Steven Universe: Future Boy Zoltron
September 1, 2016 4:17 PM - Season 4, Episode 5 - Subscribe

Steven takes on the role of Mr. Smiley's animatronic fortune teller, but a mysterious melancholy man moves him to borrow Garnet's future vision.
posted by Small Dollar (22 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
I'm not sure if it's because the bomb gave us so many good episodes in a row or something but this is the most "meh" SU episode I remember seeing.
posted by Memo at 6:55 PM on September 1, 2016 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I agree. Maybe it's because after seeing Steven meddle in other people's problems via exotic magical means seeing him meddle in a wacky but mundane way just doesn't cut it.

This is also the latest instance of an increasing trend toward using Garnet as a lazy throwaway plot device. I'm looking at you, "Future vision says try healing Centipeedle."
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 7:23 PM on September 1, 2016 [2 favorites]


I rather liked it?

It also occurs to me—and this is not something that would have crossed my mind before somebody on Tumblr pointed it out as one of the features of "Know Your Fusion"—that this has got to be one of the episodes that was faster, easier, and cheaper to produce than average. Only a couple of sets, very little movement, no big action sequences. This does not strike me as a bad thing; they presumably need to be able to use those resources for the flashier episodes.

(cf. "What's Opera, Doc?" famously requiring more time than usual, with much of it cribbed from that allotted to a much simpler Road Runner episode...)
posted by Shmuel510 at 7:41 PM on September 1, 2016 [5 favorites]


  1. I guess Steven forgot about his healing spit again.
  2. I wasn't imagining the coded gay subtext, right?

posted by books for weapons at 10:20 PM on September 1, 2016 [1 favorite]


I usually watch this show on youtube, and so I've gotten used to the goofy "Steven Universe episode part 1" style that breaks the episode into chunks. By the end, though, I was so sure some youtube user must have cut off some key plot point that I went to Google to find a different link, because that couldn't possibly be the whole show. But no. Argh.
posted by janepanic at 11:30 PM on September 1, 2016 [1 favorite]


I wasn't imagining the coded gay subtext, right?

Not even a little. I was kind of surprised they didn't make it explicit, given the show's joyous queerness generally; maybe the fact that both characters are human, and there's no magic angle, made it harder for the network to accept?
posted by thesmallmachine at 11:42 PM on September 1, 2016 [1 favorite]


I dunno, as someone who's fairly asexual, I feel like I should stand up for the right of people to be very good friends and not lovers? I could be wrong here, of course. Either way, there is something very touching about Mr. Smiley and Mr, Frowny's relationship. That, and it's pretty much the first substantial character development for Mr. Smiley.

There are some interesting in-jokes among the arcade machines. Among them are Attack The Light (the name of the very popular, not-freemium-at-all Steven Universe mobile RPG), OK KO! (the name of the Lakewood Plaza Turbo okay-it's-freemium mobile game), and some people found out that when Garnet walks in frame, it's from the direction of an arcade game: Meat Beat Mania 2!

My person favorite, however, isn't an in-joke, but a weirdly-titled game called "Buckle Up, It's THE CLAW." What in the?
posted by JHarris at 11:56 PM on September 1, 2016 [5 favorites]


My person favorite, however, isn't an in-joke, but a weirdly-titled game called "Buckle Up, It's THE CLAW." What in the?

Like this old chestnut?
posted by ocular shenanigans at 1:12 AM on September 2, 2016 [3 favorites]


There was a running gag about "The Claw" in the movie "Liar, Liar," it was a typically over the top hilarious game Jim Carrey's character would play with his kid. That might be an influence? An example.

The episode was cute, I thought. One of those silly nonsense episodes that turn out to have some importance later on. Poor Steven, constantly getting himself banned from businesses in Beach City, though. Kid can't help it that disaster follows him!
posted by angeline at 5:29 AM on September 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


I don't know, I am kind of enjoying Garnet's give-no-fucks attitude towards her powers right now.

I couldn't decide whether or not Steven could "heal" the original game (I guess he can heal inanimate things now? I assumed originally that's why he couldn't heal the artificial storm thing, but then...MC Bear Bear happened.)
But a. that busted old game is no way worth 1000s of dollars, come on Mr. Smiley, and 2. Steven's dad is loaded. So I expect this setup to be resolved or forgotten by the next show, probably offscreen/as a throwaway joke, if that.

There's still some anguish (Mr. Frowney--that was a weird story, though!) some love (you both deserve a room! Your dad loves you!) and LOTS of Beach City background character cameos including Eyepatch Man and some others I haven't seen before.
posted by emjaybee at 6:54 AM on September 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


he did also heal that warp pad in the central warp... room.
posted by numaner at 9:07 AM on September 2, 2016


Has he done much healing in front of humans, though? I mean besides Greg and Connie. It may be one of the few things he keeps to himself in front of the general population, for now anyway.

Also at first he probably just thought he was in for a super fun time wearing a costume and getting to play pretend while also paying his penance, which is so very Steveny. Healing might have occurred to him much, much later when the broken machine bits were already swept away and disposed of.
posted by angeline at 9:19 AM on September 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


I liked it in the context of it being a bottle episode. I thought the slot-machine visualization of multiple timelines was great.
posted by mrjohnmuller at 2:23 PM on September 2, 2016 [7 favorites]


TIL the phrase "bottle episode." Thanks, mrjohnmuller!
posted by Shmuel510 at 2:33 PM on September 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


will today I learn what "TIL" means?

I'm not sure if it's because the bomb gave us so many good episodes in a row or something but this is the most "meh" SU episode I remember seeing.
posted by Memo at 6:55 PM


the bomb certainly allows you to forget the character building episodes between the plot and action - heavy episodes. they've always been there, although over the seasons they seem fewer. This is the latest in the long-running "Rose loved all life / Steven's healing superpower is hyper-empathy" character development arc.
posted by eustatic at 3:36 PM on September 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


My uncle used to play "the claw" with me as a kid, decades before Liar Liar ever came out. To the point where, when it did, it kinda blew my mind and made me switch from thinking that was a little family thing to one of those games adults play with children. Now, reading this thread, my mind has been blow again with the realization it's not as widespread as I came to believe, although I still think it's a regional (or whatever) adult/child roughousing game. So, three data points so far: Liar, Liar; this episode, and an Irish Catholic uncle in rural Minnesota: anyone else have any experience with "the claw"?
posted by traveler_ at 9:21 PM on September 2, 2016


I'm okay with giving the kid a bit of a break. There's been a lot of heavy emotional stuff for him of late, so taking a breather from that is probably a good idea. I've just finished binge watching the lot, so I guess it's a bit more obvious in terms of season pacing.

Also Onion needs a goddamn therapist and a social worker.
posted by Jilder at 10:28 PM on September 2, 2016 [6 favorites]


will today I learn what "TIL" means?

Uh... Well... Maybe?
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 1:50 AM on September 3, 2016 [3 favorites]


anyone else have any experience with "the claw"?
It was a part of my childhood growing up in upstate New York too! My mind was also blown by Liar, Liar.
posted by books for weapons at 11:02 AM on September 3, 2016


So, three data points so far: Liar, Liar; this episode, and an Irish Catholic uncle in rural Minnesota: anyone else have any experience with "the claw"?

derail/
My dad did this with us, but we were in Texas and he said he was copying the "Iron Claw" used by Fritz von Erik, the wrestler. So if your dads watched wrestling maybe that was it.
/derail
posted by emjaybee at 8:26 AM on September 8, 2016


A not-great episode, but more than justified by that fantastic Onion gag.
posted by Parasite Unseen at 5:05 PM on September 10, 2016 [2 favorites]


and LOTS of Beach City background character cameos including Eyepatch Man

Turns out his name is Suitcase Sam!
posted by JHarris at 10:30 AM on December 8, 2016


« Older Podcast: Reply All: #75 Boy Wo...   |  BattleBots: One Shining Bot: T... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments