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Avenue 5’s season finale continues to embrace stupid choices


Lenora Critchlow

Picture: Nick Wall ( (HBO)

TV ReviewsAll of our TV critiques in a single handy place.

As Russell Watson sings in the worst Star Trek theme song ever, “it’s been a protracted highway, getting from there to right here.” In the beginning of the season, the great ship Avenue 5 was having fun with a peaceful, peaceable voyage via the celebrities — now, it’s wildly off beam, provides are in flux, and 11 individuals are useless, together with the seven who, final week, “silly[ed] themselves to dying.”

After all, the season finale of Armando Iannucci’s erratic area comedy resolves little or no, finally ending on an enormous cliffhanger that was positively relying on the present getting renewed for a second season. However to “Eight Arms However No Palms’s” credit score, it’s a good and fast-paced half-hour of tv, centered round two huge plot factors that spotlight the standard of the ensemble (if not the standard of the present itself).

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The primary huge impediment confronted by this motley crew is the disappearance of Matt, who’s traumatized after these Matt-enabled mass suicides of final week’s episode, and has thus modified the airlock codes and hidden himself away inside the ship. Matt modified the codes as a result of he doesn’t need anybody else to die — sadly, although, opening the airlocks is crucial to the group’s plan to jettison crap out of the again of the ship to shorten their journey dwelling.

“Eight Arms However No Palms”



“Eight Arms However No Palms”

Cut up up into groups to seek for Matt, some enjoyable dynamics emerge, together with Spike and Doug bro-ing out and debating nicknames (“Cobra” is probably one of many coolest nicknames ever). Nevertheless, as soon as Ryan and Judd stumble throughout Matt, that drawback rapidly will get resolved — Matt reveals that he modified the code to “0005,” which he figured anybody pondering rationally (and thus not suicidally) would guess.

One comparatively straightforward drawback solved results in the following huge situation, which is the arrival of Rav’s shuttle, which may solely return to Earth with two passengers — one thing she didn’t actually take into consideration earlier than hopping on board within the first place. It takes her a little bit of time to trace down the management (akin to it’s) on board, within the meantime attending to work together with a number of the passengers, who’re getting ready to jettison their belongings (although some sacrifices are greater than others… additionally, what sort of individual brings 9 guitars with him on a cruise?).

Rav’s goal in coming to Avenue 5 was to convey Judd again to take the autumn for the PR nightmare that her life has develop into, however as soon as the core forged finds out that there’s one obtainable ticket again to Earth, it turns into a farcical recreation of musical chairs, as a number of characters attempt to scramble on board.

Most notably, Jordan reveals himself to be an actual jerk, attempting a number of instances to get off the ship to pursue his potential dramatic appearing profession. It’s an trustworthy disappointment, given how he had cozied up earlier with Billie, who as possibly the perfect individual on board Avenue 5 deserves an understanding love curiosity, or on the very least not a man who critiques her giggle.

The final word decision is that Iris finally ends up trapped on board the shuttle because it begins its return to Earth — which is ridiculous, as her very particular model of abrasiveness made her one of many present’s most satisfying characters. (There’s definitely a protracted checklist of individuals I’d reasonably see depart the ship earlier than her, although in fact leaving the ship doesn’t essentially imply that Suzy Nakamura will depart the present.)

Zach Woods

Picture: Nick Wall ( (HBO)

In the meantime, the jettisoning of stuff goes as deliberate… however badly deliberate by Karen, who thought that it made sense to make use of the port-side airlocks as a result of there have been extra of them, fully misunderstanding the essential physics behind why the passengers and crew wanted to jettison stuff within the first place. Thus, as a substitute of their journey being shortened, the ship is wildly off beam.

And right here’s the place we get into the true situation with Avenue 5 as a present. At a number of factors on this episode — heck, a number of factors on this season — characters made dangerous choices for no different cause apart from stupidity. It stands in direct distinction to Veep, the place incompetency was positively an element, however most of the time the conflicts got here from characters being malicious or disagreeable, not dumb.

In the meantime, Rav selecting to depart Earth with out contemplating the occupancy of the shuttle, the truth that Ryan casually takes a seat on the shuttle again to Earth with a bag filled with Joe however wants a number of minutes to keep in mind that no, he can’t go, as a result of he’s nonetheless the one one who can save the ship, to not point out virtually actually every part that Judd has finished all season… These aren’t simply dangerous decisions, however irritating ones — as a result of on stability, it’s so way more enjoyable to look at a TV present the place the vast majority of the characters are as good, if not smarter, than the common viewer.

Now, Avenue 5 the ship is a projected eight years away from returning dwelling and there are not any apparent options for getting there. Theoretically, this lays the groundwork for a fair darker second season, however within the time earlier than then, it’s in all probability time to contemplate not simply what number of of those characters we hope truly survive.

Stray Observations

  • The MVP of the episode, even perhaps the season, is definitely Hugh Laurie, if just for the unbelievable octaves he’s able to hitting whereas shrieking “MATT!”
  • Neil Casey, as engineer Cyrus, is all the time a little bit creepy on display, however he is perhaps at Peak Creepy when holding a transparent plastic bag filled with physique components. (Contemplate this a little bit of free courting recommendation, Neil — keep away from doing that sooner or later.)
  • It’s bizarre to say that “Matt’s ideas are wonderful,” however Matt’s ideas are actually kinda wonderful. “Yearly, we go the pre-anniversary of our dying, however we don’t even realize it, so we don’t get presents.” “Poor octopus. Eight arms, however no palms. F—okay you, God.”
  • Did I miss this week’s extremely random celeb reference? Or was there none? That’s advantageous, I suppose — the Greta Gerwig true crime podcast thriller from final week’s episode greater than makes up for it.
  • Jordan could have revealed his worst qualities this week, however he did additionally ship his greatest zinger: “I don’t know in case you can cheer up a grieving individual with a joke. No less than, that’s what they mentioned at my son’s funeral.”
  • Annnnnd that’s a wrap on this season! Thanks a lot to The AV Membership for letting me take this on, Kate Kulzick, who started these recaps and Lisa Weidenfeld for filling in for me final week. And in addition, thanks at dwelling a lot for studying. Issues right here in the true world are positively scary proper now, however please keep in mind that they might be worse: You would be caught on a spaceship with Josh Gad.
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