After nearly 280 adventures in the Land of Ooo, Adventure Time‘s Finn and Jake completed their final quest on Monday in an hourlong event that honored the Cartoon Network series’ incredible history — while offering a glimpse at its mysterious future.
TVLine chatted with executive producer Adam Muto for additional closure, but first, a quick recap: After all that build-up, the Great Gum War ended rather quickly, with both sides agreeing to move forward peacefully as a two-kingdom realm. Just when it seemed the worst was over, however, a menacing portal appeared overhead, unleashing GOLB — the ultimate evil, as discovered by Betty and Simon years earlier — on the unsuspecting candy people of Ooo.
With only their most trusted allies by their side — including a newly redeemed Fern! — Finn and Jake engaged GOLB’s minions in a final battle, which ended with Betty becoming one with the evil entity in order to sacrifice herself. (We also got our first official Bubblegum-Marceline kiss, which you can read about here.) Sadly, GOLB had reverted the Ice King back to plain ol’ Simon before its defeat, rendering him powerless and alone in Ooo, separated from his true love. As for his mantle, Gunter got a hold of the crown and wished himself to become the new Ice King. Because… why not?
Though the episode focused on Finn and his friends, the story of their battle against GOLB was actually being relayed by the future King of Ooo (aka BMO) to a pair of young adventurers named Shermy and Beth — the latter of whom looks like she could be a direct descendant of Jake, while the former could be a future incarnation of Finn. After hearing this tale of bravery, the duo sought out the wreckage of Finn and Jake’s treehouse, where Shermy discovered the tree that Fern became… as well as the powerful sword in its branches! And just like that, a new adventure (time) began.
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Below, Muto answers more of our burning questions about the series finale, including the clues about Shermy and Beth’s existence that we all (apparently) missed in previous episodes:
TVLINE | Bubblegum and Marceline weren’t the only ones who kissed. Can we go ahead and confirm Lumpy Space Princess and Lemongrab as a couple, too?
[Laughs] I can’t write their ending. That was set up in the episode where they went on a blind date. We wanted to make sure [their kiss] didn’t come out of nowhere. And, who knows, maybe they’re the perfect pair — they’re both kind of abrasive and loud.
TVLINE | They’d make a great royal couple, especially since she’s now the Lumpy Space… Queen? Was that her coronation in that final montage?
She might still be a princess, but yes, she’s also the queen. We’re pretty loose with our titles. But that was meant to be an ending for her and the other princesses. She was an outsider for a large part. She lived in the woods, and I don’t know why she never moved back. That was her coming back to the fold and accepting responsibility and leadership.
TVLINE | She had a much happier ending than, say, Betty. Was there ever talk of ending her and Simon’s story on a higher note?
That was something we talked a lot about: How happy of an ending can their story really have? Would that be satisfying or a cop-out? And would something dark feel too hopeless? It was more about finding a way for them to switch roles. She did get what she wanted, but in a Gift of the Magi twist, she became the cursed thing. And now Simon is human and searching for a way to save her.
TVLINE | At least Fern got a little redemption. Was that important for you to work in there?
I think so. He was always a version of Finn, a doppelgänger. So Finn spent a lot of time trying to redeem him. He should be able to find the good in himself. I feel like he did get an ending that felt earned without whitewashing the compromises he went through to become a person. And it was important to us that he still exists — he’s just a tree now!
TVLINE | Lastly, let’s talk Shermy and Beth: Are you able to say where they come from? Do you even know their full lineage?
A lot of that was directly pitched by [writer] Steve Wolfhard. He had this massive headcanon of the Ooo 1000 world. In “Graybles 1000,” you see Marceline’s house covered in Christmas lights, but you don’t see inside. I’m pretty sure Steve knew who was inside. He’s been pitching these sketches of these future versions of these characters for years now. He pitched the Shermy visual a few years ago. There are little nuggets in the [finale] intro to show you what the [future] world is like: You see the Pup Kingdom, you see Gibbon, you see some characters who were only in one scene in Season 8. The crumbs are there for fans to put together.
Time to weigh in: Did the Adventure Time finale live up to your expectations? Which character’s ending surprised you the most? Grade the epic-sode below, then drop a comment with your full review.