OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes: We Messed Up
April 8, 2018 2:41 AM - Season 1, Episode 4 - Subscribe

After an absurdly high-tension customer service drill, Mr. Gar leaves on a secret mission, telling his employees "Don't go in my office!" How can they resist that? But in learning more about their boss, they find out secrets from long past, about a rainy night, a soaked sandwich, and a fateful mission... with Carol.

Open: Enid and K.O. watch with unreadable faces as Rad has his muscles, which have faces drawn on them, argue with each other, then make up and decide to kiss. Then Mr. Gar shows up, thankfully.

This is a great episode for faces from Mr. Gar. He knows how to work shiny sunglasses.

In Gar's office are:
* Monitors to cameras places throughout the plaza,
* A photo of him with the President of the Universe,
* A photo of him fighting Lord Boxman,
* and a photo of Carol in a superhero suit, our first hint of the show's deeper backstory.

Rad's fingers are marked Laser, Freeze, Marriage and Boogers.

Enid (stalling for time): "Heeey! I uh... saw someone... in the magazine aisle... for like twenty minutes!"
Mr. Gar (glasses breaking with rage): "A CHEAPSKATE??"
The character that Mr. Gar shouts at in the magazine aisle, the cat with a beard, is Crinkly Wrinkly. He turns up from time to time. He's the plaza's resident creepy old man. He gets fired out of the Cheapskate Cannon, into the Jail Library.

Carol, searching through a chest marked SECRETS, throws out: a bomb, a pink sword, a ray gun, a ball-and-chain, then finds her old suit.

The contents of Mr. Gar's drawer: a photo of him and Carol from earlier days, a photo of them in a superhero team, a newspaper clipping reading "P.O.I.N.T. Saves Mayor," a pair of round glasses, a bow-tie, and a medal. About these things, we will learn more... in later episodes.

- - - - -

Now class, let's talk a bit about the animation style of OK K.O.

Jones-Quartey's previous show, Steven Universe, IJQ only personally co-directed a couple of episodes of, although he was general Animation Director for a while. Fans complained a bit about characters going "off-model," and not having consistent heights. I never minded it myself, but some people are pretty adamant about their feelings.

I think this is most frequently the result of people who were drawn to Steven Universe for the cosmic storyline. Tales of millennia-old warrior-goddesses, the last survivors of an ancient sect, guarding humanity against the legacy of their race, and ultimately fighting to prevent their star-empire from returning to Earth. That is great and all, but is ultimately only half of Steven Universe. The other half is down-to-earth human stories, about a kid who isn't like the others, but he doesn't care and neither does anyone else. That mode is arguably better suited to that show's flexible stylistic policy. More recent episodes of Steven Universe, a more attentive viewer might notice, have had a bit of a tighter style, to go along with the increasing prominence of the threat from Homeworld.

OK K.O. is intrinsically more grounded (despite being about a world of superheroes and villains), at least for now, and IJQ's animation staff takes full and glorious advantage of it by going all-out in making the very funniest drawings they can. In particular, note the scene in which Carol brings the replacement picture to Mr. Gar at the moment he's berating his employees for breaking into his office. Things like that make me love this show.
posted by JHarris 1 user marked this as a favorite
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