Ash has feelings too.
Overview (Spoilers Below)
Following a bit of nonsense aboard the Crimson Light, the team notices a tattoo on Ash’s arm. Gary, exhibiting much more intelligence than he used to, recognizes it as a depiction of one of the five-dimensional keys they need to free Bolo and open Final Space. She informs them the actual key is on her home planet of Serepentis; unfortunately, she forbids the crew from going anywhere near the planet. Flashback time.
Serepentis is a weird, culty place where the citizens worship and offer up constant sacrifices to a giant worm creature. In fact, Ash’s parents sacrificed her sister which acted as the catalyst for Ash’s godlike powers to emerge. After killing her parents and watching her sister get swallowed, she escaped the planet and vowed never to return.
Of course, Little Cato and the others convince her to return, because the underlying theme for this season is redemption/atonement, and Ash needs to go back in order to move forward. The culty citizens aren’t combative as they are more concerned with sacrificing themselves. But since they’re blocking the path to the giant worm, whose stomach contains the key, the crew needs to improvise.
KVN helps out, but is a little too helpful and winds up accidentally murdering thousands of Serepentis citizens. Gary is again gutted after witnessing KVN’s genocide, even though those people were planning to kill themselves anyway. In the belly of the beast, Ash faces down her sister and is forced to let her go because she is completely under the worm’s control with no hope of ever coming back. Gary gets the key, which is immediately stolen by Clarence, because Clarence is kind of a dick.
There was also a B-plot to give Fox, HUE, and Nightfall something to do. It was a throwaway plot about getting a stowaway to his wedding in time, but that guy dies, so we won’t be seeing him again.
This was a much better episode than last week, particularly because it featured Ash, the VIP character of this season. With Gary’s season arc remains problematic (more on that later), Ash’s path has the potential to resonate so long as she’s given enough screen time to develop. She’s a tortured soul who lost her family, looking for a place in the universe to fit in. The origin of her mysterious powers—which as we learned have nothing to do with her species—sets up another interesting wrinkle. But most intriguing is her budding relationship with Little Cato. It appears she might see him as more than just a sweet kitten. Whether this is leading to a romance, best-friendship, or some weird hybrid thing, I can’t wait to see what develops.
So it looks like the writers are having Gary go through an atonement arc. The reason that doesn’t really work is that in episode one of this season, Nightfall explained how the earth being taken was inevitable. And it was relatively clear in last season’s finale that Gary wasn’t responsible but was more a burdened survivor. Also, the Serepentians deaths weren’t Gary’s fault; they died because of idiot KVN. Obviously, Gary doesn’t like when good people are killed or “taken” but he has very little to repent over. Here’s hoping his journey becomes more compelling as the weeks progress.
And now, the obligatory Clarence shaming. Again, the disgraceful junk dealer didn’t have much to do during this adventure. And this time around, he proved to be far more stupid than intimidating. Clarence knows the five keys have the potential to open up Final Space, and he also knows there are plenty of people who would pay anything to see his loved ones again. It’s safe to say that controlling the passage to Final Space has the potential to be quite lucrative. So, what do you have to gain from separating the five keys, Clarence? Damn, this character’s heinousness knows no bounds.
Final stray thought: What is the point of Tribore? He’s not a bad character and sometimes says some pretty funny stuff. But now that he’s no longer in control of the resistance—since without Earth there’s no need for a resistance—what is he here to do? Stay tuned.
Overall, this was a much better episode. Let’s hope Final Space can keep this going for a few weeks. All they need is a lot more Ash plotlines.