In the ninth episode of the fifth season of Steven Universe, Steven forms a band to distract himself and in the process, he ends up discovering that Sadie has a hidden talent. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Steven Universe.
OH MY GOD, I LOVE PRACTICALLY EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS EPISODE. First and foremost, “Sadie Killer” made me miss being in a band. It’s been about a decade or so since I last toured while in a band. (Life tore the five of us in very different directions after recording an EP.) I still play my guitar and bass every day, and I entertain the notion of some day returning to the very thing we see here: figuring out a sound while in the same room as other musicians. It’s not always easy. (Though one band I was in skipped this process because we knew exactly what we wanted to do, and we had our first batch of songs within a week. OH, TO BE YOUNG AND WILLING TO JUST RIP OFF ANOTHER BAND SO OPENLY.)
Is music always an escape? It’s certainly a means of escape for me, though music is just always there. I write to music, I have to have music at the gym, I will perish if I ever forget headphones while on a plane or a train, and sometimes, it is exactly what I need to help me sort through a difficult problem. As much as I talk about the importance of writing or representation for me, music has long been my savior, and there are records that, quite frankly, saved me.
So on a very basic level, Steven’s decision to form a band to deal with what he’s going through is DEEPLY RELATABLE. YES! Create with your friends! Feel good through the transcendent power of music! Thus, I believed that this episode was going to focus almost entirely on Steven and the band. The subplot with Sadie’s exhaustion and stress seemed just like that to me: a subplot. It made me sad (and a little angry, to be honest) that she was now the sole employee at the donut shop. She had to be working like… way too many hours a day, right? My memory of that shop is that we don’t actually know who owns it or who Sadie reports to, BUT SURELY THEY CAN HIRE ANOTHER PERSON, RIGHT??? Yet they don’t, and Sadie is left with every single responsibility that comes with running a donut shop, and she doesn’t even have Lars to talk to.
Well, let’s be honest: Lars being gone is the main cause of Sadie’s unhappiness. She’s lonely. She’s sad. She most likely feels helpless because she can’t even do anything to help Lars. No one can! So how do you deal with that level of hopelessness and despair?
You sing about it.
Now, I listen to a lot of dark stuff. I also admit that I love a good pop hook, so if you’ve got a band that has a dark flair AND is catchy as hell, I AM IN. Thus, it’s not hard to imagine why I reacted as I did to Sadie’s song. THIS IS MY ENTIRE AESTHETIC. The song is so good!!! But it’s also an expression of what Sadie is feeling while also using some self-deprecating humor to make her point. That humor might dilute how intense her emotions are, but it doesn’t make them any less true. She isn’t happy at the Big Donut!
So, there’s a part of me that hopes that there’s a happy ending here for Sadie. I was shocked that she actually quit her job. Obviously, it helps her relieve a great deal of her stress, and that’s a good thing. But how else is this going to affect her? Will she be happy singing in this band and becoming Sadie Killer? Or is it all just going to be a temporary reprieve?
PROTECT SADIE AT ALL COSTS.
The video for “Sadie Killer” can be downloaded here for $0.99.
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