Final Space: An unmissable journey into the unknown

Gary Goodspeed and his best friend Mooncake. Credit: Adult Swim
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Adam Virgona reviews Final Space, one of TV’s most underrated animated shows right now.
Final Space: An unmissable journey into the unknown

Warning: minor spoilers for seasons 1 & 2

The adult animated series Final Space, created by Olan Rogers, is odd to describe.

At its core, it’s sci-fi, set in a future where space travel and alliances with other planets are completely normal. But it’s also a comedy, where wildly funny jokes balance hard-hitting, suspenseful drama and action. 

If that wasn’t enough, there’s also a central love story and even some supernatural elements thrown into the mix. 

This impressive and ambitious juggling act of genres and storylines is what makes Final Space stand out from the crowded TV animation space. 

With season three just released in the US, it’s time to catch up on the first two seasons so you’ll be ready for when it’s available in Australia.

The show follows Gary Goodspeed (Olan Rogers), a down-on-his-luck guy currently serving five years aboard a prison spaceship. 

Gary was arrested for his idiotic actions while trying to impress Quinn Airgon (Tika Sumpter), a member of the Infinity Guard, the intergalactic organisation that protects the galaxy.

Fast forward five years and, with only days left on his prison sentence, Gary and Quinn unexpectedly cross paths again thanks to Mooncake, a cute little alien that has the power to destroy worlds. 

Together with a ragtag crew, Gary and Quinn must protect Mooncake and save the entire universe from an alien tyrant known as the Lord Commander (David Tennant), seeking untold power from another realm called Final Space. 

Final Space, like many others, takes a few episodes to find its groove, but when it does, everything clicks into place. 

The show undeniably has lots to accomplish in only 20-ish-minute episodes, but it never disappoints. 

Each episode successfully builds on the last, progressing the main storyline while also spending significant time fleshing out the characters. 

Final Space: An unmissable journey into the unknown
Final Space’s season 3 poster. Credit: Adult Swim

Every character has their own purpose and they continually evolve and adapt to situations as the series progresses. 

In the beginning, Gary is just a dopey comic relief character, positioned as the big hero of the show. Coming into season three, having faced the trauma of his past and fighting his “destiny”, he is a different man. 

Gary still cracks jokes, but he’s sentimental, honest, and willing to sacrifice his life for any member of his makeshift family. He earns his hero status. 

Similarly, Quinn also experiences significant character growth. Initially conveyed as Gary’s tough, soldier-like love interest, Quinn’s identity is torn apart thanks to some time travel complications. 

Stuck in a tug-of-war, Quinn battles with who she thinks she is and who her future self – known as Nightfall – already knows she’ll become. 

It leads to great personal drama for Quinn and problems that could affect the entire team and their mission. 

Final Space is full of many more fun characters, but H.U.E. (Tom Kenny) is a solid favourite. H.U.E. is the AI system onboard the main characters’ spaceship. 

Instead of the generic robot/computer voice opted for by many other sci-fi shows, Final Space has made H.U.E. an important member of the main cast. Watching H.U.E. learn and experience human emotions is equally hilarious and upsetting.  

Aside from the stellar voice acting, Final Space’s animation is also stunning, bringing the characters and universe around them to life. 

The character designs are distinct, and each new planet the crew explores is unique. Whether it’s a giant desert junkyard, an enchanted forest/military base, or a Blade Runner-esque dystopian city, they’re all charming to explore.   

Final Space also has an awesome soundtrack that elevates the chaos on screen. 

The score reflects both the show’s silliness and its tragedies, but it’s the songs written and performed by Final Space’s co-composer, artist Shelby Merry, that are the highlights of the soundtrack. 

Merry’s soulful voice pairs perfectly with some of the show’s darkest moments, and more people will undoubtedly discover her talent and other albums as a result of this show.  

Final Space presents a captivating story filled with many surprising twists and a roller coaster of emotions. 

Final Space is one of the best shows to grace our screens in a very long time, and hopefully, the series gets renewed for the fourth season it deserves—and many more to come.

You can stream seasons one and two of Final Space on Netflix. It is not known when season 3 will be available in Australia.