Original Airdate: January 14, 2013
Written & Storyboarded by: Somvilay Xayaphone & Skyler Page
I quite enjoy the concept of Davey. Finn quarreling with his identity as a hero, and wanting to just be “normal” amongst any average citizen of Ooo is a really great idea for a premise. After all, Finn certainly isn’t the kind of person to do things specifically for attention or credibility. He does it because he likes to battle bad guys and do favors for other people, that’s just who he is. When it comes down to it, however, Finn is some who enjoys his privacy, and despite his friendliness and outgoing behavior, he still is slightly introverted. So the episode largely focuses around Finn trying to go about town as a “regular person,” and does so with mildly satisfying results.
I love the entire beginning sequence, containing a fast paced dragon slaying at the hands of Finn’s demon blood sword. The entire scene is great, poppy fun, and I love Finn and Jake’s carelessness throughout. Jake’s just chilling playing video games, and he flips Finn into mid-air without even looking up, to which Finn quite beautifully slices through a dragon’s buns. Also Jake’s advice, “don’t let the dragon drag on, dude,” probably has a ton of different interpretations for meaning behind it, but I just like to think of it as a lovely bit of nonsense. The overemotional Candy Person who really wants to have dinner with Finn is one of my favorite gag characters. This character is actually based off of someone who Pendleton Ward had previously met at Comic Con, who was insistently begging for the same request. Appropriately enough, Ward also voices this character, and the delivery of the lines is what really makes him so enjoyable. I just like picturing in my head how dinner with Finn and this dude would actually go. I imagine it’d be filled with a lot of screaming.
As Finn begins to feel that he wishes he was more normal, I do have to say that the subtlety of his issues both works for and against the actual dilemma of the episode. I appreciate the later seasons’ approaches to how characters feel and why they feel the way that they do. There’s usually no heavy exposition or characters saying “I feel x because of y;” it’s moreso just the character having an issue and dealing with it by what we would expect that character to do, without even addressing the problem in words. And this is how Finn is portrayed in this episode: he feels sad about not being able to freely go about his day, so he takes action by taking on a new identity. It’s a borderline personality crisis that I’m glad was covered with so much grace, but simultaneousy, I’m just disappointed there wasn’t more build-up or focus on Finn’s issue. I feel like it would’ve been a more effective first act if it showed Finn constantly running into situations where he felt smothered and unable to go about his daily life. I just think it’s odd that a couple of people screaming outside his house was what drove Finn over the edge into feeling as though he couldn’t go about his life calmly, and it’s one of those episodes that I think could’ve benefited from a few extra minutes, but there’s no use complaining about an 11 minute show that usually manages to fit so much important junk in that span of time. It’s another one of those situations where something isn’t done badly, I’d just like to see it in much more deeper light, because Finn having an identity crisis is, as we’ve seen really interesting.
But the truth of the matter is, this isn’t the dark and solemn crisis Finn was experiencing two episodes earlier in All the Little People; this is a bright and silly episode full of comical ideas, and for what it is, it’s pretty fun! There’s tons of great visual gags to take from this one: Jake beating an egg into flour ($10 he wasn’t even going to actually cook anything), Finn’s gravity-defying flip from his window onto the grass, Finn eating a cocoa bird that costs money, and then just blatantly throwing the money he has into a fountain instead, and, my favorite, Finn sweeping up mini brooms with a broom. There’s tons of absurdly silly moments like that, and I found myself appreciating them a lot more on rewatch than when I first saw this episode. The character of Davey is pretty funny as well. It’s worth noting that Davey Johnson is based on the real-life Davey Johnson, who voices Xergiok, as well as the character of Davey himself. Johnson does a terrific job of voicing Davey, and giving him such a mundane, yet likable voice. Speaking of mundane, I really like how humorously boring Davey’s life is. He just builds log cabins and hangs out with some guy named Randy, who too is delightfully monotonous. That poor guy just gets shit on the entire time he’s on screen.
I’ve said this before this season with Up a Tree, but this is one that Skyler Page and Somvilay gifted with a really nice, relaxed atmosphere. There’s a good minute or so that’s just Davey walking around and checking out his surroundings, and it’s really calming and helps emphasize the type of life that Finn is capable of achieving. And, by episode’s end, I do kinda find myself siding with Finn’s debacle on whether to continue to be Davey or to return to being Finn. I mean, Davey’s life is quite boring, but there is something rewarding about a life of quietness and peace, which I think Finn has come to realize. Yet, it’s abandoning Finn’s true self, who does love a life of spontaneity and devoting his attention to helping others. Which is why he uses his alternate persona to selflessly put other people’s needs before himself by the end of it. And it’s nice to see that, as a hero, Finn is looked at as someone who isn’t capable of doing anything wrong. The Banana Guards don’t suspect a thing from him (though probably mostly due to their stupidity) and he realizes that there are people who need him in their life, like Jake. Again, I wish there was a bit more of realization in Finn to make it a stronger conclusion, but it’s a sweet ending that reunites the brothers regardless.
So yeah, it’s a light one, but one I do enjoy. I wish there was more attention focused on Finn’s issue, but I think the humor and atmosphere are what shape this up to be a perfectly serviceable entry. Lots of quirky gags, good character moments, and a solid story. Also, adorable BMO scenes! The little guy is especially cute in this one, I felt so bad for him when Finn shaved his hair off. I feel you, Beems. Davey is an aspect of Finn’s personality that has never returned in the series, though mentioned in Issue #50 of the comics, where he was apparently one of Finn’s past lives. Whether it’s canon or not, it definitely is an interesting scenario to use the character for, so if you’re a person out there who just really, really enjoyed this episode or the title character, I’d say check it out!