This week’s episode is a slower one focused on side characters. Spoilers ahead.
The quick summary: Steven chases a thieving Onion to his home, where he and Amethyst meet up with Onion’s mom Vidalia. It turns out Amethyst and Vidalia are old friends who haven’t seen each other in a while.
Okay, so there really isn’t too much to say about an episode like this. As far as the side characters go, I’ve always found Onion to be one of the weaker ones. He’s no Ronaldo, but he doesn’t rise to the level of Sadie either. The major disappointment with this episode as that I was hoping for some sort of reveal regarding Onion. This show has a habit of avoiding superfluous details, so part of me really wanted there to be a distinct reason for all of Onion’s oddness. Up until this point, he seemed to be weird for the sake of weird. Unfortunately that hasn’t changed.
Onion leads Steven to a strange little room with a poster of a star-child Onion and a Legend-of-Zelda style treasure chest. The contents are… guys. And gals. Toys. Nothing revealing about Onion at all. This episode just seems like a chance to torture Steven and see how much he can put up with if his tolerance helps someone else. He sucks it up and pals around with Onion so Amethyst can have someone to talk to regarding Pearl and Garnet’s ongoing issues.
I think we all kind of figured Vidalia would be showing up again. Did you happen to notice that she was straight up carrying a shotgun when she thought Steven and Amethyst had broken in? I can’t recall ever seeing an actual human weapon like that on the show before.
In one of her old photos we see Amethyst jokingly transforming into an aged Marty, and their conversation reveals he’s out of the picture. It’s likely he’s Sour Cream’s father.
Also, noodles and butter for dinner? No doubt a staple of the low-income sometimes-can’t-be-bothered set, but man is that a depressing meal. Maybe a parade of bland dishes like that is why Onion, in Steven’s words, hates food.
Is anyone surprised to learn Steven can’t bring himself to feed a live mouse to a snake? That’s not much of a revelation, but interesting details are pretty thin on the ground in this episode.
At first I thought this episode was breaking with this bomb’s trend of having a double meaning in its title. I suppose that you could interpret ‘Onion Friend’ as referring to both Onion’s interactions with Steven and Vidalia’s interactions with Amethyst, but it’s not as fun as the others.
I really think this show needs to move past having entire episodes focused on side characters like this. They’re never bad, but they’re not in the same league with the world-building ones that will be this show’s real legacy. You’re out of season one, you’ve found your groove, it’s okay to just hit the highlights of their life now.
That’s it for now, I’ll be back tomorrow with another recap.