From wacky winter worlds to dystopian-medieval realities, Adventure Time: Fionna and Cake continues to amaze fans with its centralized thematic storytelling with Fionna (Madeleine Martin), Cake (Roz Ryan), and Simon (Tom Kenny) as they continue to traverse the multiverse.
Though their ventures in Farmworld and Winter World did not lead them closer to fixing Fionna and Cake’s world, these episodes afforded much of the character development that our main trio needed such as Fionna gaining her self-confidence and Simon facing his own coping with grief.
After realizing what she really did in the previous episode, Fionna has been reluctant to continue being the hero she’s meant to be. However, with Scarab (Kayleigh McKee) still on their track, Fionna, with the help of Simon and Cake, must march on as they enter a more darker, sinister universe filled with eerie dangers.
Fionna & Cake Episode 7 Recap Review
After having a nice break for once in Baby World, Fionna, Cake, and Simon end up in a grizzly reality, though Fionna is still feeling the emotional distress she had from the last episode’s events.
With the tonal connectivity between each episode becoming much clearer, it’s good that the show is utilizing its linearity to ground Fionna’s character. In addition, watching Cake providing emotional support to Fionna not only livens their (almost) sisterly bond, but it also adds more depth to Cake’s personality, which has its moments here and there.
However, as Simon tells the two that they can only make one final jump, a group of vampires rushes towards them as they prove to be a more formidable enemy than the Candy Mutants ever did. Fionna’s confused anger continues to toil within her as she’s unable to take down her vampire, leading Cake to get big and chomp them to dust.
With Fionna realizing that their lives are at stake, it creates this interesting dilemma for her to face. After the Winter King died in her arms, Fionna now seeks to protect Cake no matter what. However, her emotional confusion is still influencing her, which inhibits all the skills she’s learned up until now.
Luckily for the trio, they get saved by none other than a militaristic Bonnibel Bubblegum (Hynden Walch), who’s been traversing these dead lands in her Peppermint Tank alongside the sneaky Huntress (Jenny Slate) and the butcher Martin Mertins (Stephen Root). Bonnibel hopes to stop the Crown-powered Vampire King (Billy Brown) along with his ward only known as “The Star” by taking the Crown and driving the vampires from their hive.
As everyone gets acquainted and has some soup, it’s revealed that Baby World’s Finn (Jeremy Shada) actually snuck his way into Fionna’s backpack, much to Bonnibel’s dismay. On the other hand, Martin gets a liking to Finn, unknowing of their shared familial connection.
However, the hunting party gets stopped in their tracks after Fionna and Martin stop to help some convincing vampires who trick them and trap them. Luckily, the vampires get killed, but not before the “Star” finally reveals its identity to be Marceline (Olivia Olson), who’s become the Vampire King’s ward in his conquest of Earth.
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This not only enrages Bonnibel further, but it also drives Simon into his own state of confusion. In this universe, Marceline never met Simon as she found him dead due to the vampires. Without Simon’s compassionate guidance, Marceline is no longer the friendly vampire hunter, but rather the literal Vampire Queen.
Marceline’s role-switch is another intriguing reflection of the Simon-Ice King dynamic: whereas the previous universe had lost its Marceline and Betty, this universe had lost its Simon. Both the Winter King and Marceline sadly succumb to their own emotions as they don’t have the support of one another, showing why Simon/Ice King and Marceline need each other.
Sadly for the group, Martin gets his soul sucked by Marceline, who continues to taunt Bonnibel in a way that edges towards this untold love. To honor him, Fionna decides to take his place in helping Bonnibel stop the vampires.
In addition, Cake decides to be their vehicle despite Fionna’s pleas to keep her safe. It’s a nice additional touch in Cake’s character as she seeks to find her own independence much like how she was in episode 3.
Speaking about love, Gary (Andrew Rannells) and Marshall Lee (Donald Glover) go to a blood drive, hosted by Marshall’s affluent mother Hana (Erica Luttrell). Even though Gary seems intimidated to be next to the richest people in town, Marshall’s personal distaste for a classy lifestyle clearly takes more precedence for him.
As the many guests take an interest to Gary’s baking skills, Gary sees that Marshall isn’t having a good time like him even though Marshall insists he’s okay. It’s clear that Marshall’s distant relationship with his mother has had a negative impact on him even if Marshall has tried to move on from this.
It isn’t until Hana gives an invigorating speech to the guests where she reveals that by helping Gary with his baking, Marshall put himself back on the path of following his mother’s footsteps. It provides a powerful climactic and emotional moment for Gary and Marshall to face as Gary insults Hana for being a bad parent despite Marshall’s insistence to calm Gary down.
When Gary finally opens up to Marshall, it’s a heartfelt moment that finally ties the bond that was hinted at all those episodes ago. Now together, the two make their daring escape from following the high-class suits, prepared for the personal roadblocks ahead.
Meanwhile, as the group finally enacts their plan, Fionna and Simon come across Marceline’s changing room as Marceline threatens her pawns after they taunt her with word of Bonnibel. The constant of Marceline and Princess Bubblegum’s love continues to drive a tonal message of love’s taking deep within this episode, coinciding with Marshall and Gary’s blossoming.
However, the plan goes wrong after the Vampire King, who’s killed Huntress with her own arrows, wakes up from his nap thanks to Marceline. While Marceline deals with Bonnibel, Simon finally takes his moment of bravery, declaring that Vampire King is a bad father. With Simon slowly breaking out of his shell, the episode is slowly building this layer of self-confidence for him, even if he insists the trio leaves before anything else happens.
However, Cake’s emotional independence takes the better of her as she tries to sneak towards the Crown despite Fionna’s insistence to leave. In doing so, the two break Prismo’s remote, which unknowingly sends them elsewhere. As for Bonnibel and Bubblegum, their shared inner loving hatred takes the better of them as they fall from the hive as the rest of the vampires rush to rescue Marceline.
What about Scarab? Well, we get caught back up to Scarab and Prismo (Sean Rohani) in the Time Room after Scarab figures out what to look for. Unfortunately for him, his eureka moment is cut short after he gets called back due to his insistence on capturing Fionna and Cake. This short moment does increase the stakes, but it also does feel like it cuts into the flow based on its placement.
This episode of Adventure Time: Fionna and Cake takes a unique spin on two integral Adventure Time dynamics, from fathers and daughters to lovers, that amazingly continues to build emotional depth to Fionna, Cake, and Simon while laying the foundation to explore Marshall and Gary together.
As things for Fionna, Cake, and Simon get more intense with each universe, hopefully the show’s two-flow, linearized storytelling will continue to make lasting impacts for these characters and the fans as we begin to reach the end.
Rating – 4 out of 5 stars
Adventure Time: Fionna and Cake episodes 7 and 8 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.