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“Steven Universe” Recap: “Serious Steven”

It’s been over a month since we’ve seen Steven, the Gems, and the rest of the Beach City and that’s really made me forget a lot about this show. Well, not the characters and what they’re all about, but the humor. This week with “Serious Steven” I was way more annoyed by the pudgy little guy than anything else.

This is the first mission that the Gems allow Steven to tag along, and he is one hundred percent serious about the assignment. In Steven’s mind that means bringing a ukulele and fighting off butterflies. In his defense, the butterflies are definitely bigger when they’re on your eyeballs—agreed. They arrive at an upside down triangle that will look familiar to anyone who’s been to UCSD and seem their library. Only the one in La Jolla isn’t filled with revolving hallways and hieroglyphics that allude to some sort of Gem history. If the writing was on the wall, why’d they need to destroy it? Are we never supposed to learn why the Gems exist? This show’s turning into a mystery of sorts.

Of course Steven screws things up, but as expected saves the day.

Now for some things that came to mind during these ten or so minutes. Let’s start with the good, Garnet. She’s been such a background character, and this was the first time I walked away with some hold on her. She wasn’t just the strong silent type, the mysterious force backing up the group. This time around Garnet had more lines than usual and instead of just telling Pearl to back off Steven, she acted on it. It’s a nice balance to have him with her…the apparent hero and the unlikely one.

More about that annoying aspect though. Somewhere between December and now I’ve become Squidward, and Steven’s my Spongebob. There were various moments throughout where I said to myself, “Oh my God…this kid.” The biggest being when he made things go awry. Am I the only one a little annoyed by this kid? Maybe it’s because of the time we’ve spent apart. We’ll see if he continues to bother me next week when he joins an underground wrestling league with, who else, Amethyst.

Characters aside, I was really into the “teacup incident” flashbacks that kept sending Steven into a panic while in the temple. The show has proven to be the kind that circles back to certain events, so will we see the drama that led up to that day when Steven was forever banned from the amusement park? The bigger question is will Steven ever find his way back into the park. Only time will tell.

We’re eight episodes in and I feel like we’re not getting anywhere when it comes to the back story of Steven. My mind always rewinds to “Laser Light Cannon” when we’re introduced to Steven’s father Greg and heard a smidge about Steven’s Gem mother. I’d love more of that because this show was pitched as a coming-of-age tale and we haven’t gotten a whole lot in that direction. “Serious Steven” felt like a filler episode as it was paired with a stronger one, “Gem Glow.” Cookie Cats are proving hard to surpass.

“Serious Steven” was storyboarded by Joe Johnston and Jeff Liu.