Now that Fionna (Madeleine Martin), Cake (Roz Ryan) and Simon (Tom Kenny) have been thrown into the multiverse, their journey has turned into one hell of an adventure.
After discovering their cosmic origins from Prismo (Sean Rohani), our main trio is now on the run from a very dangerous entity who seeks to return all things to normal: Scarab (Kayleigh McKee).
Previous Episode Review: ‘Adventure Time: Fionna and Cake’ Episode 5 Review: Destiny’s Cursed Calling
Though their first attempt brought them to the familiar lands of Farmworld, they unfortunately couldn’t find the help they were looking for even with a Finn’s (Jeremy Shada) support. Now, this episode of Adventure Time: Fionna and Cake takes us into a winter wonderland where things aren’t as they seem.
Fionna & Cake Episode 6 Recap Review
Trying to escape Scarab, Fionna, Cake, and Simon find themselves in an ice-covered world where the Scarab nearly captures them. Surprisingly, he gets thwarted by an unexpected figure: the Winter King (Brian David Gilbert), a sympathetic variant of Simon who finally figured out how to control the Crown’s curse.
The Winter King provides another interesting perspective of the Ice King: though we’ve seen how Farmworld Finn is reflective of the madness and the distress of the Crown, the Winter King is someone who embraces its power. And somehow, he’s been able to use it for good in this role-switched reality the normal Simon has stumbled upon.
However, when the mention of Betty, Simon’s lover in every universe, is brought up, the Winter King actually dismisses it, perhaps due to something emotional within him.
After singing a joyous musical number about how he’s conquered the Crown and what he’s done since, the Winter King decides to help our main trio. He gives Fionna a new sword, helps Simon to make a new Crown, and charges Fionna’s phone on behalf of Cake, which Fionna uses to contact a desperate Gary (Andrew Rannells) who’s been looking for them.
Throughout the later scenes after this, the episode continues shaping Fionna into the true adventurer she was meant to be as she goes sword-training with the Winter King’s Ice Scouts (Christina Valenzuela and Erica Mendez). However, the Winter Kingdom gets attacked by the mischievous Candy Queen (Hynden Walch), who captures both of the Simons and forces Fionna and Cake to rescue the two.
Speaking of Gary, the episode opens up with him trying to find Fionna since she promised to help him out with groceries. Unable to find her, he accidentally comes across Marshall Lee (Donald Glover), who’s taken Fionna’s apartment for his own for the time being.
Though their initial comical encounter may have been accidental, their shared friendly connection with Fionna actually starts bringing Gary and Marshall closer together. They have a nice night out as Marshall accompanies Gary to buy some ingredients around town as they begin to open up to each other.
These charming scenes we have with Gary and Marshall are great as they establish a calmer, sweeter tone to this more grandiose, extravagant episode.
This is even more so when Marshall decides to call in a favor to help Gary start his own baking business. However, with Gary caught by surprise, he tries to put on his best self in front of the Lemoncarbs, rich twins who run a food empire, even though they don’t like his delectable delicacies.
Nonetheless, Marshall’s choice actually turns out to be beneficial to both of them since Gary’s happier that he can focus on other things like Marshall’s indulgence about Gary’s inspired backstories for his own creations. In the end, at least for now, Gary and Marshall have formed this loving friendship and I’m excited for what’s next with this connecting storyline.
Meanwhile, Fionna, Cake, and the Ice Scouts have tracked down the Candy Queen to a mutated Candy Kingdom, where both Simons have been imprisoned. The Winter King tells Simon that this has been the norm for quite some time as the Candy Queen breaks the episode with another song similar to Ice King’s song, “Oh Bubblegum”, from the original show.
However, the Candy Queen has a more extreme plan: she wants her and both of the Simons to literally blend together. Luckily for the two of them, Fionna, Cake, and the Ice Scouts begin fighting their way through the hordes of mutated versions of the Candy People and eventually reach to where the Simons are being held.
This entire action sequence further builds on Fionna’s character: no longer does she feel like the boring tour guide she was in the beginning. Now, this exciting adventure can help her hone her skills while proving why she’s meant for greater things.
While she was prideful and self-confident in the previous episode, Fionna is able to use her self-confidence in a way that’s beneficial for others as she rescues the Simons from the Candy Queen’s grasp.
As the episode reaches its climax, Simon starts believing that the Candy Queen can be fixed in the same way that he was. However, the Winter King doesn’t believe so as this has happened for so many years. They both try to persuade Fionna to listen to them respectively, which Fionna only listens to the Winter King and knocks the Candy Queen out.
And so, a happy ending finally happens as Fionna’s vision of a dreamy Ice Prince finally plays out as she embraces the Winter King. At least, that’s what happens until a sudden glitch removes the Crown’s magic, causing the “Winter King” to suddenly age and turn into a pile of dust in front of Fionna. Surprisingly, the Candy Queen transforms back into Princess Bubblegum as well.
This is where the complications of heroism finally sink in for Fionna: she’s confident that what she was doing was right, but things turned out to be the opposite as she now believes that she’s hurt more than she’s saved in this world. By nailing in this emotional detail, the episode opens up a new moral pathway for Fionna to explore as a person and a hero.
In terms of Simon, the episode finally showcases why the Winter King embraced the Crown’s power: this world’s Simon lost everything he had, from Betty to Marceline. Without anyone he could truly show his feelings with, he bundled up his emotions within the Crown’s madness in order to make this world his own. This episode beautifully presented this new perspective on the Simon-Ice King dynamic in a way that has been slightly explored in the past.
Rating – 4.5 out of 5 stars
This episode of Adventure Time: Fionna and Cake wonderfully showcases a new face of the Simon-Ice King dynamic through the manipulated embracement of opportunity in loss while continuing to develop Fionna’s character as a hero through a morally conflicting situation.
In addition, the episode happily starts building the relationship between Marshall Lee and Gary in a way that the original Adventure Time and its first spin-off never explored deeply.
With these two storylines being opened up for more exploration, hopefully, the show will continue to take stride in what makes Fionna and Cake strong through this episode.
Adventure Time: Fionna and Cake episodes 5 and 6 are now streaming on Max – two new episodes are released every Thursday.
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.