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[MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD]
On the previous episode of Final Space, it was revealed that, at the request of the Lord Commander, Avocato murdered Little Cato’s parents, the King and Queen of Ventrexia, and then adopted him to make up for what he had done. At the same time, Bolo and Mooncake defeated the titan Oreskis, which ended in Mooncake being reunited with Gary, Quinn, H.U.E., and KVN, alongside the new Team Squad member Biskit. Either way, the star of that episode was Avocato, yet in “One of Us” the spotlight turned to Ash. Unable to obtain a confession surrounding the whereabouts of Mooncake, the Lord Commander decided to sacrifice Little Cato, Avocato, Fox, and Sheryl to Invictus. Yet, the Lord Commander kept Ash, hoping that he could turn her to his side and make her his protégé. The immediate aftermath of this decision resulted in one of the most visually impactful fights in the series thus far.
Sadly, Ash was no match for the Lord Commander, whose raw power left her fingers mangled. Then, in an effort to further convince her, the Lord Commander forced Ash to face her past and the nature of her powers. In a teary-eyed revelation, Ash confronts the notion that her abilities come directly from Invictus. Still, potentially the saddest moment in the episode comes at the end when, due to both her injuries and emotional state, she is unable to save Fox from being taken by Invictus. This character has been through so much, whether that’s the death of her original family or the betrayal by Clarence, and now seeing her unable to help her adopted brother is tough to watch.
With that being said, prior to the airing of this week’s episode, creator Olan Rogers emphasized how this was “a fun tiny rest before it starts to ramp up,” and that certainly seems to be the case. Overall, aside from the impact of Ash and her character development, the episode served more as a means to finally reunite the major plotlines of the Team Squad. While Ash is up against the Lord Commander, Sheryl managed to escape her chains and get a message out to Gary. Not only was it wonderful to see her care about the rest of the Team Squad and turn to her son for help, the awkward, but vulnerable interaction between Gary and Sheryl upon his arrival was quite heartwarming. Similarly, this episode also fleshed out the relationship between Gary and Quinn, with Gary further worrying about where they stood and Quinn reassuring him of her love for him. This was attempted in the previous episode, where it seemed more out of place, but here, combined with the scene of him reuniting with Sheryl, genuinely showed all the love Gary has around him right now. Nevertheless, once Gary and Quinn made up, they were able to use Sheryl’s message to rescue the rest of the Team Squad, with the exception of Fox.
Ultimately, this episode emphasized much of the set up that will likely impact the rest of the series in the immediate future. On top of Ash’s experiences and the love for Gary, Quinn knows her time is running out, Avocato can’t shake what he did to Little Cato, Gary was able to learn the full extent of his metal arm, Kevin Van Newton is completing their way out of Final Space, and the two main plotlines have been combined as the Team Squad escaped Invictus. Most interestingly though, the episode ended with the Lord Commander following them, both raising the stakes and emphasizing continuity—the season is about to get serious. All things considered, what did not work for me this time around was much of the comedy, including the side plotline with Tribore and Quatronostro. These seemed more distracting than anything else, yet the jokes that did land for me were the H.U.E. moments and actually the end with KVN.
Altogether, “One of Us” wasn’t the strongest Final Space episode, but it allowed Olan Rogers and his team to successfully put all the pieces into play for what will surely result in some intense upcoming episodes. It would have been fantastic to see more from Ash’s perspective, the clear highlight of the episode, but there will certainly be more from her in the future. If I had one main complaint, it would be that Tribore and Quatronostro seem to work better as part of the Team Squad and less so as their own contained story. Nevertheless, there was still a lot to enjoy in this episode beyond Ash, from Gary’s own character development to the show’s willingness to put people in real danger, such as with Fox. It appears that the introduction to the season has been completed, and what’s yet to come seems dark, but thrilling. What resonated with you from this episode? What would you change if anything?
Season 3 Episode 4: “One of Us” (7.5/10)