Big Mouth’s “My Furry Valentine” episode explores the wonders and woes of Valentine’s Day, but did Cupid’s arrow hit its mark?
When Big Mouth was officially renewed for season 3, I was ecstatic. You can imagine how I felt when I got an update from Netflix telling me there was a new episode available.
“My Furry Valentine” is a super-sized special, clearly meant to tide us over until next season, but it’s also labeled as the first episode of season 3 in the Netflix queue. It offers a Valentine’s Day-themed episode that mostly acts as a standalone, but which also quietly transitions from the season 2 finale into the upcoming season 3.
During the 46-minute run, we get a glimpse at all our favorite characters as they’re swept up in the craze of Valentine’s Day. Whether they’re single or in a relationship, straight or queer, level-headed or bat-shit crazy, each perspective offers a different take on the holiday. Either way, the event puts a lot of pressure on everyone, and you know that’s going to lead to some awkward and hilarious antics.
While I appreciated that we got to see everyone’s take on the holiday, this episode didn’t feel like it came with the same brilliant energy we saw in season 2. Some of the jokes fell flat or went too far (even for this show), and while there were certainly moments I enjoyed, it felt largely disjointed.
Rather than serving up a coherent story, we merely got snippets of everyone’s Valentine’s Day shenanigans, interspersed with a series of interviews of the main characters that was never truly explained.
One of the lowest points of the episode included Andrew’s treatment of Missy and Lars. Andrew, usually the sensitive and overly cautious one, is rude, dismissive, and downright delusional about his “relationship” with Missy. The point was, likely, that Valentine’s Day makes some people a little insane, but I think it would’ve worked better if it had come from a different character.
Everyone is allowed to make mistakes (in fact, that’s largely why we’re watching this show, isn’t it?), but Andrew’s seemed to come at the expense of his likeability. It’ll be hard for anyone to forget the terrible things he did in the name of “love,” but I’m hoping the show finds a way to smooth things over without ignoring his actions altogether.
Andrew wasn’t the only one acting out of character, either. After a lot of forward movement in season 2, Coach Steve’s idiocy feels like backpedaling. While I don’t ever expect him to be the sharpest crayon in the box, it seems he’s reverted back to a two-dimensional character whose sole existence is to be impossibly stupid. He was a funny secondary character in season 1, but after the events of season 2, I expected a little more.
What I didn’t expect, but was incredibly delighted to see, was Jay’s emotional maturity in “My Furry Valentine.” He has been my least favorite character since the beginning of the show, but his development over the course of season 2 and this special has been surprising in the best way.
Ever the stereotypical horn-dog, Jay finally admitted his behavior might not be the best for himself or those around him. It was almost heartwarming to see — until you remember he has a penchant for fucking pillows.
Still, I appreciated Big Mouth giving Jay more layers than I ever expected to see from him. It’s in moments like this where I find the show breaks ground and actively works to avoid the kind of tropes we often see in characters such as this.
The best part of this episode, other than Jessi and Matthew further cementing their friendship, was the fact that it advanced the story. At the end of Big Mouth season 2, we see Connie show up in Nick’s bedroom and declare that she’s his Hormone Monstress. One of my biggest questions for season 3 was whether or not this was even possible and if it would stick.
Throughout “My Furry Valentine,” we see the rather unfortunate (albeit sometimes hilarious) consequences of Connie being Nick’s Hormone Monstress. This was by far the strongest part of the episode, as it seemed to be the most cohesive plot point this special had to offer and gave us a taste of what season 3 could bring to the table.
Nick is clearly going through a lot at the moment, and I can’t wait to see what we’ll get out of him next. As he embraces his sensitivity, I hope the show affords him the opportunity to show kids (and adults) that it’s okay for boys to be emotional, empathetic, and in-touch with characteristics that are more stereotypically feminine.
While I didn’t particularly enjoy every aspect of Big Mouth’s Valentine’s Day episode, this certainly has me excited for what’s to come in season 3.