Oh boy, internet leaks!. Just a few days before it’s TV emission we got a present in form of a freshly baked plate of episodes that make a delicious saga of what seems right now the most important plot point of this series (Although, please, support the series on TV or domestic release if you can, this needs views, think on the creators!)
After Islands ended we had to confront two things, as spectators, a higher quality bar than ever, as the previous miniseries had a lot more “plot” content than almost all of the rest of the series. Without trying to disgrace the series, I would say we encountered a lot that filled us with answers and Finn with growth.
And now, is elementals as good as the previous? Is it good? What can we get from this?
Adventure time has a lot of episodes that I would consider “Filler”, and is a series that easily leaves the story open and many questions in the air, without any apparent intention of answering them. With “Islands” I found for the first time a well-constructed saga that attacked this directly and showed us a frontal character and plot development. As Finn said, “This trip is the largest in emotional time”.
Then our heroes return to Ooo, a too weirder Ooo (if that’s possible…), and while Finn worries about what happened, Jake demonstrates his irresponsible nature trying to evade what is an obvious problem, just because he is tired. But quickly, the changes are too serious to evade.
After finding what seems a classic trouble, and tossing aside parallel universe theories, the series does something very smart: doubt. Is this wrong? We are presented with what used to be three of the most tormented characters, Plant Finn (Fern), who had serious identity problems; Lemongrab who was a fucking sociopath; and Neptr, who even BMO admits that he didn’t use to treat as an equal. And now they are simply… happy.
Is this thing wrong if they can live like this?
I loved the question that the series made us, something new and mature to substitute the classic “this is evil” that has been said hundreds of times in this cartoon. But sadly, we are thrown into one perspective when we see sweetP and what is one of the worst profoundly depressed moment returns of… WHY THE DID YOU DO THAT TO HIM, IS JUST A BABY, RETURN HIM HIS PARENTS OH GOOD.
But sadly, we are thrown into a one-sided perspective when we see sweetP and what is one of the worst profoundly depressing moments of… WHY THE DID YOU DO THAT TO HIM, HE IS JUST A BABY, RETURN HIM HIS PARENTS OH GOOD.
Okay, okay, calm.
After all this chaos, we end with the origin of all the candy with something logical due to the circumstances (and the title of the mini-series). And quickly, skyhooks, which, if you didn’t notice, were the Hangers stolen by Ice King in “elemental” to get his keys (XD).
A lot of tension is build up, and we have a break, so we are delighted to have it with Ice King explaining the curse of events in his unique way, and we get to see what happened. Which was very predictable, so Ice King version makes it dynamic and interesting, even if our heroes are as anxious to get the plot (nice metaphor of the series haha).
“I grabbed all the penguins I could: one.”
I love how the ice king maintains his cute relationship with the other wizards, who must know already about his mental problems, but decide to treat him as an equal and have fun and love him anyways, these characters have a lot of value.
Another of Ice king’s development we got to see, which is the main theme of the episode (and one of the pillars of the arc) is Betty. We see her erratic, anxious, unstable. She is in control of his new found crazy magic, but not very fondly, fighting constantly as someone on the line to madness who is about to fall in any misstep.
If we advance forward a bit, I liked the turn of events with the Ice elemental, while in human form she seemed like the most euphoric of the four, she succumbed to his element emotion and became apathetic, even when Finn and CO. were opposing her, and what in first thought was the most dangerous place, turned up being just a fun ride with Simon to get Betty.
Then, in “Cloudy” we finally got some real thoughts of the characters, they stop for a bit (kinda) being so wacky, and tell us what worries them. I loved how Finn finds the words and expresses his preoccupations. But then Jake.
“Jake, I was talking about important stuff!
Jake is always a bad figure for Finn, and it seems like, every time the kid starts developing, the dog stops him with something immature or stupid. Yes, we get to see some good thinking of Jake here, but when Finn finds the courage to open up and talk about what’s important to him, his egocentric brother cuts him in the middle of the conversation to express his egoist concerns.
Which, even if I like that he talks about them, he isn’t really fond of them. After years of abandonment of his kids, he misses them in a catastrophe, ah, ok, good. Good parent? Not so much.
The next episode just proves me right, when jake is absorbed into slime princess because he just doesn’t want to be responsible and take action, to the point of melting even with Finn’s life on his hand.
With all the second rate princesses, the disco party, and introducing LSP, slime kingdom just represents the most swallow parts of the series and is the perfect scenario to end with jake. Which also is a good thing, because makes Finn confront “by himself” the problem, proving to be worthy himself of the so many times said “hero” title.
Then we enter the fire kingdom, and… DID FINN JUST KILLED FLAMBO?!
As a hero in a crazy world, there’s a lot of violence you could say, and Finn starts losing to anger with the need for battle. But I don’t think this is a topic of violence, but feelings.
Finn goes in the process of finding FLAME PRINCESS, his EX. Finn knows this. The first character we are introduced is no coincidence, it’s the EX of tree trunks, who is pathetically in a rage of lost.
Then as Finn goes deep, he just succumbs to anger, because even if he has grown, feelings still exist, they remain deep, even if they seem under control. And Rage consumes everything. And WHERE they go? The Candy Kingdom. Versus WHO? Bubblegum, the other important “ex” of Finn.
In the end, only Finn’s self-acceptance and growth can give him control and save everything, and how he acts with Bonny and flame princess serves as a metaphor for his love life and development, that ends in the boy not suppressing his feelings or blazing them incorrectly (here destroying with fire, and as shown before in the series smooching everyone) but accepting them to heal and advance.
And, surprisingly, LSP saves the day. I liked how the only real good relationship of LSP is shown, as Marceline (Marshmalin) kinda makes her click. Normally I hate LSP, as she is an obnoxious character, but in this miniseries, I liked how she is portrayed, being herself, but not too annoying, and always with a meaning to it, and not as a stupid disgusting joke.
The confrontation ends with Bonny and his freaking demonstration of power, as the powerful control freak she always is.
Betty’s betrayal is awesome, she doesn’t push Finn in a dramatically way, but simply tossing him in an almost gentle way with his index, as she flies away with a maniacal laugh. So simple that Finn just can keep his hopeless gaze. And the creepy sugar zombies. You might think that regular candy zombies were okay, but this is crazy. The cute ones are the terrifying!
Finally, LSP solves everything because she is from another fucking dimension. A bit convenient, but whatever, it works and doesn’t stand out too much. I accept it.
And a freaking bunch of cliffhangers to end. Jake’s origins to reveal, Betty (only women) on Mars, and let’s see what happens to the freaking kingdom after this.
Wrapping this up, elements miniseries is probably the best I’ve seen of Adventure Time so far, it grabs everything that has being constructed beforehand and gives it meaning in a well-constructed self-contained story, where we fucking see real character development on a series with hundreds of “partying” and “filler” episodes.
It plays dynamically, it uses all its characters just the right amount and in the best way, and it exploits all the feelings and relationships lived until now, offering us the growth we needed.
Now the only thing we can do is hope the rest of the ending series is as good as this, and wait impatiently for more.
PD: It seems cartoon network has another episode to emit, so I’ll edit anything valuable if needed.