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“Steven Universe” Recap: “Cheeseburger Backpack” and “Together Breakfast”

Last week the premiere of Steven Universe introduced us not only to Steven and the Gems he resides with, but characters like his dad and the other inhabitants of their beach town. This week was void of anyone other than the four dwellers of the Gem household, and a mailman. So while I was a little upset Lars was absent, the lessons learned within “Cheeseburger Backpack” and “Together Breakfast” kind of filled the hole in my heart. 

“Cheeseburger Backpack” isn’t a metaphor for anything; it’s just what it sounds like. Other than Amethyst being too excited over a jumbo sized egg and the possible, most definitely, it better have been Full House reference, the first half of Steven Universe was all about taking risks and thinking outside the box, no matter the outcome.

Steven starts his day waiting impatiently for a package that will help him save the world. Isn’t that how we all feel about our online purchases? Cue the mailman, and then cut to the Gems telling Steven they have to go on a mission to save a building from falling apart by replacing its moon statue. Of course a certain someone swears his cheeseburger backpack can be of use because it can carry the statue; not only because of its novelty but its multitude of pockets, “Even the cheese is a pocket!” With so many, Steven overpacks – why would they need a kite? 

Those hoarder tendencies come in handy as all the extras help Steven and the Gems get to their destination. The only real problem in the end was the moon statue being MIA, so while sweaters and bagels and Steven’s quick thinking proved to be assets – the team failed. At least they tried though, right?

Failure wasn’t an issue in “Together Breakfast” though. Steven seems to be missing the family aspect of his life as he does whatever it takes to get everyone in the house to eat a meal together. Also, we have to ask…Is Amethyst a shape shifter? 

Not only do we get a look at an intriguing dish of pancakes topped with popcorn, whipped cream and a single strawberry, but also a peek inside the rooms (and minds) of the Gems. After all three ignore the breakfast invitation, Steven takes it upon himself to get inside their fortresses. Pearls is water based with a lot of knives; she’s clean and sharp. Amethyst’s is reckless and Garnet’s is unseen. Can we take that to mean she’s the ultimate personification of secrecy?

Things go the kind of the same as in the first, Steven’s mishaps sort of save the day only this time it’s a true success. The pancakes entrap the evil smoke monster, and save him and the Gems. It’s a win for the team but not for their appetites. Although Steven finally gets his together breakfast, the site of pancakes leaves a bad taste in their mouths. Pizza’s ordered instead. After all that we walk away with a lesson in togetherness; it’s safer to just make time rather than fight it. 

Like all shows, the first is often the introductory one and the ones that follow are built on top of characterization while heading towards a point. The second week of Steven Universe did one but left out minor players that fans might’ve already fallen for. As for building on the plot, we didn’t get closer to Steven figuring out how to control that belly stone. We just got to see him think on his feet. Next week we can only wonder what “Frybo” will bring and if “Cat Fingers” will be as literal as the backpack.

(Episode stills via Bubble Blabber)