“The Quantum Ring” sends up Now You See Me and The Prestige while also naturally introducing a promising subplot.
This recap of Solar Opposites Season 1, Episode 3, “The Quantum Ring”, contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.
Solar Opposites Episode 3 makes a point of switching up the usual arrangement of characters, promoting Korvo to the front and center of a story that revolves around him, while Terry, Jesse, and Yumyulack are on-hand mostly to react to his endeavors. Those endeavors in “The Quantum Ring” are becoming a famous magician, sending up Now You See Me and The Prestige with a healthy helping of sci-fi silliness.
You’ll notice that Solar Opposites does this a lot – rather than indulging in high-concept time and space-bending plots, it peppers relatively mundane terrestrial stories with sci-fi embellishments. That makes for some good gags but it’s most useful in emphasizing the differences between the aliens and their human neighbors – especially since Yumyulack’s terrarium continues to make for an on-going subplot. It’s a nice blend of serialization and daft episode-specific shenanigans, and while the show has always riffed on pop-culture, in “The Quantum Ring” the references in both Korvo’s attempts to be a magician and the vaguely dystopian goings-on in the terrarium feel a lot more specific and obvious.
Since that magician stuff occupies so much of Solar Opposites Season 1, Episode 3, it’s easy to forget how naturally and deftly the show has incorporated an entire recurring subplot and stocked it with really exceptional voice actors. It might be crass and daft, but there’s a sophistication at play in the writing here that deserves a significant amount of credit.
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Jonathon is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has been Senior Editor and Chief Critic of the outlet since 2017.