Recaps

‘Steven Universe’ Recap: ‘Beach Party’

“Beach Party”
Written and storyboarded by Lamar Abrams.

While this week’s Steven Universe opened a lot of doors as far as characterization and parallels, it was simply okay. Mr. Pizza was comical relief but other than that you had to dig for the entertainment.

We’d met some of the Pizza family before when Steven and Lars were trying to impress the cool kids, but this week we met the rest of the clan, and like the Gems, they’re a modern family in their own right. No mother in sight, it’s just a single dad with two daughters and his own mother in tow. It’s interesting how many of the characters on this show only deal with their fathers—Steven’s mom is gone, we’ve met Onion’s dad and Connie’s mentioned hers. It’s like classic Disney tales…void of moms.

Only Steven sees that the families aren’t that different from one another, and that’s why he pushes so hard for them to get along after the Gems are banned from Fish Stew Pizza. That, and one of Steven’s most humanistic qualities shined this week—his inability to not be accepted. He was really distraught about the Gems being banned, while they couldn’t care less, and by the end of the episode, had even forgotten about why Steven forced them to attend the beach party.

The biggest surprise came with the Gems. We’ve touched on their similarity to the Pizzas and the fact that they didn’t care about what others thought after they were banned from Fish Stew Pizza. On top of that, we saw them flip just a little. At the start of the episode, and most of the time, they were very mission oriented, but they softened for Steven and even changed from their usual uniforms. I actually liked the switch, although we aren’t likely to see it again. Amethyst with her Kelly Bundy ensemble, Garnet looking like Serena Williams in her almost-too-sexy wrap, and then Pearl in a demure outfit.

While the Gems and Mr. Pizza seemed to be on the fence about the party, it was nice to see them realize they weren’t so different after all once they got into that volleyball game. It was interesting that Steven was paired with the grandma, but the others went hand in hand. How many times have we said Garnet is definitely the father figure of the bunch…and then she was paired up with Mr. Pizza? Coincidence, I think not. It was a parallel that they pushed in this episode.