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

Adventure Time: “Puhoy”

Illustration for article titled Adventure Time: “Puhoy”

After last week’s trippy detour into the world of 3-D animation, it’s nice to return to the 2-D Ooo with an episode that focuses on building character, something that was lost in “A Glitch Is A Glitch.” Taking a cue from The Wizard Of Oz, “Puhoy” transports Finn to an alternate world made of pillows so that he can work out some of his pubescent issues. It’s the middle of a knifestorm, and Finn’s hormones are all out of whack; he’s starting to worry about Flame Princess’ interest in him because she didn’t laugh at his latest joke, and he immediately assumes that she’s focusing her attention on someone else. BMO and Jake try to convince him otherwise, but Finn doesn’t want to hear it and retreats into the massive pillow fort they’ve built so that his mind can fester.

Unless I missed it, the word Puhoy doesn’t actually come up in the episode, although I’m going to assume that’s the name of the pillow world Finn finds himself in when he walks into the fort. The adorable little pillow people need Finn’s help in fighting a giant pillow monster, and when he saves them, they throw a pillow party in his honor, where Finn meets the forthcoming Roselinen. When she asks him to dance, Finn is nervous about how Flame Princess will feel, but Roselinen convinces him that a dance is just a dance and that it doesn’t have to be loaded with feelings.

Finn is growing up, and he grows up a lot this week, living in Puhoy for years, ultimately marrying Roselinen, having two children, and getting his right arm removed and replaced a with one made of pillows. It all starts with that little bit of intimacy between Finn and Roselinen on the dance floor, where his hand sinks into her soft flesh; it’s fitting that a person Finn shares an early intimate moment with would be a pillow, and the pillow world is also a clue that this is all a dream. Finn is unsure about his relationship with FP, so he subconsciously creates an alternate scenario that will help him appreciate his girlfriend back home.

There’s a heavy Wizard Of Oz influence to this episode, but the latter half shares a lot of similarities with the current Captain America comic book written by Rick Remender. In that comic, Captain America has been teleported to an alternate dimension ruled by Arnim Zola and trapped there for 12 years, where he’s raised one of Zola’s cloned children as his own son. Much like this episode, that book has taken significant jumps in the timeline between issues. As the story shifts from Finn in Puhoy to Jake and BMO playing around in the treehouse, the timeline in Finn’s plot jumps ahead, providing glimpses of his early days with his wife and kids, his meeting with the oracle, and his final days in Puhoy when he slips away from his family and finally makes his way back to Ooo.

Although Finn goes through major stages of adulthood, he remains a kid the entire time because he’s dreaming, so he’s constantly fixated on going back home. The oracle asks him if he’s willing to give up what he’s gained in order to go back home, and Finn’s answer is an enthusiastic yes. That’s after Finn hallucinates a Hanna-Barbera-esque Jake that tells him he should stay with his wife because she’s probably known Finn longer than him at this point. There’s nothing that can stop Finn from heading home, and once he dies in Puhoy, he makes his way back to Jake and BMO. By showing those brief glimpses into the development of Finn’s pillow family, the writers are able to create a very touching scene where Finn’s wife and children say goodbye to him. There’s a real sense of loss, but also understanding that Finn needs to go back to where he came from.

When elderly Finn closes his eyes for the last time, his younger self flies through a black tunnel, crashes into a giant red beast, and reawakens in the pillow fort. Finn’s dream has matured him, even though he no longer remembers it, but the most valuable thing about the Puhoy experience was that it gave him time to relax and not think about FP for a while. When he wakes up, his girlfriend calls and tells him that she didn’t get his joke until just now, proving that Jake and BMO were right and Finn had nothing to worry about. It’s a lesson that all young lovers have to learn at some point: Slow down, don’t freak out, and communicate.


Stray observations:

  • This episode begins with a knifestorm, but I like to think that the creators are fans of Games Of Thrones and that it’s actually a storm of swords.
  • With Adventure Time’s reputation for casting distinct voice talent, it was only a matter of time before Wallace Shawn made his way on the show, and he’s delightful as the oracle this week.
  • What’s better than BMO with a rainbow afro? BMO with TWO rainbow afros!
  • Finn: “Having a girlfriend is hard.” Jake: “No. Being crazy is hard.”
  • “Oh no! My favorite window!”
  • “Festering is always bad! There’s no good kind of festering!”
  • “It’s nothin’. I kill things all the time.”
  • “Are you telling me the birds in your world don’t poo little pillow cases?”
  • “Ha ha ha ha ha! Alphanumeric!”
  • “Jake, you drive a hard burger.”
  • “I read it in The Tea Leaves. This newspaper I found from the future!”