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Recap / The Orville S2 E2 "Primal Urges"

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No surprise: a Seth MacFarlane production has a Holodeck Episode about some guy's porn addiction.

Surprise: That guy is Bortus.
The crew discovers a planet about to be destroyed by its sun; Bortus struggles with an addiction.


  • An Aesop: It's better to try to work things out with a loved one you're fighting with instead of remain distant and resentful.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Bortus and Kylden agree to stick things out, but the planet is consumed and only 30 people are able to be saved.
  • Call-Back: Turns out Bortus is still very resentful over his child being forcibly made male.
  • Casual Kink: Two of Bortus's simulations put him in the submissive role of a Dom-Sub dynamic.
  • Cringe Comedy: For a good chunk of the episode the audience is riding shotgun through the Porn Stash of The Comically Serious. Enough said.
  • Divorce Requires Death: A very literal case, as in the Moclan culture, killing your spouse is the only way to end your marriage.
  • Drawing Straws: The Nyxians hold a random drawing of names to determine who will get to go in the shuttle, as there isn't enough time to take everyone.
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  • Face Death with Dignity: All of the Nyxians who stay behind, but special attention is paid to the First Minister, who simply tells her husband to raise their child and live happily.
  • Fan Disservice: Naked Moclans. On the other hand, it might inspire awe at how much effort the make-up crew put into this.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Lieutenant Unk. The porno-dealing alien resembles nothing so much as an ambulatory space penis.
  • Heel Realization: Bortus has a wordless one when he watches the First Minister sacrifice herself so her family can escape, while he's been blowing his family off to have holodeck sex.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: The Nyxian First Minister refuses to have her name included in the drawing, as it wouldn't be fair to ask more than half her people to sacrifice themselves if there was even a chance she wouldn't share their fate.
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  • Human Aliens: The Nyxians all look identical to humans, except that they have advanced technology.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: Dealing with yet another crazy Moclan custom prompts Ed and Kelly to order up some hard stuff from the food synthesizer.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Bortus infects the ship with a virus by installing a pornography simulation without bothering to scan it first, nearly getting everyone killed when the virus disables helm control in the climax.
  • Only Sane Woman: Kelly is starting to feel like this, especially after Gordon casually volunteers up how often he spanks it to make Bortus feel better about his problem. During the mission briefing.
    Grayson: God, this whole ship is gross.
  • Planet of Hats: Lieutenant Unk's species are well known throughout the galaxy as purveyors of high-quality smut.
  • Porn Stash: Bortus's simulator addiction.
  • Reality Ensues: The main emotional conflict stems from Bortus still being resentful towards Klyden over their child's sex change. In other words, unlike what usually happens on TV, a major argument between spouses is not simply forgotten and will even fester if those involved pretend otherwise.
  • Scenery Gorn: There's plenty of breathtaking visuals of the planet being consumed, starting with its atmosphere and oceans boiling away.
  • Skewed Priorities: Mercer decides that arguing over how to pronounce the First Minister's name is less important than the fact that her planet is breaking up.
  • Space Whale Aesop: If you watch porn, you risk destroying a spaceship and killing hundreds of people.
  • Starfish Alien: The alien crewman who Bortus acquires a porn program from, Lieutenant Unk, is unlike anyone we have seen so far; he's bipedal, but is huge and wide, covered in rough skin and scaly plating (in general he's like a saurian great ape), has four arms, doesn't wear clothes and his face is a flower bud-like mouth, with a prehensile tongue/tentacle thing, which appears to be used to "see" since he doesn't have visible eyes.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Mercer is rightfully furious with Bortus over the fact that his actions endangered the lives of the Orville's crew. That said, he does also commend him for his courage and valor in helping to save the Nyxians.


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