Tag Archive | Bert Youn

“Apple Thief” Review

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Original Airdate: October 3, 2011

Written & Storyboarded by: Tom Herpich and Bert Youn

Apple Thief is Tree Trunks’ return to center stage after her revival in Crystals Have Power. It’s a basic mystery themed story, and it’s a pretty decent one at that. AT has done many, many noir or mystery-esque stories down the line, and this one isn’t really one of the stronger episodes. However, I do have a bit of a soft spot for Tree Trunks, so it makes this experience at least passable.

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There’s some nice introductions in this episode including a brief bit of history into Jake’s criminal past, which we come to know as a central part of his backstory and early life. Finn’s reaction to it is perfect as well, he just briefly glances over it without even asking follow-up questions. We see a bit more into the Candy Tavern, which is a very enjoyable unseen aspect of the Candy Kingdom. We’re used to seeing Candy People who are strictly bubbly and dimwitted, so seeing a tougher, grittier version of said Candy People is really amusing (I love the image of a candy cane person on one of the bathrooms. What is that even supposed to represent?). I especially like the two gangs introduced in this episode, and almost wish they’d make subsequent appearances. They’re really cleverly woven into the plot, and I really wanna know what’s up with the Dr. J gang and the other rival group. Could totally see it working as a West Side Story homage.

This episode also introduces Mr. Pig, whose presence on the show is somewhat of an enigma to me. I never know really how to feel about him, his personality is never really fleshed out in full. He’s just kind of a reserved, quirky dude. Ron Lynch is really what carries his entire character though, he does a terrific job of giving him a sense of dry sincerity that’s completely monotonous. If you’re not familiar with Ron Lynch, check out Home Movies. It’s great!

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Besides that, there are a good handful of funny gags in this episode: I love Raggedy Princess’s brief cameo and how Finn, Jake, and Tree Trunks just completely ignore the fact that she fell and is stuck in a ditch. Raggedy Princess is one of my all time favorite princesses in the show, I just wanna give her a hug every time she’s on screen. That girl’s got, like, zero self-respect! I like Finn, Jake, and Tree Trunks trying to be tough, and TT thinking that eating toilet paper will make her seem grunge. In addition to that, I just enjoy the chemistry between Finn, Jake, and Tree Trunks. Finn and Tree Trunks’ relationship went in a bit of a formulaic direction back in Tree Trunks, but I just really love how genuinely sweet to one another they all are. Tree Trunks is a character that certainly requires a lot of patience to deal with, not because she’s antagonistic or obnoxious, but because she’s simply old and senile. Finn and Jake have the perfect amount of optimism and acceptance when dealing with her, and watching the three of them together is just really endearing. 

Besides that, it’s a pretty okay episode. Nothing that leans in the direction of really good or really bad, it’s just relatively subpar. There’s not really anything that noteworthy either. The resolution to the conflict of the episode isn’t really predictable, but it’s just something that doesn’t feel ingenious or hilariously executed. It’s just… cute, really. I think that’s the best way to describe this episode: cute. It’s not one that’s really strong in its story, or even its premise, for that matter. However, it is relatively enjoyable from beginning to end, and the characters are delightful to watch either way. Definitely not a strong episode, but one that’s perfectly passable for what it is.

Fun fact: Nick Jennings accidentally fucked up with the backgrounds in an early version of this episode and drew every tree with apples. Good thing he picked up on that!

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Favorite line: “All ne’er-do-wells call diamonds ‘apples’, calling money “bread” or rock-knockers ‘butter-slaps.'”

 

“Hitman” Review

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Favorite line: “Someone got hit in the boing-loins! … Hit in the boing-loins… boing-loins… boing-loins… somebody got hit in them.”