We haven’t even started covering Adventure Time season 3 yet, but our last podcast episode has really got me thinking hard about what happens to poor Finn. Again, after Princess Bubblegum has been restored to adulthood in the “Too Young” episode of season 3, she completely blows Finn off. In our last podcast, Canelli and I discussed whether this was part of some grander manipulation by PB to keep Finn invested in working for her and defending the Candy Kingdom.
But here’s a thing we both completely missed truly working out to its proper end in our Finn-centric analysis: PB almost dies! The names of the episodes–“Mortal Folly” and “Mortal Recoil”–are about PB’s mortality! Look at the title card for “Mortal Recoil”:
This is a view of PB’s grave from inside the grave. It’s metaphorical (as metaphorical as a cartoon about talking candy and magic stretchy dogs can get), sure (in that they never actually get as far as sticking her in the ground), but it really drives the point home about what happens to PB. Now let’s put ourselves in PB’s place and imagine what it must’ve been like to be possessed by the Lich, then frozen/shattered by Finn and Ice King, reconstituted as a 13-year-old, and then finally restored to adulthood.
For the first two seasons of Adventure Time, there’s as much “sexual tension” between Finn and PB as you can shovel into a cartoon for kids about a human boy and a princess made out of bubblegum. Are they ever going to get together and be a couple? I don’t know, but this sure is fun, right? And then, BOOM!, PB almost dies. And with that the fun is over. Suddenly PB is forced to confront her own mortality. So, instead of looking at this as “Oh, poor Finn. Will he ever find true love?”, maybe we should be looking at this like “Oh shit, PB lives! She got a second chance! She needs to make the most of it now; she needs to do some shit now.”
Yeah, now it makes sense why she’d totally blow Finn off in season 3. He’s all wrapped up in The Smiths and she’s trying to avoid becoming another Ray Velcoro.