Adventure Time 8×17 Review: Bespoken For
Betty’s back, baby, in “Bespoken For”, the second episode of Adventure Time: Elements.
“Bespoken For” is a particularly interesting title. ‘Bespoke’ means ‘to order or arrange in advance’, a fitting description of Simon and Betty’s relationship, which began a thousand years ago. Everything Betty has been doing since she arrived in Ooo from the past is arrange Ice King’s life, manipulating it, trying to restore Simon to himself as she knew him. And of course, to ‘be spoken for’ means to be already engaged or committed to a relationship. But as Tiny Manticore explains to Betty, maybe that is something that simply isn’t true. Ice King is amnesiac, and his identity as Simon may be something he will never be able to restore. Betty, too, has been transformed by magic, and is not the person she once was. “We’re like two shadows, two ghosts caught in limbo.”
So Betty tries a different approach: to try and interact with Simon as he is. (And that’s where the final definition… a bespoken suit, one perfectly fitted to “draw attention to what’s flattering about your shape”. Not just the literal suit Ice King wears, but rather, the sense of looking at the good qualities he has as the person he is now.) Much of Simon’s arc runs parallel to real world mental illness, and this lesson, that you will not be the same, you can move forward… it can be a painful one. But a healing one, too.
And those moments Ice King and Magic Betty share after this realization, gleefully dancing in a swarm of ethereal birds? It is honestly so pure.
So of course Patience St. Pym has to steal her away, at the moment these two finally get a shot at happiness. Is Betty the magic “battery” Patience needs to complete her “elemental purification spell”? Will it use her, or perhaps her magic up, completely? Hopefully her role in this miniseries won’t simply be to have her as a damsel in distress, with the heroes’ main goal to rescue her and then set all of Ooo free by doing so. I want to see her have the chance to strut her magic stuff.
For an episode with such a serious subject matter, it is still Adventure Time, and there was a lot of silly to be found in “Bespoken For”. Like Simon shopping with his best bud the Life Giving Magus for his nice bespoken suit. I never in my entire life expected to find the Ice King attractive, but suits are apparently their own kind of magic, because here we are. Still, he pouts about his “go-to” being his classic blue muu muu. #LetIceKingBeComfy. Also delightful was Betty’s rapping, and her cloak wings, and the cute outfit she wore for her date. And Patient St. Pym’s manic energy and her being completely upfront about her plans to a completely oblivious Ice King is amusing as always.
But Patience St. Pym is brewing something awful, and “Bespoken For” is just the beginning. We have confirmation here that she forcibly took control of the other elementals, and that these voluntary personifications are just as much victims as anyone else. It seems that the main theme of Adventure Time: Elements is going to be one of identity, choice, and free will.
Author: Airam, KK, and Laura
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