If anyone else was a confused as I was, I did a little digging, and it turns out that The Orville Season 2 Episode 2 has a production code of 112 which meant it was supposed to be last season's episode twelve.
This sort of explains why it has no connection whatsoever with The Orville Season 2 Episode 1. No Lt. Tyler. No Cassius. No Mercer-Grayson relationship tension.
It doesn't, however, justify a really problematic script. I mean, seriously, you could fly a spaceship through the plot holes here.
Bortus' simulator porn addiction is the central issue and, as Dr. Finn susses out, it's actually the symptom of how Bortus is still conflicted about the sex change operation done to Topa on The Orville Season 1 Episode 3 and how he holds Klyden to blame.
It's a deep divide between them and affects every aspect of their life together so when Klyden catches Bortus in the simulator, his reaction's relatively believable.
Well, only because he'd promised not to stab him again.
Dr. Finn: Porn addiction is a disease just like any other so we need to treat his condition with compassion and understanding.
Bortus: Is there an injection I can receive to cure this disease?
Klyden: You have had enough injections.
Moclan divorce traditions aside, Klyden and Bortus have the ship's only truly stable relationship, and I'm glad they don't call it quits. Although the resolution isn't by any means a happy ending for them, it's hopeful.
HOWEVER. (Begin rant.) When Isaac asks Bortus to describe sex, why would he reference a child seeking its mother's teat when Moclans don't have mothers?
Isaac: I am curious to know how [sex] feels.
Bortus: It is a call from deep within like a baby seeking its mother's teat. It feels as though nothing else in the world matters but satisfying the urge and achieving the goal my body has demanded of me. Then, as quickly as it began, it is complete, leaving a worn-out shell in its wake. And the only feeling I am left with, the only thing I know is that a death has occurred.
Isaac: I see. It is prudent that you are in therapy.
And, with regards to the porn addiction, why would he need to leave his shift early if he's going to go home late anyway? It's not like that fifteen minutes makes a difference except to put his behavior on Mercer's radar.
Granted, this may have been him subconsciously trying to draw attention to his problem, wanting to get caught. Maybe.
And finally, in regards, to Bortus' part in this catastrophe, how could there be NO CONSEQUENCES for him infecting the ship with a porn-borne virus?
For Mercer to forgive him for nearly destroying the ship and everyone on it because he DID HIS JOB and saved the Nyxians, makes no sense whatsoever. At very least, there should've been an official reprimand, some sort of demotion, and a restriction of simulator privileges.
And a LOT more counseling. Perhaps involving Topa who just looked so sad in that breakfast scene.
Grayson: Bortus, you look good for a guy who's been cooked.
Bortus: Thank you, sir. I feel quite well.
Moving on to the Nyxians. They have to be the most passive, accepting species ever.
I'll give you the point that they are not technologically advanced and have no idea about interplanetary life or travel so maybe that's why they haven't been sending out distress signals for the last fifty to a hundred years.
Kitan: It looks so sad and lonely.
Isaac: The penchant for biological lifeforms to anthropomorphize inanimate objects is irrational. I am quite certain the planet is unaware of its solitary status.
And it must've seemed like a miracle for a spaceship to suddenly make contact and offer to save them, sight unseen. So okay, no skepticism either. Even when the two rescuers sent are a Moclan and a machine.
Who else expected the Nyxians to be non-humanoid? Or even a little not-completely-human looking? But no, no prosthetics, no skin coloring, not even spots.
(I'm guessing the show spent their makeup budget on all the extra Moclans and their SFX money on that sparkly cocktail Mercer and Grayson were day-drinking.)
The English-speaking I accepted as a universal translator thing, but their calmness was INSANE. Their planet is about to disintegrate and, unexpectedly, their rescuers can only save thirty of their seventy-five. Kids aren't crying — no one's questioning anything.
Even on the shuttle, where there was HEAPS of elbow room, not a single person piped up and said, "Hey, we could probably fit a few more people in here!"
And then the porn virus — totally believable that an illicitly-obtained porn is going to carry a virus. It's slightly less believable that The Orville's computer wouldn't notice it right away or have some regular anti-virus check.
It's completely ridiculous that Isaac's anti-virus program wouldn't work or that he would leave the ship on the shuttle without checking to see if the virus had gotten eradicated. That's not Isaac at all.
The Orville's humor is always just this side of crass/offensive but to have the captain and first officer sound off about how horrifying Moclan culture is to them, letting it drive them to drink, and then refer to Isaac as a "glorified Speak 'n' Spell" just makes them sound like really awful people.
And it wasn't even funny.
I've never been reluctant to recommend you watch The Orville online and I've defended the writing for the show on multiple fronts in the past, but it's pretty obvious why this episode got dropped from The Orville Season 1, and I honestly wish they'd left it out this season.
Yes, Bortus and Klyden deserve to have their relationship heal and grow.
Yes, there should be planetary rescues and Hail Mary plays and last-minute solutions.
Yes, there's even a place for poop pizza and porn dealers.
But none of this should come at the expense of general continuity, a coherent narrative, and respect for the viewers.
I'm kind of done with Dann too. Two episodes in a row are too much.
Where are you guys on this? Did this episode bother you as much as it bothered me?
Who misses Yaphit?
Who wants to get on with the Lt. Tyler reveal?
Who just wants to forget this episode ever happened?
Meet me in the comments to talk about it.
Diana Keng is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.