Adventure Time has always been a show obsessed with the creative process. It’s meta-commentaries on what it means to write/create have always been particularly poignant for me, personally. This episode went in a slightly different direction than episodes past, while the work is still celebrated, it’s shown as being bastardized, broken even. The Ice King knows what the story is in his head, he can picture the characters as if they were real utilizing his imagination.
When given a shot at bringing his creation to life, he comes up with a Saw-esque kidnapping scheme in which the strengths of various characters are utilized in order to get to a mythical creature to literally give his characters to life. This is even more like Saw when you consider the mastermind’s single-minded devotion to making his dreams a reality.
This darkness is pervasive throughout the episode. A character is squeezed to “death, ” a character has to cut her way out of the belly of a horrible shark-monster, and a “child” is neglected so that the Ice King gets the mere chance at making his dream a reality. And that is the reality of the situation that the show is talking about here, you can’t really hope to give birth to something without sacrificing all else. It’s what made Steve Jobs a tremendous success while simultaneously being lower than pond scum. He was a morally reprehensible piece of shit who disavowed his own child so that he might have a shot at transforming a crappy garage-based start-up from an acid-based fever dream to the ubiquitous multimedia conglomerate that Apple Inc. is today.
But even after the long road full of sacrifice, his creation just farts on his face. The other characters just look on with pity and a bit of disgust. But the Ice King is happy as a clam. He could not be more thrilled with his creation.
If I can make things current event-driven for a moment, The Ice King’s look of relief was not totally dissimilar to that of Obama’s face after the inauguration.
Life, the universe, and other less important things have put a delay on my posts. But I’m back–and will be posting again regularly (at least until January 18th). Which is the date of my DEATH (or, more accurately, the date of the two-part finale).
***Warning: While there are recaps for the last three episodes, there are also a lot of horrible analogies and metaphors, and crazy amounts of me freaking out and ranting. Also, this will be broken up into two parts, as it’s too long for one post. Oh, Fringe. You crazy show, you.***
Fringe fans, we have been dealt an unbelievably strange hand of cards. I mean, sure, we’re still in the game. We’ve got maybe… a pair of Kings at best. Which, you know, isn’t a completely horrible hand. However, when you compare it to the freaking STRAIGHT FLUSH we had a few seasons–er, turns–ago, we’re dying. DYING. We’ve slowly been edged out, and instead leaving when we were freaking millionaires, we’re going to have to leave the table because we lost it all. Does that mean we didn’t have a few good hands? No. It just means we were broke and were kicked out and CANNOT PLAY POKER.
However, unlike poker, where things seem to be all about luck, for television shows you need things that will pull people in; things that will have them returning week after week. For me, those things are (if you are Fringe)–haha, no. But they are, mostly, consistency in a show, great plot, likeable actors (to a certain extent), and a few other things.
The biggest problem with this season is the fact that seasons 1-3 of Fringe were phenomenal. The right blend of creepy, satire, loveable characters and plot arcs to make this one hour the highlight of my week. There was nothing–I repeat, NOTHING–I would have rather done than watch Fringe, sans season four. Now I don’t really care that it’ll be three weeks until the next Fringe episode–even though FOX promised us to have the last seven episodes played consecutively! Don’t promise things you can’t keep, FOX. Jeez.
Sure, I could recap that last few episodes instead of just ranting for thousands of words. And I will. Right here, in a few paragraphs.
An Origin Story:
Everyone is still sad that Etta is dead. Team Etta learns that they are intercepting goods from a wormhole–from future Observers. They catch an Observer and Peter tries to “break” him. Astrid decodes the Observers’ book, which details exactly when and where the next drop is coming from. They plan to throw a bomb into the wormhole, effectively destroying all the Observers (magically, and without destroying the earth!). However, they first need to learn how to open the device which triggers the Observers. Peter figures it out by seeing when the Observers’ eyes dilate. But–surprise, surprise–it doesn’t work. Peter gets very angry and says “I’d be ten times the man you were if I had your tech in my head.” Then he kills the Observer, takes a small piece of equipment (which looks like the devices the parallel universe stuck into Fauxlivia’s hands to teleport her home), and puts it in his own head. Meanwhile, Olivia is still sad, and Walter tells her she needs to watch a vhs of Etta as a child; the first step in trying to recover from Etta’s death.
Through the Looking Glass and What Walter Found There:
This could have been the famed “episode 19.” Walter watches one of his several vhs videos and decides to go look for the clues by himself. He goes into a pockethole universe, where time has stopped and the laws of gravity do not exist; where you need to do a quirky little dance before entering in. Astrid, Peter, and Olivia later follow him in (but, of course, Astrid doesn’t go inside). They find a man who was blown in by a blast, and a bed where a young Observer-like boy from season one is supposed to be–but isn’t. Oh, no! And a man named Donald from Walter’s past is revealed. Windmark comes back (Whatttt–thought he was killed with Etta) and tells Peter that putting the Observer tech in his head was a grave mistake–that he didn’t know what he was doing.
Peter uses his new Observer-like qualities to successfully plant a bomb and kill several Observers (admittedly, the coolest, most visually intriguing part of the episode.) Team Etta is looking for Observer tech from previous seasons, which is stored in William Bell’s secret, secret storage (which is why they needed Bell’s hand). Blah, blah, blah, Nina is sad because Walter is mean to her, Walter feels bad an apologizes, and Peter reveals to Olivia that he’s becoming an Observer.
This is more painful than last season, where the first episode was interesting, but then episodes about… oh, say, 2-15 blended together because it was without one of the main stars, Peter, and focused solely on seeing his return. Sure, it was an interesting concept. But, like Joel Wyman said, “deleting Peter from existence” was a BAD IDEA.
Things only went downhill from there. Blah blah blah, Olivia’s still sad. Why? We don’t know. She doesn’t know. She just knows she’s an unemotional robot losing her memories, which she is completely okay with, because Peter (who has returned now) is AWESOME. But is he really that awesome? In a completely cynical and devil’s advocate role, I’d like to point out that sure, he’s great. But I mean, honestly, he left her after his daughter left. Sure, it was justified. But it completely consumed him. And let’s not even talk about what the hell he’s doing this season. Because that is one of my biggest problems so far.
And I’ve got a lot of them. Here we go.
- What happened to my beloved characters? I know that this is an alternate reality (where technically no one is the same person, except Peter of course). But why are they so… lackluster now?
- Why is Windmark back? Didn’t he die with Etta?
- There is a suprising–and very annoying–lack of consistency and continuity right now. And it is making me mad and sad and hurt and betrayed and all these confusing emotions.
- What’s up with Astrid not being used at all? She is playing at pointless character–who cares about stupid tapes stuck in amber? One of my hugest problems with this season is that it is becoming disturbingly similar to what happens when I try to write novels: sure, there are high points, but overall it’s mostly me rambling, having my characters do nothing, killing boring people off when I’m tired of them (or when they replace who I really want my protagonists to be. I know my novel-writing is abysmal at best. Which is why I primarily stick to short stories. But, really, Fringe? This is how low you have stooped?! That I compare you to an unfinished novel where I wrote more than two thousand words on the importance of making a fire correctly and how to skin a rabbit? You are breaking my heart, Fringe, and I don’t know what to do.
- Does anyone really care about Walter’s brain? We all know he’s turning back into Walternate; but why is that? Do brain cells really take MONTHS to regenerate? Because originally it worked just fine and then something snapped in his brain (I don’t remember if this really happened or it was unexplained. Either way, I don’t care enough to look it up.) and now he’s slowly turning into Walternate again. Now I’m not saying I don’t think John Noble is doing an excellent job–to the contrary, he is doing a BRILLIANT JOB. However, why does he have to be going through this again? It’s repetitive and uninteresting.
- What is up with the Observers’ magnetic thing in their brains? I refuse to believe the only thing that separates humans from their future selves is a little chip that takes over their brain. That is the most STUPID THING I HAVE EVER HEARD OF. And it was never explained to us before. Unlike regular reveals, where it’s like “oh, all the actors knew except us,” this one is more like “You are an idiot, Peter. And if this really was possible, don’t you think someone else–in the twenty years–would have done this before? Or is it such a horrible idea that Peter is the only one that would do this?”
(Rant continued in next post.)
Here’s what you missed on Glee: The New Rachel
- Brittany begins to feel the woes of being held back for another senior year.
- Marley admits that she has a crush on Jake.
- Rachel shows Cassandra that she can be sexy.
- Shuester decides to have another “Britney Week” to perk up the New Directions.
- Puck returns to give Jake some (half) brotherly advice.
- Brody tries to take his relationship with Rachel to the next level.
If It Ain’t Broke…Well that usually applies, but this episode was an exception. The first Britney themed eppy was one of my favorite shows of the entire series so far. So when I heard that they were going back to the well–so to speak–I was more than skeptical about it. But the satirical tone in which it dealt with the parallels in Brittany S. Pierce and Britney Spears’ struggles to get back on top was a refreshing perspective. A rare occasion in which the sequel is actually comparable to the original.
Farewell Finn? Brody doesn’t seem to know how to stay away from Rachel and it doesn’t seem like Rachel is going to be able to hold on to what is left of her and Finn’s relationship with all the distance in between. It doesn’t help that she is going to be around Brody everyday at school while he’s being all sexy and sh**. Seriously though, is everyone named “Brody” a certified sex bomb?!
Speaking of Sexy: We all know Glee can teeter on the inappropriate from time to time but after this eppy I wondered if the show got moved from Tuesday at 8ET/7CT to Thursday 9ET/8CT because things are going to start get a bit more…uh…is sultry to adult of a word? After seeing Rachel’s “sexy” performance and all the talk of “scissoring” and “lady love” I thought it was a solid question to ask.
Unwanted Observation: Wade looks much better as “Unique”. I just can’t un-see that. Or un-type it for that matter. You’re welcome.
Blonde Besties: Thank you, Sam. I can’t bear to see Brittany sad for extended periods of time and I hope that you are going to help me with that issues going forward. Since Santana isn’t around maybe it’ll give Brittany another partner within the glee club. Maybe it can go further than that but I’ll settle for the simple things at the moment.
Hold It Against Me (Brittany and the Cheerios) Unlike Sue, I didn’t think this performance was “garbage wrapped in skin.” I didn’t love it, but nothing is every quite deserving of her harsh critiques. Obviously the Cheerios hired a new choreographer over the summer, which was evident by how much better their dancing is this year. Song-wise I would have preferred to open with a Britney classic, but as Artie noted later in the episode, they were kind of running out of solid material to use. Oh well, still a decent opener. (B)
Boys / Boyfriend (Artie and Blaine) If THIS was the result of what happened when they realized they were running out of Britney material, I couldn’t have been happier. Boys is a throwback to Britney when she was in the ‘woman’ portion of her former “I’m not a girl, not yet a woman” phase and Boyfriend is Bieber leaving behind his bangs and entering the Justified era of his career. Saying this was one of the highlights on TV this week for me is severely downplaying things (seriously, I squealed like I was watching N*Sync at Madison Square Garden when I realized what was happening). Now, you couple all that with Blaine and then add Artie, who does anything even remotely R&B-ish (here, that would be Boyfriend) with complete ease and you have what was my favorite performance of the evening. (A+)
Womanizer (Unique, Tina and Marley) Sometimes I can watch Glee and ignore the ridiculousness and then there’s times where you have a group of girls dancing and following other students around the school and getting up leaving class to follow girls and even a gym class doing full-on, Olympic gymnastics. Those are the times I get slightly annoyed with how completely unrealistic the scene is and wish they’d just do a dream sequence or something. Outside of that scene itself, Unique and Tina sounded really good. This wasn’t a highlight for Marley, but it did set the stage for her and Jake, which will eventually be known as a really bad and heartbreaking idea. (C)
3. (Joe, Tina and Sam) Did Joe not understand the symbolism in this song’s lyrics? Maybe the laid-back, folksy sound confused him and the chorus made him think the song was a tribute to Peter, Paul and Mary. Regardless, this version was far superior to the original. It was nice to see Glee get a little creative instead of just doing a bland cover. In terms of performance, none of the three out-shined the others, but Tina was my favorite. If she’s this good two episodes in, I can wait to see her later in the season. (A)
(You Drive Me) Crazy / Crazy (Marley and Jake) I once heard a mash-up of Britney’s Crazy with Gnarls Barkley’s Crazy, but it was right after she went a little nuts, so the sentiment was a little depressing as a fan. However, this was stripped down and played to Jake’s strengths, which include sounding good and looking soulful while singing. Although their voices had tons of chemistry, I wasn’t really feeling it between them, and I know this because I wasn’t screaming at the television, begging them to kiss at the end. But it’s not about that. It’s about the music and musically, they’re already well on their way to being the New Direction’s next “it couple.” (A)
Oops….I Did It Again (Rachel) This is why trying to keep a show that’s supposed to be centered around a glee club bouncing back and forth between two different states, schools and general energy may not work. It’s about knowing your characters people! Rachel wouldn’t pick Spears, let alone this song, as a way to demonstrate her sexy. And if for some reason she did, she would have done the laying down scene from the video for authenticity. Unfortunately (and also very fortunately), the sexiest part of this performance was the curly-haired girl doing the split between the tables. While Rachel killed it in terms of sound, which she always does, she’s had much sexier moments back in Lima. (B)
Gimme More (Brittany and the New Directions) You can only truly appreciate this whole scene if you vividly recall the 2007 VMAs. The writers clearly knew there was no way they were topping last year’s Annual Fall Assembly performance, so instead they failed in the best way possible. I’m giving this such a high mark because it was hilarious. (A)
Everytime (Marley) It was pretty obvious when this song came out that it was about Spears’ breakup with Justin Timberlake. I think I had that long and dramatic relationship in mind when I watched Marley perform this, because all I could think about was how it was way too soon for her to be this over-the-top about Jake. Brittany sadly waiting for Santana to become available on iChat and Rachel painting over her Finn “artwork” was a good backdrop, but overall, this song would have garnered a stronger emotional connection if we’d believed Marley was truly heartbroken and not just a little crushed. I hope they don’t overplay everything early in the season, it would be such a waste of her obvious potential. (B)
“My name is Brittany S. Pierce, and I finally know how Jesus feels in his house way up at the top of the North Pole, because I am on top of the world.” – Brittany…not quite understanding how voice-overs work
“Tough love feels a lot like mean.” – Brittany
“I’m not speaking to you, I know you joined a gang.” – Brittany to Lord Tubbington (outfitted in a vest and glasses)
“Well thanks, but I don’t really have much time. After school, I’m hopping into bed, eating cashews and bacon, and then watching the Client List Marathon.” – Brittany
“Kiki is Suri’s smart older cousin who is really jealous of how famous Suri’s gotten. She lives inside this super cheap phone I found at the laundry mat.” – Brittany
“Well, my voice is too weak to sing live. I’ve been up every night this week yelling at the shrubs in my yard that have been yelling at me.” – Brittany
“You’re late and dressed like a Walgreen’s underwear model.” - Cassandra
“He never told me about you when I was a kid, but I do remember my mom and dad arguing about some slut waitress…” – Puck, who had a threesome at 7 and once beat up a police horse
“That’d be my mom.” – Jake
“I think we just think the same.” – Sam
“Yeah, it’s probably because we’re both blond.” – Brittany
“I got a C- on my US History exam, which the teacher bumped up two whole letter grades because I wrote in English instead of my secret language I invented in middle school.” – Brittany
“Did that come out this morning? Because we scraped the bottom of that Britney barrel.” – Artie