The Adventure Zone: Ep. 68. Story and Song - Finale, Part Two
August 1, 2017 8:54 AM - Subscribe

Two lights shine down from the sky. Their story passes through reality. His song fills their hearts. The world fights back. Music: "Voidfish (Plural) by Rachel Rose Mitchell -
posted by Tevin (26 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
So how long before Griffin gets a tweet pointing out that Waterdeep is much larger than Neverwinter?

Oh gods, what have I done with my existence?
posted by howfar at 9:41 AM on August 1, 2017 [2 favorites]

If they really finish the arc on episode 69 while on Daddy McElroy's birthday it will be hard to ever beat.
posted by Tevin at 11:13 AM on August 1, 2017 [5 favorites]

Best episode. Messy, silly, touching, funny.
posted by Tevin at 11:59 AM on August 1, 2017

The culmination of the taco quest was enormously satisfying.
posted by maxsparber at 12:23 PM on August 1, 2017 [6 favorites]

This was something else. Really enjoyed that, fanservice and all.
posted by slimepuppy at 12:35 PM on August 1, 2017 [1 favorite]

I very much enjoyed that John appears to have sacrificed his life to give Merle a message that he immediately forgot. What were you up to, Merle? Oh, nuthin'.
posted by knuckle tattoos at 3:08 PM on August 1, 2017 [7 favorites]

That's My Merle!
posted by yellowbinder at 5:09 PM on August 1, 2017 [1 favorite]

That was the most fan-servicy fan-service that ever fan-serviced, and it was beautiful and glorious and awesome. My little improviser heart was warmed to roasting by all the callbacks!
posted by booksherpa at 7:30 PM on August 1, 2017

That part where they were each doing their own long draw-out goodbyes made me laugh so hard while I was driving I was a little scared. That cracked me up.
posted by bleep at 7:37 PM on August 1, 2017 [5 favorites]

If I was a show producer and someone pitched me an episode where every fan-favorite (living and dead with no regard for geographic distance from every arc of our multi-year story) came back for one giant blow-out episode I would find it hard to give it the go-ahead out of fear that it would quickly devolve into some Jeph Loeb-style unsatisfying nonsense.

So kudos to Griffin for having better instincts for this sort of thing than I apparently do.
posted by Parasite Unseen at 8:07 AM on August 2, 2017 [4 favorites]

I've relistened to the bit with John and Merle a couple of times and I sort of feel like I'm missing the point as much as Merle is. It's not super clear to me what John is communicating. Every other bit was gloriously done fanservice, so I suppose I'll just set aside that bit for later.
posted by tchemgrrl at 8:29 AM on August 2, 2017

I think it has something to do with the Stolen Century "bonds" in the previouslies and also the power that Taako got from his taco bond with Jaoquin, but it kind of went over my head too. I'm assuming it will be clearer in the next ep.

I also really liked the long farewell tour at the end. It feels like a long time since there was a chance for all three players to casually interact together like that.
posted by rollick at 8:33 AM on August 2, 2017

So who had tacos for lunch and was simultaneously excited and disappointed?
posted by robocop is bleeding at 10:21 AM on August 2, 2017 [2 favorites]

I think they're going to have to do something to dissolve the bonds within The Hunger. Hey, they still have those bond points that accrued during The Stolen Century arc, so maybe something with that? Now, if only Merle/Clint actually remembers what John said once they get in there with Lucretia's staff....

(I have literally never been happier to have been wrong in a fan theory, BTW, as when it was 100% clear that nope, she wasn't under thrall or anything, just a little too hyperfocused on her own plan.)
posted by epersonae at 11:14 AM on August 2, 2017 [1 favorite]

I noticed that Griffin described the Starblaster as being "powered by Bonds" in the episode, which seems... coincidental
posted by coriolisdave at 6:20 PM on August 2, 2017

I felt like John was trying to show Merle what to do to beat them. Like here, this is what they do (King attacks prawn), and here's how to beat them (knight attacks king). I don't remember the specifics but I remember thinking that at the time.
posted by bleep at 8:20 PM on August 2, 2017

I'm wondering whether we saw a Bad End for John there because Merle didn't acknowledge his hints. John brought up Merle's family - maybe that was his prompt to talk about the bond between him and his children as a signal to John that he was catching on. Who knows what John could have gotten away with disclosing in code if he hadn't gotten desperate?
posted by knuckle tattoos at 8:34 PM on August 2, 2017

Finally caught up on the AZ. I love how Griffin has clearly been planning some of this from at least near the end of the first arc.
posted by drezdn at 12:09 PM on August 3, 2017 [1 favorite]

On listening to it again, as John's king piece consumes Merle's pieces it gets these threads around it, and then Merle's knights severs those threads and the kingpiece explodes. Which is what they decide to do at the end, turn Lucretia's bubble on the Hunger and cut it off from all the planes it consumed.
posted by bleep at 6:05 PM on August 3, 2017

Some things I didn't catch myself but just came across on the Reddit:

Joaquin... wreathed in flames... Joaquin Phoenix

That the end of the episode reveals that the Deep Voiced Guy introducing every episode was none other than Johann himself, his story brought to our ears by the Voidfish.

And the theory, and I love this, that Pan's reconnection with the material plane allowed him to bring back Hurley and Sloane as dryads.
posted by Navelgazer at 8:44 PM on August 3, 2017 [4 favorites]

(Also, after my predictions last episode, how psyched was I when the episode opened on Artemis Sterling?

Not nearly as much as I was when fucking Cassidy called out to Merle.)
posted by Navelgazer at 8:48 PM on August 3, 2017

And on re-listen I realized just what it was that made Travis's " what end?!" so funny to me.

All of THB had been very good at staying silent and not interjecting during everybody's individual stories, which itself (along with Ditto's much-more-present-than-usual narration) gave the episode an already strange feel that I hadn't put my finger on at any conscious level. Merle's instinctive casting of Zone of Truth (with nobody to interrogate within range) was when that broke, and made the moment feel properly like a watershed.
posted by Navelgazer at 2:11 PM on August 4, 2017 [2 favorites]

I very much enjoyed that John appears to have sacrificed his life to give Merle a message that he immediately forgot. What were you up to, Merle? Oh, nuthin'.

I don't think Merle has forgotten; Merle's just slow rollin'.
posted by nubs at 8:45 AM on August 9, 2017 [1 favorite]

Ha, we even got a Hogsbottom Three cameo there at the end!
posted by jason_steakums at 6:35 PM on August 9, 2017 [1 favorite]

Since it hasn't been posted here yet looks like Ep 69 will be the finale, but not on Clint's bday today, but next Thursday.
posted by yellowbinder at 5:51 AM on August 10, 2017

Slightly less crying during this episode, or at least it was more cry-laughing. (Maybe sort of weirdly, the thing that got me closest to straight up sobbing was, "You're from another world, I'm not your Pan. But you're my Merle.") Now I'm at the point where I want to stretch it out because I don't want it to end, but I also want to know what happens! I mean, beyond them winning. I think it's interesting that Griffin has already made that a given. Anyone else, and I'd be suspicious as hell, but I trust Griffin enough not to worry too much that he's going to pull some ROCKS FALL, EVERYONE DIES (FOR REALSIES) nonsense.

What struck me throughout this episode, which was, yes, fanservicey in the best way, was just how steeped in love it was. That's what sold all the return characters for me, the fact that no one was coming back for a cheap laugh. There was just such genuine delight at the return of old friends, it was lovely.

Also TAAKO/KRAVITZ. THE CULMINATION OF THE TACO QUEST. I'm so happy. That was all so perfect, and I love Taako the most. I was simultaneously laughing and incredibly touched that Taako dropped his glamor for Kravitz.

Oh and so much great use of music throughout! I am so appreciative of Griffin's editing skills, which remained invisible to me for a good long time, because the editing was just that seamless. Now with the addition of such great use of music cues, which somehow make a podcast seem pretty damn cinematic, I'm noticing and I'm real impressed.
posted by yasaman at 10:40 PM on October 9, 2017 [1 favorite]

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