‘The Orville’: Bio-Dumb

The Orville
“If the Stars Should Appear”
September 28, 2017

This episode begins with Klyden and Bortus having an argument — but not about their baby’s gender reassignment surgery, which would make sense since it was a huge fucking deal, but instead because Klyden thinks Bortus works too much and doesn’t spend enough time with him. While Klyden comforts himself with The Sound of Music and rocky road ice cream, Bortus stomps off to the bridge. And that’s the last of this entire subplot.

On the bridge, Robot discovers a huge, definitely artificial object drifting in space on a six-month collision course with a star. They decide the vessel is somewhere around 2,000 years old, somehow, I wasn’t paying attention, but they can’t scan for lifeforms because the hull is impenetrable. So they decide to send a shuttle with Captain Seth MacFarlane, Ex-Wife, Dr. Finn, Alana and Robot to go check it out.

They arrive, bust through the doors that don’t seem to have been opened in centuries, find themselves in a biosphere of some sort and immediately decide to split up because that’s always a solid plan.

Seth MacFarlane, Dr. Finn, and Robot head off in one direction where they encounter angry gun-toting farmers who are more interested in shooting at them than chit-chat. After they neutralize Farmer Dad with their stun ray, Farmer Kid comes out and is like, “Wait, you guys are from somewhere else? I KNEW IT.”

Turns out, the 3 million people in the biosphere believe that the biosphere is the entire universe and worship a god named Dorahl. However, there are a skeptical few, called the Reformers. Farmer Kid takes Seth MacFarlane, Dr. Finn, and Robot to meet them, and let them know that they are about to be incinerated in a star in a few months.

Meanwhile, Alara and Ex-Wife are approached by some angry men who kidnap Ex-Wife and shoot Alara in the chest.


Angry Men take Ex-Wife to meet the leader of the biosphere, T-Bag from Prison Break, who when she arrives is busily setting his tens of followers on a Reformer for the crime of heresy. Once that bit of business is taken care of, T-Bag roughs Ex-Wife up a bit while questioning her because he is Very Bad.

Captain Seth MacFarlane, Dr. Finn, Robot and Farmer Kid also head into town, along the way discovering Alara shot and unconscious. Dr. Finn waves some magic device over the bullet wounds, saving Alara, and Farmer Kid is all, “DUDE. WHOA.”

Captain Seth MacFarlane, et al, storm T-Bag’s offices and save Ex-Wife, and inform T-Bag that they need to turn on the ship or they’ll be sucked into the star soon, and he’s all, “BLASPHEMY!”

So they leave him behind and head to the bridge of the ship where they find a video from the ship’s original captain, Liam Neeson, explaining that the ship hit an ion storm, and was unable to repair itself, but good news! the biosphere can sustain itself for thousands of years. Captain Seth MacFarlane starts repairs, somehow, and then pushes a button that opens a window on the hull of the ship, allowing the 3 million people (or the 25 people as the case actually seems to be) in the biosphere to see the stars for the first time, and they’re all, “WHOA.”


And then Captain Seth MacFarlane tells the one Reformer dude that they’ll hook them up with the Union who can teach them how to operate their ship, the end.

So, remember kids: skepticism is good and theocracies are bad!

Got it.

Hey, two quick questions:

  1. How come the people on the biospaceship speak English? And perfect modern English at that? Even if they came from Earth — which they couldn’t have because at 2,000 years old, the ship had to have left the planet in 419 A.D. — but even if somehow they had come from Earth, out in isolation like that, the language would have evolved over time. I mean, Geoffrey Chaucer wrote The Canterbury Tales in 1400, and I spent a semester in college pulling my hair out trying to figure out what the fuck he was saying.
  2. The ship is supposed to be huge, the size of New York City, and contain some 3 million people. Fine. Down with it. But then, why is it mostly farmland? The metropolitan area of Houston is roughly about 3 million people and there’s shit everywhere — you know, like a real city. And the reason I’m quibbling over this one is that this is such an easy stupid mistake to fix: just say there are 10,000 people on the ship, or I’ll even give you 100,000 people. But to try to say there are more people on this ship than in Chicago, despite the fact that all I’m seeing are hills, a cabin and a bad city street set with two dozen extras, well, that’s just insulting to my intelligence.

This show is not good, y’all.

The Orville airs on Thursdays at 8 p.m. on Fox and I’ll never forgive you guys for this.

8 thoughts on “‘The Orville’: Bio-Dumb

  1. “This show is not good, y’all.” Well if it makes you feel any better, bad The Walking Dead is almost back. God, I hope they can figure out the writing.

    1. Oh, look, I blog about a bunch of terrible shows: I’m working on a recap of ‘The Real Housewives of New Jersey’ as I type this. As for ‘The Walking Dead,’ I really hope they pull their shit together this season. Because last season … that was painful.

      1. It has to be better, right? Like I can’t stop watching at this point so I really want them to find their mojo again but last season felt less like appointment TV and more like Doctor’s Appointment TV.

  2. I am hate watching this show, primarily because I voted to make you watch it and I feel bad about it. But yes, this show is very not-good.

    1. Thanks for being honest, Brandon. I absolve you from having to watch another moment of this drivel.

  3. I finally watched this episode last night. It was a billion times better than the girl-baby fight episode. Your two questions are obviously a big problem especially the whole how they got a ship into space in 419 AD. Now to the question I have:

    Am I a bad person (or at least a bad TV watcher guy) for not hating this show? It’s not “funny” per say, but it does make me giggle from time to time and it’s visually very nice.

    1. Of course you’re not a bad TV watcher for liking it! As I tried to say in my first post, ‘The Orville’ is not “bad,” it’s not “Two and a Half Men” or even “Family Guy,” it’s just not for me — but then not everything is made for me, and that’s OK!
      My biggest problem with the show (aside from some lazy writing here and there and that I don’t like easy dick jokes) is that I’m bored stupid by it, and I think that stems from personally not enjoying procedurals. I prefer my dramas to be serialized, but that is purely preferential.
      So don’t feel bad about enjoying it! I’ve seen some Trekkies that HATE it, and a lot of others who prefer it to the new ‘Star Trek,’ and I think all opinions are valid. Just don’t expect me to like it and don’t expect me to be nice about it because I never will be, full stop.

  4. “Just don’t expect me to like it and don’t expect me to be nice about it because I never will be, full stop.”

    Oh, God no. I’d expect nothing less. Even though I like it, I still come here for the hate-recap. Never change. Never ever.

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