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Bad Timing

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"Bad Timing"
Season 5, episode 49
Tumblr n1n0z6BIQS1t0t09yo1 1280
Production code: 1014-160
Airdate: March 3, 2014
Credits
Director: Adam Muto (supervising)
Nick Jennings (art)
Story: Kent Osborne
Pendleton Ward
Jack Pendarvis
Adam Muto
Written &
storyboarded by:
Kent Osborne
Pendleton Ward
Episodes
Previous
"Betty"
Next
"Lemonhope Part 1"
Read transcript

"Bad Timing" is the forty-ninth episode in the fifth season of Adventure Time. It is the one hundred and fifty-third episode overall.

Synopsis

Lumpy Space Princess reconnects with an old classmate, where she experiences the emotional turmoil of love, heartbreak and time travel.

Plot

The episode starts in the Candy Kingdom where Princess Bubblegum is playing her trumpet for Finn, Jake, Embryo Princess, the Punch Bowl, and a mudscamp. She then unveils her new invention, an orb-shaped time travel machine, and demonstrates its functionality on some small creatures, explaining how it works and is controlled by a pair of special gloves. Jake states it is not true time travel and all Princess Bubblegum is doing is moving the creatures around. He claims that Ice King did a better job when he brought Betty back from 1000 years in the past by using magic. As Princess Bubblegum objects, Lumpy Space Princess—who was previously sleeping in the gutters just outside the window—awakens and eventually sneaks into the room. As Bubblegum continues to emphasize how her invention is indeed a time machine, Lumpy Space Princess freaks out and starts yelling at the orb to take her back in time, to when Brad still loved her. She forces herself into the orb, but nothing happens. Princess Bubblegum tries to calm her down, explaining that the orb may only revert molecules back to a previously logged time and that she would need the gloves that she is wearing. As Princess Bubblegum denies Lumpy Space Princess these gloves, a very hostile LSP jumps out at Princess Bubblegum, calling her a skunk and pulling out her hair. Using her crown, Princess Bubblegum knocks LSP off and threatens her, expressing her intent to declare war on the entirety of Lumpy Space if Lumpy Space Princess does not apologize immediately. LSP concedes, but leaves with another insult.

At the Candy Tavern, LSP is once again depressed about Brad. She then meets Johnnie, (whom she used to call "ugly Johnnie.") an old classmate, friend, and lab partner (presumably from Lumpy Space). LSP shows her interest in Johnnie and the two catch up. Johnnie reveals that he now works as a businessman who owns a factory, bottling and distributing lumpy gas, and is in the Candy Kingdom for a contract-signing with Princess Bubblegum to support his business. He expresses his nervousness for this eventual meeting with Princess Bubblegum, believing only in his supposed inability to talk to others. LSP claims that it is simply his bad posture and tells him to stop slouching. As he fixes his posture, he gains instant confidence, and Johnnie thanks LSP for the advice, inviting her to his apartment as a guest.

At Johnnie's apartment, the two of them get along exceedingly well. LSP makes fun of his records at the shelf, putting one on her face for fun. Johnnie laughs at this, commenting "It's his face, but on your body!" LSP compliments Johnnie for understanding the joke, believing it to take a higher level of intellect to actually comprehend. (To the viewers it's actually a painfully lame pun.) Johnnie insists that LSP sleep on the couch as it is late and he doesn't want her to go home alone. He thanks her and kisses her on the hand. They bid each other good night.

The next morning, Johnnie wakes to find an empty couch. Believing she has left, he becomes depressed, slouching again and lamenting "the one that got away." He is then surprised as LSP calls from behind him at the dining table, and they have breakfast. As Johnnie leaves for the castle to have his interview, LSP wishes him luck, telling him she will be "...sending him good vibes while [he's] wow-ing Princess Bubblegum." This echos in his mind and bolsters his enthusiasm, when in reality LSP actually ends up busy watching movies on his television. She remembers about the meeting (and presumably her intent to "send good vibes") 45 minutes later, and Johnny returns, announcing that the interview was a success. He thanks her for encouraging him and explains that he was invited to return to the castle to go over the contract during a royal dinner with Princess Bubblegum. LSP is excited to return to eating in a castle setting (since her previous exile), but Johnnie explains that it is a business meeting and will only include him and Princess Bubblegum. LSP instantly concludes this is a plot by Princess Bubblegum to steal Johnnie from her and exits the apartment infuriated.

During the royal dinner, LSP spies on Johnnie and Princess Bubblegum. Believing Johnnie does not love her anymore, she contemplates about Johnnie, realizing it takes a big person to "let someone you love go into the arms of another." Completing her monologue, she states how she cannot be that big and lights a Molotov cocktail, throwing it into the castle. She then dismantles the brakes on a nearby truck of gasoline, allowing it to barrel toward the castle doors. The shock wave of the fiery explosion rips through the castle, and Princess Bubblegum immediately assumes they are under attack.

Princess Bubblegum leaves, but orders Johnnie to hide under the table, instructing him to chew the cyanide-laced gum under the table should raiders break down the door. Lumpy Space Princess suddenly pops in with Princess Bubblegum's time travel orb and special gloves, explaining that they could have a second chance if they go back to the time when they both met at the tavern. LSP places the orb on Johnnie and activates it; he disappears from the room.

Princess Bubblegum arrives at the doors only to find Manfried extinguishing the flames with a hose. Realizing they were in fact not attacked, Princess Bubblegum rushes back to tell Johnnie not to chew the cyanide-laced gum, throwing the table over, but finds, under it, only the time machine.

At the empty tavern, Lumpy Space Princess wanders around, trying to find Johnnie. Princess Bubblegum appears from a window, saying, "He's not here." She explains that the time machine had to log his molecules first before it would work. LSP asks her about Johnnie's whereabouts, to which the princess solemnly replies, "I don't know." Johnnie materializes in a different plane and watches the two, but they do not seem to notice him. LSP then requests that she be sent back in time to when she never met Johnnie. Princess Bubblegum acquiesces and sends her back. She brings LSP back to when she had first jumped into the orb (wanting Brad) and starts calling PB a skunk again, criticizing how she will never know heartache. LSP leaves, and Johnnie bows his head in sadness, while PB pours herself a drink.

Characters

Main characters

Minor characters

Mentioned

Songs

Trivia

S5e49 Johnnie reaching out to LSP

Johnnie reaching out to LSP from another universe?

  • This entire episode was shown in a small center circle with small creatures dancing and doing various things in the outside, making the screen smaller. In the end, Johnnie is seen appearing there after LSP teleports him there. It seems that this world outside the circle represents another level of reality, or plane; one in which Johnnie and the other creatures can look out, but LSP and the rest of Ooo cannot look in.
  • Unlike Johnnie, Lumpy Space Princess has already been logged into the time travel device. This explains the reason why she was not sent to the alternate dimension all the while Johnnie was because it was his first time being in the orb and was not logged yet.
  • Although initially present, Finn has no lines in this episode.
  • It is unknown if Johnnie will appear again or stay in the other dimension.
  • Kent, from the episode "Little Brother", had a cameo in this episode as one of the creatures outisde of the circle.  So, while "Little Brother" directly introduced him into the series, this is really his first appearance.

Cultural references

  • The song that Tree Trunks and possibly, Mr. Pig are singing is "Slow Boat to China," which is a popular jazz standard by Frank Loessner.
  • One of Johnnie's records is a copy of Frank Zappa's album Apostrophe ('), which Lumpy Space Princess wears as a mask — a joke she and her friend made up.
  • Lumpy Space Princess uses a molotov to attack the castle. Molotovs are improvised incendiary grenades that were used extensively by the Finns during World War II.
  • The use of the bubbles with things happening outside is very similar to Don Hertzfeldt's feature film, It's A Beautiful Day.
  • The truck that LSP used to blow up the castle and start a fire is a 1966-1967 Mitsubishi Fuso T-800 F Tanker.

Episode connections

  • A mudscamp from "The Hard Easy" reappears in this episode.
  • Jake mentions Simon bringing Betty into the future from the episode "Betty."
  • LSP wanted to be with her former boyfriend Brad, who made his appearance in "Trouble in Lumpy Space."
  • The creatures that Princess Bubblegum uses in her time travel presentation in the beginning of this episode resemble the creatures she was playing with in The Lich (episode).
  • "Slow Boat to China" is the song that Philip Seymour Hoffman's character (Lancaster Dodd) sings to Joaquin Phoenix's character (Freddie Quell) during their last meeting in Paul Thomas Anderson's The Master. When Tree Trunks sings this to Mr. Pig, it initially seems to function in a sincere way, as an expression of love; however, the next time we see the couple (in "Escape from the Citadel"), Tree Trunks proposes they divorce, suggesting a parallel with Anderson's film.

Errors

  • LSP seems to be missing her gem of power in the title card.
  • When Johnnie enters his bedroom at his apartment, he turns the lights off via a light switch outside the door. However, when Johnnie comes out of his bedroom in the morning, no light switch is by the door.
  • LSP and Johnnie enters his apartment, the clouds outside appears to be purple.

Production notes

Storyline analysis

  • Through Bubblegum's "time machine" Johnnie is transported into what appears to be another dimension. Booko mentions in "The Lich" that one of the only ways to travel to a different dimension is by creating an artificial link with a magic item of great power, e.g. The Enchiridion. However, Bubblegum claims that the time machine operates on scientific principles and does not use magic. If the use of this molecular science can be understood and harnessed properly, it may even be possible to create a stable portal to another dimension without the use of magic at all. This could, however, also be seen as confirmation of magic just being scientific principles presented in a mystical way, as Bubblegum explained in "Wizards Only, Fools."

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