Steven Universe: The New Lars
July 21, 2016 4:53 PM - Season 3, Episode 10 - Subscribe

Steven inadvertently takes control of Lars' body!
posted by Small Dollar (17 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
This episode pushed all my buttons! I've always had a soft spot for Lars, because I was also kind of a jerk teenager who hated myself and felt miserable and trapped and like I was constantly failing everyone. I was probably nicer than Lars, but I understand completely that cringing inner shame.

And then Steven basically turns him into a meat-puppet, confirms his worst fears (no one likes the real him!) and then thinks he can just apologize? That is very Not OK.

Sugar et. all have been generally good about consent issues in the show (though in retrospect, Sadie kidnapping Lars but him forgiving her for it is looking dicier, like he's everyone's manipulation pinata), but they are asking for a lot of trust here. Steven better not get a pass on this stuff. He's heading into supervillain territory.
posted by emjaybee at 6:08 PM on July 21, 2016


Stephen even decided to start out respecting Lars' body and privacy. I feel bad for what happened to him and how everyone sided with Stephen and blamed Lars for not being chill. But it's refreshingly realistic to show Stephen making a bad choice for once.
posted by bleep at 6:33 PM on July 21, 2016 [1 favorite]


Lars!Steven didn't understand the report card because he's never been to school!!!
posted by Small Dollar at 8:05 PM on July 21, 2016 [5 favorites]


This episode is a total cringefest. I can hardly bear to watch it.

Steven better not get a pass on this stuff. He's heading into supervillain territory.

I think by the end it's pretty obvious he's realized he made a mess of things, and any net benefit that came out of it was accidental. I guess one could argue that I can't do this well is different from I shouldn't try even if I can do it well, but at the start remember he did try to respect Lars' privacy before getting carried away.

I thought it was a nice touch at the end where Lars took Steven's card and, without looking, just tore it in two and dropped it. It's nice that there's a character like Lars around who doesn't basically have a good life, and thinks Steven's kind of insufferable, even if we do want him to figure his problems out and solve them.
posted by JHarris at 11:44 PM on July 21, 2016


Steven has a life full of alien danger and huge inherited responsibility, but he's earnest to the point of insufferability. I would be too, if I had a bevy of interstellar ladies doting on my my whole life.

Lars is hopelessly insecure and anxious and copes with aggressive posturing. His freak-out in Steven's house is played for laughs, but I can't imagine the raw proof that (almost) everyone prefers Lars!Steven will go down well. Sadie is codependent and I think deep down she enjoys Lars' issues. Steven has a long track record of trying to make people's lives better and failing spectacularly (Frybo for instance) and I think Lars is especially immune to Steven's brand of help. I hope they don't see this episode as some turning point in Steven and Lars' relationship.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 5:22 AM on July 22, 2016


I agree 100% on the cringe factor. Lars and Sadie episodes are almost invariably cringe-fests, but there aren't too many of them and they help to keep the show grounded. It would still be "Crying Breakfast Friends" without them, but they aren't going to get a massive windfall or have their arms fall off or transform into a cat monster.
posted by Small Dollar at 8:05 AM on July 22, 2016


I am disappointed that Lars's full name is Laramie. We saw him eating pickled herring once, and I thought that meant they were trying to tell us he was legit of Scandinavian ancestry and Lars was his given name.
posted by Galaxor Nebulon at 9:13 AM on July 22, 2016


Just realized: When Steven wakes up as Lars he's in bed naked with a girlie mag (Title: Noice). Also the girl on the cover has a certain Sadiesque quality.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 4:25 PM on July 22, 2016 [4 favorites]


NOOOICE
posted by bleep at 4:55 PM on July 22, 2016 [1 favorite]


Steven is getting to be almost alarmingly powerful. Super strong, can float, impenetrable shield, healing powers, can turn seeds into soldiers, and apparently able to possess people too.

Rose, presumably in full control of all those powers (+ sword!), must have been absolutely terrifying.
posted by Kilter at 7:42 AM on July 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


Onion looking uncomfortable was priceless. :D
posted by Foosnark at 6:29 PM on July 23, 2016 [7 favorites]


I've been watching the hour-long Steven Universe repeat/compilations that Cartoon Network has been showing and alot of them are Lars episodes. Man, I really sympathize with him. He may be a jerk towards Sadie, but he also seems to get a rough deal a lot of the time, and Steven always seems to come down on him way harder than he does anyone else.
posted by bleep at 1:03 PM on July 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


If full mental control is a thing Steven can do, was it a thing Rose could do? Because that raises so many questions.
posted by restless_nomad at 3:52 PM on July 26, 2016


Note that this is not the first time we've seen Steven do this.

It's just the first time we've seen him do it to anyone who isn't a watermelon.
posted by baf at 2:06 PM on August 2, 2016 [2 favorites]


Actually I'd argue that contacting Lapis in a dream (while she was fused, even!) was the first use of this power.
posted by restless_nomad at 3:21 PM on August 2, 2016


Jesus I loved this episode. To stretch things a bit, I'm reminded of Cersie's "Walk" in Game of Thrones, where even if she's the biggest antagonist in the seven Kingdoms, submitting her to a public act of sexual degradation by means of contrition is horrific and not anything anyone deserves.

Lars is a dick, and what little we see of his life here doesn't excuse his dickishness - his parents are caring, Sadie keeps trying, and the Cool Kids are happy to hang with him as long as he acts nice. But whatever, he's an insecure teenager and that doesn't need its own reasons and his realization that everyone likes him more if Steven is inhabiting him (and Steven's subsequent realization of how awful that is) does a LOT of dramatic heavy lifting.

There was a kid in my neighborhood who I would occasionally hang with but who mostly was just the bigger kid who picked on me for no reason that I could tell, and I hated that shit, until one day I learned that his mom (who was friends with my mom) would lecture him by asking him why he wasn't more like me. Like, his mom assumed I was just getting good grades and a model kid, which I wasn't, and he knew that from being around me. No shit he hated me. I would've hated me under those circumstances.

I'm glad this concluded with Lars getting some insight into how he's been treating Sadie and him trying to rectify that, though. Because Sadie rocks and that dynamic has been getting tiresome and I trust in Sugar to keep up relationship continuity.
posted by Navelgazer at 9:46 PM on August 13 [1 favorite]


Sadie has her own problems too. Remember Island Adventure?

If this is your first time through the show, and you just hit The New Lars today, that means you're right at the beginning of a lot of heavy events. You get to learn a lot more about Centipeedle pretty soon, and after that, the first sight of a Certain Someone, and then, Jasper, and the first mention of an ominous name....
posted by JHarris at 5:22 PM on August 14 [1 favorite]


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