Adventure Time 9×1 Review: The Wild Hunt

wild hunt

Something wicked is afoot in the Candy Kingdom, and it’s up to Finn to fix it. He is joined by Huntress Wizard in “The Wild Hunt.”

After a terrible candy monster sneaks into the banana guards’ barracks late at night, leaving only empty peels and scalding hot fudge in its wake, Princess Bubblegum sets Finn and Jake to the task of stopping the banana beast. Huntress Wizard helps Finn track the monster in “The Wild Hunt,” and he prepares to strike the final blow — but remembering how he killed Fern, is unable to go through with it.

Somebody please, please get this boy some therapy. Under the bright colors, the past nine (!) seasons of this show have really be an exercise in dragging Finn through traumatic experience after traumatic experience. While this has definitely weighed heavily on him in the past, especially after being betrayed by his newly rediscovered (biological) Dad, he worked hard to move on from all that. Understandably, being forced into the position of murdering an alternate version of himself — someone he considered a friend, a brother — has skronked him up bad.

We found out in Islands that Martin Mertens didn’t start out as a deadbeat dad, but was forced apart from his family and changed through his trauma to end up that way. Is it some kind of irony that this is such a similar position Finn now finds himself in with respect to Fern? He did not intend to “final blow” Fern, not in the moment it happened, at least — it was his new prosthetic arm that shredded his other dimensional grass self through an unintended order. Now Finn has to adapt, just like Martin did, even though the consequences he wrought are not really his fault.

“This is just me talking, but sounds like Fern was a bad version of you. Sounds like you had to kill him, to become a better version of yourself. Sound about right?” Huntress Wizard asks. And to me: no, it doesn’t. I don’t think Finn learned anything from this encounter, except maybe to be more guarded and mistrustful. Furthermore, there’s the tragedy that Fern wasn’t a bad version of him. He was Finn, through and through, turned into a sword and killed and then possessed. Ultimately Finn finds strength and a bit of healing by turning his issues with Fern away from guilt and toward proactivity. It wasn’t Huntress Wizard in (fake) trouble that spurred him into action — it was imagining that Fern was the one who needed protecting.

The monster was sent by “Uncle G,” the same mysterious figure who collected Fern’s remains at the end of “Three Buckets,” and who appeared briefly behind bars in a flashback in “The Thin Yellow Line.” While his brief appearance there in collecting Fern’s remains gave me hope that he might be a positive figure who could help the grass-boy, those hopes have now been thoroughly dashed.

His character design, his entanglement with Bubblegum’s storyline, and the moniker he gives himself, all seem to point to this character being Uncle Gumbald. He was the builder of the cabin PB spends time in during her brief hiatus as candy monarch, and one of the relatives who came from the Mother Gum (along with Neddy, her brother who lives under the castle). Although in the end Finn is able to overcome the Bananameister Grumbo, Uncle G has another monster brewing in his lab, who looks a fair bit more sinister than a banana hot fudge sloth.

Is Gumbald our final big bad for the series? It doesn’t seem like a coincidence his relationship to Princess Bubblegum mirrors Finn and Martin: a morally suspect male relative from the past back to haunt a protagonist.


Author: Airam, KK, and Laura

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