To expand upon my quick thoughts in the video, Adventure Time: Distant Lands “Obsidian” is a great episode for the Adventure Time follow up. This episode dives deep into the past and present relationship of Princess Bubblegum and Marceline the Vampire Queen. Showing us how the two are faring after officially becoming a couple during the finale of the previous show.
The best part about the episode are the clips from the past. We learn that Marceline and Princess Bubblegum were in a full-on relationship at an undisclosed time in the past. During Adventure Time the audience was led to believe this was just a friendship and there was a falling out. This is most likely due to the restrictions Cartoon Network placed on the showrunners openly having lesbian characters on a kids show. Save for that kiss between the two in the Adventure Time finale you never would have known. But now that HBO Max is running the ship anything goes. Characters can be fully explored without watering down their experiences or dancing around their sexual orientations. We find out that PB and Marcy broke up after saving the Glass Kingdom from a dragon. They fought during their time there and Marcy sang a pretty mean, yet catchy song about PB that ended up subduing the dragon as well.
Back to HBO Max running the show, things are a lot darker now. They openly show blood and death. Marceline’s mom is shown spitting up blood due to some kind of cancer she has, and a glass kingdom citizen is melted without remorse by the dragons tentacles. We see a young Marceline suck the soul out of a mutated dog, leaving it’s pup all alone. All though it still feels like a kids show, these elements add to the seriousness of what’s being explored in the episode. It’s during the scenes of Marcy’s childhood that the show really shines. We got to see some of her backstory in Adventure Time, but it’s mainly when she’s a young adult. We now get to see more of her last days with her mother and how her past greatly resembled PB in that she was alone for a long time.
Some nice details about the episode are the many callbacks to the original show. We see Simon staring into the freezer coping with his loss of his ice powers. PB’s giant bird “The Morrow” appears to help at one point. The origin of the t-shirt Macy gave to PB in the past is shown as well as an older Finn and Bronwyn, giving viewers some detail about how much time has passed since we last saw these characters. The episode does have a few issues as well. The main plot with the character Glass Boy, involved finding Marcy so that they can subdue the dragon again and the furnace that it’s trapped in can be used to fix the cracks in the glass people. This plotline is pretty much discarded by the end. We never actually see what happens to Marcy’s mom or before she if found by Simon/Ice King or when she ended up with her dad. More of this could’ve been explored to enhance our views of Marcy. Maybe that’s being saved for a future season?
I give “Obsidian” a Superb 5/5.