Moonhaven S1E6: “The Seeker” (Season Finale)

Bella looks on with a furled brow in the Season 1 finale of Moonhaven, "The Seeker"
Courtesy of AMC+

The following contains spoilers for the Season 1 finale of Moonhaven, S1E6, “The Seeker” (written by Aalia Brown and directed by David Caffrey)

Moonhaven S1E6 (“The Seeker”) leaves way more unresolved than I ever would have expected. It’s one thing to leave room for a potential Season 2. It’s another to have me double-checking that what I just watched was indeed the season finale (as I did here, even though I have absolutely known it was a six-episode season from the start).

Mooners are flocking to the literal family tree, until Fritz is convinced to put up a forcefield to give them time to think about what they’re doing. Sonda learns that Tomm intends to kill the First Wave, and while Bella is able to get them a message through back channels that seems to have saved them, that’s as far as that story gets. Indira is actually working with Tomm and is also actually not the girl we thought she was during the flashbacks in “The Envoy” but rather the other girl in those scenes. She thinks they’re taking over the Moon and Tomm tells her to think bigger. What that means is anyone’s guess. And the question of what happened to Maite last week, who the “others” might be Loa set off seeking, what they might want (presuming they exist), and so on is completely unaddressed until the final scene of “The Seeker,” which sees Bella setting off like her mother did into Primo.

This thing might as well end with the words “To Be Continued…” on the screen.

And that’s fine, but I have trouble arguing that Moonhaven deserves a Season 2, as much as I do want to know what happens next. The openness of the season finale doesn’t feel bold so much as it feels like an attempt to trick execs into renewing the show. (And it seems to have worked.)

Bella and Tomm face off in the woods
Courtesy of AMC+

A good principle in writing about TV (or film) is to ask yourself what the show is trying to do and then think about how well it achieves that goal. Often when I find myself disappointed in something, I have to recognize it just wasn’t trying to be what I hoped it would be.

That is true with Moonhaven, as I hoped after the premiere that we were in store for a meaningful exploration of the human condition with substantial philosophical stakes. But by Episode 3 it became clear that instead this show was aiming to be a sci-fi romp with a silly premise where some people talk funny.

That’s OK, but even trying to take it on those terms Moonhaven‘s successfulness has been mixed at best. Too often the dialogue has devolved into characters saying what they are doing and why, which has flattened most of them out since their expressed motivations often don’t feel earned.

Indira looks on
Courtesy of AMC+

But if this has conditioned us to consider Moonhaven as a show you don’t really have to pay attention to all that closely, since the dialogue will tell you what’s happening, it’s odd that the most important moment in “The Seeker” is merely shown, with a cut back to Indira’s childhood and a shot of the scar on her wrist giving us the information that she was the traitor in that story and not the one betrayed.

Or if that’s not the most important moment, it’s at least the most powerful one in the episode, left for those of us who are paying close attention to what’s happening on our screens, though we’re also led to immediately start wondering about how this tracks with what we have seen of Indira over the course of the season.

I wish I could say it jibes well with her character in retrospect, but instead it all feels like a big twist for the sake of the plot. And again, that’s fine, but it’s also a little hard to be invested in the plot when there don’t seem to really be any “good guys” or hope of winning. Maybe Bella, Paul, Arlo et al. are the good guys, but they don’t know what they’re doing and their only hope hangs on something they (and we) know virtually nothing about.

Arlo lies in bed, recovering
Courtesy of AMC+

The plan to save the Earth through the colony on the Moon seems pretty wrecked, and like it was tainted from the start. Of course we still know very little about IO, but S1E6 really drives home the idea that bonds of blood are the big problem, as though there would just be no chance of the Mooners succeeding if they knew who they were related to.

I get the idea, but that may be putting too much weight on it, and it’s also no fun to consider that to be true, since I cannot imagine humanity at large ever going for the idea of not knowing their biological parents.

Paul runs away from a tree with lights on it
Courtesy of AMC+

Besides the openness of virtually all of the major plot points in Moonhaven coming out of Season 1, going into Season 2 the biggest questions center around the nature of IO, and of the others Loa was seeking. I could see these premises forming the foundation of a wild ride of a story that very well could be worth watching, so I suppose I hope we get that.

For the most part, the faults of Moonhaven could be smoothed out. The writing was clearly stronger at the beginning of the season than towards the end, for example. At the end of the day, if I’m assessing the show on the basis of how well it manages to be what it wants to be, the difficulty I run into is that I’m not sure Moonhaven quite knows what it wants to be.

Maybe it could become a better version of itself if it can figure that out.

Written by Caemeron Crain

Caemeron Crain is Executive Editor of TV Obsessive. He struggles with authority, including his own.

Caesar non est supra grammaticos

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