I went into the #Finale last night with a list of questions. This episode’s premise teased some sort of look into a big one, but “Be Sweet” was appropriately rather ordinary.
In “Be Sweet,” the show’s funniest character is made to be beyond unnerving.
Since season two, a runaway Lumpy Space Princess has taken refuge in the woods, occasionally pretending to be glamorous by wearing a garbage bag or bragging to the gullible Turtle Princess. At the outset of “Be Sweet,” she even seems humiliated by this: “Reduced to marking my camp with bear sweat. Those bears did not want to give up that sweat, but it keeps the rodents from nibbling my lumps while I sleep.” It’s in the middle of a tussle with a raccoon over a piece of fried chicken that she receives the inciting phone call.
Now, the premise of LSP as a bubbly, negligent teenage babysitter (as in the 1958 Tom & Jerry “Tot Watchers”) is one I was excited to see, but it’s not what we get. Instead, LSP’s negligence to Sweet P is enacted quickly before “Be Sweet” turns LSP to reassuring herself, and then Marceline (who’s picking bugs out of her belly-button) over the phone, that she deserves the posh lifestyle she lives in Tree Trunks’ cottage.
But, like a doubt in the back of her mind, the raccoon stares at her from outside and then comes into the house through the toilet to haunt her: “You don’t belong here in the world of decent people. You belong in the woods with all the animals!”
“Look what you’ve done, LSP. You’ve made it gross! Everything you touch turns gross! Just like you! You don’t really think you deserved any of this, do you? You’re a rat. Just a giant rat that wandered into somebody’s nice house.”
“Just accept that you’re garbage.”
LSP successfully undoes much of the mess she’s made, but even with the toilet overflowed and a huge hole in Sweet P’s wall, she has the audacity to suggest that Tree Trunks and Mr. Pig hire her as a live-in nanny.
She’s kicked out, and the raccoon is waiting for her. “Partake of the chicken,” it suggests, and LSP cries as they munch on the same piece of chicken at the same time. It’s unnervingly animal of LSP, even for someone who started the episode monologuing about forcibly taking gobs of sweat from bears. It’s a very different sort of rock bottom than last season’s masterful “Bad Timing.”
But no matter how unnerving LSP is, Sweet P trumps it, particularly with his last encounter with the King of Ooo. It’s comforting to know that with Tree Trunks’ simple enough bedtime routine, Sweet P won’t detonate.
But any deviation from this routine is chaos. When Sweet P needs love, he doesn’t find it in the horrified people of the Candy Kingdom after he escapes the cottage. Even his innocent eyes, adorable voice, and plea, “will you be sweet to me?” sends a candy family into a fit of screams.
To our relief, we never get a moment with Ron Pearlman. The big, weird baby-man stays sweet. It takes a frightening amount of reassurance, including a nightly “You’re more precious than anything in this world, and I will always, always love you.”
The tension behind Sweet P is always two-fold. First, he’s the most innocent creature in all of Ooo, and seeing him hated hurts. But there’s always that nervousness that The Lich, that villain among villains, can come back at any instant to destroy everything.
After LSP is kicked out and Tree Trunks suggests they hire Neptr to babysit next time, Sweet P tells his parents about another of his dreams. He has recurring visions himself as a “comet boy,” returning to Ooo over and over again. He recalls a “fake comet,” the blue one we saw at the end of “Evergreen” and in “Astral Plane,” and he even remembers Martin (“bearded man in spaceship”). But, he promises, “the comet approacheth.”
The comet in the ancient world of “Evergreen” was a Lich green, but after Sweet P’s prophetic words, we cut to a comet that’s sparkling a radiant purple.
All we’ve learned is that if The Lich makes a return, perhaps it’s with the coming of a comet.