The Ice King asks Marcelline the Vampire Queen to help him write a song.

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Finn (voice)
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Jake (voice)
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Ice King / Gunter (voice)
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Marceline (voice)
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The Ice King asks Marcelline the Vampire Queen to help him write a song.

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Release Date:

15 October 2012 (USA)  »

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The first episode where The Ice King and Marceline's backstory is dealt with See more »

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Ice king drops the synthesizer onto the ground, away from the drums. When Finn and Jake leave, they are swept together. See more »

Soundtracks

Nuts
Written by Rebecca Sugar
Performed by Olivia Olson
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User Reviews

 
Adventure Time's magnum opus
12 January 2017 | by (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) – See all my reviews

When I started watching this show, I was very confused, and while I did see the appeal with the comedy, the nice animation, and voice acting, I couldn't see at all in terms of writing why this is regarded as one of the best shows on Cartoon Network. It was only around season 2 and season 3, "What Was Missing" specifically, that I understood why. Its wonderful characters and world just grow more fascinating with each episode.

This episode displayed a whole new side of this astounding and creative universe, exploring the past of Marceline and the Ice King (formerly Simon Petrikov). We learn that they once had a heartfelt relationship, that the clumsy Ice King no longer remembers, further enriching his tragic story.

Beginning with him performing one of Marceline's songs to Gunter, and getting the idea to ask for her help to write a song, he rips some pages from his scrapbook so he can use them as inspiration for lyrics, and flies to Marcy's house. Finn and Jake see him however, and follow him to make sure he's not going out to cause any trouble.

Not wanting to help him initially, Marceline tells him off angrily, but the King of Ice persists and she eventually gives him a chance. Finn and Jake arrive, ready to take him away, but she tells them that they are writing a song together. There's not much to be said about the start of this episode, I thought Marcy just saw the Ice King as an annoying figure, and that that was the reason she didn't want him anywhere near her. Turns out it was a really different reason.

Accompanied by Marcy, he sings a song addressed to Princess Bubblegum and other princesses of Ooo. All the emotions are conveyed splendidly through the animation, such as Marcy's discomfort when the he addresses Bubblegum being very clear. While the song sounds funny at first, it rapidly takes a darker turn. Simon starts crying and yelling "I really need someone, anyone, I'm so alone! Won't somebody tell me what's wrong with me?!", crazed, he shoots ice bolts at the ceiling.

Marcy tackles him, telling him to "stop acting like this", but he simply screams "I just wanna be loved!" and pushes her away. You can't help but empathize with Simon. Apologizing, he walks into the kitchen and climbs on top of the fridge. After she grabs an apple from the same fridge and gets irritated at the Ice King one more time, she drops the apple and pushes it, accidentally playing a track on her omnichord.

What a perfect instrument for the songs in the episode. Marcy begins singing to Simon, saying he's an "annoying, pitiful old man", and that she'd like to help him, but doesn't know if she can. Olivia's vocals as always on point. Despite all of that, she admits that she's glad to see him. He becomes surprised to find out that she "likes" him and asks for a hug, which happens, but he misinterprets her feelings and tries to kiss her. She proceeds to confront him furiously, and asks if he really doesn't remember anything, calling him by his real name.

Once more, I just thought she was merely not attracted to him, it truly does make you wonder what the relation between these two is. The Ice King proclaims that he's a lyricist, taking out pages from his scrapbook to prove his point. Marcy starts showing him a bunch of the stuff he took out, including a photo of himself "before the war", and if that wasn't enough to take AT to a whole new level, on the back of a photo Simon took of Marcy, she finds a depressing message from him directed at her.

The Ice King has no memory of writing the note, but tells her to sing the words as lyrics while he plays the drums, the song "Remember You" begins. This is the pinnacle of the show for me. This whole scene with the song strikes emotional chords that resonate with fans beyond any usual cartoon show. Anyone who's had or has a loved one with amnesia or alzheimer can deeply relate to this sequence. You can feel the profound sadness in Marceline's expressions.

After Marceline sings the message, she becomes frustrated that he does not recognize his own words and shows him something that he wrote. Simon sings the message, "I can feel myself slipping away", his facial expression begins to show regret, hinting that he may have a brief moment of lucidity. The gorgeous animation transmitting EVERYTHING. Just those few seconds destroyed me inside and got me crying. It's as if Marceline saw Ice King's face and thought for a moment, that she could bring Simon back, but when he keeps singing and smiling she loses all hope. Singing with him, she turns her face and starts to cry. It is so powerfully bittersweet. "Please forgive me for whatever I do when I don't remember you".

Finn and Jake are seen outside, dumbfounded. To finish it off, furthering the massive depth of this phenomenal episode, a flashback reveals a ruined city in the aftermath of the war, and a young Marceline standing alone in the wreckage crying. Simon finds her and wipes her tears, and brings her a stuffed toy. The very same one that holds so much value to her that her ex-boyfriend sold more than a season earlier.

I adore how sophisticated Adventure Time has become over time, with every episode seeming to reveal some new mystery about their post- apocalyptic universe. The characters have become so multi-layered, and it has a ton of adult messages and themes. Although as much as I love Stakes, I can't imagine this spectacular episode ever being topped. Thank you so, so much Pendleton Ward, Rebecca Sugar, and the rest of the AT crew.


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