Adult Swim’s longest running show Aqua Teen Hunger Force Forever has aired its final episode “The Last One Forever and Ever (For Real This Time) (We Fucking Mean It),” which sounds as though they doth protest too much.
Fast food heroes Frylock (Carey Means), Master Shake (Dana Snyder) and Meatwad (David Willis) fight for their very lives in the finale. Frylock explains that the life-giving jewel on his back has a half-life of 15 years.
“Weird, that’s exactly how long we’ve been detectives.” Shake comments directly into the camera thus breaking the fourth wall.
Carl (Willis) says his Jewish friend can replace the jewel but it’s just a scam to steal and pawn it. Frylock devises a plan to recover a new jewel from French-speaking clams on Chlamydia, a watery planet near Venus. He creates a computer simulation disguised as a video game, Clam Digger 2. Shake fails the mission when he intentionally kill Frylock but Meatwad is able to solo the game earning him the captain spot.
While fighting to pilot the spaceship, Master Shake falls over revealing he too has a jewel on the underside of his cup. Frylock tries to steal his jewel but it too is losing power. Even Meatwad has a jewel or at least he did. A flashback shows he traded it for tater tots and dipping sauce. When they ask how he’s still alive, a hallucination of Santa Claus and other fanciful characters tell him it’s “through the power of magic and imagination.” Shake grasps at the straw in a desperate attempt to live but Frylock quickly dismisses the idea.
“There comes a time in a popular character’s life when it’s just over,” Frylock concedes.
Shake laments not having finished his bucket list, which is to have sex fifty times. They agree on one time and take him to an Asian massage parlor. Carl pays for it with Susan B. Anthony dollars.
“I’m using a feminist icon to pay for a sex act,” Carl laughs. “The irony ain’t lost on me.”
The jokester then suggests he pass on the traditional happy ending and ask for the M. Night Shyamalan. The twist is that you get a mop in your butt, which you don’t see coming. Shake is virgin so he’s too naive to know better.
Meatwad and Shake travel to planet Chlamydia in a final attempt to save themselves. Unfortunately, Shake forgets that he’s allergic to shellfish. He swells up before being devoured by them. All that remains is Shake’s skeleton. Meatwad completes the mission by using his brain…literally! He removes his toy brain and feeds to a giant clam to open its mouth. He arrives home just in time but without the jewel, which he forgot in space. Carl again attempts to steal the jewel even as Meatwad cries over the body of his dead friend.
Meatwad settles down and starts a family with two children. He leads a mundane life illustrated by working in a cubicle, mowing the lawn and complaining about the water bill. Meatwad takes a trip down memory lane when he returns his childhood home, which shows no signs that they ever lived there. The utterly depressing tone reaches a crescendo as the credits run with a melancholy song about the showing ending. The mood is lightened ever so slightly by an appearance from Willie Nelson not THE Willie Nelson but the onion spider hybrid that appeared in “The Shaving.” The monster secretly lived in their attic until coming down to look for his mail and killing Carl for the umpteenth time.
The touching ballad titled “Aqua Teen Dream” is performed by Patti Smith. The musician says she wanted give closure to fans, herself included.
“My son Jackson and I have watched cartoons together since he was born,” Smith told Pitchfork. “We still discuss and reminisce about various shows we’ve loved. Several years ago he called me from Detroit and said there was a new cartoon show I had to watch. I wasted no time and was instantly swept into the world of ATHF (“Aqua Teen Hunger Force”). First of all, I was raised in South Jersey not far where they live. I was excited about that. But within minutes I knew I was facing creations of true warped genius. I think what struck me most is that it’s completely unpredictable, you can’t break down the logic. Even Wittgenstein couldn’t break it down.”
Smith said she relates most to Frylock. She describes them both as “Head in the clouds with a touch of the designated driver.”
“Aqua Teen Dream” lyrics:
I never dreamed
I’d be an Aqua Teen
What did it mean?
A Master Shake
Meatwad, a floating head
And now you’re dead
And it’s the end
Of Aqua Teen Hunger Force
It’s the end
Of Aqua Teen Hunger Force
The TV show’s plot has always been non sequitur. Characters frequently appear after dying in the previous episode. In fact, they were all blown up by a missile in “Knapsack.” This time there’s an explanation for they’re return. It’s possible they’re still in the simulator. The virtual reality headset was previously featured in “Super Birthday Snake.” Frylock murders his teammates but he denies it even when they return as zombies. They parody Pulp Fiction by endlessly echoing Samuel L. Jackson’s incrimination “Yes you did!” It’s revealed to be a computer simulation at the end of the episode.
“I kinda wrote myself into a corner there at the end,” Frylock tells Meatwad, who is wearing the headset. “Still, it was pretty realistic. Don’t you think?”
The episode goes father down the rabbit hole when it’s revealed that it’s actually Frylock in the simulation.
Another possibility is a movie sequel. A screenplay titled Aqua Teen Hunger Force Death Fighter has already been written but it was scrapped after the show’s cancellation was announced. During a reddit AMA, co-creator Willis said he’s open to raising the estimate $3.4 million on Kickstarter.
The show will, at a minimum, live on forever in repeats says Willis, who stayed in character for an interview with Man Cave. Meatwad predicted that the show would return two years after being inducted into the Smithsonian museum.
“Look for the reboot,” he declared. “I’m coming back, son. I won’t be gone long.”