Original Airdate: April 15, 2013
Written & Storyboarded by: Steve Wolfhard & Tom Herpich
The way I see it, there’s two different methods I take to reviewing these episodes: by their quality, and by personal delight. For example, Puhoy is an episode that I think does everything exceedingly well and is a thoroughly enjoyable experience, but it doesn’t really hit anywhere on a personal level. That doesn’t diminish its quality at all, but a different episode, like Gotcha! is a perfectly serviceable episode on the surface, but one I plain just don’t like because I don’t really care for Lumpy Space Princess that much. Quality and personable connections don’t really have to coincide entirely, but usually if I’m not looking at one of those traits, I’ll look to the other. And in this episode, BMO Lost, it’s one that isn’t really technically anything special in terms of quality, but I’m a stickler for anything BMO, so I like this one quite a bit. In fact, it’s one of my favorites of the first half of the season. Though I do acknowledge that I think one person’s feelings towards BMO could make or break the episode for them.
For the most part, BMO Lost really is just a celebration of the titular character. Most of the humor, charm, and entertainment derive strictly from the tiny console in this, and it’s one I find myself constantly snickering at by just how “in his own world” BMO actually is. And I can also see chunks of this episode as BMO being unlikable to some, like BMO completely tuning out Bubble’s story, or how he covers up baby Ricky’s hand because he sees it as an imperfection. To me, that only drives home the naivety of his character. I love how innocent and brutally honest he can be at times, and if you ask me, there’s no better team that carries across that blend of charm and unintentional jerkiness than Herpich and Wolfhard. It’s no wonder the two of them have so many BMO centered episodes under their belt; they do exceedingly well at contributing depth and bluntness into BMO’s character that is so irresistible. Almost every line that BMO utters in this one hits home for me, it’s almost like watching a gallery of terrific line deliveries and quirky nonsense, mostly as a result of Niki Yang’s terrific voice acting, per usual.
The other star character of this one is Bubble, voiced by LeVar Burton, who you might otherwise know as the host of Reading Rainbow. Burton’s voicework in this one can easily be described as endearingly bland. There’s nothing special or particularly hilarious in regards to his deliveries, yet he carries across such an honest charm and genuine tone that I can’t help but find it exceedingly likable. In addition to that, I also like the simplicity of his design. It’s just a circle with two dots and a smile, but the transparency of his body allows for some pretty cool visual touches at times, and allow for the woodland backgrounds to really shine through. There’s also a decent amount of visual gags they accomplish with this, namely in the scene where he has to save BMO and baby Ricky from the waterfall, but doesn’t have anything physical strength to do so. While we’re on the subject, holy shit! That dead hunter with a gun is just chillin’ out in the open right in front of our eyes. I know we’ve seen plenty of dead people and apocalyptic Easter eggs in the past, but I can’t recall one in the recent future that’s been this explicit and out there.
And then there’s baby Ricky, or should I say, Sparkle, who doesn’t do much in terms of having any funny moments or driving the plot further that much, though it does provide for an interesting connection made with BMO. I think BMO’s feelings towards him can easily be described as any child who has been around a baby, and BMO’s maternal (I know I keep referring to BMO as “he” in this one, but truth be told, I can make up my mind which pronoun is most fitting in this one) instincts come out in full force. There are a lot of cute and funny ways BMO interacts with Sparkle, but it also provides for the most dramatic moment in the episode: when Sparkle’s mother finds her baby. BMO quite selfishly tries to take Sparkle away from his mother, and when he loses, Sparkle’s mother simply utters that BMO should be ashamed of himself. Cue a fade to black, where BMO reflects sadly on himself, and the realization that he doesn’t have his life and reality in his grasp as much as he once thought. The entire day was one big game to him that was soiled by the realization that he took his game too far, and now he’s more lost physically and mentally than ever.
However, Bubble does bring up an optimistic solution when BMO realizes he’s closer to his home than he once thought, and, upon returning home, Bubble reveals his inner most thoughts to BMO. It’s a very lovely and heartwarming scene that, believe it or not, is actually pretty convincing. I do really believe that Bubble loves BMO and that BMO helped show him the way, and none of it feels too mushy or melodramatic. I genuinely enjoy the connection this bubble has with this video console.
And I’m not lying guys, that scene where Jake enters the scene and pops Bubble fucking killed me. There’s three times I’ve cried/gotten misty eyed at this show: the ending of I Remember You, the ending of The Light Cloud, and the climax of this fucking episode. I don’t know if it was because I was still a sensitive, angsty teenager when this first aired, but by God, seeing one of BMO’s close friends get virtually “killed” was heartbreaking. And it made me despise Finn and Jake for at least the next 5 or 6 episodes. I’ve simmered down now and the popping scene strikes me as more shockingly funny than depressing, but still, that shit is burning me somewhere deep down inside. But of course, it’s made lighter by the fact that Bubble is now free as “Air,” and he’s able to watch over BMO for the rest of eternity, to which BMO happily responds. It’s a really unsettling “what the fuck” ending that is only made better by BMO’s reaction to all of it. I love that, despite being promised a lifetime of never being alone for a second, BMO instead is excited that he doesn’t have to deal with loneliness and can instead enjoy the company of a playmate forever. It’s a really cute and funny ending that really captures the magic of BMO.
So again, if you’re not a BMO fan, I’m not sure how much you’ll actually get out of this one, but for my money, I really enjoyed it. It’s a cute spotlight moment for BMO, with some legitimately heartwarming moments, as well as plenty of silly and laughable moments. It’s one that I definitely hold dear to me, and focuses on all of the best aspects of BMO’s personality in the most respectful and passionate way.