Steven Universe: Dewey Wins
November 11, 2017 6:14 AM - Season 5, Episode 5 - Subscribe

Steven addresses his personal problems the only way he knows how: by throwing himself headlong into solving someone else's problems.

Currently five new episodes of Steven Universe are available via the Cartoon Network app, ending the longest Steven Universe hiatus thus far. It's not clear when these episodes will air on TV and frankly I don't feel like waiting around. Sorry everyone.

Synopsis: Steven fails to realize how behaving selflessly can still be selfish if you're part of a team. Connie has no time for his lack of understanding and departs with Lion on a voyage of reinvention we never see. Steven tries addressing other aspects of the fallout for his decision, like the part where Lars is a bit dead and also trapped on another planet and also everyone is mad at Mayor Dewey. He vows to help Dewey clear his name and win the election against new challenger Nanefua. This culminates in a debate where Dewey realizes beach city needs someone new and concedes the election. Steven is furious that he would do such a thing after all their work together, and then notices the parallel to his own decision.

Poster notes: I feel like the "I now understand my decision from the other side" epiphany is something Steven Universe has done before, although I can't think of a specific example at the moment. Maybe it's just a more general cartoon trope.

The theme of all the latest episodes seems to be Change, lots of characters are notably taking big steps outside the forms and functions they've had since the beginning. Notably in this episode Dewey steps down as mayor, and Nanefua steps into politics.

Lars' parents don't seem to be taking his absence well, nor is Sadie. Gotta love it when Steven throws himself into helping Dewey, leaving Sadie to carry out the emotional labor of talking to Lars' folks.

Lots of nice gags, like the protest signs, Speech-a-palooza, and Dewey telling Steven he's like the son he never had, because the son he DID have is very... Different.

Beach City-focused episodes are best when they have emotional weight behind them, and there's lots of weight to go around these days. I'm really happy with this episode.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia (17 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I can't quite express how glad I am to have new SU episodes (especially ones with such emotional weight) right now! It feels like the pharmacy getting my meds back in stock.
posted by mrjohnmuller at 10:29 AM on November 11, 2017 [2 favorites]

Well they're pretty much all leaked to YouTube and other places by now if you don't want to wait. Anyway...this was good! Nanafua WILL be a better mayor! Steven WAS in serious denial. Sadie, of course, sees that "saving" Lars by making him a pink immortal space portal is fucked up. Everyone else is scared and shook and dealing with trauma from kidnappings and so on.
posted by emjaybee at 11:02 AM on November 11, 2017 [1 favorite]

I think this was the weakest episode of the bomb, mainly because it handled the parallel between both situations with the subtlety of an anvil. It does a good job of setting the mood for the rest of the episodes though, it's all changing whether Steven wants it or not and he needs to deal with the consequences of what happened.
posted by Memo at 11:43 AM on November 11, 2017 [1 favorite]

an app that I can use on my laptop. pretty sure this is available to people with laptops.
posted by eustatic at 11:55 AM on November 11, 2017

I think the thing that stuck out the most to me is that Steven didn't really consider that Nanefua might be a better mayor. Yeah, he's used to Dewey, and wants to help, but I'd have expected Steven to at least talk to Nanefua or some other town members.
posted by explosion at 12:51 PM on November 11, 2017

I like that Steven is wrong sometimes, that he doesn't see the obvious, that he has to learn. This is still a kid's show. You can't be too subtle. So long as your obvious message is entertaining and well-crafted, I think, in a kid's show, that's ok.

(I maybe got a little miffed reading similar comments on the Mary Sue reviews about things being too obvious, because I want to say, guys, 40-year-olds with ennui are not the core audience here, leave room for the kids still learning how to deal with emotions and stuff).

Anyway. I've seen the rest of them and can't wait to talk about those too.
posted by emjaybee at 12:57 PM on November 11, 2017 [3 favorites]

I think this was the weakest episode of the bomb, mainly because it handled the parallel between both situations with the subtlety of an anvil

I can forgive them for that. This is still a show for kids, remember.
posted by Pendragon at 1:12 PM on November 11, 2017 [1 favorite]

If it's fine with the rest of you I'd like to post the rest of the bomb one per day, to let each episode breathe. I'm sorry for stepping on your toes, Small Dollar. You're more than welcome to take over if CN ever airs episodes again after this.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 3:20 PM on November 11, 2017

Fine by me.
posted by Pendragon at 3:23 PM on November 11, 2017

I can forgive them for that. This is still a show for kids, remember.

Of course it is but I feel the rest of the bomb handles their topics much better. The whole thing feels a bit forced, maybe it'd have worked better if it wasn't Dewey but someone else, closer to Steven.

Anyway, I'm not saying the episode is bad, I love that Connie actually gets mad at Steven for pulling the stunt he did. And how they don't forget that Lars is still in space with everything that implies for his parents and Sadie. And the change of mayor may mean more human/gem interaction in the future since Nanafua's family is the only one that has actually stepped up and called out the Crystal Gems in the past.
posted by Memo at 3:32 PM on November 11, 2017 [3 favorites]

You can post the episodes whenever you want, plus I just figured out how to use CN's website (which requires you to use Flash for some reason...) so I'm going to watch them soon enough.
posted by Small Dollar at 4:58 PM on November 11, 2017 [2 favorites]

I get that Steven's revelation here was telegraphed in a way that was painfully obvious, and while I was watching it happen, it really hurt to see him recognize the problem but then try to solve it in an incorrect way. It really reminded me of the complaints some folks had about Full Disclosure, or about Greg in House Guest—these characters are usually so good at making emotionally-informed decisions that it almost feels out-of-character when they err. However! For reasons that I will be able to discuss when subsequent episodes are posted, I found my opinion of this episode increased by the time I'd watched the entire arc. I guess I can say this much: I find I have fewer objections to the occasional ham-handed Saturday Morning Cartoon moralizing when I am reminded that this is a show in which multiple story lines are playing out at varying levels of subtlety.
posted by jsnlxndrlv at 12:47 AM on November 12, 2017 [2 favorites]

I did feel like this whole episode was rushed, with a lot of talking about things rather than doing the thing. It's the weakest in the group for me, too. I do like that Lion was just as wounded by Steven's abandonment as Connie was. He can't just glibly excuse himself and expect it to be all better.
posted by Jilder at 4:22 AM on November 12, 2017

I dunno, I have some problems with this sequence. Let's remember, back in I Am My Mom, it was looking pretty bad for the home team. Aquamarine's wand thing basically had everyone but Steven frozen. Back then it didn't look like Steven was just giving up, but finding the only solution to the problem that didn't result in more than him being taken away.

It's also hard for me to watch episodes where serious rifts open up between characters. Cry For Help isn't high on my rewatch list for the same reason.
posted by JHarris at 4:44 AM on November 12, 2017

While I agree this episode was a little weaker than the others, I still enjoyed it. Also, I know the show's action centers on Steven and follows him around, but I for one would LOVE a "day in the life of Mayor Nanefua" episode. (Please?)
posted by duffell at 8:12 AM on November 13, 2017 [1 favorite]

Also loved how she referred to herself as "your FAVORITE Nanefua" when addressing the crowd. I'm generally a sucker for any and all Fish Stew Pizza family related content.
posted by duffell at 8:13 AM on November 13, 2017

"You can find the key to the city under the city welcome mat."
posted by Foosnark at 2:12 PM on November 19, 2017 [3 favorites]

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