final space

Final Space 2×07

After last week’s mind-bending episode we get a heart-rending one. There aren’t even that many jokes in this episode, which is unusual for Final Space. Instead, Nightfall tries to bring back “her” Gary and realises she can’t. Turns out the universe doesn’t work that way. This all raises the question of how much do our experiences shape our identity, really? Nightfall’s Gary isn’t really “our” Gary, he seems very different, and when it comes down to it Nightfall isn’t Quinn, either, she just looks like her and has some similar (but only similar) memories.

Usually alternate universes bug the heck out of me in most fiction, but in Final Space I don’t mind them.

This episode’s B plot involves a bunch of cloned KVNs turning on Clarence, which actually served to make me like Clarence, disgusting little animal that he is, a bit more. I don’t want or expect him to have much character development because he works so well as what he is, just a gross and greedy weirdo. But a funny one! He seems to have more space to be amusing now that Tribore is out of the way.

Hey, Fox got something to do this episode! I hope they develop his frienemyship with Little Cato. LC was the secret star of this episode I reckon. I especially appreciate his willingness to straight up murder the original KVN. All these characters have been there.

This episode ends with Gary and Nightfall staring sadly out of a window as a bunch of mangled KVNs float majestically by them. That scene seems to sum up Final Space pretty dang well.

Final Space 2×06

My gosh, this episode had some amazing visuals.

Obviously these totally fail to come across in crappy screenshots with the watermark on them, but hopefully you get the idea. The word I keep thinking of is PSYCHEDELIC! This episode was very psychedelic.

This was a mixed bag of a Final Space, because there was stunning art and interesting lore but it was all mixed together with a bunch of unfunny jokes surrounding Tribore, who I only really find tolerable in small doses.

The show also seems to be having trouble with balancing its larger cast now. Fox (or is it Foxx?) was introduced in 2×01 and yet we know nothing about him, he hasn’t really done anything, and he might as well not be there. I find that kinda odd, they must have a plan for him, right? But nowt, so far.

Final Space’s biggest strength continues to be its use of the found-family trope, aka my favourite trope ever especially when it’s in space. There’s never any doubt in my mind that Gary loves Mooncake and Little Cato and they love him. His relationship with the woman who used to be Quinn is a bit more complicated obviously, but I’m guessing they’ll be getting to that pretty soon…

I’m liking this new villain, as I tend to dig villains who are just plain ol’ Ultimate Unknowable Forces of Malice From Beyond the Universe, but also I miss the Lord Commander.

Final Space 2×05

So! Turns out Gary’s mother has been alive all this time. She’s some sort of badass space criminal who’s ended up on death row. Gary announces he wants to see her before she dies. “To save her life?” Little Cato asks. “Oh heavens no. Why would I wanna do that?” says Gary.

And so begins the sort of abusive parent exploration story that sci-fi does so well. In the end Gary can’t of course leave his mother to die, and he sort of vaguely reconnects with her for a few brief moments. And Sheryl Goodspeed is legimately cool! She’s badass, she’s witty, she beats up her captors, she wins over Gary’s crew, she’s likeable. But she’s also a goddamn terrible parent and no amount of space flashniness can change that. She may not have wanted Gary in the first place and she certainly got out of the situation with good speed (sorry) the second he was her solo responsibility.

At the end of the episode, a haunting song plays over Gary’s memories of his mother. It seems that after John’s death she went off the rails, possibly became an alcoholic (she’s briefly seen hurling a wine bottle at a photo of Gary) and finally just left without a single word of comfort for her son.

Space stories are packed to the brim with abusive fathers. I know, I love ’em. But what with Final Space being somewhat of a mash-up of all the good sci-fi tropes, I love so much that it decided to do something fresh and reverse the gender roles. I’ve never actually seen that before, the father as the saintly tragic hero and the mother as the rogueish, heartless villain. You don’t really get all that many unequivocally awful mothers in fiction. We accept that a father might not love his child, for some reason, but a mum? Really?

Sheryl Goodspeed is a horrible, horrible person and I literally cannot wait to see more of her.

Final Space 2×04

Well, before I was able to watch this episode I saw a lot of posts elsewhere saying things like, this episode is a goddamn masterpiece, and I watched it and it was indeed a goddamn masterpiece. It’s basically a short, gorgeous exploration of grief and the toll it takes. And it’s also home to what is hands down the most heartbreaking moment of season 2 so far, when the camera cuts away and we see that Avocato’s words aren’t his at all, he’s not there, it’s Little Cato typing into a machine what he thinks his dad might say to him.

Which is the very nature of grief, I think. You’ve always got a ghost with you, and your own thoughts about yourself are always in their mouth.

Amazing episode and that’s not even mentioning the dance sequence at the beginning. If you ever want to win me over, write a story about tragedy, family and loss and then stick a dance sequence in there.

Final Space 2×03

Hm, I’m not quite liking this series as much as the last (yet) but I’m not disliking it by any means. It’s still very entertaining. But I guess with all the new characters it doesn’t stop and breathe very much? Or that’s the feeling I get anyway. Also Mooncake has not really featured much so far which is a wee bit disappointing.

However! I believe this was the first Final Space episode to pass the Bechdel Test! And more than once! So that’s nice.

I do like Ash by far the best of the new additions. The budding romance between her and Little Cato, I’m sure it will be interesting, but I’m actually looking far more forward to see that weird mother-daughter relationship between her and Nightfall develop.

Uh….. I’m assuming the entire planet didn’t turn to ash (no pun intended) when that evil snake thing was killed? It would not surprise me but, jeez.

Final Space 2×02

Final Space is a strange beast because sometimes it opens with a man floating alone in the void of space about to die, and sometimes it opens with a literal pissing contest. This one opened with the pissing contest. So while it may not necessarily be the first episode I would show to a newcomer it was still interesting and funny enough to keep me engaged. Actually the pee contest was worth it for the Ash punchline* anyway, so that’s that. (I like Ash, she’s so freaking weird.)

Olan Rogers had a really interesting write-up of what he meant this episode to mean over here, and that made me like the dream-world scenes a lot more. Also I’m glad that Todd will be around more as he makes a good villain, although I still kinda miss the Lord Commander. I heard David Tennant was supposed to be in this episode but he wasn’t!

I note the opening titles have now become Avocato-less… Maybe we really will never see him again, which might be the best call. This show deals pretty heavily with loss after all, and you can’t just undo it.

*“Ash, you have an UTI.” “YES!”

Final Space 2×01

So I watched the new series premiere of Final Space. Shhh! I know I’m not supposed to have it yet, being in the UK and all, but I couldn’t wait any longer. Appropriately, the episode revolves around a theft, whaddaya know.

I was desperately nervous going in just in case it was no longer the show I loved, but it still is! And a lot of the people we thought might be dead are 100% not dead! Quinn is possibly dead but seeing as her future self still exists, can she actually conceivably in any way be dead? (A question also sort of vaguely tackled by Avengers: Endgame. Which is a fictional universe Final Space bears no small resemblance to!) Also, a particular person who appears to be deceased-ish I suspect will be brought back with a loophole, because he’s too good a character to let go. But I could be wrong! This show always surprises me.

(I could be referring to more than one character there couldn’t I? Interesting…)

The animation seems to have been knocked up a notch this series. Not that it wasn’t gorgeous before, but now the characters seem to move that much fluidly. And new voice cast! New characters! More female characters at that! A realistic amount of women (/female space robots) was the only major thing the last series was missing.

Psst. Maybe this’ll make up for my downloading it: GO WATCH FINAL SPACE! The first season should be on international Netflix so I BEG YOU, go look at it. Because nobody at all seems to watch it (beyond Reddit who got a shoutout in this episode, hooray) and we all know what happens to very, very good tragi-comic shows which nobody watches. I can’t take another Last Man on Earth scenario. Hurry quickly before anyone starts running numbers! Go go go!