What Happened This Week?
Who better to deliver The Orville 105’s lesson, “Trust your First Officer”, than Jonathan Frakes? Our beloved Commander Riker guided “Pria” into our coveted favorite episode spot this week.
The Orville crew narrowly saved the Captain (Charlize Theron) of a doomed ship in a high stakes game of comet-stranded ship vs sun’s gravitational pull. The addition of the charming Pria Lavesque gave us a glimpse into other facets of life on the Orville…like one should avoid staying in the hamster-scented stateroom & Ed (Seth MacFarlane) hosts a mean cocktail party. Ed’s longing for companionship clouded his judgement as he allowed Pria not only into his bed, but also into engineering and every other part of the ship. Managing to not drink Pria’s proverbial love potion, Kelly (Adrianne Palicki) enlisted the help of Alara (Halston Sage) to Nancy Drew Pria’s real motives.
But I Thought You Liked Me
A field of Dark Matter threatening the ship put Pria in the position to return the rescue favor changing the course of history as we learned that The Orville was fated to be destroyed by the incident. Pria’s admission that she was an antique dealer from the 29th century vindicates our super sleuths, Kelly & Alara. Turns out she designed the whole encounter just to snatch The Orville before it’s destruction and sell it to the highest bidder. Living on truly borrowed time, the crew’s destiny now lies in the 29th century where they are free to enjoy all the future has to offer including a potential relationship between Ed and Pria.
The B storyline weaves into the main plot as Isaac (Mark Jackson) has managed to upload himself into the ship’s system, allowing him to successfully give control back to The Orville’s crew from Pria’s mystery box. Subdued by an ass-kicking Kelly, Pria ends up at the mercy of Ed’s decision: Should he go through the wormhole on the arm of Pria and begin a new life finally free of his tortured relationship with Kelly but leaving the timeline open to untold amounts of change OR does he opt to close the wormhole, saying goodbye to Pria forever & hello to more angst filled days with Kelly? Rising to the challenge of being the Captain, Ed puts his personal gains to the side and chooses to close the wormhole allowing The Orville to continue their adventures, ex-wife and all.
TV fans never looked at Junior Mints the same way again after Seinfeld’s classic surgical mishap episode! In the B Storyline, the Seinfeld episode is again changing lives as it prompted Malloy to attempt to explain comedy to the humor-challenged Isaac. The resulting practical jokes start off silly: Isaac is bedazzled with Mr. Potato Head parts by a snickering Malloy. Isaac escalated to the, “Did they really just do that?” level MacFarlane is known for when he cut off Malloy’s leg in retaliation. Isaac and Malloy end up in sick bay (Isaac having found out the hard way that you can’t stick your finger into strange technology), giving Malloy a moment to make amends and give kudos for a joke well played.
Still Cracking Us Up
The scene when Ed calls Malloy (Scott Grimes) to the bridge for help mid-leg-repair and Malloy’s leg falling out of the ceiling were burst out laughing hilarious… The visuals still makes us chuckle! Bringing the Junior Mint joke full circle at the climax of the episode, Isaac uses it as code to tip off the crew that he has taken control of the ship.
What’s New This Week?
Pria’s buyers look pretty alien, but we learned nothing about them this episode. Will they continue to meddle in human affairs? Or do they just dabble in this exotic form of kidnapping? Reminds me a little of when we first saw the Borg or Romulans in STTNG. We only got a small taste and then nothing for a long time in those cases. I wonder if this might be like that.
Teleportation….it’s coming in the future, so for sure they don’t have it yet. We saw Ed put her teleportation device in his desk drawer, so we know it’s around now… Is this a Chekhov’s gun scenario?
How Was This Episode?
We looked through our brains and the Internet to try and find anything in the Star Trek canon that resembled this story. Each of the previous four episodes borrowed inspiration or whole plots from various Star Trek episodes. This method of imitating a familiar property inherits certain risks. Once we realized The Orville was much more homage than spoof, we thought of this imitation as more a way to bootstrap the audience into a new universe without having to start from scratch.
This episode certainly borrows familiar tropes we’ve seen before. Beautiful temptress? Yes. Greedy alien souvenir hounds? Sure. Time Travel? Gosh yes. We couldn’t find them all in one story though. Along this show’s progression, each episode has made some kind of step forward. The pilot gave us the ship and the world. The second episode gave us MacFarlane’s homage to the original Star Trek’s pilot. The third episode let us know the show’s intention to deal with serious matters from time to time. Last week we saw a meat and potatoes adventure. It still borrowed from existing material, but this was our crew’s first real alien encounter where they had to dig themselves out without any help. THIS episode says, “We’re ready to start telling our own stories now (or at least very soon).”
Every episode raises the bar of what we expect from this show and this episode didn’t break that streak. We can’t wait to see where we go next week.
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