Fionna & Cake showrunner Adam Muto addressed whether Jake is still alive during the events of the spin-off.
The spin-off's second episode featured the return of an adult version of Finn and Simon Petrikov, the former Ice King.
However, the installment didn't feature Jake, Finn's partner in the Adventure Time series. Instead, Fionna & Cake showed a character named TV, who is apparently Jake's son.
Is Jake Dead in Fionna & Cake?
Speaking in an interview with Inverse, Adventure Time and Fionna & Cake showrunner Adam Muto talked about Jake's status in the spin-off series.
When asked directly if Jake is dead, Muto teased that "there's a really simple answer" to the question, but he doesn't think that "it would be satisfying:"
"I mean, if there's a really simple answer to that, I don't think it would be satisfying."
The showrunner continued by saying that fans already saw Finn and Jake "at the end of their lives," noting that it is the "more important ending" for him.
Muto also said that the "how" of it is not necessarily as interesting so they "left it ambiguous:"
"We've shown Finn and Jake at the end of their lives. How it resolves. That's the more important ending to me. You've shown them dead, basically. We don't really show how Finn dies either. The 'how' of it isn't necessarily as interesting to me to show on screen because that's kind of a downer. So we left it ambiguous. It wasn't important for this series."
When Inverse's Jake Kleinman pointed out that he saw a theory online that Jake died from eating too much chocolate, Muto admitted that if he gave a concrete answer now then he "would rob somebody" of the fun of speculating on the character's demise:
"Yes! See, if I gave a concrete answer, it would rob somebody of that. Exactly. I don't want to just leave things open to shrug at them. But if it's not answered in a story or left to the imagination, it's probably not answered satisfyingly in like a comment or an article."
The showrunner continued by reflecting on the various theories that fans have in their minds:
"There's a tendency sometimes to add answers after your series is done. But to me, whatever you put in is what's speaking. So you can have your own theories, and I'm sure if you asked the people who worked on the show, the different board artists and writers, they would have different theories. I don't want to cut those off yet or say definitively what the answer is."
Muto then opened up on "dealing with the idea of what's canon" to the series:
"That's part of this series, too, dealing with the idea of what's canon and what is meaningful to people. Canon is important to me internally when we're working on a thing — that it makes sense — but I don't expect anybody watching to really dig in and have the same level of obsessiveness. I think if you like the characters, you can do whatever you want with them and that is your version of it."
Muto ended by acknowledging that there is so much "obsessiveness about canon:
"There's so much obsessiveness about canon now and connecting things, and sometimes it's franchises that have been around for 50 years and you have new writers coming in and answering old questions, and to me it's like, well, that's not the answer they had at the beginning.
That's definitely something they looked at and kind of came up with an answer for. But now that's the official answer to it, which is a little weird coming this far after the fact after properties have changed hands three or four times. How's that any more official than something somebody wrote their own?"
Will Jake Still Appear in Fionna & Cake?
Adam Muto's comments strongly implied that Jake is now dead during the events of Fionna & Cake, which is disappointing for those wanting a reunion between him and Finn.
Despite that, there's still a chance that Jake might show up alongside Finn in the spin-off despite his apparent death.
In July 2023, Fionna & Cake showrunner Adam Muto previously teased that the series will showcase a quick look at Finn and Jake, noting that "it didn't make sense to not show them at all" and fans can "expect to see some versions" of the pair:
“We do still kind of show a snapshot of them where they're at because it didn't make sense to not show them at all. And we also want to see what the contrast is between Finn and Jake and Fionna and Cake's dynamic. So, yeah, expect to see some versions of them.”
There are multiple ways the Adventure Time spin-off can show Jake.
It's possible that the series could provide a hint about Jake's real status via flashbacks or the show could utilize the Multiverse by featuring different versions of the character.
Fionna & Cake is now streaming on Max.