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The Orville - Ja'loja and Primal Urges - Double Episode Review

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The Orville kicked off Season 2 with two episodes in its first week. Both were smaller stories that dealt with very human themes centering around Bortus. However, while 'Ja'loja' dealt with very relatable themes, universally, Primal Urges was, well, interesting and, to some extent, unsettling, not to disrespect those who go through what Bortus went through.

First off, 'Ja'loja,' which was more of a self-contained episode focusing less on anything sci-fi, and more on the relationships between the crew of the Orville.

Chief among these relationships is what is happening between Ed and Kelly, a 'ship that not a lot of fans warmed up to in an otherwise excellent debut season. By last year's finale, Ed and Kelly had grown apart and 'Ja'loja' picked up where we left off in their relationship - the episode exploring their divide. Kelly moved on to date Cassius, while we find a lonely Ed drowning in the sorrow of heartbreak.

Both Ed and Kelly had valid views on the viability of their relationship and it's hard not to feel some empathy for the heartbroken Ed, as much of a twit as he can be. In the end, it was great to see Ed own up to the reality of the situation and be a better man by helping Cassius win back Kelly's heart after their argument. The episode ended on a nice positive note with Ed finding a potential new love interest in their newest crew member - good things do happen to good people - but unfortunately at the expense of Gordon.

In 'Ja'loja' we find out Gordon has no game. 'Ja'loja' focused on him working with Malloy to prepare himself to ask out Lt. Tyler. This storyline had some mildly amusing moments, but would eventually go nowhere, as Gordon would chicken out last minute and Lt. Tyler has eyes on the Captain.

Another story line that didn't really go anywhere was Alara's search for a mate, leading to a date with Dann. The storyline felt more like an attempt to include more Dann who remains a hilarious character, but too much of him may hurt his effectiveness. This would somehow lead to a growing friendship between Dann and Malloy, as the latter compliments Dann's poetry.

Another storyline was the growing friendship between Dr. Finn and Isaac. The latter of whom helped Finn deal with her angsty son. I never like the bratty children of Finn, and their involvement hurts the show more than helps it. They are kind of like the Wesley Crusher of Orville. It was thus hard to get through this storyline, though the friendship between Finn and Isaac make for an interesting dynamic.

As for the Ja'loja of the episode, it came and went. We never even got much Bortus in this episode as his great release acted more as a vehicle to explore the surrounding relationships on the ship than as the core of the story. I'm fine with this as what more can you do with a ritual that involves a guy peeing? The concept is hilarious in itself and thankfully the episode didn't go overboard with the pee jokes.

Bortus did have more to work with in the second episode, 'Primal Urges,' when we find out about his porn addiction. I can see why this episode was cut in Season 1, and I don't really know if it needed to be aired.

There were many moments that I didn't know whether I should laugh or take seriously. Porn addiction is a serious issue, and there were many moments where it was treated in a, I guess, hilarious way, but it can be debated whether it was done tastefully.

Certainly, the culture of Moclan is an interesting one. First we find out about their 'great release,' and in this episode apparently divorce between a Moclan couple means killing your partner? What an interestingly drawn out culture.

Overall, both episodes were mildly humorous and passable middle of the season type episodes - but that's the thing - this is not the middle of the season. I was hoping they would start Season 2 with more of a bang, but still, 'Ja'loja' and, to a lesser extent, 'Primal Urges' were solid episodes that had enough humor to keep them entertaining, mixed with some interesting character dynamics and heart.

Ja'loja: 7.5/10

Primal Urges - 6/5/10

What did you think of the first two episodes of Orville? Leave your comments below!

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