There are few shows that I think are as immaculate and profound as Owen Dennis’ Infinity Train. It is one of the most interesting series I’ve seen in a long time, how could “Blade Runner for kids” not be? Well to be honest the “for kids” part is kind of inaccurate. The series originated on Cartoon Network but was originally intended for HBO Max. The show has both mature philosophy and I honestly can attest that it can play for a wide range of audience.
What once was a show that was underwhelming based on the hype of the pilot, has become something entirely different. The show I was disappointed wasn’t a grand mystery has become an anthology series that continues to take creative risks and get across a rich imaginative approach to a multitude of existential and psychological themes. In the end, Infinity Train is a show that has the care for it’s world and continuity as well as deeper exploration of it’s characters that it rivals modern classics such as Gravity Falls and Steven Universe.
For me the series as a whole is a 10/10 I have an intense respect for the writing, directing, and animation of the show; and personally I think it has a little bit of everything I look for in a show. This is the one series that I just want to convince one person to give it a try because it really deserves some more recognition. Currently with Season 4 is neither renewed or cancelled. I will try not spoil the fun, which given this series is full of plenty to. I let you know what’s the best
The Black Market Car
I just love the idea of having MT (Mirror Tulip) being one of the protagonist of the series. It at least has a spiritual successor to Tulip, keeping the incredible voice talent of Ashley Johnson on board. MT is forging her own identity and is on her own mission to be alive despite being a fugitive on the run (breaking mirror law from Season 1). We eventually meet the rest of the crew in Jesse a happy go-lucky optimist on the train, and their friend deer Alan Dracula. This probably is my favorite team-dynamic of any of the three seasons. MT and Jesse make a great diametrically opposed duo that can get along despite their differences.
The Family Tree Car
It’s just a really neat concept. I love seeing the this grand old tree and seeing how each character does about descending it. I’m surprised I can’t really think of another example of the literal family tree and having to confront these generations of feuding rivals. It’s a nice pretense of the show giving a good example of how both Jesse and MT approach problems.
The Map Car
The one thing that I love about the show is just how imaginative all the carts are. This episode probably feels the most like a Season 1 episode, as the cart is the main conflict that the gang has to overcome. Also that cloud guy is voiced by Wayne Knight (Jurassic Park, Dirty Dancing, Seinfeld) and who doesn’t like hearing a Wayne Knight performance? Interesting to see MT both fail and succeed in trying to help Jesse work through his problems to get his number down but it’s a good benchmark to recognize her eventual character growth.
The Toad Car
The simplicity is awesome. You’re in a cart and all you have to do is kick this here toad. The only catch, the toad is begging you to “please don’t kick me”. Someone is going to have to do it eventually, unless you want to be trapped in there forever but who? The dilemma is further stressed by the Flecks (Mirror World Police) on the other side of the door trying to not just apprehend MT, but grind her out of existence? As Flecks can teleport through reflective surfaces will Jesse use his cellphone to help them arrest the supposed “dangerous” fugitive”. This one is just a delightful problem and putting yourselves in the characters shoes you can see why this crossroads is a rather difficult one to commit to a decision.
The Parasite Car
Alan Dracula accidently eats Perry the Parasite and now becomes an obedient and smooth talking friend. This one is probably the worst the later episodes in the season has to offer. Just not much special thing happening. I still don’t think it’s bad, focusing on Alan Dracula is always fun and we do get to explore a couple of neat cars.
The Lucky Cat Car
MY FAVORITE CHARACTER IS BACK BABY! The clever and mischievous cat is back and of course she is a carney. In a bunch of wacky and wild carnival games MT, Jesse, and a mysterious masked stranger compete to unlock the door. I think this episode while rather on the nose, demonstrates MT’s conflict rather well. The “masked” figure is not who I was expecting it to be. I really thought I had a read on who it could have been from Season 1 but the result in hindsight makes for a lot of fun. It’s a nice tease, and it’s another reminder of how vast this infinite train really is. Also that poor Badger kid, his mom really didn’t care for his nonsense now did she.
The Mall Car
Honestly I always find it a shame that each season is only 10 episodes long, but it helps when this season’s episode 7 feels climatic. A lot of hug things happen as the gang find themselves confronted with a run down mall filled with delinquents into debauchery. If you ever think you know where this show is going, it’ll prove time and time again that you don’t. At least not exactly how you’d assume it would all go down. This episode does a great job of Teasing bits for season 3 as well as setting up season 2 to have a huge finale.
Really neat that we get to explore outside of the train as MT is handcuffed to her worst enemy like it’s The Defiant Ones. You can learn a lot about your enemy and yourself when being forced to confront one another. This episode is defined by the one moment that will make you go ” Holy shit, did that just happen?”. It doesn’t even hold a candle to what will eventually become the most shocking moments in the series but at the time being this was the episode that got a little more shocking and a little darker than you might have imagined the fun series was capable.
The Tape Car
Not the horned lizard. Wow, honestly another fantastic episode that I think shows how great the writing for the show is. I love that while the initial mystery of who is the conductor or what the numbers mean have been already answered, there’s still a lot of facets and lore that the show still has to unravel. Even when the show is giving you answers, it’s just opening another can of worms. It opens up the spectrum of trauma or “problems” that the train intends to aide in. While one example is comical, it’s understandable that the issues that need fixing or less about what they are and the extent it brings external confliction within the person. It’s one of the coolest atmosphere and art designs we get to see in the show and it gets the gritty sci-fi aesthetic this season leaned heavily into really well.
The Number Car
A remarkable satisfying conclusion. It’s intense and painful as well as being gripping and emotionally appealing. It really wraps a nice little bow on everything and made the journey feel worth while. I feel that Infinity Train is always about the journey more so than the destination, but it’s always neat that it seems to stick the landing time and time again. It’s been a ride, and an enjoyable one that unfortunately has to come to a conclusion eventually. It makes you want to reflect on the journey and leaves you wanting more. Safe to say it’s a pretty could topper to a fantastic season.