Despite the main series ending in 2018, Finn and Jake return to our screens one last time for what could arguably be called the true finale to ‘Adventure Time‘. Having had the pleasure of growing up with these characters for the past eleven years, watching this episode felt like a full-circle moment. There’s a surrealness to this show which could only be achieved if you grew up with it. I was more or less Finn’s age when the show started and as the show progressed, both me and Finn’s mentality changed. Seeing an older Finn live through ‘Adventure Time’s main themes and dealing with life and death, it made me all the more emotional.
MASSIVE SPOILERS FOR THE NEW ADVENTURE TIME: DISTANT LANDS SPECIAL: TOGETHER AGAIN ARE FEATURED IN THIS REVIEW.
What started out as wacky, nonsensical but oh so entertaining later transformed into a philosophical masterpiece. Despite growing up with the show, I had only watched till Season 5 up until last year when I eventually caught up with the show. The thing is, the episode I had to start binging from was the ‘Lemonhope’ special. Now I always knew the show had its darker themes but seeing that final scene triggered quite the epiphany! To me, the ‘Adventure’ in ‘Adventure Time’ is actually life itself! It’s actually insane when you think about how frequently life and death are involved as a show’s main theme. While Finn and Jake are the main characters, life itself is arguably a character just as important as them. The show never restricts itself to the present. It intertwines the past and the future and goes beyond Finn and Jake’s existence, it always looks at the bigger picture. It treats life with the notion that it should be lived however the person wielding it desires. It’s not telling us that we should go out on adventures for us to have a satisfactory life. The show really lets its characters do the talking for it in that regard. The colourful cast is comprised of different personalities who do different things. Tree Trunks loves baking Apple Pies, Marcy loves to jam out and vibe, Finn and Jake are adventurers. It only makes sense that a show that emphasises life and death to actually start focusing on the death part.
Seeing the title card screaming “Finn and Jake ARE DEAD” is an experience I don’t ever want to relive. In fact, watching this entire episode threw me into a crying session shortly after and I honestly, genuinely don’t recommend watching this unless you’re mentally and emotionally prepared for it. Death is a subject I was always terrified of, naturally. It has become something I think of quite often and growing up, my perception of it has definitely changed. Watching ‘The Good Place’ and ‘Adventure Time’ definitely helped shape my perception of the entire situation, especially with legacy and what we will leave behind. Seeing the intimidating, scary-looking Death be replaced with Mr Fox who essentially becomes the mascot for what is an eternal nap. To me, it felt like convincing the younger audience that Death is a much more peaceful process instead of the horror we associate with it. The entire episode had so many moments like that. Seeing one of my childhood characters bite the dust and going through this grieving process was honestly such a surreal and highly emotional moment. Thank God, I have yet to lose anyone dearly close to me but it’s a reoccurring fear, it is something that I genuinely fear and dread. Seeing Finn go through this, took me to a dark place. The effect of his grieving process was still fully felt because I know that I will relate to it someday. Certain lines from Finn just hit me to my core and I honestly can’t believe how simple yet so effective these lines are. “I get to see Jake again!” “I just kept waiting for the day I’d finally see you again.” “It’s great being alive with you.” Three lines that have yet to not make me emotional; this is easily the most emotionally demanding review I’ve ever written. I fully dreaded talking about this but I knew that I had to because it’s such a special episode.
Knowing the type of show this is, this episode was littered with easter eggs and references. Seeing the original opening after the ‘Distant Lands’ opening threw me for a loop. Once the episode started it took me a long while to figure out something wasn’t right. It wasn’t even Finn’s original sword or the fact that he still had his arm, the one thing which caught my eye was Finn’s use of his original catchphrases like ‘Mathemetical!”. At that point I was still convinced it was a flashback though, it only hit me when Finn and Jake fist-bumped and Jake hurt his arm. I immediately noticed the reference to the episode ‘Food Chain‘ which details the circle of life and more or less talks about reincarnation. That immediately caught my eye and it goes to show how rewarding it is to have seen the entire show. I was pretty indifferent with The Lich’s involvement. He’s always a delight to see but I wouldn’t say he was crucial to the episode. The worldbuilding was fantastic as expected, I loved seeing the different Deadworlds. I would actually go so far as to say that this episode should’ve been longer. While it’s an emotionally resonant episode already, I feel like it would’ve had an even bigger impact had it been a miniseries in the style of ‘Stakes‘ or ‘Islands‘.
That being said, ‘Together Again’ is a fantastic send-off to two of my favourite childhood icons. ‘Adventure Time’ is such a genuinely special experience, the fact that it got this good of an ending means so much to me. You can always feel the love and care put into a piece of work when it resonates with you on such a high level. I am so grateful to have spent such a large portion of my life with these characters. This show was the escape for me during those boring summer days back when I was a child and now it has transformed into an incredibly valuable and meaningful piece of entertainment. One that I will cherish until I find myself in a Deadworld myself!