After Gary recovers from the events of the last episode, he awakens to discover that Little Cato has run away and so he, Nightfall, KVN, and Mooncake go to find him while Clarence, Ash, and Fox seek to scam a recently widowed queen.
Being a show so steeped in its own rich mythology, a mythology you wouldn’t expect an animated science fiction comedy to have, Final Space doesn’t really get a chance to just cut loose and be stupid funny for no other reason than for the sake of stupid funniness.
Take the Clarence subplot for example. Yes, it was dumb… Yes, it was unnecessary, and yes it was gross and immature and wallowed in bad taste that almost made it look like it came from a completely different series.
On the other hand, it was infectiously funny and a good laugh is something that fans needed at this point. Final Space has been incredibly dark of late and this goofy little filler subplot with no bearing on anything was something we needed. The humor – no matter how base it was – was downright infectious and the weirdness of Clarence, Fox, and Ash’s side-quest was undeniable.
What can I say? It’s fun to see Clarence be used as a punching bag and, immature and gross as much of it was, it definitely served as a much-needed palate cleanser from the heaviness of last week.
I still have to ask, though… when is poor Fox going to get some development? He’s a single running gag at this point.
The main story of Gary and the others looking for Little Cato also carried some very bizarre and funny moments as if the writers took extra care to shove as many jokes as they could into the episode. It’s definitely a welcome pace and, honestly, I thought many of the jokes in this particular storyline worked better than the more comedy-heavy Clarence story. The teaser with Little Cato’s “don’t follow me message” and the alien who wanted to be stabbed for information were a wonderful wacky hurricane of weirdness and humor that was impossible not to like.
More than that, I’m glad that Final Space has finally acknowledged how messed up Little Cato’s life has been over the last two seasons. Imprisonment, losing a father, losing an entire planet, losing a ship, regaining and losing a father all over again… this has been an incredible burden on a 14 year-old kid (but why is the show still ignoring that he was trapped all by himself for 60 years!?) and seeing that not only acknowledged, but finally having Gary step up into an official fatherly role was touching – genuinely touching. I’ve often referred to this crew as a family by choice and it’s so nice to be proven right. Makes me actually look kinda semi-competent.
Finally, Gary’s mom is back and so is Todd. Two lingering plot threads have smashed together. It was nice to get some further development into Sheryl and flesh her out a little more to see where she comes from and why she does what she does. Now she feels more like a character, much more than her initial episode…. she also comes off, strangely enough, as an even more despicable person, but, like everyone else on the show, she is who she is as a result of her trauma but, where her son has found a family, she’s pushed hers away. It’s an interesting juxtaposition and could turn her into an interesting antagonist instead of the cliche that I first perceived her to be.
Todd… still creepy.
Obviously, this was a breather episode. The humor is amped up, the weirdness is dialed up to eleven, and the stakes are almost non-existent. “The Lost Spy” serves two purposes: It wants to have some fun after the emotionally devastating episode that the show doled out last week and it wants to to set the chessboard for the next move. In my opinion, it did what it sought out to do in both cases.
Now, this isn’t an episode that you can remotely compare to the episodes that have come before because, in a way, it feels like its in its own little bubble, separated on its own. It’s having fun reminding you that, in a mythology that has gotten inky black, the concept of fun and laughter is still a thing.
A step down? Sure.
In my humble and mostly correct opinion, even though it might irk those who come to this show week after week to see a progression in the overall plot, Final Space needed this episode. It needed a chance to stop for a moment, collect itself, and have fun even if that fun is taking place under a very cold shadow of things to come.