Adventure Time: “One Last Job”
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Adventure Time: “One Last Job”

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Adventure Time

“One Last Job”

Season 5, Episode 23

Adventure Time is a series that has been on for five seasons, and like other shows that have lasted that long, it has grown since its conception. Originally the tale of two best friends/brothers living in a whimsical future Earth, the cartoon has developed a rich mythology over the past three years and evolved its two lead characters as they age. Finn is now firmly in the throes of puberty and dealing with the physical and emotional changes that brings, while Jake has been to fatherhood and back, enjoying the girth and sloth of adulthood. The core of the series is still Finn and Jake’s friendship and their mutual desire for adventure, but expanding the scope has allowed the writers to explore new storytelling avenues without losing sight of what makes the show great.

Jake began to experience the stresses of being a parent back in “Jake The Dad”, and now that his kids are adults themselves, he’s faced with different kinds of challenges. While bird-watching, Jake receives a video showing his daughter Jake Jr. tied up, held captive by a mysterious voice who demands the Baker’s Shard as ransom. In order to retrieve the purest source of sugar in all the realms, Jake has to reassemble the old gang he ran with back in his thieving days (as referenced back in season three’s “The Apple Thief”), returning to the heavily-browed life of crime he gave up years ago.

“One Last Job” is an Adventure Time heist caper that casts Jake as the point man, Gareth (a.k.a. “The Lady Master”) as the muscle, The Flying Lettuce Brothers as the masters of disguise, and the insane Tiffany as the brains who knows the ins and outs of the building they have to infiltrate. Tiffany has been desperately waiting to be called back into the fray to help the best friend that doesn’t have any time for him, and he’s been scrawling maniacal speeches on his body for the moment Jake needs him again. The writers have a lot of fun with Tiffany’s small child voice, giving him heightened dialogue he doesn’t quite know how to deliver correctly.

If friends are a reflection of a person’s character, then Jake must have been a really bad guy back in the day. When we first see Gareth, he’s seducing a woman into giving him all of her possessions, and later he splashes banana milk on the Captain of the Banana Guard, causing him to break down as he tastes the forbidden flavor. The Flying Lettuce Brothers trick a convenience store employee into giving them the money in the register, then impersonate the captive Captain and take control of the entire Banana Guard by mimicking his voice. Then there’s Tiffany, who is completely unhinged and willing to do anything to get Jake’s attention. 

When the heist begins, “One Last Job” becomes a spotlight of Jake’s shape-changing abilities. He shows incredible stealth as he stretches across the ceiling above the Banana Guard, lightning quick dexterity when he’s put through a gauntlet inspired by platform video games, and immense power when his crew betrays him for the Baker’s Shard. Adventure Time is great at incorporating classic video game visuals into its stories, and the platforming sequence in this episode is one of the show’s best shout-outs to the games that inspired Pendleton Ward to create this wacky universe. As the camera shifts to a side-scrolling screen, Jake makes his way through a variety of dungeon obstacles until he reaches the Baker’s Shard, passing the loot to his partners so they can run off with it. That’s when Jake shows just how mad this papa dog can get when someone messes with his pups.

Growing until he bursts through the walls of the vault he’s been locked in, Jake becomes an unstoppable force of nature once he’s been double-crossed. He turns into a rampaging Jakezilla as he chases down the thieves’ getaway car, driven by none other than Jake Jr. herself. Inspired by the stories her mother told her of her father’s daring days as a thief, Jake Jr. decided to orchestrate her own heist to impress her dad, forcing her father to learn his newest parenting lesson: The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

Jake was a mischievous child whose behavior only intensified as he grew up, pulling him down the path of thievery before he cleaned up his act, starting hanging out with a new group of people, and started a family. Jake Jr. has that same mischievous streak, and it’s her dad’s responsibility to make sure she doesn’t make the same mistakes he did. That doesn’t mean he’s not proud of the con she pulled on him today, and Jake probably loves his daughter all the more for getting him off his fat ass and sending him on a bonafide adventure.

Stray observations:

  • We’ve started to see the character divide between Finn and Jake expand this season. Jake has always been a little more relaxed than his bro, but he’s become exceedingly lackadaisical while Finn only has more and more energy.
  • BMO is very good at pooping VHS tapes into oblivion, but less good at keeping secrets.
  • The Captain of the Banana Guard has a dollop of whipped cream on his head rather than a sprinkling of nuts. I wonder if there’s a complete chart somewhere that shows Banana Guard ranks and their respective toppings. 
  • “Mom’s takin up the rear all Plain Jane styles.”
  • “Shut up Tanya, I gotta see my ex-wife. (Walks through glass door.)”
  • “Well, well. From the shadows of dream the dog wakes to find its mangy tail flopping in the dust like a fish in a tree. That fish is me: Tiffany!”
  • Finn: “You wanna join my permanent noise band?” BMO: “No, I like organized sound.”
  • “NO! The forbidden flavor. It’s—it’s delicious.”

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