I can’t help it. I am a sucker for anything animated. “Final Space” is no exception.
Each episode begins with Gary floating in space among the wreckage of his spaceship. His spacesuit is leaking oxygen. HUE, the ship’s computer is talking to Gary, updating him on how long he has to live and that the outcome that is his misfortune will have no other result than his death.
“These tickets suck,” Gary says. “Right in the nose bleeds.”
But who is Gary? Is he the Captain of this ship, as he appears to be? He thinks he is the Captain, but he isn’t. He is a petty thief, who spotted Captain Quinn Ergon, a member of the Infinity Guard, in a bar. In order to try to impress her, he knocks out a pilot and steals his uniform. He tries to make time with her; but is called to action. He gets into the cockpit of a fighter, with no idea what he is doing, presses a button and destroys 92 Star Cruisers and a small family-owned Mexican restaurant. As a result, he is sentenced to five years, alone in a starship with HUE, the computer, KVN (Kevin), his Deep Space Insanity Avoidance Companion, and a bevy of robots.
While making repairs to satellites, he meets a green blob with big eyes, a cute smile and small antennas. He immediately adopts the creature calling him “Mooncake”, after a caterpillar his Father gave him as a child.
So, this, in a nutshell is the show. Feel free to move on to another article.
Still here? Good. There is more.
Here’s when we introduce the evil in the story. It seems that Mooncake is actually Specimen E35-1, a planet killer. It is wanted by the Lord Commander. He sends a group of Vantrexian Bounty Hunters to retrieve E35-1, which starts a firefight with the robots on the ship. The robots are wiped out. But the ship has another defense (Lightfold), which destroys the Bounty Hunters and their ships…except for one, who manages to stay on the ship and hide.
Gary and Mooncake are ejected from the ship into the path of oncoming asteroids. HUE tells him that it would be possible for Gary to survive, at the cost of Mooncake. Gary refuses and tries the survival plan anyway. Of course, HUE is right. As Gary begins to pass out, dying from the lack of oxygen, we see Gary’s Father give him the caterpillar. He gets into his spaceship, as his Father is a pilot. The boy watches as the ship takes off and explodes, killing his Father.
Gary wakes up to find himself back on the ship. Mooncake (E35-1) has saved him.
After HUE explains this, he also mentions that there is still a lifeform on the ship that shouldn’t be there. Gary and the robots get the drop on the bounty hunter, a Vantrexian named Avocato, a cat-like creature that doesn’t play cards very well. Gary immediately takes to him, mainly because the robots carry flamethrowers.
As they move on, they don’t realize that the Lord Commander is following them.
“Let’s Play,” he cackles to himself.
Gary, who is voiced by the show’s creator, Olan Rogers, is not really like Fry from “Futurama”, as some seemed to indicate to me. He is self-delusional but has inner courage to defend those he feels need help. He also has a loyalty that only takes a handshake to be initiated. He is both noble and foolhardy.
HUE, voiced by Spongebob star Tom Kenny, is a cross between HAL from “2001” and Holly from “Red Dwarf”. He is very smart and usually right, but he is inflexible and doles out rewards in the form of chocolate chip cookies with an eye dropper. And those cookies are never given to Gary. But they are there, taunting him at every turn.
KVN, voiced by Fred Armisten, musician and music director from “Late Night with Seth Meyers”, is a royal pain in the ass. He does everything he can to annoy Gary. He is often given cookies by HUE, but, of course, being a floating mechanical orb with arms, can only bang them against his processor, reducing them to crumbs. Imagine if the beach ball like alien from “Dark Star” could talk. That would be KVN.
Avocato, voiced by Coty Galloway, who has a long list of roles in varied movies, is the bounty hunter. In the beginning, he distrusts Gary. He also knows that the Lord Commander is coming for them. In the third episode, we learn that Avocato has been forced to go after E35-1, as the Lord Commander has his son, Little Cato, voiced by “Walking Dead” alum Steven Yeun, captive. The relationship between Gary and Avocato is cemented as Gary promises to help him get his son back.
Quinn is voiced by Tika Sumpter, who could be found on “One Life to Live” and “Gossip Girl”. This character is interesting, finding a problem in the universe that could cause the end of everything. She may also be a time traveler, but I am not sure of this yet. Quinn is fearless, tough as nails and discriminated against because of her age and gender. But she is also undefeatable. Quinn was also kind enough to introduce me to a new expression for my vocabulary – Douche canoe! Look it up. It’s in the Oxford Dictionary.
Lord Commander is a villain that will remind many of the Emperor from the “Star Wars” series in his manner and his powers. Unlike the Emperor, he needs E35-1 because he is dying and the specimen will help him survive. He is voiced by David Tennant, the current voice of Uncle Scrooge in the excellent reboot of “Duck Tales”. I have heard that he has done other things in his career, but I really haven’t had time to research them (wink, wink).
Man! He’s everywhere anymore!
The show appears to be slated for eight episodes, by IMDb’s count. Three have already been shown on TBS, along with the Cartoon Network. The fourth is available on the TBS app.
I am impressed with this show. The characters are being fleshed out nicely, with little hints of things to come being divulged slowly. The scripts are funny and touching, which was a hallmark of “Futurama”. I know I keep mentioning “Futurama”. This is not the same show, but I feel it may have the same qualities that carried that August series many seasons. I think “Final Space” could have the same possible future.
With “Lucifer” and “iZombie”, Monday night has become the best viewing night of the week!
Here is the Final Space seven-minute pilot from 2016. Many of the plot points here are different from the show, but the attitude is the same. Enjoy!