TV Review – The Orville: Lasting Impressions

TL;DR – It looks at the addictions we could have, to objects, to people, to the past, and how sometimes we need help to get us out of it.

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

The Orville: Lasting Impressions. Image Credit: Fox Network.

Review

As we continue through Season Two of The Orville, tonight we take a step back from the big galaxy-ending conflicts to take a smaller quieter look at the past. However, while this is a smaller story, it does not mean that it doesn’t pack a punch. It explores what it means to be alive, what it means to get lost, and what it means to not be able to give up.

So to set the scene, in the far future of The Orville there is a quaint moment when a time capsule near Albany is dug up from 2015. In the time capsule, there were all sort of artefacts from the time period and such a diverse collection that Dr Sherman (Tim Russ) is taking them to be displayed in a museum. However, there is one area where they are at a loss, in the capsule, there is a mobile phone, but the battery is long been depleted. Well, the crew of the Orville will not stand for that so they work together and finally get all the power back revealing the phone was owned by Laura (Leighton Meester) who left a message for whoever would find it and who instantly captivates Gordon (Scott Grimes). Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.  

The Orville: Lasting Impressions. Image Credit: Fox Network.
They did a good job of replicating 2015. Image Credit: Fox Network.

In many ways, this is an episode about addiction or at least not being able to let go and we see that most in the relationship between Gordon and Laura. Gordon realises that there is a whole life on this phone, pictures, texts, videos and more. Because of this, the computer should be able to make a simulation of Laura and her life. This sends Gordon on a spiral as he falls in love with something that is not real or is it. Which concerns his friends as they don’t know how to approach this, leading to some very tense words being exchanged.

I am glad that they played this relationship as serious rather than farcical because it explores some really deep emotional issues. It asks the question ‘what is real’ if the simulation is based on a real person’s life is that person real even though they don’t know they are simulated? As well as this, if you fall in love with them is that love real? This only works because Scott and Leighton really focus on those moments of connection and it is made all the worse by knowing right from the start that this cannot end well. At the very least at some point Laura dies, in fact, she has been dead for almost 350 years, and at best, at some point, you are going to run out of data as the phone goes in the capsule.

The Orville: Lasting Impressions. Image Credit: Fox Network.
Laura is such a compelling character thanks to Leighton Meester’s performance. Image Credit: Fox Network.

I’m glad they didn’t take the easy way out by ending the relationship once Gordon finds out how she died. It ended first because she got back with her ex which all indications pointed to this happening. However, more than that, we see Gordon delete Greg (Darri Ingolfsson) from the program, which is a super creepy thing to do, and I glad they deal with that quickly. It instantly shows that you can’t just tweak people to be how you want them to be. We are the sum of our past, and you can just shop out the things of our past that we don’t like.

On the other side of the equation, we have the story of Bortus (Peter Macon) and Klyden (Chad L. Coleman) who become intoxicated with cigarettes found in the time capsule. Sigh, look this is played for laughs and yes it was funny watching people go through withdrawal in the space of an hour, it just does not work. First, it does not inform or shape any of the characters involved or their relationship, see some of the bad Ferengi episodes on DS9. As well as this, the episode goes out of its way to show all the stereotypical cool cigarettes possess bar the post-coital smoke. However, it kind of brushes all the negatives away into either slapstick farce or a simple injection fixes it all. I get the feeling that something here was lost in the edit, but it just sadly does not work.

The Orville: Lasting Impressions. Image Credit: Fox Network.
This is an episode where we finally get know more about Gordon and what drives him. Image Credit: Fox Network.

In the end, do we recommend Lasting Impressions? Yes, yes we do. While not every plotline worked, when it did it was amazing and yes will leave a lasting impression on me.  

By Brian MacNamara: You can follow Brian on Twitter Here, when he’s not chatting about Movies and TV, he’ll be talking about International Relations, or the Solar System.

Have you seen The Orville yet ?, let us know what you thought in the comments below, feel free to share this review on any of the social medias and you can follow us Here. Check out all our past reviews and articles Here, and have a happy day.   


Credits –
All images were created by the cast, crew, and production companies of The Orville
Directed by
– Kelly Cronin
Written by – Seth MacFarlane
Created by – Seth MacFarlane
Production/Disruption Companies – 20th Century Fox, Fuzzy Door Production, Fox Network & SBS Viceland.
Starring in Season Two – Seth MacFarlane, Adrianne Palicki, Penny Johnson Jerald, Scott Grimes, Peter Macon, Jessica Szohr, J. Lee & Mark Jackson also Chad L. Coleman, Leighton Meester, Tim Russ, Darri Ingolfsson, Norm McDonald & Rachel MacFarlane   

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