Wednesday, April 17, 2024

‘Sadie Killer’ Slaughters Her Contentment and Fears

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Lost in the Connie and Lapidot drama so far is one key element of Steven’s Homeworld adventure; Lars! He’s still there! We saw how Sadie and his parents reacted after learning of Lars’s fate, but how have they coped since? “Sadie Killer” focuses on her life without Lars with a dash of Cool Kids, horror punk, and minimum wage anger. If that last sentence doesn’t excite you about this episode, then I’m not sure I want to know you.

Spoilers for 5×09 “Sadie Killer” below

sadie killer debut


Steven arrives at the Big Donut with a complicated order for a visibly exhausted Sadie, who has had to work alone without Lars around. He tells her about starting a band with the Cool Kids. Sadie complains about all the shifts she has to work and missing Lars. Steven invites her to watch band practice if she can make it. I feel Sadie’s pain so hard right now.

While Steven, Sour Cream, and Jenny practice, Buck Dewey arrives to tell them he booked a gig. Kind of a problem when you haven’t even decided on your sound, let alone a song to play. They each try their favorite sound. Steven goes for happy rock, of course. Buck goes political. Jenny goes for dancing, while Sour Cream goes electronic.

Sadie arrives late, when they’re ready to end for the night.

When she arrives home (the next day, I guess), Steven and the others follow her home to practice at Sadie’s house. Sadie hastily hides something beneath her blanket while the others set up. Buck can’t get comfortable, though, and decides to plop down on the blanket. Underneath they find Sadie’s awesome collection of old horror movies. When Jenny recognizes one, they start watching it. More reaffirming Cool Kids. They’re the best.

The movie gives them an idea, an each of them start playing their instruments to fit the theme of the movie. Sadie chimes in with the lyrics, complete with dressing up in costume as she sings:

“Oh, we are the working dead/And we lurch for minimum wage/But I’d really rather be eating your brain.”

I LOVE IT. And so do the Cool Kids. They decide this is their sound and Sadie should be their frontman. Sadie wants to but refuses since she has to work.

Steven comes by the Big Donut later to ask for advice on replicating Sadie’s talent. Sadie tells him he should lose his youth to a crappy job and also the only person he cares about. She’s also reluctant to take the risk because the Big Donut is a normal she knows. When she hears Steven copy her, she realizes how depressed she sounds.

When the Cool Kids and Steven go off to perform, though, Sadie shows up! And what’s more, she quit her job at the Big Donut! Sadie Killer unleashed! I guess Buck’s dad has a new gig, huh?

Delightful Little Gems

  • I feel dumb. I never realized how the Cool Kids are such obvious human stand-ins for the Crystal Gems. Buck is obviously Garnet, but I’m not sure who is Pearl and who is Amethyst between Jenny and Sour Cream.
  • Speaking of, the Cool Kids remain the best cool kids ever. They’re so accepting and friendly.
  • Like any good horror fan, Sadie’s collection is multinational.
  • Steven drastically underestimates his capacity for meanness and to metal out.
  • That being said, “You can’t help being cute any more than I can help being cool,” might be the most accurate statement ever made.

Lingering Questions

  • Did Sadie choose the zombie motif because Steven told her Lars is basically a zombie now?
  • Is there any way the former mayor Dewey doesn’t work at the Big Donut now?
  • Did the chorus to Sadie’s song remind anyone else of “We Are the Crystal Gems”? Does this make Sadie the Steven of the Cool Kids?


Confession time: I relate to Sadie more than any other character on Steven Universe. Sometimes it freaks me out how alike we are. The same anxiety in social settings, the same lack of self-esteem, the latent talent she lacks the confidence to fulfill, the same easy acceptance of the crap people pile on us. Even our personalities match up eerily well. For this reason, I’ve always found her episodes to hit me harder than many designed heavy hitters, no matter how generally lighthearted they tend to be.

“Sadie Killer” is the same. It’s a fun episode with a highly positive ending. Sadie might have some hard choices to make, but in general she has made a choice to improve her life and faces the challenge positively. However, I just relate so much with everything that preceded her choice, and it left me feeling this episode more than you’d expect.

Sadie’s problem here was one millions of people know well. It’s easy to slip into easy patterns in your life. Day after day you work a dead-end job you hate because taking chances is hard. You end up grinding yourself into dust with no real opportunity live your life. Millennials can relate hard to this. They work multiple jobs to scratch out a living and have no time for their dreams. Hell, I spent years doing the same, and I’m not much farther ahead now than I was a decade ago.

It’s especially hard with a personality like Sadie’s, where lack of confidence and self-esteem makes taking a chance the hardest thing you can do. She doesn’t want to face the weirdness or uncertainty of leaving what she knows. Yeah, maybe it leaves her unfulfilled and depressed, but the unfulfillment you know is easier than the unknown.

How do you manage through such unfulfillment? Well, hopefully you have a source of happiness to escape to. Friends, family, hobbies and such. This was true of Sadie. She says so explicitly. She’s used to overworking and doing everything, but she had Lars with her and he made it bearable. He kept her happy through it all. Just the most basic human connection can go a long way in helping a person through life.

Lars was that connection for Sadie. Without him, Sadie had nothing but a job she hates.

What she went through in “Sadie Killer” was a lot like Peridot in “Back to the Kindergarten”. Both lost the main source of happiness in their life. Now both have to pick up the pieces and find happiness elsewhere. It’s not easy and both will struggle with setbacks and memories. They’ll never replace the hole left by the disappearances of Lars/Lapis. Both tried to distract themselves from the emptiness left through something familiar, something they’ve done a thousand times. Peridot had her farm, and Sadie had her job. Neither was successful because of crucial the one they lost was to those distractions.

At least now they will have the chance to improve their lives outside of the context their best friends created.

I’m sure life will be scary for Sadie now. I have no doubt she’ll come out the other side of all this a happier person. Rock on, girl. Let Sadie Killer rock Beach City and the whole world.

Now excuse me while I resist the urge to rant about the exploitation of minimum-wage workers.

Images courtesy of Cartoon Network

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