Adventure Time: Fionna and Cake Eps. 1 & 2 Review
Adventure Time is one of the single-greatest cartoons of all time. It brought about the Renaissance that Cartoon Network underwent in the 2010s. People who worked on it have gone on to find success, with several creating or producing their own shows. The sheer amount of lore and depth it gives its world and characters sets a gold standard for world-building. But one of the most impressive aspects has to be its willingness to grow and mature alongside, growing darker and dealing with serious subjects as time went on. So, despite the stellar finale, many fans hoped the series would continue in some fashion. The Distant Lands specials helped tie up several character arcs, but they weren’t a full series. Now, five years after the finale, Adventure Time returns with a new series, Fionna and Cake.
The wait for Fionna and Cake is now over. Adventure Time has returned, and much like its audience, it’s gotten more mature. There’s blood, adult problems, and lingering trauma!
Fionna Campbell is Every Millenial Problem Rolled into One
In keeping with the theme of maturing with its audience, the problems the characters face mature as well. Instead of simple issues one can punch their way out of, the show now deals with abstract problems, like adulting and finding one’s place in the world. There’s this idea in pop culture that many in the Millenial generation are aimless and struggling to find their place in life and a lot of those worries and anxieties are wrapped up in the character that is Fionna Campbell, Finn’s alternate universe counterpart.
Fionna embodies all the problems that Millenials seem to face. She’s struggling to find a job that she likes, her love life stinks (she got dumped by FP’s counterpart), and she’s happier goofing off and spending time with her friends. She wants her life to be more exciting and meaningful but doesn’t know how. That, and she’s also having strange dreams of herself and Cake as magical warriors and there being an Ice Prince.
From the start, Fionna and Cake don’t shy away from the fact that this is an alternate world filled with gender-swapped versions of the people of Ooo. It’s enjoyable trying to look for everyone’s counterpart, and it pays off well. Even finding minor characters like the Lemongrab’s and Queen of Ooo is fun. At the same time, it’s made apparent that something’s off, as they all talk about dreams of their alternate reality selves. None of that matters to Fionna, though, as she’s dealing with Cake being sick.
Except it’s not a normal sickness. Cake somehow sense the presence of magic. Things come to a head when she runs off from a back-alley vet appointment and jumps into a magical portal, with the episode ending there.
It’s only then that things start to pick up.
Simon Petrikov’s Missing Being Ice King
In the series finale of Adventure Time, Simon Petrikov was finally freed from the crown that turned him into the Ice King. He regained his sanity after a thousand years of madness and sadness. Most fans hoped that this would finally give him the happy ending he wanted. However, as the second episode of this series proves, he’s sadder than ever.
Firstly, his beloved Betty’s now fused with GOLB, something that seems impossible to undo. Secondly, despite being a normal human again, that proves a detriment in a place like Ooo, as unlike Finn, he doesn’t have years of fighting experience to back him up. Lastly, even though he’s now only one of several humans living in Ooo, he doesn’t fit in. His day job consists of serving as an exhibit on 20th century life for the modern-day Humans.
As Simon confides to an adult Finn (whose now super-jacked), he even starts to miss being the Ice King. Yes, he was insane as the Ice King, but the world seemed simpler. It’s a nice reflection of the idea that as people grow older, things become more complicated. Finn, being, Finn, tries to solve this by having Simon fight something in the hopes of feeling alive. However, it’s obvious it doesn’t work. Some problems can’t be solved by punching things, and while Finn means well, it doesn’t work. As a result, Simon resorts to trying to summon GOLB to bring Betty back, only for it to fail. However, it does lead to Cake coming in through a portal in the back of his head.
A New Adventure Awaits
Given how it’s Adventure Time, it’s obvious that this series is teeing up for something big. Fionna and Cake will end up travelling across the multiverse alongside Simon, but the opening episodes don’t explain how they’ll do that. This is perfectly in line with the series, though. Adventure Time worked best as a slow-burn.
I have no idea what’s going to happen over the course of this series. However, I’m more than eager to wait to see what happens. Adventure Time didn’t steer me wrong, and I have no doubt that Fionna and Cake will live up to its legacy.