Mark Watches ‘Steven Universe’: S01E15 – Onion Trade

In the fifteenth episode of the first season of Steven Universe, WHAT THE HELL, ONION. WHAT THE HELL. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Steven Universe.

Look, I just can’t ignore how pure and good Steven is, and even after someone wronged him pretty badly in this episode, Steven was willing to empathize with that person and do something to make them happy. That’s a pretty huge thing, and I admire that the writers portrayed Steven this way. He’s so selfless sometimes!

I say “sometimes” because he is motivated by a selfish desire for a Ranger Guy throughout most of this episode. Of course, it’s not just a simple case of greed. There’s a reason Steven wants his Ranger Guy: it reminds him of a particularly good afternoon at the beach that he had with his father the previous summer. Now, if that doesn’t melt your heart, I don’t know what else will. So Steven becomes determined to fulfill his mission, but not before visiting his father. I do like Steven’s relationship with Greg, even if I don’t understand the logistics of it all the time. But I also don’t think I need the show to spell it out for me. Greg seems so forgetful that maybe he didn’t think he should be the primary caregiver for Steven?

Anyway, this relationship is neat because there isn’t anything malicious about it. They both care for one another a lot, there’s affection expressed on both sides, and Greg does what he can to support Steven. In this case, that’s giving him a bag of quarters to get a new Ranger Guy. Which means that OF COURSE STEVEN GETS NOTHING BUT DAVE GUYS. (I’d like to keep track of Dave’s future. Does he get that internship? Is this the year that he finally turns things around? I really want to know!) Thus, Onion plays a part in the story, and my gods, WHAT A STRANGE STORY THIS BECOMES. The fact that Onion doesn’t talk in any recognizable way makes him a little strange, and his behavior with fast food perplexes me. Why did he chuck each part of that hamburger in the ocean? Why ride a scooter through ketchup and then sling it off into the distance and ostensibly set the entire pier on fire??? WHAT IS YOUR DAMAGE, ONION???

But there’s a reason for his behavior right in the middle of this episode: Onion’s father is gone at sea for long periods of time. That doesn’t excuse what he does, but Steven chooses to accept that Onion is lashing out out of loneliness and boredom. Well, “lashing out” doesn’t quite cover the fact that after Steven trades Pearl’s replicator wand for Ranger Guy, Onion decides to create A TIDAL WAVE OF DAVE GUYS JUST FOR THE ENTERTAINMENT. Well, then he tries to do the same thing but with an actual car. Did anyone else feel like Onion was kind of evil here??? He could have seriously hurt someone with a GODDAMN CAR.

Still, I do like the message that Steven imparted. He gave up a toy that meant a lot to him because it could mean so much more to Onion. That’s adorable. It also comes with a bunch of horrible, horrible memories, but I feel like that’s part of living in Beach City, too.

The video for “Onion Trade” can be downloaded here for $0.99.

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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