Tales From The Loop – Season 1 Episode 8 (The Finale) Recap & Review

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The Season 1 finale of Tales From The Loop attempts to wrap everything up with a neat little bow but in doing so, leaves plenty of threads dangling over this topsy turvy season. On the one hand, the ensuing drama and issues with the tight-knit characters at the centre of this one (Loretta, Cole, Danny and Jakob) get a good enough send-off but everyone else gets a pretty underwhelming finish.

As winter grips The Loop, we cut to all our different characters we’ve followed across the season while interspersing that with shots of Cole playing football. He’s now in Middle School and his teacher reminds him he can talk to her at any time.

Jakob is now working at the Underground and Cole phones him, asking to visit. When he gets there, he asks Jakob about his job and why he hasn’t visited recently. It turns out he hasn’t been home and has been avoiding the place as he feels guilty and awkward about what happened. It’s here Danny (in Jakob’s body), admits the truth about the body swap and tells Cole that Jakob’s soul is somehow trapped inside this two-legged robot.

After stopping by MCEP and talking to a different security guard this time (because Gaddis is obviously stuck in the other reality), Cole heads into the forest where he sees the robot and starts talking to it, believing that it’s indeed Jakob. He decides to travel into the city together, intent on finding their Mother to get a cure to what’s happened.

So off they go, through the forest to the city but Jakob gets stuck and finds himself unable to continue on, partly thanks to losing a crucial part of his ligaments during a fight with another machine.

Cole walks down the stream again and heads back to the town after saying goodbye to his dying, mechanical brother. Only, everything appears differently now and his Mother has aged a lot too, confirming that they’ve jumped forwards through time. To fill in the blanks, we’re graced with a montage as we see what happened during the time that’s lapsed.

George and Loretta worked together in the Underground until George passed away. As Loretta sits in her office and receives a call from outside, we catch up with ourselves as Cole waits for her. As they get talking, they discuss the stream and how crossing it when it was thawed caused so much time to pass.

A now grown-up Danny (in Jakob’s body) finds Cole and they talk about Jakob. Cole tells him Jakob isn’t mad at him and it seems to give some finality to this issue, especially given Danny has been haunted by this for years.

At school, Cole heads in and hands back the book to his middle school teacher who miraculously hasn’t aged. She tells Cole that she taught her brother and before him, also taught his Mother and Father. She tells him that she’s “the second” (with the first being the AI on the boat last episode). She removes her face to prove as much and reveals a hollow shell underneath.

Cole doesn’t look too surprised though and after heading home and snapping photos of his Mother, we then cut forward to see a grown up Cole with his family looking upon his old family house and commenting how time flies, which is where the episode ends.

Given this episode attempts to wrap things up and tie the disparate plot points we’ve been graced with over the season together, the episode itself doesn’t do a very good job at it. There’s some vague references to AI and how Russ has helped the family control their destiny and seemingly jump through time but this doesn’t really explain Gaddis and the tractor. It also raises big questions around what happened to May and the contraption she found by the creek.

On the same subject, what happened to May and Ethan at the end? Given we saw bits of May during Gaddis’ episode, it’s safe to assume things have happened to her but there’s no finality to her story.

Why hasn’t anyone clocked that the middle school teacher hasn’t aged for years? And what was the point in any of these plots? While the last point could be argued that these were individual tales with their own themes and ideas, the latter half of these episodes have attempted to try and thread a weaving plot through the entire show and failed to do this with much finesse. Even worse, it’s raised so many questions in the end that it makes for quite the unsatisfying finish.

It’s such a shame too because the show looks absolutely stunning and the cinematography is really good throughout. The piano-heavy score is beautifully composed and there’s enough to recommend with the opening set of episodes to at least take the dive and watch some of this. The second half of the show though somehow nosedives into mediocrity and worse, ends on a really unsatisfying note with little resolution for our supporting players (including George who gets the worst treatment). A shame for sure but Tales From The Loop is not a show you’ll return to watching on a loop anytime soon.

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8 thoughts on “Tales From The Loop – Season 1 Episode 8 (The Finale) Recap & Review”

  1. I watched this series very slowly, taking time to mentally “munch” each episode. I appreciated not being required to understand every plot development and episode ending. It was entertaining and mind-expanding, and I enjoyed it. That was the objective, wasn’t it?

  2. Cc – You have it exactly right. This show was perfectly conceived and executed. Anyone looking for perfect logic and explanations of the loop was watching the wrong show. God, what a please by surprise this was. Last episode had me tearing up, like many of the others.

  3. Intriguing premise and visuals, but I found the human characters either amoral/selfish, or just plain unbelievable in their actions. So I stopped watching halfway through the season.

  4. @cc
    Given the thawed-river time loop and the scene in this episode where Cole himself goes up these towers himself, I figured it was… him? What do you think?
    Also agreed about missing the point, out of two reviews I read, both seemed to miss what this series really is about.

  5. This review completely misses the point of the series: that everything is possible. When everything is possible, there is no tidy plot to sew everything together and makes sense. We make sense out of our individual experiences. Our stories evolve over time. Since time is relative, so are our stories. I really loved how the plot was NOT laid out so explicitly. The plot was more motional than a traditional story line. I loved the character development. I loved the space given to the viewer to develop our own emotional relationships and not prescribed with over dramatization and explicit explanations. I loved how the series portrayed life is a mystery to be experienced and not so much explained. I don’t need the loop and the sphere explained. How boring and certainly disappointing that would be. I enjoy the opened ended plots that make you work things out and talk about them. I also enjoyed the “nothing is perfect” theme throughout. Our perfectionism destroys our enjoyment and appreciation for the relative and ever changing nature of existence. Ironic that the teacher robot laid out that lesson.

    Side note detail: Who did Klara see on top of the middle tower? I rewatched that clip and, to me, it looked like the robot from the island. I couldn’t imagine that George would have left him there. The episode was called “Home” so the robot had to return home where it was created. At least that is what I like to imagine.

  6. Why would
    You even want
    To
    Work
    For
    Such a f’d up company? What purpose does the loop serve other than to screw up
    People’s lives…loved then hated this show

  7. In the restaurant scene danny/jakob walks in with ed and family. As d/j looks at loretta and begins to take off his coat, ed walk past him.

  8. This isn’t a series finale it’s intended as a season finale so not everything has to be wrapped up, and besides, as it’s a semi anthology each episode pretty much has an ending in each individual episode for each story begun in each episode. I imagine next season will centre on a different family mostly as the story of the family this season centred on had a very satisfying conclusion. As for the teacher why would people be surprised, it’s The Loop where scientific marvels and strange occurrences are part of life.

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