Original Airdate: September 20, 2010
Written & Storyboarded by: Kent Osborne, Niki Yang & Adam Muto
Billy is one of the more ambivalent characters in the series. He’s no where near being a major character, but most of the secondary (Magic Man, Martin, Susan Strong) and even some of the tertiary characters (James Baxter, Gunther) have had their backstory revealed, and Billy seems to hold with him a deep amount of baggage throughout his epic journey. The only thing we really learn about him through this episode is that he once defeated the Lich King (first appearance, by the way) and that he completed a bunch of other heroic tasks, only to have lost his heroic nature down the line, and that’s about it. Luckily enough, that’s all we really need to know about him for this delightfully hilarious introduction episode.
Lou Ferrigno’s distinct voice really does a terrific job of giving life to Billy’s character, and I really like the direction they took his character in for this specific episode. They could’ve made him a flawless, egocentric hero who looked down upon Finn, but instead they made him a hardened has-been who has become cold towards the world around him. Finn’s impressionable and easily influenced youth is a good contrast for this, and it makes sense that’d he try his hardest to be the best hero he can be, even though he makes everyone’s lives worse in doing so.
I haven’t said this a lot for any of the past 24 episode I’ve reviewed, but this episodes is really, really funny. There’s a lot of really great dark humor with just how far Finn and Jake go to accidentally fuck up the citizens of Ooo’s lives. I especially feel bad for that Cobbler, he literally hasn’t done anything wrong but F&J keep putting him through hell. On the other hand though, he’s a spazzy little twerp, so it diverts itself from complete tragedy. Also, this is Finn’s first time taking on the role as doctor Finn! It’s less than a minute, but it’s cool that he’s taking on his mom’s footsteps before he was even interested in his mom’s footsteps.
Of course, this episode gives us the first big boost of wisdom from the series:
“Sucking at something is the first step to being sorta good at something.”
It’s certainly not among some of the most philosophical and thought-provoking exchanges in the series, but it’s one of those basic life lessons that only Jake could carry out so eloquently and smoothly. Anything you want to be good at will start out with a bit of sucking, but if you keep pushing forward, that sucking can manifest into talent. While the boys don’t succeed in being able to help others without violence, they do succeed in sticking to their own guns and being able to change Billy’s perspective on helping others once again.
The Three Wise Men from Finn’s belly button were correct in claiming that Finn is the greatest hero in all of Ooo. Despite his young age and lack of life experience, Finn stays pure and true to what works for him, as well as what works best for other people. Billy, on the other hand, gave up on his ways through social experiences and gave into the world’s many hardships. Billy may be a renowned hero who defeated the Lich and slayed a bear, but Finn’s youthful purity and instinct to fight against anything is evil are exactly what the people of Ooo need.