Original Airdate: August 1, 2011
Written & Storyboarded by: Bert Youn & Jesse Moynihan
This is a point in the series where Ice King isn’t necessarily enemies with Finn and Jake, but the three sort of share a friendly rivalry. It’s harped on when the IK gets grounded for interrupting the Breakfast Princesses (who, for some reason, became really popular after this episode; though her design is pretty great), and it’s generally reflected in the attitudes of the boys for the rest of the episode. They don’t hate the guy, but at the same time, he’s a giant creepy dork. The two can share enjoyment in punishing him without even kicking his butt.
It’s also reflected on the IK’s side. In season one, it would have been totally likely for him to willingly try to kill Finn and Jake, but here, he states very clearly that he values them as friends, even though they can get on his nerves. Ice King may be one of the most stagnant characters due to his blatant insanity, but he does undergo clear developmental changes that flow so naturally over time.
Down to the actual plot of the episode, there isn’t a lot going on. It’s just a fun little Ice King-centric episode that has a lot of good laughs, and some very nice moments between the main characters. The hitman himself, Scorcher, is really awesome. He’s sort of like the Boba Fett of the AT universe; he doesn’t say or do much, but his character is completely carried by how cool his design is and how generally mysterious he is. He’s also one of the few villains up to this point that Finn and Jake actually haven’t been able to defeat, which shows how considerably powerful he is.
It’s a very fast-paced episode as well. I like all the really quick gags, such as Scorcher easily trashing Blastronaut and Ice King asking him to kill the princesses he just simply doesn’t find attractive instead. Also, fucking Meat Man. I don’t know what Finn and Jake went through to get that meat, but I even find myself disturbed by the screams of Meat Man late at night.
One of the other interesting elements is how the Ice King actually comes out on top in most parts of the episode. Even though the entire conflict is his fault, Ice King has some shining examples of heroism and even possesses more competence than Finn and Jake in more than a few moments (“you’re GROUNDED,” “I know, but, shush!”). He ends up strategizing the most rational plan, and even outsmarts Scorcher, as the hitman leaves one final note.
“Echos of past events nudge the tiller on my present course, I await it’s reflection in the future”
Aside from the obvious spelling and grammatical errors, the poem seems to imply that Scorcher’s events of this episode will not have impacted him until further reflection later on, leaving a bit of leeway for character analysis. I like to think that Scorcher’s just a simple guy doing his job as assassin, followed by a night at home with his wife and kids. It could happen! As a final product though, I like this one. It’s rewarding to see the Ice King actually come out in the best case scenario for once. He certainly isn’t portrayed as a hero, but it’s sort of nice to see him save the day and get back at Finn and Jake for repeatedly pandering down to him. Season three to me, is basically Ice King’s season. We see him go through many different character explorations and developmental changes, and this episode really kicks off these insights with hilarious results.