Solar Opposites season 1, episode 5 recap – “The Lavatic Reactor” Back to School

May 10, 2020
Jonathon Wilson 0
Hulu, TV Recaps
3.5

Summary

The aliens head back to school in “The Lavatic Reactor” as matters in the wall terrarium get serious.

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3.5

Summary

The aliens head back to school in “The Lavatic Reactor” as matters in the wall terrarium get serious.

This recap of Solar Opposites season 1, episode 5, “The Lavatic Reactor”, contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.

Check out our spoiler-free season review.

Check out the episode guide.


Since we mostly forgot about the dystopian terrarium world in the last episode, Solar Opposites Episode 5 tokenistically reminds us of it with a subplot in which Tim and his allies try to steal from the Duke, the wall kingdom’s kind of immoral Mr. Big. Little is made of it in “The Lavatic Reactor”, and it feels like a slight addition, but I mention it here because it’ll doubtlessly be important in the next three episodes.

Of more immediate import here is Terry and Korvo enrolling in junior college in a misguided attempt to emulate college party movies which, of course, gets weirder and more life-threatening as it goes along. It also features easily the best gag of the episode, which sees Korvo turned stupid by a “dumb ray”.

The B-plot in Solar Opposites Episode 5 – also education-themed – is Jesse and Yumyulack attending school during summer break because they can’t fathom the concept of time off. In the absence of teachers and classmates, they begin to tutor each other, mostly in second-hand info gleaned from popular media, and it’s a great excuse to send up a ton of classics and include a boatload of references. But it also includes the weakest recurring gag of both “The Lavatic Reactor” and indeed the entire season, which sees the ***** principal and an equally ***** teacher getting frisky on school grounds.  

That joke – such as it’s even a joke at all, really – is actually quite symptomatic of the few ways in which Solar Opposites tends to miss the mark with its humor sometimes; it’s a bit too wannabe edgy without any bite behind it. The show’s best gags always incorporate some kind of point, and that one doesn’t, which is why it stands out as being weaker material. That it takes up a fair amount of space here brings the episode down somewhat, though there’s still plenty to enjoy.


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