Happy! Review: Shattered Fantasies

In the current state of television, I very rarely find myself asking, “Can they do that?” But with Happy!, this question is constantly running through my head, especially with last night’s episode. Every episode of this series is insane, but this one was ramping up to the season (and possibly series?) finale, and all the energy and adrenaline added to the crazy things that happened made “Destroyer of Worlds” the most bat-s*** insane thing I’ve seen on television.

We start with what is basically a music video for “Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree” starring Merry’s mother (and Smoothie) and then a hard smash cut to her being zipped up into a body bag, Merry coldly watching as they take her away. What seems like a non-sequitur fantasy sequence actually sets up the theme of the episode, the idea of shattering fantasy to find the harsh reality that lies underneath.

Picking up where the last episode ended, Nick makes quick work of the rest of Blue’s men by using Blue’s wife and son as human shields, a very Nick Sax move, and then gets Blue’s location. He heads off, but not before witnessing Blue’s son accidentally set off the C-4 Nick rigged last episode, presumably killing him and his mom. Welp, that’s a shame.

We quickly check in on Mikey at Isabella’s, he’s eating like an animal, demonically devouring raw meat  before heading out to find Blue. The broken fantasy here is that Mikey is home and alright, and that Blue is not responsible for the death of her son, when in fact, none of this is true.

Then, we get to the big turn of the episode. Amanda somehow managed to get a meeting with Sonny Shine, the children’s entertainer that Hailey loves and who’s show she was kidnapped at. The illusion of Sonny Shine is immediately shattered to reveal your typical A-hole celebrity who couldn’t give a crap about the fact that Hailey, as well as all the other kidnapped kids, went missing during Sonny Shine shows or appearances.

At least, he doesn’t appear to care, but after Amanda leaves, he makes sure she doesn’t leave the building. Why exactly? Oh only because SONNY SHINE IS MR. BUG. The perverted children’s entertainer is seen putting on a big bug costume, revealing he’s been behind everything from the start.

Though I was a bit disappointed to find out that Mr. Bug wasn’t Blue’s childhood imaginary friend who grew out of control, this twist was a great way to bring the story together. Hailey went missing at the Sonny Shine show, the show seeming to be just a background aspect, but this reveal brought everything together.

Later, Blue confronts Isabella at her house after Mikey hat “escaped.” He wants the password that Mikey has and is willing to do anything to get it, including killing the costars and producer of her reality show. Before all this, however, Isabella makes a point to use her following to reveal some of Blue’s most embarrassing moments from when they were kids, shattering the illusion that he is this ruthless killer. But, Blue also shatters this illusion himself when he states he doesn’t have to do unspeakable things anymore once he gets the password, implying he’s not the powerful man he pretends to be. Izabella also stops telling herself the lie that Blue didn’t kill her sons, accepting the truth about her murderous brother.

Back to Amanda, who is exploring the building she has been trapped in, finding a crazy sex cult room where a bunch of perverts are engaging in a weird dance/worship of Mr. Bug. Amanda is noticed by them before running away.

What even is this show.

Jump to Nick and Happy, who have gotten closer since the last episode. Happy confides in Nick after having killed another imaginary friend and the two share a nice moment, despite Nick handling the talk (which is vaguely coded like the talk of losing one’s virginity) poorly and awkwardly. Then, just as Happy is about to tell Nick a secret, he is pushed off the road by Merry, who was clearly aiming to take out Blue’s car, which Nick was driving.

The two finally team up to stop Blue, save the kids, and figure out exactly what’s going on. This team up was a bit sloppy, but pretty necessary to reach both the next parts of the episode and the upcoming finale. Regardless, they’re working together, and after receiving a frantic call from Amanda, they know their target, Sonny Shine. And, Thanks to Happy’s memory of seeing Sonny Shine live, they know to look for the kids at the studio that the show films at.

Speaking of the kids, we finally see what they were being prepped and groomed for this whole time. We’d already heard them being referred to as gifts throughout the series, but we find out here that it’s rather literal. The kids are still in their costume and are being prepared to be packaged in giant doll boxes. This is creepy, and the show smartly doesn’t reveal exactly what the kids are going to be used for as gifts, since it would be a bit much, and it also helps add mystery to where they are being shipped off to and who’s Christmas gifts they are.

The shattered fantasy here is obviously that the kids are being presented as dolls, perfectly behaving things to be had when in fact some, like Hailey, are constantly looking for ways to escape. They are not these gifts, but Smoothie and Blue’s men are working very hard to keep up that fantasy with the costumes, boxes, and all the “behavioral grooming” they have been instilling on them.

At the Sonny Shine studio, Nick sends Happy ahead of him to find Hailey while he and Merry investigate from both entrances. The two encounter their own problems along the way, Merry is ambushed by one of the Sonny Shine mascots, but she quickly takes care of it by shooting it between the legs, strangely causing a purple liquid to spurt out.

Nick on the other hand, isn’t so lucky. He’s attacked by Smoothie, who is far too happy to “take care of him.” Smoothie knocks Nick out and brings him to the blue screen room of the studio. In front of a cosmos background, Smoothie attempts to break Nick in a way beyond torture. After revealing why he’s called “Smoothie” (not that Nick wanted to know), he puts on a strap-on and starts to, *ahem*, “break” Nick.

But, Merry and Happy make it just in time to save him… sort of. Merry shoots Smoothie, but the strap-on has broken off inside Nick…

Yeah… this episode was nuts.

Between all this, Blue is angrily trying to get the “gifts” out and moving, frustrated by the demands of Mr. Bug. In fact, he’s so frustrated, that he has a breakdown, admitting that he’s not the boss of anything, he’s just an errand boy for psychopaths. We see the fantasy that Blue has, where he’s this big bad mobster, completely shatter, and if he only had that password, he wouldn’t answer to anyone. This adds more mystery to the password and makes Blue far more interesting than he’s been in any other episode. Before we can learn more about Blue’s shattered fantasy, Merry and Nick come in, guns a-blazing. They take out Blue’s men, but it is too late, the truck has left and Blue is running away.

Nick and Merry split up to catch both of them. Merry finds Blue, a broken man after he has fallen in the ice, his sweater having come undone after jumping a barbed fence. As his sweater’s thread has come undone, so too has the illusion that he is a powerful man.

Meanwhile, Nick catches up to the truck full of children. How, exactly? Someone shot the driver and opened the back. Nick investigates to find all the children in their boxes, except for Hailey. But, whoever took her left behind a clue, a familiar looking green Christmas mitten. It looks like the Very Bad Santa took Hailey, perhaps to save her, or perhaps to have her all to himself.

Everything about this episode was perfectly in sync. The way the plot unfolded was exciting, the mysteries gave us reason to be excited for the finale, as did the episode’s fast pace and ramping up to a climax. Every moment that was supposed to hit hard did exactly that and the comedy was perfectly on point, thanks in no small part to Meloni’s wonderful physical acting. Oh, and who can forge the amazing soundtrack that accompanied this episode.

“Destroyer of Worlds” was wonderfully insane and easily the best episode so far, leaving me excited to see how it all ends. Hopefully the finale is the most insane thing the series can offer.

Join us next week for our review of the finale of Happy!

Happy! Season 1, Episode 7: "Destroyer of Worlds"
  • Happy! S1E7
5

Summary

The insanity of SyFy’s Happy! is amped up to eleven on this week’s explosive episode.

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