In “Hero Heart”, true love’s kiss saves the day! Or rather, Lumpy Space Princess eating Marceline’s sweet marshmallow face did. Oh, Adventure Time. You never could play a trope predictably, could you?
It’s interesting that the Fire Kingdom, which represents unchecked and all-consuming rage, decides to wage war against the Candy Kingdom, which represents happiness and childlike innocence. Just like what was pointed out in “Happy Warrior”, acting out in anger can feel good. And there is a special kind of “feeling good” in lashing out at the happiness of others — to attack and scream at them, “Stop having fun!”
But as it is, it’s a little disconcerting to see all these characters we’ve come to know and love fighting — especially when only one side is being all out violent while the other is happily taking it as if it were a game. Even our hero Finn, consumed in Fire, is slashing and stabbing the candy people he’s sworn to protect.
Seeing all her friends hurting each other, LSP starts to wonder if she’s witnessing the end of the world. She wants to help her friends and save Ooo, she really does. But she thinks of herself as “more of an aspiring hero than a real one,” and tells a slightly burnt Marshmaline as much. Marshie gives her some sugar to help calm her down, which gives LSP the idea of how to bring hero Finn back from his angry Fire self.
It seems the “Hero Heart” in the title isn’t referring to Finn (who hasn’t been very heroic throughout the episode) but rather Lumpy Space Princess. She wants to be a hero like her friends, but admits that while the intent and desire is there, she’s never had “field experience”. Looking back on the previous times she’s tried to help save the day, it always somehow falls flat or she doesn’t get to do much to help or some other. But this time, it’s all up to her — there’s no one else who can save Ooo — and she does step up to the challenge.
She gives Finn a small piece of Princess Bubblegum’s, er, bubblegum. Turns out that, in small doses, Candy can help calm the rage induced by the Fire element. “[Go to] your happy place,” LSP urges him, as he remembers some sweet moments he’s had with PB, and how much their relationship has grown — the time she gave him a piece of her hair, the time she was a younger version of herself, and much later, the time they just hung out as best buds. (And can I just say how interesting it is that LSP saw her happy place through Marceline. Paralleling Finn and Peebubs, maybe?)
Now-Human-Again Finn grabs the jewels from PB and Flame Princess, and meets up with Simon and Betty so they could finally enact the plan to restore Ooo. Unfortunately, Betty seems to have other plans with the jewels and leaves Finn behind (“I’ve been Betty-trayed!”) — only to have the adorable candy people smile widely, sing sweetly, and ominously surround him.
Will Finn get candy-fied this time? Is LSP going to have to save him again? And just what is Betty planning to do with the jewels and the Enchiridion? Suffice to say Adventure Time: Elements has been one heck of a rollercoaster ride so far, and I can’t wait to see how it all wraps up in “Skyhooks II”!
Airam has read and studied a lot of manga and graphic novels to earn their Bachelors degree in Library and Information Science from UP Diliman. They’re currently working on increasing queer representation in the Philippines’s comics scene.
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