Adventure Time 8×09 & 8×10 Reviews: Mysterious Island & Imaginary Resources
Adventure Time: Islands continues to unravel the mystery of what happened to the humans, as “Mysterious Island” and “Imaginary Resources” establish what kind of society they may have built over the years.
After the events of the last episode, Finn wakes up alone on the titular “Mysterious Island” that’s even stranger than anything we’ve seen on Ooo so far. The sky glitches like a broken computer screen, and the weather turns from snowy to scorching to stormy within minutes. There are giant parrots, giant crabs, and a giant walking Totoro reference.
Finn meets an old Norwegian-speaking lady named Alva, who helps him find Jake– but not before showing him a “damage report” video of what had happened on that island. Apparently, she’s the last surviving member of a team of human scientists who had been experimenting on the island’s wildlife and meteorological phenomena, before everything went terribly wrong.
We also get a juicy callback to the previous mini-series. Most of the scientists in the video wore animal hats– just like the humans Marceline had met in the flashback scenes of Stakes. That same group of humans had embarked on a voyage across the ocean centuries ago, and were possibly the very founders of the human society found on this and the other islands.
On the next island they visit, Finn and Jake find BMO hooked up to a system appropriately named “Better Reality (Where Reality Doesn’t Stink).” He doesn’t respond to anything they say to him in the real world, so they put on the VR goggles and enter a surreal world that wouldn’t be out of place in an experimental art gallery. They encounter “avie’s” of all kinds and forms– faces without heads, mishmashes of geometric shapes, and other abstract representations of the users.
At this point, Adventure Time does one of the things they do best– casually bringing up and discussing philosophical ideas. “Imaginary Resources” as a whole seems to be a commentary on escapism. The shambles of a city reminiscent of many Utopian settings, and the dozens of withered humans happy in their virtual places– putting them together makes for a good juxtaposition of “beautiful lie” vs “ugly truth.” When Finn comments that the goggles world is fake, BMO responds by questioning what is “real.” He then states that what we perceive with our senses doesn’t necessarily match up with the actual world around us.
Jake yanks the plug on the VR system by wrecking the servers. This breaks BMO’s heart and causes all the plugged-in humans to form a pitiful version of an angry mob. But despite having a popular dance club, countless fans, and a “beautiful big man bod” in the virtual world, BMO eventually decides to leave behind the “Better Reality” because he loves Finn and Jake too much to be separated from them (Aww! He’s their son!). Despite all the intentionally and unintentionally mean things that Finn and Jake have done to BMO throughout the series… When put in a world where he can create anything to fit his ideal reality, BMO still wants to have a Finn and Jake in his life. He’s at his happiest with them, and it’s just heartwarming to see their odd little family to be reunited.
Soon, things on the island go back to how they were supposed to be– BMO fixes the servers and the humans return to their happy lives in the virtual world. Finn, Jake, and BMO continue on their adventure. They hop into a pod and get shunted through a tube that leads to the next island– hopefully to find Susan and, perhaps, some more answers.
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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