Over Adventure Time’s five seasons, Ice King has evolved the most as a character, transforming from a standard supervillain to a tragic figure who had to sacrifice himself in order to save the people he loves. Deep down, his intention is to be happy with another person that loves him for who he is, but he’s completely insane and doesn’t understand how to achieve that anymore. Simon Petrikov was lost a long time ago because of the mystical powers of the Ice King’s crown, but there are still moments when his old self returns to reveal the compassionate soul that was eventually overtaken by dementia and obsession. Not surprisingly, that happens when Ice King takes off his crown in “The Party’s Over, Isla De Señorita.”
After sneaking into Princess Bubblegum’s room while she’s sleeping, Ice King is attacked and rejected for the nth time. He finally gets the hint he’s not wanted and leaves on a sea voyage that ends with him getting shipwrecked on Isla De Señorita, a giant living landmass that takes a liking to her new visitor. The first thing Ice King does on Isla De Señorita is take off his crown and create a new headdress of palm fronds, and removing his crown immediately makes him calmer and more personable. Despite dating Party God, Isla De Señorita is as lonely as Ice King, and he becomes a valuable confidant that helps the island address the problems in her relationship.
Adventure Time appeals to a huge audience, and episodes like this week’s show why as it depicts a conflict that is relatable to an older crowd but still simple enough for a child to understand. Party God and Isla De Señorita are a couple in name only, and he’s far more interested in keeping up his party reputation than spending time with his girlfriend. It’s like the couple of high school sweethearts that discover they’re two very different people once they go off to college, and the excessively bro-y Party God is a bad match for the sensitive Isla De Señorita. She understands this, but doesn’t know how to handle the situation until Ice King offers her surprisingly strong advice over some freshly-stomped wine out of plastic cups.
Maybe it’s because I’m knee deep in the new Arrested Development episodes, but I can’t help noticing some similarities between Ice King and another character who has an affinity for blue: Tobias Fünke. They are both misunderstood but also completely oblivious of themselves, and fail to understand why others aren’t able to connect with them on a personal level. They repeat the same actions although the outcomes are always undesirable, yet they both also share a passion to reinvent themselves that burns bright but fast. In the new Arrested Development, Tobias’ spotlight episode is titled “A New Start,” and “The Party’s Over, Isla De Señorita” is Ice King’s chance to reinvent himself for the biggest woman he’s ever encountered. It works for a brief period, but then it all comes falling apart because he can’t escape his nature.
When Ice King takes off his crown, he shifts away from Tobias and moves into Louie CK in Louie territory, playing a kind, sympathetic character who is unfortunately prone to self-sabotage. Ice King develops a great friendship with Isla De Señorita (told largely through musical montage), but he can’t keep himself from wanting more. When Ice King isn’t wearing his crown, he’s painfully aware of his loneliness, and he remedies that by making a new friend and getting to know her on a personal level. The combination of removing his crown and encountering a woman who is so big he can’t kidnap her forces Ice King to begin a relationship in a completely normal way, but with Louie’s bad luck, it’s bound to fall apart sooner rather than later.
Ice King suggests to Isla De Señorita that she break up with Party God, but when she’s unable to do the deed, he takes it upon himself to fast-track the separation. That’s when he puts on the crown, signaling the beginning of the end as he goes after the Party God and returns to his old villainous ways. When Party God assumes Ice King’s relationship with his girlfriend is more than just platonic, he starts a fight that Ice King is delighted to join in on. After knocking out Party God with a frozen cloud, Ice King uses the giant wolf head as a meat puppet and returns to Isla De Señorita so she can finally break up with her jerk of a boyfriend. (That’s such a Tobias plan.) When she finally ends the relationship, she thanks the kind man who helped her find her strength, sparking a rare moment of self-awareness from Ice King when he realizes he’s essentially screwed up his chances with Isla De Señorita because of his current actions.
The saddest thing about Ice King’s situation is that he’d be quite the catch if he wasn’t completely off his rocker. When Simon Petrikov’s personality begins to rise back to the surface, we see a warm side of Ice King that doesn’t need to kidnap women to get them to care about him. But once the crown comes on, Simon is buried all over again. Ice King walks away from his encounter with Isla De Señorita learning that he shouldn’t dedicate himself to someone who doesn’t care about him, and he goes back to Princess Bubblegum to break up with her although they were never together in the first place. Yet as he flies away, he’s already thinking about how his romance with Princess Bubblegum will overcome this latest obstacle, showing that he’s really learned nothing at all. It’s only a matter of time before he starts creepily standing over her again while she’s sleeping, but this episode shows it is possible for Ice King to change his behavior. He just has to get rid of that damn crown.
- Riki Lindhome of musical comedy duo Garfunkel And Oates is the voice of Isla De Señorita, and the writers make sure to take advantage of her musical background by having her sing multiple times in the episode.
- This week’s best visual gag: Ice King coughing up two fish, then a crab.
- This week’s best visual effect: Party God breaking up into little wolf heads to avoid Ice King’s lightning bolt.
- I love the ways the writers casually insert Finn and Jake in the episodes for comedic effect, like their single appearance this week getting pushed out of the way by an Ice King who is already defeated and not in the mood for a fight.
- “Did you look in your heart? Like all around it?”
- “Guards, take me away!”
- Finn: “Ice King, get out of princess—” Ice King: “I’m leaving!”
- “I can’t party foul a party. I’m the Party God.”
- “There’s going to be two hits, bro. Me hitting you, and a second instance of me hitting you.”
- “Take it easy, wolfie. I just stomped grapes on her tummy.”