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

Adventure Time: “In Your Footsteps”

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After last week’s Nightosphere epic, “In Your Footsteps” is a breather episode, showing Finn and Jake relaxing before they head off on whatever adventure is waiting for them next. It’s also a rare episode of Adventure Time that ends on a cliffhanger, setting up a serialized story that will assumedly be developed as the season continues. After a sweet opening sequence of Finn using Jake as a parachute for some extreme skydiving, the duo encounters an adorable brown bear on a mission to Single White Female Finn and steal the Enchiridion, the hero’s handbook.

While Finn and Jake take a break from dancing with Candy Kingdom citizens, a bear pulls up to their table and chokes on some peanuts, instantly gaining their favor as Finn smacks him across the back with the book he’s there to steal. The bear plays dumb in order to gain favor with the two, and Finn is completely enamored by his “totally weird” act. When they take the bear home with them, Finn discovers that the bear is a great mimic, leading to the precious image of a bear using BMO’s foot as a straw.

Jake is suspicious of their new bear friend, especially after he refuses to copy him and just punches him instead. When Jake sneaks out of bed and finds the bear wearing Finn’s clothes and trying to mimic his voice, the episode gets both more adorable and creepier at the same time. The target audience for this series is at the age when friendships are expanding, and relationships are shifting as junior high and high school come into focus. New people are beginning to enter established partnerships, and Jake’s dilemma is one that young viewers will able to associate with.

The bear stands in for that new guy that copies everything your best friend does to get in his good graces. Then your best friend goes away and asks you not to eat his cupcakes, but the new guy gorges himself and you see how evil this outsider really is. Jake records the bear eating all the Finn-cakes, but Finn makes the valid argument that the bear is a wild animal and refuses to believe that the bear has any malicious intent. It’s a mistake that is going to bite him in the ass.

Finn and Jake find the bear in full-on Finn mode dancing with Princess Bubblegum and the rest of the Candy Kingdom, and it’s the thing that makes Finn finally confront his new friend. The bear runs off in tears, and Princess Bubblegum berates Finn for thinking they were all so stupid that they wouldn’t notice he was a giant bear. She assumed it was one of his “jokey joke jokes,” and Finn feels so bad that he apologizes to the bear and decides to help him become the hero he can be.

Once the bear gets his hands on the Enchiridion, he hops on his bicycle because how do you have a bear in an Adventure Time episode without putting him on a bicycle? He takes the book to a mysterious cave, where his true intentions are revealed as he meets the mastermind behind his covert operation: the snail. In a landmark Adventure Time moment, the snail that has made cameos in every episode finally speaks, and his voice is deep. Lich deep. Now that he has the Enchiridion, the snail is “one step closer,” but to what? One step closer to a long-form narrative on this show? The cliffhanger introduces a slew of intriguing possibilities for Adventure Time, and it would definitely be ambitious for the series to try a serialized story in the midst of the wacky comedy.


Stray observations:

  • Who picked up the Adventure Time Free Comic Book Day issue? It was a prequel to the current story unfolding in the main AT title, and it was (surprise) totally algebraic. Not to sound like a broken record, but if you watch this show and don’t read the comic, you’re missing out one of Finn and Jake’s best stories.
  • The shot of BMO on the ground with his arms wrapped around his knees while Finn and Jake fight is crazy cute. He’s the kid that has to watch his parents argue.
  • I am now going to start describing people I like as “top bluesby.”
  • “He got in close and used you, now he’s feeding nuts to your ex-girlfriend.”