“Terry and Korvo Steal A Bear” changes focus completely in a daring and different penultimate episode.
This recap of Solar Opposites season 1, episode 7, “Terry and Korvo Steal A Bear”, contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.
Despite the title of Solar Opposites Episode 7, whether or not Terry and Korvo steal a bear is largely irrelevant; that’s purely background happenings in an episode that is otherwise focused entirely on the citizens of Yumyulack’s terrarium full of shrunken humans, which has throughout the season evolved into a dystopian society ruled over by a corrupt leader. We haven’t visited there for a while, so the fact that, so late in the season, an entire episode is devoted to the wall people feels like a payoff for all the throwaway scenes that have been set there. If it doesn’t make for the show’s best episode, it at least makes for its most distinct.
“Terry and Korvo Steal a Bear” makes a point in the opening sequence that it’s not your usual alien outing, and that’s a sentiment which is continually followed through on. In keeping with the show’s tradition of taking an arch sitcom setup and warping it beyond all recognition, Solar Opposites Episode 7 does the same thing with a broader, more dramatic framework of a grassroots rebellion gradually developing enough to overthrow the Duke – who, it’s worth mentioning, is played exquisitely by Alfred Molina, just one of many big-name cast members who also include Andrew Daly as resistance leader Tim and Christina Hendricks as Cherie.
This isn’t as funny as usual, but that’s not a knock against the episode because it isn’t supposed to be. It’s a riff on more dramatic fare that impressively mimics the structure and tropes of that stuff to really enjoyable effect, especially since it affords what seem like inconsequential secondary characters their own little arcs and moments to shine. It also does a bang-up job of giving the terrarium a sense of recognizable logic and hierarchy; as the rebellion develops, you can totally understand how and why it’s happening, which is pretty integral in us getting behind a whole bunch of unfamiliar characters in a largely unfamiliar setting.
Solar Opposites Season 1, Episode 7 is a stand-out episode quite unlike any of the others but possessed of the same smarts. It’s well-written and does an admirable job of switching up the formula so late in the game. More importantly, it proves that the show isn’t shy about taking risks. And you can’t say that about many TV shows these days, can you?
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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.