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A Post-Primal Primer: The Truth About The Season Finale

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The second season finale of Genndy Tartakovsky’s Primal aired last Thursday at midnight on Adult Swim. If you have not seen the episode yet, avoid this article until you do, as it is full of spoilers for what happens.

SPOILER BUFFER

The finale was the final confrontation between Spear, Fang and the resurrected Chieftain, now a powerful lava man out for revenge after the duo massacred his clan. How would Spear manage to beat him? As we found out…he did and he didn’t. Though it was impossible to touch the Chieftain without catching on fire, Spear didn’t seem to care, knocking both of them off a large mountain and punching the lava out of him WHILE on fire. The Chieftain failed, but the battle cost Spear his life — though he lasted long enough to at least get lucky with Mira and create a daughter that appears in the final scene.

Questions abound: is that the end of the story? Did we just see the final episode of Primal? How will the series continue otherwise? EW.com called up Tartakovsky to shine a little light on the situation. It’s one of the better interviews I’ve read, as the interviewer is enough of a fan to ask questions we WANT to know the answers to.

Tartakovsky says that no, that’s not the end of Primal. The decision is up to Adult Swim (EW.com is optimistic about its chances). But if it returns, it will follow a completely different set of characters. Genndy feels he’s told the complete story of Spear and Fang and would like to do something different, yet in the same format (absent dialogue, gory action, struggle for survival…but with someone else). He throws out that “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 was asked what the unorthodox fifth episode in the season, “The Primal Theory,” was all about. He was asked if the episode indicated the world of Primal was actually the future. Sorry, folks, that exotic theory has been shut down — it really was the past. The real purpose to the episode was “a little bit of a reset” after “we just came off the most savage episode that we’ve ever done.” The episode is not a preview for Season 3, either, nor is the character voiced by Aaron LaPlante Spear’s descendant (they just share the same voice actor).

Finally, Genndy was asked who the underworld deity that powered up the Chieftain was supposed to be. He said it was up to the viewer, and enjoyed reading fan theories. “The show, I’ve always said, it’s pulp. There’s man and dinosaurs, so you know you’re historically not accurate. Then we’ve got witches, magic, vampire man-bats. Getting dragged to the underworld to empower yourself for revenge is all part of it.”

All existing 20 episodes of Primal are streamable on HBO Max, at least for the time being.