Wait, what? The last episode of this long-awaited Steven Universe return is a KEVIN episode? Why would the Crewniverse do this to us? Surely they know how awful Kevin is?
…Of course they do, which is why this episode was awesome. Well, that and Steven and Connie take center stage, not Kevin. That’s right, our adorable human Crystal Gems finally meet back up after their uncomfortable split back in “Dewey Wins”.
So how did it go? Read on. Maybe not too fast, however. After all, this is it. Back to the hiatus we go.
Spoilers for 5×10 “Kevin Party” below
Turns out Connie isn’t the only one Steven hasn’t heard from lately. Kevin pulls up as Steven puts up “missing” fliers for Lion to invite Steven to a party. He doesn’t actually want Steven—he wants Stevonnie because they’re the only person cooler than him. Since he can’t be the coolest, he needs the coolest around him.
Steven starts to explain about him and Connie but settles on refusing Kevin without explanation. When Kevin tells him Connie agreed to go, Steven can’t change his mind fast enough. After an awkward programming in Kevin’s phone to get the address, the party is on!
Steven shows up at the party wearing the shirt Connie gave him for his birthday. Kevin talks a bunch of crap about the party and his “friends” because they’re forgettable. However, now that Steven and Connie are there, Stevonnie can change that, since Stevonnie always makes things memorable. He’s not wrong, but he’s a jerk.
Spotting Lion at the party distracts Steven, and when Lion shifts he sees Connie sporting a new haircut! A freaking precious haircut.
They spot each other but Steven hides behind Kevin. He accidently spills about their recent troubles to Kevin, and tells him the rest when asked. Kevin decides to advise Steven on making up with her. Which, naturally, involves being the worst by not telling the truth and instead acting like an aloof jerk. Kevin also lets spill about a previous relationship that almost definitely broke his heart.
Only after avoiding Connie and “having a good time” does Kevin finally give Steven the go-ahead to say hi to Connie. But only so he can show her how great he’s doing rather than say anything worth a damn. Stupid Kevin. Steven follows his advice, stupidly. Connie comes running over to confront him. When she leaves, Steven runs after her.
Connie talks about her anger over what happened and about visiting the beach house while the Gems were on vacation. She accepted the invitation from Kevin so she could talk to Steven. However, she feels awkward and stupid. Steven finally does what he should have done back at the beginning of “Dewey Wins” and acknowledges her anger over his surrender. Then they laugh and insult Kevin. Who wouldn’t?
Kevin thinks Stevonnie’s about to emerge and sets the stage. Instead Steven and Connie ride Lion out of the party. You’d think the giant magical pink Lion would be enough, right? Not for Kevin. He’s the worst.
Delightful Little Gems
- I love how nonchalant all the kids at the party were about the giant pink lion
- Judging by the way everyone else interacted with Steven and Connie, seems Kevin is the only one who gives a crap about them being kids and doesn’t think they’re cool
- I’m so glad they didn’t form Stevonnie
- Speaking of, Kevin’s crush on Stevonnie is hilarious
- “Dislikes enthusiasm”. Where’s the lie, though
- People are speculating that Pearl’s Mystery Girl is Kevin’s ex. Anyone else getting that vibe? I’m not, but I’ve seen it come up.
- Does Kevin really not think people will talk forever about the giant pink lion that teleported out of the party?
- Kevin’s actually heading towards redemption, it seems. Will it actually work?
Did anyone have any doubt these two would basically vomit their feelings at each other within an hour of seeing each other again?
Whatever Steven and Connie go through, and no matter how they might face their feelings separate from each other, the two usually can’t help being completely open and honest with each other. I was sure all they needed to make up was to get within ten feet of each other. Even with Kevin there to try and muck things up.
Even more appreciated is how Steven Universe yet again used these two to subvert annoying relationship tropes. “Kevin Party” was in many ways reminiscent of “Full Disclosure” from season 2. In both episodes, the conflict threatening to push Connie and Steven apart led to Steven pulling the kind of old, tiresome tropes that got annoying to watch twenty years ago. In “Full Disclosure” Steven tries to push Connie away to “protect” her. Here, Kevin tries the whole “show her how well off you are so she’ll be jealous” nonsense.
And in both cases, the Crewniverse cut right through that nonsense for something much better.
Time and time Steven and Connie are used as a wonderful role model of relationships for the kids watching Steven Universe. Heck, they’re a good role model for adults. Through them the Crewniverse pushes the importance of emotional honesty. Not just for romantic relationships, either; after all, while they clearly have adorable crushes on each other, Steven and Connie are quite clearly friends first.
Between any two people who are close to each other, the best thing you can have is the ability to be honest about how you feel. Unfortunately, TV doesn’t like to take this route. Perhaps they find it boring or would rather lazily prolong the drama. You see the usual setup for those tired old tropes in this episode. Typically Steven would keep acting the “cool guy” and Connie would leave and there’d be another half-season where they milked this past annoying.
Thankfully Steven Universe is a better show than that and cut right to the matter. “Kevin Party” was an appreciated reconciliation for a batch of episodes built upon separations.
Every episode focused on a separation. We saw Steven deal with losing Connie, Peridot and Lapis split, and Sadie mourn over Lars. Each presented a unique scenario but focused back on the same theme of loss and how to deal with it. Steven and Connie were always going to be the easiest to repair. The others…not so much. Especially considering Lars and Lapis are both in space somewhere.
We all know life usually doesn’t work out so neat as this. And you know what? The Crewniverse knows that, too. That’s why episodes like this exist. It’s why they seem to delight in setting the foundation for the lame relationship drama and then tearing it apart. The Crewniverse isn’t trying to be “realistic” with these episodes. They’re trying to promote a better world, where people can talk openly about their feelings.
When they can promote these lessons within realistic scenarios such as Sadie’s grief and Lapidot’s split, well, even better. Time and time again this show both presents uncomfortably real relationship dynamics while also the kind of ideal resolution we all strive for. I hope everyone watching, kid and adult, tries their best to learn from episodes like “Kevin Party”.
And so ends another batch of wonderful episodes of Steven Universe. Were they worth the wait? I sure think so. I know there’s been frustration about going back to townie episodes rather than jumping right into a Lars rescue. Others find the change of tone from the Wanted special to these episodes too jarring.
Ultimately I think this is an issue with the scheduling, not the show. The Crewniverse doesn’t know that these episodes will be aired in 5-6 episode chunks some five months apart when they make them. They’re not planning on satisfying fandom hype after huge breaks. I can understand why people wanted more after so long, but it feels wrong to take your frustration out on the shows.
If anything, I thought these episodes were some of the stronger Beach City-focused episodes of the show. They really broke up the status quo of the town. There’s a new mayor, changes at the Big Donut, and an established concern by Beach City towards the gems. This was a solid step forward towards new circumstances for everyone in the town. Along the way, we got your typically strong character development and lessons.
Now, Cartoon Network, would you kindly put these episodes on TV and not make us wait 5 months for more?