'Solar Opposites': Korvo's 10 Most Absurd Gadgets – Collider

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It doesn’t get any weirder than this.
The highly anticipated 4th season of Hulu's animated sci-fi sitcom Solar Opposites drops in less than a month. Centering on a dysfunctional but surprisingly loving family of aliens living in the US suburbs, Solar Opposites is home to a host of wild science fiction adventures.
As the resident scientist and team-leader of the family, Korvo (Dan Stevens, formerly Justin Roiland) is the creator and owner of a plethora of hilariously implausible gadgets from shockingly specific ray guns to the hovering platform he insists on using to travel. Although the Solar Opposites try to use their advanced technology in their favor to avoid the difficulties they encounter on Earth, much of the show's comedy is derived from the absurd situations that these devices themselves cause.
Horrified by how 'basic' the Red Goobler's fiancée Jen (Casey Wilson) is, Korvo instructs Terry (Thomas Middleditch) to shoot her with the 'Rad Awesome Terrific Ray'. However, Korvo unsurprisingly has an extensive collection of confusingly labeled alphabetized ray guns and Terry unsurprisingly cannot read. Confusing the 'Rat Ray' for the 'R.A.T. Ray', Terry instead turns Jen into a rat.
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Not only is the concept of a designated Rat Ray ridiculous, Terry mistaking it for Korvo's even more bizarre 'Rad Awesome Terrific Ray' showcases both characters' flaws perfectly. Korvo is too dedicated to high concept technology for his own good and Terry's slacker personality often throws the whole family into chaos, leading to hilarious results.
When Terry's responsibility shirking becomes too much for Korvo in Solar Opposites, season 2, episode 3, "The Lake House Device", he comes up with a conniving plan to motivate him. Using a device modeled after the magical mailbox from The Lake House, Korvo sends letters to past Terry on Planet Shlorp insisting that laziness will make his blood turn into bats.
In line with Terry's usual cluelessness, he is unquestioningly trusting of this information. However, when Korvo pushes it too far, he drastically alters Terry's personality and causes him to go into a murderous rage. Causing the usually cheerful Terry to become so violent and aggressive cements Korvo's use of the Lake House Device as one of his worst executed plans utilizing one of his most unique gadgets.
In Solar Opposites, season 1, episode 5, "The Lavatic Reactor" it is revealed that among Korvo's plethora of ray guns is the Dumb Ray – an IQ lowering gun intended for "emergencies" when the family are "overthinking things". However, frustrated by Korvo's studiousness, Terry zaps him numerous times with the ray so the two of them can slack off and party together.
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Dumb Korvo's antics end up having disastrous consequences, blasting a hole through a moon and freezing party guests with the ship's supply of ice lava. As frustrating as Korvo's straight laced attitude can be for Terry, the results of the Dumb Ray show how crucial his intelligence can be.
In Solar Opposites, season 2, episode 5, "The Rad Awesome Terrific Ray", every member of the family has learned a lesson except Terry. Korvo instructs the replicants to hand him the 'Lessonalyzer' – a helmet that delivers a life lesson directly into the user's brain.
While Solar Opposites' dramatic 'The Wall' subplot stylistically skewers high concept action cinema, the show's A-plot remains a satire of classic sitcoms. In line with this, the characters themselves are consistently searching for lessons to neatly resolve their narrative arcs. The Lessonalyzer device is a classically Solar Opposites way to parody preachy moral conclusions and the hilariously garish tie-in website at https://www.thesolaropposites.com/lessonalyzer/ is delightful.
The first time the series properly explores Planet Shlorp is in Solar Opposites, season 1, episode 8, "The Retrace-Your-Step-Alizer". Using a device consisting of special sneakers and a portal, Terry and Korvo travel back in time to their past in order to retrieve a wallet, but inadvertently change the future and bring a Shlorpian they hate called Vanbo (Jason Mantsoukis) into their home.
Exploring Shlorp is a lot of fun and explains details about both characters' backstories and personalities. As absurd as the magical sneakers are, however, the eventual reveal that the entire story has taken place in Jesse's Pretend-O-Deck is brilliantly even more so.
In Solar Opposites, season 3, episode 2, "Edamame Duffle Bag", Korvo becomes frustrated at Terry for trying to get involved in all of his hobbies. The final straw comes when Terry one-ups Korvo's model train set, prompting Korvo to turn the entire town, including himself, into pieces of a lifesize train set with his train ray.
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Finally, Terry deescalates Korvo's rampage by earnestly confessing that he just wanted to spend time together out of love. Terry and Korvo's dysfunctional marriage/mission partnership is often at the core of episodes' conflict, but watching this sincere argument occur while Korvo is in the form of a giant locomotive is ridiculous in all the best ways.
Always petty, Korvo invokes the most extreme possible way to win an argument in Solar Opposites, season 2, episode 2, "The Earth Eraser", threatening to blow up Earth if Terry and Jesse (Mary Mack) don't invite him to a dinner party. When Terry finally relents but grumbles that he will destroy the device, even the Earth Eraser itself threatens him.
A character as prone to emotional outbursts as Korvo being in possession of a literal doomsday device is certainly cause for concern, especially as he uses it this liberally. However, so long as Terry doesn't exclude him from too many special events, the Earth should be fine… until the Pupa finally grows to his final form and destroys it.
Understandably, Terry and Korvo are not particularly popular with their neighbors. Korvo attempts to rectify this in Solar Opposites, season 1, episode 2, "The Unstable Grey Hole" by filling the town's water supply with nanobots designed to harvest data about the townspeople. Using this data, he and Terry try to appeal to everyone's wants and needs and end up running for president of the Home-Owners Association.
However, thousands of their nanobots fuse together into Nanobot Man (Alan Tudyk) who challenges their campaign and turns out to be even more popular than they have become. Like many of Korvo's plans, the inadvertent creation of Nanobot Man completely thwarts his chance of success in a surprisng and ironic way.
In Solar Opposites, season 1, episode 6, "The P.A.T.R.I.C.I.A Device", Terry and Korvo are inspired by their neighbor's man cave to create a 'Manc Ave' of their own. However, they find that it lacks allure without a wife to express her irritation with them, so Korvo creates the Patricia Automated Television-Retrofitted Intelligent Companion In Action to fulfill that role.
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Korvo is enamored with the emasculation P.A.T.R.I.C.I.A makes him feel, while Terry loves that she treats him like a baby. Unfortunately, P.A.T.R.I.C.I.A eventually goes rogue and transforms into a killing machine hellbent on destroying all man caves in her path, equipped with rocket launchers Korvo installed for their 'load-bearing' ability​​​​​​.​ P.A.T.R.I.C.I.A may be murderous, but she can hardly be blamed for snapping after having to put up with being Korvo and Terry's wife/mother/robot.
After getting lost in the woods for two hours in Solar Opposites, season 2, episode 4, "The Emergency Urbanizer", Korvo resorts to using the titular device to turn the environment into the bustling Wooden City. All four family members try to earn money in drastically different but equally unfulfilling careers: Jesse becomes a dissatisfied famous designer, Yumyulack (Sean Giambrone) becomes a corrupt business executive, Terry becomes a sex worker and Korvo becomes a gangster (but mostly gets chased by wild animals).
Creating an entire functioning society to solve a problem as minor as being unable to locate their car is completely in character for a family as dramatic and impatient as the Solar Opposites. The concept of the Emergency Urbanizer is wonderfully outlandish, and the Wooden City is a very fun and fully-realized location that the show will hopefully expand upon in future storylines.
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S.K. Sapiano is a TV and movie list writer for Collider with a background in film criticism and sound design. While a fan of basically every genre, S.K. spends an absurd amount of her time either watching or thinking about horror films.


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