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Cartoon Network's long-running animated series Adventure Time is ending, with the show set to go out soon with a long-awaited series finale. It's sure to be good, although it's hard to say yet if the episode will match the level of quality of everything else Pendleton Ward and the show's creative team have crafted. The creative team broke down their 15 personal favorites from the past ten years of the series, and while some selections may be expected and were the same episodes they've won Emmys for, their roundup also included a few surprises.
One pattern that emerged from the 15 episodes is that Pendleton Ward and the staff appear to have a soft spot for Marceline. The Vampire Queen was featured as a significant character in four of the selections, as the Emmy-winning "It Came From The Nightosphere," was featured along with "What Was Missing," "Marceline's Closet," and "Simon and Marcy." The story behind the latter was particularly interesting, as there was apparently a bit of a hassle in order to get the dark episode completed. Here's how it was told to EW.
We described this as The Road 'except for kids' when we pitched this episode to the network. There was a lot of back-and-forth before we could get it approved. But it was worth it to find a way to make the Cheers theme even sadder.
Another interesting thing to note about the team's favorite episodes, which were seemingly presented in no particular order, is that there are no episodes chosen from Seasons 1, 4, or 8. Seasons 3 and 5 were tied for the most representation, with each getting 4 episodes. Beyond those previously mentioned, other love-earning installments include "Hitman," "Shh," "Thank You," "We Fixed A Truck," and the much-beloved "James Baxter The Horse." THree episodes from Season 6 made the cut ("Jake The Brick," "Astral Plane," and "Evergreen") and were followed by Season 7's two installments ("The Hall of Egress" and "Football") and one episode each from Season 9 ("The First Investigation") and Season 2 ("It Came From The Nightosphere").
Out of all the episodes mentioned in the Adventure Time list, only one was specifically described as a personal favorite of creator Pendleton Ward. Season 7's "The Hall of Egress" got that prestigious honor, with Ward appreciating the amount of thoughtfulness that went into crafting the episode, which features Finn trying to find his way out of a cave with "no exit." It was the effort of a series of dungeon-based episodes that were pitched by Tom Herpich, who penned the ep. It's worth noting this episode was in the Number 1 spot, even though there weren't technically any official rankings. (The creators continued with some "bonus" additions to the list afterward.)
Adventure Time will air its series finale on Cartoon Network on Monday, September 3, at 6:00 p.m. ET. For more on the finale, executive producer Adam Muto recently spoke about the unique challenges of tackling the episode. For a look at other shows that will be coming to television in the days leading up to that and beyond, visit our summer and fall premiere guides.