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October 23, 2012
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Uh... um... I watched "The Lich," the season four finale of Adventure Time... here's what I am capable of thinking of it. Keep in mind that the following article isn't really a review since I can't muster a proper opinion on the episode yet.

...First of all, I've gotta praise the foreshadowing of the final events of this episode throughout the last season and in the episode itself. Turns out "King Worm" wasn't an irrelevant Bizarro Episode after all. I loved the delivery throughout the episode, too; it was funny seeing "Billy" explain his plan to Finn in such a frank manner, and looking back, it was also another example of subtle foreshadowing. The scene where all the gems become attached to The Enchiridion except for LSP's supposed "gem" was hilarious as well. And, of course, special mention must go to the Princess Bubblegum sequence before Finn shows up. It's one of those jokes that just wouldn't of worked if the character's personality hadn't already been established so well.

So... now about the third act... I'll admit, the ending of this episode shocked me more than any episode of The Twilight Zone ever has, but I'm not completely sure if that's a good thing or not yet. First of all, the whole PB sequence was stupid. Why did Finn suddenly act like such a beast when confronting her? If he had just asked for the gem nothing would've happ-wait, I just answered my own question. Still, I'm sure Billy could've gotten his hands on the gem another way. However, the ensuing mental battle between Finn and his greatest hero/fear was genuinely intense. Seriously, this kid's greatest fear is wearing the skin of (or perhaps simply IS) his ultimate role model. Then when he fights back by breaking The Enchiridion, it turns out that's exactly what The Lich wanted, opening up the portal between worlds. Whatever happens with this show, I think we can count on The Lich to continue being a great villain.

...I avoided talking about the "hick Finn" sequence that has already become immortalized by tumblr conspiracy theorists again, didn't I? My immediate reaction to this sequence (by the way, this sequence took up the last thirty seconds of the last episode of the season) was "WHAT THE-NO, HOW COULD YOU, YOU HAD BUILT SOMETHING ELSE YOU CAN'T ABANDON IT FOR THIS." However, looking back, it's probably too early to decide whether this ending was a beautiful kind of shocking or a show-killing kind of shocking. Still, while it definitely fuels the horribly cliche theories of the Adventure Time universe being a dream or not real in some way, it also opens the door to plenty more possibilities, seeing as we have at least one more season to fill. It's interesting to think exactly what The Lich intends to do with the other worlds.

Have the events of this episode changed the series forever? Well, since it happened, I'm hoping so. They can't hand us a game changer this big and simply throw it away. The structure of Adventure Time could be drastically changed in season five, having an active main villain, a more apparent story arc and a lot more mind screw, seeing as where "Finn and Jake" ended up. If the conflict this episode introduced is going to be resolved quickly next season without elaboration on what exactly its relevance was (other than to freak people out, of course), then this episode probably shouldn't have been made.

On a somewhat different note, a thought occurred to me that this episode would've actually made a nearly perfect series finale if a few scenes had been altered. The use of Ice King's crown for The Enchiridion's powers could've brought closure to Ice King's story arc (hopefully something is still made of that scene), and if the last thirty seconds of the episode were removed, the episode also would've provided closure to Finn and Jake's development as heroes through their persual of the ultimate hero/evil. Yeah, I said if the hick sequence were removed, not expanded upon. An ending that portrayed the heroes going beyond what the viewer can see surely would've made a huge impact. But since the writers chose to show what was beyond the portal, they now have to do something huge with it. No easy way out.

What did you guys think of the episode? Any theories?

Oh yeah, final thoughts on season four: The season's biggest blemishes were its uneventful first few episodes and the sloppily executed Flame Princess arc. But aside from those things, season four had even more impactful episodes than the widely acclaimed season three. This is probably because of the show's myth arc; new things about the show's world are revealed almost every episode, making the series get more and more interesting as it goes on. Season four hooked me harder than ever not only through this almost perfectly paced arc, but also through its cinematic expertise, being stylized far more than any of the past seasons. Here's to season five.
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:iconcwilcox16:
cwilcox16 Featured By Owner Nov 24, 2012  Hobbyist Filmographer
I thought it was amazing...How a comedy cartoon just has so much of everything to be great..I love how it's not all just explained instantly...like there's several episodes through out the WHOLE series that you have to watch in order to understand all of that..XD
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:icontrace1164:
trace1164 Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2012
After this was released I don't think I need to give any theories:
[link]

As usual your opinions are very insightful. While technically you can consider the upcoming season five episode a single episode, it is a two parter. So it will in a way be closed in one episode. As for season four I really loved basically all of the episodes with some some mixed to positive feelings on some of them. The uneventful ones didn't have to be eventful. The flame princess episodes I'm not sure that this is the page to get into much detail but I liked them and believed they fulfilled their purpose well. I'm interested on what you think. What is your opinion on the preview and how has it changed you opinion on what will happen.
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:iconlukeguy97:
lukeguy97 Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2012
Well, the promo certainly makes it look like the Lich was responsible for "The Great Mushroom War," so when Finn wishes the Lich never existed, the war never happens. I wonder where the writers can go from there...
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:icontrace1164:
trace1164 Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2012
Interesting. Truthfully, since the wish should result in an alternate timeline, I predict this be or similar to one of those guy makes a wish that doesn't turn out like they expected, so he tries to take it back. In this case the episodes most likely will have Finn trying to find any remaining items of power to open a portal and meet the wish master again. From leaked images and the two titles, he may also try to get Jake back to his old self as well.
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:iconbigdogstan:
bigdogstan Featured By Owner Oct 26, 2012
I think this alternative finn is about symbolism rather than mutations or the lack of it because the human's before the war had beady eyes and no noses.

The right arm symbolises peace and justice so this finn either has no peace or justice in his life or its been enhanced (depending how you look at it) the right arm is the arm of battle.

The flute is associated with the gods and the spirit world and can represent sent magic and power (god like) or death (the spirit world).

The nose is connected to god as it serves as both punishment and reward, you can smell something nice like flowers or something horrible like death.

And the eye could represents the all seeing eye of god, which can either be seen as evil or good either way you look at it.

So i'm thinking this Finn could be either kinda like a prophet, or a messenger like normal finn is like a hero.

Or it could show the hardships of he character maybe something terrible happened to him.

Or he could be neutral neither a hero or a villain.

Or i could be looking into this way too much. XD
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:iconlukeguy97:
lukeguy97 Featured By Owner Oct 26, 2012
Whoa.

I think this page needs you: [link]
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:iconbigdogstan:
bigdogstan Featured By Owner Oct 29, 2012
er... thank you?
:)
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:iconqimzanzqnr:
Qimzanzqnr Featured By Owner Oct 26, 2012
"Still, I'm sure Billy could've gotten his hands on the gem another way."

'Twas not Billy that was gathering the gems, it was the Lich. As seen in "Mortal Folly" and "Mortal Recoil", the gems in PB, Finn and Jake's crowns all protect them from the Lich's mind control. It's not unthinkable to extend those qualities to the other gems that Finn and Jake take from the Ice King and Princesses.

This is made all more apparent in two scenes. Firstly, when Finn offers Lich/Billy a gem to hold, he refuses, instead grabbing Jake to use him as a bag. Later, when Jake asks how many gems are left to collect, Lich/Billy does not talk to him. He instead nods, and uses his hands to communicate.

Therefore, I believe the gems are dangerous to the Lich, which is why he needed to trick someone else, namely Finn and Jake, into doing the deeds themselves. The gems probably harm the Lich on contact, and they prevent communication from the Lich when someone possesses them, which was why Lich/Billy could not talk to Jake in Billy's Crack.

So your statement "Still, I'm sure Billy could've gotten his hands on the gem another way" is true in a sense, but not literally.

My small nitpicks were mainly to do with the Lich at the end, when he is revealed. His character seemed too simple in those final scenes, and much too jovial. The Lich we see in "Mortal Folly" and "Mortal Recoil" is a perfect manifestation of a villain, cold, calculating and above all, straight forward. He is not one of the many enemies Finn and Jake have fought in the past, he is something new, akin to a shark, pausing for nothing in his quest to end all life.

However, in his final scenes, the Lich is quite conversational. His final few lines I thought were quite out of character. He says "Thanks Finn, I couldn't have done it without you", which I see to be much too conversational for the Lich. He had the option of walking straight into the portal with no delay, which is what I expected him to do, as he would not waste time on useless activities. But he pauses to look Finn in the eye and sarcastically thank him, displaying a degree of emotion I reckon should not have been bestowed upon the Lich. The overall effect was that I saw him as much less of a threat and a scare than he was when he was first revealed.

Think back to "Mortal Folly". When the Lich was released from his amber prison, what was the first thing he did? He flew away. This was because he needed to get to his magical pool to replenish his powers. He lost no time in doing so by making idle comments, instead making a beeline to the pool, to fulfil his plans as soon as possible.

One final slight nitpick; the Guardian of the Candy Kingdom that fires a lazer-beam at Lich/Billy disappears after the Lich's 'mind control blackout' ends. It seemed like a really unskilful removal of something that would have caused the Lich a lot of problems. The Guardian was there, fired a lazer, and then he was gone.

That's my two cents, anyway :)
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:iconlukeguy97:
lukeguy97 Featured By Owner Oct 26, 2012
Nice analysis. I don't think the Lich became a "simple" villain during the reveal, though. In fact, he pretended to be a stereotypical villain in order for Finn to act like a stereotypical hero and break the MacGuffin. That doesn't explain his taunt at the end (it was probably just there to fill up a few seconds), but at least the Lich has kept most of his signature savviness.
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:iconpotatooni:
PotatoOni Featured By Owner Oct 26, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
The point with the guard seems to be just an simple script "error". They wrote that one of the guard fires its lasers on the Lich but after this scene they didn't wrote more. Such things can happen very often while writting a script.

About the Lich being so talky:
This could be an continuity error or simply the writters decision for more drama. But it also could show that the Lich now gained almost of his power back. When he broke free the first time he fleed to his lair to regain his power before Finn killed him. He probably also was able to get some power from Princess Bubblegumm. And he has the Enchiridion. Even if he couldn't use it to open the gate to the multiverse he maybe where able to use it to recover himself (as seen in Finns dream and the real Billy seems to be killed by the Lich). And almost all the time during Mortal Folly/Recoil Finn, Jake, PB and Ice King wore these protection gems so they could impossible hear the Lich.

Long speech short:
It's hard to speak when tired and probably having amber stucking in your troath.
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