WarningMight contain spoilers.

I was bowled over by the magnetic, compelling, and witty pilot with a tone all its own (for example, the fascinatingly strange conversation during which Gary starts asking Mary about her past), carefully controlled by the score. Isla Fisher and Josh Gad both do some of their best work to date. Gary and Mary finally confessing their feelings to one another is one of the sweetest and most romantic scenes I’ve seen in a while. Fisher’s expressions and her hair are both wonders.

Really, the entire cast does good work. Gary’s in-laws are endearingly chipper, and there’s something mesmerizing about the old lady who tells Mary we all have a wolf inside us (not knowing the truth). I felt less sympathy towards Emma at first, but I think that’s because of the authenticity of this little girl coping with a lot of trauma. Ariel Donoghue certainly acquits herself well in the role.

I’ll admit that the careful construction of the first episode left me worried it might all be explained as a mental disorder, but no: there was Mary, locking herself into a room with an iron door! I broke down laughing at her last words before transforming: Guess you’re just going to have to deal with this now… hope you’re happy you F——ING D——!. Another, earlier red herring was her backing away just as she was about to kiss Gary, which made me wonder whether she was an older Emma.

I don’t particularly like exploring the body parts of a werewolf in the opening credits, but at least it’s done in an interesting style with music that hints at something deeper, and ends quickly. On a related note, it would have broken my heart to see gore or grotesque imagery later in the show, but it exercises restraint at all times. That is, it does so visually—Mary’s I ate him and I ate them are unpleasantly visceral, for all that they’re just words. In contrast, quoting Carl Sagan lends a resonance and awe to the profound opening of the fourth episode, which melds Mary’s advice column with lovely visuals and music.

The fifth episode is the weakest of the lot. Up to that point, the story is light, darkly funny, and sweet. From the start of this episode, however, it takes on a sinister, doomed quality. Pregnancies continue to be the nemesis of a good romance, with the couple inevitably conceiving just a month into their relationship. (Although the conversation about how Mary would feel bad about potentially eating her child was morbidly humorous.) It is nice how happily Emma reacts to the news.

I can’t for the life of me understand why Gary thought heading into the outback just before the full moon was a good idea. It’s blindingly obvious to the viewer that the show will strand them. Meanwhile, it’s kind of the two scoundrels in the finale to provide Mary with a canvas upon which to express her familial loyalty. I must say, the moment where one calls out forlornly to his brother, having just seen him die, and locks eyes with Gary and Emma before Mary strikes is a deftly executed, poignant moment. Mary’s wolf form looks quite bad, but it’s shown briefly enough to forgive that.

I couldn’t stop thinking about how many questions there were going to be and how fraught their home life would be. Nevertheless, the wordless sequence of scenes when Mary returns and they all contemplate the past night as they head home, to the sound of Queens of the Stone Age, is simply magical. Some might argue it was too long, but I think the length was necessary to make all the transitions and transform what came before into an acceptable resolution. It fits with the relaxed pace of the sunrise and the scene of Gary and Mary walking ahead as Emma inspects the vegetation before catching up.