Mark Watches ‘Steven Universe’: S02E13 – Onion Friend

In the thirteenth episode of the second season of Steven Universe, I LOVE THIS EPISODE AS WELL. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Steven Universe.

It’s an accomplishment when a story can be as funny as “Onion Friend” was while still hitting all the right emotional notes. Onion is a strange character within the Steven Universe world, not because he doesn’t talk in a way that viewer understands, but because he does so many things that are instantly unlikeable. Hell, this episode starts off with him stealing from Steven and never apologizing for it. Still, I never personally disliked him; I’m always a bit wary when he shows up because WHAT WILL HE RUIN TODAY.

So “Onion Friend” does a lot to help me understand him, and I appreciate it for that alone. Yet it’s not solely about Onion; Amethyst rekindles her friendship with Onion’s mom, Vidalia, who Amethyst used to hang out with back when Greg first started coming around. It’s an important story because it allows the writers to get back to Amethyst after the events of “Cry for Help” and deal with the issues brought up there. This whole arc is an invigorating look at social and personal relationships, so it made sense to me that Amethyst get a chance to talk out her own insecurities and worries regarding Garnet and Pearl. Most important of all, though, is the fact that she gets to discover this friendship all over again, and it’s one outside of the other Gems. That’s an important thing for her to have because then she doesn’t have to burden Steven with herself, but can still get an outside perspective. Those can be so valuable when it comes to friendships because they can often be more objective when it comes to conflicts.

Which brings me to Onion. Just because Onion expresses themselves in bizarre and frightening ways doesn’t mean he can’t be a friend to Steven. There’s a value in having a character around who doesn’t behave in any “normal” way because it can help people accept those who are different than them. That doesn’t mean we should ignore times that Onion harms others. Like, someone seriously needs to teach him to stop stealing things from other people. (Or, for that matter, setting fire to everything? That’s important, too.) But his interest in snakes, creepy sculptures made of butter, or scissors doesn’t mean that no one should be friends with him. Onion just expresses himself in a different way, and once Steven decides to take a risk and push past his comfort zone, he discovers a side of Onion he never knew existed. Watching Onion share his collectibles with Steven – and gift him Explorer Gal! – was a genuinely touching moment. The kid’s still a fucking weirdo – THE MOUSE IN HIS MOUTH WHAT THE FUCK – but I think he means well. He’s still learning how to express himself. Just… maybe don’t make towers of butter in the shape of people’s faces and then lick it up and throw it up everywhere? Maybe don’t do that.

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

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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