Adventure Time has set sail on a new miniseries, and right out the gate, it’s obvious how tightly knit these episodes are meant to be, one flowing right into the other. With two episodes airing per day, it only makes sense to review them together. We start with “The Invitation” and “Whipple the Happy Dragon.”
When a robotic drone attacks the Candy Kingdom and completely cuts through its defenses, all in search of ‘Seeker XJ-77 Strong’, Finn is all set to destroy it – until it recognizes him by his name. Jake destroys the drone anyway, but it sets off Finn’s curiosity about his background as an individual and a human. Susan is suffering from painful headaches and the certainty that the drone’s source is important, so Finn jumps at the chance to embark on the dangerous quest to find out more. It takes them less than a day to, in order, lose the boat, befriend the sea serpent that destroyed their boat, lose that serpent’s friendship and get attacked, get besieged by mind-altering jellyfish, regain the serpent’s friendship, get catapulted 2/3rds of the way to their destination, and then get attacked by a giant colossus.
They’re off to a great start.
“The Invitation” is basically exactly what it sounds like – the set up, the call to adventure. We get some more insight into the relationship between Fern and Finn, which is very much needed. We wouldn’t want Fern to just disappear off the map until the story calls for him again. Fern still isn’t certain of who he is, and is hesitant about filling in for Finn while he’s away. Finn is supportive about Fern’s ability to be a hero, and encourages this as a chance for Fern to find his own style (plus a great joke about how Fern apparently totaled the bike he stole from Starchy).
We also get some quick flashes of Marceline and PB, and they are a treat. Bubblegum is genuinely concerned about Finn’s interest in finding the humans, and counsels him that the answers he could find on this trip may not necessarily be satisfying. We get to see a glimpse into how Finn feels about his past romantic interest in Bonnie when he awkwardly steers Fern away from a romance with her. Marcy, for her part, is more openly affectionate that we’ve seen from her in a long time.
“Whipple the Happy Dragon” is a sweet episode: nothing hugely remarkable, but showing off Adventure Time’s trademark ability for taking standard plots in an unexpected direction. Evil sea dragons are a standard trope. Evil creatures actually being secretly friendly is a standard trope. Those friendly dragons actually being super annoying and petty is not. Anybody who’s ever done any writing (or really, anything artistic) can probably feel the fear that they are Whipple. The person who is certain they’ve got amazing ideas, but is completely incapable of realizing that everyone else thinks they’re terrible. It was certainly amusing to see Finn himself be confused about the moral of the episode: don’t tell people if they’re annoying? Do it, but be upfront and gentle? Be willing to take criticism?
We leave our heroes in dire straits, donked up by the Colossus. So far into Islands, no new insight on the humans.
Author: KK Bracken & Laura B
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