In the seventeenth episode of the first season of Steven Universe, Steven and Connie try to go to the movies on the back of Lion and end up somewhere else. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Steven Universe.
OH MY GOD SO MANY NEW THINGS TO LEARN, Y’ALL.
I don’t know why this amused me as much as it did, but Connie showed Steven a trailer on her phone. That’s like the first time I’ve ever seen that on an animated show. THIS IS THE WORLD WE LIVE IN NOW. And we also live in a world where Dogcopter 3 is only barely a joke. I’m fine with that, because I would absolutely watch a Dogcopter movie.
A Day at the Movies
I’m coming to love it when Steven Universe starts out being about one thing, and then it morphs into being about SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT. Connie and Steven’s day at the movies is sidetracked fairly quick by Lion, who still silently exists within the show. They’re one giant mystery, and this episode only deepens that mystery.
But let’s talk about Connie first. I was thrilled to see her show up again, and her role in this episode highlights that there really is a disparity between the lives of the “magical” residents of Beach City and the “normal” ones. Now, Steven never refers to Connie as normal or himself as normal; he’s very respectful towards Connie and her insecurities in this episode. She’s initially quite blown away by the existence of Lion and Lion As Transportation, and it’s when she makes the first comment that her life isn’t as “cool” as Steven’s. Which isn’t something that Steven would say about himself because… well, it’s just his life! So when Steven seems impressed at Connie’s tennis moves, HE’S NOT LYING. He doesn’t fake that emotion!
(Also, I have desperately wanted to learn how to be good at tennis for a long time, so Connie, you are super cool to me.)
For a brief moment, though, both of them forget about this when Lion takes them on a RIDICULOUSLY magic journey. I loved how, as Lion began to WALK ON WATER, this felt exactly like all the great YA fantasy I’d read over the years. For a few minutes, these two were living the dream. They were on the back of a giant pink lion who could run across the ocean, and everything was perfect.
Until the portal.
Honestly, that’s my guess. The place where Lion took these two was a training area of sorts, where Gems could learn to use different weapons and fight against an enemy programmed with different attacks. I say that because the arena reminded me of some of the paintball arenas I went to as a teenager. (Oh god, I miss playing paintball. I was a vindictive, petty player, y’all. You know how in RPG or first-person shooter games, you can choose from different types? And one is almost always the assassin/sniper? Yeah, you can bet I’ll always choose that one, and you need not look any further than my brief paintball playing style for evidence of that. I would find some ridiculous place to hide, I would stay absolutely silent, and I would pick off everyone from a distance. DON’T MESS WITH ME.) So… Lion only acts with purpose, right? There has to be a reason Lion brought them there.
But why? To let Steven know the place exists? Probably. But for what? And did anyone else get major Revolution Girl Utena vibes from that scene where Steven pulled out a sword from Lion’s head??? Anyway, I think that’s what happened here. Lion was easing Steven into this world, and look how it turned out! Steven teamed up with Connie, and they both saved Beach City after her tennis skills came in handy. Teamwork! Well, not just teamwork, but a pretty cool message, too. Connie’s tennis lessons had a greater meaning in the world and ended up being cool for their own reason!
I definitely want to go to the movies with a giant pink lion, though. Let’s establish that here.
The video for “Lion 2: The Movie” can be downloaded here for $0.99.
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