two simple lines of dialogue that basically bookend each other to form a wonderfully moving point about The Real Laura Huggins (who we only saw for less than a minute, let’s remember).

    First, there’s Simulaura’s musing to Malloy as they’re courting -- “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.”

    And then later, there’s Grayson’s line to cheer Malloy up -- “People have been living and dying for as long as humans have existed. Most are forgotten. But not this one. She reached across four centuries and got a guy to fall in love. We should all be so rare.”

    It’s a lovely sentiment, and after Grayson brought this all home, Malloy got rather misty-eyed and so did I. What a warm, human scene this was. Where it was Mercer’s and LaMarr’s important roles to be frank with Malloy and try to knock some sense into him, Grayson got to be more empathetic and gentle here. Her point about the “eye trick” was so cute, and Adrianne Palicki showed some real wisdom and warmth. The Orville, of all shows, demonstrated here that there’s power in simplicity.

    In the final scene, at the moment Malloy comes up to the stage and starts singing with Simulaura, there was a lump in my throat. Grimes and Meester were perfect. It’s a nice touch that Malloy still saw enough significance in his experience to actually stage his own goodbye to Simulaura, when obviously he could have just quit all aspects of the program and the simulation wouldn’t have known the difference. But of course, he does it because *he* needs his own closure. And surprisingly, by extension, so do we.

    “Lasting Impressions,” with its earnest and whimsical collisions between fantasy and reality, and between the past and the future, probably belongs in a time capsule itself. Not only does it posit how a future society might react to our present, such as it is, but for real people living four hundred years from now, it would be a neat little presentation about how we imagined them. Leighton Meester just might reach across four centuries and get a guy to fall in love.

    We should all be so rare.

    Best Line:
    Bortus -- “Five hundred cigarettes.” (And it was so.)

    My Grade: A+

    @Proud Capitalist Pig - excellent review, you mentioned many of the things that I noted when I watched.

    I had to watch this one again, it was so good. I thought this one and the previous were excellent. What a gem of an episode this is! This absolves Malloy of being just a useful idiot, to say the least. Scott Grimes put in a sensitive performance that caught me by surprise.

    My only question is, when everyone was examining the items in the time capsule: aren't these archaeological artifacts? Seems weird that they were pawing through them, reading the newspaper, smelling cigarettes. Huge contamination risk, I would think...?

    Lamar: hey man you didn't do drugs in there did you? Hehe.

    500 cigarettes! I like the cigarette part just as well as the Malloy story. I've been enjoying cigarettes since I was 9 years old, and I could get them for 55 cents out of the cigarette machine next to school. So I truly appreciate the sentiment about how appealing they are (even if I can't smoke now). Bortus smoking on the bridge was so fucking good. I just wish he still had his mustache!!

    "Little toy space stations. With nougat in the center." That reminds me of something Mel Brooks might have written.

    Laura was just an absolute treat. She reminded me of some of the female guitarists I follow on YouTube. They just have that raw honesty that makes them a million times more beautiful. Damn that was a gorgeous story. It had a real poetry to it. Inspiring.

    I thought Kelly really shone in this episode, and I was glad to see Ed not be in the spotlight. I love to see Kelly in command, she's so real to me.

    WTF? Dick Van Dyke? Lmao! Usually the cultural references irritate me, but it's interesting to think about a post-internet society. Maybe the internet just collapsed because it became so obnoxious and distasteful, in the way a lot of things throughout history have gone from ubiquitous to distasteful and embarrassing.

    Thanks, @Dirk. I liked your write-up too.

    Be sure to check out "Twice in a Lifetime" in season three if you haven't already. It's another great Malloy show.

    Solid 3.5 stars for me. The setup of a woman putting an iPhone in a time capsule and the crew turning it into a holographic program is predictable (I saw it coming in the first minute the phone appeared) but clever, and the execution here seems natural.

    This feels like a Star Trek time travel episode without obligatory timeline peril and a holodeck episode without stupid malfunctions, so it comes off as a fresh and engaging twist on old formulas. Kudos for that.

    Gordon’s romance with the dead woman is bittersweet and has a smooth chemistry that erases my memory of countless awkward and artificial feeling TNG holodeck stories. The unreality of Gordon texting with the program while on duty is striking, and the spontaneous reappearance of Laura’s ex Greg also feels like a more genuine twist than the usual one-dimensional holodeck characters on Trek.

    The “some parts of your life are just out of your control” conversation would have been a nice place for this story to stop, with Gordon accepting reality. The fact that he deletes Greg and refuses to accept it briefly takes things in a cringe direction, but mercifully leads in quick fashion to the realization that deleting Greg took away some of the things he loved about Laura. Kelly delivers this subtle point in a too on-the-nose fashion, but it leads Gordon to a deeper insight that elevates the episode to something nearly great. The message of letting go of control in relationships, with Gordon accepting Greg as the new boyfriend, is a solid take that I don’t think I’ve ever seen on Star Trek. But it’s the kind of thing Trek did well when it was still about ideas and not the nonsensical action filler it is today. I miss those days.

    That said, the Moclans smoking subplot is goofy B plot filler that turns melodramatic when they fight about quitting. The Moclans remain the dumbest characters on this show and really bring it down. Would have liked to see more Tim Russ here (in any subplot) instead of this stupidity.

    Going to nitpick and point out that there's just no possible way that iphone would have worked after 400 years. The battery would have leaked and eaten away everything inside it, the flash memory would have long ago lost every single bit stored in it anyway, even the glue holding everything together would have deteriorated to the point it would have all fallen apart, the plastics would brittle to the touch, it would be a non-phone. I still have my old iPhone 4, the thing is only 20 years old and it is completely dead.


    Honest physics question about that point you made, as I'm dumber than a fence post... if the time capsule had been vacuum-sealed, could that have prevented the iPhone's degradation?

    Smoking Moclan's is a kind of cool i didn't expect to see.
    As some lots already mentioned, if Bortus still had his moustache, it would be even better.

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