Primal Season 2 Finale Explained: What Happened To [REDACTED]

Genndy Tartakovsky's "Primal," a devastating and bone-crunching prehistoric cartoon saga of the Neanderthal caveman (Aaron LaPlante) and his Tyrannosaur companion, has come to a bloody and bittersweet end — or so it appears for now. Season 2 of "Primal" saw the final battle roars of the cavemen and T-Rex (called Spear and Fang respectively in credits) in its rousing finale, "Echoes of Eternity." Though it might not be the end for "Primal" itself.

All seems to be peaceful when Spear, Fang, Fang's two hatchlings, and their new homo sapien companion Mira (Laëtitia Eïdo) reach Mira's populated homeland after escaping slavery. But then they are besieged by supernaturally fired-up Viking Chieftain (Fred Tatasciore), a past adversary. So Spear performs his last act of violence by hurling himself at the blazing inferno of the Viking's body and defeats him. But the brawl leaves Spear with mortal burns. Like Mira and Fang, we observe the caveman's mortality with sorrow. The sad departure of the healer signifies the diagnosis without any dialogue: Spear won't survive.

A genetic means of survival

Mira, a civilized homo sapien, deciphers a message in Spear's cave paintings, a chronological tapestry of all he endured. Discerning the lone shape of Spear at the end of the illustrative timeline, she realizes that Spear has forlornly resigned to a destiny of solitude because he feels he can't settle in civilization, not even Mira's. She does the math in her head: Spear's paintings tell her that he yearns for something more than loneliness. So she decides to continue his story. To fulfill the shadowy implied area in his last will and testament, Mira straddles the dying burnt body of Spear and performs intercourse.

One time skip later, we see Fang, Fang's grown babies, and a proud Mira. Riding one of Fang's offspring is Mira's and Spear's daughter, armed with a spear and striking the same epic pose her father made in the premiere episode. Spear is nowhere to be seen so we understand that he succumbed to his burns, but the important part is that Spear got to "live on" through his progeny.

The uncomfortable conversation

Mira's decision to have intercourse with the barely mobile Spear is procedural, rather than out of passion. Although a non-modern morality is applied in this prehistoric era, the manner in which Mira performed the act was bound to stir discomforts when unpacking how it "justifies" Mira's act yet applies a gray consent angle. If you glance at the social media reactions to the finale, you will inevitably find some icked-out viewers. 

Spear repeatedly calls Mira's name for company, though his limited physical movements and expressions can suggest so little of whether he was specifically yearning for sexual intimacy. Mira also doesn't necessarily communicate through gradual touch and gestures that she will perform the act. So the creative choreographic choice—or lack of it—is disappointing when you reflect on the animation's staunch track record of marvelous slow-burn build-up (ex: cooking, hunting, relaxing in an oasis) and the incremental explorations of their characters' moral compasses through facial realizations and gestures. I entertain the notion that the animators would have benefited from an intimacy coordinator providing input to the storyboards and animatics.

Spear's legacy

Another point of discussion is that the finale thrived on visual suggestions, so we never see Spear pass away nor a burial mound. This leaves some wriggle room for some viewers to imagine that Spear lived the rest of his life disabled in the time skip. But that's if you're willing to stretch wishful thinking.

As teased in the infamously disruptive Victorian Era episode, subsequent episodes of "Primal" will likely float outside Spear and Fang's prehistoric era. As of now, a season 3 has not been confirmed but Genndy Tartakovsky has an idea of it. He told Entertainment Weekly that he's interested in evolving "Primal" into "an anthology show, where season 3 would still be called "Primal", but with a different subheading... [and] different characters."

Not to say that Genndy isn't weighing out continuing the legacy of Spear:

"There's more things I want to do with "Primal," not necessarily Spear and Fang. Maybe 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."

The end result is that Spear's and Mira's daughter symbolizes that bridge that Spear may have been searching for: reconciliation with the anchors of civilized life and Spear's unmoored soul. "[Spear's] evolution, in a way, is continuing his family," said Tartakovsky. So he closes Spear's chapter not with his death but his living bloodline. Still, you may be curious about how this story could move on. The wall has more space for paintings.