Solar Opposites season 1, episode 2 recap – “The Unstable Grey Hole” Neighborhood Watch

May 9, 2020
Jonathon Wilson 0
Hulu, TV Recaps
4

Summary

“The Unstable Grey Hole” makes for a great second episode packed with plot, gags, and escalating chaos.

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4

Summary

“The Unstable Grey Hole” makes for a great second episode packed with plot, gags, and escalating chaos.

This recap of Solar Opposites season 1, episode 2, “The Unstable Grey Hole”, contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.

Check out the spoiler-free season review.

Check out the episode guide.


In my recap of the pilot episode, I said that Solar Opposites knows what it’s doing; “The Unstable Grey Hole” more than proves it with an episode absolutely stuffed with plot that also manages to find a pretty admirable balance of escalating chaos, narrative continuity, funny gags, and sci-fi silliness. It’s a much better example of what the show is going to be like to such an extent that I’m surprised the season didn’t open with it.

Even though it’s divided up between two different story strands again, Solar Opposites Episode 2 keeps both threads thematically unified. They’re both about prevailing anti-alien sentiment and about trying to convince the local populace that aliens aren’t to be mistrusted by… completely violating their trust. Korvo and Terry set about harvesting personal data on the neighbors by putting nanobots in the water supply, while Jesse uses mind-control to try and make people be nice to Yumyulack so he isn’t so keen to house miniaturized versions of them in his terrarium. Needless to say, neither plan goes well.

The similarities are clear, and “The Unstable Grey Hole” muddies the waters by making the aliens largely guilty of the things that people are suspicious about them doing. The anti-bigotry angle doesn’t feel preachy as a result and instead leans into laidback silliness that makes some points without really caring whether or not you or the characters take them on board. Yes, some humans are awful, and yes, it’s unethical to horde peoples’ personal information without their consent, and yes, the pupa gets its own story just because.

I know I said I’d try not to mention Rick and Morty, but an entire subplot and series of visual gags spinning out of Korvo’s offhanded warning that the nanobots might become sentient if they’re too clumped up is so Rick and Morty that the comparison makes itself. But it’s a testament to the show’s writing that even as this ridiculous idea develops way beyond the point of absurdity, it’s still easy to keep track of both it and everything else that’s going on. Solar Opposites Season 1, Episode 2 is stuffed without being overstuffed, which is a delicate balance to achieve.

With the late development that Yumyulack’s collection of shrunken humans are becoming self-sufficient, “The Unstable Grey Hole” promises a bit more serialization that will certainly be welcome. But the rest of it is a really assured example of all the things this show gets just right – and more importantly, how well it can get them right without feeling like a pale imitation.


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