Dr. C – TV Review: Steven Universe #65 – Onion Friend

IT CANNOT BE UNSEEN

Well… well well well.  Well.  What can I say about Onion?

He’s one of the most bizarre background characters on the show.  He never speaks.  He pops up in the weirdest places.  And the fandom has been convinced he’s more than meets the eye ever since he first showed up.  Maybe even the big bad in disguise.  No, really.

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Some men just want to watch the world burn.

Well, today’s episode seemed tailor made to debunk some of those claims, and make him slightly less unsettling, while still keeping his bizarre behavior around for joke potential in the future.  We get some insight into his home life here that explains a bit of his odd behavior, but his oddities are still enough to freak Steven and us right the hell out… though I think we can safely place him outside the evil or crazy categories now.  Turns out he’s just a really weird kid.

A weird kid who first turns up hiding in Steven’s kitchen cupboard, waiting to steal a bag of chips.  How long was he in there anyway?  He dives through a screened window on his way out and Steven chases him through town all the way back to his house, where he enters the garage to discover:

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Paint me like… no, shouldn’t make that joke.

He brings Amethyst to the house to show her all this, only for the homeowner to emerge, Vidalia.  Vidalia, who you may recall having been introduced as a young woman in #54 – Story for Steven during Greg’s rock-star days, is Onion’s mom.  In a surprising reveal, we learn that Vidalia and Amethyst are actually old friends (she’s the painter) from that time period, and the two strike up an enthusiastic reunion, leaving Steven trapped in Onion’s house on a play date of apparent horror while they catch up.

First Steven is traumatized by being shown Onion’s pet snake and Onion tries to get him to feed it a mouse.  Then Onion puts on an old home movie.  OF HIS BIRTH.  Well, I guess that debunks the “Onion is a Gem/Other Alien” theories.

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I need the brain bleach again.

And then there’s a secret passage into the air ducts Onion want’s him to come with him into… Steven’s nerves are about shot at this point, and wants to take Amethyst and leave, but after seeing the heartfelt conversations between old friends and how good it’s doing for her emotional well-being after all the drama this week, he decides to bite the bullet and put up with whatever madness Onion has in store.

Well, it’s not something horrible this time.  He’s got a little hidden room in there where he keeps his ‘G.U.Y.S.’ collection, the capsule toys both he and Steven were shown to be avid collectors of during #15 – Onion Trade.  He’s also got ‘G.A.L.S.’ figurines, which impresses Steven immensely, and he gives Steven one as a gift.  Awww.  See, he’s weird… and Steven was definitely creeped out and unsettled by his strange behaviors, but he’s a good kid at heart, and according to his mom Onion talks to her about his friend Steven quite a bit, so maybe he’s just shy.  I’ve also read some discussions that Onion may have Autism or a similar developmental disorder, but the show isn’t allowed to just come out and say that.  There are compelling arguments for yay or nay, but I’m not qualified to speak on the topic, so I encourage you to seek those articles out and judge for yourself.  Regardless of the source of his quirks, he’s just different, and that’s OK.

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So, a nice breather episode with some backstory/development for Amethyst, after a breather episode about Garnet.  So next we’ll get a breather episode featuring Pearl, and maybe by then everyone will have had enough time along to cool their heads and we can move forward from the Sardonyx incident.  Next time: Historical Friction!