Adventure Time: Fionna and Cake Eps 7 & 8 Review
If anyone was expecting a simple, straightforward adventure for Fionna and Cake, then last week dispelled any notions of that. Fionna finally realized how over her head she and Cake might be and that nothing was as simple as she thought. She’s traumatized by the realization that the Winter King was a selfish wad who cursed his world’s Bubblegum and Candy People, whom she helped slaughter and then killed the Winter King. Now, she’s realizing that she might not want this magical, adventurous life anymore. Things got dark, and that gets cranked up to eleven here. From a world filled with Vampires to an image of what would happen if the Lich won, the multiverse is terrifying for Fionna now.
Man, I had no idea how much I missed this show.
A Marcilene Without Simon is Terrifying.
After escaping once more from Scarab, Fionna, Cake, and Simon end up in a babyworld version of Ooo before coming across one that is, simply put, a nightmare. In this world, Simon died before he ever had a chance to meet Marcilene. As a result, she wound up being raised by the VAMPIRE KING. Now, vampires run free with humanity almost extinct, with the only ones left being Bubblegum and a resistance movement consisting of Huntress and Martin Mertens.
Also, Baby Finn now, since he snuck into Fionna’s backpack. While that gives this world’s Martin a chance to be a decent father figure to Finn, it doesn’t last. In this world, anyone can die.
Fionna, Cake, and Simon agree to collaborate with Bubblegum to defeat Marcilene and the Vampire King and retrieve the Ice King’s Crown. However, everything that can go wrong does, and Bonnie and the trio are the last ones left standing against the King and a psychotic Marcilene.
If the last world showed Simon what he could’ve been if he could control the Crown (even if it was a lie), then this world shows how bad things would’ve been if he hadn’t been Marcy’s father figure. This world’s Marcilene is terrifying: her mischievous nature is twisted into a sadistic predator that lives to see Bubblegum suffer. The famed love between Marcy and Bonnie is twisted into a toxic, Batman-Joker-esque relationship. To put it bluntly, this world’s Marcy and Bonnie are the worst versions of themselves.
Fionna Donks Up Again
Meanwhile, Fionna grapples with the trauma of the Winter King’s death and the fact that she killed all those Candy People, even if she didn’t realize they were victims. That experience broke her desire to be an adventuring hero and filled her with self-doubt. When her actions in the Vampire world only lead to more loss, that doubt grows even further. So much so that when Cake thinks she’s got the chance to steal the Crown from the Vampire King, Fionna holds her back, too afraid to lose her best friend.
Things only get worse from there. Before that, though, there’s unfinished business in Fionna and Cake’s reality.
Marshall Lee+Gary=Win for Shippers
In their world, Marshall Lee feels bad for blowing Gumball’s best chance at building his bakery. Thus, he takes him to a charity event run by his wealthy mother, Hana Abadeer, and makes a deal with his Mom. By giving Gary a chance to pitch his ideas to the upper crust, Marshall Lee has to return to living under his abusive Mother’s thumb.
A recurring theme throughout Adventure Time is that many of the main character’s parents were deadbeats. FP’s dad locked her up, Finn’s dad abandoned him several times, and Marcilene’s dad was a soul-sucking Demon. They’re everything one shouldn’t want in a parental figure, and they inspire their kids to be better. Seeing how miserable Marshall Lee will be under his Mom, Gary throws his chance away to stand up to her, and the two run off together, kissing. Another big win for the shippers, it seems!
None of that will matter, though, if their world gets destroyed.
The Darkest World Yet
The next world that the group ends up in makes the Vampire world look like a paradise. In the Season Five two-part Premiere, Finn and Jake thought they stopped the Lich from wishing for the end to all life. As it turns out, though, the Lich’s original wish to Prismo still created an alternate reality where he got what he wanted. In other words, save for BMO and the Lich, a world devoid of life. The latter is too depressed to even care about them showing up.
Of all the worlds we’ve seen thus far in this romp across the multiverse, this one is the most existentially terrifying. There’s no life anywhere; not even the grass is alive. And with Prismo’s remote broken beyond repair, this is the world that the trio gets stranded in. From here, everything starts to fall apart. Cake gets furious at Fionna for holding her back and stranding them in this dead universe, and it only grows when Fionna reveals she found the Crown of this world and doesn’t say anything.
Fionna Ready to Call it Quits
For her part, though, Fionna is officially ready to give up on her dreams of a magical life. She’s seen the damage that she’s caused, and it’s made her already low self-esteem take an even bigger hit. She’s starting to realize that, while her life wasn’t magical like Finn’s is, it still had things worth living for. In addition to all this, though, Fionna found the Ice King’s old tapes and watched them on BMO (who doesn’t survive the episode. Sorry, fans). She sees how insane and miserable the Ice King is and can’t bring herself to subject Simon to that fate again. It’s a stark contrast to the immature girl that she was at the beginning of the miniseries, caring more about her problems than those around her.
However, things are soon out of her and Cake’s hands, thanks to the arrival of the Scarab and Simon’s actions.
Simon Really Did Love Betty
The second episode was also a major milestone for Simon fans as it revealed the origin of his and Betty’s relationship, and what is shown is heartwarming. As a scholar of ancient, mystical artifacts, Simon was mocked and ridiculed by almost everyone he met. Betty was the first person to believe in him, even when he started to doubt himself. Without her, he never would’ve found the Enchiridion, the quest that led the two to fall in love with each other.
Seeing these flashbacks, it’s apparent why Simon’s so obsessed with getting Betty back. She was the biggest pillar of support in his life, helping him feel confident in his abilities. He needs her in his life to feel whole again.
And, despite many people thinking that Betty was a lost cause, that might not be the case. As Simon sends Fionna and Cake back home, his memory of Betty provides the connection he needs to open a portal to her. As a result, the episode ends with Simon and the Scarab falling into a portal, presumably to where Betty-GOLB is.
This is Why we Love Adventure Time.
What. An. Ending. This takes everything good about Adventure Time and cranks it up to eleven. It gets darker than the show ever could in its heyday, and I love it for that. The toxic love of Bubblegum and evil Marcilene; the tender love of Gary and Marshall. The frayed relationship of Fionna and Cake. Everything is just so amazing!
I have no idea how the series will end next week. Will Fionna and Cake be able to save their world? Will they find a way to restore magic without sacrificing Simon? Will Simon overcome his inner demons? These are the kinds of questions I remember asking myself in the show’s initial run, and it shows just how amazing Fionna and Cake are. I want to know what happens next, but at the same time, I’m scared to see how it might end. That’s how you know a story is good. You don’t want it to end, but you also want to see everyone get the ending they deserve.
Whatever happens next week, though, I want to be ready for it.