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On the last episode of Steven Universe, Jamie the mailman fell in love with Garnet. Sort of. But not really. And that was kind of the point. Also, Sea Pals! We’ll set them free, into the SEA!
Well, it was bound to happen eventually. Garnet could only posses so much raw awesomeness before some poor soul fell madly in love with her. It turns out to be Jamie, the mailman with dreams of becoming an actor. He took off for Kansas (Which in Jamie’s head is basically Hollywood, signaling the first of many instances of Jamie being a bit over-dramatic) a while back, and he’s come back because he missed being a mailman. Oh, kid-show-logic, never change.
He’s getting Steven to sign off on all the Sea Pals he accidentally ordered, when he’s struck dumb by Garnet emerging out of the surf. The way the storyboarders convey Jamie’s instant and paralyzing lust is perfect, as well as somewhat shocking: there hasn’t been this much raw sexuality this show since “Alone Together”, and that was basically one big sex metaphor. The show lets us make no mistake: Jamie wants this woman, bad.
He can’t have her though, of course. Because she’s not a woman, she’s two women, who are already in a rather committed relationship. It’s relieving, once they read the ridiculously Shakespearean love letter Jamie left for his new obsession, for Steven to instantly point out “Well, that ain’t happening.” It would have made an already rather awkward episode unbearable if they had floated, even for a moment, the possibility that Jamie would ever be with Garnet. By making it clear right away that Jamie has no hope whatsoever, it lowers the stakes of the episode, making it all about breaking that to Jamie without totally destroying him.
Connie offers her services, her supposed expertise in this field coming from a soap opera she once watched. The “Filler” episodes this season have tended to be stronger than the ones from last season, primarily because of Connie’s expanded role: giving Steven someone to work off of makes the lighter moments more memorable. This week is no exception, with Connie’s plan of using poetic nothings to let Jamie down less bluntly than Garnet’s proposed reply of simply “No” backfiring horribly, as Jamie is able to take the letter’s meaning entirely the wrong way, believing it to be a reciprocation of his feelings.
Jamie is devastated when he learns that this is not the case, and he flees. Garnet realizes she has to deal with this herself, so it’s time for a Rebecca Sugar Realtalk. Garnet always appears aloof and unfeeling, until she sits you down and explains just how much she truly knows you. Garnet knows that true love at first sight doesn’t exist (Take that, Disney! But please don’t stop making Gravity Falls), and that Jamie was fooling even himself by pretending that it did. Jamie’s penchant for drama has caused him to take events like this more seriously than he needs to, opting to wallow in his pain when he could simply move on. Garnet’s rejection wasn’t the bitter end of a long, committed romance, it was a polite decline from someone Jamie met earlier that day. Jamie agrees to go blow off his excess of emotion in some community theater, and the episode ends as lightly as it began.
It’s nice see this kind of message being given to kids: Team Rodent only recently seemed to decide that it takes more than a day to form a romantic bond that can last forever, so someone has to start setting up the next generation with more realistic expectations for what the inviting yet treacherous waters of finding a significant other are actually like. Steven Universe seems to be taking it upon itself to deliver its audience morals that their parents never got, and so far it’s continuing to succeed magnificently.
Final Rating: Good/Mind-Blowingly Amazing
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