Adventure Time is so wonderful in rewarding its audience’s attention to small details. Just this Monday, a mysterious figure from “Puhoy” was revealed as GOLB, and we saw the past of Magic Man’s lost wife Garbles, who appeared before only in a picture in “Sons of Mars.”
Back in the season two premiere, “It Came from the Nightosphere,” Marceline’s father and ruler of the Nightosphere Hunson Abadeer met Gunter, and he was impressed: “Of all history’s greatest monsters, you are by far the most evil thing I’ve encountered. Offer your soul to me, dark one.”
Gunter, the badass that he is, slapped Hunson upside the head.
Since then, we’ve seen Gunter do a lot of troublemaking, some of it even involving using a demonic wishing eye to conquer everything, but it wasn’t until just a few episodes ago in “Hoots” that we started to take Abadeer’s assessment seriously.
A dark force from within Gunter’s dream self causes Princess Bubblegum’s dream about the rise of the Candy Kingdom (its citizens celebrate despite having no eyes) to include the fall of the Candy Kingdom (its citizens, their vision restored, boo PB before the whole kingdom crumbles), and the Cosmic Owl is there to make sure the dream will come true.
“I can’t really explain it. It just felt like the right thing to do,” says Gunter’s sexy butt-feathered dream-self.
It seems likely that we’ll see both the cause and effect of this dream terrorism by season’s end. In “Orgalorg,” we learn the cause.
After visions of a purple comet distract him into a serious head injury, a large green brain sits atop Gunter’s head. The screen is tinted red as the sight of Gunter terrifies everyone, from the penguins to his weird cat offspring. Then he carves out wooden figures (one looks like a comet, another Abraham Lincoln) and erects them before symbols (ones I don’t believe we’ve seen before) appear and he chants a communication to another world.
What’s going on?
“Orgalorg is an ancient cosmic entity who ruled the solar system with his cruel and deadly whims. The breaker of worlds. He was seeking ever more power. He desired to intercept a catalyst comet and absorb its essence. Thereby did he offend the King of Mars who decreed that Orgalorg should be cast down. And yes, he was cast down, by the flaming sword of Grob Gob Glob Grod. Orgalorg was banished to an inhospitable planet where he would forget everything. Yea, even forget his identity and from whence he came.”
“And the prophets say that the gravity of the planet did crush and compress Orgalorg into a more powerless and cuddlesome foe.”
The words of the elders of this unknown and terrified planet indicate that Gunter didn’t plan his dreamscapades in “Hoots,” but instead was a pawn for a darker, inert presence.
Orgalorg absorbed a millennial catalyst comet (this one was orange, unlike the green, blue, and purple ones we’ve seen before), to Abraham Lincoln’s chagrin (we’re dabbling into Mars an awful lot this week!), and Orgalorg has existed on Earth as Gunter since before the dawn of civilization, as is made apparent by a madly stylish montage.
The comet that Orgalorg sees coming is purple.
“Orgalorg” is a fine outing to tee up the colliding storylines that will meet by season’s end, but as an episode, it’s pretty lackluster. It takes two and a half minutes for the penguins’ prank (a brilliant visual gag: a can of sleeping gas visibly sticking out of a slice of cheesecake) to put the Ice King to sleep. That’s a lot of meandering, especially given that it doesn’t even lead to the meaty stuff.
That said, Gunter’s party is off the chain. He invites LSP as a guest of honor, they bet fish on walruses racing in a pit, and they even have rodeo clowns in case the walruses get out of control. Penguins sing, text, chase each other around, and one even caresses and kisses a cone of ice. The sequence is delightful, even when Gunter is in a Walrus’s mouth.
The episode is also charming when the planet sees a signal from Orgalorg and parents tell their children that they thought Orgalorg was just a tale to keep them from making out. Indeed, the elders blame Orgalorg’s return on their making out.
It’s a bumpy episode. The amount of time “Orgalorg” takes to get Ice King to sleep is unbearable, and the shift to the high-stakes otherworldly stuff never feels wrapped up. Maybe that’s appropriate given that we have three more episodes between tomorrow and Friday.
As Gunter looks into a mirror and sees himself change into Orgalorg, it’s never more apparent that this is less of an episode and more of a means to Friday’s end.