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Recap / The Orville S2 E1 "Ja'loja"

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This is the ceremonial Moclan urination. There's a perfectly ordinary sentence.
It's time for Bortus to have his Ja'loja, a very important Moclan ceremony. In other words, he has to pee. So the Orville heads for Moclus. On the way, the crew deal with a bevy of personal problems, from love troubles to parenting issues.

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  • Actor Allusion:
    • Mercer and Alara share their respective dating woes in the opening scene. Seth MacFarlane and Halston Sage had been dating prior to this and had recently broken up.
    • Claire worries about another boy being a bad influence on her son, much like Jake Sisko and Nog in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Penny Johnson played Jake's stepmother, albeit only coming on the scene after a good deal of character development ended the issue.
  • Anticlimax: Gordon gets a new jacket, brushes up on his flirting skills, gets John to help him talk to women, all so he can... completely chicken out on talking to the new girl.
  • Bizarre Alien Biology:
    • On top of what we already knew about them, Moclans are revealed to age much faster than humans as Bortus' son now seems to be around ten years old despite just being born last season.
    • In the Cold Open, Alara says that Xelayans don't have livers.
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  • Blatant Lies: Ed makes a miserable attempt to cover for taking a shuttle to spy on Kelly.
  • Blunt "Yes": Claire is completely deflated after her experiences with Marcus, much less James' parents, and she finally just asks Isaac if she's bad at parenting. Don't ask Isaac those kinds of questions.
  • Book-Ends: The episode opens and closes on Ed drinking at the bar, wishing for a Krill invasion. In the opening, he's joined by Alara, while in the ending, he's joined by the new cartographer.
  • The Cameo: Yaphit makes a brief appearance in the engineering quarters.
  • Continuity Nod: When Bortus asks for a detour to Moclus, Ed quickly asks if it's another baby thing.
  • Cringe Comedy: A fair portion of the episode is awkward relationship scenes, such as Gordon trying to flirt with the new cartographer.
  • Five-Second Foreshadowing: Ed takes out a shuttle, supposedly just to go for a drive. When we cut to Kelly's quarters, the camera is situated to prominently feature the large window behind her. The viewer can put two and two together.
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  • Instant Expert: When Isaac is asked how long it took him to learn to play the piano, he says he learned in a fraction of a nanosecond.
  • It Is Pronounced "Tro-PAY": Ed tries to figure out if Kelly's new boyfriend's name should be pronounced Cass-i-us, or Cash-us. He picks the former, but is corrected to the latter.
  • Mama Didn't Raise No Criminal: James' parents refuse to believe he was behind hacking the replicator. Isaac bursts their bubble when he reveals that James has also been hacking the school database to forge his grades. (He wasn't failing or anything, but still.)
  • Mundane Made Awesome: To humans, urinating is an everyday occurrence. To Moclans, it is an annual event that requires them to return to Moclus and hold a ceremony in front of family and friends at a special location they selected as children. There is some parallel here to the Vulcan pon farr (i.e. sex is a normal everyday occurrence to humans, but is a special ceremonial event for Vulcans once every seven years).
  • Nobody Poops: Averted by the titular ceremony, where Bortus releases an entire year of urine all at once (offscreen, thankfully) during a cultural ceremony.
  • Not So Different: At the start of the episode, Ed tells Alara that the two of them are pretty similar. They both know they are good at their jobs, but feel like they do not deserve to be in their positions.
  • Pet the Dog: Ed helps Cassius patch things up with Kelly even though he's still jealous.
  • Serious Business: Like most Moclan things, the Ja'loja is treated very seriously. Ed has to instruct the command staff not to make any jokes at the briefing, only to slip up himself at the end.
  • Unwinnable Training Simulation: At the higher levels, John's program is the Kobayashi Maru of dating sims. At around Level Eight, the girl is a stunning Xelayan who's coming down off a bad breakup and in no mood for being hit on. It gets even harder from there.
  • Virtual Training Simulation: John takes Gordon to the holo room to help him learn how to ask out a girl in a bar. When the woman is ready to jump into bed with Gordon at "Hello", he ups the difficulty setting considerably. Despite being repeatedly rebuffed, Gordon manages to find an in by making up a story that he's dying.
  • Zipperiffic: John replicates Gordon a jacket absolutely covered in zippers, reasoning that you should always have one more than you're comfortable with. When Gordon proves to be more inept in dating than John anticipates, he decides Gordon needs even more zippers.

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