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The Dark Cloud

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"The Dark Cloud" is the eighth and final part of the Adventure Time mini-series Stakes and the thirteenth episode in the seventh season of Adventure Time. It is the two hundred twelfth episode overall.

Synopsis

The final confrontation begins.

Plot

The aftermath of the explosion of the vampiric essence at the end of "Checkmate" is shown. Finn is busy skirting through the remains of Gumbald's Cabin picking up pieces of Peppermint Butler. Bonnibel tells him that they have a bigger problem to worry about: the Vampire King's escaped essence has formed into a giant, living lion-shaped storm cloud, and it has begun to terrorize and suck up the Fat Villagers. Bonnibel hops onto her mechanical flying couch and tells Finn, Jake and Marceline that it is up to the four of them to stop the cloud. Marceline, however, decides to stay behind; upset, she tells them that fighting vampires in the first place brought nothing but bad things and left her "screwed up," trying to fix her vampirism only made things worse, and that trying to fight the cloud will only be another lost cause. Bonnibel tries to reassure her, reminding her of how they have always pulled through as the underdogs, but Marceline flatly refuses.

Meanwhile, Cloud Dance has joined his fellow villagers together to lead them in their last stand against the cloud. Bonnibel shows up and flies her couch up to the cloud, slicing it with an axe and rescuing trapped villagers. Finn and Jake try to get Marceline to join them, but she refuses and they proceed without her. Watching the chaos from the ruined cabin, a defeated Marceline congratulates the Vampire King on finally winning, saying that she only wishes that he had gotten it over with a thousand years ago. She begins to sing the opening lines to "Was it Reality," and the Ice King, who had been observing the fight, shows up, happy that Marceline has remembered his song. Marceline is surprised to see him and they sit together as she explains her predicament. The Ice King reassures her that she is making a good choice by sitting out the fight, explaining how they are both "survivors, like cockroaches or rats," and that avoiding the risk of losing or dying makes hiding worth it. Being called a cockroach actually ends up giving Marceline the motivation to join the fight, which leads the Ice King to claim that that was his intent all along.

In the Candy Kingdom, the Banana Guards are stationed at the kingdom's gates. The King of Ooo ignores the commotion outside and relaxes by a fireplace, despite Crunchy's insistence that he do his duty as leader and protect the city. The King of Ooo tells the Banana Guards to close the gates, but they see Bonnibel fighting the cloud and are inspired to defy his orders. Crunchy frees himself from being tied up and pushes the King of Ooo into the fireplace, reducing him to a melted pile of wax. Christening himself as "Princess Crunchy," he gathers the citizens of Ooo and motivates them to take up arms and join the fight.

The fight against the cloud rages on, with Bonnibel, Finn, and Jake receiving additional assistance from the Fat Villagers, the Candy People, the Fire Kingdom, and Hot Dog Princess's kingdom. To everyone's surprise, Marceline suddenly shows up and flies to the center of the cloud. Using her demon powers, she begins to absorb the cloud into herself, a process which leaves two bite marks on her neck and renders her a vampire once again. After fully absorbing it, she faints. Finn and Jake shield her from the sunlight and the last thing she hears is Bonnibel calling her name.

Marceline wakes up in her house, where Finn, Jake and Bonnibel have just finished stocking her fridge with red objects to eat and supplying her with crosswords, Sudoku puzzles and Connect-The-Dots to pass the time. Bonnibel says that after she usurps Crunchy and becomes princess again Marceline is welcome to stay in her castle if she feels lonely, but Marceline says that she needs time alone to ruminate on being a vampire again. Finn asks Marceline how she feels, unsure whether to feel sorry or happy for her, but Marceline replies that she is fine with being a vampire again and that the experience of being mortal again, though brief, was worth it for the new sense of maturity and empathy she gained from it. After Finn, Jake and Bonnibel leave, Marceline takes out her ax bass and sings a rendition of her mother's old childhood lullaby, "Everything Stays," over a closing montage of scenes showing that things have returned to normal.

Characters

Major characters

Minor characters

Songs

Trivia

Cultural references

  • Marceline's glowing appearance as she absorbs the Dark Cloud is reminiscent of the anime Sailor Moon.
  • During the fight with the Dark Cloud, the Hot Dog Knights are stepped on and resemble octopuses afterward. This is a reference to a common way of preparing sausages for children in Japan. The ends of a hot dog are cut to form the arms, and then they are boiled in water. Their final appearance looks like an octopus.[1]

Storyline analysis

  • As of this episode, Marceline is once again a vampire, and Bonnibel has regained her kingdom after the Candy People incited a rebellion against the King of Ooo's caligulus regime, thus once again becoming Princess Bubblegum.
  • It is revealed that the volcano in the Fire Kingdom is capable of being used as a long-distance artillery piece.
  • At the end of the episode when Marceline reminiscently sings "Everything Stays," the song's true meaning significantly shines. It explains how everything in life may never leave, but can subtly change as life goes on. Even though by the end of the series Marceline regained her powers and vampirism, she reveals that she is now "grown up," thus being a little bit wiser and more resolved, resulting in now being able to hang out with Bonnibel "forever."
    • Some of the other characters involved in the mini-series have also experienced "change" in their own ways, making "Everything Stays" apply to their lives also: Bonnibel has offered Marceline to stay with her in the castle, which is notable character development. It was revealed in "Varmints" that Bonnibel had pushed Marceline away because of her valued priority of the responsibilities in taking care of the Candy Kingdom. Bonnibel's offer shows that she is now more relaxed with her responsibilities, and has also grown more sentimental towards her friend.
    • King of Ooo lost his "princess-ship," hence losing his royal control over the Candy Kingdom. He has melted into a pile of walking earwax as shown at the end of the episode, but throughout the whole mini-series his arrogant personality has remained constant, physically changing KOO consequently.
    • The Vampire King is still alive by the end of the episode, and has also reverted back to his old self, before his vampire transformation. His body may be a lion but his consciousness may be lingering with Marceline still. When she asks the Vampire King if he was in her mind, he answers with "for now." Alluding to the endless repeating cycle from "Checkmate" that he may return in the future, also referencing back to the song "Everything Stays."

Production notes 

  • This episode has been leaked online before its intended air date.

Censorship

This episode was censored in some countries. See Censorship of Adventure Time for more information.


Gallery

Official art

Background art

Screenshots

Storyboard panels

See Full Storyboard

References

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