Original Airdate: August 23, 2010
Written & Storyboarded by: Luther McLaurin & Cole Sanchez
Aside from Heat Signature, another Marceline-centric episode, Henchman is an episode of Adventure Time I’ve most likely viewed the least amount of times. That’s not to say it’s bad either (nor is Heat Signature, for that matter) I’ve just happen to revisit it much less frequently than other episodes. However, upon watching it again, I’ve realized how important it is as a developmental episode for Marceline. Marceline’s relationship with Finn and Jake was left off ambiguously in Evicted!, and it was clear that more had to evolve before the three of them can be considered friends. Here, Jake doesn’t budge, but Finn and Marceline begin to develop a true friendship.
I really miss episodes like this especially. Sometime after season three, Finn and Marceline’s friendship just sorta dies out. Of course, they still hang out from time to time, but really, the show has done its best to shift its focus off of their friendship and more so onto Marceline and Bubblegum’s relationship. Don’t get me wrong, PB and Marcy’s relationship has developed beautifully throughout the series, but I really miss Finn and Marceline just being able to hangout. They’re just two cool people having fun. Watching them onscreen together is always a delightfully good time, and that’s exactly what this episode does best.
One of the true highlights is that this is the first continuity heavy and developmental episode; Marceline’s return, Jake’s fear of vampires, Finn and Marceline bonding, Marceline drinking the color red, and the return of the Duke of Nuts and family. When I first saw it, it was nice for me to see that Adventure Time was a show that didn’t ditch it’s secondary characters. Of course, this is the last time we ever get to see the Duke of Nuts, and I do hope that he was able to get his life together through therapy and rehabilitation. That dude deserves it.
Of course, the backgrounds and scenery are beautiful as always. There are some really rich nighttime colors (outside the Duke of Nuts castle) and some very colorful and bright contrasts (the strawberry patch). I really like how predictable and unpredictable the trials that Marceline put Finn through could be at times as well. You always know there’s a twist, but you’re never certain on how they’re going to be a twist. You’re half expecting Marceline to go through with her demented plans at times, but simultaneously reminded that somehow something is going to subvert it. Really good way of keeping things creative and investing in a somewhat predictable premise.
I’m not a big shipper, but I gotta say guys, I really love when Marceline and Finn hangout. Of course, I know it would never work because of the thousand year age difference, but their interactions between each other are just so cute and fun. They really bring out the most exciting and amusing sides of both characters, and watching them feed off of each other in this episode is just so delightful and charming. I really love the way this episode ends with both of them finding a newfound respect for each other. And of course, I feel as though Finn’s influence on Marceline helps her to become a better person. Or vampire. Or half-demon. Whatever. Also, I’ve always a big fan of Marceline’s wardrobe changes, and her outfit in this episode is one of my favorites. In most of my crude notebook doodles, you’ll usually find Marceline sporting this outfit.
So while I’ve viewed this episode sparingly, it’s proved to be one of the most entertaining, as well as the most developmental episode of season one.