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October 10, 2015

Moral Orel: Nature Part Two (season finale)

by Adam Finley, posted Jul 14th 2007 10:03AM

moral orel(S02E20)

This is an early review.

This two-parter really made me hate Clay Puppington, and I don't think I can say that about any other cartoon character. Hell, Cartman from South Park has done tons of horrible things, even indirectly killed people, but watching Clay treat Orel so poorly and so dismissively made me want to break off his frail, wire-supported arms.

And that's a good thing, you know? I was glad I became so invested in this episode, and that I truly felt bad for what Orel was going through. There was no moment of revelation when his father realized what he had done -- like the title suggests, it's his father's nature to be cruel and self hating. To end the episode (and the season) any other way than Orel reflecting quietly on who his father really is wouldn't have worked.

The undercurrent of negative feelings that came bubbling up in this episode have been evident for some time, so it's not as if an emotionally-charged episode like this is a complete surprise. I might have asked for a little more humor to balance things out, but that's my desire as a viewer and most likely not what they were going for in this episode. That's not to say the episode was void of laughs, or that it was too heavy. I especially liked it when Orel's mother told him men and women had to get married so men and women didn't marry the same sex and have "fairysexuals."

In many ways, this darker episode had to happen. They could have kept hinting at Clay's self-loathing and Orel's growing disappointment in his father, but at some point that must come to a head. This explosion, undoubtedly, will form the foundation for season three, like a volcano gives birth to an island.

That's a terrible analogy, but my point is that Moral Orel shook itself up to move on to a new level, and I'm looking forward to what things will change and what things will stay the same come season three.

Oh yeah, I just checked my notes and forgot to mention the opening credit sequence in which Orel (doesn't) look up to God, but keeps his head down in prayer. Possibly the most sublime moment in the series so far.

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A fine way to end season 2. I hope season three has the return of Shapie.

July 22 2007 at 4:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

@Michael Shapiro:

Could you please elaborate on why you feel this way? I am actually quite curious. Making a blanket statement about the show being trite does little for people reading your comment, as we do not know how you came upon this conclusion.

As for my take on the episode, I am firmly on the side of Adam. This episode had to happen. While it might have been hard to watch, this is a reality for many children in America. Sure, it was still a parody in some ways, but in others it was far too real. The abuse of alcohol leading to an utter and complete disregard for a child's well being. The inability to realize your actions could endanger yourself and/or others. The lack of happiness in a sea of complacency. Orel is forever an optimist, but even he can now see no good in his father's eyes. He does not know why his mother would choose to marry him, and now he sees she did it because marriage is what you do, even if it is not what you want or who you want to do it with.

When given the opportunity to please his father, he lies, telling Clay that he killed the bear. Even if Orel fired the shot, Clay still shot the bear. His actions led to the situation, and left Orel with no choice but to do something he himself hated doing. The only difference is Orel knows it was wrong, and will hopefully from this.

Who knows where Season Three will go, but I assume we will see a bit of a different father/son relationship here, as I doubt they will simply sweep any of this under the rug. It makes no sense to do so, and as previous episodes have shown, there is continuity when they do indeed choose to bring it up. Orel knows, and will continue to know, the truth about the man he once looked up to second only to God.

I know this response was long, and I might be looking a bit too much into things here, but I was inspired.

July 17 2007 at 12:36 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Pretty much in agreement with you on this review... but I think they still could've put the message across but have added some more humor to the mix.

I also think that you missed mentioning what I think was the most powerful moment of the episode... when Oral lies to his dad about shooting the bear, it says so much about where his mind is regarding his dad.

July 16 2007 at 10:24 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Michael Shapiro

Where do you get the audacity to compare South Park to this piece of garbage?? The only comparison maybe that while SOuth PArk intelligently and very humoursly mocks the religious right in America, Moral Oral is trite, expected and not the least bit humourous

July 14 2007 at 2:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

After giving it some thought, I wonder if Orel will slowly become as miserable and jaded as all the other adult figures in Moralton.

July 14 2007 at 1:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

That was quite an episode. I can't wait to see what will happen in season three.

July 14 2007 at 1:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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