Original Airdate: July 22, 2013
Written & Storyboarded by: Steve Wolfhard & Tom Herpich
Any episodes focusing on BMO up to this point have revolved around his wildly vivid imagination, while also emphasizing the tragedy of his character. While cute and filled with creativity, BMO is also notorious for his desire to feel human emotions like anyone else, and “be more” than just a robot. It’s fitting then that Be More doesn’t focus on the tragic or darker elements of the character, but rather ties BMO to a heartwarmingly sweet origin story.
It starts out, however, with a brief bit of innuendo that comes across as a somewhat somber portrayal of BMO’s character. He’s deleting files, or in this case, “deleting brain cells” which is a pretty obvious euphemism for drug use. Not sure why BMO would want to do something detrimental like this, but my guess is that it’s likely for experimentation and a possible surge of entertainment. Afterall, we never see him doing something like this following the episode, so it seems pretty obvious that BMO did learn his lesson.
But the rest of the episode is exceedingly less dark. It’s mainly a fun and light Finn, Jake, and BMO adventure, but a pretty good one at that. It’s one of those episodes that is just really likable in how nice the characters act around each other. The dynamic of Finn and Jake being BMO’s caretakers has been existent for a while, but I think this is perhaps one of the sweetest examples. I love how they willingly would rather put themselves into a potentially dangerous situation than to have BMO’s memory wiped completely, as expected. Most heartwarming is their intricate (albeit hilariously poor) ideas to disguise themselves as MOs, even if they have no idea what an actual MO aside from BMO looks like. I also love the brief glimpse of Finn’s chubbiness. Love how they give him some curvy edges; it makes sense that he wouldn’t be especially physically fit, because I’m sure he doesn’t really exercise outside of the typical adventure.
Love the MO factory! First, I enjoy how it is apart of the Bad Lands; I like it whenever AT acknowledges some form of consistency with its geographical settings, so continuously adding new locations within designated landmarks (as Xergiok’s house was in The Great Bird Man) is pretty nifty to me. The MO Factory itself gives off some rad dystopian vibes. There’s broken glass, rustic growths, and just some generally off-putting shades of gray and blue that help add to its somber surroundings. The actual MOs themselves are a lot of fun. DMO (voiced by Aziz Ansari) is an enjoyably sassy and stuck up adversary for the boys, as are the quite bumbling SMOs. I originally viewed them as carbon copies of the Banana Guards, but I actually think they’re funnier than the average Banana Guard appearance. I enjoy their mundane work oriented conversations and their frequent use of the term “goof.” Also, the concept of robots trying to eat and drink on this show will never not be funny to me.
This one also has some moments of genuine excitement. The cart ride through the MO factory is just as funny as it is riveting; Finn memorizing the map right down to its corkscrew, is both wildly funny and absurd. A lot of it is boarded by Steve Wolfhard, who typically has nice drawings, though they don’t always translate terrifically when it comes to the animation process, but this sequence actually looks quite nice. There’s also a few cool Easter eggs, like the addition of AMO’s room, who would eventually play a bigger part two seasons later. Wolfhard is a stickler for including tiny bits of lore and information that could or could not come back in the future depending on what he or the other story editors wanted to do with it.
The cream of the crop of this one is the ending, where we’re introduced to Moe, another semi-human who created BMO. Moe is a character I’ve always wished that we got to see a little more of, but I do enjoy the mystery surrounding him and his connections to creating modernized, as well as futuristic, technology after the apocalypse. The idea behind BMO’s creation is as sad as it is cute; sad because BMO was never used for what he was intended for, as Moe was never able to have children, but cute because BMO was essentially able to fulfill his purpose by meeting Finn. I don’t think we’re ever going to get a flashback story on how BMO, Finn and Jake met, nor do I think it’s necessary, but I assume that Finn did come across the little console when he was somewhere between 9-12, allowing BMO to make the connection he was intended to, and to “be more” than that. It really is the most adorable way to give BMO an identity beyond him just being a video game console. Though BMO was most likely never told his purpose, he likely knows his purpose regardless. He is there to be more than just a robot, and he constantly acknowledges it by not “feeling” like a robot. Despite his constant struggle with his identity and morality, BMO is simply going through the phases of what it means to be a living being, whether he knows it or not.
So yeah, I like it! It isn’t as dark or as analytical as some of the other BMO episodes we’ve gotten in the past, which I tend to get into more, but this one is just a fun, heartfelt journey that gives BMO an appropriately fitting origin. Tom Herpich’s promo art was almost as good as the title card itself, so I’ll share with you here.
There was also an original ending in the storyboard where Moe asked Finn, Jake, and BMO to leave so he could use the bathroom, and I’m really glad they took it out. Would’ve totally killed any warm feelings Be More left me with.