Happy! continues to deliver and prove itself the hottest show on television with “The Year of the Horse.” Between Happy, Sax, Merry, and Amanda — Very Bad Santa has been found, kinda… and I’m a bit terrified to see where next week will take us. Happy! is the most insane thing you will see on television, and you’ll love every sick, twisted second of it. Not one friend who I’ve suggested the show to has disliked it, in fact, they’re all now obsessed. Happy! has a funny way of sinking it’s dirty claws into you, dragging you along for the ride while you’re enjoying every thrill, like a kid not getting caught doing something wrong. I cannot recommend this show enough and if you’re reading this review, you should be watching/suggesting it to your friends too!
“The Year of the Horse” brings us sooooo much closer to Very Bad Santa. “When Christmas Was Christmas” (episode three) set up this week perfectly, bringing multiple teams closer to finding Hailey. It’s very clear that whatever Very Bad Santa has in store for these kids, isn’t good news, confirmed by the fact that Blue plans of gifting them out like shiny objects to probably the worst sort of people. “Merry Christmas! — Lots Love from Blue and The Mob.” Not the kind of present I’d want to get under my tree, but if Sax can’t save Hailey soon, she has a very bleak future ahead indeed.
Though the overall story is pretty freaking sad, and disturbing, we’ve got to have some fun parts along the way right? I mean, we’re talking about an alcoholic ex-cop turned hit-man who is on a quest with an overly positive imaginary blue unicorn that very few people can see, that has all the makings of good comedy right there. Happy delivers on the surprise front; from Mobster Wives of Reality TV, China Town gangsters causing a scene, Very Bad Santa being the in the most obvious place, and Blue’s boss being a freaky-deaky orgy leader, “The Year of the Horse” keeps you on the edge of your seat, rooting for Hailey’s rescue.
We see that Blue isn’t the top of the food chain, and though Sax should still probably be worried for his life about that password he got from Mikey, Blue is put into an awkward situation with his own boss. Which leads to Very Bad Santa moving the kids early (thus Merry and Sax missing Hailey by mere hours) and postponing what I’m sure will be a horrible death for the poor Mormon boy who crossed Smoothie’s path. Smoothie has grown a bit bored and impatient while he’s stuck babysitting Merry’s mother, and this poor messenger of God is in the wrong place at the wrong time. Though saving Hailey seems to be the main premise of the story, Happy doesn’t quite let us forget that something much larger is going on here, and uses very random (yet hysterically funny) plots to pull the bigger picture forward along with Sax & Happy’s journey.
Isabella, a scorned mother and Blues sister, demands to know who placed the hit on her sons. She’s on a reality television show similar to that of Housewives of New Jersey, and she is out for blood. Not only is this a unique way to show us that Blue isn’t the top fish in the sea, it’s an interesting way to show the heartbreak of another mother, one who just lost all her sons, and continue to move the Mikey story forward. Though the random cut scenes to Isabella and her camera crew confronting Blue about the hired hit-man feel jarring, it’s a welcome abruptness. The entire show typically feels like it’s on speed, so the jarring reality tv flashes, though random, really fit right in.
Isabella meets with Blue on a few occasions, camera crew included, and has a difficult moment in the morgue when seeing her son’s bodies. She seeks revenge, and wants to find peace in her son’s deaths, which leads her to find an old medium who apparently only takes payment in cheeseburgers. She tells Isabella that her sons are happy, that they are together, and the three of them miss her. Distressed, Isabella reminds the woman she has four sons, to which her ghost children pass along that Mikey isn’t with them. Isabella goes back to the morgue and sure enough Mikey’s body is gone. Now, considering where Mikey was before Sax killed him, there is A LOT that can be read into with that. Whatever secret the Grandfather gave to him shook him, he realized we we’re living with monsters, with his knowledge of that and now his body missing, that sure as shit can’t be a coincidence. Isabella is also the perfect way to remind the viewers that though Blue has been Top Dog up until now, he’s also just a measly servant following orders from someone more f***ed up and powerful than himself.
“The Year of The Horse” leads Happy and Sax on a wild goose chase through China-town, following up the only lead they have on Very Bad Santa, a thrown up fortune cookie fortune. Merry and Amanda hit a stroke of luck and find his hideout in what feels like half the time, what I can say they’re both bad-ass women who make a pretty unexpected and fantastic partnership. It’s a bag of mixed emotions — Amanda proves herself stronger than originally anticipated, willing to do anything to find her daughter alive. Merry continues to show that she’s a crooked cop, using questionable techniques but finally fighting for a just cause. Even if her overall intention is still probably to deliver Sax to Blue, freeing herself and her mother from his grasp. Happy, is well, happy as ever. And proves to Sax that sometimes just a little bit of hope, and the Wish Dance, can make a difference. Blue is put in his place by a cockroach costume wearing orgy master, and Isabella shows us that even the “bad guys” feel anger and grief over death or loss.
Happy! continues to surprise each and every week, and just when you think you’ve figured something out, everything changes. It’s sick, it’s a bit twisted, but it’ll have you laughing your ass off. Leaving you feeling surprisingly renewed even with its’ terribly dark subject matter. “The Year of the Horse” is another fantastic episode gaining Happy! even more momentum and pushing it up another rung on the ladder of Cult Favorites.
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Happy! airs Wednesday nights at 10/9c on SyFy!
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