by AJ Adejare
“We just get old /And all the while /Been torn asunder” are the lyrics sung by Kele Okereke of Bloc Party on the track Compliments. In the track it’s a slow moving song that feels sad throughout the entire track. But, in said track, throughout it, there are pieces of optimism that pop through the track up through the end. I feel, that this song essentially captures what the Aqua Teen Hunger Force Forever finale encapsulates: sadness with hints of hope.
The premise starts with Frylock and Master Shake playing a clam diving video game where they try to retrieve a jewel. In the game Master Shake takes it as a joke and blasts Frylock with Frylock being visibly upset. Frylock then takes Master Shake to the restaurant to confess why they’re playing the game: Frylock is dying and the only way to save him is by doing a deep diving mission just like in the video game. Meanwhile, Meatwad is upset that Frylock doesn’t get to talk to him and now wants to have a better talk to talk relationship with Frylock.
This finale is that it’s done something that many viewers been asking for for years: the maturation of Meatwad. Meatwad, it’s Has been the butt of jokes for years, letting down the team in multiple places and just acting any sense immature for what we presume to be his age. This finale maintains this scenario, having Meatwad fail to rescue his friends and leading towards their death. While sad for a lot of the people that love these characters, it is at this particular moment that we finally see the progression into maturity. Meatwad forced to grow up, now had to begin to learn to be an adult, to be a responsible person. We’re treated to a series of dialogs and montages that shows progression into the responsible person that we would all have liked of seeing throughout the series. Of course he stumbles and of course he makes mistakes like any other adult, but at the end of the day he’s a better person now actually taking care of his own children and wife.
It is through this lens that viewers may see themselves in said position. For a lot of the viewers, it’s a time of transitional reckoning. For the viewers, a lot of things have occurred during its run, growing up, transitioning between multiple different stages in their life. To finally have that character that they know to grow up with them to the particular where they may end up ask as a reflection of what’s to come that may perturb some people. They may give them sense of sadness because of not wanting to end up on the same road as Meatwad, but the theme of growing up still resonates. It digs into the core of mortality and makes it feel a bit personal.
Yet, it gives us hope. the hope, ever fleeting, the finale makes us realize that we cool get past our child’s mistakes and still be fairly successful. As much as it may seem mundane, me why is by all means a success after the failure to rescue his friends. He sold the house, got a girlfriend that became a wife, and gained children. Surely for us we could get to the point with our friends and family, showing that we will be alright even when they’re not there.
Does this final episode feel sad and melancholy, yes. Yet, it gives some sort of hope that only this series could give: that we can all move on and become better through loss. While it sure to make some people a bit upset about how things ended, the ending overall conveys a sense of conclusion necessary for the 15 year run. Well done Aqua Teen Hunger Force, now rest, you’ve done your job. Aqua Teen Hunger Force Forever.