The Annotated Adventure Time: Depravity and the 120 Days of Sodom in “Meat and Furniture”

On last night’s episode of Adventure Time, “Meat and Furniture” Jake and Finn decide to spend their treasure trove, but once Jake learns precisely to what lengths people will go for cash, he gets a little . . . weird with power. It’s the eponymous time again!

Highlights!

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“You told me to stay inside the money room. But now I am outside. What is your punishment, master?“ Fun fact: I only own one piece of Adventure Time memorabilia, and it’s an Ancient Psychic Tandem War Elephant t-shirt.

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I will never not love Jake transforming into cars.

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“How much do you think I’ll have to pay them to eat the dust off this dusty stuff?”

My initial reaction to “Meat and Furniture” was that it took a sort of overused, or otherwise thin theme and didn’t take it to any radical conclusion, but on the other hand, there was still plenty to love: the art and composition had a pleasant, classic feel, where Jake’s expressions and mannerisms sometimes mirror archetypal funny-books baddies like Scrooge McDuck perfectly. And more importantly, probably most importantly, it gets weird. Like, Adventure Time re-enacting the most infamous scene fromClockwork Orange kinda weird. Like Jake transforming into Tony Montana kinda weird.

The episode starts again with BMO and NEPTr hanging out and playing human games again. More and more I’m liking that they’re a recurring framing device where the robots watch the humans be human, but also, I just love that BMO has an acolyte to talk about being human with. The days of BMO living in a robo-bubble are gone; now when he’s indulging in his weird pregnancy/tooth-brushing games withsomeone, so we can get further into his little outsider’s mindset. For example, to the pair of droids, Robin Hood is another funny fairy tale of derring-do—they’re completely oblivious to the story’s core theme (haves and have-nots), a lesson that’s about to assert itself most painfully into Finn and Jake’s day.

Whilst sword-fighting with sticks, NEPTr strikes the side of the Treehouse, causing the wall to burst and spill forth with all that treasure our heroes picked up over six seasons of adventuring. Finn has the brilliant idea of spending all of this treasure so they can go about finding new treasure, as the concept of money is apparently absolutely meaningless to the duo, except as an abstract goal to work towards by playing adventurer. On the strength of a newspaper ad NEPTr had on him, the crew decides to blow everything at the luxurious Wildberry Kingdom resort.

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The new kingdom is a hedge-bush metropolis where the greenery makes the streets and buildings look literally paved with cash. After they dump all their cash in a public fountain, they’re a bit lost as to what spending consists of, but they don’t have to wonder for long before a strawberry guard tries to warn them off for unlawful public dumping. The two offer him some money and a crown as a “hey I have a bunch, want some?” kind of thing, completely ignorant of the word ‘bribery,’ and to their amazement, he takes the cash and *gasp* walks away. Jake’s unhealthy interest is born while Finn still just wants to blow the dough, and like any “upper middle-class” college student moving out for the first time, he spends it on meat and IKEA furniture.

One of the highlights of the episode is just how flat-out nuts Jake acts, and looks. Just check out this transformation:

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“Eh, eheheh, ahahaha, ahahaha HA!

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“This is crazy! People do anything for money! . . . And I’ve got a ton of money . . .”

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Well sure, man. You can have all the gold coins . . . All the gold coins you can EAT!”

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“I’ve got a plan. And this time, it’s gonna involve all the money . . .”

And Finn’s correspondingly concerned reactions:perturbed1-23067 perturbed2-23068 perturbed3-23069

Jake runs an arc structurally similar to older generations of cartoons, in which protagonists take a bit of silliness as far as they can before being thoroughly thrashed by the error of their ways, and repenting. Not the most dynamic Adventure Time plot, but the throwback style is charming, and Jake’s voice-acting and postures are wonderfully over the top.

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