The Fionna and Cake Finale is Underwhelming

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Business Manager: Brendan Flaherty



After all this time, a pseudo-sequel to the fan-favorite series Adventure Time has finally come to the streaming service Max.

The finale was released on September 28th, 2023, and what do the fans have to say about this finale? Quite a lot, actually.

I’m not going to attempt to explain the story of this show to any newcomers because it is far too long and very complicated.

I recommend watching Adventure Time first and then watching this series for a deeper understanding of the overall story. There are some other spin-off shows that they have done, but you only really need to have watched Adventure Time to understand what’s going on here.

For those who have not been keeping up with the show at this time, the producers decided to release episodes two at a time, so it is necessary to analyze both episodes that lead to the ultimate conclusion.

However, leading up to the ninth episode of the series, the showrunners made what I believe to be one of the best episodes of the series, episode 8, simply named: “Jerry.”

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Looking at the reviews on IMDb for that episode, it has been ranked as the highest-rated episode of the series overall, a rating that I fully agree with.

In that episode, Simon tells Fionna how he and Betty (Simon’s love interest) came together. It is stunning and depressing at the same time.

The episode explores the beautiful and romantic start to their relationship, how Simon was unaware of her love for him, and how they finally had a pleasant moment with each other.

However, anyone who knows the ending of Adventure Time knows that there is no happy ending for Simon and Betty and that she sacrifices herself to become GOLB and ultimately save Simon. 

This is what makes the episode so saddening, knowing that despite their happiness, it doesn’t end well.

Simon uses the magic of the Lich to bring Fionna and Cake back to their universe. While Simon tries to put on the crown and fulfill his promise to Fionna and Cake, he is stopped by Betty as GOLB and is brought elsewhere, ending the 8th episode.

Now, why did I bring up the 8th episode during a finale review? I believe it is essential to look at one of the most critical episodes in the series and how it hyped up the conclusion for this series drastically.

I was extremely excited to see how the series would continue from there; with so many plot lines converging soon, there was much for the final two episodes to accomplish and only a little time to do it.

The ninth episode, “Casper and Nova,” starts with a dream sequence, leading the viewer to believe that their wish had gone horribly wrong. This leads the main characters to think that their wish might go wrong.

Meanwhile, Simon is transported to the dimension where Betty/GOLB stays. He finds the Lich praying to GOLB, asking why he has been forsaken.

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In a horrifying twist, the Lich is suddenly transformed into a shape, effectively killing him, and is thus removed from the series.

I was a little disappointed to see the Lich go as quickly as he did; it felt as if he was only meant to hype up the finale and bring back as many original fans as possible.

Betty uses her powers then to transport Simon into the brain of Shermy, a previous character known as the possible reincarnation of Finn.

This is another way in which the creators of this show bring us back to Adventure Time and its cast, using the nostalgia we all feel for those characters.

Though there has, in truth, been a lot of nostalgia baiting with the return of so many familiar faces from alternate universes.

Moving onto the final episode of the series, aptly titled “Cheers,” a reference to the 1982-1993 show Cheers, which is canonically one of Simon’s favorite TV shows.

At the beginning of this episode, The Scarab has finally caught up to Fionna and Cake’s own universe and begins his attempt to destroy everything.

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Meanwhile, Shermy, also Simon, goes on a quest to find a crown to give Fionna and Cake their magical universe. But this quest ends up teaching Simon a lesson.

This lesson shows Simon that his life is essential and that he shouldn’t have to sacrifice his life to help others all the time, just like he did for Marceline and just as he plans to do for Fionna and Cake.

This is a lesson that Betty knows too well, as she had sacrificed her life, over and over again, to help Simon in whatever he wanted to do. She sacrificed her life to ensure that Simon would never again be hurt.

This message has been repeated a few too many times. It is something that Simon and Betty are aware of, as they have done many deeds toward saving each other in the past. 

I will give the episode this bit of credit. I liked how they show that sometimes there are no easy choices. Sometimes, the situation you are given is based on the world you create. It is yet another critical and genuine truth that is masterfully portrayed in a childlike manner.

Simon finally realizes that he has been choosing his own path and has never allowed anyone else a chance to do something differently. He realizes that he has always allowed Betty to sacrifice herself so that he could live on.

This leads to a flashback to a lovely moment in episode 8. Simon wishes that the events played out differently, but this is impossible.

I will give the episode some credit here as well, as Simon and Betty’s final moments together, through the flashback, finally allow Simon to get some closure and move on from Betty.

While this was a satisfying ending to Simon’s depression, allowing him to move on, it still bothers me that he will never be able to have a satisfying conclusion with Betty.

Throughout this entire show, I have felt nothing but pity for Simon and Betty. I would be lying if I said I was okay with how they left their relationship.

However, this is another excellent example of the show teaching lessons to its audience in a meaningful and understandable manner.

The show teaches its audience about grief and loss and how to move on from those things. It teaches us about depression and guilt and how those feelings can absolutely destroy a person and their will to continue, as it did for Simon.

While this is happening, Fionna, Cake, and other members of her universe gang up on The Scarab to defeat him.

In a comedic moment, Gary and Marshall attempt to use music to fight back against the Scarab, making fun of the ending of Adventure Time, where they use the harmony of music to combat GOLB.

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This ultimately fails as the Scarab is utterly unaffected by music, and he continues on his rampage.

The day is finally won when Simon conjures up all of Fionna’s world, contained in one pink dandelion.

Fionna uses it, along with the help of friends, to restore her world to its better self.

The friends summoned in via the power of Prismo were a strange collection of people and things from the other universes featured in previous episodes.

The people summoned to aid in the final fight ranged from a talking Squirrel, two children from the Farmworld universe, and the tank from the vampire universe.

The inclusion of such a random cast of characters was bizarre and slightly unnecessary.

They ultimately don’t serve much purpose in the final fight, and there were plenty of better characters that Prismo could’ve brought in.

It also raises the question of what exactly happened in the other universes, like what happened to Farmworld Finn? What happened to Bonnibel Bubblegum in the vampire world?

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Alongside this, there are no repercussions for removing these characters from their universes. Unless it is okay to simply remove the characters from their universe, I feel like so many unanswered questions follow the characters being moved around.

In a finale of stories, it doesn’t do a very good job of giving understandable conclusions.

In fact, one of the craziest moments is when the son of Farmworld Finn and his partner ask to stay in Fionna and Cake’s universe. Knowing that the boy is the older brother of two siblings who are now alone in the Farmworld universe makes no sense.

Another thing that could have been better put together is the final fight between Fionna and Scarab.

The Scarab was not a very intense villain in that he never gave us a reason to really fear him other than he is immortal. 

He never once kills anyone in the Fionna and Cake universe and is constantly stopped in various ways.

Although this is a kids’ show, there can be serious and competent villains.

Overall, the ending was an interesting one. There was a lot the show was clearly trying to accomplish with not enough time to do so.

I believe the show would’ve done much better had it been given more time and episodes to accomplish its finale.

I can applaud the show for all the messages it gives its viewers while attaining a child-like manner towards it all. It was definitely more interesting, at least for me, when Simon was involved.

The show uses fan-favorite characters and plot lines in every way, and while I loved seeing this, it also lacked the originality that the original show thrived in.

There was a lot that the show did well, the atmosphere, the characters, the story, but there were a few things that the show fell flat on.

Overall, the show’s finale was underwhelming as it left me asking more questions than feeling any sort of sense of completion.


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