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Marceline looks back on her life on her last day.
As Marceline is tied up and about to be doused in the light of the rising sun, she tells Finn that should she die he should burn all her diaries and never let anyone read them (as depicted in "Marceline The Vampire Queen"). As the sunlight hits her, she suddenly goes through several flashbacks to past memories in her life.
She first flashes back to a memory of her as a young girl living with her mother in their trailer, lying on her mother's lap as she finishes recounting the story of how she met her father. Marceline wants to play outside, but her mother tells her it is nap time. Marceline refuses, explaining that her dreams are weird, but her mom tells her that "something weird might just be something familiar viewed from a different angle". She comforts her and they sing a song together ("Everything Stays").
In the second flashback, set in wintertime in the post-Mushroom War ruins of a city, Marceline, now an adolescent, is helping pack Simon Petrikov's luggage, which is tied to a dogsled. She overhears Simon in a nearby building recording a VHS message addressed to her, documenting his further descent into insanity as a result of the crown's influence and slipping between plainspoken messages and desperate pleas for Betty to love him again. Marceline asks Simon for the tape, but he ends up stowing it away in his luggage. She begs him not to leave, but Simon says that he must leave in order to protect her. Marceline asks him how he can protect her in his absence, and Simon says that he will arrange for someone to come take care of her. Simon tries to wipe Marceline's tears, but he accidentally freezes one and leaves a scrape under her eye. He hurriedly says his goodbyes and leaves on his dogsled as Marceline cries out to him in the snow.
In the third flashback, a teenage Marceline, now sporting her ax bass, runs through the ruins of another city in pursuit of a laughing vampire. She tracks him down in a broken-down blood donation truck, revealing the vampire to be The Fool. After she stakes him, she sucks his soul and absorbs his ability to float; she then scratches one more tally-mark to the vampire kill count etched on her bass.
In the fourth flashback, Marceline is seen hunting for prey; seeing the silhouette of a bunny's ears, she sets up a trap with a carrot and waits for the rabbit to take the carrot to wring its neck and eat it afterwards. When it refuses to move, she instead lassos the rope around the ears, only to find out that they actually belong to a human girl wearing a rabbit hat. Embarrassed, Marceline apologizes and carefully takes off the rope from the frightened girl's head, reassuring her that everything is fine. However, when Marceline smiles at her, the girl becomes even more frightened at the sight of Marceline's crooked demon teeth. The girl runs back to her tribe, which consists of other humans wearing animal hats, and reports Marceline, confusing her for a vampire. Marceline follows her back to the tribe and tries to correct their assumptions, pointing out that she cannot be a vampire because she is standing in bare sunlight unprotected. The humans are too startled to listen to her and run away.
In a later memory, the tribe is seen gathered around a bonfire. The tribe's leader, Two Bread Tom, remarks that it is their duty to preserve human music, and he sings a rendition of "According to Our New Arrival". Secretly watching from behind the bush with her pet dog Schwabl, Marceline strums her ax bass and sings her own version. The Bunny Girl overhears her and offers her a turkey leg, asking her to continue playing. The whole tribe gathers around her, with Two Bread Tom agreeing that her rendition was better.
In another later memory, Marceline is seen walking with Schwabl in a forest. The Bunny Girl playfully pounces onto her, wearing fake fangs and pretending to be a vampire. The girl then tells Marceline that she too should wear an animal hat for her own protection, to avoid getting bitten in the neck. They come across the human tribe, who are busy renovating a boat for future use. Having grown close to them, she greets and asks them about their progress. Two Bread Tom estimates that the ship will be finished by the next day or so, and speaks of their urgency to leave the continent right away because of an impending threat. Marceline assumes he is referring to the vampires and says there is no need to worry, as she has staked them all. However, Tom says he is actually referring to a far greater threat: the atmosphere is displaying abnormal measurements, signalling an incoming weather event big enough to drastically alter the entire landscape. He extends an invitation for Marceline to leave with them, but their conversation is cut off by the sudden appearance of a group of vampires. Marceline stakes the vampires one by one, culminating in a battle with The Hierophant, who had disguised himself as Schwabl. During their fight, she is sliced in half, but recovers thanks to healing powers obtained from The Moon. After staking The Hierophant, Marceline senses The Vampire King approaching from the distance and tells Tom and the tribe to leave right away.
In the present day, the sun finally rises, and to her surprise, Marceline is left unharmed; the sunlight simply evaporates her vampire bite marks. Marceline is relieved that Bonnibel's process has worked, and she is no longer a vampire. Cloud Dance is also relieved that since Marceline survived, he is not a murderer, but then wonders what exactly was draining the village's cows if Marceline is no longer a vampire.
Jake wakes up in a cave and witnesses the escaped vampiric essence forming into the bodies of the Vampire King and his court—The Hierophant, The Empress, The Fool and The Moon. The vampires play a mellow tune with drum, lute, flute, yarn spindle, and harmonica. The episode ends with a shot of Jake's terrified face.
- Marceline's mom
- Simon Petrikov
- Fat Villagers
- Cloud Dance
- This is the only Stakes episode not to feature a vampire in the title card.
- The four villains that face Marceline (The Hierophant, The Fool, The Moon and The Empress) are named after tarot cards.
- This is the only Stakes episode not to feature Bonnibel.
- Marcy's Super Secret Scrapbook, released a month prior to Stakes, alludes to several memories later visually depicted in "Everything Stays", including Simon's departure, Marceline's initial encounter with the Bunny Girl, and her interactions with the human tribe.
- Marceline slaying the Moon and gaining her healing powers is depicted in the Adventure Time: 2015 Spoooktacular.
- The comic was also written and illustrated by Hanna K. Nyström, one of the storyboarders of this episode.
- The identity of the guardian whom Simon intends to send to protect Marceline after his departure, while not specifically named in the episode, is stated to be Hunson Abadeer in Adventure Time: 2015 Spoooktacular and Marcy's Super Secret Scrapbook!.
- Two-Bread Tom and Marceline sing "According to Our New Arrival," the theme song from the sitcom Mr. Belvedere.
- The way how Marceline kills other vampires, and steal their power, might be a reference to the Mega Man series, where the main character, Mega Man would absorb the abilities of the Robot Masters upon defeating them.
- The ship in the episode could be a reference to Fallout 2 in which the player, the chosen one manages to repair a pre war tanker known as the PMV Valdez.
- After being mocked by The Hierophant for stealing vampire powers Marceline pokes fun at him with the phrase "blah, I don't care", a pastiche to the Bela Lugosi meme "blah, I want to drink/suck your blood".
- The first transformation from the Hierophant, where he transforms from a poodle to his normal form with the devil horns, might be a reference to the transformation from the poodle into Mephistopheles (the devil) in Goethes "Faust, Part One".
- Marceline's mother, who was mentioned in "Henchman", makes an appearance.
- The final part of the final tape from "Holly Jolly Secrets Part II" is seen being recorded by Simon.
- The Oozers mentioned by Two-Bread Tom first appeared in "Simon & Marcy" and again in "James" and "James II."
- The "hungry-looking rainbows" Two-Bread Tom also spoke of alludes to the Rainicorns and their "hunger" for human flesh, which was first mentioned in "Her Parents."
- The Hierophant's tentacle monster form resembles the one Marceline transformed into in "Go With Me".
- When Two Bread Tom explains why the humans need to leave, it is greatly implied that the thing that's "gonna change all of this," is the catalyst comet, as Tom gathers this information from atmospheric readings. This is also consistent with the fact that the comet appears every 1000 years, keeping the pattern constant between the Purple Comet that appeared in the present ("The Comet") and whichever comet hit the planet in the previous cycle, as the time difference between the flashbacks and present day Ooo is assumed to be around 1000 years.
- This episode leaked online before its intended air date.
- This episode confirms that humans did indeed still exist in numbers, and inhabited other continents, years after the Mushroom War. The fate of Two Bread Tom and the other humans on The Boat is touched upon in the Islands miniseries.
- The remaining humans are all shown wearing hats made out of dead animal skins and pelts as defense against vampire attacks. These hats expose the humans' face, similar to Finn's bear hat and Susan Strong's cat hat. After the vampires' extinction (save for Marceline), the animal hats remained a custom in the human islands founded by these humans.
- The Hyooman tribe also wore animal hats, possibly implying that a tribe just like Two Bread Tom's fell victim to mutations and stayed in Ooo.
- The filming of Simon's final video diary at the same time as his abandoning of Marceline shows that his growing powers and his dwindling sanity eventually reach a limit that forces him to abandon whatever remained of his previous life, by which time he could never fully remove the Ice Crown and it would constantly snow anywhere he went.
- In Marcy's Super Secret Scrapbook!, it is revealed that Schwabl he was red before Marceline used her vampire powers to drain his color. However, in this episode, Schwabl is white in the flashbacks to Marceline's past before becoming a vampire.
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