A picture of Gary Lightspeed and Mooncake over photo of the outer space to represent - Final Space: A Mother's Love

Final Space: A Mother’s Love

I first got the inspiration for writing my previous article, ‘Words That Stay With You Forever‘, after watching an episode of Final Space. Although it wasn’t until I wrote ‘Terror Management Theory‘ that I decided to actually follow through and write it. Upon writing ‘Words That Stay With You Forever‘, I decided to create this article about Final Space, as I love the show, and thought it would be suited to coincide with Mother’s Day in the US.


But before we get started about the Mother’s Love part of this article, let’s first let me quickly sum up the show, in case you’ve not seen Final Space before.



Final Space Season 1: Summary


The show starts by following Gary in his final days of working off a five-year prison sentence on the Galaxy One. Where the scene is set to follow the boisterous and inept intergalactic astronaut adventures of Gary Goodspeed and Mooncake, as they try to solve the mystery of “Final Space”.


Gary meets and befriends a creature named Mooncake, who is capable of destroying planets and opening a gateway to a place called Final Space. Due to how powerful Mooncake is, an evil leader known as the Lord Commander wants to capture Mooncake in order to use his power. This puts Gary, Mooncake, and his ragtag crew on a crash course to try to save the universe.




Gary And Sheryl Lightspeed


The main plot of Final Space is to find out the secrets of Final Space and to save the universe. However, in addition to that, the show has an important subplot involving Gary’s estranged mother, Sheryl Lightspeed, which comes to the surface as they introduce her in season 2.


Gary’s relationship with his mum (Sheryl) isn’t a good one. His mum used to belong to a rival faction of the Infinity Guard, to which his dad belonged. She was assigned by her superior to seduce John Goodspeed (dad) but ended up falling in love with him and getting pregnant. Everything eventually fell apart when John found out Sheryl was a spy. Then, after John’s death, Gary’s mum completely abandons Gary.


The inspiration for this article, along with a depressive thought about the relationship I have with my mum, was triggered by a scene from series 2 episode 10 of Final Space. You can see below as I cut the scene for my readers, so you could see her say, “I wish you were never born”.



My mum said something similar to that to me when I was 14. She told me I’d ruined her life by being born. Which, if you’ve read ‘Terror Management Theory‘, you’d already have been aware of.


I wanted to quit a martial arts class because it hadn’t helped me when I got jumped by three people at school. This experience had really done a number on my state of mind and would be an event I’d struggle with for almost a decade. Although I probably still do suffer from it a little even now.


But my mum, being my mum, was oblivious to my emotional and psychological needs, and thus, when I told her I was going to quit, she turned around, crying, and told me that I’d ruined her life by being born.


Her excuse for saying that was that she wouldn’t get to hang around with the other parents while I attended the class. But if she hadn’t isolated and pushed everyone away with her religious views (as I mentioned in Terror Management Theory), she would have friends and people who would be willing to spend time with her, instead of relying on this one class to interact with people her own age.


My mum and I don’t have the best relationship, largely due to her lack of empathy, but also because of the bigoted views, views she holds due to her faith. So I’ve never had a familial bond with my mum, I’ve always seen myself as a lodger, rather than her son when I lived with her, and I’ve always explained it to others as such.


I knew my mum meant what she said to me that night because she never cared about my emotional and psychological wellbeing. She lacks empathy. But because I’ve lived with her being that way all my life, there was never a parental bond between us to be damaged by that stage, so I didn’t care. As such, when she told me that I “ruined her life by being born”, I simply told her, “It’s not my fault you had unprotected sex”.


My relationship with my mother is bad, and even though Gary and I have heard similar comments from our respective mothers about wishing we didn’t exist, it’s safe to say our relationship isn’t as bad as Gary’s relationship with his mum.


Sheryl is a constant thorn in the side of Gary’s attempts to save the universe. All because she loves Gary’s father, to the point that she is willing to risk everyone and everything else, including Gary, for a chance to bring him back by collecting the dimensional keys.


There’s an interesting dynamic between the characters, and the tension between them is palpable. What’s most striking about their relationship is the way that it doesn’t reach an easy reconciliation. The writers aren’t afraid to explore the more difficult side of broken family relationships and to leave questions unanswered and resolutions hanging. In many ways, the series is about wrestling the evil within just as much as it is about the insurmountable monsters.


Gary wants to connect and believe in his mother, but throughout, his mum shows no interest in their relationship.


At the core of your life, the very people who should be making you feel good about yourself are doing the opposite. It is wrong of your parents to say those things: that is not good parenting, and just because your parents are saying it, doesn’t make it the truth. I’m sorry they are like this, but they must be very unhappy with themselves.

Annalisa Barbieri


This quote is right on the money. My mum was depressed my entire childhood, and I took the brunt of it when she couldn’t cope; when she snapped. Unfortunately for Gary, he has a worse relationship with his mother than I do, as she clearly doesn’t care if he lives or dies during their encounters throughout the show. She blames Gary, even though he clearly didn’t do anything wrong.


It makes me wonder what kind of attachment issues Gary might have due to us both being told by our mothers that they wished we’d never been born. It was one factor in my development of borderline personality disorder, so I wonder if the show will explore any long-term psychological problems due to this for Gary. It would certainly make for an interesting addition to his character development.




Other Family Dynamics


Final Space has a number of family relationships going on. It’s not just Gary and his mother, Sheryl. There’s also an interesting dynamic between Avocato and Gary in season 1, which then leads to a surrogate father relationship between Gary and Avocato‘s son, Little Cato, in season 2, when tragedy strikes.


The Lord Commander, the big bad in the first season, tested the loyalty Avocato and his other generals. He did this by ordering them to kill their firstborn children: Avocato refused. Avocato was stripped of his rank and forced to be a bounty hunter. When the Lord Commander did this, he also took Little Cato hostage to ensure Avocato would obey his orders.


Little Cato was separated from his father for years, due to being held hostage, and longed to be reunited with his father. But the fatherly relationship he wanted with his father, he ended up getting from Gary. Watching the growth of Little Cato and the bond developing between him and Gary made for an interesting second take by the writer on parental figures and family.


Although Gary never got the close relationship he’s been longing for with his mother, he was able to be there for Little Cato, who was looking for a relationship with his father, but which had been denied him.


A picture of Gary Lightspeed and Mooncake over photo of the outer space to represent - Final Space: A Mother's Love


The weird parental relationships didn’t stop there. There was another one thrown into the mix that defined season 2. That relationship involved Clarence and his adopted children, Fox and Ash.


When Final Space returned for season 2, the show picked up with Clarence rescuing Gary, Little Cato, and H.U.E. after finding them floating in space after their battle with the evil forces of the Lord Commander. Saving them came with a catch, however, Clarence declares them his property. This is when we’re introduced to his adopted children, Fox and Ash.


However, all is not well with this adoptive family and new crewmates. Clarence creates a fake holiday, Carnivolo, in order to get praise. But when his two children, Ash and Fox, fail to give him the praise he wants, he disowns them. This leads to a situation where Clarence’s true colours are revealed when he allies himself with Sheryl Goodspeed.


I won’t go into too much detail about this dysfunctional adoptive family, as I don’t want to give too much away about season 2, in case you haven’t watched it yet. I believe it’s still available to watch on Netflix.




Review Of Final Space


There’s a lot going on in Final Space that relates to what makes a family, which, for me at least, makes this awesome show even more interesting to watch.


The characters are interesting and funny, as are their efforts to try to save the universe. Most animated shows might have just stuck with the main plot of a group of misfits trying to save the universe, but this show adds an interesting and complex subplot of family dynamics that reminds me of my article ‘What Is Romantic Love?‘. That’s because the concept of unconditional love is explored quite uniquely here. Sheryl will do anything to bring back her lover, Gary’s father, but at the same time, she has no love for her son.


The fact that Gary lost his father at a young age and his mother abandoned him, didn’t stop Gary from being able to form strong bonds with Avocato, and then Little Cato, as well as with Mooncake, is a testament to Gary’s resilience as a person. It also makes for a great show.


I really love Final Space, with its complicated family and relationship dynamics, mixed in with saving the universe and its general weirdness to keep you smiling. You can easily go from laughing one second to feeling like your heartstrings are being tugged on. Thus, I’d highly recommend watching this show, which is why I give it:


4 star review


I can’t wait for season 3 to be released to see what’s next for the crew on Final Space.


As always, leave your feedback in the comments section below. Also, feel free to share your experiences with your parents and the hurtful things they say, as well as your thoughts on the show in the comments section below as well. If you want to stay up-to-date with my blog, then sign up for my newsletter below. Alternatively, get push notifications for new articles by clicking the red bell icon in the bottom right corner.


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33 thoughts on “Final Space: A Mother’s Love

  1. I love your raw, genuine writing – it takes great bravery to write about ones life and hardships. You do so with such talent. I’m so so sorry about your mum’s words – such harsh words that should never be said to anyway. I’m so glad you’ve risen above them, as it’s clear from your introspective writing you have on a real level.

  2. You write with such feeling, on subjects that must be so difficult. I really admire that, and then you intertwine it with a post about a TV show is really good.

  3. I love Final Space! It’s such a great show. I’ve never really considered the family dynamics of all the characters though, and hadn’t realised how much of it resonated with me – like you I have a strained relationship with my mum.
    Thanks for sharing!

  4. I love how you go through more of the family dynamics then the plot lines! I have watched some movies that are funny, but sometimes I come away feeling a little shaken up be careless references to abuse or unhealthy relationships, and do not like it.

    One of the better sides to shows and films are the parallels we can draw between them and our lives!
    Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  5. You have written the post wholeheartedly. I liked it. Mother was little harsh I think. But it’s good. Have a great day ❣️❣️❣️

  6. You write so beautifully I really felt this post down in my soul, I’m very sorry about your relationship with your mother. I also really enjoy final space, such a great show! I also can’t wait for season 3! Thank you for sharing!

  7. You have a way with words that is very moving. I admire that you are able to write about such personal things. I’m sorry about your relationship with your mom. I haven’t seen final space but am curious to check it out now. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  8. I’ve never heard of this show before, but it sounds like it incorporates a lot of complex family relationships. While I’m sorry that you’ve dealt with that in your life – I think that this post highlighting these relationships could REALLY help those who may be trying to navigate these situations right now. Thank you for sharing!

  9. This is a fascinating post from start to finish – between the show, your experiences and the reflection it provokes. I know it doesn’t change anything but I’m truly sorry to read about your relationship with your mother – but like in the case of Avocato, it doesn’t have to stop you from having really positive relationships with others. The blood of the covenant and all that.

    I’ve always had an incredible relationship with my mum but it’s changed over the past couple of years – nothing drastic, but enough. After reading this post I’ve realised that I can try to address some of the comments she makes and iron out these issues. Thank you for sharing this.

  10. I have heard similar stories of people’s mothers. It is a shame when a parent cannot appreciate the gift they’ve been given.

  11. I haven’t seen the final space before but I can see how it can be related to real life stories and I’m sorry about reading about your story.

  12. I would take up your whole page if I started listing the awful things said to me as a child. Instead, I make sure I never say those things to my own kids and I am very honest with them about how I grew up, how it affected me, and how much I cherish them as a result.

  13. we are all such walking wounded, its amazing that two people manage to meet and claim to fall in love when it seems like so many people don’t even know what love is. it seems sheryl does not know what love is, or she has a serious mental illness, or perhaps she never knew what love was due to her own upbringing: the fact that she cares more about bringing back the father than caring for her son could mean she was abused or neglected as a child by one or both of her parents.

    i’m sorry you feel like you weren’t wanted, that your mother told you that, that you had to hear those words from the person who gave you life. i know the feeling, as i was put up for adoption at the age of 5 months after being abused by the woman who gave me life. she was a residential school survivor though, starved and beaten and belittled from the age of 6 til about 18. i spoke to her once when i was 21 or 22, and asked if she regretted having me, she replied that she never thought about me and that i had been a selfish baby because i cried and wanted to be fed*. but by far the worst thing a “parent” ever said to me was my adoptive father telling me at the age of 14 that i was the ugliest baby he had ever seen, that i was so ugly he had not wanted to adopt me, and that he almost didnt get on the plane to come pick me up, but that his wife (my adoptive mother) made him. he told the story in front of his new family after i saw my half-sister for the first time and said she was beautiful, someone in the family said all babies were beautiful, that was when my adoptive father raised his hand, stretched out his index finger towards me and said “not tam” and told the rest of the story.

    needless to say, it has left its’ scars and while i thought i had it all under control for the most part with my own daughter, whom i love more than life itself, we had the best relationship i thought until a few years ago, when she was 16 and the ptsd attacks started rearing their heads and i can safely say that i have become the worst parent i could have ever imagined. in the midst of my ptsd attacks i have no idea what is real and it feels like everyone wants to kill me as that is how i felt with my parents, i even handed my daughter a baseball bat earlier this year and accused her of being in line with all of them and begged her to kill me. just last week i accused her of being like my adoptive father and being a narcissist and told her to get the fuck out of my house, and i am not one to cuss in general, and never at someone. but during my attacks i can barely see straight and have no idea what is real, it just feels like everyone wants me dead and i lash out trying to stay alive or i sit and cry and sob and wonder why i’ve been treated so poorly all my life by people.

    i have hurt the one person i ever felt truly loved by, the one person i never wanted to hurt. i feel i have been way more mean to her than anyone ever was to me and i have to live with it. she knows of the ptsd, as like brooke said on may 2, i have been completely honest with my child about my upbringing, unfortunately i had no idea the depth and breadth of what it was doing to me as the attacks have morphed and become more severe over the past year.

    my point to all of this is that as a parent, i’m just sorry for the pain we pass on to our kids. i’m sorry we don’t have it all together like we want, i’m sorry for not being able to control the things that come out of our mouths sometimes. i’m sorry we cant say sorry without offering excuses. there are no excuses. we have failed to be better than our own parents and that is the goal.

    i hope your mother can appreciate what an incredible writer and thinker you are. and if not, this mother does. thank you for sharing.

    [* i only found out about how she was at one of the worst residential schools in canada (st annes) where the priests/nuns would feast on good food while starving the first nations kids, so it made sense to me why she said that. ]

    • [*oof, i meant to say that i only found out a few years ago about the residential school she was at and what they did to the kids]

    • I’m sorry your biological mother said what she said to you and that your stepdad also said hurtful things. Those were terrible things to hear.

      Thank you for sharing your story, and I’m sure your daughter understands due to you being open with her about your issues. I hope you’re receiving treatment for your PTSD, because you deserve to live a better quality of life. It’s also never too late to make amends

  14. further to my comment, i hope its clear that i think the goal is to be better than our own parents, to break the cycles, too many parents think they know it all and that their kids should be exactly like them… all of my parents have shown that this is bunk, we are constantly evolving and we should be so that we can stop passing on the pain of our childhood traumas

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