“The Comet” Review

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Original Airdate: June 5, 2015

Written & Storyboarded by: Andy Ristaino & Jesse Moynihan

The Comet works as both sheer satisfaction and slight disappointment. The disappointment arises from the fact that this big, hyped-up finale doesn’t really progress the story of Adventure Time further, nor does it seem to take any risks or ensue changes regarding the status of this world. If anything, things seem to hit the reset button more than ever: Gunter is back to normal, the comet no longer poses as a threat to Ooo, Martin is out of Finn’s life for good, Finn has once more contained the grass sword embedded in his hand, and everything seems to be fully back to normal. In fact, the previous episode Hot Diggity Doom, actually comes with more lasting changes to the status quo than The Comet does. With the past three season finales that all came with with cliffhangers that seemed to change the world of Adventure Time as we all knew it, this is certainly a change of pace. On the other hand, that satisfaction comes from the combination of different themes regarding the meaning of life that were explored through Finn and many other characters throughout this season. After questioning the meaning of life countless times throughout this season, Finn now has fully grasped the essentials to a better method of living, including his faith in the world around him as a whole and his acceptance of some of the shitty that are inevitably going to surround him. And honestly, it’s all so genuinely enlightening that I don’t really mind that it doesn’t cap off in some huge cliffhanger. The Comet is a conclusion of central themes, but not a conclusion to the series. There’s plenty more episodes moving forward that aim at driving other AT plot points forward, but this one simply exists to progress not its story, but its central character into a more content way of living. Its setting is also a rather beautiful depiction of space, giving it a proper atmosphere for the heady bits of knowledge Moynihan does so well at dropping.

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Immediately, as the boys are shot into space, Finn is saved by the rarely seen thorn embedded in his palm. The thorn was a scar that was left as a reminder of all that Finn has lost: his father, his girlfriend, his previous way of life. That scar remained on Finn’s palm as a constant day-by-day notification of his impending worries that still have an effect on his life. Though, here, it’s this very scar that helps to save him from impending death. It’s very clear that, in this episode, Finn is learning that those scars are exactly what helped him into a new way of being. All of the devastating things that happened to Finn were signal from the universe that helped to teach him new methods of coping and existing, and here, it’s the exact scar that spawned Finn into a pit of depression that is saving him from certain death. I’m probably reaching, but it’s nice to see that all of these elements come back successfully to show how much Finn’s view on the things around him have changed over the course of several months. He no longer views negative aspects of his life as strictly negative, and even the shitty things that he acknowledges are shitty, he still is able to accept and understand them, but we’ll get to that more later.

The first chunk is mainly a fun and silly space adventure featuring Finn, Jake, and Slinkma- er, Orgalorg… and it’s relatively enjoyable to say the least. Think it goes without saying for myself that Orgalorg hasn’t grown on me at all – he’s still a pretty lame villain with little motivation and lacking a personality that actually makes him unique or interesting outside of the fact that he’s connected to Gunter. Otherwise, I care little for his plan, his character, or his design. The way Finn and Jake comedically work off of him is nice, however. This is Andy Ristaino’s last board in the series, and it’s nice to see that he did incorporate some of his trademark humor into his final episode. I personally think Cole Sanchez and Ristaino made for the best comedy duo in the series, and while this one mainly doesn’t go for straightforward comedy, it still is packed with silly moments. Though Orgalorg is primarily an antagonist, he provides a bit of wisdom about the universe’s presentation of open doors that Finn can get behind. But, the ideas presented by Orgalorg are similarly dissonant to Finn’s own desires. Orgalorg uses the opportunities given to him to destroy and harm the life around him, while Finn uses said “open doors” to preserve life and to help others. Of course, this is nothing new in Finn’s development. Despite his maturity, he’s still willing to kick butt for the common good, even if that means foolishly threatening a space deity.

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Of course, it’s to no avail at first. Finn and Jake are separated, as Finn realizes the hard truth that Jake could possibly live out his worrisome croak dream. Finn also laments that it’s quite possible that he himself will croak, “like a fish in the hands of a small child.” It’s here where Finn’s patience in the world that surrounds him is tested. Finn has no other choice but to sit back and sing an auto-tune filled song about his acceptance of his current state. Finn puts all of his faith in the universe, knowing that things will work out and that the world has his back, even if that faith isn’t based behind any logic. Finn simply trusts in the concept that everything around him is happening for a reason, and though he can’t truly explain or understand that reason, he knows that it’s for the best. And it undoubtedly comes as a surprise when Martin is the one who ends up saving him.

It can clearly be seen as an utter coincidence that Martin and Finn ended up at the same place at the same time, which can reflect Martin’s view more than his son, but Finn humbly and unabashedly thanks the universe for such an action, knowing that fate must have stepped in and brought the father and son duo back together. The interactions between Martin and Finn make for probably my favorites exchanges between the two thus far. I like how it brings out even more differences and disagreements the two seem to share, that being their view on life. Martin sees everything as meaningless and without purpose; Martin doesn’t believe in outside forces or people that have a control on his life or the things around him because he only ever believes in himself and what he’s able to accomplish. Martin sees the world as a fun place to exist in because he believes that everything lacks a purpose, and so it doesn’t matter what one does or chooses to do because it inevitably doesn’t matter at all in the grand scheme of things. Finn is the perfect contrast to his father, as Finn is one to see purpose in life in even the simplistic of things. Which makes for the brilliant response, “I dunno, there are some stars and stuff,” as Martin describes space as completely empty. Throughout the season, we’ve seen Jake’s tail charm a load of circus carnies, a baby worm save an entire village of leaf people, a group of wizards find meaning in the power of inclusivity, Peppermint Butler show loyalty beyond his orders to help the common good, Sweet P. using kindness and humor rather than the darkness that lies inside of him, Susan Strong saving a baby from becoming a cult leader, and so on. All of these little events that seem totally inconsequential, but ultimately are small events that had a purpose in one way or another to benefit the good of the world. Even when Finn isn’t paying attention, all sorts of meaningful, positive events are occurring in radical bouts, no matter how much they actually impact things on a universal level.

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When faced with the adversity of Orgalorg right in front of them, Martin once again reminds Finn, “it’s out of our hands now,” which is yet another cowardly excuse to take the bystander approach and to convince Finn that his actions are generally meaningless. But Finn isn’t one to stand by and to allow things to go to shit, and he curses his father with “skronk that!” as he selflessly propels himself forward into the belly of Orgalorg. While Finn is torn at by the vessels of Orgalorg, his grass sword finally fully unveils itself, revealing that it never truly left Finn’s body, and he’s ultimately able to control it in order to help him beat Orgalorg. Touching on my statement earlier, this is Finn finally gaining control over his life. Though the grass sword would later become an issue that Finn was unable to fully have a handle on, as life does fluctuate, Finn has one true moment of authority over his own being, and uses all that he has learned about himself and the power within him to power through Orgalorg’s body.

It’s here where the Catalyst Comet reveals itself, as we’re treated to a heady conversation that only the likes of Moynihan could whip up. We travel through Finn’s vault and once again are reintroduced to Finn’s past lives, as he begins to touch on the unexplainable and the absurd, as which is presented to him when the comet invites him on an entirely new path of existence, to continue such random absurdity that began his existence. I won’t call out everything that the Comet lists off, but I just wanna say how happy I am that the comet labeled Margaret and Joshua as “mothers” and “fathers” while Martin holds the unflattering title of “scoundrels.” Joshua was more of a father to Finn than Martin will ever be, and such a title doesn’t represent Martin in the slightest. Though, Finn quickly grows tired of these listings and realizes that nothing on the list is inherently a bad thing. Again, most of them are just random and absurd occurences of existing that are inevitable. Though, as the comet reassures him that the things he would abandon are not bad in the slightest, Finn remarks that he’d like to see the meat reality that he put so much into through. It’s a huge moment for Finn, who is essentially left with the decision to erase himself from existence for the promise of eternal bliss, or to continue to live a life that is understandably full of constant struggling. Once again, Finn has chosen to put his faith in the universe and the support groups around him to see his life through, even with the chance that not everything is going to end up okay. That work he put into getting through his own life crisis is certainly worth something, and all of the effort he put into helping others around him in general is enough to give him a reason to see such things through. And if that wasn’t a significant enough development for the little guy, he finally comes to accept that Martin is nothing but a scummy, selfish dude who cannot be changed simply by Finn’s persistence. This is the last we saw of Martin’s (current) self in the series, and although I do wish we got to see more of what his decision entails, it feels like a fitting conclusion to his character that he would once again unwittingly jump aboard the next opportunity that presents itself to him. Though Finn’s disappointment is likely masked with him simply laughing it off, it does show how far he’s come from wanting to literally rip his father’s arm off. Finn is choosing to accept the shittiness of his father as it is, knowing that there’s nothing he could do or could have done to change it. Finn is no longer stuck in the past, but rather focused on the present and the future, knowing that he has plenty of other people around him that do love and care for him.

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And speaking of loving and caring people, Jake ends up being saved by Banana Man! Jake’s croak dream turns out to actually be a survival dream, entailing Banana Man saving Jake in space, rather than watching him die. Jake remarks, “pretty random, right?” Though, in the face of what’s possible and realistic within life, it’s often hard to decipher what exactly is or is not on purpose, which is something The Comet tackles head on. Finn contemplated about “bananas, man” earlier, which may contribute to his belief that he had a part in Jake’s saving, and while it’s unlikely, it is hard to argue with how many seemingly “random” things do occur in the episode that are undefined by nature.

That question also arises when Peppermint Butler and Bubblegum debate Finn and Jake’s safety, in a really nice exchange. PB’s statement that everything in life is a 50/50 chance, too, sums up quite nicely what The Comet is all about: certainty and uncertainty. Though nothing can be known in life, there’s a chance everything will end up alright, and a chance that nothing will. But there’s also the similar possibility that both realities will either fall apart or turn around in the end, leading to an endless strain of 50/50 chances. Though, for the time being, everything does end up alright, with Finn, Jake, Banana Man, and Gunter back on Earth once more. A struggling fish in the hands of a small child(?) does remark, “I’m gonna croak out here.” While it seems likely for the poor fish, it’s also quite possible that Pepbut will simply throw him back into Butterscotch Lake to swim on happily once more. The episode leaves us with one final reminder that there are a limitless amount of opportunities within the world for happiness, sadness, survival, death, wellbeing, sickness, and may other contradicting statuses, but having faith in the world around you and powering through is what helps to get one through any state of uncontrollable being. It’s a meat reality, but one that does exist with the purpose and meaning that anyone is able to create.

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The Comet is a terrific cap to some really nice ideologies that made this season so ambitious and enjoyable. After going through episodes that seemed to question whether or not there was truly meaning to the world, this episode is a positive reinforcement to showcase a message that’s affirming and enlightening. It also successfully makes a breakthrough in Finn’s growth, as he finally begins to accept his life as it is. Though this certainly wouldn’t be the end to Finn’s troubles and sorrows, it does help Finn look onto the world with fresh eyes and feelings, knowing that he’ll be able to get through anything life throws at him, no matter how harsh or stressful.

And that’s the end of season six, folks! Thank you all for joining me during this beast of a season. Your comments over on the reddit are really what keep this project interesting for me, and I enjoy every second of discussing this series as it continues to get more thought-provoking than before. The remainder of this week will be dedicated to reviewing season six as a whole, followed by a review of Graybles Allsorts, and then I will begin reviewing season seven by next week. As always, I’m so very excited to keep diving into these reviews, so stay tuned! There are some truly remarkable episodes on the horizon.

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Favorite line: “I don’t have a star to revolve around to track time.”

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