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Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Adventure Time: “Candy Streets”

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Finn and Jake have spent five seasons as adventurers, but “Candy Streets” sees the pair breaking from their usual act to become Candy Kingdom detectives when a mysterious assailant robs Lumpy Space Princess. Unfortunately, the pair’s adventurous spirit overrides any sort of actual investigative work, and they make a giant mess of things. Adventure Time’s concept of being a detective is a hell of a lot more fun than shows like CSI and Law & Order, turning the act of solving a crime into a quest akin to slaying a monster or finding the treasure hidden inside a dungeon. Finn and Jake don’t understand that solving a crime is more than just following whatever impulse a single clue sparks, and they would save poor Pete Sassafrass a whole lot of trouble if they waited for BMO to come back with the “blood” results from the very start of their investigation.

“Candy Streets” is Adventure Time’s tribute to the primetime crime drama, from the clang of the Law & Order background music to that one scene in The Wire where McNulty and Bunk say “fuck” a lot while searching a crime scene.

There’s a similar scene in this week’s episode, except Finn, Jake, and BMO are going “hmmm” instead of swearing. They’re looking through LSP’s hotel room to find clues, searching for anything that could point them toward the “Pete” that LSP mumbled about after getting shot with some neon green fluid from PB’s giant syringe. BMO turns all of LSP’s trash into evidence and draws hand turkeys on the wall with outlining chalk, Jake eats some crumbs at the bottom of a potato chip bag, and Finn lifts up whatever he can because that’s what investigating really is. That lifting and searching process helps him discover the red liquid on the carpet that he believes to be Pete’s blood, sending him and Jake to the local pharmacy so that they can find out if anyone bought mini adhesive bandages.

Last episode focused on Adventure Time supporting players for a story that was just a bit too random and chaotic, but this week’s plot proves that the writers still have plenty of ideas for the show’s central duo. There’s still plenty of random, like the opening sequence where Finn and Jake use kittens as puppets and force them to engage in assorted adorable activities, but there’s a method to all the madness. The kitty puppet scene shows what Finn and Jake are like before they take on their case, establishing the shift in tone once the episode switches into crime drama mode.

Ann, a shady pharmacist voiced by comedian Melissa Villasenor, is at the center of the funniest scene in the episode, delivering a hilarious monologue that plays on the idea that witnesses have really great memories in crime dramas. After commenting on how ridiculous it is for Finn and Jake to expect that she would be able to remember every random person that walks into the store, Ann’s memory is jogged, and she delivers a long speech about Pete Sassafrass and his chronic nose bleeds. She directs the detective duo to a train station with exact departure times, and then apologizes that she can’t offer any more information when they leave. It’s a fun little rambling scene that continues this episode’s trend of having Jake turn into police objects like a clipboard and policeman’s hat, suggesting a deeper desire within the dog to continue down this career path.

Throughout “Candy Streets,” Jake cannot stop changing into objects related to police or detective work. These various forms include the aforementioned clipboard and hat, along with a magnifying glass, pair of binoculars, badge, gun, and most violently, an entire police car. When Finn and Jake catch up with Pete Sassafrass at the train station, they’re stopped by two blueberry police officers that arrest them for trying to illegally board the train. Finn and Jake say that they’re cops, too, and a lick from one of the officers verifies that Jake is legitimate police. Adventure Time is a series that isn’t afraid to make its characters go through significant changes, and it seems like the writers are setting up a storyline where Jake decides to legitimately become a police officer. The next step in Jake’s growth is finding a job, and police officer would be a really fun one, especially if it means learning more about the infrastructure of the Candy Kingdom’s police system. (I would love an episode about a day in the life of a Banana Guard employee.)

One thing that will get in the way of Jake becoming a cop is that he doesn’t seem to be very good at the job. He and Finn falsely imprison Pete Sassafrass because they think that pizza sauce is blood, and if they had waited for BMO’s test results, they would have figured out that their real suspect is Petey, the delivery boy at Pizza Sassy’s. And because this is LSP, Petey didn’t do anything but become the latest subject of her infatuation. The only thing he stole is LSP’s heart, and it’s something that he doesn’t even want. Yet while Finn and Jake might suck at solving crime, they do know how to break up a brawl, arriving at LSP’s hotel room just in time to stop her from smothering Petey with her affections. If Jake can’t make it as a cop, he could always try being a bodyguard.


Stray observations:

  • John Dimaggio does great voice work this episode, especially during the scene where Jake makes a lawyer out of his flesh. Jake’s powers are also on another level this week, with the writers milking a lot of comedy from each new cop-related shape.
  • Ann is a fantastic example of how to use expressive hand movements to bring life to an animated character.
  • Jake discovers a lot of bags in LSP’s hotel room. Surprising no one, LSP is a bag lady.
  • “I think I gave her too much.”
  • “And if the oozing persists, just come back and I’ll give you somethin’ stronger.”
  • “I really like turning into cop stuff. I literally can’t stop turning into cop stuff.”
  • “Welcome to the next 25 years of your life.”
  • “I told you. I have a problem!”
  • “Yeah, no tip, huh? That’s great. So that’s how it is around here.”