Final Space goes full circle back into itself in, “The Hidden Light”

Trapped in Final Space without a ship or a hope, Gary, Quinn, H.U.E., and K.V.N. are separated from the rest of the Team Squad and find themselves on a ruined and desolate Earth where they discover a lone crackpot inventor who’s been given a mission by a familiar face. Meanwhile, Avocato and the others run into another familiar face.

You can definitely tell that this season of Final Space is going to lean much more heavily into serialized storytelling which, let me tell you, I am all in for. The trade off is, of course, many of the adventures come with a somewhat frustrating level of un-resolution and, if that’s not a word, I’m inventing it. Adventures are rarely wrapped up in this format, each one ends in a cliffhanger and, while this style often leads to long-term investment into a series, it does lead to a small amount of frustration as far as the individual episodes go.

Take the B-plot with Avacato and the others. I don’t really want to spoil anything, so I won’t go into specifics and I fully acknowledge that I have absolutely no idea where the story is going from here and I could be talking in small, noxious puffs out of my backside, but despite the great cliffhanger… the B-plot contributed nothing to the story. It could have been contained in the next episode and given this one a greater sense of closure, especially as the theme of this episode seemed to be coming full circle.

And, yes, I understand that the B-plot had that theme too, but the only reason, at least in my opinion, that the B-plot even existed was as cliffhanger bait. It just wasn’t necessary. The Earth story was enough. The Avacato gang story felt tacked on, short, underdeveloped, and unnecessary… best saved for its own installment where it could truly grow on its own.

As I said, the earth story was enough. The earth story was lovely. It was a wonderful chance for Quinn and Gary to just stop for one minute and take a breath, to take in what they have done, where they have come, and what has happened to the remains of the world around them.

Everything about this plot worked. Quinn and Gary recapping to each other how they first met, the inclusion of Tom Kenny totally not reusing his Ice King voice for the crazy old scientist, Kevin, who, come to think about it, resembles Adventure Time’s crazy old scientist, Moe, and seeing H.U.E. accept that he no longer wishes to be a corporeal being anymore. I would have liked this decision being linked to A.V.A.’s “death” in the first episode of the season and have it have at least a little impact on someone as I’m still a little sore that her character was killed off and it didn’t seem to matter, but I like how H.U.E. got what he wanted, decided it sucked, and then went back to being good old H.U.E. in the walls. Wouldn’t it be a scream if H.U.E.’s disused body was used as random props for the rest of the season? A doorstop, a trash can, or a crash test dummy?

Despite the fact that I saw some of it as unnecessary and distracting, “The Hidden Light” was a lively and fun episode of Final Space, introducing a new setting, character evolution (or de-evolution, I guess), and introducing a new character who, if I’m not mistaken, looks like a comedic stand in for fans of the show.

I think I should be concerned about possible defamation, but we’ll see where this goes.

“The Hidden Light” is a marvelous chance for the themes of Final Space to loop back on themselves. Two lovers recounting how they met, literally going home again, going back to what you were when you were happy, getting a new home that’s a lot like the old home, meeting an old enemy again, and finding yourself, an adorable little green puffball, once again, alone in the universe.

If you’re not watching Final Space, you really should be. It is one of the most underrated unknowns on television and it deserves a larger audience.

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