“The Set Up” is a Surprisingly Emotional Episode of ‘Final Space.’

As the Crimson Light crew track down the remaining dimensional keys that they need to free Bolo and rescue Quinn from Final Space, one of their own initiates a shocking betrayal.

Spoiler Alert, kids! You should probably not read any further if you have not watched this episode.

So, that happened.

It was conceivable that the traitor was going to be Clarence given that he is a complete toad and basically irredeemable since his initial introduction, but I always suspected that the writers would do something to throw us a curve ball like having Ash, Fox, or even Nightfall be the traitor. But nope, they went with Clarence… the most obvious choice.

But that was about as obvious as they got. Clarence has been a one-joke pony during his run this season… manipulative, shallow, greedy… but with this episode, his character is given a good old-fashioned dissection and we see that his most terrible aspects come from a very lonely and insecure place. Clarence is a guy who is so afraid of being alone and unloved that he quite literally threw away every good thing in his life for the off-chance that Cheryl would actually love him.

Folks, that is tragic and pathetic. Even with his betrayal, I have a new level of sympathy for Clarence. His every move this season, motivated by fear and insecurity? That’s so sad and seeing him utterly destroyed and then abandoned by the closest family he has was unbelievably tragic.

I never thought I would be sad for Clarence, but here I am… sad for Clarence.

I have a feeling that they’re probably selling parkas in Hell right now.

…and now they’re going to have to start selling fully insulated underwear because the second surprise of the episode is KVN not only proving himself useful, but also selfless in sacrificing a vital part of his body to save Fox.

Like Clarence, I never really expected KVN to display any character progression, being that he was a one-joke character, a stupid annoying robot that Gary hates with the passion of a billion burning suns. Now, I actually find myself looking at him in admiration. I really hope the damage done to him is permanent, a constant reminder of what he did to save a life.

I kinda also hope he gets more respect because of this.

As for the rest of the episode, it was all wins as far as I was concerned. The humor was on point from the Carnavolo celebration to the highly amusing chase scene (that was actually an incredibly well done action sequence in of itself), I laughed audibilly several times. Most notably after Clarence’s skin-suit reveal(s) only for him to revert back to Clarence. What does this guy look like, anyway?

I’ve been hoping for some Fox development and, while I’m sad to say that said development has not be achieved, it was nice to get some more insight into his character beyond the joke that he’s overly sensitive. I gotta say, I was actually concerned for him after his injury and his crawl through the ship to alert the others. It had a double-punch to the gut as it was obvious that Clarence actually didn’t mean to hurt him as badly as he did.

The injury also led to a very nice and touching scene between Fox and Ash as the bond between the two was showcased as well as the Ash’s friendship with Little Cato and Fox’s hostility towards him. I just like those little moments between characters.

Finally, while Final Space hasn’t had the best luck with B-plots as of late, I have to hand it to this particular B-plot because Hue is just too darn pure and good for this world. Hue’s excellent adventure through the seedy underground of the Darga Space Port was not only funny, but I really wanted to know what was going to happen next. In addition, it had a really great comedic payoff at the end.

So, there we go. I would have though that this series would have cut it out with the emotional heartstring pulling, but it appears that the people running this show are complete monsters who love to see my emotions wrecked. Honestly, I’m cool with that. I love being so invested in this series and the characters and the journey that they are on.

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