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[MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD]
On the previous episode of Final Space, the Team Squad was tasked with turning on the hyper-transdimensional bridge in order to help everyone escape. To do this, they required someone on the other side, outside of Final Space, to turn on the portal there. The only person up to this task ended up being Clarence, who became the focal point of the episode alongside previous villains trying to stop him. Ultimately, he was able to successfully activate the hyper-transdimensional bridge but died in the process after killing Todd H. Watson. Thankfully, his loss was not in vain, as Tribore and Quatronostro were able to get all of the other inhabitants out of Final Space before riding off into the sunset. This left only the Team Squad and Kevin Van Newton in Final Space, who later decided to stay in order to defeat Invictus. “Until the Sky Falls” follows the Team Squad as they figure out how to take on the titans, but Invictus and the Lord Commander have different plans in mind. Overall, this was an action-packed episode with some of the best artwork for the series thus far, from the Lord Commander’s ship to the Zombie Gary hordes falling from the sky. From the start, the episode gets going and does not stop for anything, beginning with the arrival of the Lord Commander. Initially it is assumed that he was here for Mooncake at the request of Invictus, yet he instead crashed directly into the Earth and began drilling. The Team Squad quickly figured out that there was actually a titan growing at the center of the Earth, which was what the Lord Commander was really there to retrieve. Now, this required the team to split up, which is another well done component of this episode. Previously, many of the episodes have suffered to some extent from having too many characters, causing some to play little to no role in episodes, yet there was so much to do in this episode that everyone was a valuable member of the team this time around.
During “Until the Sky Falls,” Sheryl and Avocato were tasked with taking the Lord Commander head-on before he could reach the center of the Earth; Gary, Quinn, and Bolo were charged with turning on Earth’s KVN net; and Kevin Van Newton, Ash, and Mooncake stayed at the base to monitor everything. Additionally, KVN, Little Cato, and Biskit played the comedic role of stowaways on the mission to defeat the Lord Commander, which probably was better off for them in the long run. Nevertheless, the main storylines centered around stopping the Lord Commander and getting the KVN net ready to defeat the titans. Both play to the strengths of the characters involved, but neither are necessarily the strongest for the series. In other words, the core of this episode that makes it one of the best in the series is not a single character or plotline, but instead the ensemble of everyone doing their part in their own portion of the episode. For example, it was powerful to see Avocato confronting the Lord Commander after everything they’ve been through, and it was heartwarming for Sheryl to take the risk of driving the ship into the Earth after only caring about herself for so long. That being said, this is a pretty linear and expected plotline, until it is revealed that the Lord Commander has decided to betray Invictus and become the sleeping titan himself. If anything, this episode will be remembered for its twists following more conventional plots, and its gorgeous visuals.
Then, it was just as wonderful to see Gary and Quinn working together, there was especially one lovely, intimate moment between the two of them before they activated the KVN net. That being said, the selling point of this portion of the story may have been Bolo fighting seemingly endless amounts of Zombie Garys falling from the sky. It seemed clear that a substantial portion of the animation budget must have been used to make this episode as visually stunning as it was, especially when examining Bolo throughout. Nonetheless, both teams were seemingly successful, with the KVN net activated and a bomb attached to the Lord Commander’s ship that was set to explode as he reached the center of the Earth. Yet, this episode was not without any human loss. Honestly, given Sheryl’s speech I assumed it would be her, but we ended up losing Kevin Van Newton in this episode. Invictus realized that he, Ash, and Mooncake were at the base of operations and began to flood them with Zombie Garys. Ash and Mooncake were able to fly out through an escape vent after Kevin Van Newton had locked the base, yet he decided to stay. Ultimately, not the series’ most impactful death, especially since he very much served his purpose, yet he was potentially the most visually impactful death. Seeing the horde of Zombie Garys flood his room from a side angle was straight out of a horror movie, a shot that will be remembered by the community.
However, with all of that in mind, the best “Until the Sky Falls” had to offer came at the end, where despite the success of every mission, Earth was lost. As the KVN net was becoming fully operational and the Team Squad reunited in space above Earth, they quickly realized that the Lord Commander had been victorious after all. Right as the KVNs net was uniting, a massive titan hand shot out of the Earth, destroying the robots. Victory was within their reach, yet the bomb was unable to stop the Lord Commander, and he took the body of the titan for himself as he destroyed the Earth and flung the portal deep into space. Altogether this produced what may be the best ending to a Final Space episode ever. From the destruction of the Earth itself, to the sense of loss that was transmitted to the viewer, it genuinely felt as if in this moment all hope was lost. Additionally, at this point I have no idea how they are going to defeat Invictus; this uncertainty for the future has me hooked following such an impactful end.
All in all, “Until the Sky Falls” does not have the strongest individual plotlines, yet it plays to the strengths of each character, crafting an engaging story with twists, action, and top-tier visuals. Throughout the episode you genuinely get the sense that each character is contributing something to the story, making them feel more real. Although episodes focused on one or two characters have resulted in some of the best plotlines for the series thus far, seeing everyone work as one ensemble was just as entertaining to watch. Similarly, it seems that it will be difficult for any other episode to compete with the visuals featured here or have as many well executed twists. In terms of the sudden developments in particular, the show always gave the viewer as sense of where the story was going if you read between the lines, yet now it genuinely seems as we’re not meant to know what’s next. With only three episodes left, I’m concerned for the Team Squad, yet excited to see what comes next. But, what did you think of the artwork and action in this episode? How were you impacted by the end sequence?
Season 3 Episode 10: “Until the Sky Falls” (8/10)