Thursday, January 30, 2020

Primal - Spear and Fang

Genndy Tartakovsky, who gave us the brilliance of Samurai Jack, turns his attention to the "dawn of evolution" for a new series featuring a caveman and dinosaur. The pair are united in the first episode of the series, "Spear and Fang," through tragedy and shared loss. Presented without dialogue and set to a classic score, the series doesn't play with aspect-ration like Jack did, but does offer plenty of close-ups and slow-motion to underscore ideas and feelings. While I cringe at the thought of certain people mistakenly believing the show's plot somehow legitimizes the inane idea that man and dinosaurs ever co-existed, Tartakovsky provides an intriguing set-up here that delivers on the show's title given the emotions it puts on display.

The episode's title comes from the unuttered names of the two characters. Spear is a caveman who returns from fishing only to find his family slaughtered by dinosaurs. Grief-stricken he contemplates suicide for a time. Coming across a dinosaur he also plots revenge until he discovers it, and its young children, are under attack from the same group of creatures who murdered his own family. While both are heroic, and eventually triumphant, they are unable to prevent tragedy from striking twice allowing a friendship built on shared sorrow to form. Although certainly less boisterous and goody than the future Jack found himself in, I'll admit I am curious to see where the wanderings of these lonely souls may lead.

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