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Recap / The Orville S2 E11 "Lasting Impressions"

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Bortus engaging in the second most unhealthy fixation in this episode.
When a time capsule from 2015 is discovered, Gordon gets attached to a woman who put her phone in the capsule. Meanwhile, Klyden and Bortus bond over a new habit: smoking.

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  • Alien Catnip: It turns out that Moclans have a much stronger reaction to nicotine than humans, with an addiction that is more like heroin.
  • Breather Episode: Another Slice of Life episode compared to the previous episode.
  • Call-Back:
    • Gordon brings up Ed dating a Krill. Based on Ed's reaction, he still isn't over that, and he points out that he didn't know she was a Krill when he was dating her.
    • Almost immediately afterwards, Ed brings up Bortus's "sex lagoon."
    • LaMarr casually explains that he's never been dumped, reminding viewers of the hilarious/awful break-up tactics he taught to Isaac.
  • Casting Gag: Tim Russ, Tuvok from Star Trek: Voyager, plays the man in charge of the time capsule.
  • Compressed Vice: Played both seriously and comedically.
    • Gordon becomes infatuated with a holographic simulation of a woman who died centuries before and the rest of the crew struggle to make him realize how unhealthy his behavior is.
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    • Bortus and Klyden go from trying one cigarette each to chain smoking hundreds of them in record time due to Moclans being exceptionally susceptible to nicotine addiction. Claire is eventually able to synthesize a cure for their addiction but not before Bortus and Klyden come to physical blows while struggling to go cold turkey.
  • Continuity Nod: Mercer brings up the cowboy program from "About a Girl" and Bortus's sex lagoon from "Primal Urges".
  • Cringe Comedy: The rest of the crew is deeply uncomfortable at being forced into Gordon's period role playing.
  • 555: Laura's smartphone number is a 555 number.
  • For Want of a Nail:
    • Gordon deletes Laura's boyfriend Greg from the simulation, only for her to suddenly become afraid of singing in public because it was Greg who helped her get over that fear.
    • Kelly drives this point home in her talk with Gordon. Kelly learned from Ed, while they were together, how to cross one eye at a time, which she demonstrates. Erase that relationship, and she wouldn't have learned to do that... or be second-in-command to Ed as part of the Orville crew, nor would anyone else be currently on the ship.
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  • Foreshadowing: Kelly's speech about what she'd lose if she'd never had her relationship with Ed is illustrated more fully in "The Road Not Taken."
  • Future Imperfect: The historian reviewing Laura's texts makes some hilariously faulty assumptions about what she means.
    Dr. Sherman: Look at this. She's clearly asking her friend where to find the nearest repair service for her device, but instead of writing "Wireless Telecommunications Facility", she just wrote WTF.
  • Have You Tried Rebooting?: The Orville crew seemingly fixes the phone from the time capsule, but still can't get it to work. Yaphit suggests turning it off and back on. This solves the problem.
  • Kung-Shui: Klyden and Bortus become so high-strung and volatile when trying to quit smoking, they wind up getting into a brawl and smashing up furniture. Good thing Claire arrives with treatments, or they would've wrecked their entire quarters.
  • Loving a Shadow: Gordon falls for a woman dead for almost four centuries, who he has recreated using the simulator.
  • Mundane Utility: Bortus lights his cigarettes using a low-power setting on his sidearm.
  • Must Have Nicotine: Bortus and Klyden take this trope Up to Eleven.
  • Never Give the Captain a Straight Answer: Talla summons Kelly to the bridge, reporting "an issue", by which she means Bortus smoking.
  • Overly Long Gag: When Klyden demands Bortus to reveal all the cigarettes he's hidden in their quarters, he walks over, pulls out and displays several individual cigarettes hidden behind things like a painting until he finally zips open a throw pillow on their couch and pours out a massive pile of cigarettes.
  • Self-Plagiarism: MacFarlane repeats a gag from Family Guy of a Pictionary player inexplicably latching onto a single guess and repeatedly shouting it despite getting no response.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The people in the holodeck remark upon Gordon's Union uniform, asking if it's pajamas; Gordon says that he lost a bet. Starfleet uniforms being mistaken for pajamas also happened in Star Trek: The Next Generation, and likewise Picard remarked that he lost a bet to explain the uniform he was wearing once.
    • The episode's "dating a simulation" concept borrows from "Booby Trap", in which Geordi made a holographic approximation of Leah Brahms and fell for her. It's also quite appropriate that Tim Russ would guest star in this episode, given that Tuvok went through a similar scenario in "Alter Ego".
    • The idea that removing an element of a character's backstory would radically change who they are is precisely the lesson that Q teaches Picard in "Tapestry".
    • Also, Captain Janeway deleted the original love-interest of her holographic boyfriend in "Fair Haven", though with a rather different lesson learned in the end about the nature of her making alterations to the program.
    • A man learning about the life of a dead woman begins to fall in love with her. Her name is Laura. note 
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: When confronted, Gordon points out that since Isaac is a robot and they still accept him as an individual, his holographic simulation of Laura should be considered a person as well, so it's okay for him to pursue a relationship with her. Nobody else buys this argument, and Talla points out that Isaac is self-aware while Laura doesn't even know she's a program.
  • Worst News Judgement Ever: In-universe, cited when reading a 2015 newspaper on how society is "on the verge of climate collapse and they dedicate an entire page to teeth whitening."
    • It’s likely a full-page ad for dentistry, taking up more space than actual news content.

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