Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Adventure Time: “Davey”

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Sometimes being awesome can be really flippin’ hard. Achieving excellence means rising above those that don’t meet the same standard of quality, and even though it means being better than everyone else, it’s still alienating. Then there’s the pressure of maintaining that same level of greatness or risking shame and ridicule from those that previously begged for your attention. This is the dilemma Finn faces in “Davey,” a psychological episode that looks at what happens when Finn tries to change his identity to be someone simpler and less desirable. But things take a disturbing turn when Finn’s alternate personality becomes the dominant one, putting his friendships and sanity in danger.

After saving the citizens of the Candy Kingdom from a giant dragon, Finn finds himself the center of attention when he just wants to be alone. “Davey” jumps straight into the action with a dynamic fight sequence, throwing viewers into the plot at the very end of the big boss level. Because this is Adventure Time, Finn rescues the candy people by slicing the dragon straight through his butt crack, cutting the beast in half and freeing the candies before they get digested. When an ice cream man becomes obsessed with having dinner with Finn every night, Finn retreats into his tree house, where he gets the idea to put on a disguise when BMO asks him to play cops and robbers. He shaves a giant bald spot in his head and dyes his hair with molasses, using some of his leftover locks to create a mustache that becomes Davey’s signature characteristic.

The birth of Davey is an apt metaphor for an adolescent identity crisis, and the alternate personality gives Finn the opportunity to be normal when he’s becoming more and more different from those around him. Davey is the Clark Kent to Finn’s Superman, allowing him to hide in plain sight and live the life of an ordinary person. When Davey walks down the street, he’s not bombarded by invites to hang out, and Davey isn’t given special treatment like Finn. When Davey takes a bite out of a Choco Bird, he needs to pay for it, which makes him realize that he needs a job if he’s going to have the things he wants. Finn’s popularity allows him to stay young, much like how teenage celebrities can get caught in a state of arrested development. As Davey, he has to live like any other regular Joe, taking a job sweeping up brooms for an old man that looks just like him. The word is full of Daveys, and that’s what makes the personality so appealing.

That night, Jake says good night to Finn, but Davey is the person who responds. In the morning, Davey continues to be in control, building a log cabin with his new friend Randy, who most definitely does not want to hang. Davey is on the fast track to adulthood, cherishing alone time, getting a job, and now moving into his own place. That worries Jakes, especially since he just got free reign to be childish again after being relieved of the pressures of parenthood. Jake poses as a robber in hopes that he’ll awaken the hero inside Finn, but his bro is too far gone, calling the banana police to take Jake to prison. As Jake is pulled away, he yells, “Don’t let the dragon drag on,” reminding Finn that he has a duty to his brother and his heroic spirit, but the pull of Davey makes him hard to give up.

Conflicted over how to proceed, Finn argues with his alternate personality. Davey makes a good case for living the simple life, but ultimately Finn’s friendship with Jake wins out. Finn dons the mask of Davey one last time so that he can rescue Jake from candy prison, stealing the banana guard’s keys during a complimentary body sweep. Sometimes the identities we create for ourselves end up hurting those that are closest to us, and Finn realizes that getting some time on his own isn’t worth Jake’s suffering. He breaks his best friend out of prison and throws Jake’s robber outfit on a gummi horse and Davey’s mustache on the horse’s ass, sending it running into the sunset with the banana police clumsily chasing after it. Jake is hiding in Finn’s pocket and lets out a little poot to let his buddy know that everything is copacetic. Finn responds with a laugh, effectively dispelling the last trace of Davey in a cloud of rancid green gas.

Stray observations:

  • Oh man, last week’s Adventure Time #11 was an incredible issue, with Marceline, Finn, and Jake travelling inside BMO’s mainframe to play Super Guts Punch 3. It’s a comic filled with video game homages and delightful pixilated artwork, topped off with a beautiful variant cover by Kevin Wada, who did those awesome Marvel couture drawings.
  • Jake beats an egg by putting it shell and all in a bowl of flour then hitting it with a spoon for a while. That’s an interesting technique he’s got there.
  • BMO in oversized clothes is amazingly adorable. This should happen far more often.
  • How can I get invited to the Cinnamon Bun dance party?
  • BMO’s response to Finn shaving his head: “Your beauty is destroyed.
  • Finn: “BMO, how do I look?” BMO: “Like the devil!”
  • “I made you dinner, Finn! Where were you?!”
  • Daaaaaavey.” Finn/Davey’s facial expressions in this episode are hilarious.