Melvin Taylor, Brand Marketer
Cartoon Network’s “Adventure Time” finally came to an end on Sept. 3 after eight years and 10 seasons. The show premiered on Cartoon Network in 2010. “Adventure Time” focuses on best friends and brothers, Finn and Jake, as they go on adventures in the mythical Land of Ooo. The show’s lore is hard to describe as many elements of it feel random. Finn is the only human in Ooo and the rest of the residents in the world are quite “different.” There are various kingdoms (themed after candy, slime, fruit and more), a vampire, princesses, demons and the Ice King. That’s just the tip of the iceberg for the show’s extensive lore sparked by the Great Mushroom War, an event that predates the series and created its post-apocalyptic setting.
“Adventure Time’s” hour-long series finale is appropriately titled “Come Along With Me” which is a line from the show’s ending credits song “Island Song.” Cartoon Network had an all-day marathon showing some of “Adventure Time’s” episodes throughout the years, starting with the first episode and ending with the last. The finale began with a brand-new variation of its intro, showing the Land of Ooo in the future and switching focus to new adventurers, Shermy and Beth. While it was great to see Ooo in the future, I would have preferred seeing it after the main events of the finale. I felt like the scenes in the future broke the tension of the war and should have just been at the end of the episode.
The show has been building up to the Great Gum War since season eight. Finn and Jake’s friend, Princess Bubblegum, had a conflict with the family she created, specifically her uncle Gumbald. After failing to take down Princess Bubblegum, Gumbald seeks revenge, leading to the war. Princess Bubblegum goes over her war plans with Finn, Jake and the residents and allies of the Candy Kingdom. Her leadership and the potential outcome of the war are questioned by her friends.
When the war begins, Finn, Jake, Princess Bubblegum, Gumbald and Fern, Finn’s evil grass doppelganger, are all put into a dreamlike sequence. This allowed the writers to resolve conflicts with characters like Gumbald and Fern without having the actual war. While this was an interesting turn of events, I felt cheated out of the war that was built up for so long. It did not help that this dream was a lengthy part of the finale. After the group escapes the dream, Gumbald’s wife, Lolly, returned him to the state of a lesser intelligent candy person. If there was any scene to describe the humor in the show, it would be this one.
The second part of the finale is a fight with GOLB, an entity that embodies chaos. Throughout the series, we have seen the princess-snatching Ice King was not always like this. In the past, he was a scholar named Simon who was plagued by the effects of an ice crown. Betty spends her time in the series trying to reverse the crown’s effect on Simon. Once GOLB begins his attack, the two Candy Kingdoms unite together to take down this threat. Finn, Ice King and Betty end up inside of GOLB. GOLB’s effects return the Ice King to Simon and Betty to her original design. The characters fighting outside discover the way to defeat GOLB is music. While this was not something I enjoyed, it was another plotline that embodies Adventure Time. The music opens a hole in GOLB, allowing Finn and Simon to escape while Betty stays.
Faced with a difficult decision, Betty fuses herself with GOLB. This sacrifice ends the war and saves Ooo. This finale was some of Adventure Time’s best work in years, but it was underwhelming at the same time. The aftermath of the war is shown but the future lives of the characters were not shown at all. The show treated this information as if it didn’t matter as Shermy and Beth asked about the characters’ futures and were simply given a reply of “They lived their lives.”
As someone who has watched the show since 2010, this ending was not good enough. After spending eight long years with these characters, I wanted to know what adventures they took in the future and if they started families. The finale could have been at least 30 minutes longer to cover the lives of the main cast. The show does a montage of events, but they all appeared to be in the near future. The show ends on a satisfying note with Shermy picking the Finn sword and leaving me wanting more from not just the old characters, but the new ones as well. Thank you for eight years of fun, Adventure Time. The fun will never end, even after the finale.