Adventure Time: Fionna and Cake is now in the home stretch as Fionna (Madeleine Martin), Cake (Roz Ryan) and Simon (Tom Kenny) reach an intense climax of their multiversal journey together.
After traversing through lands familiar and new, our main trio stumbled upon a world where the Lich’s (Ron Perlman) wish of ending all life came true, leaving them desolated. However, it allowed Simon to beautifully articulate why he’s on this quest with Fionna and Cake: to see his lover Betty (Felicia Day) one last time.
Luckily for them, Simon’s spell to bring Fionna and Cake back to their world managed to work. Although, with Scarab (Kayleigh McKee) and another mysterious force at play, Fionna and Cake continues to up the ante for what these characters have to face next.
Fionna & Cake Episode 9 Recap Review
What’s perhaps one of the more unsettling elements of the show is that false sense of safety and security in this episode’s introduction.
When Fionna and Cake returned to their world within Simon’s head, everything looks to be normally magical once again, albeit with a few additions from their old, bland reality. However, as it turns out, their friends Gary (Andrew Rannells), Marshall Lee (Donald Glover), and even Simon have been turned into these freakish abominations.
This sequence showcases a scary reflection of what Fionna and Cake have been searching for the entire show, hinting at the positives and negatives from making their choices. They’ve always wanted to live in the magical world of Ice King’s fanfictions that Prismo (Sean Rohani) made for them, but they haven’t fully considered the good and bad that comes with it.
Luckily for Fionna and Cake, it was all a dream, which they both surprisingly shared. It’s also surprising that Cake is still able to talk and shapeshift as when the two discover that Gary and Marshall Lee are finally dating, it’s a lightly comical joke that intersects the seriousness of their uncompleted mission.
Meanwhile, it turns out that Simon did manage to make it to GOLB Betty’s void alongside the Lich (Ron Perlman), who desperately wants answers to his existence but gets crushed by GOLB Betty in the end.
Here, Simon finally gets to have his heart-to-heart with Betty after all those years since the Adventure Time finale, sharing how he feels about Betty’s sacrifice to protect him in the end. It’s a tough thing for Simon to do: he’s been trying his hardest to find Betty throughout his show and when he finally does, he realizes that he’s meant to be a catalyst for greater powers.
However, it doesn’t seem like GOLB Betty sees that as Simon’s endgame as she whisks his soul into another time: the future with Shermy (Sean Giambrone) and Beth (Imani Hakim).
Seeing Shermy and Beth off on their own is a nice touch just like the opener with Finn and Jake in episode 4. Although, there’s an interesting dynamic to be had when Simon’s mind gets transferred into Shermy’s body, perhaps as Betty hopes Simon learns a different lesson.
After a little fight with the Pagelings in the library in hopes to find a way for Simon to escape this world, they manage to find a choose-your-own-adventure book about two wizards whose backstories might be reflective of another relationship: the courageous Casper and the faithful Nova.
While not much is explained about the book’s overall purpose in this episode, the setup does leave for much intrigue about its impact on Simon’s understanding of himself.
As for Fionna and Cake, they’re at their own conundrum: since Simon hasn’t put the Crown back on yet, it gives Fionna, Cake, Gary, and Marshall time to reflect on what will happen to them.
These scenes that we get between them create the right amount of tension in preparation for the finale: if Simon wears the Crown, then who knows if anybody will remember the dull cityscape that Fionna and Cake grew to appreciate throughout this show. In fact, will anybody remember the previous relationships they developed now, like Gary and Marshall?
While this is an interesting idea to explore, the episode propels its plot forward with Scarab’s (Kayleigh McKee) invasion in Fionna-world after GOLB Betty nearly destroyed him for trying to kill a vulnerable Simon. Luckily, Hunter (Vico Ortiz) shows up in time to aid our heroes in preventing the Scarab’s reforming.
It’s hilarious to watch Fionna, Cake, and company try to stop all the Scarab-Mites to no avail, but it makes it so the episode feels a little too action-driven as they go on this wild goose chase.
From the escape sequence with the Pagelings to the Scarab-Mites’ invasion, the episode somewhat sacrifices digging deeper into characterization in order to set-up the ultimate battle between Fionna and Cake versus Scarab.
In doing so, it may feel like it can jump from moment to moment as the action and movement continue in a snap. Nonetheless, I hope the show’s final episode may be able to bring out the best tonal aspects that have made this show great to watch
As all the Scarab-Mites are captured, the only way that Fionna knows how to save their world is by getting to Simon through the magical portal that transported her and Cake in the first place. With all their friends’ help, they set out to look for any anomalies they can find, but Ellis P (Pendleton Ward), who’s somehow still in the apartment, doesn’t seem to quite get the message.
Thanks to Ellis, all the Scarab-Mites are set free which causes Scarab to finally reform, prepared to destroy Fionna and Cake’s world as all of them watch in terror. With the stakes ever so intense and ready to rumble in the final episode, Fionna and Cake may only hope that they can find Simon and fix their world by any means necessary.
Overall, the penultimate episode of Adventure Time: Fionna and Cake is a satisfying setup for Fionna and Cake’s grand finale even if it does tend to quickly jump around in its second half. Nonetheless, its emotional focus on Simon and Betty’s relationship as well as the survival of Fionna and Cake’s world manages to carry out the awe and excitement of it all.
As Fionna and Cake reaches its grand climax to the multiversal journey it has made for Fionna, Cake, and Simons, fans might not be prepared for what’s about to hit them at the end of the road. Hopefully, the final episode can deliver on balancing its fiery action and its emotional story flow as our main trio faces the greatest crisis of their lives.
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.