Tag Archive | Gunther

“Orgalorg” Review

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Original Airdate: June 3, 2015

Written & Storyboarded by: Graham Falk

As a whole, I think I’m pretty neutral to the idea that Gunter is truly a space deity. I mean, on the one hand it’s kind of funny and clever, especially since it ties back into a small gag that was established all in the way back in It Came From the Nightosphere and also that it’s an unlikely backstory that I would expect from Adventure Time’s most ambiguous character. But on the other hand, I’m kind of curious as to what it actually adds to the series. As far as I’m concerned, Orgalorg could have been cut out of the series almost entirely and not much would be lost, so it’s weird to me that the writing staff even decided that this was a story important enough to introduce at the very end of a season and then effectively glance over for the remainder of the series. In addition to that, I don’t really care enough for Gunter as a character to actually want to see his backstory explored. He’s primarily a gag character whose sole purpose is to add comic relief or to work off of Ice King in some way. But going back to my original point, it’s not something that actively bothers me or strikes me as story carried out in an absolutely horrible way. Granted, I really don’t care a ton about the history explored in Orgalorg, but Graham Falk’s oddball style blends with this one quite seamlessly, and helps to give it a compellingly off-putting atmosphere.

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I think the beginning goes on waaaay too long, but in a way that’s actually pretty amusing and still reels a couple chuckles out of me. It’s pure Ice King goodness, as he starts out knitting various different “tummy yarmulkes” and takes his sweet time to eat a piece of a cheesecake (with sleeping gas very poorly concealed inside). Again, I can’t argue that it’s not drawn out, but it’s executed in such an absurd way that I can’t help but enjoy it. Like, Ice King got out the cheesecake, took one bite, and then mentions that he’s getting full. No wonder the dude probably weighs less than Finn. Absurdity continues to ensue once the sleeping gas is released, as a penguin party is underway.

The party of Gunters is a lot of fun; the penguins on Adventure Time often help to provide for some of the show’s silliest moments, and this is no exception. I also like the random inclusion of LSP at the Gunter party, because apparently this is the only crowd that actually invites her anywhere. Oh well, at least she was getting along good with Gunthalina. Gunter is a character that’s hard to get into because of how little we’re able to actually understand what he’s feeling at any given time, though Falk does a pretty good job at keeping him expressive. Him leaning into the walrus as he envisions a comet was a pretty well-timed scene, and one that transitions into the bizarreness that is the remainder of the episode.

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The red-ish filter that encapsulates the Gunter’s perspective helps to emphasize that off feeling, and Gunter’s flashes of trauma are a legitimately neat way to capture his changed shifted mindset. The scenes to follow are delightfully trippy as well, as Gunter feels compelled to create wooden silhouettes of familiar faces from his past. The music in this one really ups the unsettling tone, as Tim Kiefer tries his hardest to make the audio as unnatural as possible.

Once transitioning over to the alien planet where citizens are notified of Orgalorg’s revival into society, things get even crazier. It’s rare that we actually get to see a full-blown alien society within the Adventure Time universe, and these beings are especially likably bizarre and unique in their designs. They provide plenty of funny lines, such as the elders’ disgust with “makeouts” and their desire to inform people of Orgalorg because of it. This is where Orgalorg’s backstory is presented, and while it’s cool to see side characters like Glob and the King of Mars once more, and the narration itself from one of the elders is also quite delightful, I feel like the history itself is kind of half-baked. So Glob cast Orgalorg down and the weight of the Earth turned him into a penguin? Em, why? Even if the form simply cast him into a smaller version of himself, why would he then just become indistinguishable from every other penguin in the world? It’s absurdity that doesn’t really work because I think it’s sacrificing what is supposed to be a story that’s legitimate lore-building, but kind of fails because I don’t think a lot of it adds up. Also, if this happened eons ago, then why is Glob shown with headgear in the flashback? I know that’s kind of a nitpick, but it’s somewhat more distracting when the You Forgot Your Floaties was only two episodes earlier and was clever in referencing the G-Man’s flowing hair.

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The flashes of Gunter’s past following this backstory are good fun and it’s nice to see actual painted drawings within the show itself for a change. Another big gripe I have with this flashback sequence is that there’s also a small bit of discontinuity: as Gunter is riding on a boat, there’s a letter “G” labeled on his sail. Though it can be considered up for debate and ambiguous enough, the obvious implication is that the “G” stands for Gunter, which doesn’t make sense, because Gunter wouldn’t have even gotten the name until he became Ice King’s companion. Again, I might be nitpicking here, but it’s little stuff like this that really bugs me in the grand scheme of things. I guessed someone may have noticed it, but left it up for interpretation as to what the “G” could stand for, but it’s likely that it was just missed in translation. Speaking of missed in translation, Ice King stupidly mistakes Gunter’s literal brain gushing out as a mere infliction, and sees to it that his little buddy’s wound is treated. Little does Ice King know what actually lies ahead for the penguin. Which will be mentioned once more and then never, ever again!

Orgalorg has its flaws: there’s bits of discontinuity, unconvincing pieces of information, and an overall story that I think in general is not inherently as intriguing as it wants to be. But it does get the tone right, and I think it cleverly carries the episode where the story does not. I kind of enjoy this one in the same way I enjoy Ghost Fly; it’s weird, unusual, and silly in some areas, with a hint of disconcerting elements to really execute the visual and tonal elements within. So I think Orgalorg actually works in presentation much better than on paper. It’s the backstory of a character that I don’t particularly care about, but I enjoy visiting it still for its heavy atmosphere and visual flare.

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Favorite line: “It’s like… a big yarmulke… for the tummy…”

“Evergreen” Review

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Written & Storyboarded by: Tom Herpich & Steve Wolfhard

Original Airdate: January 15, 2015

That beginning transition from the opening title with Finn and Jake to the title card with Gunther and Nina is all we really need to completely engross us in a prehistoric version of the world of Adventure Time, and the first pre-Mushroom War episode to date. This is a pretty huge episode, and it doesn’t really take its time explaining anything. It immediately throws you into an entirely new, but familiar world, yet it’s another example of what season six does so well. By this point, we’re somewhat used to episodes that don’t focus on Finn and Jake, and as long as the characters and stories are interesting, we don’t truly feel the weight of their absence. This episode is not only big in its scope, but it’s also somewhat significant in how this episode was practically written entirely by Tom Herpich. While Andres Salaff directed it and Steve Wolfhard assisted with some bits and pieces during the storyboard process, Herpich conceived the story for this episode entirely on his own – a rarity for the series in general. Though, I couldn’t think of a better person to put at the helm of Evergreen. Herpich is one of the greatest storytellers in the series, both visually and writing wise, and he’s able to tell a tale that is heartwrenching, and serves as one of the most lore-heavy episodes of the entire series.

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Even if Finn and Jake aren’t in the episode, their identities are still captured through the presence of Gunther and Nina, who aren’t exactly like their human counterparts, but still manage to capture some of that charm. For instance, Gunther is a pretty goofy kid with a good heart who only wants to serve for what is right (Urgence Evergreen) even if that means he can often times get wrapped up in his own conflicted behavior. Nina shares virtually no similarities to Jake aside from her appearance, but doesn’t do much to impact the story in any way either. She’s simply there to be Gunther’s loyal companion, as Jake is to Finn. Gunther is enjoyable by just how much his childlike inspiration consumes him, which, like many other characters in the AT universe, is attributed to some terrific voice acting. Pamela Adlon voices Gunther, whose voice is likely most well-recognized from King of the Hill, and she does a spectacular job of giving Gunther the right amount of energy and heart behind his lines.

It always surprises me just how serious and straightforward this episode is. That’s not to say it’s devoid of lighter and funnier moments, but this is the type of episode that is entirely more focused on creating an enticing story and an apprehensive atmosphere than trying to force laughs from the audience, and I commend it for that. The convergence between Evergreen, Chatsberry, Slimy D, and Balthus is entirely foreboding. The “funniest” aspect of this meeting is the fact that the elements in the Adventure Time world are fire, ice, candy, and slime, which are both hilarious and kind of awesome bits of lore to add to the series. In a world where candy is so dominant, it nearly makes sense that such a heavily focused aspect of the series would have some sort of elemental nature, and helps the Adventure Time world to stand apart even more from other fantasy worlds. Sure, they could’ve gone with the already well-known classically defined elements, but in the surreal and unusual world of Adventure Time, this seems the most fitting. The elementals are all really well-designed and portrayed. It’s a nice touch having Keith David voice Balthus, though it’s a little disappointing in hindsight, seeing as how Flame King didn’t end up being the fire elemental. Having Alan Tudyk voice Chatsberry was sheer brilliance, seeing as how he previously voiced King Candy in Wreck-It Ralph. And of course, Tom Kenny does a standout job voicing Evergreen. I know Kenny is used rampantly throughout western animation, so it’s a given that he’s a talented guy, but it’s his distance from the more goofy and cartoony inflections through his characters in AT that truly define how much range Kenny has. He’s able to capture Ice King, Simon, and Evergreen, who all relatively have the exact same voice, in unique and diverse ways, giving each character a specific identity. I also gotta give props for his design; he sorta just looks like a more disheveled and ominous Ice King, but the random inclusion of chicken legs helps to provide Evergreen with interesting mythological properties.

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The entire middle of the episode is dedicated to showing Evergreen and Gunther’s relationship in great detail. The connection between the two is simple, yet telling: Evergreen is so consumed with his own ego and desires to save the world (but mainly himself) from impending dangers that he doesn’t recognize Gunther’s desires for love and compassion, or at least doesn’t care. It’s made very clear from the beginning that Evergreen is a loony survivalist who really only wants to preserve himself and his legacy, but doesn’t care for those around him or their well-being. Gunther is quite the opposite; he cares for Evergreen and respects him probably more so than he does for himself. But Evergreen doesn’t accept Gunther’s niceness and loyalty, and views Gunther more as a prop or a servant to help him to carry out his more tedious deeds. Evergreen simply manipulates Gunther by bringing the little dino boy under his wing, only to make Gunther feel inferior and as though he’ll never be able to achieve any success as long as Evergreen is around. And Gunther feels just that, as his undying loyalty to his master causes him to feel increasingly low about himself. So much so that Gunther’s need to do things the way Evergreen would causes him to make the same behavioral mistakes that his master does. When his mission to gather water is failing, and his pet Nina attempts to help, Gunther smacks Nina aside and shouts “Nina, no!” It’s probably one of the darkest moments of the episode to see this cute little creature tossed aside so aggressively, and even a bit depressing that we watch this goofy character mirror his idol’s abusive behavior.

I haven’t mentioned it yet, but good God does this episode just look beautiful. Once in Magwood’s volcano, the eruption of different reds and oranges illuminate the screen, and the way these colors reflect through the characters just makes everything look like one big visual treat. And keeping in the realm of variety, those reds switch to harsh greens when the catalyst comet grows closer, giving the entire location a feeling of trepidation. This is probably the best example of using color to shift atmosphere in the entire series, and it really gives the entire episode a cinematic feel. There’s also some solid bits of animation, mainly with the way Magwood interacts with its surroundings, and when Evergreen nearly melts while in its cave. The design and different forms of Magwood are inherently interesting in general, ‘specially since it kind of resembles Tree Trunks, despite the fact that it is supposedly a dog. Would not be surprised in the least if this resemblance was on purpose – this episode was storyboarded by Tom and Steve, after all.

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The battle inside Magwood’s cave is all pretty awesome and the stakes do truly feel high (Magwood even kills the poor, old Ice Imp!) but the real clincher is the way that Evergreen responds to Gunther’s actions. Though Gunther was noticed by Magwood, his distraction gave Evergreen an opportunity to rejuvenate and to successfully steal the jewel off the Magwood’s head. But Evergreen doesn’t acknowledge this, as the only thing he knows is that Gunther disobeyed his orders. Despite having essentially saved the day, Gunther is left only with the impression that he disappointed his main hero, as he solemnly drops his head before a dramatically placed fade-to-black.

The hectic climax begins to build as the catalyst comet grows closer, and it becomes more obvious what the comet represents. As the ice tower is shadowed by the color green and the comet continues to fall with two twirling horns, it’s pretty apparent that said comet represents the Lich. The Lich’s history began to become a little confusing at this point, as most people were conflicted as to whether the Lich’s origins were brought about through the mutagenic bombs during the Mushroom War, as opposed to a deadly comet. Though, these next few episodes, and the rest of the series in general, make apparent that the Lich simply represents anything that embodies mass death. He is the entity of ending all life, whether it be a deadly comet offering nothing but extinction, or a harmful nuke used in the brink of a war. It makes his presence much more frightening and deadly.

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It’s nice to see that the ice crown’s creation ties back into Ice King’s statement in What Have You Done? that he built it with the magic that he stole. Once again, the writers outdo themselves by touching on previous plotholes early on in the series and correcting them without retconning anything. After a reckless encounter with Magwood, Evergreen is left in a state he isn’t quite used to: being completely powerless. For once his life, he cannot rely solely on himself, and must turn to Gunther to do so. Following Evergreen’s orders, Gunther must put on the crown and focus on his deepest and truest wish. However, as Gunther places the ice crown on his head, we’re reminded of Chatsberry’s words earlier in the episode:

“This wish may see things in you you cannot see yourself. Can you truly say you know your heart’s truest desire?”

Evergreen never told Gunther what exactly his truest desire should be, and Gunther is left with nothing but his own inhibitions in that regard. Sadly, Gunther does get his wish: to be just like his master Evergreen. What Gunther didn’t know, however, is that it meant being an obnoxious, loud, egotistical maniac. Had Evergreen taught Gunther how to use magic as he said he would, or if he even just treated Gunther as a genuine person, Evergreen possibly could have saved the lives of himself and others, but he failed to do so simply because his own negligence backfired on him. It’s a cautionary tale to show how important it is to treat others with care and respect, as that failure to do so could lead to the worst possible results. And it’s genuinely somewhat uncomfortable to watch Gunther transform from his wacky, dumbfounded self into a completely lunatic. Again, it’s one of the darkest endings to any Adventure Time story to date, only lightened by a somewhat comedic realization that it was all a dream sequence of Ice King’s… or was it? Obviously we know that said events actually happened, just as how we know that the events of Joshua and Margaret Investigations were legit. Annnnd, just when the episode feels as though it couldn’t get even grimmer, we’re left with the sole image of a comet heading directly for Ooo. Knowing what we know now, that “comet” isn’t as disastrous as we once thought, but the ending still strikes as an impactful and alarming conclusion to an episode that is pretty unnerving on its own.

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But as off-putting as it is, Evergreen is Adventure Time’s storytelling at its absolute finest. Like I said, it’s mostly straightforward, but I honestly think the way it’s told and and the message that’s carried across makes it feel like a fable of some sort. I could easily see this working as a story from Grimms’ Fairy Tales, because its characters and writing are so strong that they could also stand alone from the AT universe. But, in the spirit of it being in AT’s world, Evergreen is able to build on its lore so significantly. We learn more about the ice crown, catalyst comets, the elementals, the Lich, and life before Ooo all in the course of one episode. It packs so much into one neat package and doesn’t feel at all like it’s trying to cover too much territory. Plus, the visuals are GORGEOUS, as I mentioned, which helps Evergreen to feel like one big source of eye candy. This is one that I think hits home on almost every level: its characters, story, visuals, atmosphere, scope, worldbuilding, and so much more. Evergreen is truly one of Adventure Time’s most ambitious efforts to date, and it feels like a big jump forward for season six, as well as the series, as a whole. 

Favorite line: “Gettin’ fat. Gettin’ fat, right?”

“Reign of Gunters” Review

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Original Airdate: October 8, 2012

Written & Storyboarded by: Jesse Moynihan & Ako Castuera

Gunter has continually been shown as somewhat of an enigma up to this point. There’s been hints and foreshadowing of his inner darker side, most recently in King Worm, and this episode has as much fun as possible with how fucked up, while still incredibly cute and cuddly, the wide-eyed penguin is.

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It kinda goes without saying for this one that it’s somewhat all over the place. It’s essentially three different stories combined that don’t really blend together in a completely cohesive way. One is about, as the title states, a reign of Gunters attacking the Candy Kingdom. Another is about Finn’s impressionable status as a teenage that leads him heading in the direction of douchebaggery, while the third regards Ice King discovering the secret Wizard society. So yeah, none of these really have any connection at all, besides IK’s initial motivation towards heading into Wizard City, but I have to say, they are all pretty fun on their own. The battle of the Gunters provides for a lot of fun action and laughs, the detour into Finn’s adolescence reminds us that he is still in the early stages of his teenage years, and is prone to many changes in hormones, behavior, and identity when it comes to how he regards himself and his loved ones. The Ice King B-plot, while the weakest of the three, sets up a future endeavor regarding the secretive nature of Wizard City that will eventually have a bigger effect on the IK than he could ever imagine.

I guess it’s really only appropriate to talk about these stories in sequence. The initial plot begins with practically no set up, as the immediate first frame is Ice King shouting “Where the turds is my de-mon-ic wishing eye!?” It’s a very humorous beginning to emphasize the somewhat scattershot story we’re in store for, and really showcases the hilarity behind Ice King and Gunter’s father-son relationship. And by God, do I even need to bring up Ice King’s search history? Honestly, there’s very few times I’ve laughed as hard and long as I did at these freeze frame bonuses, so I almost feel obligated to include them as visual pieces.

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My personal favorites are “wizard chick pics, skinny knees” and “wiping my bum isn’t working right.” It feels less like an opportunity to get shit through the censors and just feels like something natural that you’d find when using Ice King’s search engine. I don’t even wanna know what other dirty secrets lie on that monitor.

It’s a bit of an interesting depiction for Gunter as well. I think we’re supposed to sympathize with him, but at the same time, we don’t really know what’s up with him. Does he just want love and affection? Or something much more than that? Whatever it is, it causes him to engage in complete fits of rage and doom, which leads to an eventual invasion into the Candy Kingdom. This is home to some really great interactions between Jake, PB, and Finn. They all work off of each other so well, once again showcasing PB’s somewhat goofier side (love how she just stops caring halfway through and plans on building bottles forever, I feel like she just didn’t have the effort or energy to put her time into actually defeating an army of penguins). Some terrific playful voicework by John DiMaggio in this one, where Jake doesn’t really have many funny lines on his own, but it’s one of those episodes where just the tone of DiMaggio’s delivery is enough to get a laugh out of me. And then there’s Finn, who is so confident in his own secret plans that he doesn’t really think through whether or not they’ll work out. It really is just a terrific showcase of these three distinct personalities, allowing their goofier, as well as their more prideful sides come out in full force. It’s also just an endearing hangout experience for them. From PB’s reaction, I think she sees this as a more opportune time to hangout with her boys than immediately get up in arms and weapons-heavy in regard to the Gunter invasion. She probably knows she can handle it, but would much rather just take it easy and do something silly with her close friends, which is why she acknowledges that her plan is awful. The stakes actually do feel pretty high during this one, despite the fact that, once again, we’re dealing with an army of Gunters. The scene with Gunter nearly cracking the Gumball Guardian is definitely wince-worthy, and actually somewhat had me concerned on where it was going next. Of course, the episode does ends with Ice King giving Gunter the “squirty-squirts” so any sinister motivations from Gunter just come off as mere “teen angst”… for now, at least.

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About halfway through the episode revolves around Finn’s excerpt about how he wants to be more secretive towards women in case anything with Flame Princess ends up failing. It makes sense that Finn would want to be more educated on how to handle relationships since he’s in his first committed one with FP, and makes even more sense that he wouldn’t want to go into another spiraling depression that’s equivalent to what he went through with Bubblegum. Of course, it makes Finn look more like a jackass that he’s subtly manipulating people for his own gain, but it’s a terrific segue into his eventual fuck-ups that are based off of hormonal needs and the teenage male perspective. I was never bothered by this side of Finn because I felt it was an honest, realistic, and interesting portrayal of his character that went beyond just simply portraying him as a stand-up kid with no moral issues. It’s an intriguing step up from what we’ve already seen from the innocent little guy, and even more interesting that he looks to outside media for advice regarding how to handle girls, something I think most teenage boys are also guilty of. This, in return, introduces us to Jay T. Doggzone, and I swear to God, if we don’t find out who the identity of this author is before the end of the series, I’m gonna be hella pissed. Jay T. Doggzone was a recurring element added in that continued appearing through the end of Season Four towards the end of Season Five, and it’s constantly implied that he’s Jake, yet never openly revealed. I feel as though the staff may have just scrapped following up on this idea, which I don’t really mind not knowing, but I feel like they added so much God damn build-up already towards the identity behind this character that it keeps me up at night wondering who this guy is. Is it Jake’s secret alter-ego? Why does Jake write “trash books” in secret? Who are you Jay T. Doggzone!? Honestly, the finale could leave me with as many open questions as possible, as long as I find out who this fucking author is, I can die in peace.

Ice King’s B-plot isn’t especially lengthy, but it does introduce us to Wizard City for the first time: a totally rad landscape where some choice wizards hangout. It’s also the first speaking appearance of Huntress Wizard, that I know Jesse Moynihan in particular was probably really, really hype about. Moynihan had already tried to incorporate Huntress Wizard into his AT episodes a couple of times, and this was the first successful pitch (aside from her non-speaking cameo in Wizard Battle). She’s good fun to watch; snarky, mysterious, and well-designed, her presence is always welcomed, especially when her personality battles Ice King’s. But IK doesn’t mind, since his Jay T. motherfucking Doggzone book told him otherwise. The secret society of wizards kickstarts that cool recurring story arc, and is definitely the biggest and most interesting takeaway from this episode. I didn’t really know what to expect from this combination of unique wizards, and felt that there were a ton of possibilities that could come from it, especially in regards to the division from Wizard-culture and Ooo-culture. And it’s a small moment towards the end, but I really enjoy Finn’s notable sympathy for Ice King and his physical injuries. They could’ve easily just pinned the entire Gunter incident on the IK, but I enjoy how Finn especially is more concerned with his well-being than why he wasn’t keeping a better eye on his pet penguin.

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I kinda went into this one feeling divided because of its scattershot nature, but I actually have to say that I do enjoy this one. Sure, the set pieces never really flow well together, but I still think it’s thoroughly enjoyable and fun all the way through, no matter what its focus is. It never feels so incoherent that it’s distracting, and still keeps my attention regardless. You could definitely argue that it’s unfocused, but take an episode like Ignition Point that’s a complete snore-fest, despite it’s solid main story. Reign of Gunters may not be the most cohesive episode, but it’s certainly a lot of fun. Great character interactions, jokes, lore, and a wildly silly conflict, everything that Adventure Time does right in one, flimsy package.

Favorite line: “Bubb, your plan… bunks.”

“Still” Review

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Original Airdate: August 22, 2011

Written & Storyboarded by: Somilay Xayaphone & Kent Osborne

Still is simply one of the funniest developmental Ice King episodes of all time. I can’t think of a single episode I’ve rewatched up to the point that I’ve laughed at as much as this one. There’s a lot of great one liners, gags, character interactions, and just a really hilarious story that carries through till the very end.

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Not a particularly interesting screencap, but who is that dude in the picture frame with Finn?? Is that supposed to be Jake?

It’s funny because this episode could’ve easily just worked as a sequel to the ending of Hitman, and it fits with the general tone of continuing to experiment with Ice King’s admiration of Finn and Jake. It’s funny because, while he’s completely insane and actually comes off as somewhat threatening for freezing F&J, he shows that he legitimately has general knowledge about the duo’s interests and aspirations, including Finn’s love of meatloaf (a recurring character trait of his) and Jake’s incapability to express his emotions genuinely. It actually makes him more sympathetic because, while he has no idea how to be a true friend to anyone, he actually does truly care about Finn and Jake and has more interest in their lives than they would ever have about his. Even though Jake notes that the IK has tried to kill them “like, four times” but of course, that’s only because the two boys are constantly “princess blocking” him. Any guy would do the same!

A good majority of the episode, however, is just the very quirky interactions between the Ice King and the boys that takes place exclusively in the tree house. From this point, it’s a pure romp of nonstop laughs. Ice King dressing like Finn and pretending to be him is both really creepy (imagine if you were witnessing him doing this in real life) and truly hilarious. Actually, creepy and funny are themes mixed quite a bit in this episode. I’m not sure if the IK taking pictures of his penguins’ body parts is more uncomfortable or really funny, but maybe I just have to settle for both.

I really love any episode of any animated series that deals with general annoyance with another character, and Jake’s reaction to the Ice King throughout the episode is just priceless. John DiMaggio does a really standout job of giving Jake a very angry yet deadpan tone, and the drawings coincide perfectly with some really humorous facial expressions. I was literally gasping for air laughing at the breakfast scene: “Well, how ’bout I make us some omelettes?” “That sounds pretty good, actually.” “I’m gonna put my foot in it!”

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The other chunk of the episode is Finn trying to connect with an astral beast, which later turns out to be his spirit animal, a butterfly. It’s equally as amusing as the main plot to watch Finn continually shout in an artistically pleasing setting about channeling this beast through his mind. It’s also somewhat of a star episode for Gunther, who was called to “act like a cat” in the outline of this episode (Somvilay even drew him as a cat in the early storyboards). It’s just really cute watching him roam around and play with his surroundings, though I still never know how to feel about the blatant scene where he’s dry humping Jake’s face. The staff jokes about this in the commentary by saying “Gunther’s got some really great dance moves.” Y’all know what you did!!

The episode ends on a perfect note as well. Ice King learns a thing or two about what being a true friend means and the fact that he isn’t going to get anywhere by forcing his two buddies to love him. Considering he never pulls a stunt like this again, I really think Ice King begins to grasp a bit of an understanding of how friendships and love work, and the idea that his misconception is causing him more bad than good. It’s a bit of a crucial moment because of how difficult it is to get through to Ice King. He’s certainly trying to improve his life on one way or another and, despite his craziness, he is learning to be just a smidge more sane day by day. Even though he ruins it in the end by purchasing the wrong unfreezing potion. I really wonder how the three of them got out of this pickle.

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My only lingering question from this episode: where is BMO? It seems like a bit of a contrivance that he’s just completely missing because, obviously if he was there, this plot wouldn’t hold much water. I’m just gonna go with the excuse that he was at soccer practice or something, and later came back to unfreeze his friends.

Aside from that minor detail though, this episode cracks me up. It’s continuously funny from beginning to end, and I really just love the consistent characterization of Ice King throughout this season. Season three really is Ice King’s star season of the show, putting him in many of the series’ funniest episodes, as well as some of the most poignant, and those types of episode would only increase in quality from hereon in.

Favorite line: “Jake, sometimes you don’t cry because you’re afraid of real emotion. It’s okay, let it out.”