I started watching Adventure Time pretty much from the get go, and like most people, liked the show for its trippy, yet charming animation, and quirky, almost improvisational dialogue. (Rhombus!) Not to mention George Takei’s truly awesome cameo as Ricardio, the evil talking heart…
The show never stood still. As Finn aged, so did his problems. He dropped the adventure shtick for a while, and went on a sort of deviation into a teen style romance with Flame Princess, and after that went to go find his dad, who turned out to be something of a butt.
A lot of the charm was in the one-off episodes, like when a ghost of Finn’s previous life is found lurking under the house, or the snow golem who returns a lost fire wolf pup to the fire kingdom. There’s a lot of talk about time, perception, living in the moment, and appreciating people for who they are. The relationship between Marceline the Vampire Queen and the Ice King is a pretty clear metaphor for loving someone in the throes of dementia, and was touching but never maudlin.
The finale, which aired a few days ago, did the show right. It ended with a big battle, that gets avoided due to some last minute diplomacy, but then leaves the characters we know, and jumps to the world hundreds of years in the future. Some of the characters, like the sentient computer BMO are still alive, but like everyone, they have moved on. BMO has even forgotten the name of the main character of the series, calling him “my best friend, Fred.” When asked what became of them, he simply answers, “Oh, they lived their lives.”
That’s it, no swashbuckling, no apocalypse. Life just goes on.
You can find the episode and plenty of better commentary floating around the net, but I just want to be one of the millions to say thank you for this beautiful and thoughtful series.