After following the adventures of Jake the Dog and Finn the Human for ten seasons of Adventure Time, the end is near. HBO Max revived the beloved animated show for three specials, but every adventure has to end sometime.
The fourth and final Distant Lands episode, Wizard City, is expected to hit the streaming platform before the end of the year. But a lot of fans are now asking why Wizard City is the final episode when the show’s already had two excellent send-offs?
The previous special, Together Again, was a heartfelt and poignant finale that gave fans some closure about Finn and Jake’s story. As such, it’s a bit weird that there’s yet another special coming.
Like the first two Distant Lands episodes, BMO and Obsidian, Wizard City isn’t likely to feature the show’s protagonists in any major role. Instead, the action will follow a young Peppermint Butler learning magic in the titular Wizard City.
Warning: Spoilers for the other Distant Lands specials and the ending of Adventure Time follow.
The Origins of a Mysterious Character
Peppermint Butler started as a goofy, one-off character who was seen in the background of the Candy Kingdom. Fans grew to realize that the optimistic little candy butler was also a connoisseur of the occult and a master of dark arts. Because, you know, this is Adventure Time. Just go with it.
It makes sense that one of the Distant Lands specials would focus on Pep But. He’s a weird character with a unique backstory.
What doesn’t make sense is the order in which these episodes were released.
After all, in Together Again, we learn Jake and Finn’s final fate, finally getting some closure after the ambiguous series finale, Come Along With Me. Seeing Finn and Jake reunited in the afterlife and reincarnated to go on adventures anew was cathartic for fans and felt like a natural endpoint for the series.
So, why is Wizard City the final adventure for this beloved series? Fans have some theories, but showrunner Adam Muto has doused cold water on them. In a panel for San Diego Comic-Con, Muto explained that the team was only planning to work on three Distant Lands specials. Then an order came in for a fourth. So, they made the episodes in the order they were called for by the studio. Simple as that.
During the SDCC panel, both Muto and Jake’s voice actor, John DiMaggio, suggested that there could still be more stories in the Land of Ooo. However, Muto explained, there would need to be a new spin on the old characters for the team to be interested.
“It’s just whether somebody finds a different angle on a franchise with characters who feels like there’s never an ending, necessarily, which it’s heartening and kind of scary,” Muto said during the panel. “But I do want to be careful not to step on the episode that came before. There isn’t a desire to do something just do it but find a different form. That’s what these specials were.”
So, could the adventures of Finn and Jake continue on in perpetuity? Maybe. After all, the last time we saw them, they were being reincarnated for another round of adventures. But, first, we need to take a detour to Wizard City…