The Annotated Adventure Time: Illusory Love Healing in “Breezy”

In the latest episode of Adventure Time, “Breezy,” a bee helps Finn recharge his emotional batteries by wingman-ing him from one Princess makeout sesh to another, while secretly in love with his flowery prosthesis. Is there no way to bridge the gulf of feeling between them, and are her efforts disingenuous if she’s just after his little boy-flower? It’s the eponymous time again!

Highlights!

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“You aint my man, so why you all up in my lumps??”

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“WHAT? I didn’t wait infinity for a dip in the kiddie pool–we’re taking this to the deep end . . .”

Finn’s woman woes by now have lasted practically a whole season, and it . . . hasn’t been pretty: rebounding onto Bubblegum Princess, trying to lose himself in endless video ga- I mean train battles, creeping up on Flame Princess during moments of political intrigue, even getting shown up byCinnamon Bun. With “Breezy,” Finn is at the end of his resources (what else is it called when you’re dating LSP), and finds himself completely devoid of life-zest, but luckily for him, a passing bee named Breezy takes an intense interest in that flower on the end of his arm-stump. Breezy agrees to help set Finn up with a never-ending series of dates, but nothing seems to reignite his bruisy boy-heart, nor assuage her unattainable desire for that cursed flower. By the episode’s finish, we navigate unnerving questions of ulterior motives, sensual happiness versus existential happiness, and ‘legitimate love,’ but the surprisingly sweet and satisfying conclusion goes back to the basics for an answer: not only does love feel good–just feeling at all feels good, and feeling good engenders good feeling. Or something.

“Breezy” starts with Finn’s visit to Doctor Princess, who informs him that his Grass Blade flower is starving for lack of good vibes. As it wasn’t wilting in the past season, it seems finding out that his dad (and the only other known human [aside from Susan Strong]) is the worst dad ever, was the last straw. The good doctor prescribes fun and moving the hell on, and so Finn unenthusiastically makes his way to Crab Princess’ beach bash. On the way, a chunky little bee (a recurring doodle in Pendleton Ward productions) spies Finn singing his depression lullaby: “I’m lost in the darkness / what will this bring? / Autumn descends on me / Autumn . . .” Finn’s solo musical numbers tend to be radio Disney at worst, retro Disney at best, and thankfully the music in “Breezy” tends to the latter–the melody reminds me of “Once Upon a Dream” in terms of simple, classic beauty, and that’s Breezy’s love for Finn’s arm-daisy in a nutshell.

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At Crab Princess’ party, all the hottest and oddest Princesses are partying hard, yet Finn’s stuck sighing on a log next to Raggedy Princess (and we remember what PB said about RP). Breezy can’t resist throwing herself on that cursed flower, prompting Finn to give the ‘my-eyes-are-up-here’: “[You] didn’t realize what? That there’s a person attached to this flower?” Breezy’s infatuation looks like immature physical attraction right now, but as their relationship and Finn’s despair gets increasingly torturous, you can’t help but re-evaluate what the hell ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ love actually looks like. In a desperate bid to stay close to Finn’s flower (heh, writing about this episode is funny) Breezy volunteers herself as wingman, and does a bang-up job, arousing the envy of every single man watching the episode. After she spies out Crab Princess’ weakness for sick dance moves, Breezy informs her main man Finn, who lands an after-party kiss thanks to his dancefloor prowess.

However, a single makeout sesh doesn’t do the trick: Finn’s still feeling empty inside, and has the terrible, albeit understandable notion to max out his pleasure senses until he can’t help but feel again. Breezy’s onboard of course, just as long as she gets to stay within grabby-reach of that sensuous, wilting flower. From there, Finn goes on a full-out dating odyssey from Snake Princesses to Muscle Princesses to Froyo Princesses, and it becomes natural to think of Breezy as being a bit manipulative, but if it’s making Finn feel good, is that such a crime? Even if Finn’s dating rampage isn’t panning out the way he thought it would, if it were up to him alone, he’d simply let the flower (and all hope of a functioning arm) wilt away for good, as he says multiple times–in that case, should we still shoo the Bee away? It’s a surprisingly accurate portrayal of depression and the difficulty of judging from the outside. At some point, you start feeling like an asshole for saying to the depressee “HEY BUDDY, YOUR PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS IS ILLEGIT, HAVE YOU TRIED X INSTEAD?” As for Breezy’s activities, judging her means riding that fine line of rape apology (creeping upon the uninterested) and denying one’s feelings, an antithetical notion in a show about positivity and the rightness of natural feelings (bee + flower, doesn’t get more natch than that) and all that jazz.

Back at the Treehouse, Jake and Finn are partying with the Bikini Babes from “Shh!” when Jake makes the untimely observation that Finn’s new paramour, Frozen Yogurt Princess, looks a bit like Princess Bubblegum and Flame Princess mashed together. After he so unsensitively Freuds up Finn’s space, the hollow-eyed human boy throws a fit and denies being hung up on anybody–that may be true or untrue, but it must be frustrating either way: he’s either still hung up and ailing, or not hung up any longer, and so ailing for some other reason he can’t even fathom. After leaving the party behind, Finn’s ready to call it quits and let the flower die, but Breezy points out his responsibility to it, which is essentially a responsibility to his own mental well-being. In a tenuous analogy, she reveals herself to be a juvenile Queen Bee, “destined for a life of obligation and ritual,” who hasn’t yet eaten the royal jelly and assumed her Queenly responsibilities. Finn can completely jibe with that sort of independence, which puts the screws to Breezy’s heart even more, as she’s finally found something worth surrendering that free-love state for. Even if it’s just a monogamous relationship with a flower.

After Breezy runs and tumbles about with Finn, trying unsuccessfully to cop a feel, they fall over a waterfall and into a river, where an intolerant hick-bee lives in a shack with his like-minded hive-mates. He essentially tells her to date within her racial gene pool, and Finn’s having none of that bigoted biz, but it’s a bee-swarm against a single unarmed boy. To save Finn, Breezy steals royal jelly from their hive and drinks it, thus ending her carefree lifestyle, but giving her imperious, royal bee-aura, which she uses to send the swarm back to their hive-shack. She’s ready for Finn to accept her pollen-grains and become her love drone, but Finn not only isn’t interested in her, but is still uninterested in anything at all. After she flies off weeping into the sky, Finn takes up his lullaby again: “I’m lost in the darkness, Breezy.” And in Adventure Time, the lowest of the low means one thing: Lumpy Space Princess.

It’s the dead of night after an ill-conceived affair with LSP of which I won’t even speak (just look at the intro highlights ffs . . .), and Finn sees a petal fall from his flower. He’s out of ideas (OF COURSE HE’S OUT OF IDEAS, HE’S AT LSP’s), when in his sleep Breezy returns with her song: “My love will not fade / I see love beyond reason.” Finn’s flower responds with a twitch, and he responds: “What do I hear/ Oh so beautiful.” The twist of course, is that Finn’s still delusional from mid-sleep, and sees not Breezy silhouetted against the moon, but a hallucination of Princess Bubblegum calling to him. At her bidding, the arm blooms rapidly into a sky-spanning tree that explodes fast as it appeared, leaving behind a trunk encasing Finn’s fancy, new, human arm (with a thorn in it! the awesome Grass Blade remains). He sees then that it was Breezy singing to him, and the episode ends as she catches the exploded flower landing on her face, and kisses it.

So what do you think? Does it matter that the source of Finn’s emotional healing was a mere hallucination of an old crush? Can love be faked so hard that the body responds, and, you know, regenerates whole limbs? I guess it’s valid to call emotions a fool’s stage, but the way I see it, good vibes are good vibes. If what you feel from witnessing illusions and artifice is invalid, why watch movies or listen to music? By means of a little trick lighting and moonlight madness magic (very Midsummer Night’s Dream), Finn was able to feel Breezy’s love because he was extricated from his emotional situation. He was taken out of obligations of accepting someone’s feelings, having to return feelings, having to decide whether they’re feelings for flowers or Finns or whatevs, and so he was able to sense love in a very fundamental way, one which managed to rekindle his childish appetite for life.

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