In Review: The Orville – Primal Urges

This week's episode takes on the tricky subject of porn addiction as Bortus seeks to escape from his marriage issues with Klyden. 

Synopsis: Ed and the crew race to save a small group of survivors on a planet about to be destroyed by its sun. Bortus and Kyden start marriage counseling when Bortus’ obsession with the ship’s simulation room gets out of hand.

Review: This week’s episode takes on the tricky subject of porn addiction as Bortus seeks to escape from his marriage issues with Klyden.

The Story

The episode starts as The Crew of The Orville are observing a planet that is being burned up by its sun. Bortus who has no interest in watching an entire planet die asks to be excused early so he can indulge in some kinky fun in the ships simulation rooms.

When Bortus arrives home late his husband Klyden is suspicious and also rather upset at the notion that Captain Ed is working Bortus so hard. As the marital tension builds Klyden seeks a divorce, which in Moclan culture is a straightforward dagger to the heart. Unfortunately for Bortus, the crew of the Orville is more civilized and they save his life and make him and Klyden undergo marriage counseling, which sees Bortus admit that he is still pissed off about Kayden’s  wish to have their child made to conform to Moclan culture and be male as opposed to female, which ties nicely back to one of the best episodes from the first season.

Bortus, who is still seeking thrills via pornographic simulations seeks something a little more kinker and asks a fellow crewmember to get a hold of something that will do the trick, but unfortunately for him the program he gets. Not only puts his marriage in further jeopardy but also puts the crew of the Orville in harms way too due to the simulation having a quite nasty virus attached to it.

The Acting

The acting gong goes to Peter Macon who puts in a very sensitive and layered performance as Bortus. I’d also add that  Chad L. Coleman does equally as well at selling the story of this episode as Klyden.


This was a pretty good story, but it also felt like a bit of a riff on the old Lieutenant Barcley episodes from ‘Star Trek: The Next Generation’. Which means the only saving grace is the fact that the story dealt rather sensitively with Porn Addiction, but also found some fun in the subject as well.

I sure that if Star Trek could have done an episode about Porn Addiction back in the day. That it would have done so. But I suspect that this is an episode and a story that only a show like the Orville could get away with telling.

Unfortunately, the rescue of the people from the planet that is about to explode is a bit rushed given that so much time is spent on Bortus and his marriage issues. But thankfully it all pays off in the end as Bortus and Klyden get to a nicer place in their marriage.

The Orville - Primal Urges
  • Story
  • Acting
  • CGI
  • Incidental Music

Ian Cullen is the founder of and has been a fan of science fiction and fantasy from birth. In the past few years he has written for 'Star Trek' Magazine as well as interviewed numerous comics writers, television producers and actors for the SFP-NOW podcast at: When he is not writing for Ian enjoys playing his guitar, studying music, watching movies and reading his comics. Ian is both the founder and owner of You can contact ian at:
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