So Adventure Time as an ongoing animated television series is finally over. After 10 seasons and nearly 300 episodes, it seems that our the fun has actually come to an end. Or has it?
The massive finale spans the length of 4 regular 11 minute episodes and in typical Adventure Time fashion it managed to find a very surprising way to tell its story by jumping things forward thousands of years into Ooo's future. Even the title sequence focuses on two new characters, Shermy and Beth the Princess Pup instead of the usual Finn and Jake. It was quite the jarring, confusing way to start the end of this show but eventually we discover that BMO is still alive and more than prepared to tell us the story of the final days of Ooo. Or something like that.
After 44 minutes, the finale episode "Come Along With Me" was over and I was left with all sorts of different feelings. That was not the ending that I was expecting but it's one that I may never forget.
To be fair, Adventure Time has not been as great as it used to be. Things started to feel a little off once creator Pendleton ward left the show during Season 5. Beyond that point the show started to experiment with short bursts of highly serialized storytelling with the story arcs of "Stakes", "Islands" and "Elements" and a large part of the 10th and final season dedicated to setting up the finale. It was an interesting direction that put a lot more focus on fleshing out more of the backstory of many of the characters and really pushing narrative development forward.
The ending tells us how the Great Gum War ends and we get a montage of the lives people end up living and then we jump forward again to the future. It's a bittersweet ending where not everyone gets a happy ending but everyone finds a way forward. In the end the message that came across to me is that despite the ups and downs people keep moving on and the adventures will continue forever and ever.
The song "Time Adventure", this marking the return of Rebecca Sugar to the show for the finale, is a deceptively simple song primarily sung by BMO that turned out to be richly meaningful and perhaps the perfect song to make the end of this series. As Princess Bubblegum voice talent Hynden Walch put it during the SDCC 2018 panel, she described the song as "Just a happy kid's song, you know, about how all time happens at once and so all the people you've loved and lost - you never really lose them."
And that's what it is. A reminder that everything will happen, happening, happened.
That's why you and I will always be best friends.