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We all live and die on this planet and most of us are forgotten. To me there is nothing sadder than that.Laura Huggins

Lasting Impressions is the eleventh episode of Season 2 of The Orville. When the crew of the USS Orville opens a time capsule from the year 2015, Helmsman Gordon Malloy makes an unexpected friend, while Second Officer Bortus and Klyden dabble in Old Earth cigarettes.

The episode was written by creator Seth MacFarlane and directed by Kelly Cronin, who also directed New Dimensions in Season 1. Actress Leighton Meester guest stars as Laura Huggins and actor Tim Russ makes a special guest appearance as Doctor Sherman. Music was composed by John Debney.

Lasting Impressions proved a hit among fans and general audiences. The episode currently holds a rating of 9.1 on IMDB, the third-highest of the show until that point.[1] While 2.939 million Americans watched the broadcast live,[2] the episode proved a ratings hit over the next week, "lead[ing] broadcast network telecasts,"[3] and netting the biggest percentage gain among audiences ages 18-49 on television for the week.[4]


Fox aired a 20-second trailer for Lasting Impressions at the conclusion of Blood of Patriots.


The Orville "Lasting Impressions". Leighton Meester

Plot summary[]

Act 1[]

The historian Doctor Sherman introduces the senior staff of the USS Orville to a time capsule buried north of Albany, New York in the year 2015. The Orville is to transport the capsule to the Delta Pavonis Museum. Second Officer Bortus is intrigued by a pack of cigarettes and Helmsman Gordon Malloy is most curious about a cell phone.

In Engineering, Malloy, Chief Engineer John LaMarr, and Lieutenant Yaphit restore the phone to its original state by using an "old school binary filter." They also discover a video recording by a young woman named Laura Huggins. She explains that she decided to put her old Apple iPhone into the time capsule instead of throwing it away, and that future people can peruse her text, e-mails, pictures, and videos as a historical memory. "Have fun getting to know who I was," she says. Malloy smiles back, "Nice to meet you, Laura."

Act 2[]

Sherman is impressed with LaMarr's restoration of the phone, and the crew marvels at the phone as a glimpse into their ancient past. Gordon takes a special interest in the person of Laura, learning she was once "the glue that held her friends together."

Meanwhile, Bortus uses the Food Synthesizer to create a cigarette. Klyden says the aroma smells pleasing and they begin smoking. The two are mesmerized by the cigarettes and order 500 more.

Malloy enters the environmental simulator and orders the computer to create a program that recreates Laura and her world of 2015 based on the contents of her phone. The program places him in a party in the year 2015. Malloy finds Laura and her friend Trisha in the kitchen.

Act 3[]

Malloy quickly ingratiates himself with the women by claiming that he lost a bet with Lorenzo and had to don pajamas (in reality, his Planetary Union uniform). Laura tells Gordon that she recently moved into the apartment after a breakup, that she is a sales manager at Macy's, and that her real passion is music. Gordon, in turn, tells her that he is a commercial pilot, and Laura says she has a fear of flying. Laura invites Gordon to hear her perform at a pub on Tuesday.

Back in Engineering, Gordon tells LaMarr that the program Laura Alpha was vivid and "a real rush." LaMarr reminds him that it may seem real, but Laura Alpha is only a computer simulation.

Act 4[]

Captain Ed Mercer and Commander Kelly Grayson are reading a newspaper from the capsule when Chief of Security Talla Keyali calls them to the bridge. It seems that Bortus now smokes on the job.

Thursday comes and Gordon enters the simulator to find Laura singing at the pub. He watches Laura playing an acoustic guitar and singing. After, Laura chats with Gordon; he is impressed by her music and thinks she should consider a musical career. Laura says she is not interested in wealth but that she wants to be remembered for something. She then invites him to sing with her.

Next, Gordon asks her what happened in her last relationship. Laura says that she had tried giving her ex-boyfriend Greg a chance, but he was irresponsible. She gives Gordon her number on a napkin and invites him to bring some friends to her game night the next day.

In his quarters, Gordon synthesizes a 21st century phone similar to Laura’s. Using her phone number, he links to the program and begins texting with her.

Act 5[]

Gordon enters the Captain's Office and invites Mercer, Grayson, and Keyali to Laura's game night. The others find the idea odd, but agree.

Mercer and Grayson drop in on Bortus and Klyden's quarters to find them chain smoking, and the Captain orders them to Sick Bay. There, Doctor Claire Finn determines that the Moclan physiology is extremely susceptible to nicotine addiction. She orders the pair to stop smoking until she formulates a cure for their addiction, which may take months, and recommends that their child Topa stay with her sons Ty and Marcus for the next few days.

The next night is game night with Laura. Mercer, Grayson, LaMarr, and Keyali join her friends for pictionary. When all others leave for the evening, Gordon explains how turbulence protects her and the plane by likening it to jelly. The two kiss passionately and sleep together.

Act 6[]

The following morning, Gordon is late for his shift. He apologizes and Grayson chastises him. Bortus chews gum as an addiction recovery aid. Gordon gets a phone call from Laura while at the helm.

In the Mess Hall, Grayson, Mercer, LaMarr, and Keyali intervene and tell Gordon they believe his interest in Laura Alpha is no longer healthy. Gordon asks them what they think about Laura and it becomes clear that he is obsessed about her. Gordon takes offense and argues that Laura is "as real as Isaac." Angry, he points out that Ed slept with Teleya, a Krill spy, another woman who was "not real."

Meanwhile, Bortus returns to his quarters but Klyden is missing. He finds Klyden secretly smoking in Airlock 2. After a brief but heated argument, the two vow to watch each other closely.

Gordon returns to the simulator to discover Laura has reconciled with Greg. Laura insists she would like to remain friends with Gordon in spite of her return to her ex-boyfriend.

Gordon tells LaMarr about his break-up over drinks. Gordon is upset that he did not notice the messages and calls showing that the historical Laura and Greg got back together.

Gordon walks back to the simulator and orders the computer to delete Greg.

Act 7[]

Gordon enters Macy's to find Laura at the counter. Laura is excited about a potential promotion and the two plan a date for pasta. She asks if she could buy a ticket on one of his flights. Gordon gives the condition that only if he can sing with her. Laura declines because she is petrified of singing in public. Gordon holds the program and the computer explains that, without Greg, the persona of Laura is a different person.

Later, Grayson checks on Gordon. He realized that it was Greg who inspired Laura to sing. Grayson reveals that Mercer taught her how to do an eye trick and asks Gordon to imagine what it would be like if someone deleted Mercer from her memory. Grayson explains that everyone is shaped by the totality of their relationships. Gordon confesses that he is worried about not finding love. Grayson explains that people have been living and dying for most of human existence, but Laura is special because she "reached across four centuries and got a guy to fall in love."

Bortus and Klyden argue over dinner, desperate for a cigarette. The argument descends into a physical fight and the two end up smashing the table and dishes. Finn interrupts with an injectable treatment for their addiction.

Gordon joins Laura in the pub to sing "That's All I Got To Say" together. After, Greg hugs Laura. Gordon informs Laura that he has come to say 'goodbye' because he is leaving tomorrow for a new job opportunity across country. When Laura asks if they can keep in touch, he reassures her she will never be forgotten. Laura insists on a photograph together for a time capsule. Greg holds the camera as Gordon and Laura smile.



The Orville Season 2 - Deleted Scene from “Lasting Impressions” -SDCC2019

Lasting Impressions was written by showrunner Seth MacFarlane probably in late 2017 who wanted Gordon, the confident bachelor of Season 1, to develop a deeper desire for companionship. As actor Scott Grimes (Gordon) put it:

He’s struggling to find a relationship. All these people around him are in love and he just hasn’t had that much luck. He does find somebody this season. I can’t wait for everyone to see it because it’s heartfelt and it’s true, but yet it’s heartbreaking as well because of the circumstances.[5]

Lasting Impressions is unusual in that, unlike other episodes of the season, it was rarely discussed by cast and crew. Grimes briefly mentioned it at the 2018 San Diego Comic-Con[6] and again in a January 10, 2019, interview,[7] but for the most part, the episode went unnoticed leading up to the premiere.

The title was publicly announced on January 14, 2019.[8] Meester's character of Laura was revealed on February 28, 2019.[9]

Deleted scene[]

Klyden and Bortus smoke cigarettes in the Mess Hall, the smell bothering other officers. This deleted scene was revealed at the 2019 San Diego Comic-Con and published by the Planetary Union Network.

Music video[]


Leighton Meester - That’s All I’ve Got To Say (cover)

A day before the episode aired, 20th Century Fox released a music video of Leighton Meester performing a cover of "That's All I've Got to Say,"[10] which is now hosted on Meester's YouTube channel. The video camera shots are different from what is seen in the episode and minimizes Malloy's presence.



Lasting Impressions quickly established itself as one of the most beloved episodes of the show, and the episode received a rating of 9.1 on IMDB, the third-highest of The Orville until that point.[1] 2.939 million Americans watched the episode live with 0.64 million aged 18-49,[2] below the show's average at that point.

However, over the course of the week, the show nearly doubled its audience to 5.595 million viewers overall, and viewers ages 18-49 skyrocketed by 133 percent, establishing The Orville as the best performing show on network television that week.[4] Creator Seth MacFarlane was pleased with the results and tweeted, "Thanks everyone for sticking with us!"[11]

Critical response[]

Critics enjoyed Lasting Impressions as a wonderful, low-stakes story that built upon the show's memorable characters. Jammer of Jammer's Reviews gave the episode 3.5 stars of four. "It's a triumph in understatement that sneaks up on you after the initial experience has passed," he wrote, and called the episode one of the best of the series.[12] A lone dissent: Nick Wanserski of the AV Club, gave the episode only a slightly positive review.[13]


  • Digital effects supervisor Brandon Fayette makes a cameo at Laura's party.

    On the wall inside Macy's is a sign for a designer company B Fayette, a nod to the show's digital effects supervisor Brandon Fayette.
    • Fayette also makes a secret cameo as a guest at Laura's party.
  • In her video message to the future, Laura voices her hope that there are flying cars. This foretells the introduction of commuter pods.
  • Dozens of Laura's texts can be read if one pauses the screen, including:
    • A group of people who are plainly upset that Laura left Greg,
    • A man named Grayson telling her to "send nudes,"
    • Another man named Jorge admitting he is "still not over Jon Hamm,"
    • Several friends talking about possibly moving to Los Angeles, California,
    • A reference to Facebook about a message probably posted by Greg.
  • The time capsule and its contents are en route to the Delta Pavonis Museum. In reality, Delta Pavonis is a star in the Pavo constellation only 19.22 light years away.
    • As the Orville's top flight speed was established at over 10 light years per hour,[14] the star is less than a day's journey from Earth.
    • For a complete list of the contents of the time capsule, see Saratoga Springs time capsule.
  • One of the items from the time capsule is a shirt with the words "Days of Future Past," which is actually the title of a 2014 X-Men movie. The text was a secret analogy of the show intentionally[15] left by the crew:
    • The Orville is set 400 years in our future;
    • Gordon re-creates Laura as she lived in the year 2015, so she is from both his past and ours (the episode aired in 2019).
  • The phone numbers listed in the episode are speculated to be "Joe Menosky" numbers. Menosky, a writer on The Orville, is credited with introducing the number 47 as an in-joke to his work. The idea originated during his time at Pomona College, where a mathematics professor gained a certain degree of infamy for jokingly "proving" all numbers are equal to 47.[16]
    • The phone number on the rotary phone is 867-4706.
    • Laura's phone number is (838) 555-0146, which is 4 and 0+1+6 = 7.
  • Commander Grayson's comments about what her life might have been like had Captain Mercer been deleted from her past provide a close parallel to the events of the season 2 finale "The Road Not Taken".
  • The_Orville_Season_2_Gag_Reel

    The Orville Season 2 Gag Reel

    A composite video with outtakes from this, and other, Season 2 episodes.

    Outtakes and bloopers from this episode were compiled by the show's editors for the Season 2 wrap party and were published by the Planetary Union Network.[17]
  • Jessica Szohr (Talla) and J. Lee (John LaMarr) say that this episode is their favorite.[18][19]


The time and date displayed on Laura's phone.

  • This episode takes place in early April 2421.
  • Upon starting up, Laura's phone displays the time and date as 1:43 on Saturday, March 21.
    • This means that Laura probably donated her phone on March 21, 2015, as that date was indeed a Saturday. (March 21, 2421 is a Sunday.)
    • Laura states that the time capsule was buried a week after she donated her phone. If true, the time capsule was intended to be buried around March 28, 2015.
    • However, one item seen among the artifacts is the album 25 by Adele, which was not released until November 2015. Therefore, the time capsule was not buried until November or December of 2015.
  • Laura says that she dated Greg for nine years prior to their breakup in 2015, which means they started dating in 2006.
  • In simulator program Laura Alpha, Laura performs at Dunhill on a Tuesday.
  • Ed, Kelly, Talla, and Gordon play party games with Laura's cadre of friends from 1900 to 2300 hours.
    • The next morning, Gordon is late for his shift at 0830 hours.
  • Klyden gets stuck in an elevator without a cigarette and begins to shake. He tells Claire about this the following day.
  • In the deleted scene, Klyden notes that Topa's birthday in the Moclan calendar is approaching. Topa was born in October 2419.


  • Family_Guy_its_a_Jackal

    Family Guy its a Jackal

    The Pictionary game in this episode likely borrows loosely from the show Family Guy, another Seth MacFarlane project.

    Gordon mentions two earlier Environmental Simulator programs:
  • Bortus and Klyden agree to get Topa his first latchkum, a Moclan game which appeared in Mad Idolatry.
  • Gordon says Ed "bang[ed]" a Krill, referring to Teleya.
  • Laura's song, "That's All I've Got to Say," was originally written by Jimmy Webb and performed by the band America for the movie The Last Unicorn.
  • According to Claire, tobacco smoking died out years before, although Ensign Jenny Turco smokes marijuana with John in Mad Idolatry.
  • Karl's constant guess of "cereal man, a man who like cereal," bears similarity to a Family Guy joke that repeating the same response during Pictionary does not make the response any more accurate.

Episode titles[]

Title Language Translation
Traverser le temps French "crossing time"
Die Zeitkapsel German "time capsule"
Kitörölhetetlen emlékek Hungarian "indelible memories"
Indimenticabile Italian "unforgettable"
過去との通信 (Kako to no Tsūshin) Japanese "communication with the past"
Неизгладимые впечатления Russian "lasting impressions"
Una huella profunda Spanish "a profound impression"


  • Laura gives Gordon her phone number written on a simulated napkin. The napkin persists even after Gordon leaves the Environmental Simulator room when it should have disappeared.
  • Laura's phone has wi-fi and cell signal connectivity after John restarts it.
  • Laura's area code of 838 is correct for Saratoga Springs, New York, but was not created until 2017.[20]
  • While not a strict writing error, in this episode, Ed uses military time casually and seems irritated when Trisha asks if that is a "hipster thing;" but in If the Stars Should Appear, Ed is unfamiliar with military time to the point where Kelly has to tell him that 1300 hours is 1:00 p.m.
  • The crew's apparent lack of awareness of early 21st-century culture and habits, including cigarette smoking, seems at odds with their demonstrated knowledge up to this point. While it is possible that, for reasons yet unclear, knowledge from the 2010s has been lost by the time of the episode, many of the items in the time capsule, particularly the cigarettes, would still have been familiar because of their fascination with classic television,[n 1] movies,[n 2] and period Environmental Simulator programs.[n 3]
  • It is shown that Laura's phone was last activated on March 21, and it is implied that the time capsule was buried soon after. However, one item seen among the artifacts is the album 25 by Adele, which was not released until November of 2015.
  • Klyden and Bortus order 500 cigarettes from the Food Synthesizer, but only 464 appear.
    • The synthesized cigarettes themselves are in fact a single prop item designed to look like hundreds of cigarettes stacked atop each other.[21]
  • When Talla and John speak with Ed and Kelly in Ed's office, a smoke detector can be seen on the ceiling behind them.
    • This mistake is repeated in Ja'loja, but not in identical shots in Season 1.


Main cast[]

Special guest cast[]

Recurring cast[]

Guest cast[]


See also[]


  1. E.g., the crew watches Seinfeld in Episode 1x05: Pria and Gordon references American Idol in Episode 1x07: Majority Rule.
  2. E.g., Gordon, Bortus, and John watch Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer in Episode 1x03: About a Girl; Ed says he was raised on classic movies like The King and I in Episode 2x04: Nothing Left on Earth Excepting Fishes.
  3. Grayson programmed a simulation set in 1945 America in Episode 2x07: Deflectors.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Episode List. IMDB. Last accessed March 13, 2019.
  2. 2.0 2.1 The Orville:Season Two Ratings. TV Series Finale. Last accessed April 4, 2019.
  3. Pucci, Doglas. "Live+7 Weekly Ratings: ‘The Orville’ on Fox Leads Broadcast Network Telecasts in Percentage Gains Among Adults 18-49". Programming Insider. April 2, 2019.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Thorne, Will. "Live+7 Ratings for Week of March 18: ‘The Orville,’ ‘Whiskey Cavalier’ Among Biggest Gainers". Variety. April 8, 2019.
  5. Frederick, Brittany. "The Orville’s Scott Grimes goes on a new adventure in Season 2". Fansided. Jan. 25, 2019.
  6. Steinberg, Lisa. "Scott Grimes & J. Lee - The Orville - SDCC 2018". YouTube. July 22, 2018.
  7. Radish, Christina. "Scott Grimes on ‘The Orville’ Season 2’s Bigger Scope and Working with Seth MacFarlane". Collider. Jan. 10, 2019.
  8. The Orville. Fox Sweden. Last accessed Jan. 14, 2019.
  9. Listings - ORVILLE, THE. The Futon Critic. Last accessed Feb. 28, 2019.
  10. "Leighton Meester 'That's All I've Got to Say' Music Video'". YouTube. March 20, 2019.
  11. @SethMacFarlane. "Live+7 Ratings for Week of March 18: ‘The Orville,’ ‘Whiskey Cavalier’ Among Biggest Gainers - Thanks everyone for sticking with us!". Twitter. April, 8, 2019.
  12. Epsicokhan, Jamal. "Lasting Impressions". Jammer's Reviews. Last accessed May 14, 2019.
  13. Wanserski, Nick. "Gordon looks to the past to find love in a middling The Orville". AV Club. March 22, 2019.
  14. Episode 1x05: Pria
  15. /u/editboy1000. "Nice catch :)". Reddit. April 20, 2020.
  16. 47 (number). Wikipedia. Last accessed August 19, 2018.
  17. THE ORVILLE SEASON 2 GAG REEL. Planetary Union Network. April 30, 2019.
  18. Heilbronn, Leora. "INTERVIEW: THE ORVILLE’S JESSICA SZOHR". Brief Take. March 21, 2019.
  19. Sun - Main Stage | NYCC 2019 | SYFY WIRE. SyFy Wire. Oct. 6, 2019.
  20. Rulison, Larry. "Capital Region, say hello to area code 838". Times Union. Sept. 20, 2016.
  21. Eddy, Cheryl. "The 10 Raddest and Most Random Props We Spotted at The Orville Exhibit at SDCC". Gizmodo. July 23, 2019.