Last week's season premiere was a doozie, and the powers that be wisely decided to take things down a notch with some comic relief. Along with some buoyantly light-hearted comedy, come a troubling implication or two. Spoilers below.
So yeah, Finn lost an arm. He's got a flower where his elbow used to be. In this episode at least, this doesn't seem to bother him in the slightest. It kinda fits? A recurring theme of the episode is unsettling stuff in the past that peeps are seemingly okay with.
To wit: last season, a goofy and kinda-useless candy folk named James was left for dead in a dog-pile of radioactive waste zombies so that Princess Bubblegum, Jake, and Finn could make it to safety. P-Dubs went ahead and swept the whole event under the rug by whipping up another James, James II. That was a while ago.
Now we're up to James 25, who keeps dying via selfless acts of bravery. There have literally been 25 funerals for James _. Only he's not really dead. None of the Jameses have died, they faked their deaths in seemingly noble ways so that Bubblegum would bake another one, and they've all been hanging out together 'cause James II was lonely and bored. WUT.
There is some absolutely delightful comedy when Her Bubbleness orders the banana guards to round up Jameses galore. They're not so bright themselves, which leads Jake and Finn to sit this one out and just watch.
Sending a bunch of mindless, identical bananas-on-sticks to chase down a bunch of mindless, identical Jameses (what is he, exactly? A vanilla wafer?) is light, silly, refreshing entertainment. It's kinda perfect, up to and including the bit when James I, now a radioactive waste zombie, leads a cadre of wasteland mutants on the Candy Kingdom. Yipes!
The day gets saved, due in no small part to turnabout being fair play. Now, zombie-James gets dog-piled (James-piled?) by his doppelgängers. The result is a lumpy, misshapen amalgam of Jameses, who speak in unison but are no less annoying. His reward for saving the day? Permanent exile.
Jake and Finn aren't totes down with this, but P-Dubs don't give a fluff. "I'm not gonna miss him." Blackout.
The Princess's arc continues to take her into ruthless territory. She does want what's best for her citizens— but she's not afraid to milk the tears of a constantly-weeping flower, or abandon one or more of her peeps to do it. Her cold heart is a stark contrast to her, well, bubble-gummy exterior. But, it's the Princess's kingdom. We all just live in it.
What do you think?
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