Review: The Orville 2.05

Episode Title: All The World is Birthday Cake (2.05)
Original Airdate:  January 24, 2019 (watched later via Hulu)
Grade: B
Notable Guest Stars/Directors:

Robert Duncan McNeill (Director)– Star Trek Alum.  He’s been a director for years on many good programs, but on screen you may remember him as Tom Paris, the navigator/pilot of Voyager.  He always seems to do a good job, on screen and as a director.
Ted Danson (Admiral Perry) – This show loves to have random well-known actors show up as Admirals.  Ted Danson is known for a lot of things.  Most recently perhaps CSI, but also Becker, and the film Three Man and a Baby.
Jennifer Landon (Ukania) – I know her best from As the World Turns as  Gwen Munson , but she is also known for roles on House and various other television shows.  She also happens to be the daughter of Michael Landon, so acting runs in the family.
John Rubinstein  (Prefect) – He’s appeared as minor characters on various television shows I watch,  but I know him probably best from Star Trek: Enterprise where he played Minister Kuvak.   He also played on House and Becker so he probably worked with several of the other notable co-stars in this episode.
Nico Nicotera (Rokal) – I didn’t recognize him, but apparently he played a recurring character on Sons of Anarchy (one of my sister’s favorite shows).  
Jessica Szohr  (Lt. Talla Kaylai) – She’s a new main character for the series, coming in as Alara’s replacement.  She’s also known for her role as Vanessa Abrams on Gossip Girl.  I enjoy her work so far.

Notable Quotes:

Lt. Cmdr. Bortus: It is much easier with an egg.

Capt. Ed Mercer: You had big shoes to fill, and I’m not kiddin’. And as far as I’m concerned, you filled them and then some. So, from here on out, you’re officially allowed to punch me.

SPOILERS BELOW

This episode has several factors to it.  It starts off by introducing the new security officer, Lt. Talla Keyali.  Like Alara, she is Xelayan although she has a much different personality.  She seems a bit older, a bit more experienced than her predecessor.

The Orville also gets to make first contact with a planet just venturing into interplanetary communication.  They have no real space program outside of satellites.  They also have a strong belief in astrology.  So much in fact that they believe that those who are born under the sign of Gelliac are inherently violent and send them to concentration camps where they live out their lives being treated poorly by their non Gelliac guards.  Women have unnecessary early c-sections to prevent their children from being Gelliac.

This causes a problem because the third factor of the episode is that Kelly & Bortus both have birthdays within days of each other – under the sign of Gelliac.

Pros:

  • Alien Culture exploration
  • Bortus having to deal with human birth.
  • Kelly/Ed friendship
  • Kelly/Bortus friendship
  • Talla.  I really like the character.

Cons:

  • I feel Talla is getting more of a chance to be a character in herself rather then just in relation to the others.  Poor Alara often was just in relation to others
  • FIrst contacts seem to either go one way or another.  They either are “superior” to us, or they are inferior and we get to be pretentious.  This episode we get to be pretentious and I kinda of hate episodes where we are pretentious about ourselves.  This was a big issue I had with Star Trek: The Next Generation.  It was very “We are so beyond that now” and its annoying

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