We’ve finally reached the threshold: Adventure Time: Fionna and Cake has come to an end with its final climactic episode, tying up an amazing story that has managed to maintain a solid storytelling flow while not overplaying its use of the multiverse.
As Fionna (Madeleine Martin) and Cake (Roz Ryan) prepare to fight for their lives against Scarab (Kayleigh McKee), Simon (Tom Kenny) remains stuck in the distant future in Shermy’s (Sean Giambrone) body as it looks like GOLBetty hopes for Simon to learn an important lesson with Beth’s (Imani Hakim) help.
In this final chapter to the journey of Fionna, Cake, and Simon, this episode is able to bring the excitement that’s been rolling since the trio were thrown into this multiversal madness, though it faces some plot-pacing problems that were shared by its predecessor episode.
Fionna & Cake Episode 10 Recap Review
While the episode doesn’t necessarily start with what happens in Fionna-world, it might be a good place to start. With Scarab finally reformed, Fionna and Cake have limited resources at their disposal to stop him even with Gary (Andrew Rannells) and Marshall Lee (Donald Glover) to aid them. However, they do all that they can with some benefits thanks to Cake’s magical shapeshifting abilities.
The huge fight that happens in Fionna-world slowly moves away from that personalized storytelling as this battle takes up most of the storytelling in Fionna and Cake’s side of things. However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t any cool moments to spare: in the beginning of the fight, Cake realizes that she’s able to use the egged cosmic entities that Scarab captured during his duties, lending themselves to the more comical side of things.
The group tries many things to try and stop Scarab in his tracks, from Cake transforming into her own Godzilla-like kaiju to Gary and Marshall trying to disrupt Scarab with cookies and songs. These moments during the battle do help intensify the emotional tension, albeit they take a more comical role on things with a bit of bantering between everyone, even when Ellis P (Pendleton Ward) and Hunter (Vico Ortiz) join them later on.
However, while this part of the story in the episode’s first half does feel more action and humor-driven, it wonderfully ties itself back to Simon’s resolution by the middle of this episode, which sends a perfect message that Simon has been ignoring this entire time.
As Fionna and Cake fight Scarab to save their world, Simon is still within Shermy’s body learning alongside Beth. The entire scene between Simon and Beth is able to give more insight as to Simon and Betty’s (Felicia Day) relationship through this perspective of Casper (Iggy Craig) and Nova (Rosie Brand), being representative of the two respectively. However, it is also intertwined between the Fionna-world battle, which may be a bit of a tonal back-and-forth jump for those wanting to see the outcome of Simon’s arc.
Simon’s eventual understanding of Betty’s viewpoint is a touching moment that Adventure Time fans have been wanting for since the original show’s finale. As Simon “relives” the moment that his relationship with Betty was permeated, the episode beautifully comes to terms with the fact that Simon should accept what Betty has done for him because she essentially still loves him and has given him a worthwhile livelihood.
However, with both Simon and Betty wishing that they could’ve made better choices that would have resulted in a different outcome, there is still a sense of connection and acquaintance that the two can hold on to and cherish even if they’re ways apart (quite literally.)
In doing this, it beautifully ties back to the problem that Fionna and Cake are currently facing as Simon realizes that living is worthwhile and that he’s just as important as Fionna and Cake. Learning this, Simon is able to give Fionna the choice of what she wants the world to be through the dandelion, a symbolic element from episode 1 that now takes on its own important meaning.
As the massive fight moves into the episode’s second half, things get even more crazier as Prismo (Sean Rohani) nearly breaks free of his imprisonment and Scarab begins going on his own rampage after Fionna-world is connected to the multiverse.
In order to help Fionna out, Prismo calls on the allies Fionna and Cake have met along the way: Jay (Tiffany Wu) and Little Destiny (Mickey Zacchilli), the Squirrel (Marc Maron), Baby Finn, and Bonnibel’s Peppermint Tank.
While it is great to get to see them again, their late arrivals in the episode’s climaxing minutes feel like they are somewhat underutilized as Fionna and Cake embrace their fantasy of being the heroes by stopping Scarab once and for all. They are able to help Fionna and Cake in the time the episode allows them to, but I feel like this sequence could have been expanded just a bit longer to create a feeling of satisfaction watching everyone unite one final time.
Luckily for Fionna and Cake, they manage to egg Scarab and finally save their world from his multi-handed grasp. It’s the happy ending that Fionna has been looking for since the show’s beginnings as she finally accepts her current world for what it is in the end, leaving a wonderful, if a bit quick, conclusion in this story.
Finally, Fionna and Cake can finally have their peace alongside their multiversal friends, who decide to stay in Fionna-world due to many different reasons. It may leave a bit of confusion as to why, but considering how Prismo seems to dismiss the situation with Scarab, who’s been placed under watch thanks to Orbo, the episode leaves an interesting open-ended road for this series to walk through.
In the end, Fionna, Cake, and their friends, both from afar and close to home, along with Simon are left with a bittersweet ending for Adventure Time fans that nails in how important life can be in the moment, how to appreciate and accept things as they are now, and how to grow from that stepping stone. Truly, it’s a gratifying ending worth valuing thanks to the show’s execution of its expansive 13-year storytelling.
Overall, Adventure Time: Fionna and Cake‘s final episode sufficiently delivers on creating an impactful conclusion in the personal journeys of Fionna, Cake, and Simon through sacrifice while proving that to live with the choices we’ve made is worthwhile and anything is possible in the grand scheme of fate.
While this two-parter finale may have felt a bit shaky in terms of its pacing and handling of these divergent storylines, it still handles enough brevity and maturity to drive the show’s thematic messages home for its older fanbase, who have enjoyed watching Fionna and Cake grow as well as Simon gaining closure with Betty.
As someone who’s been an Adventure Time fan for most of my childhood, being able to experience these characters transform from something that felt like a one-off into a larger story (that feels like it can go on for one more run) is truly heartwarming in ways that I can never understate.
The entire Cartoon Network series has played a pivotal role in showcasing what a fun break from reality can be like and now, with everyone all grown up, it beautifully sends its message of enjoying life for what it is and what it can bring. As for the future of Adventure Time, we’ll just have to wait and see if the stars align once more.
Rating – 3.5 out of 5
All episodes of Adventure Time: Fionna and Cake are now streaming on Max.
This review was written during the 2023 WGA (now resolved) and SAG-AFTRA (ongoing) strikes. Without the labor of the writers and actors currently on strike, the series/movie being covered here wouldn’t exist.