Clone High S2 Eps 9-10 Review
Well, after just a month on the air, the first season of the Clone High revival is now over. Unlike last time, though, fans can rest easy, knowing that the show has another season in the works. Given how this season ends with potentially as big a cliffhanger as the original run did, that’s a good thing. Secrets get revealed. Betrayal and angst are found between the clones. And most importantly, we get an entire episode dedicated to the two best characters in the series: Scudworth and Butlertron!! It’s an epic tale so ground-breaking and influential that it’s deliberately trying to win an Emmy.
Butlertron and Scudworth Finally Take Center Stage
It’s no secret that the best characters on Clone High are the show’s author avatars, Scudworth and Butlertron. They’re an amazing duo together, with Scudworth’s mania balanced by the more grounded Butlertron. Until now, their misadventures were relegated to the b-plot of every episode. This makes the fact that the season’s penultimate outing focuses primarily on the two’s relationship all the more enjoyable in “For Your Consideration.”
After Scudworth humiliates himself in front of the Board of Shadowy Figures, he blames it on Butlertron, with the robot finally hitting his limit. Fed up with his partner in crime, Butlertron decides to pack his stuff and leave, only to run into a conflicted Joan of Arc. From here, the episode deviates into an extended flashback showing Butlertron’s life leading up to when he met Scudworth.
The flashbacks are by far the best aspect of the episode, each segment animated in a different style. It also takes every aspect of the tragic backstory trope and says that this is part of Butlertron’s life. The most important part, though, is how Butlertron and Scudworth became partners: after losing someone important in his life, Butlertron agreed to help Scudworth make the clones if he agreed to make one more of his deceased loved ones, Wesley.
As I said, it’s a deliberate attempt to tug at people’s heartstrings while also parodying the concept of Oscar bait like there’s no tomorrow. It works, too. It helps humanize Scudworth and Butlertron immensely, and the episode even ends with Scudworth starting to accept the clones as his surrogate family. Which is important, given what happens next.
Joan Snaps and Loses It All
As the Board of Shadowy Figures decides to hedge its bets on which clones are their best choices to run the world, Candide puts them through one last trial. She has Scudworth create a death maze, ostensibly to earn a scholarship to a non-existent Clone High College, and then has the clones fight to get through it. The Hunger Games, Total Drama style challenge that follows pushes the clones in ways that encapsulate the stress of leaving high school and going to college.
There’s always that uncertain dread that the relationships people had in high school won’t last. This goes double for romantic relationships, as shown when Harriet dumps Confucius for not taking the maze seriously enough. At the same time, unexpected friendships form when Joan and JFK find they work well together in the maze. It then becomes a full-on bromance when JFK gets angry on Abe’s behalf when he learns Topher is blackmailing him. From enemies to love rivals to bros, but that’s high school.
The person who ends up suffering the most, though, is Joan. First, Frida chooses to save Cleo over her when they fall into a pit trap. Then, Abe and JFK think she’s a monster trying to trick them and drive her away. After that, she snaps and eliminates all the competition before winning the maze.
And to top it all off, when Candide decides to fire them, Scudworth and Butlertron resume their attempts to kill her. However, all they do is kill the rest of the Board of Shadowy Figures. Now there’s no one left to stop Candide from erasing the clone’s memories of Joan, freeing her to become the next world leader. It doesn’t work, but Candide gets the last laugh when she outs Joan for her ruthless behavior in the maze.
At Least We Don’t Need to Wait Another 20 Years
So, to recap. After spending the entire season having the popularity and acceptance she never had in 2003, Joan of Arc has lost it all. She’s been flung back to the bottom of the social hierarchy, and even Abe’s mad at her now. In addition, the Board of Shadowy Figures has been wiped out thanks to Candide’s manipulations, meaning no one’s left to decide what will happen to the clones. The future of the clones is more uncertain than ever!
Looking at the season finale objectively, it managed to tie up most of the plots from the revival season in a neat bow. However, the drama of its ending gets undercut by the simple fact that, unlike two decades ago, we know Clone High will continue. Max already has another season in the works, meaning we have more time to see what happens next. As a result, the ending feels like it’s just dragging on the drama for the sake of it rather than being organic. In other words, the first of the two episodes this week was the stronger of the two.
As a whole, though, the finale seems pretty solid. Even if fans don’t like it, they can rest easy knowing they don’t have to wait another twenty years for a new season. Who knows; if the show makes it to a fourth season, they’ll thaw out Gandhi (who the clones got their memories of wiped.)