Spoilers for the final season of Amphibia.
And just like that…Amphibia is over.
There’s a lot about the show that I really like and appreciate – the representation of Thai culture, the strong, well-rounded, and interesting female characters, and the fact that there’s very little romance (which is rare for a show featuring a female protagonist), the humor…and there’s a lot I’m lukewarm towards – the show’s pacing, the number of episodes that feel more like filler…
And those issues are pretty prevalent in the show’s third and final season.
In the end, everything pretty much came together in a satisfying way.
Back on Earth – Anne and the Plantars have to figure out a way to get back to Amphibia, find Sasha and Marcy, and stop King Andreas before he can invade Earth. It’s not like Anne just watched one of her best friends die. Or that she has weird powers she can’t control…
Shenanigans ensue while the heroes attempt to blend in and discover the mystery behind the Calamity Box. Meanwhile, in Amphibia – Sasha leads a rebellion against the newts and Andreas has some pretty sinister plans for Marcy.
The adventures on Earth were cute. I liked how the showrunners took this time to really explore Anne’s connection with her Thai background. After being in Amphibia for so long, and maturing as a person – it’s interesting to see her take on a new appreciation for her culture.
The fact that we don’t know what’s going on in Amphibia, aside from a few scenes and even fewer episodes focusing on the events there in the first half of the season, really heightens the tension.
Darcy – as in Dark Marcy – is the combination of Marcy’s body and the Core, a consciousness made up of the greatest minds that Amphibia has to offer. Andrias is merely their servant. I wish we got to see more of her – it’s an interesting concept and I don’t think we got to see near enough of them.
The three-part finale really bought everything together.
The fight between Anne and Andrias on Earth? I loved it. The animation was fluid, dynamic, and interesting. The fact that they used K-Pop? Awesome. It fit in so well with Anne’s personality.
And the fact that the final villain is the goddamn MOON?! Didn’t see that coming.
Of course, the finale was full of emotional moments that made me sob. I was right about Anne sacrificing herself but coming back to life – though for a moment they had me. I did think they were gonna keep her dead but it’s Disney who was I kidding?
It still felt meaningful though – as Anne understood completely what she was doing. And she has come so far since the beginning. Same with Sprig and Polly and Sasha and Marcy at the end of everything.
The pacing of this season is off to me. It feels like, at times, there’s a lack of urgency for our heroes.
I know they needed to show the Plantars learning about Earth. But I feel like a whole episode of the Plantars getting confused by Christmas was overkill.
That’s a personal gripe. I just don’t think every single show needs a Christmas special. Except maybe Infinity Train because apparently that was one of the plans for a later book and I really just want to know how that would work.
Was it really necessary to have a subplot with a guy running a Thai food truck outside Anne’s parents’ restaurant for an episode? Did we need to designate an episode bringing together pretty much every group the heroes ran into in Amphibia to create a rebellion?
Combining some of these concepts with each other may have been better. I get why they had these episodes. To tie up loose ends. I just don’t think we needed as many episodes focusing on it as we had.
And while the final fights were interesting, I’m disappointed with how the fights against Darcy and Andrias went down. It was seemingly implied that Marcy’s clumsiness was going to be Darcy’s downfall.
Also – I felt like we’re still missing huge chunks of Sasha and Marcy’s backstories – we don’t learn much of anything about their family lives. Sasha and Marcy were supposedly the “leaders” and convinced Anne to break rules.
The idea that Marcy and Sasha were both toxic doesn’t have a lot of support in-universe to me. According to a tweet from the creator, Matt Braley, Marcy and Sasha both thought Anne was a bit of a “goody-goody” so they had her steal the Calamity Box.
But the only other place Marcy’s influence is mentioned is during the three-part finale…It’s just not very prevalent in the test.
I wish we got more about Andrias and his relationship with Lief and Barrell than what we got. It would have been great to see more of them together, and that we got to see more of the Calamity Box ended up on Earth and just…how it came to be in the hands of the antique store.
(Maybe in a spin-off comic?)
But in the end, most of these are pretty minor gripes. The season was still interesting, the characters grew and the ending really worked.
The Hardest Thing
“The Hardest Thing” is easily one of the best-animated finales I’ve seen.
Long story short, Anne sacrifices herself to stop the core – but gets bought back to life by the ‘guardian’ of the gems. Well, technically, a copy of her. Anne’s body literally disintegrated but for all intents and purposes, it’s Anne just with a little more trauma.
The trio gets to say their goodbyes – and using the last bit of magic in the shards, the girls return home. And the box crumbles into nothingness. We get a flashforward to a few years later in Wartwood – to a dedication ceremony for a statue of Anne with a more mature Sprig and Polly.
And then we flash forward to Anne’s 23rd birthday on Earth. The girls have grown apart – Marcy still moved away…Sasha and Anne drifted apart in high school but they’re still friends.
I like how each one of them has clearly been influenced by their time in Amphibia and ended up in professions that I never would have expected: Marcy is creating a webcomic, Sasha is a child psychologist, and Anne?
She’s a herpetologist, teaching kids about amphibians.
And she’s named one of the frogs, Sprig.
Even after all that time, she remembers him and still cares deeply for him. Though it’s likely she’ll never see the Plantars again.
I’m surprised that they took that route. Usually, a show like this would end with the two making contact through a portal at the end; showing that nothing will keep these friends apart. But…honestly?
I think that would ruin the lessons and message. Change is difficult. It’s scary but it’s how people grow. You have to learn that sometimes, people leave. Like how Marcy has to leave her friends; like how Anne has to leave Sprig…
It’s sad – but she found a way to stay connected with her amphibious family. And there’s always the possibility, that when she passes on, she’ll become the guardian of the gems. So somehow she might be able to her Plantar family again.
It’s quick, intense, and highly emotional. While I wish we had more answers about certain aspects, it’s still a wonderfully crafted finale. I love it.
I loved that we were able to see all the girls use their Calamity powers together to defeat the Core. After having so much of their time in the show spent apart, it was great to see them actually work together and defend the land they all grew to love.
And I expected them to grow apart after their time in Amphibia – but it’s nice to see how they still talk to and see each other when it matters. It’s nice to see a friendship played out realistically – most of us DON’T remain close to the same people we were friends with in school.
And maybe we get together once in a while. Maybe we don’t. But that doesn’t change the impact they had on you.
I’m glad we got to see that.
While I totally understand that fans want to see the gang return to Amphibia – I kind of hope, they don’t. I want them to see their friends again – but I think there’s a poignancy in not being able to go back
And that’s the scoop!
Length: 31 episodes
Creator/Executive Producer: Matt Braly
Producers: Jack Ferraiolo, Tara Badawy
Directors: Derek Kirk Kim, Bert Youn, Kim Roberson (supervising), Ian Worrel (art)
Voice Actors: Brenda Song, Justin Felbinger, Bill Farmer, Amanda Leighton