With HBO Max's Adventure Time: Distant Lands- Obsidian we get to see Marceline learning more about herself and finally accept who she is now. It is a beautiful story of growth, love, and acceptance. First things first: Obsidian was amazing. It was everything I was hoping for and even more so. I laughed and cried and hated and loved and it was the true "feels" rollercoaster Adventure Time has been in my life since day one. I loved that we get to see what life is like between Marceline and Princess Bubblegum. It seems Bubblegum is more accepting of Marceline than she is of herself, which played well throughout the episode with Marceline "forever mysterious," not really talking about her own feelings.
The episode starts and does not miss a beat- we go right into the action and it moves pretty fast, which was both a great sign and pretty bittersweet since I wish there was more. We get to see Marceline and Bubblegum's life together- at least until Glassboy rushes to request "Saint Marceline's' aid for his people. Years ago, her song had saved them from the dragon that has once again awoken and threatens to destroy the Glass Kingdom. However, along the way we find out what truly happened- from the lyrics to the song that put the dragon to rest to what led to it being sung. Turns out it was the epitome of Marceline's douchey, self-centered side and what led to their going separate ways in the first place.
Something I have always liked about Adventure Time is how they do not always portray their characters as likeable beings. They all have good moments and also bad moments, like all of us. It is what makes the show so realistic and relatable to me despite being in a completely different realm. As someone who does not always find it easy to express her feelings unless art is involved, I always had a soft spot for the Vampire Queen. As detached as Marceline tries to be, with music she is able to say how she truly feels.
When her song fails to put the dragon to sleep, Marceline and Bubblegum find themselves at another crossroads. In hopes of finding her anger to be inspired, Marceline goes back to relive her past and in the process, she soon realizes just how much she has changed and how much better she likes herself with Bubblegum by her side. We get to see what led to her being mysterious and trying to detach herself from others before they do it to her. We get to see baby Marcie before she met Simon– we get to see her and her mom walking for refuge with a very sad, tragic twist.
It was a pretty self-contained story, despite being short: it was sweet and gave us every element of Marceline and her relationship with Bubblegum we could hope for. I loved her before, but seeing her grow in this episode made my heart as full as it made my eyes tear up. I love that we get to see her open up to Bubblegum as to why she is how she is. Her new song to Bubblegum was a lovely turn from the angsty Marceline we have loved all along.
That said, I was also happy to see Simon- and did anyone else notice who came along with him to aid the princesses? Some bearded dude with a Jake tattoo who was missing an arm and has a scar as well as a dog being I had not seen before but looked a lot like Jake. Hmmmmm… are these little easter eggs? Was that Finn? I am glad they did not make it about them or felt the need to go in too deep about them, but I need answers (possibly in the fourth special?).