Overview (Spoilers Below)
The Crimson Light enters a typical asteroid belt while scanning for dimensional keys. Except, this asteroid belt is anything but typical. It’s actually a bunch of eggs that produce a species called time worms—the type of worms that can send you back in time. Gary does a decent job maneuvering around them, but the ship is eventually swallowed and sent three years back in time. Oh yeah, it’s one of those episodes.
The worms also seem to have TARDIS powers because this one also moved the Crimson across space to the Lord Commander’s home planet. While it is a crappy place, Gary wants to steal the Dark Lord’s dimensional key before his mother can get her hands on it. Little Cato, on the other hand, only wants to save his dad. Before either can act, they’re intercepted by a creature named Timeslip Sammy who must work for the time bureau/commission/league. And he’s just awful, so, so awful. He tells them not to mess with the timeline or they’ll suffer the consequences.
With that wet blanket gone, the crew proceeds to mess with the timeline. Clarence forces Gary to wear the skin of Melanie Dewinter’s father which causes a very alive Melanie to die of a heart attack. This allows past Clarence to collect her body for Gary to wear later. Gary frees the past version of Mooncake—who present-Mooncake really gets along with—so they can meet another day. Little Cato informs his father of the harrowing future, and the big cat believes his son right away. Oh, and they also steal the dimensional key and bring it back to the present.
Now things get weird. Despite the new knowledge—which Avocato must’ve had all along—Little Cato’s dad still dies. In fact, since Clarence knew Melanie Dewinter would die at that exact moment, everything must’ve happened as it was supposed to happen. Except, of course, the gang wasn’t meant to get away with that blasted key.
And so, Sammy appears to steal back what rightfully belongs to Time. But Gary won’t give up on Avocato and tries to cut a deal. Sammy agrees to take the key in exchange for the big cat’s life, so long as somebody takes his place in the timeline. Little Cato volunteers. They return to the moment of Avocato’s death, but instead of letting his buddy sacrifice himself, Gary fills the time slot instead.
After floating through space—far more successfully than he did last season—Gary comes across the Lord Commander’s ruined lair. Armed with a laser, Gary plans to end the deep space menace once and for all. But at the last minute, the evil warlord is rescued by a passing ship possibly controlled by the Titans.
A few months later, in the present day, the Crimson Light comes back for Gary. Everybody is reunited and there is much rejoicing. But not from Avocato whose memory is completely erased. Damn your monkey paw-esque gifts, Timeslip Sammy!
I can’t get one hundred percent behind any time travel plotline that retcons emotional and/or necessary moments. Avocato’s death was a watershed moment for Final Space, and now with the stroke of a pen, he’s back in play. Sure, Avocato has an obstacle to overcome but that pales in comparison to his meaningful death. And let’s not forget that the crew is already quite large and Ash barely got to utter a single line this episode.
Time travel episodes, in general, are kind of a cheat and an excuse to play your “greatest hits.” Then again, many of the hits highlighted in this episode weren’t so great. If the goal was to bring Avocato back—because they didn’t accomplish anything else—there were about a thousand more sophisticated ways to do it. Having David Tennent back is no excuse for wibbly wobbly, timey wimey shenanigans.
The best part of the episode was how Avocato immediately believed his son regardless of the world-changing news he shared. In this timeline, Avocato hadn’t been asked to murder his son yet and the Lord Commander’s majesty is all he’s ever known. This moment was a direct parallel to last season when John Goodspeed believed Gary when he told him his long-term partner would become the evil Lord Commander. It’s such a refreshing theme of pure fatherly love that you don’t see enough of in this modern world.
Lastly, let’s talk about how the Dewinter’s woes are one hundred percent due to the actions of Clarence across every single timeline. It’s kind of unjust that they blame and dislike Gary so much. If the last episode this season doesn’t consist of that alien family disemboweling Clarence while he screams for mercy, I’ll be disappointed.