The new Adventure Time special messed me up, bro

Finn and Jake are finally together.

So date, all of HBO Max’s Adventure Time: Distant Lands offshoot episodes have focused on different types of emotions: BMO focused on the titular tiny robot’s loneliness, while Obsidian examined Bubblegum and Marceline’s complicated relationship. The third installment in the series, Adventure Time: Distant Lands – Together Again, is a more direct stomach hit. Adventure Time has a long history of intertwining large emotions and deeper themes within the silly antics. Together Again begins as a joyful journey, but gradually transforms into something more tragic.

The newest hour-long Distant Lands episode, directed by longtime Journey Time producer Adam Muto, reunites Finn and Jake for their “greatest adventure yet.” It’s an emotional rollercoaster that provides the characters with closure in a very jarring manner.

[Editor’s note: This review contains some Adventure Time: Distant Lands — Together Again spoilers.]

The new Adventure Time special messed me up, bro

Adventure Time concluded with a sorrowful ending in 2018, marking the final appearance of series characters Finn the Dog and Jake the Human. This new episode begins with Finn searching for Jake after they’ve been apart for a long time. Finn encounters old friends and rivals as he travels across a new realm. Once he locates Jake, the two must figure out how to defend the kingdom from a self-centered monarch.

Together Again has the sense of a reunion tour. Previous specials concentrated on one or two old characters while introducing new ones to fill in the gaps in their storylines. Together Again goes even farther, reintroducing classic favorites such as Lumpy Space Princess, Ice King, and Peppermint Butler for brief cameos. It’s a short check-in after all this time, reflecting on what’s changed and what hasn’t in the world of Ooo. Not all of the cameo characters have an impact on the storyline, which isn’t always a bad thing. The focus is on Finn and Jake, with the rest of the characters serving primarily as filler.

Together Again is very stunning. Finn journeys over several different worlds in his hunt for Jake, each with its own scenery. From a lush underwater garden to a massive tunnel with a goo-filled lake in the centre, each world has its own logic and is gorgeously depicted. This special is no exception to Adventure Time’s tradition of generating unique and gorgeous locales. While Together Again just briefly portrays some of the lands, they all fit together like mosaic pieces in the episode’s grand storyline, supplementing the wider implications of what’s going on.

The new Adventure Time special messed me up, bro

Few personalities or locations are shown extensively in these episodes, but this just accentuates how these people and places have molded Finn and Jake’s particular friendship. Throughout fact, the entire episode serves as a metaphor for Finn and Jake’s journey in the show. Important characters from their past, such as their parents and rival Tiffany, intertwine with the plot of this particular episode, but at the end of the day, Together Again — and Adventure Time as a whole — is about Finn and Jake, so the big emotional payoff comes from the moments they are together.

Together Again is about Finn and Jake being, well, together again, even with a selfish overlord and Tiffany fighting for Jake’s attention. All of the other narrative components work to strengthen their bond. Finn must locate Jake. They need to re-establish their bond. They must work together once more to preserve the planet. Every aspect of this episode — and, to be honest, every aspect of the program — culminates in the last scene, where the two closest friends must make a difficult decision. It’s a beautiful, dramatic, and heartbreaking finale that perfectly reflects Adventure Time’s emotional depth and lingers in the greatest manner.

On May 20, Adventure Time: Distant Lands — Together Again will be available on HBO Max.

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