Warning: This article contains spoilers for the season finale of Genndy Tartakovsky’s Primal.
Last week, fans of Genndy Tartakovsky’s Primal, were treated to an unexpected season finale. The finale brought on the bookend to the show’s prehistoric star, Spear, as he gave the ultimate sacrifice for those he loved. While the finale led fans to wondering, Tartakovsky sat down with Entertainment Weekly to set a few things straight, as well as speak on what it could all mean for the future of the series.
For anybody that needs a recap, the final “Echoes of Eternity” starts off with a flashback. Spear dreams of a time when his tribe was attacked by a pack of sabertooth cats. After watching his father fall, the young Spear snaps and retaliates, resulting in him being crowned as the new leader. Mira wakes Spear as their boat reaches her homeland. As Mira is reunited with her tribe, Spear is feeling lost. The next day, the Chieftain who has been tailing them arrives at the village. Spear faces him head on, but with devastating results. His body is burned beyond repair. As a final act for him, Mira lays with the dying Spear as the camera pans up to his paintings on the wall. We cut to years later, Fang’s hatchlings are fully grown, and Mira is with them, as well as the daughter that resulted from that night. Fang is also with them, as Tartakovsky joked with Entertainment Weekly.
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“I think if I killed Fang, I would be hunted.”
Some viewers have expressed online that what led to Spear’s demise wasn’t quite so satisfying. After all, in season one the caveman outwitted zombie dinosaurs, a witch coven, vampire bat monsters, and even a giant spider. But Tartakovsky states that it was the finale to his previous show, Samurai Jack, that helped influence the ending to Spear’s story.
“After Samurai Jack and the way we ended the last season, I got a lot of flack for not giving Jack a happy ending. In my mind, he’s a samurai, that’s his lot in life. We can’t just all be happy. For this, going into it, I had an idea of where I wanted it to go. The whole scope of the series is about [Spear’s] evolution. He’s kind of like the last caveman, the last Neanderthal. So his evolution, in a way, is continuing his family.He’s facing this villain that’s supernatural powered. It’s not just a creature. It’s something that’s beyond man. I felt like if they beat them, it’s not right. So why not go out in a blaze of glory? He’s doing everything to protect his family, like usual, but it’s too much. You want it to be realistic, even though this is the most unrealistic show ever made. You want it to be believable character-wise. To continue on with his daughter felt like the right thing.”
Going Out Like a Caveman
Tartakovsky later stated that the cave painting scene in the finale played a major role in Spear’s closure. For the team, it was a way to show that Spear was contemplating his existence, wondering where his place is in this world that is moving on beyond him. It also helps bring the audience back to that first episode where he initially lost his family. Tartakovsky also stated that his own daughter, Lilah Tartakovsky, voiced the final war cry of Spear and Mira’s daughter. Entertainment Weekly asked if this means that future episodes of Primal would focus on her, but Tartakovsky says he has other ideas.
“I see it ending. [laughs] I don’t want to do this story further. I feel like this season we’ve done it all, in a way. I want it to almost become an anthology show, where season 3 would still be called Primal, but with a different subheading. Low-dialogue, high-emotion, survival, rawness, visual storytelling: All that stuff, but with different characters. There’s more things I want to do with Primal, not necessarily Spear and Fang. Maybe if there’s a giant outcry, we’ll continue the story with his daughter and Mira and the dinosaurs. I’d have to really think about it.”
Tartakovsky did experiment a bit on Primal as an anthology with the episode “The Primal Theory,” which featured a completely independent story from Spear, Fang, and Mira. Tartakovsky confirmed that the episode is “Absolutely not in the future” and that the episode’s theme is “for sure connected’ to Spear and Fang. While the dust is settling for Primal, Tartakovsky is hard at work on his next project, Unicorn: Warriors Eternal, and then a rated R animated comedy called Fixed for New Line Cinemas. After that he says he will be starting development for season three of Primal.
“I have an idea that I’m really excited about, one idea that’s rising to the top. After doing five seasons of Samurai Jack, two seasons of Primal, all the Clone Wars that we did, I’ve done so much battles and action. If I was going to do it again, what would I do? How can I make it interesting to me and the audience, so it’s not just a repeat of what I’ve done? That’s why I was so excited about Primal. I haven’t done caveman style fighting. He’s got no skills, it’s just rawness. To choreograph fights like that was really fun. Pushing it into a season 3 of Primal, if it gets there, what’s different? What can I do that I haven’t done?”
The first two seasons of Primal can be viewed in full on HBO Max.