The Orville S1E02: Recap And Review Of A Fun Optimistic Sci-Fi Show

Fox’s newest show, The Orville, aired its second episode last night and it was just as much of a success as the first. The Orville is a fun Sci-Fi show that manages to make fun of some genre tropes, but not come across as an outright parody.


The main plot for the second episode is every bit as simple as the plot for the first episode. Captain Ed Mercer (Seth MacFarlane) and his First Officer/Ex-wife Kelly Grayson (Adrianne Palicki) investigate a damaged ship, leaving Lieutenant Elara Kitan (Halston Sage) behind in charge of the U.S.S. Orville. While investigating the ship Mercer and Grayson are transported to an alien zoo. The zoo is owned by a race who see any life form not as advanced as them to be similar to animals. Meanwhile Elara Kitan panics over her new command and whether or not to follow her orders to return to Earth and mark Mercer and Grayson as essentially dead. There are a lot more finer details to the story, but this is essentially the main plot. It is an interesting story with some fun twists and a satisfying conclusion though it never really reaches beyond mediocre.

However, the story is not really what this show is about.

Instead the story focuses on the character interactions and these are where the show truly shines. I found myself truly rooting for Elara Kitan as she struggled with command. Just as in the last episode the scenes between Seth MacFarlane and Adrianne Palicki continue to be the strongest part of the show. I was disappointed that the racist robot Isaac didn’t have more to do in this episode, he plays a part near the end but nothing really shines through. I am hoping they use this character much more in the coming episodes.

In my last review I mentioned how Seth MacFarlane’s acting came across a little wooden in episode one. This didn’t seem to be a problem this episode and I greatly enjoyed every scene he was in. Admittedly he shares almost the entire episode with Adrianne Palicki and the two have a very natural chemistry. In general though I liked all the acting in the episode with the exception of one scene.

The scene begins with Scott Grimes’ Lieutenant Molloy complaining about an order to leave the Captain and First Officer behind. Elara Kitan then orders him off the bridge and he complies without any further complaint. The scene felt very forced and the otherwise great acting of Scott Grimes came across kind of awkward. That scene is the only one in the episode where the acting bothered me. The rest of the acting is very good and comes across as intentionally cheesy to mirror the acting in old Star Trek episodes.

I feel obliged to mention the humor of this show. I personally love it, I love MacFarlane’s other shows and this one is funny as well. However this might not hold through for everyone. A lot of the jokes are corny and many require a less mature view on comedy than what someone might expect from a sci-fi show. A good way to decide if you should watch this show is if you like Family Guy or American Dad then you will probably enjoy the humor. If not, then this might not be the show for you.

Overall my rating hasn’t changed much from last week. This is still an excellent show for people who like old school sci-fi and for people who enjoy optimism instead of grim grittiness. So I give this episode a 10/10 for old school sci-fi fans and a 6/10 for fans of more modern gritty TV shows.


The Orville airs Thursdays on FOX 8/9c. To keep you Geek Motivated throughout the week, follow us on Twitter (@GEEKMOTIVATION)

Written By: Daniel D. Fitzpatrick.

Feel free to follow me on Twitter (@BeardedNomad51) where I post about politics, comics, TV series and video games.

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