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

Adventure Time: “Reign Of Gunthers”

Illustration for article titled Adventure Time: “Reign Of Gunthers”

The French Revolution, the Russian Revolution, and now, the Gunter Revolution. After being treated like shit by the Ice King for too long, the penguin strikes back when he gets his hand on his master’s Demonic Wishing Eye, a necklace that makes his every desire materialize. While Ice King goes off to the Wizard Market in search of his missing item, Gunter pulls out the Eye and his secret weapon Kitten and prepares to embark on his quest for domination of Ooo. This episode is reminiscent of “BMO Noire” in how it builds a story around one of the supporting character that is primarily defined by being cute and lonely, but “Reign Of Gunters” doesn’t add anything to the character, making it feel like a one-off joke stretched to fill 10 minutes.

Finn and Jake wake up to find their apartment full of superpowered green penguins, and when they make it outside, they learn that the entire surrounding area has been conquered by Gunter’s troops, and they’re heading to the Candy Kingdom. While Finn and Jake race to save Princess Bubblegum and friends, Ice King is making his way to the Wizard Market, where he has trouble fitting in. Nobody likes the Ice King, probably because he's the kind of person who sniffs princess hair that gets collected in his princesses-only hair brush. When he gets to town (password for entry: “Wizards rule”), he arrives at what he thinks is the magic item shop, but he’s not quite sure if he’s reading the symbol above the door correctly. I love when this show makes fun of video game tropes, like using symbols to mark a place rather than words, and what starts as a complaint about signage turns into a cry for equal distribution of magic for everyone.

Inside the magic shop, Ice King uncovers a coven of wizards, who aren’t really doing anything except being all secretive about what they do. The wizards are characterized as bros, with a very silly secret oath:

“In shadow, we find the light

Safely sealed in darkest night.

So make sure y’all keep it tight.

Wizards only, fools.”

It would have been more fun to watch Ice King’s battle with the Wizards, because while the action in the Candy Kingdom is fun, it’s not very exciting. The best part of the main story doesn’t even involve Gunter, when Finn is talking to PB on a tablet communicator about their plans to stop the penguin invasion. PB outlines her strategy (banana guards and gumball guardians), but Finn keeps his a secret so he can be mysterious. Jake is confused because he thought Finn wasn’t interested in PB anymore, but Finn explains that he’s keeping all his ladies in a state of confusion so that he always has opportunities in case it doesn’t work out with Flame Princess. It’s called future farming, and Finn read about it in Mind Games by Jay T. Dawgzone, the author Ice King looks up to. Jake tells his bro that the book is full of really bad advice and that he just keeps it for laugh, but then he backtracks and tells Jake that it’s probably not that bad of an idea to be mysterious, because Jake is full of bad ideas.

At the gates of the Candy Kingdom, a short but brutal battle unfolds, with the army of super Gunters easily taking out the banana guards. The gumball guardian is a bit harder to defeat, but that’s why Gunter brought Kitten, who has phoenix-like pyrokinetic powers. The penguins breach the fortress wall, but that’s when Finn puts his plan into action. He’s gathered all the glass bottles in the Candy Kingdom, because that’s what the Gunters are really after. The enemy is briefly satiated until they run out of bottles, forcing PB, Finn, and Jake to reassemble the bottles by hand so that they can be broken again.

The impatient Gunter refuses to wait and threatens to crack open the gumball guardian’s head, but once it makes the first chink, Ice King shows up and demands his magic item back, putting an end to Gunter’s reign of terror. With a few insulting squirts from a spray bottle, Gunter is sent home to think about what he’s done. Like the bad guardian he is, Ice King assumes that his absence from home has driven Gunter to the dark side, completely oblivious to how much his pet penguin hates him. It may not have happened today, but Gunter will eventually have his vengeance, and it will be adorable.


Stray observations:

  • In Adventure Time comic book news, Boom! release this image of Fionna and Cake today. Fingers crossed for a Fionna and Cake miniseries, because the AT comics have been phenomenal.
  • I love that Gunter gets around the Ice Kingdom by sliding around on his stomach.
  • The Demonic Wishing Eye sure looks a lot like Dr. Strange’s Eye of Agamotto.
  • Is it just me, or is PB starting to look older?
  • “Jake? We gots penguins.”
  • “Hurry, Jake! Wait, I’m still in my pa-jay-jays.”